Oh boy, do we have a rarity for you!! This may actually be one of those “I’ve got the only one of these” moments.
What we have is an impossibly rare 1967 UK double-sided 12″ actetate, containing Ken Thorne’s score from the soundtrack to Richard Lester’s motion picture How I Won The War, which starred John Lennon in his only non-musical role as Musketeer Gripweed.
Beatles aficionados will be aware Lennon spent six weeks on set in Almería for the movie, located in the southeastern corner of Spain and it was this desert shoot that allowed Lennon the time & headspace to plant the seed for Strawberry Fields Forever, where the first demo for the song was recorded.
Ken Thorne passed away in 2014 and would be best remembered for his Grammy nominated score for The Beatles’ Help! feature film. Perhaps deemed lost in the vaults or too short for public consumption, Ken’s soundtrack for How I Won The War, has never fully seen the light of day.
A modest & approximate 18 minutes in length, the acetate contains 15 musical cues for the film. Strictly in mono, these cues comprise the opening & end themes, army marches, Penderecki-like horror tones & even some clattering pre-Day In The Life low piano stabs for great movie effect.
Of note, there is NO Lennon acting dialogue on the disc. Instead there are unedited take anouncements in between tracks, presumably the voice of Ken himself.
Speaking of ‘A Day In The Life’, this is THE film referenced in the lyric “…I saw a film today oh boy. The English Army had just won the war…”
We would consider this acetate a great talk piece and one where its history is its main point of interest than its actual musical content. A prize one-off indeed, what Beatles collection out there will contain such a disc?!