[Approximately 78:00 Total Time]

1. #6 5:03

2. #4 (For Mori) 3:08

3. #2 5:57

4. #3 7:15

5. #1 4:26

6. #5 6:59

Tracks 1 to 6 taken from Reprise album MS 2092 'ST. GILES CRIPPLEGATE'

7. Lower California 2:14

8. Who Say What To Who 2:04

9. I'm The Loneliest Fool 2:34

10. Little Al 3:38

11. Sleeping Daughter 1:36

12. New Mexico 1:29

13. Hanging Around 2:56

14. On The Moodus Run 2:37

15. Brace 2:23

16. Marie 2:44

17. Number Eleven 7:15

Tracks 7 to 17 taken from assembled, but never released, Reprise album MS 2189 'JACK NITZSCHE'

18. I'll Bet She Knew It DEMO 3:18

19. We Have To Stay DEMO 4:32

20. Carly DEMO 3:42

21. Reno DEMO 2:13


'Three Piece Suite:
The Reprise Recordings
(Rhino Handmade RHM2 7787)
21 Tracks
(Including 15 Previously Unreleased)

Compilation Produced by
Roland Worthington Hand

A Single CD
With A 20-Page Booklet
Track 9 I'm The Loneliest Fool (Previously Unreleased) Now
Track 22 on
Hard Workin' Man:
The Jack Nitzsche Story, Vol 2
Ace CDCHD 1130
9 October 2006
Track 7 Lower California (Previously Unreleased) Now
Track 12 on
Night Walker:
The Jack Nitzsche Story, Vol 3
Ace CDCHD 1430
30 June 2014
Wounded Bird
19 October 2018
Jack Nitzsche
(HPR-049 /
MAPA0016 LP)
Reprise album MS 2189
First vinyl release
Liner Notes by
Bryan Thomas
(Institute Wordsmith)
July 2020

Reprise album MS 2092
Released 22 August 1972
Reprise album
MS 2091
Billboard review 5 August 1972
MS 2094 and MS 2062
Billboard reviews 12 August 1972
MS 2095
Cash Box review 12 August 1972,
Billboard review 19 August 1972

TITL: Saint Giles Cripplegate
IMPR: Initial Recording Co. IRC 006, c1972.
PHYS: 1 sound disc : 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.
NOTE: Performed by Jack Nitzsche
with The London Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by David Measham.
CLNA: First Kiss
DCRE: 1972
DPUB: 1Jan78
DREG: 2Jun81
APAU: music: Bernard Nitzsche p.k.a. Jack Nitzsche.
ECIF: 37/M
XREF: aJack Nitzsche ,
SEE Bernard Nitzsche.

Three Piece Suite:
The Reprise Recordings
1971 to 1974

A key lost chapter of the ultra-hip early 70s Warner Brothers rock scene lost recordings by Jack Nitzsche, a key figure from the same scene as Van Dyke Parks, Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, and other legendary figures. Nitzsche first emerged in the 60s as kind of a Phil Spector-like wunderkind but by the time of these 70s recordings, he'd stretched out considerably working in orchestral formats, as he'd later use on some of his best soundtrack work, and also exploring the more adult side of contemporary rock with a pastiche of themes, manners, and modes borrowed from Americana, and filtered through the same Burbank-hip filter used by Van Dyke Parks. The first 6 tracks on the set are from the obscure album St Giles Cripplegate, and are mostly orchestral and the remaining tunes weren't even released until the turn of the millennium! The include ones recorded for the album Jack Nitzsche a collaboration with Robert Downey, due for release in 1974, and done with a style that's a bit like the best reprise work of Parks, Webb, Newman, and Paul and/or Mason Williams. These tracks all have vocals, and a wonderfully earthy, honest, and adult feel and they're very nicely complemented by the remaining 4 tracks, which are demos, also previously unissued. Titles include "I'll Bet She Knew It", "On The Moodus Run", "Marie", "Number Eleven", "Carly", "Reno", "I'm The Loneliest Fool", and "Who Say What To Who".
~ Dusty

Rhino Handmade CD Review by Kent H. Benjamin
Goldmine #570
31 May 2002

Entertainment Weekly
March 1, 2002
Three Piece Suite:
The Reprise Recordings
1971-1974 (Warner/Rhino)

One of rock's great eccentrics, Nitzsche, who died in 2000, worked with Neil Young and Phil Spector, cowrote "Up Where We Belong," and cranked out movie scores. This set of Nitzsche's own work is in keeping with that idiosyncratic legacy. First comes St. Giles Cripplegate, his 1972 set of swelling orchestral pieces, followed by a shelved album of acid-trip mariachi, warped lounge music, and Randy Newman-on-a-binge pop. A captivating postscript to a peculiar career.
--David Browne

The Toronto Sun
January 30, 2002 Wednesday
SECTION: Entertainment;
Pg. 63; Anti-Hit List

10. PEARL JAM I Just Want Something To Do
Whispers Or Screams
7. JOHN MAYER City Love
6. THE CHURCH Chromium
Prelude: A Minor Life/Out Of My Control
4. JACK NITZSCHE Lower California
Salvaged from a never released 1974 album, this perfect two-minute suite manages to sound like Stephen Malkmus covering a long lost Brian Wilson song. (From Three Piece Suite: The Reprise Recordings, Rhino Handmade)
3. NANCI GRIFFITH Can't Love Wrong
2. IDA Shhh...
1. CLINIC Walking With Thee

Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Jack Nitzsche; Oscar-Winning Songwriter, Arranger


Jack Nitzsche, an Academy Award-winning songwriter, producer and arranger who contributed to some of rock 'n' roll's essential recordings, has died. He was 63.

Nitzsche died Friday at Queen of Angels hospital in Hollywood after cardiac arrest brought on by a recurring bronchial infection.

He arranged the bulk of Phil Spector's "wall of sound" hits in the '60s, including the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," and he arranged and played keyboard on a series of Rolling Stones records, including "Let's Spend the Night Together." His score for the 1970 Mick Jagger film "Performance" is regarded as a landmark for the use of rock in film soundtracks. Nitzsche was also instrumental in the early solo career of Neil Young, and later worked with acts as varied as English singer Graham Parker and Los Angeles punk-rock band the Germs.

As a film composer, he scored more than 40 movies. Nitzsche received an Academy Award nomination in 1976 for his score to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." In 1983, he shared the best song Oscar with Buffy Sainte-Marie (his wife at the time) and Will Jennings for "Up Where We Belong," the theme of "An Officer and a Gentleman." His score for "Officer" was also nominated for an Oscar.

Nitzsche's signature as a composer was a moody, atmospheric quality. "He really liked Wagner, and he leaned more to the sad tunes with minor chords," said Denny Bruce, a record producer and executive who had been a close friend of Nitzsche since the late '60s.

The son of German immigrants, Nitzsche was born in Chicago and grew up on a farm in Michigan. He studied piano, clarinet and saxophone and moved to Muskegon, Mich., where he worked at a steel foundry and played saxophone in a band while learning orchestration through a correspondence course.

He moved to Los Angeles in the early '60s and met Sonny Bono, who helped him into the fraternity of studio musicians that worked on Spector's hits for the Blossoms, Ike and Tina Turner and others. Becoming a producer himself, he worked with singer Jackie DeShannon and went on to record with Young's first group, the Buffalo Springfield.

Along with the success came difficulties. Nitzsche struggled with drug problems throughout his career, and in 1979 he was fined and sentenced to three years probation for an assault on his former girlfriend, actress Carrie Snodgress. More recently, Nitzsche was seen in an episode of the reality show "Cops," being arrested in Hollywood after brandishing a gun at some youths who had stolen his hat.

May 14, 1994
Season 7, Episode 1
Los Angeles, CA #14

"Being a musician, he liked the romance and the rituals of that world, and he was intrigued by it," said Bruce.

Nitzsche's last film score was for the 1995 Sean Penn movie "The Crossing Guard."

He had been relatively inactive in recent years and suffered declining health, including a stroke two years ago, according to Bruce.

Nitzsche is survived by a son, Jack Jr., born to his first wife, Gracia Ann May. Private services will be held today in Hollywood.

Los Angeles Times
April 17, 2005 Sunday

HEADLINE: Pop Music;
Meet an unlikely bad boy;
Jack Nitzsche wasn't a rock star -- he just lived like one. And he left a surprising oeuvre

BYLINE: Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer

In the hierarchy of rock prestige, singers and lead guitarists are at the top of the heap, record producers are somewhere in the middle, and arrangers are down there with roadies and tour accountants.

So what did Jack Nitzsche do to get himself a career retrospective CD, most of whose 26 tracks feature his work as an arranger?

For one thing, Nitzsche, who died in 2000 of cardiac arrest at age 63, lived like a singer or a lead guitarist. He indulged in the excesses of the rock lifestyle, took up with actresses (Carrie Snodgress) and singers (Buffy Sainte-Marie, his wife for a time), got arrested here and there, and generally assumed an aura of eccentric hipster cool.

He also was in the right place at the right time, hooking up with such upward-bound engines as Phil Spector, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young. And he ultimately transcended the role of arranger, becoming a producer, songwriter, recording artist and, finally, an Academy Award-winning film composer.

"The Jack Nitzsche Story: Hearing Is Believing," out this month on London-based Ace Records, isn't the definitive overview of this broad career. Because of licensing expenses and restrictions, some of Nitzsche's most notable work is absent -- his landmark "Performance" film score, the Stones songs featuring his piano playing ("Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadows") and choral arrangements ("You Can't Always Get What You Want"), such Spector classics as Ike & Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," and Young's Buffalo Springfield track "Expecting to Fly."

In relying on lesser-known work, though, the collection gains the element of surprise, and still demonstrates Nitzsche's distinctive touch. Classically trained and rock-'n'-roll inclined, he was an admirer of Stan Applebaum's arrangements on records by the Drifters and other Leiber & Stoller R&B acts, and he would call on that sensibility in his role as a key architect of Spector's "wall of sound" -- represented on "Hearing" by the Righteous Brothers' typically majestic "Hung on You."

Even in his earlier, more anonymous assignments in the early 1960s, Nitzsche often managed to assert his individuality. In Bobby Darin's "Not for Me," a crazed piano solo drops in from nowhere. He similarly shook up conventional proceedings behind Frankie Laine and Eddie Hodges with incongruently aggressive guitar leads. And Jackie DeShannon's "Needles and Pins," which Nitzsche co-wrote with Sonny Bono and also arranged, formed an early blueprint for the folk-rock genre.

The artists represented on the CD form a remarkably diverse roster -- Doris Day and Stevie Wonder, Tim Buckley and Graham Parker, Marianne Faithfull and the James Gang. But when it comes to a Nitzsche oeuvre, the key name is Jack Nitzsche. The album opens with his instrumental "The Lonely Surfer," which made the Top 40 in 1963, and ends with his closing theme from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

In his own music (film scores and instrumental albums such as "St. Giles Cripplegate"), Nitzsche conjured an atmosphere and mystique entirely his own. It's a musical world that all but demands a second Nitzsche retrospective.

New York Post
April 17, 2005


Various Artists - "The Jack Nitzsche Story: Hearing Is Believing"

3 1/2 Stars

Ace Records

Even if the name Jack Nitzsche is meaningless, there's no doubt you've been touched by his work as an arranger, conductor, producer and writer. The late Nitzsche was the man behind the curtain for some of rock music's biggest hits and artists. On this unusual record, Nitzsche's golden touch as a music architect is displayed through the hits he helped craft. Take a deep breath: This tribute features Jackie DeShannon, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder, the Righteous Brothers, Tim Buckley, Marianne Faithfull and, of course, Nitzsche himself among the 26 tracks. The liner notes are also a great read for anyone who's ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at an early rock recording session.

Los Angeles Daily News
Thursday, April 14, 2005

By Fred Shuster

VARIOUS: "The Jack Nitzsche Story: Hearing Is Believing (1962-79)" (Ace)

Countless memorable records and moody movie scores bore Nitzsche's stamp during a 40-year composing, arranging and producing career that played out mostly in Hollywood. Arranger of Phil Spector's "wall of sound," co-writer of Jackie DeShannon's "Needles and Pins," close collaborator with the Rolling Stones and a first-call creator of award-winning movie music, Nitzsche was one of the behind-the-scenes heroes of popular music.

This illuminating, long-overdue compilation collects 26 examples of Nitzsche's genius for imaginatively arranging frequently mediocre material. Included here are numbers headlined by Leslie Gore, the Righteous Brothers, Tim Buckley, Marianne Faithfull, Mink DeVille, Graham Parker and the James Gang, whose unexpectedly stirring "Ashes, the Rain & I" is given life by a remarkable Nitzsche string arrangement.

The excellently designed disc fittingly closes with Nitzsche's end theme for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Sadly, licensing problems nixed the inclusion of Ike and Tina's "River Deep - Mountain High" and other peak Nitzsche moments.

The New York Times
August 31, 2000, Thursday, Late Edition - Final
NAME: Jack Nitzsche
SECTION: Section C; Page 21; Column 1; The Arts/Cultural Desk
HEADLINE: Jack Nitzsche, 63, Musician And Oscar-Winning Songwriter

Jack Nitzsche, an Oscar-winning songwriter, keyboardist and arranger who worked with musicians like Phil Spector, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Miles Davis, died on Friday in Hollywood. He was 63 and lived in Los Angeles.

The cause of death was cardiac arrest brought on by a recurring bronchial infection, said his son, Jack Nitzsche Jr.

Mr. Nitzsche made a career as a prized collaborator, drawing on idioms as old as the blues and as new as electronic music. He wrote songs with Buffy Sainte-Marie, who was his wife during the 1980's ("Up Where We Belong," which won an Academy Award as Best Song in 1982, from "An Officer and a Gentleman"), and with Sonny Bono ("Needles and Pins," a 1964 hit for the Searchers). He played piano with Neil Young and the Rolling Stones; he arranged full orchestras or skeletal, atmospheric handfuls of instruments as film soundtracks or as accompaniments for rock songs.

Bernard Alfred Nitzsche was born in Chicago in 1937, and grew up on a farm near Newaygo, Mich. He hoped to become a jazz saxophonist and moved to Los Angeles in 1955, but dropped out of music school. Mr. Bono, who was an artists-and-repertory executive at Specialty Records, hired him as a copyist. Mr. Nitzsche then worked for Capitol Records, where he met the singer Gracia Ann May, who became his first wife.

Mr. Nitzsche became Phil Spector's arranger in 1962, creating the thunderous orchestrations of the Wall of Sound for hits that included the Crystals' "He's a Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me"; the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You"; and Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High."

During the 1960's he was also a session keyboardist and arranger for the Rolling Stones, working on their albums from 1964 to 1974, including "Let It Bleed" and "Sticky Fingers." He began a long association with Neil Young when he orchestrated "Expecting to Fly" for the Buffalo Springfield in 1967. He played piano on Mr. Young's albums "Tonight's the Night" and "Time Fades Away" and wrote arrangements for Mr. Young's 1972 album, "Harvest," and his 1992 album, "Harvest Moon." He also worked with Randy Newman, Marianne Faithfull, the Neville Brothers, Jackie DeShannon and the Monkees, among many others.

Under his own name he recorded an instrumental hit, "The Lonely Surfer," in 1963, and released an album of orchestral pieces, "St. Giles Cripplegate," in 1973. In the late 1970's, Mr. Nitzsche turned to new wave rock, producing Graham Parker's "Squeezing Out Sparks" and albums by Mink DeVille. Most recently, he produced recordings by the Louisiana rocker C. C. Adcock, which remain unreleased.

But Mr. Nitzsche was most widely recognized for his film scores. His 1975 score for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was nominated for an Academy Award, as was his score for "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1982, the year "Up Where We Belong" won as best song.

His first film music was for the 1964 rock and soul documentary, "The T.A.M.I. Show," and he went on to write scores for more than 30 films, including "Performance" (1970), "Greaser's Palace" (1972), "The Exorcist" (1972), "Heart Beat" (1980), "Cutter's Way" (1981), "Personal Best" (1982), "Starman"(1984), "The Razor's Edge (1984), "The Jewel of the Nile" (1985), "9 1/2 Weeks" (1986), "Stand by Me" (1986), "Revenge" (1990) and "The Crossing Guard" (1995). His score for "The Hot Spot," a 1990 film by Dennis Hopper, brought together John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal and Miles Davis.

Mr. Nitzsche had a persistent drug problem and was known, at times, for volatile behavior. In 1979 he was sentenced to three years of probation for breaking and entering following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend at the time, the actress Carrie Snodgress. In the late 1990's, The Los Angeles Times reported, his arrest was shown on the television series "Cops" after he waved a gun at someone who had stolen his hat.

He is survived by his son.

City News Service
August 30, 2000, Wednesday
HEADLINE: Nitzsche Obit

Private services will be held in Hollywood today for Oscar-winning songwriter Jack Nitzsche, who died following a heart attack brought on by a recurring bronchial infection at the age of 63.

The Chicago-born composer, arranger and musician died at Queen of Angels hospital in Hollywood Friday, the Los Angeles times reported.

Nitzsche, his then-wife Buffy Sainte-Marie and Will Jennings shared the best-song Oscar in 1983 for ''Up Where We Belong,'' the theme of ''An Officer and a Gentleman.'' Nitzsche's score for the movie was also nominated for an Academy Award.

In all, he scored more than 40 movies, and also received an Academy Award nomination in 1976 for his work on ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.''

Nitzsche also made his mark on the rock 'n' roll music scene, arranging the bulk of Phil Spector's ''wall of sound'' hits in the 1960s.

He also arranged and played keyboards on a series of Rolling Stones records, including ''Let's Spend the Night Together.'' His score for the 1970 Mick Jagger film ''Performance'' is regarded as a landmark for the use of rock $ % in film soundtracks, The Times reported.

Nitzsche's last film score was for the 1995 Sean Penn movie ''The Crossing Guard.''

He is survived by a son born to his first wife, Gracia Ann May.

The Independent (London)
August 30, 2000, Wednesday
BYLINE: Spencer Leigh

JACK NITZSCHE was a most intriguing backroom figure in the music industry. He and the record producer Phil Spector developed the famed "wall of sound" style, he recorded with the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, he wrote chart- topping singles and he scored several popular films, winning an Oscar in 1982 for "Up Where We Belong", the theme song of An Officer and a Gentleman.

Nitzsche, who was born in Chicago in 1937, was raised in Michigan. He had a rebellious James Dean stance as a teenager but he achieved a music diploma by correspondence course. He came to Hollywood in the late 1950s and worked at Specialty Records, writing Preston Epps's instrumental "Bongo Bongo Bongo" and befriending Sonny Bono, later of Sonny and Cher.

In 1962 Phil Spector moved from New York to the West Coast to make his records and Nitzsche wrote the forceful arrangement for the Crystals' "He's a Rebel", which topped the US charts. This was followed by "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me"; "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You" for the Ronettes; and "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" for Bob B Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Nitzsche arranged Phil Spector's legendary album A Christmas Gift For You, which had the misfortune to be released on 22 November 1963, the day that John F. Kennedy was shot, and hence sold poorly. For $ 50 an arrangement, Nitzsche developed the florid, echo-laden sound that Spector was looking for.

Although Nitzsche was vital to the wall of sound, Spector preferred to keep the credit for himself. For some years, they remained close, and Nitzsche would accompany Spector, who had a phobia about flying, on aeroplane trips: "Phil told me that he didn't want to die alone." Spector, a mass of neuroses, would call Nitzsche in the middle of the night and suggest that they meet for ice-cream. Nitzsche's first wife, Grazia, was a member of the Blossoms, a Los Angeles session group who also worked for Spector.

As Spector was not paying vast sums, Nitzsche worked for other companies. He arranged Bobby Darin's "Eighteen Yellow Roses" (1963) and Bob Lind's "Elusive Butterfly" (1966) as well as records for Gene McDaniels, Lesley Gore, the Lettermen, the Monkees and Frankie Laine. He regularly worked with Jackie deShannon, arranging "When You Walk in the Room" and a song he had written with Sonny Bono, "Needles and Pins", which became a UK No 1 for the Searchers in 1964.

To his surprise, Nitzsche had a US Top Forty hit with a Duane Eddy-styled instrumental, "The Lonely Surfer", in 1963, and his album of the same name is highly sought after by collectors. Following a disagreement with the record company, he refused to record a follow-up and so the producer of "The Lonely Surfer", Jimmy Bowen, recorded an album, "Dance to the Hits of the Beatles," and put it out under Nitzsche's name.

Because of other projects, Nitzsche was not available for Phil Spector's master-work, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " by the Righteous Brothers. Spector crowed, saying "I guess he felt unimportant when he saw that we could do it without him", although Gene Page's arrangement is surely developed from Nitzsche's "Walking in the Rain" for the Ronettes. Nitzsche returned for the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" (1965) and Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep Mountain High" (1966).

Nitzsche befriended the Rolling Stones and their record producer, Andrew Loog Oldham. He co- produced some of their records including "Mother's Little Helper" (1965) and "19th Nervous Breakdown" (1966) and he played piano or added percussion on others. His rolling piano propels "Let's Spend the Night Together" (1967) and he added the 50-voice choir on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (1969). He later commented, "Up until then all the rock'n'rollers I met seemed to be assholes. The Stones were the first ones who said 'F@ck you' to everybody."

In 1966, Nitzsche had arranged "Expecting To Fly" for Buffalo Springfield, virtually a solo showcase for Neil Young. In 1972 he added the strings to Young's album, Harvest, recording with the London Symphony Orchestra. He did not enjoy touring with Young, saying, "His lyrics are so dumb and pretentious. The tour was torture. I was bored to death with his terrible guitar solos."

Impressed, however, by the LSO, he recorded his own album with them, St Giles Cripplegate, so called because it was a recorded in a London church with excellent acoustics. The album, a fusion of classical music and experimental pop, sold only 1,300 copies and has done little better when reissued.

Nitzsche conducted the orchestra for the pop extravaganza The T.A.M.I. Show (1965), which was filmed in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and featured James Brown, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones. He also wrote the music for Village of the Giants in 1965, but his first major score wasn't until 1970 with Performance, a strange unsettling film starring Mick Jagger and James Fox. Nitzsche's score, which involved sitars, the wailing of Merry Clayton and a downbeat blues from Randy Newman, was superbly integrated into the scenes. He also worked on Randy Newman's 1970 album 12 Songs.

Nitzsche wrote the score for Performance while living in a witch's cottage in Laurel Canyon in the Los Angeles hills and he became obsessed with the occult. He wrote the score for The Exorcist (1973), which was directed by William Friedkin, but he dismissed its contents. He said, "Friedkin didn't give a shit about the occult. It was just a hot commodity as far as he was concerned." This was followed by an Oscar nomination for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Captain Beefheart was among the performers of his score for Blue Collar (1978). Around that time, he also wrote arrangements for Barbra Streisand's 1977 album Superman.

Nitzsche was broken-hearted when the actress Carrie Snodgrass broke off her relationship with him. In 1979, fuelled by drugs and alcohol, he stormed into her house and threatened her. He was arrested and became the first person to be charged with "rape by instrumentality" as he had allegedly violated her with the barrel of a revolver. The charge was dropped after he accepted a lesser charge of threatening behaviour.

His score for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) was nominated for an Oscar and he won an Oscar for the Best Song with "Up Where We Belong", which he co-wrote with Buffy Sainte-Marie (who was briefly married to him) and Will Jennings. The song was a major hit for Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, and Nitzsche also worked on several albums for Cocker. He wrote the scores for 35 films including Starman (1984), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), 91/2 Weeks (1986), Stand By Me (1986), Mermaids (1990), Revenge (1990) and The Crossing Guard (1994).

Despite the film scores, he still made records, including work for Mink de Ville, the Neville Brothers, Graham Parker and Richard Clayderman. He used cocaine to help him write and arrange quickly.

This year Jack Nitzsche was healthier than he had been for some years. He had stopped drinking and drug abuse and, although always cynical, was content with life.

Bernard (" Jack") Nitzsche, musician and song arranger: born Chicago 22 April 1937; twice married (one son); died Los Angeles 25 August 2000.

The Times (London)
August 30, 2000, Wednesday
SECTION: Features
HEADLINE: Jack Nitzsche

Jack Nitzsche, composer and arranger, was born in Chicago on April 22, 1937. He died in Hollywood of cardiac arrest on August 25, aged 63.

Rock arranger who gathered no moss in a long career

ALTHOUGH he was not a household name, Jack Nitzsche was responsible for producing or arranging some of the most influential pop records of the past 40 years. Artists who benefited from his skills included the Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner and Neil Young. He was also a composer whose film scores included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and he won an Oscar for co-writing Up Where We Belong, the theme song of the film An Officer and a Gentleman.

Born Bernard Alfred Nitzsche, he grew up on a farm near the town of Newaygo, Michigan. His first love was jazz and he moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s to study saxophone at music college. But the lure of rock'n'roll was irresistible and he was given his first job in the music industry by Sonny Bono, then an A&R man at Speciality Records, whose biggest act was Little Richard.

With Bono he wrote Needles and Pins, a minor American hit for Jackie de Shannon which was turned into a British number one by the Searchers, and later revived by the Ramones. But it was his association with Phil Spector that was to establish his name as one of pop music's great arrangers. Together they created a style of epic pop grandeur that came to be known as the "wall of sound", and the records Nitzsche worked on included the Crystals' He's a Rebel and Then He Kissed Me, the Ronettes' Be My Baby, and Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High.

His own career as a recording artist was less successful, although the title track of his 1963 debut album "The Lonely Surfer" was an American Top 40 hit. Then in 1964 he began an association with the Rolling Stones, when the group travelled to Los Angeles to record. His influence can be heard on some of their best-known songs, including Satisfaction, The Last Time and Get off of My Cloud, which he arranged, and Play with Fire and Paint It Black, on which he played piano. He was also responsible for the memorable choir arrangement on You Can't Always Get What You Want, and worked again with Mick Jagger when he scored the 1970 film Performance, in which the Stones' singer had a starring role.

Around the same time he began an equally productive partnership with Neil Young. In 1968 he co-produced Buffalo Springfield Again, one of the seminal West Coast rock albums, to which he also contributed the ethereal string arrangement on one of the best songs, Young's Expecting to Fly. When the group split up, Nitzsche continued to work with Young, and his arrangements can be heard on a clutch of albums, including his biggest-sellers, After the Goldrush and Harvest. He also played for a time in Young's live touring band, Crazy Horse.

If his associations with Spector, the Stones and Young were the three pillars on which Nitzsche's reputation was built, the list of his other production and arranging credits is a roll-call of rock, ranging from P. J. Proby to Randy Newman, and from Tim Buckley to the Walker Brothers.

He dabbled in Neo-Classical styles on the album St Giles Cripplegate in 1972 (although the album was not well received), and went on to work on more than 30 film soundtracks, including Stand By Me, Star Man, Blue Collar and 9 1/2 Weeks. In 1982 he won an Academy Award for best song, Up Where We Belong.

Nitzsche continued to be in demand as an arranger, producer and composer. He is survived by his wife and a son.

Daily Variety
August 29, 2000
HEADLINE: Composer Nitzche, 63, dead

Record producer, film composer and performer Jack Nitzsche died Friday at Queen of Angels hospital in Hollywood of cardiac arrest, brought on by a recurring bronchial infection. He was 63.

Nitzsche won the 1983 original song Oscar for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" for "An Officer and a Gentleman." His score for 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" also brought him an Oscar nomination. In 1991, Nitzsche paired Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker to perform his acclaimed score for Dennis Hopper's pic "The Hot Spot."

In his 35-year career, Nitzsche worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Captain Beefheart, Marianne Faithfull, the Monkees and Doris Day, but his best-known work was with the legendary producer Phil Spector, the Rolling Stones and Neil Young.

As an arranger, Nitzsche began working with Spector in 1962 with the Crystals' "He's a Rebel." Their association lasted up through Spector's final "wall of sound" production, Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," in 1966.

Rocked with Stones

His association with the Rolling Stones started in 1964 and throughout the 1960s he contributed keyboard parts to such classics as "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows?" "Play With Fire" and "Paint It Black." He also wrote the classic choral arrangements for "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

With Young, Nitzsche arranged strings for "A Man Needs a Maid" and was a member of his backing band, the Stray Gators, for 1972's "Harvest." He arranged "Such a Woman" for Young's 1992 "Harvest Moon" album. Their association began in 1967 when Nitzsche arranged "Expecting to Fly" for Young's former band, the Buffalo Springfield.

Nitzsche had one solo hit, "The Lonely Surfer," an instrumental track that hit the top 40 in 1963.

Farm boy

Born Bernard Alfred " Jack" Nitzsche on April 22, 1937, in Chicago, he was reared on a farm outside of Newaygo, Mich. At age 18, he moved to Los Angeles to become a jazz saxophonist, but quit after getting a job at Specialty Records as a copyist.

His motion picture work began with largely overseeing the musical end of 1964's "The TAMI Show," then scoring the 1965 no-budgeter "Village of the Giants." In 1970 he scored "Performance." Other credits include "The Exorcist," "Stand by Me," "The Indian Runner," "The Crossing Guard," "Blue Collar" and "Hardcore."

Nitzsche, an avid record collector up until his death, was also notorious for his drug usage and run-ins with the law, one of which even landed on the TV show "Cops."

Nitzsche had one son, Jack Jr., from his first marriage, to aspiring singer Gracia Ann May. He was later married to Buffy Sainte-Marie, with whom he co-wrote "Up Where We Belong."

Nitzsche's last studio work (as yet unreleased) was with Louisiana rocker C.C. Adcock.

He is survived by his son.

By Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune
September 8, 2000

When they buried Jack Nitzsche on Aug. 30 in Los Angeles, three generations of Hollywood and rock royalty came to say goodbye: Sean Penn and Nancy Sinatra; Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach of the punk group the Cramps; '60s hitmaker Jackie DeShannon; Sonny Bono's daughter Christy; composer Jon Hassell; director John Byrum and New Orleans percussion master Earl Palmer. Neil Young sent hundreds of red roses, and the reclusive Phil Spector emerged from his mansion to deliver a eulogy that credited Nitzsche with helping change the musical culture of the 20th Century.

Yet, when Bernard Alfred "Jack" Nitzsche, died of cardiac arrest Aug. 25 at the age of 63, he was largely unknown by the public that consumed the movies and music he helped shape over a 40-year career: the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want," the 1963 instrumental hit "The Lonely Surfer," the soundtracks for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Exorcist" and "An Officer and a Gentleman," classic albums by Graham Parker and the Germs, and Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." He launched the solo careers of Neil Young, Ry Cooder and Mink DeVille, and helped put a pre-Cher Sonny Bono on the charts for the first time by cowriting "Needles and Pins" with him, later a hit for the Searchers. Editor's Note: A pre-Cher Sonny Bono co-wrote "High School Dance" a #5 Pop and #1 R&B hit for Larry Williams in 1957 (Speciality single 608).

If Spector was the "The First Tycoon of Teen" as Tom Wolfe declared in a 1965 essay, Nitzsche, who was Spector's right-hand man, was the Zelig of Pop, appearing at key to orchestrate some of its finest music, only to fade into the Hollywood haze while others got the glory.

It's telling that in the acclaimed Spector box set, "Back to Mono (1958-1969)," a four-CD chronicle of the producer's Wall of Sound hits, there is a picture of Spector being hoisted on the shoulders of his musicians and cronies, cockily chomping a cigar and smiling from behind shades at the camera. Off to the right, his glasses barely visible above the head of the great drummer Hal Blaine, stands Nitzsche, obscured as usual.

"He didn't get the credit he deserved," says Blaine. But his role was crucial in determining how those songs sounded, because he lined up the musicians, wrote out their parts and refined their performances.

"He wrote, he performed, and he was a first-class arranger," says Jerry Leiber, who with Mike Stoller wrote and produced some of rock's greatest early singles. "Jack probably should have been credited as the co-producer on many of the tracks he worked on."

Blaine explains that Nitzsche "provided a map for the musicians. The recording sessions were a collaboration between the arranger, the producer and the musicians, and if someone had a good idea, the attitude was, 'Yeah, let's try that.'"

Nitzsche would cover everything from the basic structure of the song--he first presented "He's a Rebel," a huge hit for the Crystals, as a piano-and-voice demo with Gene Pitney singing the falsetto vocal--to its subtlest details, such as the finger cymbals on "Da Doo Ron Ron," notated on the original sheet music for the future top-5 hit.

Nitzsche was also a fine songwriter in his own right, as demonstrated by his sumptuous 1963 instrumental hit, "The Lonely Surfer."

"It was one of the first rock or surf records that was symphonic," says Blaine, who played on the session. "It was not just a four-chord rock 'n' roll song, but a beautiful composition in the Nelson Riddle or Henry Mancini mode."

The Chicago-born and Michigan-bred Nitzsche was among this new breed of music men who arrived in Los Angeles in the late '50s and early '60s. Spector wanted to create "teenage symphonies," densely orchestrated three-minute singles that had some of the sophistication of the previous generation's music but combined it with a youthful sensibility and a driving rock beat. Spector found a kindred spirit in Nitzsche.

"There were two guys who were head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their ability to arrange music," Leiber says, "and they were Randy Newman and Jack Nitszche."

Spector made use of an echo chamber at Gold Star studio in Los Angeles to create a cavernous "wall of sound," in which instruments were meticulously layered to propel pop songs.

"The Wall of Sound was Spector's idea," says Denny Bruce, a Los Angeles producer and manager who was once Nitzsche's roommate, "but Jack was the architect."

"Phil had a feel for what kids wanted, and Jack understood him," says drummer Earl Palmer. "There was mutual respect there, and when it came to talking to the musicians, most of it was Jack. When it came to working 'River Deep, Mountain High,' which was probably the most elaborate arrangement we ever did, it dawned on me how much control Jack had over the music."

That session was described by one witness, Los Angeles deejay Rodney Bingenheimer, to Harvey Kubernik in a 1988 issue of Goldmine magazine: Spector and Nitzsche, he said, "were like co-pilots of the Concorde on a flight from France."'

"The mystique was something else," Blaine says. "Brian Wilson came to see. Mick Jagger. Everyone wanted to see how Phil was sprinkling gold fairy dust all over those records. It was a feather in everyone's cap to be part of the Wall of Sound."

Nitzsche was paid only $50 a session, but, as he told Goldmine, "I don't feel any bitterness about the money or payment whatsoever. The credits helped secure employment for years."

Nitzsche spent most of the '70s and '80s working on movie soundtracks, including the acclaimed scores for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Exorcist," and the Oscar-winning song "Up Where We Belong" from "An Officer and a Gentlemen." In the '90s, he worked with Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker on Dennis Hopper's "The Hot Spot," and scored films for Sean Penn.

Self-destructive behavior sabotaged whatever chance he had for wider recognition. In 1979, Nitzsche was sentenced to probation in connection with an assault on his former girlfriend, actress Carrie Snodgress, and was a heroin addict the last 25 years of his life.

Yet even after Nitzsche had faded off the Hollywood radar screen, his work has continued to fascinate and inspire.

"Jack Nitzsche's music would keep me going," says Jim O'Rourke, a Chicago-based avant-garde guitarist and producer. "If a song I was working on would be dragging me down, I'd listen to some of his arrangements, like the soundtrack to 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' because they're so amazing. He's a genius."

The Denver Post
January 21, 2001 Sunday 2D EDITION
HEADLINE: An unknown master Jack Nitzsche's contribution to pop remarkable

Jack Nitzsche, who died of cardiac arrest last August at the age of 63, was virtually anonymous to the public throughout his remarkable 40-year career.

But it's hard to name another person who was involved in making so much pop-music history. He was probably the most versatile and talented arranger in rock.

'When I look at a list of all the things I've done, it really does blow my mind. I really did a lot of stuff and nobody knows it,' Nitzsche said in an interview for 'The Encyclopedia of Record Producers.'

As a teenager, Nitzsche had extensive musical training before arriving in Hollywood in the late '50s. He found his first professional work as a music copyist at Specialty Records, hired by Sonny Bono, the head of A&R at the label. They co-wrote 'Needles and Pins,' later the Searchers' first international hit.

As Nitzsche's reputation grew, he was recommended to Phil Spector. He crafted arrangements for a number of recordings, from the Crystals ('He's A Rebel') and Ronettes to the Righteous Brothers and Ike & Tina Turner ('River Deep, Mountain High'). To some, he was the unheralded architect behind Spector's potent 'wall of sound.'

Following Spector's temporary retirement in 1966, Nitzsche continued a similar association with the Rolling Stones, contributing keyboards and arrangements to several of the group's classic releases, notably 'Play With Fire,' '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction,' 'Paint It Black' and 'Get Off of My Cloud.' He wrote the memorable choir arrangement on 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' still a staple of classic-rock radio.

Nitzsche garnered further acclaim for his skills when he co-produced the lush 'Expecting to Fly' for Buffalo Springfield. And when group guitarist Neil Young opted for a solo career, he assisted with the string arrangements on 'Neil Young' and 'Harvest' and joined the on-tour backing group, Crazy Horse, on its debut album.

Nitzsche often worked in films. He came up with an imaginative score for 'Performance' and won considerable approval for similar work on 'The Exorcist.' He was nominated for on Oscar in 1975 for his experimental score to 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' and later won an Oscar for co-writing 'Up Where We Belong' with singer/activist Buffy Sainte-Marie (who was then his wife) and Will Jennings, a No. 1 hit sung by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes for the film 'An Officer and a Gentleman.'

Nitzsche remained an integral part of the Los Angeles music industry. A pretty impressive resume, huh? And these are just a fraction of his credits.

Nitzsche was also an occasional recording artist, beginning with his majestic 1963 instrumental 'The Lonely Surfer,' the title track of his first album - the moody orchestral number reached No. 39 on the charts. Ten years later, he issued an album of original pieces he recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, 'St. Giles Cripplegate,' which was the name of the church where the project took place.

But none of the albums Nitzsche put out under his name have been in print.

Now 'The Lonely Surfer' (Collectors' Choice) is available. It boasts the minor-hit title cut and features a band of session greats Hal Blaine, David Gates, Leon Russell and Tommy Tedesco. It sounds retro-fine - think Mexican folk musicians produced by Phil Spector for an Ennio Morricone sound track of a western.

But hopefully a reissue of 'St. Giles Cripplegate' will follow - it's the work that spotlights Nitzsche's work as a composer.

In the meantime, his name is on a whole lot of records in your collection.

Rolling Stone
October 12, 2000
Hard-living producer worked with the Rolling Stones and Neil Young

JACK NITZSCHE WAS BRIEFLY Acquainted with Neil Young when he arrived at the singer's home in Laurel Canyon, California, in 1967. Young was the lead guitarist in Buffalo Springfield, a limited role he was beginning to chafe under, and he wanted to pitch a song for an album Nitzsche was to produce for the Everly Brothers. "He played it on a twelve-string acoustic, and it sounded just huge in that tiny place," says Denny Bruce, a manaster and Nitzsche's former roommate. "He gets midway through the second verse and Jack says, `F*ck the Everly Brothers, man, you gotta do this song."'

The song was "Expecting to Fly," and Nitzsche essentially turned it into a sumptuously orchestrated Young solo recording that appeared on the classic Buffalo Springfield Again. The next year, Young cut his first solo album, produced by Nitzsche.

Young was one of many artists, ranging from the Rolling Stones to Ry Cooder, whose music benefited from the production, arranging or composing savvy of Bernard Alfred "Jack" Nitzsche, 63, who died of cardiac arrest August 5th as one of rock's unsung heroes. Nitzsche played Billy Strayhorn to Phil Spector's Duke Ellington; he was the producer's right-hand man during the Wall of Sound days in Los Angeles, which yielded such epic tracks as the Crystals' "He's a Rebel" and the Ronettes' "Be My Baby."

"The Wall of Sound was Spector's idea," Bruce says, "but Jack was the architect."

"Jack wrote the basic parts at those sessions," says drummer Hal Blaine, who played on many of Spector's recordings. "He provided a map for the musicians."

Earl Palmer, another drummer frequently employed by Nitzsche, says Spector's most grandiose recording, Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," was a triumph for Nitzsche as well. "That session made me realize what an arranger Jack was," Palmer says. "It dawned on me that he had a lot of control over the music, because there were so many musicians involved."

Jerry Leiber, the legendary songwriter and producer for whom Spector was an apprentice in New York, calls Nitzsche's arrangements "head and shoulders above the rest. He probably should have been credited as the co-producer on many of the tracks he worked on." Nitzsche's 1963 instrumental hit, "The Lonely Surfer," says Blaine, who played on the session, "was one of the first rock or surf records that was symphonic. It was not just four-chord rock & roll but a beautiful song in the Nelson Riddle or Henry Mancini mode."

It was Nitzsche's blend of orchestral sophistication and pop intuition that drew a who's who of rock performers to him. He co-wrote "Needles and Pins," a 1964 hit for the Searchers, with Sonny Bono. That same year, he helped the Stones secure a recording studio in Los Angeles for the sessions that would produce December's Children (and Everybody's). Nitzsche also played piano on classic Stones tracks such as "Play With Fire" and "Paint It Black," then came up with the epic choral arrangement on "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

But "Jack was always fooling around with dynamite," Blaine says, and Nitzsche's drug addiction derailed his career. He was also put on probation in 1979 in connection with an assault on his former girlfriend, actress Carrie Snodgress.

Though occasional production jobs, for artists such as Graham Parker and Mink DeVille, came his way, Nitzsche largely made his living the last thirty years working on movie soundtracks. He won a 1983 Oscar for co-writing "Up Where We Belong" for An Officer and a Gentleman, and his score for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest brought him an Oscar nomination. In the Nineties, he worked with Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker on Dennis Hopper's The Hot Spot and scored films for Sean Penn. It was his soundtracks that won him a new generation of fans including performers such as the High Llamas, Stereolab and Chicago guitarist and producer Jim O'Rourke.

"Jack Nitzsche's music would keep me going," says O'Rourke. "If a song I was working on would be dragging me down, I'd listen to some of his arrangements, because they're so amazing. He was a genius."

He was also a maverick, and by the end of his career, all but ostracized from the mainstream. "On July 4th, 1999, Jack called me asking for sleeping pills," Bruce says. "He'd been up for four nights partying. His attitude was you could be old and still rock. Any real businessman didn't want to take a chance on him."

"He didn't get the credit he deserved," Blaine says. "But he started to run with the wrong crowd. Why? If I had the answer, it'd be a different story today."

September 9, 2000
LENGTH: 986 words
HEADLINE: Artist/Producer Jack Nitzsche Dies At 63
LOS ANGELES-"When I look at a list of all the things I've done, it really does blow my mind. I really did a lot of stuff and nobody knows it," Jack Nitzsche said in an interview for "The Encyclopedia Of Record Producers" (Billboard Books, 1999).

Nitzsche's 40-year career in the recording studios and sound stages of L.A. was indeed a staggeringly versatile one, encompassing important work as a musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer. And for much of that career, he was a consummate "inside guy" well-known to industry cognoscenti, virtually anonymous to the public at large.

Nitzsche, 63, died Aug. 25 at Queen of Angels Hospital in Hollywood. He suffered cardiac arrest brought on by a recurring bronchial infection.

Born in Chicago on April 22,1937, and raised in Michigan, keyboardist/guitarist/saxophonist Nitzsche moved to LA. in the late '50s. He was hired by Sonny Bono, then an A&R man at Art Rupe's Specialty Records, as a music copyist. He also worked for a time at Capitol Records.

In 1962, Nitzsche became an integral component of producer Phil Spector's potent "Wall Of Sound." He crafted arrangements for a number of Spector's biggest, and biggest-sounding, hits, including the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You," the Crystals' "He's A Rebel," Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans' "Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah," and the producer's famed 1966 Pyrrhic victory, Ike & Ana Turner's grand, commercially doomed "River Deep, Mountain High."

In 1963, Nitzsche scored the only real hit he ever had under his own name when his moody orchestral number "The Lonely Surfer" reached No. 39 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart, although a second Reprise single, "Rumble," reached No. 91. The following year, he co-wrote (with ex-employer Bono) one of his most enduring songs, "Needles & Pins," which charted in three different decades in versions by Jackie DeShannon, the Searchers, Smokie, and Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks (and was even covered by punk group the Ramones).

During the '60s, Nitzsche worked as an arranger and producer for artists as diverse as Bobby Darin, Doris Day, Lesley Gore, Bob Lind, Tim Buckley, and Gene McDaniels. He worked frequently as a sideman for the Rolling Stones, contributing piano to such tracks as "Let's Spend The Night Together," "Play With Fire," and "Paint It, Black."

In 1966, Nitzsche released "Chopin '66," which included pop arrangements of the titular composer's work. (His later solo release,1972's "St. Giles Cripplegate," was an orchestral work recorded in the titular English church.)

In 1967, Nitzsche wrote the string arrangement for "Expecting To Fly," a lush song written by Neil Young and included on "Again," the second album by the L.A. rock band Buffalo Springfield.

That track began a long onagain-off-again relationship between the two men. With Young, Nitzsche co-produced the singer/ songwriter/guitarist's self-titled 1969 Reprise solo debut and later produced and arranged tracks on Young's hit album "Harvest" (1972) and its sequel-of-sorts, "Harvest Moon" (1992). When Young's backup band Crazy Horse cut its woefully underrated debut album in 1971, Nitzsche served as co-producer and full-time keyboardist; he also wrote or co-wrote three of the album's songs and took lead vocals on one, "Crow Jane Lady."

Nitzsche's career as a producer and composer of film soundtracks began inauspiciously in 1965 with Bert I. Gordon's sci-fi quickie "Village Of The Giants." He made a bold mark, though, with his next soundtrack, for the controversial 1970 film "Performance." It featured Ry Cooder's guitar work and two memorable vocals, Randy Newman's "Gone Dead Train" and "Memo From Turner," a showpiece for the film's star, the Stones' Mick Jagger.

Soundtracks for a number of high-profile features followed. In 1973, Nitzsche scored "The Exorcist." He received an Academy Award nomination for best original score for director Milos Forman's 1975 film "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."

He utilized some risky talents in his film work: In 1978, he recorded Captain Beefheart for the main title music of Paul Shrader's "Blue Collar," and in 1980 he produced five songs by the L.A. punk band the Germs for William Friedkin's thriller "Cruising."

Though soundtrack work took up an increasing amount of Nitzsche's time from the '70s on, he found time to work on some provocative albums. He produced three records with neo-R&B singer Willy DeVille, and in 1979 he helmed "Squeezing Out Sparks," perhaps the finest work by English singer/ songwriter Graham Parker.

In 1983, Nitzsche received two Academy Award nominations for his work on "An Officer And A Gentleman." Though he lost in the best original score category, "Up Where We Belong," a ballad cowritten by Nitzsche, Will Jennings, and Buffy Sainte-Marie (who was then Nitzsche's wife), took the best original song Oscar. (The tune had reached No. 1 in 1982 in its soundtrack rendition by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes.)

Other notable scores by Nitzsche included "The Jewel Of The Nile," "Stand By Me," "91/z Weeks," and "The Hot Spot" (which memorably mated the talents of bluesman John Lee Hooker and jazz trumpeter Miles Davis). Two of his last scores were for films directed by actor Sean Penn, "The Indian Runner" (1991) and "The Crossing Guard" (1995).

Nitzsche's personal life was often a high-wire act. In the late '70s, he was charged with assaulting actress Carrie Snodgress; he received three years probation for a lesser charge. He struggled for many years with drug addiction and frequently committed himself to rehabilitation facilities. In one incident in the late '90s, his arrest for pointing a gun at pedestrians on Hollywood Boulevard was filmed and aired on an episode of the Fox reality series "Cops."

Nitzsche is survived by a son, Jack Jr. Private funeral services were held Aug. 30 in Hollywood.

  An Individually
Limited Edition Of
3,000 (Three Thousand)

21 Tracks (Including
15 Previously Unreleased)
A Single CD
With A 20-Page Booklet.

Catalogue Number:
RHM2 7787

On Thursday, 28 July 1966,
Jack Nitzsche Produced And Arranged
"If My Car Could Only Talk" (L117),
"Song Of Lita" (L119),
"Wild Life's In Season" (L118) And
"Watch Your Heart After Dark" (L116):


(RPM 284)


(ACE CDCHD 1030) 76:28

In early June 1966, Columbia Records appointed Charles Calello staff producer in the popular music A&R department. With Calello contractually prohibited from further Lou Christie MGM productions, Phil Spector associate Jack Nitzsche arrived for one celebrated session.

Original Sinner
The Very Best Of
The MGM Recordings

Track 20.
(Master L116 Recorded 28 July 1966, Released 'EnLightnin'ment: The Best Of Lou Christie', Rhino CD R2 70246, Billboard 26 March 1988)

Track 21.
(Master L117 Recorded 28 July 1966, MGM single K 13576, Billboard and Cash Box ads 3 September 1966: THAT LIGHTNIN' STRIKES LAD HAS A THUNDERIN' NEW HIT!, Billboard review 10 September 1966, entered Billboard 17 September 1966, #118, UK MGM single 1325, Released and in NME New Singles ad 7 October 1966)

Track 22.
(Master L118 Recorded 28 July 1966, MGM single K 13623 B, Variety review 9 November 1966, Cash Box and Billboard reviews 12 November 1966, Cash Box ad 19 November 1966)

Track 23.
(Master L119 Recorded 28 July 1966, MGM single K 13576 B, entered KDKA Pittsburgh 5 September 1966, #37, UK MGM single 1325 B)

Nitzsche had arranged the Bob Marcucci-managed John Andrea's "Look In My Eyes, Maria" (MGM K 13423 B, Billboard 4 December 1965).

With falsetto flashes, tasty tempo switches and infinite layers of complexity, "If My Car Could Only Talk" (#5 on WADS Ansonia, Connecticut) continued a line of ringing thematic development first heard in Lou's "Big Time" (Colpix CP 799, Billboard review 26 February 1966, #95) and "Hollywood's My Stop". Featuring a Skyliners reference ('A fool but once / This I Swear'), "If My Car" reflected Lou's 1964 Army service, his Jaguar XKE and his family's South Heights, Pennsylvania pizza restaurant. The back seat back-up singers (Jack Nitzsche's then-wife Gracia Ann May, Carolyn Willis and one additional female) help set the scene and push the story along. Check out The Rubinoos' "If My Car" on 'Crimes Against Music'. The Knack's Berton Averre also cut an unreleased version.

MGM honchos chose the A side of Lou Christie's fifth and final MGM single without his knowledge or approval. Still, the Calello-produced "Since I Don't Have You" admirably illustrated Lou's bipolar artistic impulses. "Since I Don't Have You" also served as Lou's tribute to Skyliners Arranger and Robbee label owner Lennie Martin (d. 2 September 1963). Added to 37% of the Cash Box-reporting radio stations the week ending 3 December 1966, "Since I Don't Have You" rose to #13 on WJHO Opelika, Alabama and #15 on WENE Endicott NY.

The B side of "Since I Don't Have You", the Nitzsche-produced "Wild Life's In Season", anticipated Sunset Strip curfew clashes between teenagers and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department ('Lightnin' bugs out tonight / Smoke-filled cellars out of sight / Sirens screaming / Squad car lights'). After providing seasonal psychoanalysis ('Like the end of autumn / Your life hits the bottom bottom / You're too tough to cry / Your biggest downfall is when emotions die'), Lou warned 'Your heart's ripped and needs [to be] sewn' as the girls hauntingly chanted 'Sha Shu Mi Ma Ma'.