Windmills of Your Mind composer Michel Legrand dies aged 86
(too old to reply)
2019-01-26 13:42:56 UTC

French Oscar-winning composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand has died in Paris aged 86, his spokesman has said.

During a career spanning more than 50 years, Legrand wrote over 200 film and TV scores, as well as songs.

In 1968, he won his first Oscar for the song The Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair film.

Two more Oscars followed in 1971 and 1983 for the best original scores in Summer of '42 and Yentl films respectively.

In the 1960s, he collaborated with French new wave director Jacques Demy on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg - the work which opened the door for Legrand to Hollywood.
Michael OConnor
2019-01-26 14:07:58 UTC
They used one of his classic tunes, "Di Gue Ding Ding", for the GE ad a year or two back, which I hope reminded people how great his music was:

"Windmills of Your Mind" was also a favorite, and probably his best-known tune:

A true musical genius, he will be missed.
Michael OConnor
2019-01-27 16:09:46 UTC
A slight addendum - after going thru his vast resume at imdb.com, I found another tune which would rank among his best-known pieces of music: the theme to the 1971 TV movie "Brian's Song":

MJ Emigh
2019-01-26 15:13:07 UTC
Post by mongo
French Oscar-winning composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand
For those too young to recall it, you owe it to yourselves to seek out the recording of "Windmills" by Vanilla Fudge. It's music is incredibly powerful, as is Mark Stein's vocal.
That Derek
2019-01-27 18:47:31 UTC
Yes, there was a time when some opus with adult-oriented, quasi-profound lyrics such as "The Windmills of Your Mind" could become a big chart hit.

However, if you say "Windmills of Your Mind" to me, the first thing my mind conjures is Obi-Wan Kenobi's rendition of "When the Force Controls Your Mind" from a 1978 issue of MAD Magazine which gave us "The Force and I: The Star Wars Musical," written by the incomparable Frank Jacobs, arguably the most quoted poet of his generation.

What was great about the parody was that I was able to sing along to Jacobs's lyrics because of my over-familiarity with all that "wheel-within-a-wheel" schmaltz -- a familiarity engendered by all those occasions when some super=serious actor like Vincent Price would go on an 1970s variety show and "sing"/recite it a la Rex Harrison (Rex's son Noel Harrison had a charted version of it). Perhaps it wasn't Vincent Price; however, I do remember him guesting on "The Carol Burnett Show" with a rendition of "Desiderata" ("you are a child of the universe...").

Back to Frank Jacobs: I was in seventh grade at a point in the mid-1970s when MAD saw its highest circulation. Virtually all the kids in the schoolyard were quoting and reciting Jacobs's song lyrics, poetry, and nursery rhyme parodies. Thus, my appellation "the most quoted poet of his generation."

Say what you want about MAD's juvenile sense of subversion ... but Frank Jacobs did bring a modicum of literateness to its pages.

Here's a YouTube link to "The Windmills of Your Mind" in Polish: