|| By Bas S.|
Santa Barbara was a daytime soap that not only stood out for its original storylines and campy characters, but also for its highly original soundtrack. Where other soaps generally use more generic mood pieces, Santa Barbara's music always seemed to bring the emotion within the scenes to a higher level. No other soap has its soundtrack discussed as much online as Santa Barbara. This can largely be attributed to the series' main composers, Dominic Messinger and Rick Rhodes, but also to songwriters like James Dunne, Liz Lachman, Roxanne Seeman and Billie Hughes, as well as the many talented musicians who contributed to the original score.
Early years (1984-1986)
its early years, however, Santa Barbara's
musical team relied heavily on external music pieces. Sure, Joe Harnell had
already composed the signature theme song, and Dominic Messinger was already on
board, but most of the music consisted of licensed pieces. For the Channing
murder case, many tracks were used from soundtrack albums by German new age band
Tangerine Dream. One can easily visualize the re-enactment in the Capwell study
when listening to Flash Final and Escaping
from their soundtrack for the 1984 film Firestarter.
Also, Kraftwerk's Metropolis played in
many scenes starring Joe and Dominic.
Besides the new age artists, among which we must also mention Steve Roach, much of the early music came from so-called libraries of production music. These libraries offered LP's with low-budget musical pieces for usage in TV productions. However, one must not underestimate the quality of some of these LP's; there is a large online community of fans and collectors of these records. Much of the instrumental music used during Santa Barbara's first years can be found on library LP's by companies like KPM, Bruton, Themes International, Selected Sound and especially Capitol, whose Media Music line is now available on Ole Georg's website.
the course of 1985 and 1986, the show started using more and more original
music. This really came to bloom during the 1987-1990 period. By then, Messinger
and his team started composing score that was aimed specifically at certain
storylines and characters. Scenes with the early villains, Peter, Marcello and
Kirk, mainly had the same music. But already by late 1986, Keith's antics were
captured in compositions that well-suited his sleaziness. The echoing sounds of
Messinger's thematic pieces from 1987 boosted the empty and threatening
atmosphere of the snow-covered Utah landscape, and the original music from the
video rapist storyline sent shivers down your spine. We heard the siren's call
during the Ondine and Las Sirenas flashbacks of 1989's Robert Barr story, and
Derek's efforts to arouse feelings of revenge within his fellow orphans
consisted of melodies of a dramatic sadness against a military march.
music also became more thematic. There was a score with the same recurring theme,
but with different moods, for scenes with Cain and Elena. The 1989 love triangle
of Scott, Heather and Celeste had very original music, as did the scenes shot in
Paris during the conclusion of the Adriana storyline, and these works later
became recurring themes for Ric. And the same melody returned in most of the
mysterious and sensual Flame tracks.
course, music from certain storylines was reused during later storylines. The
droning suspense themes of the Laser Palace in 1987 were also very useful for
the mysteries surrounding the El Diablo mine in 1989. And who would have thought
that Mark McCormick would share the same music with his fellow rapist Dash
With the characters and storylines, some of the campiness also appeared in the music. For Cruz's 1987 escape during Mason and Victoria's wedding, Dominic Messinger reworked a piece of Beethoven string music for the chase scene. And when Laura Asher really went wild in 1990, this was accompanied by a rather eerie rendition of the famous Flower Duet from the Lakmé opera by Léo Delibes.
Later years (1991-1993)
Unfortunately, when the storylines became less emblematic, so did the music during the show's swan song period. The typical 80's touch of the earlier synthesizer themes disappeared, and the piano and acoustic guitar returned for more indistinguishable compositions. Of course, there were highlights. Eden's split personality, and the subsequent mourning over her "death", had a very strong soundtrack. There was wonderful music to grace Warren and Cassandra's impossible love story, and the Ballymoor sequences were rather funny. But by 1992, the show had mostly turned to more custom music, just like one could hear in other soaps.
Peabo Bryson's If Ever You're In My Arms Again in the first episode, to Don't
Say Goodbye in the last one, many fans remember the songs played on Santa
Barbara. Just like the instrumental music, the early songs were already
existing material. In 1985, James Patrick Dunne introduced The Change In Me, written specifically for Cruz and Eden, which has
remained their signature song. Ron Boustead and Grant Saidiner wrote a couple of
songs for Mason and Julia's early love story (Another Place, Another Time, Let's Slow Dance), while Cathy Hudrall contributed All
My Life and Nothing Could Take Me Away
From You for Cruz and Eden, and Listen
To Your Heart for the mysterious arrival of Jeffrey Conrad. Staff composer
Liz Lachman wrote the more sensual and mysterious songs, such as Lay You Down for Ted and Jane/Roxanne, Dangerous Kiss for Kelly and Dylan, Intimacy for Cain and Andrea and Keeper Of The Fire for Robert and Eden. And of course every fan
remembers Welcome To The Edge by
Roxanne Seeman and Billie Hughes, that was the key musical piece for the
Robert-Kelly-Craig love triangle. Seeman and Hughes were further responsible for
much sought-after tracks like Two World
Apart and Turn It All Around
(Julia and Michael), One Way (Robert)
See You Again (Michael and Nikki), that were thankfully collected on the
albums Welcome To The Edge and Songs
From Santa Barbara, both available on iTunes.
one can hardly count the songs of which Cliff Downes was one of the writers.
From Jake and Hayley's My Imagination
and Scott and Heather's Listen to Cruz
and Eden's Don't
Leave Love and the more upbeat Partners
in Crime... all were co-written by
Dominic Messinger's musical partner.
But also the licensed material proved very effective. Gino Vanelli's Total Stranger seemed written specifically for Dylan's lush lifestyle, while Dan Hill's' Never Thought That I Could Love was typical for Mason and Julia's early scenes as a couple in 1988, as was Back To Avalon by Kenny Loggins for their reunion in 1989. And what song could better illustrate the history of CC and Sophia than My Favorite Year by Michael Feinstein?
Restaurant & party music
overlooked, the background music during scenes situated in restaurants and bars
was sometimes just as effective as the other musical pieces. Santa
Barbara's wining and dining music
has known several phases during its existence, mostly because of the several
establishments that have appeared in the show over the years.
was during the first scene of Santa
Barbara, CC's party in honor of Channing Junior, that we heard Eye
Of The Hurricane by Joe Sample. Sample's music kept returning in later
restaurant scenes, as did that of other jazz musicians like John Klemmer, Lee
Ritenour and Bob James. The State Street bistro and the Beach bar played many of
the contemporary hits of the time.
the licensing costs were probably out of proportion, and the show resorted to
original and library music for the scenes in the Orient Express and Buzz's
Place/Johnny's Place. It is probably rather extraordinary that much of this
music was written specifically for the show by Rick Rhodes and Marc Greene. Most
of it is unavailable to the fans, but some of the compositions were reworked for
Harmony CD series. Michael Licari was responsible for several original
jazz/fusion pieces, which were later collected on his 1990 album Daydreaming
(which also has some well-known dramatic music from Santa
Barbara). Scot Scheer's music was also omnipresent, with several tracks
available on his LP's High Rise and Night
the arrival of The Lair in 1987, she show returned to original songs. Not the
hits like before, but more underground singles like Desire
by Centron and Adventure by Eleanor
Academia, as well as songs that came from soundtracks, such as Better Late Than Never by the Cover Girls. Craig Stull sang original
tracks like Ground Rules and Look
Before You Leap, which are unfortunately unavailable, and we heard Ellis
Hall sing I Found Myself In You. The Lair also played more compositions by Liz
Lachman (What A Lover) and Billie
Hughes/Roxanne Seeman (Walls Of Love),
and many songs that are yet to be identified.
jazz musicians returned with the introduction of the Country-club in 1988, and
the Pacific Bay polo club in 1990. From then on, many tracks were played by
fusion musicians like Richard Elliot, Dave Koz, Gregg Karukas, Brian Bromberg
and Alphonse Mouzon. One must note that Elliot, Koz and Karukas are also
credited with several Santa Barbara
cues on their ASCAP and BMI records, so they were also directly affiliated to
the show. In the Oasis, Santa Barbara
eventually turned to piano music, of which the origin is still not known.
Finally, we should also mention the rather stereotypical Mexican and Hawaiian music, which played during the scenes abroad.
highly praised, Santa Barbara always had problems with the licensing of its music
for broadcastings abroad. In 2007, there even was a large lawsuit by many of the
composers of licensed music against NBC/New World Television.
problems were already evident in the international broadcasts in the 1990s. In
Europe, we didn't hear Bryan Ferry's Slave
To Love during Cruz and Eden's infamous cave sex scene of 1989, but Don't
Leave Love, and Help Me Make It
Through The Night by Gladys Knight and the Pips was replaced by the
Messinger-Downs original Is It Too Late
during the 1991 Alcatraz scenes.
copyright problems apparently went this far, that in France the original music
was completely replaced by new compositions by local artist Jean Renard from
episode 770 onwards. Also, the theme song was completely different in this
country: they used a song with French lyrics sung by Gilles Sinclair, based on
the melody of Peabo Bryson's If Ever You're
In My Arms Again.
In Germany, something otherwise remarkable happened. When RTL broadcasted the final episodes of California Clan, they had removed most of the original music and replaced it with... library music from the show's early episodes. Nothing could give a more striking contrast, since the general tone and cast had made such an astonishing transformation between 1984 and 1993.
watching Santa Barbara in Holland during the 1990s, I was instantly
fascinated by the music. This went so far, that I started recording the show's
scenes that featured music from the TV to my cassette player. This resulted in
the several captures of instrumental music that you can find elsewhere on this
arrival of the Internet in the late 90's really boosted my search. First, there
was the song list on Jim
From there on, I came across several artists whose music was present on the
show. Generally, when one track of a (soundtrack) album was used, others were as
well. By coincidence, I came across the albums of Richard Elliot, whose music
played during many party scenes. And from there on, I discovered more. Elliot
also played the saxophone on other artists' albums, like the ones by Gregg
Karukas and Alphonse Mouzon, and their music was also featured on the show.
Bassist Brian Bromberg played on the Rick Rhodes album Deeper in the Night,
and his solo music was also heard on Santa Barbara.
have also googled intensively for composers of source music for the show. I
found a great lot, and I have corresponded with several of them. I must
specially thank Roxanne Seeman, Liz Lachman, Jeff Silverman, Sherban Cira,
Justin Ezzi and
all the others that took the time to answer me and supply me with their music,
or at least the titles. I am especially grateful to the late Rick Rhodes, who
faxed me an ancient and very helpful list of compositions, back in 2000.
2007 Class Settlement (as mentioned above) was a gift from God. I now had a list
of most of the compositions used on Santa
Barbara! Unfortunately, no composers or performers were mentioned. But
through searches on the sites of copyright foundations like ASCAP and BMI, I
managed to track down a great many of them, most of which I already knew as
staff and contributing composers to Santa
list also introduced me to the world of production music libraries, since many
of the titles on the list could be traced back to the
site of Ole Georg Music,
who maintains the former Capitol Media Music line. This eventually resulted in
the recognition of tracks from Bruton and KPM library LP's , that were not
featured on the list. The Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre tracks
were found through musical identification software like Tunatic, SoundCloud and
Shazam. I also must give special credit to the members of the library music
collector's message boards who managed to identify musical pieces or push me in
the right direction, and the webmaster of CaliforniaClan.de,
with whom I have corresponded a lot about the music during the early 2000s.
Below is the result of the search until now... but hopefully there is more to
Bas S. (March 2016)
> Santa Barbara's complete music list