New Johnny Mandel Soundtrack Collection Includes Music from M*A*S*H


A new soundtrack collection featuring two film scores composed and conducted by Johnny Mandel also includes music from the first season of M*A*S*H. Mandel wrote the music to “Suicide Is Painless,” the theme song for the 1970 movie MASH. Mike Altman, director Robert Altman’s son, provided the lyrics. The TV series M*A*S*H used several instrumental versions of “Suicide Is Painless” as its opening and closing theme songs.

Kritzerland Records has collected two of Mandel’s film scores for a new soundtrack CD: his unused score from the 1973 film The Seven-Ups and his score from the 1982 film The Verdict. Plus, “the world-premiere release” of seven selections from M*A*S*H, including suites Mandel composed for five Season 1 episodes.

Here are the M*A*S*H tracks on the CD:

  • Main Title
  • Germ Warfare
  • I Hate a Mystery
  • Chief Surgeon Who
  • Requiem for a Heavyweight
  • Edwina
  • Showtime
  • End Title

You can listen to excerpts from the “Germ Warfare” and “I Hate a Mystery” suites at the Kritzerland website. The new soundtrack CD is limited to 1,000 copies. Pre-order for $19.98 (plus shipping) at the Kritzerland website or Screen Archives Entertainment. CDs will ship by the first week of June or earlier.

I believe this is the first time any music from M*A*S*H has been released. Although many versions of “Suicide Is Painless” are available on TV theme song compilations, none of them are the actual recordings from the TV series.

(Thanks to Neil and Dan.)

3 Replies to “New Johnny Mandel Soundtrack Collection Includes Music from M*A*S*H”

  1. I take it you’re going to try and snatch up a copy and do so more work on your Music of M*A*S*H section, RJ?

    1. If this was a true M*A*S*H soundtrack, I’d have already pre-ordered it. But it feels like the M*A*S*H music is an afterthought here. I wish we had more details, namely how long each of the suites are.

  2. It’s been a while since its release. For those still interested in details, here’s the track breakdown:

    1. M*A*S*H Main Title (0:51)
    2. Germ Warfare (2:24)
    3. I Hate a Mystery (4:07)
    4. Chief Surgeon Who (1:48)
    5. Requiem for a Heavyweight (4:46)
    6. Edwina (3:12)
    7. Showtime (1:42)
    8. End Title (0:32)

    Total run time: 19 minutes

    Though I wish we had more tracks, I am grateful to have these available. I enjoy them every time I hit play.

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