In defense of John Cacavas

by ringfire211 Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:56 pm

I know that his Five-O scores aren't very popular around here but I do think he gave us some pretty good ones, like "Frozen Assets", "The Meighan Conspiracy", "Deadly Courier", "The Sleeper", and I thought "When Does a War End?" was pretty good.

There is one cue, however, which I especially like and which was used in a number of the later episodes, which I believe Cacavas first used in "Tsunami". I call it Cacavas' "driving/tailing theme" which is heard often when someone is driving or tailing someone or something is going down. You can here it here in "Tsunami" at the 31:35 mark and again around the 38:00 mark.

Now wouldn't you rather listen to that than the awful droning noise that's played on the new show? Even with lesser composers or scores the old show still had a "theme" and not just random noise.

by Mr. Mike Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:00 pm

I think the problem with Cacavas on Five-O was he was one of several people brought in during the last three seasons who didn't "get it" as far as what Five-O was all about (Cacavas only scored one episode in the final season.)

He was a much better composer than his work on Five-O would lead you to expect. He did virtually all of the shows on Kojak and the main theme for the show in the last, fifth season. There was some repetition of cues, just like on Five-O, especially with Stevens and Ray, but Cacavas provided a wide range of background scores for Kojak. Only a couple of them were not up to scratch, such as one for an episode dealing with rape where the music was far too "cheerful," considering the subject matter.

by ringfire211 Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:51 pm

I think Cacavas was alright on Five-O. Not great, but alright. Certainly better than the garbage on the new show. One composer from the later seasons who definitely "got it" as far as what Five-O was about was Dick DeBenedictis. He was the resident COLUMBO composer and really knew how to do mystery very well. It's a shame he only scored 3 Five-O's (A Long Time Ago, Stringer, and The Skyline Killer - all in season 11) because he really knew how to set the mood with mystery and suspense. All 3 of those scores are great, with The Skyline Killer being as good as anything composed by Stevens, Ray, or Shores in the earlier seasons. That eerie harp sound (accompanied by something that sounds like an organ) is truly chilling and gives me goosebumps every time!