Michel Rubini (born December 3, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, United States) is an American musician and composer, best known for his work composing motion picture soundtracks. He is a professional classical pianist since early childhood. During the 1960s and 1970s, Rubini worked on tours, with such stars as Ray Charles, Frank Zappa, Sonny and Cher and Barbra Streisand.
As a musician
- As a session player and arranger
Rubini was producer, conductor and arranger for Motown Records. He was one of the most sought-after Los Angeles session players during the 1960s and 1970s, performing on albums by Sonny & Cher, Loggins and Messina, Michael Parks, The Cats, The Righteous Brothers and many others. Rubini arranged and conducted Sonny & Chér single A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done, arranged Cher single Don't Hide Your Love and Maureen McGovern single I Won't Last A Day Without You, produced and arranged Macho single No One To Depend On. Rubini also made numerous television appearances in the house band of the 1980s game shows Face the Music and Name That Tune. Rubini played the organ on That's Life by Frank Sinatra and the grand piano on Strangers in the Night, also by Sinatra.
- As a writer
Rubini co-wrote three songs for Thelma Houston: Give Me Something To Believe In, Memories and I've Got The Devil In Me - all included in The Devil In Me album. He composed two songs for The New Kids film: Edge Of Survival (lyrics and performed by Jess Harnell) and Over And Over And Over Again (lyrics and performed by Miriam Cutler).
- Solo Career
Rubini, together with Don Dunn, wrote and recorded an album Diggin' It in 1976. During recording session, he played on piano, organ, clavinet, harpsichord, electric piano and synthesizer. In 1978 a follow-up of sorts was issued under the Motown imprint, this one by Friendly Enemies, a pop trio consisting of Dunn, Rubini, and Lead Vocalist Chuck Smith. The album "Round One" also bore the original version of "Baby It's Me", which was recorded by Diana Ross in 1977 (The Enemies' version was made that year, but remained in the can until the 1978 LP release.) In 1988 he recorded his LP album for Gold Castle Records called Secret Dreams. The album was re-recorded, mixed and released on CD by Essence Records in 1994. Rubini recalled:
|“||It was a solo effort on my part, and everything that I played was totally improvised. There was no prearranging, composing or thought other than just letting the music flow out through me onto the tape.||”|
He started playing gospel and blues about age 13, but he wrote, recorded and released his first and, so far, only blues album Band is Tight Tonite in early 1990s. Rubini had said:
|“||I called my 5 favorite blues players, got 6 of my favorite blues/gospel singers from the CME Community Choir, went into the studio and blew it out for 4 days. All live, no overdubs.||”|
Rubini also wrote two instrumental songs, released as a single by Atco, called Summer Song /Moonlight Mood.
As a film score composer
Rubini’s most famous association may be as the composer, along with Howard Blake and Danny Jaeger, of the soundtrack to The Hunger, a horror film directed by Tony Scott. This 1983 score is a good example of very dark 1980s electronic music (created using synthesizers and synclavier II) inspired by the work of Krzysztof Penderecki and György Ligeti. In 1985 he composed Graham's Theme for Michael Mann's film Manhunter. (The film itself was shot and released a year later.) The theme composed by Rubini for Manhunter was also dark, but it was more melodic than the score to The Hunger. Rubini collaborated with Mann a second time, for Band of the Hand. This film, produced by Mann and directed by Paul Michael Glaser, contains more traditional music by Rubini, recorded by him using a shakuhachi. In 1992 Rubini composed the score for to Nemesis, an independent sci-fi action-thriller directed by Albert Pyun. The Nemesis score was a jazz and oriental music fusion with an electronic ensemble. His instrumental music is in the films Panic ("HSML Cha Cha Cha #1", "HSML Bossa Nova Source #1") and Hollywood Homicide ("Lord Made An Angel"). He composed two songs for The New Kids film: Edge Of Survival (lyrics written and performed by Jess Harnell) and Over And Over And Over Again (lyrics written and performed by Miriam Cutler). In 1992 he wrote and performed music for the Merlin & The Dragons audiobook by Jane Yolen (read by Kevin Kline).
As a television score composer
Rubini's first television work was as pianist for the Tommy Oliver Orchestra on the 1980 musical game show Face the Music, where he was frequently referred to on-air by host Ron Ely and occasionally performed solo pieces. This was followed by composing the score for the TV series The Hitchhiker in 1983, along with co-scoring the daytime soap opera Capitol and the HBO series Tales from the Crypt. Since 1987, he became successful as a mini-series, HBO special and TV movie composer.
In June 2008, as a member of the Wrecking Crew, a legendary group of studio musicians responsible for backing most of the hits recorded in Los Angeles during the 60’s, Rubini was named on a Plaque with other key players in the group in a ceremony at the Guitar Center WALK OF FAME in Hollywood.
- Summer Song /Moonlight Mood (Single)
- Diggin it '76 (with Don Dunn)
- Round One (with Don Dunn and Chuck Smith as "Friendly Enemies") 1978
- Secret Dreams
- Band is Tight Tonite
- "AFM contract - "That's Life"" (PDF). Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- "AFM contract - "Stranger's in the Night"" (PDF). Retrieved June 1, 2014.