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 Post subject: March 2007
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:43 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Northern California

My take on ROME. Not the place, the TV show. This isn't totally random because the CD came out recently. My soapbox is right in front of me, too. But there'll be no spoilers here unless you've never been to school.

Anyway, I just finished the first season on DVD. Applause to HBO for making the show. Thanks also to John Milius in part for getting it off the ground. It took some slogging to get to the final two episodes. But when I got there, they were good.

Jeff Beal does the music. I've read comments about it, mostly negative. I'm pretty sure the show would've been better served by a more thematic approach. There are important characters and historical events (Caesar, Mark Antony, Octavius, Caesar meeting Cleopatra, wars of Pompey and Caesar, assassination of Caesar, so forth) plus myriad fictional people that propel the drama. So much stuff to juggle that various themes would help viewers wade through it all. Of course, one could argue that avoiding numerous possibilities and using just one overall theme would be a better idea. My problem was that Beal really did neither. Out of some 12 episodes or whatever, there was very little music I took away with me.

I will give Beal credit for one cool idea, though. When he finishes the last scene of any given episode, he continues the musical material through the end credits. His best music underscored Pompey's last scene and the credits that followed.

But I can't say a whole lot for Caesar's triumphal procession scene. Even for TV budgets, with CGI replacing the Roman forum and whatnot, there's no reason a fanfare from real brass can't announce the splendor on screen.

And that said, here's another big surprise from a Rozsa fan. I won't mind if someone cans the current trend of scoring historical stuff with soft string pads, layers of synth, sparse harmonies, ethnic percussion, female wailings, whatever.

Give me a bunch of real buccinas, anyday. If they can't be found, gather up a bunch of trumpeters, trombonists, even a tuba or two. But please, if there's gonna be a gladiator fight or guys dressed up in Roman togas, just put the synths out to pasture.

Okay. I'll step off my soapbox now and get back to work.


If you keep abreast of our "One of a Kind Items" you'll be happy to know we just took in a pretty sizeable lot of rare CDs. Some really good stuff, some sort of good stuff, some... well, you get the idea.

We've got lots going on back here lately so it may take a few days to get these posted. We'll probably stick to formula and post things in clumps - mostly because it's easier on my workload. Color me selfish - or at least overworked. In the meantime, you're always welcome to pop us emails with specific wants. They might just be sitting here on the floor!


Here's your friendly heads up: we'll post our newest Special Collection up this coming Monday evening at 5:15 pm (or thereabouts) our time. It'll begin shipping the following morning. I find it to be a beautiful score. Hopefully you'll find this to be so!


We promised to fix an inexplicable dropout during the first track of EAST OF EDEN. To paraphrase Rameses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, we let it be so... we let it be done!

The flaw was something of a minor annoyance to be sure - but we're perfectionists. Anyway, we're now volunteering our vast resources to get these new copies in your hands. Which means Jeff and George have tossed another hamster into our treadwheel to help keep it spinning quickly. Since many of you that supported EAST OF EDEN also ordered A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH, we're just including free replacement CDs automatically in your package. If you made your original purchase elsewhere, don't worry - we're sending plenty of copies to our other dealers as well.

Satisfied customers really do come first around here - even if we have to go out and get more hamsters!


Random, maybe useless observation. After going to Best Buy and spending some $20 on a ROCKY BALBOA DVD I sat in the car a moment, deep in thought. Yep, it does happen. In fact, I even thought some more. Then I wandered back in.

I poked around, thinking about hi-def DVDs again. Not that it matters. I don't have any hi-def gear anyway. But I noticed more Blu-Ray titles than last time I checked. (Not so many more HD-DVD titles, however.) I even looked at copies of Stallone's movie on Blu-Ray. Same cover as what I just bought, only a bigger price tag. Like $35 bucks or something. I wandered over to the TV area and poked around. Fortunately I left my wallet locked in the car so I couldn't do anything really stupid. But I figured looking around can't hurt.

What I observed. Blu-Ray displays but no HD-DVD displays. I asked a salesperson about this. I knew he wasn't a rocket scientist but he probably could tell me something. Maybe he'd even have some kind of Best Buy crystal ball.

He said they stopped carrying HD-DVD players. They could order them, sure. But too many of them had been returned by customers unhappy about the missing 1080p specs that made them really hi-def. Or something like that. So they were taking sides in the format war, pushing Blu-Ray.

While we were talking, or rather while he was talking and I was listening, a Blu-Ray promo spot went by. A scene from LAWRENCE OF ARABIA flashed on the screen. Only on Blu-Ray, too.

I'm observing - with nothing but empty opinion to back it up - that Blu-Ray is winning the battle.

But don't spend your money on either format just yet. There's a safer bet. We'll be tossing out our next release in just a couple of weeks and if you like action soundtracks it's probably right up your alley. War of a different sort.

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