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 Post subject: April 2007
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Location: Northern California
4/1/07

It's the 1st of April. You know what that means. When you're reading about a 4-CD box set of BACK TO THE FUTURE scores including a disc devoted to Silvestri's initial rejected effort for the first movie - take the news with a grain of salt.

However, regarding that 2-CD set for ALIEN from newly-located masters...

4/3/07

Exciting news for us, probably for you, too! We're installing a bunch of new shelves, remodeling our warehouse and expanding the mailroom. It's like doing spring cleaning with a purpose! This, of course, means I'm working those hamsters back there pretty hard.

However, in return, they've dug up stuff they were storing back there with their acorns and whatnot. What we've got that might please you are a couple of things to toss into our "Anything Goes" aisle plus one title to spotlight as "almost gone".

What remains of HOLLY VS. HOLLYWOOD now gets cleared out at $2.99 per copy. Wow! You can hear what I composed and conducted for a handful of real studio musicians playing real instruments, all for a real movie - as opposed to a fake movie. (Sorry! Just couldn't resist!)

Here's what Lukas Kendall had to say way back when I first did the album:

- - -
A Busman's Holiday
He sells, he scores!
Holly vs. Hollywood****
DOUGLASS FAKE
Intrada MAF 7082
9 tracks - 20:20
Doug Fake has produced dozens of albums for his Intrada label over the last decade.What kind of film score does a lifelong soundtrack fanatic write if given the chance? In this case a startlingly good one, for a new independent film by Jeff Johnson, who handles the mail-order side of Intrada in San Francisco.

Holly vs. Hollywood is the story of struggling actress Holly, and Fake’s relatively brief score characterizes her travails with a persistent clarinet melody over piano, marimba and light percussion. If the music must be described in relation to a single composer, it would be Thomas Newman, but that’s mostly due to the ensemble. Fake’s writing overall has the clarity of purpose that characterizes some of the great chamber scores by Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein. With such a small ensemble, he wisely eschews atmospherics and focuses on making every note count. (Unbeknownst to most collectors, Fake does have a background in composition and arrangement, and has written a number of pieces for symphonic band.)

People complain about the fact that there are no more great small-ensemble scores—the way the original Twilight Zones were so brilliant. Holly vs. Hollywood, while not of that subject matter, is clearly written in that tradition: simple rhythmic, melodic and coloristic ideas are introduced right away and developed throughout. And although the album is only 20 minutes long (virtually the complete score), an amazing thing happens with a disc of that brevity: you listen to it, like it, and when it’s over, you play it again. —Lukas Kendall
- - -

The other title being highlighted in Anything Goes is BONES, at $4.99. It's from Elia Cmiral, who does excellent things with horror movies.

Our "low quantity" alert is for David Shire's LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER. It's rousing western stuff by a composer who's great at anything he does. We've got about 75 copies or so left for $14.99 each. I'd rather you buy them than our hamsters just squirrel them away again!

Help us make room for our next batch of new releases. There's some really cool stuff on the way!

4/6/07

I hope that you'll find a few moments of peace during this Easter weekend. There's certainly no shortage of chaos out there. Here's my suggestion: If you pray, be ambitious and ask for an end to world hostilities. If you've got kids, hide some foil-wrapped chocolate eggs around the house before Easter Sunday morning. Unless you have a dog.

And be sure to play really good soundtracks, which means stuff written when movie directors wanted real music and composers knew how to deliver it.

4/10/07

Our next release should be arriving this coming Tuesday. If it does, a proper announcement will commensurately appear on our home page Monday evening.

There's no need to panic because it's not a limited release. But it's got special significance to all of us around here. It's exciting stuff, too. So save room on your plate for a modern action classic!

4/14/07

With pinpoint accuracy once again, we nail arrival time for a new release. We'll post artwork and samples for it this coming Monday afternoon, probably close to 5:15. We'll start shipping orders the following day.

It's not limited but it's a lot longer than the version you've known and loved. Which brings me to totally random thoughts about expanding familiar favorites.

So-called short albums (ones that left off significant desireable music) happened because of either creative needs or economic ones. The former saw artists releasing what they wanted, the latter saw them releasing what was affordable or available for license. Of course, some great albums still happened even with lots of stuff staying on the mastering room floor. They're pure nirvana. JAWS anyone? But many another potentially great album was marred by fees and restrictions in the content, or creative decisions that just misfired. TAXI DRIVER anyone? Obviously when you have a very limited amount of material to present, like SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, you'll be challenged to make a full-length record happen. You do what you gotta do. I also herein bypass the decision to toss in every bloody note, including the orchestra tuning up. Sure, there are times when simply archiving the entire scoring session's the goal. But let's look at the other stuff. (And picking on really long scores like SPARTACUS that got shoved into forty minute slots won't factor either. Too easy a target.)

It's a given that score fans opt for precious cues over songs anyday. Put out something like GREMLINS and none of us are happy. (Fees and whatnot probably killed that one!) Those half hour United Artists albums from the sixties sorta stick out, too - but some were terrific anyway!

Assuming one sought a musical experience (not just an archival one), here's a random reissue that was improved by expansion: THE SWIMMER. For whatever reasons, economical or creative, we had a short album truncating important ideas throughout, but got a godsend when the reissue put them all back in. Wow! Commensurately, one that wasn't improved: BASIC INSTINCT. In what was a long album for a slow-paced score to begin with, the reissue just got longer - and slower.

Another random but cool improvement: THE SANDPIPER. Someone at Verve found a few bars that Johnny Mandel edited out of "Weekend Montage". It ain't shaking the earth maybe but they're a real treat.

Still assuming musicality over archival thoroughness, I'll take that lean and mean FIRST BLOOD that Goldsmith originally created in 1982 over the one we "improved" a few years later with an extra track. You were right about that one, Jerry. But I'll take the longer NIGHT CROSSING anyday.

This can easily become fodder for a whole book. But another fun thing to ponder are albums that jettison significant score cues and pad things up with lots of songs and stuff BUT somehow recreate a mood or whatever for a great movie AND make great listening experiences. That's nirvana, too! I'm sure there's music that could expand what's on MIDNIGHT COWBOY or THE GODFATHER or CHINATOWN but they're sensational albums just the way they are thank you very much.

But there will always be goodies that were truncated on their first go-round that beg to be filled back in. With that in mind, the one we're tossing out next week probably fits the bill. And for you junkies with a taste for tease. We're also doing another expanded one - a genuine classic - one you've been asking for but were always told could never happen. Curious? I'm not big on overselling things but what's comin' at you this summer will surely get your adrenaline going.

4/19/07

Popping my head up from a late night's mixing session to recall yesterday. Miklos Rozsa would've been 100 years old to the day. Actually, he's still going strong afterall. With the CD premiere of SODOM AND GOMORRAH a couple of months ago and Tadlow's expressive new premiere of THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES for us to enjoy - we've got ample evidence he's still with us.

If you need more proof, we're wrapping up packaging designs for our own world premiere. I speak of SPELLBOUND, coming to a CD player near you soon. We're presenting every cue Rozsa scored, including lengthy sequences not used in the finished movie. We'll have our release date sorted out in just a few days. The album marks not only a celebration of Rozsa's centenary but a debut for us in partnership with the very musical people at Belcanto. Together we've got some fantastic stuff on our slate. Looks like we'll be keeping those superb musicians in Slovakia busy for a long time!

Anyway, maybe I can squeeze in another break soon and actually play some Rozsa music along with the rest of you before today becomes yesterday. Or something like that!

4/22/07

HUNDRA fans rejoice. Well, sort of. If you've been looking for the sort of obscure CD, you'll probably be happy just the same.

Ennio Morricone wrote the score many moons ago. An LP came out about the same number of moons ago and Prometheus issued a CD several less moons ago. Anyway, it's resurfaced. There's a new DVD out and it includes a CD as a bonus disc. It's the same album as the commercial ones prior to it but you get to watch the movie on disc one. What a bargain!

Actually, maybe I should think of it as a new CD with the movie for a bonus. The music's fine but the movie's pretty limp. I just watched it. I can't exactly say with a straight face that you should watch it, too. Think CONAN with a female warrior swinging the sword and really lame male warriors on the losing end. I'm sure they thought of this when they made it. It came out in 1983, a year after CONAN, so you do the math.

Anyway, Morricone's music is good. It's kind of a sister to RED SONJA. Rhythmic main theme with classical sensibilities, warm love theme, angular repeating phrases for the battle music. Good stuff.

Buy the DVD, definitely play the CD, maybe watch the movie!


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