The Second Disc

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Archive for September 3rd, 2010

“TNG” Box Boldly Goes Where Few Have Gone Before

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Film Score Monthly has announced its fifth box set, and like the others, it’s quite an undertaking: Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Ron Jones Project collates 14 discs’ worth of music from the famous television series plus a heap of other Trek goodies from composer Ron Jones.

Jones, best known for some surprisingly notable scores to animated television works (including the Disney cartoons DuckTales and Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers along with turns on Family Guy), composed scores to 42 episodes of ST:TNG, and about 40 or so of them are presented here. (The other two episodes – the famous, Emmy-winning two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds” which saw Picard assimilated by the fearsome Borg – was previously released in 1992, and is not included in the set. Five minutes of previously unreleased music from the episode is included among the alternate cues.) The box also features a disc of alternate and unused cues and another disc of music Jones composed for two Star Trek computer games in 1997 and 1999.

Pre-orders are being taken for the box, limited to 5,000 copies and due out later this month. In the meantime, you can read the online-only liner notes, penned to perfection by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall, starting here. (And hit the jump for the doozy of a track list.)

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 3, 2010 at 15:14

Legacy Bumps Jayhawks Reissues to Next Year

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We may have only fleetingly mentioned these before, but Legacy has prepped expanded reissues of Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass, the first two records that alt-country rockers The Jayhawks recorded for the American Recordings label in the early 1990s. Hollywood Town Hall, released in 1992, will feature five bonus tracks (two of which are unreleased) while Tomorrow the Green Grass (1995) will be presented as a double-disc Legacy Edition with a heap of bonus cuts, 20 of them previously unreleased.

The discs have recently been rescheduled for reissue on January 18, 2011 – possibly one of the first notable catalogue reissues of next year – so mark your calendars accordingly. Also, hit the jump to see the track lists, which we hadn’t posted before either.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 3, 2010 at 14:27

Posted in News, Reissues, The Jayhawks

Friday Feature: The Terminator Saga

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Every August 29, incredible geeks like myself look skyward and emit sighs of relief that no nuclear warheads are heading our way.

Of course, on a fictitious August 29 – in 1997 to be exact – a nuclear attack did indeed happen, triggered by a dangerously self-aware defense network system called Skynet. A war would rage between these sentient machines and their human creators, ultimately climaxing with soldiers on each side being sent to the past (our present) to alter future events. That tale, with the help of an Austrian bodybuilder and a visionary director, formed the crux of the long-running Terminator franchise.

Released in 1984, the low-budget The Terminator was a surprise critical and commercial hit with a smartly-written script. No single film of the ’80s more astutely captured the natural fears of advancing technology and nuclear proliferation in one fell swoop (all of director James Cameron’s millions of dollars can’t make Avatar better than this one), and the story was anchored by an improbable, star-crossed love between a human freedom fighter from the future and the young woman he is tasked to protect, whose future offspring will lead the humans to victory. But it’s the relatively-untested acting prowess of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the villainous title character, that steals the film. His mostly silent, incredibly fearsome performance made Yul Brenner’s evil robot cowboy in Westworld look like James Stewart, and it turned Schwarzenegger into a marquee name.

One of the most underrated aspects of the early entries in the series was the film’s score. Cameron hired Brad Fiedel, a one-time keyboardist for Hall and Oates, to compose the soundtrack, which he did almost entirely through keyboards. Such a tactic was not entirely in vogue at the time, and perhaps nobody did it better on film than Fiedel. His incredibly catchy theme captured the idea of heroism against interminable odds throughout the franchise, and was punctuated by an off-the-wall series of percussive ideas (namely the five-hit drum sequence that would be used long after Fiedel left the franchise).

Of course, Fiedel was not the only composer to work on the series; the Terminator franchise has bounced between studios and producers a ridiculous amount of times in the past 26 years, so the musical legacy of the series is more of a potluck than a multi-course meal. Read on about the release history of the Terminator scores after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 3, 2010 at 13:43

Posted in Features, Soundtracks

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