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Archive for September 21st, 2010

The La La Land Slate Expands (UPDATED 9/21)

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You’ve got to love La La Land Records not only for the scope of their soundtrack reissues – titles released this year included expansions of Eraser, the 1966 and 1989 film versions of Batman, Innerspace, Independence Day and the debut CD release of the Caddyshack LP – but their openness in discussing what’s on the horizon. Label head M.V. Gerhard maintains an active presence on his label’s own message board and the boards for fellow label/publication Film Score Monthly, and discusses upcoming releases as much as he can without relying too much on hype or fanfare.

Lately, he’s been discussing all the projects expected from La La Land for the end of the year, in an attempt to help people budget their purchases. For the same purposes, we report his discussions to you.

  • Next week, on September 21, another new title will be available to order: the first official CD release (this is Gerhard’s own words, though evidence points to the contrary based on research here) of the soundtrack to Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), composed by John Scott. This release presents the original LP with two bonus tracks, the film version of the overture and end credits sourced from the magnetic track directly off the film (expanded score masters could not be located). The track listing will be after the jump, but order links won’t go live until Tuesday. (UPDATE: Order here.)
  • October 5 will see three releases. One of them is definitely John Frizell’s complete score to Alien: Resurrection (1997), making Alien 3 the only film in the franchise to not have an expanded score (by most accounts, the master tapes to that film are damaged). Another is the score to the direct-to-video Mirrors 2 by Frederik Weidmann. The other is an as-yet undisclosed title limited to 1,200 copies.
  • October 19th will see the following scores: a box set of Bear McCreary’s music to the television show Human Target, James Horner’s unreleased score to the film Jade (1995) and – biggest of all – an expansion of Batman Returns (1992), from Batman ’89 composer Danny Elfman.
  • Two limited releases each will bow on November 2 and 16. Among them may be John Morris’ score to the board-game comedy film Clue (1985) and the long-in-development The X-Files box set featuring four discs of music from show composer Mark Snow.
  • La La Land’s year will close on November 30, with three limited titles that may be the biggest of the year. One of the hottest rumors surrounding this batch is that it may include a very-in-demand expansion of John Williams’ score to Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991).

Mark your calendars and hit the jump to see what the Greystoke reissue will look like. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2010 at 16:21

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Reissue Theory: Carl Douglas, “Kung Fu Fighter”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. This installment concerns a hard-hitting novelty single that’s still kicking after more than a quarter-century.

Twenty-six years ago today, the top song in the United Kingdom was one of the most hilariously stereotypical songs of the 1970s, a funky little number called “Kung Fu Fighting.” Rarely has anyone mimed some clumsy karate moves without thinking of that scratchy guitar, that nine-note “Oriental Riff” and the singer who exalted those kicks (as fast as lightning).

Wait…who was that singer? Of course, trivia buffs remember it’s Carl Douglas, a Jamaican-born session singer who allegedly recorded “Kung Fu Fighting,” his one and only hit, as a last-minute B-side. Thanks to the support of an A&R team at England’s Pye Records and a burgeoning genre of martial arts movies (Bruce Lee had passed away the year before, and his first posthumous release Enter the Dragon was a well-received hit), “Kung Fu Fighting” was a smash. By the time the resultant LP, Kung Fu Fighter, was released, there was already a follow-up single, “Dance the Kung-Fu.” Douglas would record other LPs, but they never matched the success of his hard-chopping hit.

“Kung Fu Fighting” may be a staple of disco compilations, but none of his albums have ever been properly released on CD. That sounds like a job for a label group like Cherry Red (who released a best-of comp for Douglas’ producer, Biddu) which could nicely license that first LP alongside a few notable non-LP sides that were released around the same time. Hit the jump to see how such a title might play out.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2010 at 15:21

Posted in Carl Douglas, Features, Reissues

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Mamma Mia! ABBA Reissuing “Gold” Compilation

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For the ABBA fan who just can’t get enough and has to have it all – and judging by the amount of quality reissues for a band that’s been defunct for decades, there are a lot of such fans out there – here’s something else to add to your collection. ABBA will reissue bestselling compilation ABBA Gold on November 29 with a DVD featuring previously unreleased material.

With sales of over 28 million copies worldwide, ABBA Gold has been one of the highest watermarks of the Swedish pop hitmakers’ success since its release in 1992. This version will include the original 19-track album alongside a DVD featuring all the videos for all 19 songs, newly remastered. Five bonus clips will be included: four “split-screen” versions of ABBA videos (to show off the remastering job, presumably), and a rare cartoon version of “Money, Money, Money” produced by Australian company Reg Grundy Productions (American game show fans might remember them as the company behind ’80s game shows $ale of the Century and Scrabble). The set will also include new liner notes by noted ABBA author Elisabeth Vincentelli.

This new edition has a worldwide release date of November 29 (no pre-order links are up yet). Check out the track list after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2010 at 14:21

Is the Time A-Changin’ for Release of Mono Dylan on Vinyl?

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The Bob Dylan section of reports “from a trusted source” that the vinyl edition of Dylan’s forthcoming The Original Mono Recordings will be pushed back to December 7. Not sure who the source is, but Amazon’s listing also has that December date. (The CD versions are still on track for October 19.)

In other Dylan news, those who were waiting for confirmation on the promised Brandeis show as an Amazon exclusive now have their proof. Those who pre-order either The Witmark Demos 1962-1964 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9) or The Original Mono Recordings on CD or vinyl before October 18 will get their copy. (Fans who have already ordered have received e-mails from Amazon confirming the disc will come with their order.)

Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2010 at 13:24

Jesus and Mary Chain Compilation Coming Next Week

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Add another rock band to the late-in-the-year compilation pile: influential Scottish noise-pop band The Jesus and Mary Chain will release a two-disc compilation of tunes in the U.K. on September 27.

The Jesus and Mary Chain, formed around a pair of brothers (Jim and William Reid), took the messy, noisy ethos of The Velvet Underground and The Sex Pistols and made it interesting for the U.K. indie scene. Bands like The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr. owe them some sort of a sonic debt, and while The JAMC never had much consistent pop success, they remain a hallowed act, particularly now that the Reids reunited in 2007 after a nine-year split.

They’ve been anthologized before – Rhino spent part of the last decade reissuing JAMC LPs, as well as a compilation (21 Singles in 2002) and a rarities box (2008’s The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides and Rarities) – but this British comp will include a few tracks not found on that box, a sure bet for those with gaps in their collection.

Upside Down: The Best of The Jesus and Mary Chain is due in U.K. shops next Monday, and the track list is below.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2010 at 12:16