The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 14th, 2011

Rare Alfred Newman Score to “Counterfeit Traitor” Debuts from Kritzerland

leave a comment »

It’s not too great an exaggeration to state that without Alfred Newman, we probably wouldn’t be discussing film music here at The Second Disc, or anywhere else. In a career spanning 40 years and some 200 films, Newman played an integral, early role in the art of composing original music for cinema. He was rewarded with a whopping 45 Academy Award nominations and nine wins, and even made music the family business. Brothers Lionel and Emil had impressive careers, while sons Thomas and David continue today in the top-most rank of film composers. Nephew Randy, of course, made a name for himself in the pop/rock world before making his own, Oscar-winning mark in movies.

Alfred Newman served as musical director at 20th Century Fox between 1940 and 1960, composing the familiar fanfare still heard today before every Fox film. When he began a freelance career in 1960, he continued his winning streak. Just two years after striking out on his own, Newman composed two scores in 1962. The first was for MGM’s Cinerama extravaganza, How the West Was Won. Newman’s West is still recognized as one of the greatest scores of all time. His second was for Paramount’s The Counterfeit Traitor.  Composed by Alfred Newman at the peak of his powers, The Counterfeit Traitor will receive its first-ever commercial soundtrack release from the Kritzerland label.

Based on Alexander Klein’s non-fiction novel, The Counterfeit Traitor starred William Holden and Lilli Palmer and was written and directed by George Seaton (Miracle on 34th Street, The Country Girl). Writing in The New York Times, Bosley Crowther called it “exciting melodrama,” directed with “superior skill and style” and featuring a “dazzling cast.” Kritzerland’s exciting release of Newman’s underrated, overlooked score is derived directly from the original three-track master tapes which have resided in Paramount’s vaults for all these many years.

The Counterfeit Traitor is due from Kritzerland by the last week of April, but pre-orders directly from the label average an arrival of four weeks early. Hit the jump for the full press release plus pre-order link and track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 14, 2011 at 15:12

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Will “Psycho” Sale Pave the Way for a Long-Awaited Release?

with 4 comments

The score to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho – that terrifying, string-based effort by Bernard Hermann – has entertained audiences the world over since the film’s release over 50 years ago. But it is one of the great crimes of catalogue music history that the original score as heard in the film has never been released on any format, be it LP, cassette or CD.

That may change, if a U.K. report is to be believed. From Brighton’s The Argus:

Psycho has one of the most iconic film scores in movie history and its grating, screeching strings have become the soundtrack of fear.

Now the film’s original film score could be yours for £50,000.

Norma Herrmann, the widow of the film’s composer Bernard Herrmann, has entered into negotiations with The University of California to sell the film score for £50,000.

Mrs Herrmann, who has lived in Brighton for the last 30 years, says that any sale would go towards producing a box set of her late husband’s compositions so that his legacy could live on.

Wow! While Psycho could certainly stand on its own on disc (and hopefully will), this is certainly encouraging news. Perhaps before the end of the year we’ll be closer to listening to Hermann’s original score and making sure all the doors are locked before running the shower.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 14, 2011 at 12:43

Suede Catalogue Overhaul Coming This Summer

with 4 comments

Back in September, we reported on a hits/B-sides compilation for legendary Britpop band Suede. Now, the recently-reunited band have announced a major catalogue expansion through U.K. label Demon/Edsel.

In five weeks starting May 30, the label will release massive three-disc editions of each of the band’s studio LPs, from 1993’s self-titled debut to 2002’s A New Morning. The sets will feature two CDs featuring the remastered original albums, the band’s many non-LP B-sides and many unreleased demos and outtakes, along with DVDs that combine music videos and vintage live performances with new interviews with principal members of the band.

The new sets will be released around a new European tour for the band, which will take them into several major venues across the continent. More information on that tour, as well as pre-order links, can be found here. A full discographical breakdown of each release is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 14, 2011 at 12:32

Posted in News, Reissues, Suede

The SMiLE Saga: A Happy Ending Promised for Lost Beach Boys Masterwork

with 7 comments

The story of The Beach Boys’ 1967 SMiLE, often considered the greatest lost album of all time, has long been a story of heroes and villains. On February 3, the band’s Al Jardine was a hero when he announced that SMiLE would finally be arriving in record stores everywhere later this year. The Second Disc duly passed this on before Jardine offered a bizarre quasi-retraction, likely at the behest of his record label, on February 14. Mastering engineer Steve Hoffman (who was worked with the Beach Boys’ tapes on two audiophile editions of Pet Sounds) weighed in with his own comments, adding fuel to the fire. (Cue “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow.”) Was there a villain involved in the on-again, off-again status of SMiLE? Yet in light of Capitol’s announcement last Friday, there are only heroes. That was when the venerable label, part of the beleaguered EMI empire, confirmed that SMiLE would finally see release before the year is out. The fabled lost album will be found in three unique formats: a two-CD set, an iTunes LP, and a mega-box containing four CDs, two LPs and a 60-page hardbound book. Al Jardine merely let the cat out of the bag a month or so too early.

Sure,” I can hear some of you say with a note of sarcasm in your voices. Warner Bros. Records was counting on SMiLE seeing the light of day when it signed the Beach Boys in 1970 through their Brother imprint, with the album dangled like a carrot to fans throughout the decade. Work began on a possible issue in 1988. Capitol Records told Billboard in 1995 that a release was imminent and it, too, never materialized. But Bill Gagnon, GM and Senior VP of EMI Music North America’s catalogue division emphatically told the trade journal on Friday, “The major thing in the past, I don’t think we had support from all the band, and now we do. All parties are supporting it coming out. Everybody is onboard now.” Supporting EMI’s landmark announcement was the news that the related right-holders were also on board including music publishers Rondor Music (part of Universal Music Group), The Beach Boys’ Brother Records and Brian Wilson himself. Via Capitol’s official statement, SMiLE mastermind Wilson commented, “I’m thrilled that The Beach Boys’ original studio sessions for SMiLE will be released for the first time, after all these years. I’m looking forward to this collection of the original recordings and having fans hear the beautiful, angelic voices of the boys in a proper studio release.”

While details aren’t finalized as to the track listing of the 2011 SMiLE, Mark Linett offered fans a number of tantalizing clues in an exclusive interview with Billboard. Linett, a Grammy nominee for his engineering of Brian Wilson’s solo 2004 SMiLE, is co-producing the new release with Beach Boys archivist Alan Boyd. Hit the jump for a tour of the world of SMiLE 1967-2011. We’ll fill you in on what’s come before, and consolidate everything we know now about what’s going to be a tough act to follow for catalogue music in 2011! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 14, 2011 at 09:38