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Archive for July 23rd, 2011

It’s “Days of Heaven” for Morricone and FSM

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This has been a tremendous year for writer/director Terrence Malick. The filmmaker’s latest effort, The Tree of Life, won the coveted Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the film’s weighty subject matter and oblique, nonlinear structure has made it one of the most talked-about pictures of the year.

Just yesterday, Film Score Monthly indirectly addressed the minor Malick-mania by announcing a deluxe reissue of the Oscar-nominated score to Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978). The two-years-in-the-making tale of two lovers (Richard Gere and Brooke Adams) who conspire to bilk a farmer out of his fortune benefitted from the work of composer Ennio Morricone to accompany the gorgeous, Oscar-winning cinematography.

Morricone’s romantically thematic score is unique in that the composer freely allowed Malick to rearrange and edit his cues to fit the picture as he wished. This unique arrangement leads to three playlists on the two-disc set: one one disc, the original soundtrack LP and all the cues used in the final cut of the film, and another disc of Morricone’s complete score.

This score is an unlimited release and can be ordered here. Have a look at the track list after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 23, 2011 at 15:42

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Comic-Con Special Reissue Theory: “Jan and Dean Meet Batman”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we take a look back at notable albums and the reissues they could someday see.  2011 marks 41 years of Comic-Con International, and record labels like La-La Land and Shout! Factory are joining the traditional publishing houses and film studios this weekend on the show floor.  But the comic biz and the music world have long been intertwined, on screen, on stage and on record.  Today’s Reissue Theory spotlights one of the most bizarre albums ever based on a comic book!

In deference to my fellow funnybook fans, I’ll resist the urge to begin this column with the hoary “POW!  BAM!  ZONK!” cliché.  But let’s face facts.  Those three words – and others like them – instantly conjure up the visages of Adam West and Burt Ward, sliding down the Bat-pole, encountering guest stars ranging from Ethel Merman to Eli Wallach, and fighting a campy Joker, squawking Penguin and sultry Catwoman.    The 1966-1968 ABC network television Batman, for better or worse, defined the character for a new audience and exposed Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s famous creations to a wider base than ever before.  The pop art-influenced show’s influence on pop culture was felt not just in the comics, where Batman wouldn’t return to his dark detective roots until after Batman went off the air.   Prior to Batman, Neal Hefti was best known as a top-flight jazz arranger, providing charts for Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Harry James, Count Basie and even Frank Sinatra.  Little did Hefti know when he composed “Batman Theme” that he was creating what would become one of the most recorded songs of 1966, and one of the most recognizable TV themes of all time.

Enter Jan Berry and Dean Torrence.  The surf-pop duo had their first taste of success in 1958, when Batman was fighting monsters and solving crimes with the aid of fantastic gadgets designed by legendary artists like Sheldon Moldoff and Dick Sprang.  Though “Jennie Lee” was a hit, the following year’s “Baby Talk” really took off, and in the next few years, Jan and Dean carved out a niche in the burgeoning surf music world.  They went No. 1 in 1963 with “Surf City,” a collaboration with wunderkind Beach Boy Brian Wilson, who in turn counted Jan and Dean among his early harmony heroes.  Like Wilson, Jan Berry was constantly pushing the envelope in the studio as a producer, and also like his friend Brian, had an interest in bringing comedy to music.  (See many of Wilson’s concepts for the still-unreleased-but-hopefully-soon SMiLE!)  In early 1966, nothing was hotter than Batman.  And the Batman show was nothing if not irreverent.  So why not produce an all-out comedy-meets-music extravaganza about, well, Batman?  Jan and Dean Meet Batman was born!

What is The Fireman’s Flaming Flourish?  Who is The Boy Blunder?  And just how wild is the Joker, anyway?  Stay tuned after the jump – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 23, 2011 at 09:54

Posted in Features, Jan & Dean, Reissues

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