The Second Disc

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“Used Cars” (The Music) for Sale at La-La Land!

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La-La Land’s latest catalogue title, released last week, is a pleasant surprise: the premiere release of the score to the cult-classic comedy Used Cars.

The 1980 picture, starring Kurt Russell as an unscrupulous salesman willing to go to any lengths to shut down his competition, was a particular surprise for anyone familiar with the talent behind the production. It was the second film to be directed by Robert Zemeckis, and was written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale and produced by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg had a proven track record as a director – his most recent film, 1979’s blustery World War II farce 1941 (also written by Zemeckis and Gale), was his first commercial and critical misstep since hitting it big with JAWS – but he was still only getting his feet wet as a producer, serving as an executive producer on Zemeckis’ directorial debut, the Beatles-centric I Wanna Hold Your Hand 1978. After further branching into producing following the worldwide success of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, Zemeckis and Spielberg would again collaborate to much greater success, with the latter executive-producing Zemeckis and Gale’s Back to the Future trilogy and the Disney comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

While Zemeckis’ collaboration with composer Alan Silvestri is often celebrated, the Used Cars disc features work from two other unique composers. First, there’s the main body of score composed by Patrick Williams, noted for his work on such screen fare as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Oscar-nominated Breaking Away as well as arrangements for Frank Sinatra and others. Williams’ score appropriately captures the spirit of the film, with hints of rock, country and blues peeking through the themes (including an eponymous song performed by noted country veteran Bobby Bare).

But Williams’ wasn’t the first composer for the job; Ernest Gold, he of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Inherit the Wind fame, was first tasked with score duties for the picture. Ultimately, all that made it to the final film were arrangements of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” as well as “Hail to the Chief,” so much of this music is being heard for the first time anywhere.

The disc, limited to 2,000 copies, can be yours today. Hit the jump to see the track list!

Patrick Williams and Ernest Gold, Used Cars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (La-La Land Records LLLCD 1205, 2012 – original film released 1980)

  1. Used Cars March (Long) (Outtake)
  2. Fishing (Outtake)
  3. Mickey Arrives
  4. Disco Stripper (David Rose arr.y Patrick Williams)
  5. Western Time
  6. Test Pattern
  7. The Fight
  8. Flame Out
  9. Move ‘Em Out/A Problem/Meeting Up
  10. More Speed
  11. The Final Spurt
  12. Big Fly
  13. Used Cars March (Short)
  14. Used Cars (Instrumental Outtake)
  15. Used Cars (Vocal) (Written by Patrick Williams and Norman Gimbel, Performed by Bobby Bare)
  16. The Stars And Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa arr. Ernest Gold)
  17. Mickey Arrives (Outtake)
  18. Eulogy
  19. The Stars and Stripes March (John Philip Sousa, arr. Ernest Gold)
  20. Circus Source
  21. Disco Intro (Outtake)
  22. Hail to the Chief (adapted & arranged by Ernest Gold)
  23. Western Bar Source
  24. Mexican Guitar
  25. Test Pattern (Outtake)
  26. The Fight (Outtake)
  27. Flame Out (Outtake)
  28. Hail to the Chief (adapted & arranged by Ernest Gold)
  29. Tension/Fast Strings/Snares (Outtake)
  30. Let’s Move Out!/More Speed (Outtake)
  31. M104 (Outtake)
  32. M111 (Outtake)
  33. Car Counting/The Big Fly (Outtake)
  34. Used Cars End Credits (Outtake)

Written by Mike Duquette

August 6, 2012 at 15:26

Posted in News, Soundtracks

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