The Second Disc

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Maybe Our Luck Has Changed: “Kong” Remake is Latest Deluxe Title from FSM

with 3 comments

It all began with a lie – a very impressive, very big one.

On November 30, 1975, New York Times readers were treated to a full-color advertisement for producer Dino de Laurentiis’ latest film project: a modern retelling of King Kong. “One year from today, Paramount Pictures and Dino de Laurentiis will bring to you the most exciting original motion picture event of all time,” trumpeted the ad copy, blissfully ignorant of the true original, stop-motion-animated ape that ascended the Empire State Building to the thrill of moviegoers in 1933.

Nevertheless, the multimillion-dollar production, this time set around an oil company rig discovering the towering gorilla on a distant island (and foolishly bringing him back to Manhattan!), was quite the event in the winter of 1976. The Oscar-winning special effects were rather extraordinary for their time, between Rick Baker’s surprisingly expressive performance in a custom ape suit and Carlo Rambaldi’s life-size mechanical beast. The film was an early starring role for Jeff Bridges and the first for Jessica Lange, years before her Oscar-winning turn in Tootsie. Add to that more than a few banana bunches worth of merchandising, including models, games, T-shirts, posters, glassware and other ephemera, and it’s easy to see why, modern critical drubbing aside, Kong-mania was a very real thing at the time.

And the score! Legendary composer John Barry created a score as big as the title character itself, alternating between urgent action cues during Kong’s rampage through the jungles of Skull Island and New York City and lush cues for tender moments between Lange and Bridges as well as Lange and her other hairy co-star.

That soundtrack was a strong seller in its day – longtime fans have fond memories of the Reprise LP with fold-out poster insert – but took nearly 20 years to come out on CD from Film Score Monthly. And even then, fans clamored for a more complete presentation of the beautiful soundtrack. Now, with just one more title left to release from the venerable FSM label, Lukas Kendall’s label has shone once again, issuing a two-disc set combining that original LP with the complete, 70-minute film score (newly mixed and mastered from the original tapes) and nearly a half-hour of unreleased alternate cues. Ace film score writer John Takis pens the liner notes in the 20-page booklet, augmented by many classic stills and advertisements for this cult classic.

Is there really “only one King Kong,” as that fateful Times poster proclaimed? Perhaps not – but for soundtrack enthusiasts, this might be the big one. Full specs and order details for this unlimited release are after the jump!

John Barry, King Kong: Music from the Motion Picture – Deluxe Edition (Film Score Monthly Vol. 15, No. 5, 2012 – original film released 1976)

Disc 1: Film score

  1. Main Title
  2. Ship at Sea/Strange Tale/Hey Look
  3. Montage
  4. Fog Bank
  5. The Island
  6. Day Wall
  7. Dwan Alone/Jack & Dwan
  8. Night Wall Part 1
  9. Night Wall Part 2
  10. Celebration
  11. Jungle/The Hole/Camp Site/Dwan Scared
  12. Prisoner
  13. Waterfall
  14. Ravine
  15. Acknowledge/Crater/Snake Fight
  16. Chase/Trap
  17. Capture
  18. Super Tanker
  19. Dwan Falls
  20. Petrox Marching Band
  21. Presentation
  22. Kong Escapes
  23. Into a Bar
  24. Get Smashed/Alone in a Bar
  25. Kong’s Hand
  26. Church Organ
  27. World Trade Center
  28. Jack in Pursuit
  29. Kong’s Heart Beat/End Title

Disc 2: Original soundtrack LP (originally released as Reprise LP MS-2260, 1976) and bonus material

  1. The Opening
  2. Maybe My Luck Has Changed
  3. Arrival on the Island
  4. Sacrifice—Hail to the King
  5. Arthusa
  6. Full Moon Domain—Beauty is a Beast
  7. Breakout to Captivity
  8. Incomprehensible Captivity
  9. Kong Hits the Big Apple
  10. Blackout in New York—How About Buying Me a Drink
  11. Climb to Skull Island
  12. The End is At Hand
  13. The End
  14. Main Title (Alternate)
  15. Fog Bank (Alternate)
  16. Day Wall (Alternate)
  17. Night Wall Part 1 (Alternate)
  18. Night Wall Part 2 (Alternate)
  19. Trap (Alternate)
  20. Presentation (Alternate #1)
  21. Presentation (Alternate #2)
  22. Finale (Alternate)

All tracks on Disc 1 and Disc 2, Tracks 14-22 previously unreleased.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 24, 2012 at 16:56

3 Responses

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  1. Though this has been long-rumored, it’s still wonderful to actually see it happening, and on the heels of FSM’s recent BODY HEAT expansion, no less! I had harbored hopes, however, that FSM would license Andy Williams’ two vocal versions (a straightforward ballad reading and a disco version!) of the theme from this KING KONG, John Barry and David Pomeranz’ “Are You in There,” for inclusion. Ah, well. This will be a mighty set, even without those KONG curios – already ordered!

    Joe Marchese

    September 24, 2012 at 17:04

  2. Wow, I was reading on the FSM forum about what their next title would be. There were a lot of rumours it would be “King Kong”, but I didn’t think they would do two Barry titles back-to-back, but I was wrong. Great to see John Barry getting so much love.


    September 25, 2012 at 00:58

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