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Some Nice Things We’ve Missed: Quartet Records’ Trio of Sondheim and Double Mancini

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Revenge of the Pink Panther'As 2012 yielded to 2013, more than a few noteworthy releases may have been lost in the shuffle.  Some of the most impressive of those December releases came from Spain’s Quartet Records.  The label closed out the year with three particularly spectacular titles that no film score buff will want to miss.

Two came from the prolific pen of Henry Mancini, perhaps the most-represented soundtrack composer in terms of 2012’s releases.  Having previously issued the complete score to Curse of the Pink Panther (1982), the label turned its attention to 1978’s Revenge of the Pink Panther.  The last Panther film to star Peter Sellers in his lifetime (the 1982 picture utilized outtakes of Sellers to create a new film), Revenge was previously on CD only in a severely truncated form emphasizing the funkier sounds in Mancini’s score.  The new Revenge features a full 27 tracks, demonstrating the full breadth of the composer’s work and even including alternate takes from the original album issue.  This deluxe package also includes a detailed essay and track-by-track notes from John Takis in its 16-page full-color booklet.

Santa Claus - The MoviePerhaps even more noteworthy is Quartet’s reissue of Mancini’s original soundtrack to 1985’s Santa Claus: The Movie.  Quartet’s predecessor label Singular Records had released (most of) the original soundtrack album on CD in 2009, but that release was considered lackluster despite the label having done its best with its resources at the time.  The new edition is a completely different case, however: a 3-CD edition presenting the complete film score (34 tracks!), 17 alternates and bonuses, and the original, complete 13-track soundtrack LP, with many themes modified from the originals plus pop songs from Kaja and Sheena Easton.  This new set presents the score in its entirety, remixed from ½″ 3-track stereo and 2″ 24-track session masters housed in mint condition in Abbey Road Studios, London.  The 1985 LP has also been remastered from first generation master tapes stored at Abbey Road.  Jeff Bond provides the annotation for the stellar 32-page booklet.  Though many critics derided the epic Santa origin film as excessive, this release proves that Mancini’s score (also containing songs with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) was just right.

After the jump: take a trip to the Forum, plus the full track listings and order links for all three titles!

Forum OSTLastly, Quartet has a surprise with an expanded CD reissue of the 1966 film soundtrack to the screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  Director Richard Lester’s picture has always been a controversial one to fans of the classic musical farce.  Though it preserved the original performances of Zero Mostel and Jack Gilford and added the titanic talents of Phil Silvers and Buster Keaton, not to mention a young Michael Crawford, the screenplay eviscerated Sondheim’s Broadway score.  The movie preserved just “Comedy Tonight,” “Lovely,” “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid,” “[Bring Me] My Bride,” “The Dirge [Funeral Sequence]” and a couple of reprises, leaving the clever likes of “Free,” “Pretty Little Picture,” “Love, I Hear,” “That’ll Show Him” and the rest nowhere in sight.  Rykodisc reissued the original United Artists LP in 1998 on CD, but Quartet has done that release one better.  The film’s musical director and composer/adapter of its orchestral score, Ken Thorne, has assisted in providing his complete incidental music and bonus tracks.  So the LP’s original 16 tracks (15 on this release, with “Erronious’ Return” and “Orgy Music – Roman Style” combined into one) have been supplemented by eighteen cues (the complete incidental music) and five bonus tracks.  Famed MAD illustrator Jack Davis’ artwork has been utilized for the cover.  This makes for the definitive edition of this soundtrack, and spotlights Thorne’s fine and interesting work in adapting Sondheim’s original music for the necessities of Lester’s film.

All three of these new titles are available from Quartet Records’ website as well as from other fine sites including Screen Archives!

Henry Mancini, Revenge of the Pink Panther (Quartet Records SCE050, 2012)

  1. The Mafia Meeting
  2. Main Title: The Pink Panther Theme
  3. Enter Mr. Chong
  4. Not Tonight, Cato
  5. The Silver Hornet
  6. Mamade Jacque
  7. French Taps
  8. A Touch of Red
  9. Almond Eyes
  10. Ode to Clouseau
  11. Thar She Blows
  12. Move ‘Em Out!
  13. Give Me Some Mo’!
  14. After the Shower
  15. Simone
  16. The Fire Escape
  17. Balls’ Caprice
  18. Welcome to Hong Kong
  19. Enter Scallini
  20. Simone (Piano Lounge)
  21. To the Shipyard
  22. Before the Fireworks/Hong Kong Fireworks
  23. Salute to Clouseau
  24. Finale – The Pink Panther Theme
  25. Main Title – The Pink Panther Theme (Album Version)
  26. Hong Kong Fireworks (Album Version)
  27. Thank Heaven for Little Girls (Album Version)

Tracks 25-27 from United Artists LP LA 913-H, 1978.  Portions of other tracks also appear on this LP.

Henry Mancini, Santa Claus: The Movie (Quartet Records SCE052, 2012)

CD 1: The Film Score

  1. Main Title: Every Christmas Eve/Santa’s Theme
  2. North Star/Arrival of the Elves
  3. Santa’s New Home
  4. The Magic Workshop
  5. Reindeer Stable
  6. Making Toys (Film Version)
  7. Season’s Greetings
  8. The Ancient One
  9. Santa Claus/First Sleigh Ride/Christmas Rhapsody
  10. Naughty or Nice
  11. Into the 20th Century
  12. It’s Christmas Again
  13. March of the Elves
  14. Table Scraps
  15. A New Sleigh Ride/Santa Meets Joe
  16. Sleigh Ride Over Manhattan
  17. Cornelia’s Home
  18. Bad Toys
  19. Sad Patch
  20. Vanishing Elf
  21. No Free Toys
  22. Present for Joe
  23. Patch, Natch!
  24. Patchmobile/Patch Versus Santa
  25. Lollipop Fight
  26. Stronger Formula
  27. The World is Different
  28. A New Doll
  29. Eavesdropping

CD 2: The Film Score (Tracks 1-5), Plus Bonus Material (Tracks 6-22)

  1. Letter from Cornelia
  2. Elf Portrait
  3. Flight from Police
  4. To the North Pole/Super Duper Looper/Reunited Again
  5. End Titles/Thank You, Santa
  6. Every Christmas Eve (Alternate Lyrics)
  7. Making Toys (Children’s Choir)
  8. Making Toys (Carousel Version)
  9. Making Toys (Men’s Choir)
  10. Making Toys (Instrumental Alternate)
  11. Patch Versus Santa (Alternate)
  12. To the North Pole (Alternate)
  13. Thank You, Santa (Alternate Vocal)
  14. Every Christmas Eve (Instrumental)
  15. It’s Christmas Again (Instrumental)
  16. It’s Christmas Again (Christmas Bells)
  17. Chopin’s Waltz (Source)
  18. Patch, Natch! (Instrumental)
  19. Thank You, Santa (Instrumental)
  20. Patch Toys (Percussion Insert)
  21. Christmas Jingles (Rehearsal)
  22. Making Toys (TV Spot)

CD 3: The Album

  1. Main Title: Every Christmas Eve/Santa’s Theme
  2. Arrival of the Elves
  3. Making Toys
  4. Christmas Rhapsody
  5. It’s Christmas Again
  6. March of the Elves
  7. Patch, Natch!
  8. It’s Christmas All Over the World – Sheena Easton
  9. Shouldn’t Do That – Kaja
  10. Sleigh Ride Over Manhattan
  11. Sad Patch
  12. Patch Versus Santa
  13. Thank You, Santa

Stephen Sondheim and Ken Thorne, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Quartet Records SCE051, 2012)

  1. Tibia Solo into Comedy Tonight
  2. Search for Mare’s Sweat
  3. Lovely
  4. Tintinabula’s Dance
  5. Vibrata’s Dance
  6. Roman Emissary
  7. Everybody Ought to Have a Maid
  8. Riot at the Funeral
  9. Domina Returns (Fanfare) into My Bride
  10. Erronious’ Return/Orgy Music, Roman Style
  11. Lovely (Reprise)
  12. In the Arena
  13. The Dirge
  14. The Rescue of Philia into The Chase
  15. Comedy Tonight and Playout
  16. 2M4
  17. 2M5
  18. 3M3
  19. 4M1
  20. 5M1
  21. 5M2
  22. 6M1
  23. 6M3
  24. 6M4
  25. 7M1
  26. 7M2
  27. 7M3
  28. 7M4
  29. 7M7
  30. 8M1
  31. 10M1
  32. 10M2
  33. 11M2
  34. Comedy Tonight (Instrumental)
  35. Lovely (Instrumental)
  36. My Bride (Instrumental)
  37. Everybody Ought to Have a Maid (Instrumental Excerpt)
  38. Fanfares

Tracks 1-15 from United Artists LP UAS 5144, 1966
Tracks 16-38 previously unreleased

Written by Joe Marchese

January 3, 2013 at 12:53

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