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Archive for June 17th, 2013

Life’s a Gas: T. Rex Tracks (and More) Compiled on Six-Disc “Marc Bolan At The BBC”

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BolanIf you thought Edsel’s box set edition of T. Rex’s The Slider (or UMC’s super-deluxe Electric Warrior) was as big as it could get for the glam rock legends, it might be time to rethink things: SpinCDs reports a six-disc box set encapsulating all of Marc Bolan’s performances for the BBC – including both tracks by T. Rex and John’s Children – will be released in the U.K. this fall.

Marc Bolan At The BBC is hardly the first compilation to collect these live-in-studio recordings – 2006’s out-of-print triple-disc Bolan At The Beeb was the latest – but it considerably ups the ante by including every known surviving recording Bolan did for the BBC. (It was long the BBC’s policy to erase tapes after use, unwittingly rarefying moments of rock history like these.) This includes not only all of the officially-released recordings (including a full two discs of album tracks specifically remixed for the BBC), but a heap of alternate sources, including BBC transcription discs and reel-to-reel recordings. The variety of sources may not make for a consistent listening experience, but this set should hopefully present these recordings in the best possible way.

All of it was compiled by producer/unabashed fan Clive Zone, over a period of six years. Zone’s efforts have allowed for much to be presented anew, including a rare 1968 set from Bolan’s first psychedelic group John’s Children and early John Peel sessions for the band first known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. The box will also feature a new essay by Mark Payress, the author of the Bolan bio Bolan: The Rise and Fall of a 20th Century Superstar); all tracks are remastered by Keiron McGarry at Universal Mastering Studios London to their best possible fidelity.

The box is expected out on August 26. A tentative Amazon U.K. link is here; in the meantime, the full track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 17, 2013 at 16:52

Posted in Box Sets, News, T Rex

High Adventure: Kritzerland Heads To “The Far Horizons,” Uncovers “Secret of the Incas”

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Far Horizons OSTThere’s even more film soundtrack news coming your way today, thanks to Kritzerland’s latest announcement!  The label will release a special two-for-one CD combining the scores to two vintage adventure films starring Charlton Heston: 1955’s Lewis and Clark drama The Far Horizons and 1954’s exotic Secret of the Incas, the latter of which is frequently cited as a direct inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This 1,000-unit limited edition is set for release by the first week of August, though pre-orders from the label usually arrive an average of four weeks earlier.

The Far Horizons, with Heston as Lt. William Clark and Fred MacMurray as Capt. Meriwether Lewis, featured an original score by Hans J. Salter (1896-1994).  Though not well-known today, Salter composed music for some of the most beloved horror films of all time including The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.  He was equally comfortable in other genres, also scoring comedies like Come September and Bedtime Story (the inspiration for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as well as Fritz Lang’s film noir Scarlet Street.  Director Rudolph Mate’s film was shot in Technicolor and in Paramount’s widescreen VistaVision process, and Salter provided a score to match the lush visuals.  Kritzerland describes his music as “a majestic beauty, with a wonderful main theme that gets plenty of variations, along with some great dramatic scoring.”  The new CD includes all of the surviving cues (most of the score as heard in the film) in mono sound.

After the jump, we discover the Secret of the Incas, and we have a track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 17, 2013 at 14:06

Soundtrack Watch: Intrada’s Busy Month

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isc247B_booklet.inddCalling all soundtrack lovers: Intrada has been pretty busy in the last few weeks, reissuing or expanding three diverse scores and premiering another on CD.

The label’s most recent batch saw a pair of double-disc score sets, and the first up was James Horner’s action-packed score to 1994’s Clear and Present Danger. Based on the Tom Clancy novel, Clear and Present Danger finds the irascible agent Jack Ryan (played again by Harrison Ford, his second turn in the role after 1992’s Patriot Games) serving as acting deputy director of the CIA, only to find a covert drug war in Colombia is being conducted behind his back – and the President may be in on the scheme. Many of Horner’s dramatic action cues from this film are making their proper debut on this two-disc set, along with a few extras from the original soundtrack CD.

Inchon_mafA_600Last week also saw the reissue of Intrada’s double-disc presentation of Inchon, Jerry Goldsmith’s score to the Terence Young dramatization of the pivotal Korean War battle. Initially released on LP by the Regency International label upon initial release in 1981, Intrada oversaw a release of the original score as heard in the film on CD in 1988, and then expanded that program in 2006 as a two-disc set featuring both complete score and original soundtrack LP. That program is now available once more – and as an unlimited title, preserved in the label’s catalogue from this point. It’s another traditionally strong mid-period Goldsmith score for everyone to enjoy again.

Intrada also bowed a few single-disc sets in the weeks before their latest batch: first there was a straight remastered reissue of Maurice Jarre’s score to Dreamscape, a Dennis Quaid-anchored sci-fi film about infiltrating people’s dreams two decades before Inception, and the premiere of Jerry Fielding’s score to Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, which found a few all-star groups of explorers revisiting the half-sunken ocean liner. Full details on all four sets, including track lists and order links can be found after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 17, 2013 at 12:38

Review: Burt Bacharach, “Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter” Box Set

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Burt - Anyone Who Had a HeartTime stands still for Burt Bacharach.

Rumer’s 2010 single “Some Lovers,” from Bacharach and Steven Sater’s musical of the same name, is the most recent track on Universal U.K.’s new box set Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter.  Yet 2010 melts into 1965 like a ray of sunshine on the “cloudy Christmas morning” in the song lyric.  Sleigh bells gently underscore wistful flugelhorns as it begins, with Rumer’s dreamy, comforting vocals gracefully gliding over the bittersweet melody.  “Everything we touch is still a dream,” she sings, and for three minutes or so, it is.  Even shorn of its lyrics, “Some Lovers” would radiate the warm glow of nostalgia without ever seeming dated.  And it’s just one of 137 tracks found on the box’s six CDs, all standing as a testament to the songwriter’s signature style, remarkable consistency, and uncanny ability to render emotions through his musical notes.  The music of Burt Bacharach is sophisticated in its composition but simplicity itself in its piercing directness.  So why is this handsomely-designed, large box less than the sum of its (formidable) parts?

Anyone Who Had a Heart has been released to coincide with Bacharach’s memoir of the same name, and is also available in two 2-CD configurations, one each for the United States and the United Kingdom.  The 6-CD version follows in some rather large footsteps: that of Rhino’s 1998 box set The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection.  As expertly curated by Patrick Milligan and Alec Cumming, that sublime 3-CD box was the first to trace the arc of Bacharach’s career in context, and it played a mighty role in his career renaissance.  Yet over the ensuing fifteen years, Bacharach has continued to write with a frequency that would impress his much younger colleagues, so the time was certainly right for an updated package.  (The Look of Love concluded with Bacharach and Elvis Costello’s 1996 recording of “God Give Me Strength.”)  The ambitious Anyone Who Had a Heart is the first box since The Look of Love to take on the entirety of Bacharach’s career, though Hip-o Select’s 2004 Something Big: The Complete A&M Years collected all of his solo work for Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ label with a handful of rarities included for good measure.  But the new box is best enjoyed as a complement to The Look of Love, not an update or expansion.

Bacharach Box ContentsThe first four discs of this box are dedicated to a chronological account of Bacharach’s work, from 1955’s “(These) Desperate Hours” to 2010’s “Some Lovers.”  The fifth disc is essentially a single-disc distillation of the Hip-o box set, dedicated solely to Bacharach’s own, primarily instrumental recordings of his songbook.  The sixth disc shows the breadth of his influence as it presents an entire collection of jazz interpretations (both vocal and instrumental).  The fifth and sixth discs present an expanded view of his career not found on The Look of Love.  The first four discs cover the same territory as the Rhino box, but best it with 95 tracks vs. 75.  However, the approach by producers Kit Buckler, Paul Conroy and Richard Havers is a more idiosyncratic, less focused one.  Whereas The Look of Love concentrated on original versions of songs – most of which Bacharach produced and/or arranged – Anyone Who Had a Heart casts a wider net to give great attention to cover versions.  This approach does allow for stylistic variety but leaves the listener with a less definitive account of “the essentials.”  The new box is successful in fleshing out the periods that bookend Bacharach’s career, addressing his earliest and most recent songs with more depth than the 3-CD format of The Look of Love allowed.

Hit the jump as we explore the Art of Bacharach! Read the rest of this entry »