The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

La-La Land Unleashes “Dead,” “Black Beauty”

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Black BeautyLa-La Land’s soundtrack reissues this week include a title that’s perfect for Halloween and an offbeat score by a composer normally responsible for music that’s perfect for Halloween.

That latter title is the first up this week: in 1994, Danny Elfman – known best for his offbeat scores for Tim Burton (Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, BeetlejuiceBatmanThe Nightmare Before Christmas, countless others) – was commissioned to write a soundtrack for Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Black Beauty, the acclaimed 1877 novel by Anna Sewell told from the perspective of a horse living (and caring for) several owners in England.

Despite sturdy performances by British actors including Sean Bean and David Thewlis – and even a memorable performance by Docs Keepin Time as the titular horse of the film (who would, in one of the most amazing sentences I’ve ever typed for this site, became an in-demand horse in Hollywood, starring in a television series based on The Black Stallion and Robert Redford’s adaptation of The Horse Whisperer) – the film was a major box-office failure, one of many that helped sideline Warner Bros.’ Family Entertainment imprint by the end of the decade. But Elfman’s score, a notable departure from his usual fare, is robust and acclaimed by fans and critics of the composer alike – and La-La Land greatly expands its original release on the Giant Records label with this new disc, featuring nearly 79 minutes of music and copious unused and unreleased material.

When there is no more room on the page, the dead will walk after the jump (propelled by a reissued score to a George Romero classic)!

Day of the DeadThe third of director George Romero’s zombie apocalypse films (following 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, arguably the genre’s two finest features), Day of the Dead (1985) finds a group of military survivors driven underground and face to face with a well-intentioned scientist attempting to domesticate the walking dead. Featuring some of the most outlandishly gory effects (rather NSFW, obviously) in the series thanks to makeup legend Tom Savini (and an inspired performance by Sherman Howard as “Bub,” the most trained zombie on the planet), Day of the Dead was nonetheless not as well-received by its predecessors. The original Dead trilogy, nonetheless, planted the seeds for a monstrous revival of the genre, some two decades later.

The film’s original soundtrack album included pieces of score and original songs by composer John Harrison as re-recorded by Pittsburgh R&B/rock band Modern Man. La-La Land’s two-disc set features that album, newly remastered, along with a remastered, remixed and expanded presentation of Harrison’s complete original score. The set’s liner notes feature insights from film score writer Jeff Bond as well as Harrison and Romero, in the flesh! (For serious collectors, the score will also be released on double 180-gram vinyl by Waxwork Records.)

Both CD titles, limited to 3,000 copies each, can be ordered below. The label is also scaring up some great deals on horror titles in their catalogue, which you can view here.

Danny Elfman, Black Beauty: Music from the Motion Picture – Expanded Edition (originally released as Giant Records 24568, 1994 – reissued La-La Land Records LLLCD 1273, 2013)

  1. Main Titles
  2. Birth (“Baby Beauty”)
  3. Gang on the Run **/ Bye Mum *
  4. Beauty *
  5. Merrylegs
  6. Kicking Up a Storm
  7. Jump for Joy (Film Version) *
  8. The Rescue *
  9. Sick
  10. He’s Back (Revival)/Frolic
  11. The Fire *
  12. Carriage (Unused) */The Dance/Bye Merrylegs
  13. Goodbye Joe
  14. Ginger Snaps
  15. Wound *
  16. Wild Ride/Dream
  17. Injury */ Job *
  18. Is It Joe?
  19. Black Jack (“Mommy”) **
  20. Nuns */In the Country
  21. Poor Ginger! (Film Version) *
  22. Sick Jerry *
  23. Bye Jerry
  24. Hard Times/Epilogue: Saved (“Memories”)
  25. End Credits
  26. Street Violin (Source) *
  27. Bye Mum (Alternate) *
  28. Job (Alternate Intro) *
  29. Is It Joe? (Alternate) *
  30. Nuns (Alternate) *
  31. Sick Jerry (Alternate) *
  32. Jump for Joy (LP Version)
  33. Poor Ginger! (LP Version)

* previously unreleased; ** contains previously unreleased material

John Harrison, Day of the Dead: Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (La-La Land Records LLLCD 1277, 2013 – original film released 1985)

Disc 1: Film score

  1. Day of the Dead Main Title
  2. Sarah Sees Graves/First Cave Entry
  3. Zombies Approach/Capturing Zombies
  4. You Almost Killed Rickles
  5. Sarah Dopes Miguel
  6. Where’s Frankenstein?/Bub Scares Sarah/Zombie Spills His Guts
  7. Steel, Shoot That Woman
  8. John Warns Sarah/People Got Different Ideas
  9. Sarah Hallucinates
  10. Walk to the Ritz/Sarah at the Ritz
  11. John Lectures
  12. What Hell Is Like
  13. Logan Teaching Bub/Bub Learning
  14. Backwards Chord/Miller Dies
  15. Miguel Bitten
  16. Sarah Breaks Down
  17. Logan’s Lab/Logan’s Madness/Beef Treats
  18. Those Are My Men
  19. Miguel Decides
  20. Chopper Can’t Hold Us All
  21. Laugh in the Dark
  22. Fight to Survive
  23. Fix it…You Can’t Fix it/Miguel Lets ‘Em In
  24. Rhodes Leaves His Men Behind/Zombie Overrun
  25. The End of Steel/Lost in the Caves
  26. Heroes Escape
  27. Bub Stalks Rhodes/Zombies Rip Rhodes
  28. On the Beach

Disc 2: Original Soundtrack LP (released as Saturn Records SRLP-1701, 1985)

  1. The Dead Suite – Modern Man
  2. Break Down – Modern Man
  3. Escape/Invasion – Modern Man
  4. The Dead Walk – Modern Man
  5. If Tomorrow Comes – Sputzy Sparacino & Delilah
  6. The World Inside Your Eyes – Sputzy Sparacino & Delilah

Written by Mike Duquette

October 10, 2013 at 12:02

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