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Archive for the ‘Alan Silvestri’ Category

“Star Trek,” “Abyss” Surface in Surprise Varese Club Batch

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Star Trek NemesisVarese Sarabande has opened up a new batch of CD Club limited edition soundtrack reissues for the holidays. Beginning in 2014, six titles – including two deluxe editions – will start shipping from the long-running soundtrack label.

First up, a milestone from the final frontier: Varese expands the soundtrack to 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. This time, the USS Enterprise encounters a dangerous foe from within the Romulan Empire: a villainous clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by a then-unknown Tom Hardy, later celebrated for his performances in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises as the criminal mastermind Bane). Nemesis was the final mission for both the crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation and composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose scores to Star Trek: The Motion PictureStar Trek V: The Final FrontierStar Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection became icons of the franchise. Goldsmith’s dark, sinister score ultimately gave way to that heroic fanfare we all know and love, and was one of the few high points of the critically-maligned, financially-unsuccessful film. It was also one of the final scores by the ever-prolific Goldsmith until his passing the following year. With this double-disc expanded release, one now has the exciting ability to purchase the complete scores to all ten of the original TOS and TNG-era Trek films.

The AbyssVarese next heads from space to undersea with a double-disc presentation of Alan Silvestri’s score to The Abyss. James Cameron’s third blockbuster of the 1980s (following the critical and commercial smash hits The Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986)) has a crew of Navy SEALs hoping to recover a lost submarine before a Soviet crew does – but what they find deep under the waves could be much more dangerous. Featuring Oscar-winning special effects (including the iconic “pseudopod” sequence, where a computer-generated water tentacle appears before the crew), The Abyss is one of Cameron’s more underrated big-budget efforts, a film that increased in critical appraisal after the release of a “Special Edition” in 1992. (With the film’s 25th anniversary approaching this year, a Blu-Ray premiere would certainly be optimal!) Silvestri’s score is now presented on two discs with 10 alternate cues.

The label’s reissue wave concludes with four straight reissues, all of which have been out of print for years. There’s the 1978 suspense Brass Target, a fictional tale suggesting the car crash that killed U.S. General George S. Patton was in fact a conpsiracy; Laurence Rosenthal’s score was the very first album of original material ever released by Varese Sarabande, and makes its CD debut here. Michael Kamen’s score to the 1987 courtroom drama Suspect, starring Cher and Dennis Quaid as a public defender and jury member working together to solve the murder of a Justice Department clerk (a then-unknown Liam Neeson plays the deaf-mute, homeless Vietnam veteran accused of her killing), also gets reissued onto CD, this time featuring all 17 of its cues indexed individually instead of as the two suites that occupied each side of the original album. The batch is rounded out by reissues of James Horner’s score to Vibes, a maligned 1988 comedy starring Cyndi Lauper and Jeff Goldblum as psychics in search of a fabled lost city, and Jerry Goldsmith’s first all-electronic score to Runaway, a Michael Crichton-penned and directed sci-fi thriller with Tom Selleck. (Goldsmith’s original LP was greatly expanded as a limited edition CD in 2006; this program is now back on disc.)

All titles are strictly limited: Star Trek tops out at 5,000 units, The Abyss at 3,000, Brass Target at 1,000 and the remainder at 2,000 apiece. They ship this week, so hit the jump and place your orders!

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 6, 2014 at 12:54

Intrada Readies Silvestri’s “Fandango,” Rare Warner TV Efforts

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isc249booklet.inddThis week’s latest releases from Intrada showcase a forgotten TV show of the ’60s and an early highlight for a then-little-known 20th century composer.

Fandango was, in its own way, one of the more impressive films of 1985. Directed by a first-timer (Kevin Reynolds) from the basis of his thesis film at the University of Southern California (the original of which found a fan in Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin Entertainment produced the film), the film revolved around a group of college friends (including Kevin Costner, in his first major role) embarking on one last road trip. The score – at times equal in its blend of action and intimate character building – was composed by a relatively unknown Alan Silvestri, who’d scored Romancing the Stone a year earlier and would fully flesh out his talents as a brassy action/sensitive drama composer with Back to the Future in the summer of 1985. For the first time, fans can finally experience this score on any format, sourced from the original 24-track session masters.

isc244booklet.inddIntrada’s also got the score to Then Came Bronson, a short-lived television show about a former newspaperman (played by actor/singer Michael Parks) who casts off his old life to find himself across America. Along the way, he meets and helps people from all walks of life; every episode had him come in and leave on that same Harley-Davidson Sportster. This two-disc set features compositions by George Duning (From Here to EternityAll the King’s Men) on one disc, and another disc of various other bits from episodes composed by Stu Phillips, John Parker and others.

Both titles can be ordered from Intrada now; links and full track lists are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 27, 2013 at 15:58

Soundtrack Corner: We Will Always Love “The Bodyguard” Plus Jerry Lewis Goes “Geisha” and Les Baxter for Halloween

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Though the 1992 soundtrack to Mick Jackson’s film The Bodyguard is the best-selling soundtrack album of all time, its success was largely on the strength of star Whitney Houston’s performances of “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing” and “I’m Every Woman.”  Featured on just one track was the work of Alan Silvestri, the composer of Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit who provided the film’s original score.  The under-three minute snippet featured on the Grammy-winning Arista album barely scratched the surface of Silvestri’s score for The Bodyguard.  Twenty years later, La-La Land Records has teamed with Sony Music and Warner Bros. for the first-ever release of Silvestri’s complete orchestral score.

This 3,500-unit limited edition release includes 23 tracks and seven bonus cuts including alternates and source music.  (Of course, none of the film’s songs or vocal performances are heard on this release.)  James Nelson (Kritzerland’s Follies, Promises, Promises) has mastered this release under the supervision of producer Dan Goldwasser, and Tim Grieving has written new liner notes incorporating comments from Mick Jackson and Alan Silvestri.

The Bodyguard: Original Score from the Motion Picture is available now from La-La Land Records for $19.98 plus shipping.

Hey laaaaady!  After the jump: how about some musical merriment from a Jerry Lewis classic?  And what spooky offerings does Intrada have for Halloween?  Plus: track listings and order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 18, 2012 at 10:02

As the Globe Turns: Universal Adds Classic, Possibly Rare, Soundtrack Material to Blu-Ray Box Set

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In 1912, an ex-dry goods merchant and owner of the nascent Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) studio stood in a New York office with five other movie moguls and made history.

These six men, organized by IMP founder Carl Laemmle, were keen to merge their businesses with an eye toward the growing big business of moviemaking. As they struggled for a title for their venture, Laemmle allegedly saw a wagon zip by on the street below with a grandiose name: “Universal Pipe Fitters.” Turning back to the window, he announced the venture would be named Universal, an apt name for the magnitude of what they wanted to accomplish.

A century later, Universal is one of the biggest entertainment corporations in the world and the longest-running American film company. Dozens of their blockbuster films sit toward the top of the all-time box office lists, and their bi-coastal studio backlot/theme parks in Los Angeles and Orlando are prime vacation destinations. For film fans, Universal has been keen to celebrate their 100th anniversary this year, releasing not only stunning restorations of classic films on Blu-Ray (JAWS hit shops last week, with boxes devoted to Alfred Hitchcock and Universal Studios Monsters due in the next few months along with the hi-def debut of Second Disc favorite E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) but at least one classic soundtrack in the form of the premiere release of Henry Mancini’s original film score to the classic Charade.

On November 6, the studio will release their biggest box set yet – a collection of 25 of their most classic films with value-added bonus content. But soundtrack enthusiasts will want to keep an eye on this package for the possibility of exceptionally rare film music. We explain all after the jump.

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Shadow of the Bat: Dark Knight Joins Myriad of Superheroes for La-La Land’s Comic-Con Soundtrack Lineup

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This evening, Preview Night kicks off 2012’s Comic-Con International: San Diego, or as most of us know it, just Comic-Con!  As the years have passed since the very first event in 1970, Comic-Con has broadened its scope from the world of comic books to every possible corner of pop culture, including music.  A number of our friends have set up shop in San Diego, including La-La Land Records at Booth 429 and Shout! Factory at Booth 3849!  Mike’s checking in with a report on some of the special releases premiering this year at Comic-Con!

The figure of Batman, Gotham City’s silent guardian and watchful protector and one of the greatest comic book characters of all time, looms large over pop culture this summer. On July 20, director Christopher Nolan’s final film in his complex Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, hits theatres, with Christian Bale donning the black suit one last time to fight the nefarious Bane (Tom Hardy) eight years after exiling himself after the events of the stunning 2008 film The Dark Knight.

One week prior, the San Diego Convention Center will hold easily the biggest annual event for pop-culture enthusiasts: the San Diego Comic-Con, held from July 12-15, with a Preview Night set for July 11. Not only do fans and collectors descend on the convention grounds to dress in costume, purchase collectibles and unite in film, television and comic geekery, but the creators of said content are out in full force. Artists, writers, actors, directors and other celebrities are on hand to preview the latest and greatest events in the business, and toymakers are hard at work selling exclusive action figures and dolls to an enthusiastic public. With a new Batman film weeks away from release, the Caped Crusader will be on the minds of almost everyone there.

La-La Land Records, arguably the most “geek-friendly” soundtrack label in the business, have been a visible presence at past Comic-Cons, often debuting stellar new titles for sale at the con before unveiling them to the general public. Prior years have seen expansions of Danny Elfman’s iconic score to the 1989 film version of Batman, as well as a mini-box set of scores from Star Trek: The Next Generation, debut on the convention floor. This year, The Dark Knight – and a few other comic-book contemporaries – will figure heavily into the label’s just-announced release plan.

After the jump, have a look at the four recently-announced titles for Comic-Con – as well as a look at some other titles you can expect from the label in the coming months.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 11, 2012 at 09:49

Soundtrack Surplus: Varese, Intrada, La-La Land Announce List of Heavyweights

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Soundtrack fans had a lot of courses to chew on this week, with batches from Intrada and Varese Sarabande landing within mere hours of each other on Monday and Tuesday and a reissue announced for next week by La-La Land Records.

Over at Intrada, fans got to enjoy a new entry in the label’s Special Collection series: Michael Small’s sexy, suspenseful score to The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). Small’s soundtrack is released in full for the first time anywhere, featuring a handful of alternate cues intended for a soundtrack LP that never materialized.

Intrada’s second release is an interesting one: a reissue of the expanded score to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier by Jerry Goldsmith. As you may recall, La-La Land’s expansion of the album, which combined the complete score with the original soundtrack LP and bonus material, was a sellout not long after its limited release in 2010. Paramount apparently requested it be back in print in perpetuity – now, virtually every classic Trek soundtrack reissue of the past few years is now available in unlimited quantities – and so, with only minor changes in artwork, it can boldly go to your collection once more.

Varese dropped a crazy amount of titles on Tuesday, and you can read all about them after the jump!

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“Predator” De-Cloaks Again and More Disney from Intrada

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Intrada’s latest batch of soundtrack releases should be cause for celebration, if you’re not an easily offended fan.

First, and most controversially, the label has announced a second pressing of the score to Alan Silvestri’s score to the 1987 sci-fi/action classic Predator. One of the best soundtrack’s of Silvestri’s mid-to-late-’80s period of greatness (which also saw the scores to gems like Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Predator is a kinetic, rhythmic score that fits perfectly with the tone of the film, the tale of an American Special Forces outfit on a mission in the jungles of South America. The group, led by Col. Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), comes across a more fearsome foe than global terrorists, a stealthy alien hunter who decimates the group with violent traps and weapons.

The Predator score, a fan favorite, was finally released as a limited title by Varese Sarabande in 2003. That edition sold out not long after its release; when Intrada announced another limited reissue (slightly re-edited and remastered) in 2010, it sold out in about a day. This edition, commissioned as an unlimited title by licensor 20th Century Fox and composer Silvestri, features different artwork, minor tweaks in editing at the suggestion of fans, and an additional brief unused cue that appeared on Varese’s edition. Discussion of the merits of this reissue has been heated (a thread at the Film Score Monthly forum has been closed due to uncivil discussion), but this writer maintains that getting the music out to the many people who doubtlessly missed out on both releases is far more important than the sanctity of limited edition status.

But things for Intrada have a Disney-style happy ending in more ways than one, as you’ll find out after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 6, 2012 at 09:02

Soundtrack Round-Up: Intrada Cuts to “The Core,” Music Box Goes “Overboard,” FSM Inches Toward the Finish Line

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With the release of another major holy grail in the world of soundtrack collecting yesterday, it’s worth pointing out another four awesome archival titles that may have been lost in the shuffle this past week.

First, Intrada’s latest batch of catalogue soundtrack releases, announced Monday, bring to light two underrated gems from two very different composers. First up, after years of waiting, is an official release to the score to the 2003 sci-fi cult-classic The Core. Composer Christopher Young, whose eclectic body of work ventures from horror (A Nightmare on Elm Street II: Freddy’s Revenge) to action (Spider-Man 3), wrote an accessible, urgent score that many of his fans consider to be his best. (A powerful effort, indeed, despite a film consistently derided as scientifically implausible.) The two-disc set adds an additional 20 minutes of music than what’s been heard on a composer promotional disc, all mastered from Paramount Pictures’ session master tapes.

The label has also prepped the debut release of Georges Delerue’s score to Rapture, a 1965 drama about a forbidden romance in rural France. A haunting, melodic score  – one of the earliest scores by Delerue that exists in its entirety – the complete score is presented direct from tapes at 20th Century Fox as well as the composer’s personal mono 1/4″ tapes.

Another surprise release comes from French label Music Box Records: the complete score to the 1987 romantic comedy Overboard. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn (a real-life couple since 1983) star in the tale of a carpenter whose spoiled client develops amnesia after falling overboard on her yacht. The carpenter takes advantage of the situation by passing her off as his middle-class wife, and hilarity predictably ensues. The score, composed by legendary composer Alan Silvestri and released for the first time anywhere, is limited to 1,000 copies.

Finally, with all the frenzy for Gremlins from Film Score Monthly yesterday, it was easy to overlook another very exciting release from the label: two unreleased scores for two CBS television pilots composed by two music legends. Nightwatch, originally titled Chicago, Chicago, was a suspenseful drama created by Robert Altman, who had successfully brought to CBS a few similar features on Kraft Suspense Theatre, had a young jazz composer named Johnny Williams provide the scores for both those features and Nightwatch. (The pilot was ultimately never picked up, and later aired in 1968 as part of a one-off anthology. John Williams later composed the scores to Images (1972) and The Long Goodbye (1973) for Altman.) Similarly, a 1971 pilot about a doctor and cop who team up to stop a murderer in Los Angeles, Killer by Night, was not picked up for a series, but featured a jazzy score by the legendary Quincy Jones.

Both scores on this release are largely sourced from 1/4″ mono tapes, mixed with a slight stereo ambience. (The theme and format music from Nightwatch are mixed in pure stereo.) And the set, limited to 3,000 copies, is, sadly, the last releases from both composers for the soon-to-be-retired FSM label.

Details and order info for all the scores above can be found after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 4, 2011 at 16:12