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Keeping Score with New Releases by Intrada and Kritzerland

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isc262Front_out.inddThe last few weeks have seen some great catalogue soundtracks released, including a set of LPs from a beloved Golden Age composer and a pair of heavy hitters at 20th Century-Fox.

Last week saw Intrada release two score titles. The first is the world premiere of Maurice Jarre’s score to Distant Thunder, from the 1988 John Lithgow-Ralph Macchio film about a Vietnam War veteran uneasily returning to his family after a decade spent in the American wilderness. Jarre’s small-scale electronic ensemble balances the tentativeness of Lithgow and Macchio’s burgeoning father-son relationship with sudden bursts representing the fear and violence that Lithgow’s Mark Lambert so often lived with.

Elsewhere, Intrada unleashes no less than six albums on three discs from acclaimed composer Elmer Bernstein’s tenure on the MGM-distributed label Ava Records. Recorded and released between 1962 and 1965, The Ava Collection features original soundtrack albums from such classics as The CarpetbaggersTo Kill a Mockingbird and Walk on the Wild Side, as well as a compilation of stray movie and television themes by Bernstein. Not only is this the first collection of all six of these releases, it’s also the first time all six of them have been mastered from the original first generation stereo masters! This mix of quality and quantity make it a must-have for not only Bernstein fans, but for fans of great ’60s film scoring.

KL_oHenry_Irish_CoverFin72Last, but certainly not least, Kritzerland uncovers two classics from the scoring sessions of 20th Century-Fox: Alfred Newman’s O. Henry’s Full House (1952) and Cyril Holdridge’s The Luck of the Irish (1948). Full House is quite an interesting picture: five adaptations of short stories by the popular American author, including “The Last Leaf,” “The Ransom of Red Chief” and the enduring “The Gift of the Magi” – all put on by five different directors and five different casts (including Charles Laughton, Marilyn Monroe, Farley Granger and others) and narrated by John Steinbeck, in a rare film appearance. Newman’s five mini-scores, ably arranged by Ken Darby, are treats for any fan of his work. Full House is paired with the score to The Luck of the Irish, a fantasy about a man (Tyrone Power) torn between his wealthy fiancé in New York and a beautiful stranger he met on the Emerald Isle. His journey is guided by Cecil Kellaway as Horace, an honest-to-goodness leprechaun he also makes the acquaintance of.

The Kritzerland two-fer is limited to 1,000 copies, while the Intrada sets are available “while quantities and interest remain.” Make your orders and check out the track lists after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 25, 2014 at 12:31

Kritzerland Requests The Pleasure of Your Company For Classic Newman Score

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Pleasure of His CompanyFilm legend Alfred Newman – that’s “Brother” to Lionel and Emil Newman, “Uncle Al” to Randy Newman, and “Dad” to Thomas and David Newman! – has long had a home at the Kritzerland label.  2013 alone has seen Kritzerland release Newman’s scores to Leave Her to Heaven (paired with his Take Care of My Little Girl) and How Green Was My Valley, and now, those titles are being followed up by another CD premiere release which is now available for pre-order.

Director George Seaton’s The Pleasure of His Company was scored by Newman at Paramount Pictures in 1961 following his departure from longtime home 20th Century Fox one year earlier.  The starry comedy featured Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds, Lilli Palmer and Tab Hunter and was based on Samuel Taylor and Cornelia Otis Skinner’s 1958 play of the same name.  Astaire played “Pogo” Poole, the absentee father of debutante Jessica (Reynolds) who returns in time for the wedding of his daughter to cattle rancher Roger Henderson (Hunter).  Par for the course in a frothy comedy, Poole’s arrival causes all kinds of trouble – particularly when sparks fly between him and ex-wife Katharine (Palmer), much to the dismay of her second husband (Gary Merrill).  Astaire picked up a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Pogo.

Newman was a natural choice to score the picture, as he had collaborated with director Seaton on numerous earlier films including Chicken Every Sunday, The Big Lift, For Heaven’s Sake and Anything Can Happen.  Their partnership would continue onto Seaton’s next Paramount film, The Counterfeit Traitor, as well.  CD producer Bruce Kimmel asserts of Newman’s score for The Pleasure, “It’s hard to imagine a more luscious, melodic, beguiling, and captivating romantic comedy score than what Newman delivered,” and he singles out the “stunning” theme “Lullaby in Blue,” which recurs throughout the movie.  Kimmel continues, “The main secondary theme occurs soon thereafter, Newman’s Pleasure of His Company theme. There’s a wonderful theme for Astaire, a kind of ‘traveling music’ that is infectious and fun. And there are other lovely themes along the way to the happy ending. The score is like a sparkling glass of champagne – sophisticated, lush, witty, tender and pure Newman.”

Read more after the jump!  Plus: the pre-order link and track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2013 at 15:33

Kritzerland Expands Scores by Goldsmith and Newman

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KL_Breakheart_Cov600x600Kritzerland strikes gold with another pair of archival soundtracks, released earlier today. One is a resurrected reissue of a Jerry Goldsmith score – the label’s first – and the other pairs two scores by Alfred Newman on one disc, one expanded and the other never before released.

Breakheart Pass was a hearty Western adventure starring Charles Bronson as an undercover agent attempting to uncover a villainous plot aboard a steam train hurtling toward an Army post. Alistair MacLean of The Guns of Navarone fame adapted his own novel for the screenplay, and Goldsmith, reuniting with 100 Rifles director Tom Gries, was in typical fine form, creating a kinetic, richly thematic score. It’s one that sold out once before for La-La Land Records in 2006, and this pressing, featuring some unreleased material including a film edit of one cue and an action piece sourced from the film’s music and effects track, will be as sure to please.

KL_LeaveHeaven_600x600Bruce Kimmel and company also present two of Alfred Newman’s many soundtracks for 20th Century-Fox on one disc. 1945’s Leave Her to Heaven, based on the best-selling novel by Ben Ames Williams, was a smash for Fox, the studio’s highest-grossing picture of the decade. Gene Tierney earned an Oscar nomination for her turn as a femme fatale who’ll do anything to keep her husband’s attention focused solely on her. Featuring Oscar-winning Technicolor cinematography, Leave Her to Heaven benefits from a beautiful underscore by Newman, which was partially released by Film Score Monthly in 2000 alongside Newman’s Oscar-nominated music to All About Eve. The Kritzerland presentation uses newly-discovered first generation elements for nearly every track for the best possible sound quality, and pairs the score with a decidedly lighter, unreleased one, 1951’s Take Care of My Little Girl. (The films do possess some common ground, with a co-starring turn by Jeanne Crain and a shared source cue, “Marie (in the Middle of a Night in June).”)

The discs will ship the third week of May, but preorders placed at Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks early. Both sets are limited to 1,000 copies at $19.98 apiece plus shipping, and are selling at Kritzerland now! Hit the jump to get yours!

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 15, 2013 at 17:52

Release Round-Up: Week of April 2

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Alexander O'Neal vinylThe S.O.S. Band / Cherrelle / Alexander O’Neal, “Tabu Reborn” Vinyl Editions (Wave 1) (Tabu/Edsel)

The start of a lengthy reissue campaign from Demon Music Group, these are 180-gram vinyl reissues of The S.O.S. Band’s III (1982), Cherrelle’s 1984 debut Fragile, and Alexander O’Neal’s self-titled debut from 1985. Expanded editions of these albums come out on CD next week, followed by a great many more waves of product throughout 2013 and into 2014!

S.O.S. Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Cherrelle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alexander O’Neal: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Martha and The Vandellas Singles CollectionThe Four Tops / Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collections (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Two new lavish sets collect all the single sides worldwide by two of Motown’s most underrated vocal groups – and in the case of Martha & The Vandellas, there’s a bonus disc of unreleased “lost and found” content to enjoy, too!

Four Tops: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mad Season - AboveMad Season, Above: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

This short-lived grunge supergroup, featuring Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley and members of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees, only put out one record, but it’s been expanded as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring unreleased tracks (with vocals by Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan) and live audiovisual content. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Born Under a Bad SignAlbert King, Born Under a Bad Sign: Expanded Edition (Stax/Concord)

One of the Memphis’ label’s most celebrated blues albums is remastered and expanded with five unreleased alternate takes! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

David Gates - Early YearsDavid Gates, The Early Years: The Early Songwriting Genius of David Gates (Rare Rockin’)

Before leading Bread, Gates was a talented singer-songwriter whose early works were covered by a myriad of vocalists – many of which are making their CD debuts on this compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Simple Minds CelebrateSimple Minds, Celebrate: The Greatest Hits (Virgin/EMI)

As the ’80s hitmakers embark on a new tour, this new hits compilation – available in double and triple-disc variants – was made available in the U.K. last week. (A U.S. release is reportedly slated for later this spring.)

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

RKivesRilo Kiley, RKives (Little Record Company)

A collection of rare and unreleased material from the now-defunct L.A. band.

Margaret Whiting - Wheel of HurtChet Atkins with The Boston Pops, The Pops Goes Country/The Pops Goes West / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 24: Cow Palace, Daly City, CA – 3/23/1974 / Tom Jans, Take Heart/Tom Jans / Barbara & Ernie, Prelude To… / Steve Lawrence, Winners!/On a Clear Day / Don Nix, Living by the Days / Eydie Gorme & The Trio Los Panchos, Amor/More Amor / Margaret Whiting, The Wheel of Hurt: Deluxe Edition Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore/Pop Country / Alfred Newman, The Diary of Anne Frank: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The latest wares from Real Gone: plenty of two-fers, a rare Alfred Newman soundtrack, a new Dead reissue and expanded works from country-pop singer Margaret Whiting.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mills MercilessJerry Butler, Love’s on the Mend/Suite for the Single Girl / Stephanie Mills, Merciless: Expanded Edition / Donna Washington, Going for the Glow: Expanded Edition / Nancy Wilson, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/Now I’m a Woman (SoulMusic)

A slew of great titles from SoulMusic are out this week, including a Stephanie Mills album produced by the late Phil Ramone. Check out the above post for details.

Jerry Butler: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Stephanie Mills: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Donna Washington: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Nancy Wilson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Anita WardCaston and Majors, Caston and Majors / Fern Kinney, Groove Me / Arthur Prysock, All My Life / Anita Ward, Songs of Love (Big Break)

And the latest expanded titles from Big Break include some Motown and T.K. rarities, including Anita Ward’s megahit “Ring My Bell.”

Caston and Majors: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Fern Kinney: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Arthur Prysock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Anita Ward: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Judy Garland CreationsJudy Garland, Creations 1929-1962 (JSP)

A four-disc U.K.-only compilation of “the songs that Judy Garland sang first.” (Amazon U.K.)  U.S. customers may order at CD Universe or Collectors’ Choice Music for April 9 release.

eagles_boxEagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (Elektra/Rhino)

Every one of the California hitmakers’ original studio albums, in a handy slipcase. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Kritzerland Goes “Green” with Broadway’s “A Time For Singing” and Vintage Newman Score

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A Time for Singing - OBC

Kritzerland is going Green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  Richard Llewellyn’s 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley was an immediate sensation, winning the 1940 National Book Award and attracting Hollywood’s attention.  Set in South Wales, the story of the Morgan family’s struggles during the reign of Queen Victoria struck a chord with readers and spawned three sequels and numerous adaptations.  The 1941 Twentieth Century Fox film version, directed by John Ford, is certainly the most notable.  But theatre music fans have long held a soft spot for the 1966 Broadway musical adaptation, retitled A Time for Singing.  Kritzerland has pulled off a coup with today’s reissue of both Alfred Newman’s soundtrack for the 1941 film and John Morris and Gerald Freedman’s score for A Time for Singing.

The Academy Award-winning film How Green Was My Valley starred Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp and Roddy McDowall in the pivotal role of Huw Morgan.  It’s a mark of the movie’s success that it beat out Citizen Kane for Best Picture that year, winning four other Oscars (including one for director John Ford) and receiving five additional nominations, including one for Alfred Newman’s majestic score.  As reissue producer Bruce Kimmel describes, the score “is simply one brilliant cue after another, each capturing the humanity and warmth of the characters, setting the mood, underscoring the drama and pathos and humor as only Alfred Newman could.”

The out-of-print 1993 CD from Fox and Arista Records contained much of the score, but was incomplete.  Kritzerland’s reissue is a significant upgrade, derived from the studio’s archival ¼” rolls made in the 1980s off the first generation optical film and was newly restored, mixed and assembled.  This allowed for the “opening up” of many of the cues that had previously been combined together.  Most of the cues were recorded with separate close-up and long-shot perspectives, creating a stereo image.  Kritzerland’s reissue presents the score in chronological order, with mono and stereo tracks indexed separately, and the label promises improved sound on all but the main and end titles which were available only in pre-existing quality.  The end title has been included in stereo without its original vocal as a bonus track.  The restored edition of Alfred Newman’s lush score to How Green Was My Valley is limited to 1,000 copies, and CDs are slated to ship the last week of April though pre-orders frequently arrive four weeks early.

After the jump: it’s A Time for Singing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 15, 2013 at 09:26

No April Fool: Real Gone Announces Packed Line-Up For Month with Grateful Dead, Whiting, Jans, Atkins, More

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Margaret Whiting - Wheel of Hurt

April is known for showers, so why shouldn’t Real Gone Music shower collectors with a big line-up encompassing not just some super-rare rock and soul, but also country, film soundtracks, pop vocals and even crossover classical?  Nine releases, all due on April 2, run the gamut for this busy label.

Don NixOn the rock front, fans will likely snap up the first-time domestic CD release of the 1971 solo album by Memphis music legend Don Nix.  Featuring the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Living by the Days was originally released on the Elektra label.  Nix, who began his career playing saxophone with the Mar-Keys, went on to play a major role behind the scenes at Stax while also finding time to work with a “Who’s Who” including Leon Russell, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Isaac Hayes. For Living by the Days, the composer/arranger/musician was joined by Donald “Duck” Dunn, Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett.  Real Gone’s reissue of this lost southern soul classic, with flourishes of both folk and gospel, recreates the original release’s gatefold artwork and adds new notes by music historian Colin Escott.

Barbara and Ernie - Prelude ToFrom the same year, Real Gone is reissuing the funk-soul-rock-folk stew Barbara & Ernie: Prelude To… This unusual LP, first issued on Cotillion, paired guitarist Ernie Calabria and soul singer Barbara Massey.  Calabria had played on sessions for Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Anita Carter, while Massey had shared the microphone with Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Cat Stevens.  Real Gone describes this lost album as a “funky, folky, psychedelic soul gem graced with a stellar list of sidemen (e.g. Joe Beck and Keith Jarrett) that vanished without a trace in the more stratified world of early ’70s music retail.”  Calabria and Massey’s talents were enhanced by the orchestrations of Brazil’s Eumir Deodato, whose credits prior to his own solo breakthrough included arrangements for Wes Montgomery, Astrud Gilberto and Frank Sinatra.  The repertoire on Prelude consists of originals plus a cover of the Great Society/Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.”  Real Gone’s release marks its first legitimate release on CD, with liner notes written by Pat Thomas.

After the jump: Tom Jans, Grateful Dead, Margaret Whiting and more!  Plus: pre-order links to all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 21, 2013 at 09:53

That Was “Laura”: Classic Soundtrack Arrives on CD as Film Debuts on Blu-ray

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Laura OSTGoodbye, Laura.  Goodbye, my love…

Director Otto Preminger’s 1944 film Laura remains one of the film noir dramas against which all others will be measured, the rare picture that transcended its troubled behind-the-scenes production to become an all-time classic.  All the elements came together, from the cast (Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Prince, Judith Anderson) to the screenplay by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Elizabeth Reinhardt (based on Vera Caspary’s novel) to, memorably, the score by David Raksin.   The Academy Award-winning film makes it Blu-ray debut today, February 5, from 20th Century Fox, and Kritzerland is marking the occasion with the first-ever release of the complete score to Laura.

Laura was one of the earliest scores penned by Philadelphia-born David Raksin, who began his film career assisting Charlie Chaplin with the music of Modern Times.  Raksin’s monothematic score was built around his haunting melody that, in 1945, became the song “Laura” with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.  “Laura” is said to be one of the most-recorded popular songs in history, with recordings having been made by everybody from Frank Sinatra to Seth MacFarlane (!).  Raksin found the perfect musical expression for the story of beautiful Laura Hunt (Tierney), whose murder is being investigated by detective Mark McPherson (Andrews).  Clifton Webb, as the foppish newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker, has many of the film’s best bon mots: “I should be sincerely sorry to see my neighbor’s children devoured by wolves” or “I don’t use a pen; I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.”  Following numerous twists and turns in the plot, Webb utters the famous farewell, “Goodbye, Laura.  Goodbye, my love…”

Kritzerland’s edition differs from all past releases of the score to Laura.  Hit the jump for all of the details as well as for order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 5, 2013 at 10:19

On the Fifth Day of Second Discmas…

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Christmas Kritzerland Fb banner

Here at The Second Disc, the holiday season is the perfect time to do what we love to do best: share the gift of music. For the second year in a row, we have we reached out to some of our favorite reissue labels and we’ve teamed with them to play Santa Claus to our awesome and faithful readers. It’s called – what else? – Second Discmas, and it’s going on now through Christmas!

The fifth day of Second Discmas is a celebration of all things stage and screen!  We’re offering two amazing gift sets from our friends at the Kritzerland label, a torch-bearer for film scores from Hollywood’s Golden Age as well as classic Broadway musicals.

The first prize pack features producer Bruce Kimmel’s entertaining new memoir Album Produced By…,  joined by (what else?) two albums produced by Bruce Kimmel: the revelatory remix and remaster of Stephen Sondheim’s seminal Follies: The Original Broadway Cast Recording; and Bruce’s latest album and one sure to be a holiday staple, Sandy Bainum’s This Christmas!

For fans of the silver screen, Kritzerland has also created a prize pack with two rare and out-of-print selections from its catalogue plus one title celebrating a recently departed legend.  The label’s latest sell-out, an Alfred Newman two-fer of Love is a Many-Splendored Thing and The Seven Year Itch, can no longer be purchased from Kritzerland, but it can be YOURS!  Ditto for the amazing expansion of Henry Mancini’s ravishing and unique score to The Molly Maguires!  Lastly, the late Marvin Hamlisch can be remembered with his captivating soundtrack to Romantic Comedy!

How can you make these prizes yours? Click on the graphic up top to head over to Contest Central for the complete rules! And there’s still more great free music coming your way, only at The Second Disc!

Written by Joe Marchese

December 21, 2012 at 10:15

The Splendor of Alfred Newman: “Love” and “The Seven Year Itch” Due on CD

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The music of Alfred Newman’s son Thomas will resound at theatres in the United States this Friday with his score to the blockbuster-in-the-making James Bond film Skyfall.  But what better time to revisit two classic scores from Thomas’ dad, perhaps the all-time dean of the film score?  Following its recent restoration of Alfred’s score to 1951’s David and Bathsheba, the Kritzerland label is turning its attention to two more famous titles from the vast 20th Century Fox library, both from 1955: the romantic drama Love is a Many Splendored Thing and the comical romp The Seven Year Itch.

Adapted by John Patrick from Han Suyin’s autobiographical novel A Many-Splendoured Thing, director Henry King’s film starred William Holden and Jennifer Jones as interracial lovers facing society’s prejudices.  The film was not only a financial and critical success, but received a boatload of Academy Award nominations – eight, to be exact.  It picked up three, including one for its memorable title song by Paul Francis Webster and Sammy Fain, and one for the dramatic score of Alfred Newman.  The sweepingly romantic score by Newman incorporated variations on the Fain/Webster song as well as lush themes crafted by composer/conductor Newman himself.  Love is a Many-Splendored Thing has long been regarded as a highlight in a career filled to the brim with remarkable accomplishments, and you’ll hear why on Kritzerland’s new reissue.  Newman’s score was previously released on CD by Varese Sarabande, but it’s been spruced up for this release.  It’s been fully remastered, and two source cues (one by another Kritzerland favorite, Leigh Harline) have been removed from the main sequence and instead added to the end of the album as bonus tracks.

After the jump: The Seven Year Itch arrives on CD for the first time!  Plus: the track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 7, 2012 at 10:28

Monday at the Movies: Mancini, Williams, Newman and Jones Revisited, Plus Disney Expands “Cinderella” in “Lost Chords” Series

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It’s not quite time yet for the long goodbye to new announcements for 2012, but for Quartet Records, it is time for The Long Goodbye.  John Williams’ score to Robert Altman’s 1973 film leads off another group of essential new buys for soundtrack fans and collectors.  Quartet is pairing The Long Goodbye with a late-period Henry Mancini classic, the score to Blake Edwards’ 1988 comedy-western Sunset.  But that’s not all.  Kritzerland has a true “wow” release with a gloriously restored stereo premiere soundtrack to Alfred Newman’s score for the 1951 epic David and Bathsheba.  Varese Sarabande has just unearthed a rather unusual album involving both Quincy Jones and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Walt Disney Records is preparing an expanded edition of the score to Walt Disney’s animated classic, Cinderella.  Whew!  Welcome to Monday at the Movies!

David and Bathsheba wasn’t only epic on screen; the Darryl F. Zanuck production for 20th Century Fox also did epic business upon its initial release.  The recipient of five Academy Award nominations and $7 million in domestic box-office rentals, it became not only the biggest-grossing film in Fox history to that date, but also the top box-office draw for any studio the entire year of 1951.  Henry King directed from a script by Phillip Dunne, and Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward starred as the titular lovers.  The passionate story required stirring, sweeping themes, and they were provided by Fox’s in-house legend, Alfred Newman.  In just 11 years at Fox (out of an eventual 20), Newman had already racked up eleven years into his four Academy Awards and another twenty-four nominations for his scores, and his contributions to David and Bathsheba did not go unnoticed by the critics.

Newman’s David and Bathsheba was previously released on CD by Intrada in a 55-minute presentation from the best sources available at the time: optical mono tracks and transcription discs, plus one stereo bonus track.  That was 2005.  Fast-forward to the present day.  The complete stereo tracks have been discovered and prepared for an unforgettable, 78-minute sonic experience from Kritzerland.  According to the label, “those [stereo] tracks, in superb condition, were lovingly transferred and aligned resulting in a breathtaking stereo presentation, perhaps one of the best-sounding recordings of any score of this vintage.  It is, in a word, spectacular.  For fans of biblical film music, music of the Golden Age of film scoring, and one of the greatest film composers of all time, the CD is a must.”  ‘Nuff said, friends.  David and Bathsheba is a 1,500-copy limited edition and can be pre-ordered now, directly from Kritzerland.  It’s due by the third week of October, but pre-orders from the label usually arrive one to five weeks earlier than the announced date.

The Long Goodbye (a 1,000-copy edition from Quartet) marks the first complete release of John Williams’ score to the Raymond Chandler-inspired film starring Elliot Gould as Philip Marlowe.  It’s one of Williams’ most unusual efforts, as Altman requested that one adaptable single theme be crafted for use in numerous different versions.   Hence, “The Long Goodbye” is presented as a vocal pop tune, a tango, a blues, a love theme, a “hippie” version on sitar and even a mariachi-flecked Mexican interpretation!

Despite its adventurous nature (or perhaps because of it!), no album of The Long Goodbye was released at the time of the film, and a 45 RPM single slated for release was shelved.  Finally, in 2004, Varese Sarabande premiered 23 minutes of highlights accompanying “Johnny” Williams’ music for Fitzwilly.  For Quartet’s new edition, a number of sources were employed.  A search of the MGM vaults revealed two tapes containing new versions of the theme: an alternate by Dave Grusin, a jazz piano version by Williams himself, and some takes from the underscore. To present the completed score, Quartet then turned to two different 35 mm magnetic music stems in mono for the remaining cues. Finally, a trio of bonus tracks rounds out the album: an ad-lib vocal from singer Clydie King, a rehearsal of the beach house party chorus with Jack Riley and King singing with the crowd, and a rehearsal of the solo violin for “Tango Version.”   Quartet’s complete edition of The Long Goodbye features a new, 24-page booklet with liner notes penned by Randall D. Larson.

Henry Mancini’s score to Sunset marked one of the composer’s final collaborations with Blake Edwards, the writer and director with whom he began one of the longest associations in Hollywood history with 1958’s theme to Peter Gunn.  Bruce Willis, James Garner, Malcolm McDowell and Mariel Hemingway starred in Edwards’ fantastic fable about a 1920s movie star meeting up with cowboy hero Wyatt Earp.  Mancini supplied a lush, symphonic score, one of his rare forays into the western genre.  The diverse cues touch on action, suspense, adventure and romance, and Mancini even provided the period-appropriate source music.  Like The Long Goodbye, no soundtrack album was issued for Sunset, so Quartet’s 2,000-copy limited edition marks its first appearance in any audio format.  Packed with additional music and bonus tracks, Sunset is a deluxe edition befitting a triumphant, if criminally unknown, score.  Daniel Schweiger provides liner notes in the 16-page booklet.

After the jump: from Q to Uncle Walt! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 11:32