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Archive for the ‘Elmer Bernstein’ Category

Elmer Bernstein’s “Hud,” The Return of “Carrie” Among Latest Trio of Titles from Kritzerland

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It’s been an incredibly busy morning for the Kritzerland label!  While you have the chance to win some of Kritzerland’s best releases of 2012 today only for Second Discmas, the soundtrack specialists have just announced three new limited edition albums to close out the year: a two-fer from Elmer Bernstein and Nathan Van Cleave of Hud and The Lonely Man, respectively, plus another from Alex North and Adolph Deutsch of Hot Spell and The Rainmaker, and finally, a special Encore Edition release of Pino Donaggio’s score to Carrie!  All three titles feature some incredibly rare film music, including a complete alternate recording of Bernstein’s short, unusual score to Hud, and Tennessee Ernie Ford’s rendition of the title song to The Lonely Man.

After the jump: the complete details on all three sets, including pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 21, 2012 at 11:06

The Magnificent Bernstein: “The Rat Race” Premieres on CD

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Elmer Bernstein’s back!

Kritzerland celebrated its landmark 100th release last year with the world premiere of Bernstein’s complete soundtrack to Summer and Smoke, and in 2012, his score to Walt Disney Productions’ The Black Cauldron has seen release from Intrada alongside a reissue of Amazing Grace and Chuck from Varese Sarabande.  Now, Kritzerland is returning with another Bernstein bonanza, his 1960 score to the drama The Rat Race, in a limited edition of 1,200 units.

Garson Kanin (Born Yesterday, Adam’s Rib) adapted his own 1949 Broadway play for director Robert Mulligan’s film version starring Debbie Reynolds and Tony Curtis as “two young hopefuls ready to claw, steal or do anything to get to the top,” according to the movie’s tagline.  Reynolds played Peggy, a dancer, and Curtis portrayed Pete, a musician, and the film chronicled their struggle to survive in the bustling, cutthroat big city.  Reynolds and Curtis were joined by familiar faces including Kay Medford, Norman Fell, and in a standout role, Don Rickles as a menacing club owner.  The Rat Race was Mulligan’s second film, following 1957’s Fear Strikes Out, on which he also teamed with Bernstein, spawning a Kritzerland score album.  Three years after The Rat Race, he would helm To Kill a Mockingbird, with a score, once again, by Elmer Bernstein.

According to Kritzerland’s Bruce Kimmel, Bernstein’s score is “one of Bernstein’s best.”  He adds that “right from the get-go, his electric, jazzy, and spectacular theme grabs you and never lets go.  That theme recurs throughout the score – pulsing with the teeming life of the city, with wailing brass and insistent rhythms.  Some cues keep the big-band jazzy feeling, while others are mournful and tender, as the story requires.”  The style evoked by the composer is even more remarkable in light of the fact that he would also compose the score and theme to a little film called The Magnificent Seven in the same very same year!

There’s more after the jump, including the full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2012 at 13:07

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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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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Intrada Conjures Disney Magic with “The Black Cauldron”

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Here’s a real treat for Disney fans coming from their co-branded series wit Intrada Records: the premiere release of Elmer Bernstein’s original score to the studio’s controversial animated feature The Black Cauldron.

Based on the Welsh mythology-inspired fantasy series The Chronicles of PrydainCauldron is the tale of Taran, a young pig-keeper embarks on adventure to save his home from the fearsome Horned King and his armies of the undead. As Joe explained it in our Disney/Intrada wishlist post (by the way, that’s three scores from our post that have now been released!), Cauldron arguably marked the lowest point in Disney feature animation. At the time the most expensive animated film ever made, The Black Cauldron was a costly failure. Audiences stayed away from this dark, intense fantasy which controversially earned the studio its first PG rating ever for an animated film. It collapsed under the weight of its own ambition: Cauldron was the first Disney film since Sleeping Beauty to be shot in 70 mm, boasted the studio’s first-ever use of groundbreaking CGI and boasted advances in surround sound.

One thing the film had going for it, though, was Elmer Bernstein’s sweeping score. The veteran composer lent his typical orchestral flourishes to a score equally inspired by his spate of scores for the sci-fi/fantasy genre, then most recently the off-the-wall soundtrack to Ghostbusters. Perhaps due to the film’s box-office failure, the soundtrack got short shrift on home media: a half-hour of re-recorded cues performed by Bernstein with the Utah Symphony Orchestra was released by Varese Sarabande alongside the film, and re-released on iTunes by Disney in 2007.

Now, though, Intrada presents the complete, original score as heard in the film, remastered from the original elements and produced by Disney soundtrack guru Randy Thornton. It’s 75 minutes of music with a new package featuring liner notes by Jeff Bond and rare behind-the-scenes photos from the film and scoring sessions. It looks to be a hit for Disney fanatics who’ve doubtlessly paid a pretty penny for the original soundtrack LP and CD. Hit the jump to order your copy now!

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 3, 2012 at 10:03

The Sixth Day of Second Discmas

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Well, Week 2 of Second Discmas is in high gear, and here at Second Disc HQ, we can’t get enough of the great music of the silver screen and the Great White Way!  Today, we’re sharing the immortal music of Hollywood and Broadway with you!

Thanks to our fantastic friends at Kritzerland, we have two amazing prize packs for you today!

Our “Screen” pack is a triple-threat of soundtrack classics, including two from the legendary Elmer Bernstein!  From Bernstein’s pen comes the Original Soundtrack Recording of 1957’s Drango, as well as Kritzerland’s landmark 100th release, the expanded Original Soundtrack of 1961’s Summer and Smoke!  The third treat in this set is Francis Lai’s mesmerizing score to Another Man, Another Chance (1977)!

For our musical theatre buffs, our “Stage” pack is a duo you won’t want to miss!  I wrote of Kritzerland’s 2010 remix – reinvention, really – of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s Promises, Promises: “A real revelation!  I’m usually hesitant to use [that word] as it’s a mite hyperbolic. But this completely remixed version of the album (from the edited eight-track session masters), produced by Kimmel, mixed by John Adams and mastered by Nelson, is worthy of any and all plaudits sent its way. The remix allows the score to be heard anew…Listening to it, I actually felt as if I was in the Shubert Theatre, circa 1968.”  And now the single-disc score, completely remixed and remastered, can be yours!  Promises is joined by the soundtrack to a movie about the making of a musical: the deliciously bawdy The First Nudie Musical!  Not only is the delightfully wacky soundtrack completely remastered and expanded, but your CD has been autographed by the 1975 film’s star, producer, director, composer and lyricist, Bruce Kimmel!

You can win these prizes by e-mailing us (theseconddisc (at) gmail (dot) com)!  Just be sure to include your name, city and state in your email, and put “Second Discmas” in the subject line, along with your pick of “Stage” or “Screen.”

But that’s not your only way to win!  You can also “like” this post as it appears on Facebook or retweet the post on Twitter!  Drawings for Kritzerland’s Broadway and Hollywood classics must be received by Wednesday, December 21, at 3:00 p.m. EST.  But if you enter today’s drawing and aren’t a winner, don’t worry!  You’ll automatically be entered in all the rest of the Second Discmas contests!

Don’t forget to check back each day this week for more prizes, and be sure to tune in to Kritzerland’s irreverent new web series, Outside the Box, for a fresh and funny look at a very offbeat theatre company!

Written by Joe Marchese

December 20, 2011 at 15:03

“Looking Good, La-La Land.” “Feeling Good, The Second Disc.”

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As previously reported, La-La Land Records’ newest release is the premiere of Elmer Bernstein’s score to the classic comedy Trading Places, available as of yesterday.

One of the most fondly remembered films of the 1980s, Trading Places is the story of a rich banker (Dan Aykroyd) conned by his bosses to lose everything as part of a “social experiment” to switch a rich man with a poor man and observe the results. The poor man who assumes Aykroyd’s life is a street hustler played by Eddie Murphy – but once he wises up to the scheme, the pair team up to get back at their bosses with hilarious results.

Bernstein, who’d score some great comedies in the ’80s (Airplane!, Stripes¡Three Amigos! and Ghostbusters, to name a few), was in top form on this one, classing up the soundtrack with elegant cues, a handful of which are based on Mozart’s classic Le nozze di Figaro. Every note is contained on this CD, including regular score cues, source material and alternates, 27 tracks in all.

This set, limited to 2,000 copies, is yours to order today, at far less than the cost of frozen concentrated orange juice shares. Full details are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 12, 2011 at 12:42

Friday Feature: “An American Werewolf in London”

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In 1941, the werewolf mythology gained an iconic set of lines in the Universal horror classic The Wolf Man: “Even a man who is pure at heart/and says his prayers by night/May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms/and the autumn moon is bright.” Forty years later, from the same studio, a less delicate line was added to the lycanthrope canon: “I will not be threatened by a walking meat loaf!”

Such is the tone of An American Werewolf in London, one of the best horror-comedies of the past few decades. It’s rare that a movie can strike such a perfect balance of laughs and screams, but AWiL has them in spades. With Halloween coming up – and the film’s 30th anniversary having occurred this past August – The Second Disc triumphantly brings back the Friday Feature for a look back at this classic film, and the interesting musical history that surrounds the film, as well.

Beware the moon after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 7, 2011 at 14:05

Bernstein Bonanza: Intrada Goes On A “Rampage,” It’s “Summer” at Kritzerland, and La-La Land is “Trading Places”

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If Elmer Bernstein had only composed the indelible theme to The Magnificent Seven, the composer would have been considered a legend.  How lucky for us, then, that Bernstein (1922-2004) wrote the scores for more than 200 films and television shows including Sweet Smell of Success, The Ten Commandments, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Airplane! and Ghostbusters, contributing memorable themes to each.  The music of Bernstein has been incredibly well-represented on compact disc this year.  Kritzerland has been leading the charge with Drango, Kings Go Forth, The Tin Star, Fear Strikes Out and Men in War all recently reissued.  Film Score Monthly delivered The Great Santini just last month.  Not to be outdone, La-La Land and Intrada both have Bernstein on tap, and Kritzerland is returning to the Elmer ouevre for its landmark 100th release!

Now available for pre-order from Intrada is the 1963 score to the Warner Bros. adventure Rampage.  Directed by Phil Karlson, Rampage starred Robert Mitchum and Jack Hawkins as two hunters enlisted to track down a rare breed of panther in the wild of Malaysia.  Elsa Martinelli and Sabu, plus a passel of rhinos and jungle cats, joined them!  Rampage offered Bernstein the opportunity to write sweeping love themes, propulsive action cues and even a title song!  This is prime Bernstein, written during the same fertile period that produced The Great Escape and To Kill a Mockingbird.  The packed compact disc offers the complete score and an array of bonus material, clocking in at 78 minutes.  Producer Lukas Kendall of Film Score Monthly has created the album from the original mint condition mono scoring session masters.  Jeff Bond supplies the new liner notes.  Rampage, an Intrada Special Collection title, is available for pre-order now!

Two years before Rampage, Bernstein scored the Paramount film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ stage play Summer and Smoke.  Though unsuccessful in its 1948 Broadway premiere, Williams’ drama was critically reappraised when Jose Quintero revived it four years later at the Circle in the Square Theater, then at the vanguard of the young off-Broadway scene.  Geraldine Page starred in Quintero’s production, and in 1961 was tapped to recreate her stage triumph for the inevitable film version.  With Page starring opposite Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate), Peter Glenville’s film received Academy Award nominations for both Page and co-star Una Merkel as well as Best Art Direction – Best Set Direction and one for Best Original Score.  Bernstein’s memorable theme captured the essence of Williams’ haunted dramatis personae , “a swirling, sinuous, delirious melody” in the words of reissue producer Bruce Kimmel.  For its Kritzerland debut, Summer and Smoke has been expanded to over 77 minutes’ length, more than twice as long as the original RCA Victor soundtrack LP.  Kritzerland had access to two rolls of 1/2′ three-track masters that were sent by Paramount to RCA Victor at the time of the film’s release.  And for reference, Kimmel also had the complete scoring sessions archived from 35mm scoring mag on 2′ tape in the Paramount vaults.  This deluxe presentation is sequenced in film order, with a section of bonus cues including the Glorious Hill band music, a source cue and even the original album versions.  The CD premiere of the complete Summer and Smoke is a limited edition of 1,500 and is available now for pre-order at Kritzerland.  It’s scheduled to ship the second week of November, but pre-orders average an arrival of four weeks early!

Hit the jump to find yourself Trading Places! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 6, 2011 at 09:07

A Salute to Heroes: Elmer Bernstein’s “Men in War” Rediscovered On CD

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When he was 35, it was a very good year.

The “he” is Elmer Bernstein, the year is 1957.  The prolific composer managed to create five unique scores for five motion pictures that year – Sweet Smell of Success, Men in War, Fear Strikes Out, The Tin Star, and Drango.  The Kritzerland label has already brought the last three of those titles to CD over the past months, and now Men in War is on the docket, too!  (Not that Mr. Bernstein has been ignored elsewhere.  A film of a later vintage, 1979’s The Great Santini, received a first-ever soundtrack release this year from Film Score Monthly.)

The Anthony Mann-directed film starred Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray and told a story that was then very recent.  Taking place on September 6, 1950 during the Korean War, Men in War was an unflinching look at a platoon of foot soldiers separated from their division.  Bosley Crowther in The New York Times opined, “It appears that the underlying purpose of [producer] Sidney Harmon’s new film, Men in War, is to show that the famous observation of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was justified. War, in this low-budget picture, which came to the Capitol yesterday, is brutal and agonizing. It is unequivocal hell.”  Although he was ultimately unfavorable towards the film, he gets across the black-and-white film’s stark depiction of the horrors of war.

Men in War was originally released on the Imperial Records label in mono, although a simulated stereo release also appeared.  The Kritzerland edition restores Bernstein’s score to its original mono, remastered from the original album master from Capitol/EMI.  Men in War is limited to 1,000 copies, and is scheduled to ship the second week of October, but pre-orders from the label usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  Men in War is available for $19.98 plus shipping and handling.  After the jump, you’ll find the press release as well as the track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 12, 2011 at 09:55