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Archive for the ‘Michael Giacchino’ Category

Varese Treks “Into Darkness” for Latest Expanded Score

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Star Trek Into DarknessLast week, Varese Sarabande boldly went with yet another deluxe edition of a Star Trek soundtrack: the most recent film, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, featuring music composed by Michael Giacchino.

Following 2009’s astounding film reboot, Into Darkness pits Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the crew of the USS Enterprise against a rogue Federation officer, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), part of a traitorous plot to engage in a war with the Klingon Empire. We won’t spoil the by-now obvious twist if you’ve not seen it, but Harrison is not who he seems – one of the Federation’s most formidable foes, whose power drives Kirk to his limits as captain.

Like its predecessor, Into Darkness featured a stirring score from Oscar winner Giacchino, featuring a propulsive original theme for the series as well as nods to Alexander Courage’s original series theme tune. Initially released as a brief 44-minute soundtrack, the deluxe edition of the sequel score, limited to 6,000 copies and packaged similarly to the expansion of the 2009 film, expands the offering to two hours!

As always, full specs and a link to order from the label are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 4, 2014 at 13:33

Magic in a Box: Decades of Disney Compiled on New Set

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Disney ClassicsA new box set released today chronicles the musical legacy of The Walt Disney Company with a variety that hasn’t been seen in quite awhile. The new Disney Classics celebrates nearly every medium of entertainment the animation studio-turned-film-titan has dabbled in, from film and television to revolutionary theme park attractions.

Disney Classics is touted in a press release as being released in honor of 90 years of musical history as it pertains to the work of Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966). However accurate that might be – Disney’s most meaningful musical contributions really began 85 years ago, when Mickey Mouse whistled a jaunty tune while piloting Steamboat Willie down the river – it’s hard to argue the studio’s contribution to popular song in the 20th century. Virtually any child of any generation can probably commit one Disney song to memory, whether it’s the endlessly singable Mickey Mouse Club theme or the showstopping, Broadway-esque numbers written for animated features in the late ’80s and early ’90s. And while there’s no shortage of beautiful sound to treasure onscreen, those lucky enough to have attended Disneyland, Walt Disney World or any of their international sister parks knows that there’s practically another dimension of music to enjoy on the many rides and attractions you can experience on vacation.

Now, 95 of those tracks – some familiar to longtime collectors of Disney on CD, others exciting, offbeat selections – are collected in this new set. After the jump, we’ll take a look at each of the themed discs and what they have to offer in terms of musical magic!

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 11, 2013 at 13:55

Weekend Wround-Up: Barbra Streisand Joined by Bennett, Wonder, Krall on DVD and BD; Pixar Compiles More “Favorites”

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On February 11, 2011, Barbra Streisand joined some illustrious company, including Bono, Brian Wilson, Aretha Franklin and her “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” duet partner, Neil Diamond.  That was the evening Streisand was recognized as the MusiCares Person of the Year, following in the footsteps of those above-named artists.  Streisand was a natural candidate for the honor, as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences annually bestows it upon an artist with significant artistic achievement in music and commitment to philanthropy.  Part of the MusiCares tradition finds that person being celebrated by a line-up of peers and younger talent, and so that evening, Streisand was joined in Los Angeles by Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Barry Manilow, Stevie Wonder and others, to perform many of the songs she made famous throughout her career. On November 13, Shout Factory will release A MusiCares Tribute to Barbra Streisand on DVD, with a selection of the performances from the celebratory concert.

Diana Krall was in the producer’s chair for Streisand’s 2009 album Love is the Answer, and she opens the Blu-ray/DVD with a medley of three famous Streisand songs: “Down with Love,” “Get Happy,” and “Make Someone Happy.”  The first two, of course, were co-written by Harold Arlen, one of Streisand’s most admired composers.  Tony Bennett, who has performed with both Krall and Streisand in the past, performed a rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” (the opening track of Streisand’s 2003 The Movie Album).  Barry Manilow offered his take on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn’s “Memory” from the musical Cats; both Brooklyn natives released the song as a single and made the Billboard Hot 100 and Top 10 AC charts with it.  Stevie Wonder performed Jule Styne and Bob Merrill’s “People” from Funny Girl with Arturo Sandoval, and Jeff Beck offered a scorching “Come Rain or Come Shine” (another Arlen song) with LeAnn Rimes and BeBe Winans.  The younger set was represented not only by Rimes, but by Leona Lewis (“Somewhere” from West Side Story), Faith Hill (Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns”) and a trio of stars from Glee (Lea Michele with Fanny Brice’s signature song, “My Man,” and Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenoweth reprising their television duet of Bacharach and David’s “One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home” in Streisand’s arrangement).   Streisand herself brings the DVD to a close with performances of “The Windmills of Your Mind” and “The Promise (I’ll Never Say Goodbye).”

A MusiCares Tribute to Barbra Streisand is due for release on November 13 and follows Shout! Factory’s last MusiCares release celebrating Neil Young.  Pre-order links are currently not available, but we will add them as soon as possible!  You’ll find the complete track listing after the jump, down below!

Last week, Walt Disney Records quietly released a second volume of modern-day classics from Pixar’s animated films.  The new Disney-Pixar All-Time Favorites follows 2009’s Disney-Pixar Greatest, which brought the studio’s output up to date as of the Academy Award-winning Up.  In addition to revisiting some of the films represented on the first compilation with newly-compiled tracks, All-Time Favorites adds songs and score cues from Toy Story 3 (2010), Cars 2 (2011) and this year’s Brave.

Randy Newman is, of course, prominently featured, singing “I Will Go Sailing No More” from 1995’s Toy Story and “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, while his compositions are also sung by Riders in the Sky (“Woody’s Round-Up” from 1999’s Toy Story 2), the Gipsy Kings (the Spanish-language “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story 3).  Newman’s scores from A Bug’s Life (1998) and Monsters, Inc. (2001) are also excerpted.  Randy’s cousin Thomas Newman is represented via score excerpts from the just-about-to-be-re-released Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL-E (2008), while another frequent member of the Pixar team, Michael Giacchino, takes the spotlight for tracks from 2007’s Ratatouille, Cars 2 and 2004’s The Incredibles.  One song and one score cue appear from Brave: Julie Fowlis’ rendition of Alex Mandel’s “Into the Open Air,” and Patrick Doyle’s “In Her Heart.”

Disney-Pixar All-Time Favorites is available in stores now, and can be ordered after the jump!   You’ll also find the complete track listing there. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 14, 2012 at 15:06

Review: Michael Giacchino, “Up: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

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Well, the release of Up is such big news here at Second Disc HQ that we felt one review just wasn’t enough!  We hope you’re as excited as we are about our first-ever “tag team” review.  To start things off, here’s Mike Duquette…

It’s fitting, really, that Intrada’s first soundtrack reissue in conjunction with The Walt Disney Company is a score to a film about fulfilling a lifelong dream. It’s been a dream of Disney fans for years to see some sort of stable catalogue presentation from the beloved film studio.

Granted, the catalogue presence from Walt Disney Records was and is top-notch, thanks to guys like producer Randy Thornton, who’s overseen a lot of the great releases from the fabled Disney vault throughout the past few decades. (The 40th anniversary edition of the Mary Poppins soundtrack and box sets for both Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and the 1964 World’s Fair exhibits are just three such projects par excellence.) But Walt Disney Records isn’t a major label, and doesn’t have the muscle like Rhino or Legacy might in getting those catalogue projects out there.

That’s where Intrada came in. Their sterling reputation as a label that knows how to put together a great soundtrack – and the knowledge of what will sell (recall the sellouts of their Predator and Spacecamp reissues in under a day each) – makes them the ideal partners to spread the Disney magic to the hungry, loving soundtrack collector’s market.

Thus, the first release from the label/studio partnership: the Oscar and Grammy-winning soundtrack to Disney/Pixar’s Up (Walt Disney Records/Intrada D0013727-02), composed by Michael Giacchino. It’s not the deepest catalogue offering from a musical legacy that stretches back nearly 75 years – but it does finally right a major wrong in not having the soundtrack on physical media. And, it’s a hell of a score.

Giacchino, whose star rose off the backs of scores to television shows like Alias and Lost as well as video games in the Medal of Honor series, solidified his reputation with scores to Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille. But it’s Up that made him a star, in this writer’s book. Maybe it’s the subject material. The film’s plot – an old man with a bunch of balloons and a shared dream with his late wife travels down to South America and has the adventure of a lifetime – was stunningly simple yet wildly sublime.

Everything about the movie, from key scenes (the sob-inducing, wordless overture, in which the birth and death of Carl and Ellie Fredricksen’s lifelong relationship is chronicled), to delightful characters (who wouldn’t want a dog like Dug, the lovable mutt with a collar that allows him to speak?) to appealing geometric patterns (notice Carl’s square build in contrast to the round frame of eight-year-old stowaway Russell), makes Up a high watermark in animation, right up there with Mickey Mouse steering Steamboat Willie along the river, the presentation of Simba, the Lion King, before an adoring audience of savannah dwellers and Woody and Buzz Lightyear’s high-flying adventure over a moving van.

Notice that all those moments are marked by great music, too. Giacchino doesn’t disappoint, creating themes and motifs in the great tradition of film composers from Korngold to Williams. The ragtime-esque adventure theme, the beautiful waltz that accompanies Carl and Ellie’s life together, the sinister overtones of the villainous Charles Muntz – all of them paint the kind of musical picture that can be enjoyed without the visual accompaniment, the hallmark of all great film soundtracks.

Mike looks at Intrada’s presentation of the score after the jump, and Joe offers his views! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 15, 2011 at 11:08

BREAKING NEWS! Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow Brings First Disney-Intrada Releases

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71 years ago, a little cricket named Jiminy reassured children everywhere that “when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true” in Walt Disney’s film Pinocchio.  Well, the dreams of many film score collectors and Disney enthusiasts are indeed coming true thanks to tonight’s announcement by Intrada Records.  The California label, a 25-year veteran in the soundtrack business, put to rest weeks of rumors and tonight confirmed a new partnership with The Walt Disney Company.  The inaugural title in the Walt Disney Records/Intrada co-branded series is the commercial CD premiere of Michael Giacchino’s Academy Award-winning score to 2009’s Up.  It’s available for pre-order now and will begin shipping tomorrow.  Up is joined by a release from the vault of Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures, John Scott’s 1988 score to Shoot to Kill, under the Intrada Special Collection banner.

Intrada’s initial statement promises that the release is the “start of [a] new series of long-awaited soundtrack treasures from Disney vaults, presented from original session elements lovingly restored, all spotlighting premiere CD releases from animation and live action classics appearing throughout [the] esteemed studio’s history!”  Walt Disney Records’ Randy Thornton elaborated: “Walt Disney Records will be producing and manufacturing this new line exclusively for Intrada – hence the dual logos.”  Disney’s legacy is intertwined even more closely with music than most realize; the very first commercially-issued soundtrack album in history was Victor’s 1938 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a set of three 78s, two songs per disc! 

Despite a rich catalogue of titles from both Disneyland and Buena Vista Records, the modern Walt Disney Records family of labels has never been a major player on the reissue front.  We here at The Second Disc have been vocal in encouraging the Mouse to take advantage of its vast library.  That said, what has escaped from the Disney vault, however, has been choice: mainly archival projects like Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair (2009), The Sherman Brothers Songbook (2009) and A Musical History of Disneyland (2005).  A line of soundtrack expansions in the 1990s and early 2000s spearheaded by Randy Thornton was devoted to many of the classic animated films, but the series stalled.  Kiosks at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts offered many classic LPs as burn-on-demand CDs, but the system wasn’t profitable, and many of the titles slated for theme park release were relegated to iTunes.  Perhaps most distressingly to longtime fans, the soundtracks to Disney and Pixar’s Up and Toy Story 3 didn’t receive CD releases despite the high profile names of Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman, respectively.  The teaming with Intrada seems a promising sign that the entertainment giant is serious about making available the assets it has so painstakingly preserved over the years.  I know I got a thrill seeing the classic, long-retired Disneyland Records logo in the top right corner of the Up cover!  Chances are many of you will, too.

Hit the jump for details on this exciting launch, including track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2011 at 21:19