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 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   ghost of 82   (Member)

I'm with the disappointed camp on this one. SPARTACUS was a release I ws looking forward to for years, but this frankly ott and semi-elitist release leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes all the bells and whistles of this uber-box will be lovely for those that can afford it, but essentially a four-disc collection would have sufficed and pleased most everyone. A compromise of a limited 1000 or 2000 edition of the big box and a 5000 edition 3- or 4-disc version would have left everyone happy surely?

Do the Varese boys think we're all rich and the recession a fantasy? I'm possibly losing my job in a few months and cannot dream of buying this SPARTACUS in these uncertain times.

Berate me as bitter or petty if you want, but this release should really be about a definitive release of Norths score, not DVDs/discs of cover versions/books, nice as they must be. I actually think Varese are doing a deservice to North by pricing so many music fans out of the equation. Moviegrooves want £189 for it over here. Madness.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

The Beatles in mono are different mixes than the Beatles in stereo - sometimes significantly so. Of course there's a market for them - some people prefer the mono mixes - if I'm remembering correctly, those were the mixes that they spent the most time on on the early stuff.

The chief reason for mono mixes of pop music was radio. It was for the most part, mono. Radio stations broadcasting over the AM band that played pop music were all broadcasting in mono.

It's an entirely different world today.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

I'm with the disappointed camp on this one. SPARTACUS was a release I ws looking forward to for years, but this frankly ott and semi-elitist release leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes all the bells and whistles of this uber-box will be lovely for those that can afford it, but essentially a four-disc collection would have sufficed and pleased most everyone. A compromise of a limited 1000 or 2000 edition of the big box and a 5000 edition 3- or 4-disc version would have left everyone happy surely?

Do the Varese boys think we're all rich and the recession a fantasy? I'm possibly losing my job in a few months and cannot dream of buying this SPARTACUS in these uncertain times.

Berate me as bitter or petty if you want, but this release should really be about a definitive release of Norths score, not DVDs/discs of cover versions/books, nice as they must be. I actually think Varese are doing a deservice to North by pricing so many music fans out of the equation. Moviegrooves want £189 for it over here. Madness.


I totally agree.

Why not issue just the music tracks? And please include in stereo the "Entre'act" as well as other cues where sound effects are either played at a minimum or are not there at all. They're easily obtainable off the stereo print master soundtrack. Back then Hollywood didn't overload a film's mixed sound track with superfluous sound effects as they do today. Back then, tracks were pretty thin in that department.

One other interesting note. The overture heard in the film was hastily pieced together from cues used in the film. The music editor Arnold Schwarzwald who I knew told me he was handed that job at the last minute and told to hurriedly complete it for the preview. It has a couple of questionable edits. It's my understanding that North wrote and recorded an overture, but the studio heads didn't care for it. It appears to be on this release in the mono section. Arnold told me it was too "cerebral" for them to enjoy.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Chris1770   (Member)

There will be a second hand market for the used boxes. Many who think they can afford it now and therefore buy it, they will be forced to sell it later at much lower prices because they need the money. (Whole collections will be available at dumping prices.) Of course, those who can not afford it right now do not have any guarnatee that they will be in a better position with more funds when the used items show up on the market places. But I'm confident that this Spartacus set will be available for a long time - new or used.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Socks   (Member)

Do the Varese boys think we're all rich and the recession a fantasy? I'm possibly losing my job in a few months and cannot dream of buying this SPARTACUS in these uncertain times.

Berate me as bitter or petty if you want...Madness.


Does anyone else think that madness is buying CDs when one should be building up one's funds in anticipation of possible unemployment? Reading that post unsettled me somewhat. frown

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   SoundScope   (Member)

I pass on this set , not my taste but a wonderful product design and what a content! I'm really happy for you, Alex North and Spartacus fans! enjoy!

I, for one, thank you for the kind words to those of us whose wishes have been finally fullfilled with this release. In stead of karping and whining about what it is that you may have not gotten out of this wonderful release, you've shown a real sign of class by congratulating the rest of us.

Good show!
wink

p.s. like your avatar as well!

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)



Bottom line is that back then there was no impetus to protect elements as there is today.




Exactly. The purpose for archiving scores outside the film was as a reference tool and as a promotion device for the studio, the orchestra, or the composer. A composer in, say, MGM might reference the tapes if it was his and the studios wish to hire his services to another studio. 'This is what he can do'.

There was never an expectation that the music might survive outside a soundtrack album and the movie itself. There was no obsessive scholarship about it, there were neither opportunities nor demand for remixes, there were no videotape releases or DVDs, no easy digitalisation, no remixing for new media. Nobody expected EVERYTHING to be possible. Just like ancient Greeks never took it for granted they might walk on the Moon. These were professional IN-HOUSE industry tapes for referencing composer's styles by the studios, nothing more. And for musical analysis, precise hi-fi isn't necessary.

To me this all sounds very ungrateful. It wasn't Varese, or Mr. Townson who built up 'Spartacus' to the heights of greatest objet de desire ever, it was YOU all. So it needed something extra, and Varese provided it, in a form marketable to a wide or a narrow audience, just not that cheap. You all claimed you'd chop off limbs for the score, now that the axe is available, you shrink back. Fair enough, but I suspect it'll have cheaper, reduced incarnations later, like Tadlow's 'El Cid' etc.. It's good business when you realise that many will pay for this at high prices now.

I personally reiterate, and I care not who disagrees, that a clever stereo spread will bring any mono alive, and this is one score that it works for, so if you have the software at home, do it, don't gripe and shout purism. The samples suggest that Varese did their very best to present it well. As mentioned, there's no scratchy sense of mono, they've hung very slight reverb to smooth over the clipping, and it sounds great. If you were told to expect stereo, who told you? The post-battle choral restoration for instance ... it's the piece always cited as restored, and there it is on the first disc.

A lot of this griping is a waste of energy.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:33 AM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

Those that are crying and screaming and saying all the bad are just jealous, jealous that you can't buy it, nah nah na boo boo.

Well I'm jealous of you being jealous, so there.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

gosh some people have a lot of time on their hands

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)



Bottom line is that back then there was no impetus to protect elements as there is today.




Exactly. The purpose for archiving scores outside the film was as a reference tool and as a promotion device for the studio, the orchestra, or the composer. A composer in, say, MGM might reference the tapes if it was his and the studios wish to hire his services to another studio. 'This is what he can do'.

There was never an expectation that the music might survive outside a soundtrack album and the movie itself. There was no obsessive scholarship about it, there were neither opportunities nor demand for remixes, there were no videotape releases or DVDs, no easy digitalisation, no remixing for new media. Nobody expected EVERYTHING to be possible. Just like ancient Greeks never took it for granted they might walk on the Moon. These were professional IN-HOUSE industry tapes for referencing composer's styles by the studios, nothing more. And for musical analysis, precise hi-fi isn't necessary.

To me this all sounds very ungrateful. It wasn't Varese, or Mr. Townson who built up 'Spartacus' to the heights of greatest objet de desire ever, it was YOU all. So it needed something extra, and Varese provided it, in a form marketable to a wide or a narrow audience, just not that cheap. You all claimed you'd chop off limbs for the score, now that the axe is available, you shrink back. Fair enough, but I suspect it'll have cheaper, reduced incarnations later, like Tadlow's 'El Cid' etc.. It's good business when you realise that many will pay for this at high prices now.

I personally reiterate, and I care not who disagrees, that a clever stereo spread will bring any mono alive, and this is one score that it works for, so if you have the software at home, do it, don't gripe and shout purism. The samples suggest that Varese did their very best to present it well. As mentioned, there's no scratchy sense of mono, they've hung very slight reverb to smooth over the clipping, and it sounds great. If you were told to expect stereo, who told you? The post-battle choral restoration for instance ... it's the piece always cited as restored, and there it is on the first disc.

A lot of this griping is a waste of energy.


As is the griping about the griping. smile

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)


A lot of this griping is a waste of energy.

As is the griping about the griping. smile


"I like griping." -- Lambert, Alien

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   flavusko   (Member)

I'll pass. This SPARTACUS SET is a great oportunity for collectors, speculators and the rich ones, not for fans and people who appreciate scores. Purchasing this set just to collect sounds very irrational to me.

TADLOW can make this better and for a reasonable price.


So anyone who buys it isn't a true FAN and cannot possibly appreciate scores?

And who here has said they bought the set "just to collect"?

How pathetic to insult everyone who buys this score because it's a dream come true for them.

How sad, unfortunate, pathetic and SHAMEFULof you, Dr. Lao, to post something so ludicrously nonsensical AND hateful.


I feel sorry for you.

Varese's SPARTACUS is a total disappointment, because it was NOT made for the fans. It is unnecessarily expensive, contains a lot of unnecessary and unsolicited stuff and will offer a bad listening experience, since it's mono. I'm a fan of Mr. North music and I have 110 bucks in my pocket, but I am not a 'collector' and I refuse to buy this set. That's why I'm going to wait for an hypothetical superior TADLOW release.

Let's wait and see how long Varese will take to make half a million from the compulsive ones.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)



Bottom line is that back then there was no impetus to protect elements as there is today.




Exactly. The purpose for archiving scores outside the film was as a reference tool and as a promotion device for the studio, the orchestra, or the composer. A composer in, say, MGM might reference the tapes if it was his and the studios wish to hire his services to another studio. 'This is what he can do'.

There was never an expectation that the music might survive outside a soundtrack album and the movie itself. There was no obsessive scholarship about it, there were neither opportunities nor demand for remixes, there were no videotape releases or DVDs, no easy digitalisation, no remixing for new media. Nobody expected EVERYTHING to be possible. Just like ancient Greeks never took it for granted they might walk on the Moon. These were professional IN-HOUSE industry tapes for referencing composer's styles by the studios, nothing more. And for musical analysis, precise hi-fi isn't necessary.

To me this all sounds very ungrateful. It wasn't Varese, or Mr. Townson who built up 'Spartacus' to the heights of greatest objet de desire ever, it was YOU all. So it needed something extra, and Varese provided it, in a form marketable to a wide or a narrow audience, just not that cheap. You all claimed you'd chop off limbs for the score, now that the axe is available, you shrink back. Fair enough, but I suspect it'll have cheaper, reduced incarnations later, like Tadlow's 'El Cid' etc.. It's good business when you realise that many will pay for this at high prices now.

I personally reiterate, and I care not who disagrees, that a clever stereo spread will bring any mono alive, and this is one score that it works for, so if you have the software at home, do it, don't gripe and shout purism. The samples suggest that Varese did their very best to present it well. As mentioned, there's no scratchy sense of mono, they've hung very slight reverb to smooth over the clipping, and it sounds great. If you were told to expect stereo, who told you? The post-battle choral restoration for instance ... it's the piece always cited as restored, and there it is on the first disc.

A lot of this griping is a waste of energy.


It doesn't take a lot of energy to bash a keyboard a few times...& it's fun.

The main complaint is 1/ it's mono, & that's certainly not the fault of Varese. 2/ it costs over $100 (well over with p&p - esp. overseas), becouse you have to buy a ton of "stuff" with it. Varese guilty! I'm away 'till the end of the week now, so no more fanning the flames from me, you'll be glad to here. It'll be interesting to check this at the weekend to see how the thread is going.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)



Bottom line is that back then there was no impetus to protect elements as there is today.




Exactly. The purpose for archiving scores outside the film was as a reference tool and as a promotion device for the studio, the orchestra, or the composer. A composer in, say, MGM might reference the tapes if it was his and the studios wish to hire his services to another studio. 'This is what he can do'.

There was never an expectation that the music might survive outside a soundtrack album and the movie itself. There was no obsessive scholarship about it, there were neither opportunities nor demand for remixes, there were no videotape releases or DVDs, no easy digitalisation, no remixing for new media. Nobody expected EVERYTHING to be possible. Just like ancient Greeks never took it for granted they might walk on the Moon. These were professional IN-HOUSE industry tapes for referencing composer's styles by the studios, nothing more. And for musical analysis, precise hi-fi isn't necessary.

To me this all sounds very ungrateful. It wasn't Varese, or Mr. Townson who built up 'Spartacus' to the heights of greatest objet de desire ever, it was YOU all. So it needed something extra, and Varese provided it, in a form marketable to a wide or a narrow audience, just not that cheap. You all claimed you'd chop off limbs for the score, now that the axe is available, you shrink back. Fair enough, but I suspect it'll have cheaper, reduced incarnations later, like Tadlow's 'El Cid' etc.. It's good business when you realise that many will pay for this at high prices now.

I personally reiterate, and I care not who disagrees, that a clever stereo spread will bring any mono alive, and this is one score that it works for, so if you have the software at home, do it, don't gripe and shout purism. The samples suggest that Varese did their very best to present it well. As mentioned, there's no scratchy sense of mono, they've hung very slight reverb to smooth over the clipping, and it sounds great. If you were told to expect stereo, who told you? The post-battle choral restoration for instance ... it's the piece always cited as restored, and there it is on the first disc.

A lot of this griping is a waste of energy.


My main complaint is not chiefly about a lack of the entire score being in full stereo. It has more to do with the fact the release is padded with superfluous material that most soundtrack collectors could have done without.

And as many here have stated on this forum, the high list price is sadly out of their reach. Had Varese just provided the score at a much lower price, there would have been less complaints. I guess I'm lucky since I can afford such a price. But I've decided to pass on it. Why should I buy a set where half of the product won't be enjoyed by me?

I suggest to Varese they drop the jazz interpretations and the DVD and just issue the score at a lower price as a separate edition.

Then there's the remote possibility that somehow the entire score will one day be discovered in full stereo. That's not beyond the realm of possibilities. I never thought I'd live to see the day the entire score for "The Great Escape" would be issued in full stereo.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 11:57 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

This is a very uncomfortable fence to be sitting on. In fact, it feels decidedly precarious. On the one hand this is glorious, yet on the other we have release after release bekoning us onwards but in such a way that I, at least, find myself stepping on my own feet. The selection process for choosing the next purchase is starting to hurt. It's all down to pennies in the bank and not pennies from heaven. I've got the original Spartacus OST as well as the Tsunami More Music From ... and the fact still remains that I have to be selective. Do I hold off with this or do I jump in? Buying soundtracks is starting to look like gambling.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I like how every message board argument of the past five years eventually devolves into accusations about who's a "true fan" and who isn't. The Internet, the ultimate evolution in communications technology, has devolved us all into a bunch of tribal cave men. That's a science fiction story right there...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   Ed Nassour   (Member)

This is a very uncomfortable fence to be sitting on. In fact, it feels decidedly precarious. On the one hand this is glorious, yet on the other we have release after release bekoning us onwards but in such a way that I, at least, find myself stepping on my own feet. The selection process for choosing the next purchase is starting to hurt. It's all down to pennies in the bank and not pennies from heaven. I've got the original Spartacus OST as well as the Tsunami More Music From ... and the fact still remains that I have to be selective. Do I hold off with this or do I jump in? Buying soundtracks is starting to look like gambling.

Which brings up the question, do we actually repeatedly play everything we collect? I own hundreds of soundtracks either on CD or LP. My guess is I play perhaps 10% of them more than once. So I have shelves filled with them and a wife who questions why I collect so much. Of course I don't remind her she has almost as many shoes as Imelda Marcos!

I suspect that many of us don't play a lot of what we collect.

One day I'd love to see music and movies on demand where everything has been archived and all we need to do is download them for a small fee to enjoy it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   Chris1770   (Member)

You all claimed you'd chop off limbs for the score, now that the axe is available, you shrink back.

It's called "second thought".
Maybe Varèse should sell their sets for toes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

This SPARTACUS set is the soundtrack equivalent of Bugatti or a Lamborghini, and the price has been set accordingly. You're upset that it's not a Honda. If you want a Honda, go find a copy of the old MCA disc..

Don't be ridiculous. You know damn well that there's a common sense middle-ground. You know, that same middle ground that virtually every other expanded/complete score has occupied for the last 20 years!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2010 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   Long Island Dave   (Member)

I know a lot of people are complaining, but Spartacus is one of my favorite scores, I orderd it yesterday. I know it's expensive but except for the love theme variations, well worth it. People who are waiting for a less expensive reissue will probably be disappointed since I have never seen reissues of club releases. Soundtrack collecting is a limited market and you can't expect them at mass market music prices. I will save on less important releases and expeditures and enjoy many hours with the Spartacus set. Lastly I would like to thank Robert Townson for producing it.

 
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