Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
This is a comments thread about FSM CD: The Belle of New York
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 12:29 AM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Hot DAMN!

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   Frank DeWald   (Member)

I hope this release contains recording details in the tradition of the old Rhino releases.

Indeed it does. We went to some trouble to fit the information (specific composers, arrangers, orchestrators and recording dates for each cue) into the FSM format. Hope you like it!

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   SoundScope   (Member)

I'm in absolut awe and wonderfully astonished at this news. I can only echo all the positive feedback from above! BRAVO to all concerned!!! smile

I hope this is successful and will allow the few musicals left undone by Rhino like ROSE MARIE, TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY, LES GIRLS et. al. What a treasure trove of musical delights awaits!

There are only few of us left, it seems, who love this kind of thing. I can't thank you enough!

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 6:02 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

I hope this release contains recording details in the tradition of the old Rhino releases.

Indeed it does. We went to some trouble to fit the information (specific composers, arrangers, orchestrators and recording dates for each cue) into the FSM format. Hope you like it!


I'm glad to hear that. This was a very valuable part of the Rhino sets (I think some of the old Warner LDs even included matrix numbers). While this kind of information may not be as important for orchestral scores or current pop due to the different recording process (scoring sessions having slot numbers, intercuts and overdubs being recorded on different dates), it should be a vital part of any jazz/traditional pop/etc. release - particularly if you go back to the 78 rpm era. It's quite a surprise how many CD discographies are wrong - listing alternate takes when the release date has been used (and vice versa). Many thanks for the effort that has been put into this release!

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 7:07 AM   
 By:   Skyros   (Member)

I hope this release contains recording details in the tradition of the old Rhino releases.

Indeed it does. We went to some trouble to fit the information (specific composers, arrangers, orchestrators and recording dates for each cue) into the FSM format. Hope you like it!


This is worth the price alone. Very poor and sometimes inaccurate details on Download.

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....I hope this release contains recording details in the tradition of the old Rhino releases.

Indeed it does. We went to some trouble to fit the information (specific composers, arrangers, orchestrators and recording dates for each cue) into the FSM format. Hope you like it!.....



Thanks so much for working on this aspect of the release, Frank. These pieces of information---boring to some---make the recordings come alive for others who are fascinated with the musical history of the studios.

Rhino was always very good about this, and Lukas has also been very good at documenting the recording dates of the scores he releases, in their booklets. The Fox scores have also been documented to an extent in this regard, though often with somewhat less detail. Sadly, all of this published documentation on the various releases is likely the last time we'll see it appear publicly in print.

(I have a sneaky suspicion---based on unrelated knowledge on a project I worked on years ago---that some of the studios/corporations think this kind of information is a proprietary thing they want to keep under firm wraps---though why, after 70 or more years, it has ANY secret internal studio value, I can't imagine! Nearly everyone involved is long dead.)

What I wouldn't give for a simple published book documenting, in one place, ALL the music recording logs for MGM and Fox (as a start)---titles, films, recording dates, take numbers, overdubs, locations, vocal and orchestral artists, arrangers, orchestrators, conductors, composers---covering the years, at least, from 1928-1968 or thereabouts!!! In effect, a recording discography of material that was NEVER on disc.

Would anyone else---as a private individual---buy something like this?

(PS.....Are collectors like ourselves too obsessive-compulsive? smile )

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)

Of course, such kind of information would be very interesting, manderley. I'm sure you are aware that Bear Family's box sets were pretty comprehensive in that regard. It's depressing to see, however, that dozens of masters have "lost" in bold beside them. I imagine the siutation is even more drastic in the case of soundtrack recordings that were never intended for commercial release. A release of this kind of information would for sure unveil the disrespect that certain studios have shown towards their musical masters over the last seven decades or so. Maybe that's the reason why this kind of information is locked to "outsiders"...

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Of course, such kind of information would be very interesting, manderley. I'm sure you are aware that Bear Family's box sets were pretty comprehensive in that regard. It's depressing to see, however, that dozens of masters have "lost" in bold beside them. I imagine the siutation is even more drastic in the case of soundtrack recordings that were never intended for commercial release. A release of this kind of information would for sure unveil the disrespect that certain studios have shown towards their musical masters over the last seven decades or so. Maybe that's the reason why this kind of information is locked to "outsiders"......


The Bear Family box sets, while wonderful, basically only detail masters, disc and tape, for commercial recordings released on 78, 45, or 33.

I am speaking of informational material on recordings which were never intended to be released commercially by the studios.

In any case, while I would care, personally, about the loss of actual recordings, for a book like this I am not primarily interested in whether the material still exists or not. In such a proposed book, the information is the history, not the recordings.

I also think that, at least for (old) MGM and Fox, they've done a pretty damned good job of preserving what they could over the years---and if material is lost, for whatever reason, so be it. We shouldn't knock the old managements quite so much.

The new DVD-Rs that Warner Archive is releasing for the MacDonald-Eddy films, NAUGHTY MARIETTA and SWEETHEARTS will, apparently, have extensive inclusions of music session masters within the DVD extras. For films going back to 1935 and 1938, it is pretty stunning that this kind of material, from so long ago, and never previously released, can come to us now. (I'll bet it sounds nearly pristine, too.)

Everyone needs to be very grateful for this never-before-released material that we are now getting on a fairly regular basis so long after it was originally created---and THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS!.....(which, by the way, might make a wonderful musical release, too! smile ).

(PS.....I'll bet the general release of ancient studio information has more to do with "protective" legal issues than anything else.)

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   scifiguy   (Member)

Love this CD, but not sure why it's being called the "premiere CD release." Definitely has some new material, but Sony Music had a CD release (AK 47701) back in 1991. Either way, it's a great release, and definitely worth hearing!

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Love this CD, but not sure why it's being called the "premiere CD release." Definitely has some new material, but Sony Music had a CD release (AK 47701) back in 1991. Either way, it's a great release, and definitely worth hearing!

It would have been more correct to say that the FSM CD represents the premiere CD release of the film's original pre-recordings, since the Sony CD was taken from the film's mixed tracks. The FSM CD adds 21 minutes of music to the 40-minute Sony CD.

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   Anacleto   (Member)

Great release Lukas...I tip my stovepipe hat to you!

I got one question. I have the old MGM Records album and its rendition of the opening cue "When I'm Out with the Belle of New York" is somewhat different. It uses a vigorous percussive accompaniment and a second chorus stanza is repeated. This is not found in the film or on this recording. Was this a special cue just made up for the record album? Any ideas?

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 8:39 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....I got one question. I have the old MGM Records album and its rendition of the opening cue "When I'm Out with the Belle of New York" is somewhat different. It uses a vigorous percussive accompaniment and a second chorus stanza is repeated. This is not found in the film or on this recording. Was this a special cue just made up for the record album? Any ideas?.....


I don't remember how far back Jesse Kaye---who was the West Coast A&R director for MGM Records---goes, but I seem to remember, in the distant past, an article about Kaye's (or whoever's) working relationship on the original MGM Records soundtracks:

Apparently, the man-in-charge would select takes from the various MGM sessions for a given film for which a soundtrack was to be made, and then he would work with a sound editor and, if a given track was too long to fit on one side of a 10" 78rpm disc (which is the way most of the original albums were born), he would edit, or otherwise rearrange the music to fit that length (which was usually in the +/- 2 1/2 minute range). Sometimes the entire take could be used, sometimes sections of a take would be pasted together, sometimes sections of music from totally different parts of the film would be assembled to make a pleasing whole. Since he was doing this independently of the film's editing, it was sometimes possible that he used takes or alternate pieces which were finally NOT in the released film.

For that reason, for example, the "Merry Widow Waltz" musical sequence on the MERRY WIDOW disc is made up not only from musical material from that sequence late in the film, but also integrates virtually all of the "Main Title" material as well, which is another version of the Waltz.

As an old-timer, it was always fun for me to try to figure out how this stuff was put together for the album after I'd seen the film originally.

This also accounts for the Ava Gardner song versions on the album, and the Annette Warren versions in the film of SHOW BOAT. (Ava Gardner was a better MGM Records "sell" than poor old Annette, just as Esther Williams was a better "sell" on the original PAGAN LOVE SONG album than Betty Wand.)

For years, when I listened to the original soundtrack album for EASTER PARADE, I wondered where that strange orchestral ending came from which cuts in to the end of Garland-Lawford's "Fella With An Umbrella" cue. It isn't in EASTER PARADE anywhere. Then years later I was watching TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME, and heard it at the end of Sinatra's "You're The Right Girl For Me." EASTER PARADE is 1948, and BALL GAME is 1949, so both these music sessions were undoubtedly in the same hopper at the time the EASTER PARADE album was put together.

I haven't listened to the original, original old BELLE OF NEW YORK album for many years, so I'd have to listen to it again to give you a possible answer. Based on your comments, my guess is that this album version was either a pre-recording alternate or Jesse has finessed an edit or two from various pieces. (My supposition is that Lukas didn't listen to the original album masters either, or he would have included it as a bonus cut on the CD release, as he is wont to do---if it was noticeably different. If he is going to continue with the musicals from time to time, it may well be a good thing for him to pull the album masters and compare the album "takes" and album "edits" as contrasted to his session masters.)


As a secondary point that you bring up---that the album cut sounds orchestrally different.....

You should also remember that in regards to the orchestration and what you are HEARING of the orchestra, the original material was recorded in 3-channel stereo, and the final mix for the film (in mono) might be very different than the final mix of the album (also in mono)---although they both used the same master elements at one point.

Thor will want to tune out now, because what I am about to say gets technical, but for those who are interested.....

Pertinent to all of this, I once had a discussion about sound with Stephen Pickering, who used to post here quite often.

My question was: If the final mix of the MONO film were done originally from 3-track music masters, and if the MONO music-fx track or the MONO dub-down music track still existed---is it possible that each of these had DIFFERENT sounding mixes from the same original 3-track elements?

Would it be of interest, for example, if in one mix the violins might have been more prominent, in another the percussion or brass, or whatever---even from the same originating element. If so, then, since the same original element was used as the basis for each, would it be possible to sync up the mono music session element of a given take with the film's final mix (or, ideally the music-fx track), and create, a rudimentary stereo track---since all the instruments would be there, but in different featured volumes. Stephen Pickering said no. I still wasn't convinced.

Perhaps George Feltenstein was reading this board, or perhaps he arrived at this discovery independently, but at a later point he made a comment in print about how he had realized that the sound on one of the album cuts he was listening to (in his car?) differed from the sound on the music session master although the same take was used. He had his editor sync them up and, indeed, he created a stereo picture (only, of course, because they had originally been mixed from the same multi-channel session element).

The result of George's labor was that we finally had, as an audio extra, on one or another of the Rhino compilations, a stereo version of the "Dancing in the Dark" number from THE BAND WAGON. We also had the "Main Title" of SUMMER HOLIDAY in stereo. This last is an obvious thing because Leo roars in his proper place on the trademark on one channel and there is just music on the other. This means that the element used for one channel HAD to be the final mixed film track or music-fx track and the other channel a music session track. I'm sure there are other examples of this in the Turner/MGM/Rhino repertoire, though I can't remember them at this minute. In many ways this is a interesting musical application of a new idea to material from another age, giving it a new life.


Sorry, for the long-winded non-absolute answer to your question, Anacleto. smile

(Perhaps Lukas will chime in and give us a definitive answer.)

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Whoops, we were typing long answers simultaneously, manderley.

Here's my own attempt to address the same issue . . .

I think it's safe to say that many early movie musicals' "soundtrack albums" will vary a great deal from the versions of the songs heard in the films themselves, because they were often NOT taken from the actual film soundtrack, but were instead rerecordings, perhaps by a different orchestra altogether, done strictly for the album release.

I think these are examples:

E-86 - Rich, Young, and Pretty (Soundtrack) - David Rose & His Orchestra [1951]

E-214 - Walter Gross Plays Songs from MGM's "Torch Song" - Walter Gross [1953]

Originally an "album" was the literal meaning of the word -- before LPs, you would buy an album of 78rpm records in sleeves bound in a book. Beginning in 1950, M-G-M began issuing (and reissuing) albums in several new formats, including the 45-rpm, 4 disc boxed set, the EP set, and the 10-inch LP. It may be that the original re-recordings were done for a practical reason, such as comfortably fitting the musical number on one side of a 78, or making it more palatable for those listening without the accompanying picture. When the reissues were released, it would sometimes be a straight transfer of those 78 discs to one LP.

Occasionally you come across a soundtrack album of a movie musical which has a different performer in one of the roles, because of record company contractual conflicts. In "Porgy and Bess," for instance, "Sportin' Life" was portrayed by Sammy Davis, Jr. onscreen, but by Cab Calloway on disc. (Davis recorded his own separate EP of "Porgy" songs at the record company to which he was under contract.)

There's a little more information here:

http://www.bsnpubs.com/mgm/mgm10.html

http://www.thejudyroom.com/discography/soundtracks.html

The movie musical albums that were re-recordings, strictly for vinyl release, are an interesting topic in themselves, and may actually get "lost in the shuffle" of these exciting CD releases of the original film session recordings. We may have to rely on European labels like Sepia to eventually get around to preserving such things for the digital age.

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:14 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Whoops, we were typing long answers simultaneously, manderley.

Here's my own attempt to address the same issue . . .

I think it's safe to say that many early movie musicals' "soundtrack albums" will vary a great deal from the versions of the songs heard in the films themselves, because they were often NOT taken from the actual film soundtrack, but were instead rerecordings, perhaps by a different orchestra altogether, done strictly for the album release.

I think these are examples:

E-86 - Rich, Young, and Pretty (Soundtrack) - David Rose & His Orchestra [1951]

E-214 - Walter Gross Plays Songs from MGM's "Torch Song" - Walter Gross [1953]

Originally an "album" was the literal meaning of the word -- before LPs, you would buy an album of 78rpm records in sleeves bound in a book. Beginning in 1950, M-G-M began issuing (and reissuing) albums in several new formats, including the 45-rpm, 4 disc boxed set, the EP set, and the 10-inch LP. It may be that the original re-recordings were done for a practical reason, such as comfortably fitting the musical number on one side of a 78, or making it more palatable for those listening without the accompanying picture. When the reissues were released, it would sometimes be a straight transfer of those 78 discs to one LP.....



I think you have to be very cautious in your categorizing of "re-recordings", Sigerson, particularly as it applies to MGM. (Although for example, certainly the Paramount Bing Crosby/Decca film score recordings of the '30s and '40s were almost always re-recordings.)

It's important to remember that MGM, of all the recording companies, was very specific in labelling its recordings, usually something like "Recorded Directly from the Film Soundtrack."
They were also very specific when labelling soundtracks which included non-soundtrack material: "Including Music Recorded Directly from the Film Soundtrack." The RICH, YOUNG and PRETTY album you refer to above is in the latter category and has David Rose and his Orchestra for several of the cuts because those original cuts recorded at the music sessions included Vic Damone, who was under contract to Mercury. MGM HAD to re-record Powell alone, or else not use those duets with Damone. I believe there is also one Damone solo in the film, and even that has been re-recorded, by Powell. Curiously enough, Damone DID record several of his RICH, YOUNG songs for a Mercury single, but without Powell and the MGM Orchestra, of course. Eventually Mercury worked with MGM and released the soundtrack album of ATHENA which featured Damone, Powell, Reynolds, etc.---and in the mid-50s, MGM Records released HIT THE DECK and KISMET, with Damone included as one of the vocalists. He was probably past his Mercury contract by then.)

Others bearing the "Including Music Recorded Directly from the Sound Track," appellation are several I mentioned in my other post, PAGAN LOVE SONG and SHOW BOAT, primarily because of the replacement of the dubbers for the stars who had also recorded the numbers at the pre-recording sessions.

The Walter Gross TORCH SONG album falls into that other re-recording category you mentioned. What you didn't mention is that the album is actually something like "India Adams sings songs from TORCH SONG accompanied by Walter Gross." (In the film, of course, the India Adams/Cyd Charisse "Two-Faced Woman" number is featured as performed on camera by Crawford. The remainder of the soundtrack of that film is kind of a potpourri with Adams performing some material, and a bit of the actual Crawford.) The TORCH SONG album is much like the 45-rpm set from THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS, featuring French-chanteuse Odette singing the songs, in French, from the film. Odette also sang these as source music IN the film, and I've never ascertained whether the album is the actual session tracks or not. In any case, they don't refer to the soundtrack, only "featured in the film" as I recall. The two songs by Howard Keel on a 78rpm MGM single from TEXAS CARNIVAL are not soundtracks as I recall, but I believe they ARE recorded with the MGM Orchestra (under George Stoll?). The 3 MGM records cuts from TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME with Kelly and Garrett are not soundtracks, probably because of the Sinatra rights problem. The 3 Grayson 78rpm MGM cuts from ANCHORS AWEIGH and the 2 Grayson cuts from THE KISSING BANDIT all seem to be original soundtrack music sessions.

We can, of course, go on and on about all this.

The real irony in ALL of this is that with extremely rare exceptions---most of them not MGM--- NONE of the music in ANY of these so-called "soundtrack" albums actually comes from the original soundtrack!!! The "original soundtrack" is that little strip of sound information on the side of the film which has already been mixed with dialog and sound effects and music and is played back in the theatre. The music on a "soundtrack" album actually comes from the session masters, pre-soundtrack.

Of course, you could never explain any of THAT to a lay audience when you were selling the product, and probably couldn't do so even today. (We are, after all, living in an age when the tunes of an Original Broadway Cast album---wherein the songs are always performed live---are often described and filed in the bins as coming from "the soundtrack" of the show!!!)

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 10:33 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Then perhaps the only actual MGM-musical straight-off-the-film "soundtrack" CDs are those fast & cheap better-than-nothing Sony Special Products ones from the '90s.











. . . although they do also have the occasional bonus track(s), which must have come from the session masters.


I've gotten too many blank stares from laypersons ever to use the term "original cast album" anymore.

"Broadway music" works.

Or . . . "showtunes"? wink

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 11:31 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Sigerson.....

I just had a suspicion I've checked and confirmed re: RICH, YOUNG and PRETTY:

David Rose was under contract to MGM from 1951 to 1953 as a composer and conductor/musical director (.....and in 1955 for JUPITER'S DARLING)

He is the Musical Director (and background music composer) of record on RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY.

So, the re-recorded cuts with Jane Powell for the album (to dump Damone) were most likely done by Powell and Rose at MGM with the MGM Studio Orchestra, either during the original sessions (where they knew this rights situation would turn up) or later, when the album was being prepared.

Thus, the co-work of Powell and Rose doesn't come out of left field.


I don't believe that MGM Records, since they were solely owned by MGM Studios, ever had an outside recording stage for their serious orchestral and vocal material. Why would they when an orchestra and a perfectly good recording stage was already set up? I'll bet there was some legal difficulty in crediting an "MGM Studio Orchestra" on non-film related recordings, however, so the orchestra may remain anonymous.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2011 - 11:49 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I understand a little better now. MGM had a unique situation -- the in-house record company -- and most of their rerecording examples had to do with individual peformers' contractual conflicts or vocal dubbing issues. You really have to go earlier to find a lot of rerecording by MGM stars at outside companies, like all the movie songs Judy Garland sang for Decca.

--Or to other studios, I guess. I've got the Varese CD of Danny Kaye's rerecorded songs from "Hans Christian Andersen" and "The Court Jester," for instance.

While we're getting so obsessive compulsive, by the way, I wonder if we can get some kind of confirmation from Lukas that "The Belle of New York" is indeed that long-awaited "classic M-G-M musical," mentioned in threads like this one from . . . GASP . . . 2008?!

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=54630&forumID=7&archive=0

Did this CD really take that long?

The reasons why might make a good article for FSM online.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 1:07 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....While we're getting so obsessive compulsive, by the way, I wonder if we can get some kind of confirmation from Lukas that "The Belle of New York" is indeed that long-awaited "classic M-G-M musical," mentioned in threads like this one from . . . GASP . . . 2008?!

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=54630&forumID=7&archive=0

Did this CD really take that long?.....




Yes, Sigerson, I've been thinking about this, too.

We all worked so hard on that thread trying to guess it, and I don't think this title EVER came up. Still, THE BELLE OF NEW YORK, is, indeed, a "classic MGM musical," in the historical sense.

I just hope Lukas has been working on OTHER "classic MGM musicals" in the three intervening years and that he has a number of them on the assembly line for upcoming scattered releases.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 5:38 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)


Manderley and gang, good guess about Jesse Kaye, but not true in this case.
For any MGM musical done by Arthur Freed, Arthur had his own music editor make up the album.
Her name was Lela Simone, a music editing genius. She was also Mrs. Franz Waxman !!!

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2011 - 7:05 AM   
 By:   peter77   (Member)

Manderley and gang, good guess about Jesse Kaye, but not true in this case.
For any MGM musical done by Arthur Freed, Arthur had his own music editor make up the album.
Her name was Lela Simone, a music editing genius. She was also Mrs. Franz Waxman !!!


... and for those who are interested, Lela Simone was also an incredible pianist - as you can hear in this month's FSMO article on the "Ice Follies of 1939."

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.