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 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 1:35 PM   
 By:   Mike_J   (Member)

Ok so I was thinking back to a time - around the late 80s - when movie scores were still not de rigueur and there was still excitement to be had hunting an album down, or even just anticipating when something would be released. And it got me remembering what was possibly my last "all time high" moment.

It was a Friday night in 1989 and I'd gone to see Batman at the Warner West End in London's Leicester Square. Oddly, I'd gone alone - very unusual for me at the time as all of my mates were avid movie fans and we'd generally all see the new tentpole openings as a group, so no idea why I was billy-no-mates that evening.

Now I was never a Batman fan - I'd always been into Marvel myself - so I wasn't that excited about the film. And I really didnt know much about the score either - the Prince album had been out for ages but was of no interest to me at all and I didnt even know if Elfman's score had been released.

And then the movie opened, with that swirling camera over the giant bat logo. And there it was - Elfman's theme in all its glory. I was literally spellbound and couldnt recall a time I had loved a bit of movie music as this.

And as the film unfolded all I could concentrate on was the score - and that awesome main theme.

As the movie neared the climax I was faced with a few dilemas. One was that it was about 10:45 and the only nearby record shop still open - Tower at Picaddilly - closed at 11:00. And if by some miracle I made it there before closing time, would I then make it before the trains home started into their very staggered service, one every two hours? And then I had to decide whether to watch the end of the movie or go now in the hope that Elfman's score was available (this was 1989 dont forget and I dont think there had ever been a score released along a pop-songs album at that time.

Oh yes, I forgot - I was also BUSTING for a wee as well. So that had to be factored in.

Ok so here is how it unfolded; In a scene you could easily watch with "Benny Hill" music, I waited until the very last shot of the movie and then raced out of my chair, up the aislle, into the loo (no time to wash hands tonight - I'd deal with being sick tomorrow) and then out into Leicester Square, running like a crazed loon and ducking in and out of the tourists/theatre goers/drunks/prostitutes along Piccadilly. Arrivng at the steps to the main entrance opposite Eros I was like Rocky, bouncing up 2 steps at a time, triumphant that I'd made it with 1 minute to spare..... until I then noticed Tower actually closed at midnight.

Dripping with sweat, heart pounding and the taste of copper now forming in my mouth (well probably not but you get the idea) I raced up to where the soundtrack department was. Or should I say, used to be. As was the way of Tower, they shuffled their departments around once every 3 days just to confuse customers and prevent me from getting my Elfman album!

Eventually I found it and I crashed through the doors, looking a bit like Patrick McGoohan when he bursts in to resign in the opening credits of The Prisoner.

And there it was. Awfull, soft focus blue cover yes, but it was in my hands; Elfman's Batman score.

I even made the last train home and put the album on straight away (woke my dad, scared the cat - collateral damage as far as I was concerned). Fabulous.

I still love the score even though I have since realised the main theme I adored so much was a total and utter rip off of Herrmann's Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (its identical!) but without a doubt I have never had so much anxiety, fun and exercise when buying a soundtrack.

Anyone else care to share their annecdotes of that "all time high" moment when buying a soundtrack or dvD or whatever?

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 2:02 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Nice story, you were expecting the album to be there, I had always little expectations that any score would be there, so pre-internet days I was always surprised to find titles that didn't 'belong' in the soundtrack section; you know, scores other than 'grease' and all the tripe that's usually there.

To pick a best out of those, it would probably have to be discovering Patrick Doyle's Needful Things in the Free Record Shop. I was huge into Stephen King movies and had taped the main and end titles from Needful Things on audio cassette and to get to hear 70 minutes of scores was a blessing. Someone on this forum mentioned that those titles probably ended up there due to customers not picking up their orders, but still, there was hope in the world big grin

The guy or girl behind the counter was probably thinking, geesh who would get excited over this CD? Well me!

Also, each city I visited (London, Paris, Istanbul, NY, San Fran ...) I always made sure to bring back a soundtrack. Nowadays that has become impossible with stores vanishing. So l have a lot of good memories from certain scores.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Redokt64   (Member)

I have said this before...

Way back in 1983... I went to see THE DEAD ZONE and was floored by not only the movie (excellent), but Michael Kamen's superb score. Week after week I would hope to find it in a local record store. Nothing. Years passed. Nothing.

A couple of years later LETHAL WEAPON was released... it's sequel... a couple other Michael Kamen scores. Every time something by him would be released, I hoped for THE DEAD ZONE.
Still nothing.

So, we now are in late November of 1994, 11 years after the release of the film. I was waiting for my fiance to get off work, so I decided to pass time at the Sam Goody in the mall she worked part time at. Flipping through the soundtracks... and a few tears came to my eyes... there it was... THE DEAD ZONE composed by Michael Kamen. Double take. Triple take.

My fiance walked in the store as I was walking to the counter... I was grinning ear to ear. She just knew I found something awesome. The associate rang me up... we left... went out to dinner... got home and blasted it through the stereo. It is a brilliant score.

Of course, there have been others that have been a shock when they have been released... and or when I purchased them... too many to tell... but, THE DEAD ZONE will always be the best purchase... and the biggest surprise.

As a footnote... when I read the complaints as to "why didn't they do it this way?", "it's not complete", "they only released the original version of it"... it just makes me sick. Our little niche has come a long way... expansions, complete scores, etc. Embrace the past... look forward to the future... be thankful for what these companies have done and will do. Off my podium now.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 3:03 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

That's easy, all by itself The caine mutiny-54 on LP, was at one time the most expensive soundtrack around, i long since sold it off, as far as a customer being so excited, one customer had on his want list the LP Jurrissic park- John Williams-, i guess he never thought i would track it down or something, found it at Footlights for $100.00, man was he happy to get that.there have been many other fun times finding for my customers or myself something nice.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Terminator 2.
My first CD purchase back in '91. We were in the midst of having a garage sale before moving from the big city to a smaller town about 30 min west. Almost all of our furniture was packed up. I was getting rid of old toys and NES games (regret the NES games now!) and the local book/music store called to tell me my order was in: Terminator 2 for $24.99.
I stuck around just long enough to sell about $30 worth of stuff and then hopped onto my bike and raced to the store.
I still remember getting back home, putting the CD in my Dad's old, massive stereo system, sitting in the now-empty living room and listening to the entire CD from start to finish while scrutinizing each and every cue title and picture in the booklet.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   VIS   (Member)

For me it has to be something I call the Edmonton Purchase. I was at the University Of Alberta for a Radio Conference in 2005 when I noticed a book store on campus closing. All prices were slashed almost 80% off. I figured I'd go inside for a look maybe pick up a bit of light reading. I walked around for a little bit and was stunned to see a huge CD section...I searched through the Cd's that were there, nothing. I walked around a corner to see a huge sign over a large bank of shelves "SOUNDTRACKS". I immediately jumped in and immediately found Die Hard 2, Mad Max, Shadow Of The Vampire and Shoot Loud, Louder...I Don't Understand and two others that escape me at the moment. It was amazing and it was if I had found gold.

The second best was what I call the Midland (Ontario, Canada) a music store that was being converted to a clothing store I found Michael Kamen's "Let Him Have It"...and that same day in a pawn shop I found the Bay City Records "Misery" - Varese Sarabande's "Arnold" and "North" all for 2 bucks. That was a good day too.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   Steve H   (Member)

Finding the 2LP gatefold pressing of Williams' The Empire Strikes Back at the old SciFi/Fantasy
dugout at the Hoyt's center in Sydney in 82.
Apparently in Australia the existence of this edition was to be kept highly classified and remain top secret! big grin

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 4:08 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

My best soundtrack-buying memory comes from a dream I had several decades ago in which I walked in a shop and bought the soundtrack to Gunfight at the OK Corral. The dream was so real, I woke up in a sweat, got out of bed, went over to my LPs and checked to see if Gunfight was actually there. Alas, it wasn't.
I had the same dream a few weeks ago, 40+ years later.

 Posted:   Jun 26, 2012 - 4:08 PM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

Finding A View To A Kill on CD though I had to purchase it from Japan. Cult TV series from Silva which had many scores that I would never thought see the light of day. Got it in HMV when used to browse the collection bins.

Another one was free courtesy of our friends down under. Snippets of music from the Lost World TV Series.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

surprise of surprise at a house sale years ago finding not one one but 2 copies of The vikings-58 on lp, the lp was worth alot for years.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 5:57 AM   
 By:   dpsternan   (Member)

Four months ago, scouring through the soundtrack section of my local record store. Two hours later, about to leave, and buried underneath a pile of stuff, I found a sealed Goldsmith "Psycho II" on CD! I love those original, old-school, long cardboard box CD packaging.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 6:19 AM   
 By:   TPC   (Member)

Back in 1992 I had started dating this girl who was not into film music. I told her that I really wanted Barry's Body Heat LP. On Christmas morning it was waiting under the tree. She had called Footlight in NYC and had them hold it for her. Then she got her friend from the NYC area to pick it up for her when her friend went home before Christmas. I knew this girl was the one (even if she doesn't care about film music) just because of the effort she put into getting Body Heat for me. We've been married for 17 years.

My second favorite moment is the first time I had a used record store search for a title, sometime around 1986-88. I asked a local store in Alexandria, Virginia to find the Earthquake LP. Didn't take them long, and it was very exciting to get their call.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 6:22 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I had a long post written out, but it was too flowery. I was 13, I only owned about 4 soundtracks, all on cassette. The Star Wars Special Edition album came out that year, and I yearned for it - went to the record store every few weeks just to look at the thing. Eventually, after a number of months, I had saved enough allowance to get it. Today dropping $30 on an album is a drop in the bucket to me, but the anticipation, time commitment, and of course the quality of the music itself once I heard it for the first time outside of the film, makes it the most memorable soundtrack experience of my life.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

I grew up in a very small and isolated town in the Midwest -- when I was a kid there were only 4 stores where one could purchase LPs -- Hesteds, Woolworths, Hemples, and Gambles. The Hemples store had the best overall selection (it is where I purchased some treasures like the MGM deluxe boxed sets of Ben Hur and Mutiny on the Bounty). I think the owner also loved soundtrack music because for a small town they had a superb soundtrack section.

I had never paid much attention to a huge loose leaf bound catalog thingy sitting off to one side on a counter at Hemples. I discovered one day when I asked if they knew if "The Wrong Box" would ever be available, that the "thingy" was the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) catalog of all records in print -- and they would actually special order whatever you wanted from that catalog upon request -- so with a great deal of excitement I poured through the pages and pages -- anticipation increasing as I saw so many freakin LPs that I had longed for!

I dug out my allowance, supplemented by money I'd made mowing lawns, and special ordered a bunch of LPs that were listed but that I'd never seen in a store or knew existed: The Wrong Box, The Collector, The Trouble with Angels, The Caretakers, and The Carpetbaggers. I remember when they arrived in about 2 months I was just so incredibly happy. Those albums have remained among my favorite scores ever since.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Too many to list, but one of my favorites:

At a flea market, I found, for a dollar, an original, pristine copy of the Piero Piccioni's "The Tenth Victim" on the Mainstream label.

It was orgasmic.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I really don't have one, unless you count the time I was at a crowded Barnes & Noble one Friday evening and flipped to the back page of the latest FSM mag, only to feel my heart rate increase upon seeing that FSM announcement for original score to Rozsa's LUST FOR LIFE. I ran to a pay phone to place my order. (no cell phone then, none now), but calmed myself and instead went to my wife's work to place the order.

There's also that hilarious story from an old FSM mag when the then-kid was having his pisser pulled* by one of the vendors there with the guy claiming that he had the OMEGA MAN LP but had forgotten it and would "have it next week, though."

*Figuratively, of course.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)

Here's a related thread.

What's the score you were the most excited to buy?


 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

When I got FSM's "Fantastic Voyage" in the mail. Literally, I had wanted this music since I saw the film in the theater as a wee one.

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   scottthompson   (Member)

My most fulfilling purchase memory was receiving (on special order from my mall record store) a new copy of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE on LP in the late 1970's. By then this score, though still in print, was not readily available in stores where I lived. A very pleasant guy named Michael, who was in charge of soundtracks and classical music at Musicland, introduced me to the Schwann catalog, and the special orders of the LPs I made from the catalog were very exciting when they came in. I was in the seventh grade at the time, and was on a James Bond and Jerry Goldsmith kick that ultimately threw me full force into the world of film music collecting.

Later on in the early 80's I connected with some mail order catalogs (Grammy's Attic in South Carolina, A-1 Record Finders, etc.) which were great on older LPs. Then the Film Score Monthly want ads and specialty mail order outlets like Screen Archives, Intrada and Soundtrack Album Retailers in the late 80's and early 90's. Finally came the internet, which provided all.

Amazing to compare how things have changed in the last 35 years. Going from difficulty finding even a James Bond score on LP in the late 70's to the now limitless treasaure trove of film scores coming out from specialty labels these days. Stuff never dreamed possible not so long ago.


P.S. It seems reading these posts that youth is the common thread with the most magical experiences we have. I wonder if the excitement is a product of younger vs. older, or just the fact that most anything can be "obtained" (or resaearched) via the net today, making it not if... but when?

 Posted:   Jun 27, 2012 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   dashrr   (Member)

One of the more memorable for me was riding my bike about 8 miles (for a 15 yo that seems far) to pick up THE OMEN at a TG&Y in OKC. It started to drizzle on my way back so I had to make sure the album was protected.

Secondly, the day I bought THE FANTASY FILM WORLD OF BERNARD HERRMANN my life changed forever.

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