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:    
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 5:39 AM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

After sating myself with La-La Land's spectacular remaster of both score and album of THE FURY, I couldn't resist putting on this old warhorse. And what a warhorse it is! "To Scarborough" is, hands down, the finest scherzo John Williams ever wrote. Even better than "The Asteroid Field" from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

The climax of the Dracula theme in "Night Journeys" sends the shivers up me timbers with the trilling woodwinds decrescendoing out with the strings. "The Love Scene" gives the Dracula theme urgency and great passion. The shrill and yearning violins in the first section of "The Meeting in the Cave" are romanticism non-compare. A masterpiece!

Exactly whom should we be badgering to restore and re-release this neglected and sadly underappreciated classic?

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 5:43 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Exactly whom should we be badgering to restore and re-release this neglected and sadly underappreciated classic?

If memory serves, Varese Sarabande owns the album rights in perpetuity.

However, in this age where GNP Crescendo reappears out of nowhere and LaLaLand is re-releasing Die Hard and The Fury - whos to say? I tried figuring out this contract stuff ages ago and any time I think I have an idea, something changes.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

If memory serves, Varese Sarabande owns the album rights in perpetuity.

Doubt that. Since it was originally issued on MCA. (the same situation as Masada for example and Varese involvement didn't stop Intrada who released the full version of the score). There was no definitive answer what's the hold up of this one. Only theories including those about full score masters being lost.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   MaurizioCaschetto   (Member)

Since there's a lack of definitive answers/information about the status of this score every single time someone is asking an expanded/complete release of this Williams' gem, my guess is that it's "in the works" from one of our hero labels more than likely smile

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

If memory serves, Varese Sarabande owns the album rights in perpetuity.

Doubt that. Since it was originally issued on MCA. (the same situation as Masada for example and Varese involvement didn't stop Intrada who released the full version of the score). .


Masada, the rerecording, is owned in perpetuity by Varese Sarabande.

Intrada only released the released the original film tracks.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 8:10 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

If memory serves, Varese Sarabande owns the album rights in perpetuity.

Doubt that. Since it was originally issued on MCA. (the same situation as Masada for example and Varese involvement didn't stop Intrada who released the full version of the score). .


Masada, the rerecording, is owned in perpetuity by Varese Sarabande.

Intrada only released the released the original film tracks.


I think you're both wrong. There's no reason why MCA Records would give Varese CD rights in perpetuity of any of their albums. I'm sure the album rights are still with UMG, & I'm sure I can remember reading a post from Doug. Fake over at Intrada, saying that they didn't include the album of Masada as it would have made the package too expensive. Of course I'm not in the know, but that's how I see it. Whatever, I'm hoping that Dracula gets a good release, it's the only Williams soundtrack that I'm interested in.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 8:13 AM   
 By:   propinquity   (Member)

Yes, this score is in need of a thorough remastering; the kind of TLC LaLaLand gave The Fury.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

I'd like to take the time to thank you all for quoting me while leaving out my own acknowledgement that I could very well be wrong.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I also played this score recently (old LP), and had forgotten how great it is. I would definitely purchase a CD of the complete score. Does anyone know how much music is missing?

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 9:06 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

I also played this score recently (old LP), and had forgotten how great it is. I would definitely purchase a CD of the complete score. Does anyone know how much music is missing?


I think I recorded the music off the TV many years ago... it was something between 55-60 minutes in total. Unless I am confusing it with something else...
but! The whole score still sounds quite different to me on the old varese CD when compared with the movie... perhaps it's just terrible mastering, but I still think that this is also re-recording, therefore it would be the best to get the complete score on CD 1 and original album remastered as CD 2 - unless it would ruin the label... it would be nice to get both original score as well as original album remastered considering how terrible it sounds.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Masada, the rerecording, is owned in perpetuity by Varese Sarabande.

Intrada only released the released the original film tracks.


While the latter is true, I don't know where you're getting your info for the former.

As has been said a gazillion times on this board, those early '90s CD reissues of MCA LPs were part of a deal Varese made with MCA. They had a release window of a few years, and then the rights reverted to MCA. This was explained at the time when fans would write to Film Score Monthly (the magazine!) or Soundtrack! The Collector's Quarterly (remember that one?) and ask why Varese didn't reissue, say, "Conan the Barbarian." The answer was always the same -- their rights had lapsed.

That Intrada has since issued expanded CDs of "Explorers" and "Conan" (both from that series of Varese CD reissues of MCA LPs) is proof that such things are possible.

So why no "Dracula" yet? Rumor has it there are elements problems. But that was the case with "Conan," too, and that eventually made it out.

"Dracula" is a score I rarely listen to because the sound is so pinched and distant, it actually made me think less of the score. Then I saw Williams conduct a sequence at the Hollywood Bowl, and the full sound made me reassess.

Can the recording be remastered to sound better? I have no idea. Maybe it's just a terrible recording and will always be such. But we can hope miracles can happen.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 10:47 AM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

"Dracula" is a score I rarely listen to because the sound is so pinched and distant, it actually made me think less of the score. Then I saw Williams conduct a sequence at the Hollywood Bowl, and the full sound made me reassess.

Gentlemen, my considered opinion is that, since the Varese CD sound is a close match of the LP's sound, the master for the CD was the LP master vaulted by Universal/MCA, hence the pinched-off dynamics.

No recording engineer is listed on the LP cover or the CD inlay or booklet. However, the sound of the recording is consistent with the Eric Tomlinson sound all of us are probably familiar with from STAR WARS, THE FURY, EMPIRE, etc.

Those of us familiar with the saga of the SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE tapes shouldn't be surprised that locating earliest-generation tapes of this score is a problematic undertaking. No recording venue is listed. I'd be unsurprised if the tapes haven't been touched since LP and film-mix masters were created.

And if the session masters were to be located? This score falls between SUPERMAN and EMPIRE. Those restorations give us a good idea of what ideally could be expected if those tapes are found. Considering the career-zenith period this score represents, every effort should be made to locate them.

By the way, the Varese CD sound isn't so bad that it stops me from compulsively playing it. This score has way too much verve to disregard, despite the muddy sonics.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 11:28 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

I think its more like 20-25 minutes of unreleased music unless of course there are unused cues that aren't in the movie. There's a couple scenes that use a theme that seems to represent the power of the devil with the melody marching downward in a diabolical way. That's the part that most jumped out at me as needing to be released. The kind of music that if I wrote it, it would the highlight of my life. John Williams writes it and he doesn't even bother to put it on the CD, so generous and prolific are his musical ideas.

- Adam

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 12:26 PM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

I miss many sequences, like turning Ranfield - at 15:00, crypt sequence (66:40), little motif of vampire hunters at 76:30 or probably my favorite unreleased bit from Van Helsing / Dracula confrontation/reveleation sequence at 70:10-73:55. but I know what sequence you mean, that's just georgeous (starting rougly at 9:00 or again at 28:00). It's like the temp track for the best of John Carpenter's The Thing... I just LOVE this movie!
I haven't heard the album in ages, so maybe some of those sequence were actually included, but most likely not...




FYI as stated in the comments: "This Uploaded copy? has artificially added pointless pans and zooms, probably someone trying to avoid Youtube's I.D. scans. You're better off finding the version on Youtube broken down into parts, that copy appears to be clean. This zooming copy is unwatchable."

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Can the recording be remastered to sound better? I have no idea. Maybe it's just a terrible recording and will always be such. But we can hope miracles can happen.

I don't have the album in front of me. Do we know where it was recorded? I know its the LSO performing but ... well, if its Anvil Studios, I was never a fan of the sound there, not even in Star Wars.

 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   JimWare   (Member)

No recording venue is listed. I'd be unsurprised if the tapes haven't been touched since LP and film-mix masters were created.

Recorded 24-30 Apr, 1,4 & 16 May 1979 at Anvil Studios, Denham.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 25, 2013 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I miss many sequences, like turning Ranfield - at 15:00, crypt sequence (66:40), little motif of vampire hunters at 76:30 or probably my favorite unreleased bit from Van Helsing / Dracula confrontation/reveleation sequence at 70:10-73:55. but I know what sequence you mean, that's just georgeous (starting rougly at 9:00 or again at 28:00). It's like the temp track for the best of John Carpenter's The Thing... I just LOVE this movie!
I haven't heard the album in ages, so maybe some of those sequence were actually included, but most likely not...




FYI as stated in the comments: "This Uploaded copy? has artificially added pointless pans and zooms, probably someone trying to avoid Youtube's I.D. scans. You're better off finding the version on Youtube broken down into parts, that copy appears to be clean. This zooming copy is unwatchable."


I just ordered the film from Netflix. Haven't seen it since the original run in theatres. As I recall it was kind of cheesy, but the music is the thing this time around.

 
 Posted:   Mar 26, 2013 - 2:02 AM   
 By:   MaurizioCaschetto   (Member)

The whole score still sounds quite different to me on the old varese CD when compared with the movie... perhaps it's just terrible mastering, but I still think that this is also re-recording.

As it has been already told, the Varèse CD is a direct transfer of the original MCA album master, which itself isn't a great-sounding one (even though it does sound a tad better than the CD). But if you put up the 2004 Universal DVD, the score as heard in the film sounds very good and this probably means the original session elements exist and are available somewhere (if I remember well, the film was completely remixed in 5.1 for that release, but I could be wrong).

I saw the movie not too long ago, and I can confirm the OST is definitely NOT a re-recording, but it's just a very cleverly arranged presentation of the original film tracks.

 
 Posted:   Mar 26, 2013 - 11:38 PM   
 By:   jeremy_johnson_7   (Member)

Masada, the rerecording, is owned in perpetuity by Varese Sarabande.

Intrada only released the released the original film tracks.


While the latter is true, I don't know where you're getting your info for the former.

As has been said a gazillion times on this board, those early '90s CD reissues of MCA LPs were part of a deal Varese made with MCA. They had a release window of a few years, and then the rights reverted to MCA. This was explained at the time when fans would write to Film Score Monthly (the magazine!) or Soundtrack! The Collector's Quarterly (remember that one?) and ask why Varese didn't reissue, say, "Conan the Barbarian." The answer was always the same -- their rights had lapsed.

That Intrada has since issued expanded CDs of "Explorers" and "Conan" (both from that series of Varese CD reissues of MCA LPs) is proof that such things are possible.

So why no "Dracula" yet? Rumor has it there are elements problems. But that was the case with "Conan," too, and that eventually made it out.

"Dracula" is a score I rarely listen to because the sound is so pinched and distant, it actually made me think less of the score. Then I saw Williams conduct a sequence at the Hollywood Bowl, and the full sound made me reassess.

Can the recording be remastered to sound better? I have no idea. Maybe it's just a terrible recording and will always be such. But we can hope miracles can happen.


I bought the CD release of John Williams Dracula way back in 93' and I rarely listened to it for the same pinched and distant reason. In fact I traded my copy away.

 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2013 - 12:00 AM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

I had the MCA lp and it sounded much better, not a good as Arista's FURY, but good enough. The cd, though, is just terrible, with all the high end rolled off and the low end boosted beyond all reason. I wonder in all seriousness if the deal to distribute the album on Varese was done and then the masters couldn't be located at MCA - it sounds like a commercial cassette tape was used as a source and then heavy EQ applied. That's entirely speculation on my part, and I have no idea what difficulties the team at Varese encountered, so I'm reluctant to blame them; none of the other MCA reissues of that time were as disappointing.

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