Editor's note: FSM's CD of Islands in the Stream is made possible by tapes of the original soundtrack saved by Bruce Kimmel. We thought it would be interesting if Bruce told the story in the liner notes of how he came to have these tapes. Paramount Pictures, however, upon review of the packaging, asked that this essay not be included in the booklet itself (as it is a little bit too "inside baseball") but agreed that publishing it on our website was a good way to get the information out to our listeners. So with everyone's blessing, here's Bruce Kimmel...
As soon as I heard the gates of Paramount had finally opened in terms of its soundtrack assets, the first thing I wondered was who would get to Islands in the Stream first. My question was soon answered—Lukas Kendall and Film Score Monthly. The next thing I wondered was how long it would take for Lukas to contact me.
My history with Islands in the Stream goes back to 1979. I’d helped start a little label called Varèse Sarabande a year earlier. By that I mean that I helped get them into the field that would soon make them a legendary name—soundtracks. Everyone who has worked there subsequently likes to take credit for this, but don’t you believe it. In fact, the very first Varèse Sarabande soundtrack was to a film I wrote and directed called The First Nudie Musical. It was all uphill from there.
In 1979, I was occasionally getting Varèse projects, things like the five-volume series of The Twilight Zone scores and what would become the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to A Little Romance. I’d also gotten an in at Paramount, and we’d done the soundtracks to Bloodline and An Almost Perfect Affair with them. And one of the things I was desperate to do was Islands in the Stream, one of my all-time favorite Jerry Goldsmith scores, and one of my all-time favorite scores period. The film had, of course, come and gone, and this was back in the day when there was no Internet or Film Score Monthly or much of anything, soundtrack-wise, but I felt there would be enough sales to justify doing it. So, we decided to go ahead. We got the tapes. Then they found out how much it was going to cost in musician union re-use fees and that was the end of that. They simply didn’t think there would ever be a way to sell enough to recoup those costs. We returned the tapes—only before we did so, I decided that as long as we had the tapes I might as well make a 15 ips copy for myself, which I did. A superb copy, if I may say so.
Flash forward to Lukas’s call. He’d licensed Islands in the Stream. There don’t seem to be any tapes. He’s heard through the grapevine that I may have had the good taste and foresight to have made a 15 ips tape of the score way back when and do I still have it. I tell him, why yes, I did and yes, I do. And that is why this story has a happy ending, where so many others don’t. It is a thrill and a treat to have been able to provide the tapes for this CD—it’s an authentic Jerry Goldsmith masterpiece, and I’m so pleased to have played a little part in its finally seeing the light of day. Enjoy!