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In this second part, we will quickly examine the 1980's film music, draw conclusions concerning vintage film music released in 2010.
 
VINTAGE SELECTION PER DECADE
All soundtracks are classified in the alphabetical order of the composers. LN means “Liner Notes” and they include authors dealing with cinema/tv and music analysis, track-by-track commentary, vintage LP notes, technical talk.
 
1. Film Music
 
 
Outland soundscape gives a great satisfaction because it is modernistic to the extreme and we dive into a total experience, a trip to the unknown.”
 
1980's Soundtracks (3)
Goldsmith
Outland (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Jeff Bond, Lukas Kendall, Michael Boddicker)
Poltergeist (Film Score Monthly) (LN: Mike Matessino, Bruce Botnick, Steven Spielberg, Lukas Kendall) (On Order)
First Blood (Intrada) (LN: Douglass Fake)
 
Notes
In 2009, Film Score Monthly left the semi-disappointing Twilight Zone The Movie whose half of the scores is namby-pamby, Outland is the updated “New Wave” rendition of Alien with a touch of 80’s synthetic popular music that you can forget (see the intrusive songs entitled “Source 192” and “Source 193” and the faux whores bar music “The Rec Room” and “The Rec Room #2”) but it is still one of Goldsmith’s best orchestral piece from that era along with Night Crossing, Inchon, The Challenge, First Blood that I call 80’s with a grand Stravinsky scope. Outland soundscape gives a great satisfaction because it is modernistic to the extreme and we dive into a total experience, a trip to the unknown. Some tracks are eloquent as the sneaky weird muffled moaning in “Main Title”, the heavy brass sound with echo for “The Mine”, “The Buy” and its full version “The Fix” due to an army of tense violins played as his 1960’s work combined with a little drop of synthesizer, the long and versalite “The Hunted” due to its swift shift of ranges and the climax (from 02:35) of “The Greenhouse”. The leitmotiv of this score is an obsessive action-driven march first heard in “Spiders”.
Goldsmith’s First Blood is now presented complete: a rare virtue. As for Outland, I find the symphonic music score excellent minus the easy commercial tracks that pollute the work of the artist (the opening pop orchestration version of “Theme from First Blood” and the end popular song entitled “It’s a Long Road” that you can nuke it quick!) which give a wrong idea of the leaning and turns it into a soft or dramatical-less affair. I will dissect the original recording of disc one. The identity of the score slowly starts to blossom from track #4 “Under Arrest” when the fast metallic-textured synthesizer plays the “small 5/8 figure” blended with the arch-motif “It’s A Long Road” but it’s track #5 “The Razor” that shows the first beacon of blunt tension.The melody of the “small 5/8 figure” overhangs the score like a fugitive and in two ways: in the foreground (see “A Head Start”, “Hanging On”, “First Blood”, “Escape Route”, “The Truck”, “No Power/Night Attack”, “Hide and Seek”) and slowly in the background (“Over the Cliff”, “A Stitch in Time”, Mountain Hunt”, “The Tunnel”). The track that highlights the acute complexity of the composer’s writing remains “Mountain Hunt” whose downbeat side is a call towards Alien.
 
 
“Insects sting, not from malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics – they desire our blood, not our pain.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche culled from “Assorted Opinions and Maxims” in Human, All Too Human, II (“Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche” in Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, II)
 
 
Film Music Final Report:
The greatest amount of music that I bought is from the Seventies followed closely by the Sixties and I think it is due to the variety of styles and not a single Fifties title: I wonder why no company release any Bernard Herrmann? The CD of the year is, without no doubt, Straw Dogs by Jerry Fielding: you can’t top that orchestral grandeur and perfection; note that it was the second Fielding CD limited to 2000 copies after Gray Lady Down. Let’s hope we get the last Peckinpah/Fielding title (Junior Bonner) from Intrada in 2011! Busting marks the first 70’s score by its composer and we can thank Kritzerland for that brave initiative: I must confess it is a holy grail of mine. In terms of soundtrack from a John Frankenheimer film, we had a total of four: Prophecy (Rosenman), Black Sunday (Williams), The Horsemen (Delerue) and 99 And 44/100 Percent Dead! (Mancini). 2010 saw a number of reissues expanded or not on CD format (some originally come from a vinyl as the 45 RPM Rhino!, Once a Thief and The Venetian Affair or the LP as Spartacus, The Cincinnati Kid, Sol Madrid, The Andromeda Strain and The Deep, a compilation as The Miracle Worker and Straw Dogs, a box set as The Happy Ending, a double header as The Poseidon Adventure, a promo as Theater of Blood, a re-recording as Islands in the Streams, Outland, Poltergeist and First Blood and some are almost identical as The Blue Max, Patton and Get Carter) from various labels.
 
 
It is too bad that nowadays some labels still release re-recordings or LP’s from the past, a past where the composers were compelled to release easy music to satisfy an unsophisticated audience. In our time, the public for soundtracks is educated and sharp and is ready to hear the real material and even the most complexe one. The present is cutting edge, specialized, focused, modernistic to the extreme therefore releasing original recordings is obvious. Intrada made the mistake I denounced above by releasing two third-rate LP’s (Billie and Popi) of composer Dominic Frontiere which undermined his reputation of a quality artist. Dominic Frontiere’s genuine body of work is related to high grade grand drama and the indie company Daystar Productions so the label should have selected a subtle and dense title like Hero’s Island (1962). Intrada is much too shy and conformistic in its editorial line and always falls for spineless 1980’s mainstream music—1980's music is the equivalent of grape juice for wine—owing to low economical reasons of accountant. There are hopefully exceptions to the rules: Mellé’s The Andromeda Strain is the first soundtrack CD of the composer which is a detail to remember in the history of the 1970’s. And the irony is that unconvential and difficult work of art sold out: a victory for art over commerce!
 
 
2010 allowed to record the renaissance of forgotten demiurge John Gilbert Mellé (see the 1971 titles The Andromeda Strain and The Organization) from the same label which resurrected the work of Jerry Fielding. Which implies one thing, my dear Vincenzo: Kolchak: The Night Stalker—just picture a partnership between Phillips and Redman, just picture. Will James Phillips be the true blue disciple spreading the corpus of Mellé like Plato or Xenophon with Socrates or more mundanely like Nick Redman with Jerry Fielding? History will tell whether we were rights about that Ancient Greek comparing… I look forward to reading the rich dialogues between Mellé and Phillips. Let’s just hope that Film Score Monthly will do a Mellé’s film score with a dense booklet to satisfy our endless thirst for knowledge! Since many scores (The Apartment, The Fortune Cookie, Billion Dollar Brain, The Final Option, The Happy Ending, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Honey Pot, The Hills Run Red, Hornets’ Nest) from a Film Score Monthly box have been reissued by either Kritzerland or Quartet, I think one title from a big box really deserves a solo reissue: The Power by Miklós Rózsa. Nick Redman-wise, six titles have the stamp of the film historian: Straw Dogs (co-producer and author of the liner notes), The Black Bird (author of the liner notes), The Blue Max (co-producer), Patton (co-producer), The Poseidon Adventure (co-producer) and 99 And 44/100 Percent Dead! (co-producer). Oddly enough, Small expert Kyle Rennick didn’t write the liner notes of Marathon Man/The Parallax View, Mellé/Goldenberg expert James Phillips didn’t take care of the liner notes for The Andromeda Strain and Busting either.
 
 
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Comments (4):Log in or register to post your own comments
Intrada is much too shy and conformistic in its editorial line and always falls for spineless 1980’s mainstream music—1980's music is the equivalent of grape juice for wine—owing to low economical reasons of accountant.

First things first. Your sentence structure is abysmal and the latter portion doesn't even make sense. Is "conformistic" even a word?!

But more importantly...

That is quite an insult to Intrada, don't you think? You rant and rave about their 70's releases in your other articles, heaping praise on their work. And then in one (embarrassingly formed) sentence you paint their editorial decisions as "spineless" and make allusions to greed playing a role?

I certainly don't worship every Intrada release, but some amount of respect is due, no? By my quick count, they released far more pre-80's scores than 80's scores in 2010, which makes your argument even more insulting and, more importantly, invalid.

Shame on you for not thinking this through before writing it and shame on your editors for publishing it.

It's an OPINION. He's entitled to have it. Doesn't necessarily make him right, but he's entitled to it. If it were being printed as gospel, then there'd be a problem.

Intrada's tough enough to take it... hell, ANY soundtrack producer these days has to be...

It's an OPINION. He's entitled to have it. Doesn't necessarily make him right, but he's entitled to it. If it were being printed as gospel, then there'd be a problem.

Intrada's tough enough to take it... hell, ANY soundtrack producer these days has to be...


Yes... it is his opinion. As you say, he's entitled to it. But it is an ill-informed, inconsistent and poorly written one.

It's an OPINION. He's entitled to have it. Doesn't necessarily make him right, but he's entitled to it.

Yes. But I don't know what the opinion means. It seems to be scathing, but how exactly is Intrada "shy"? And what does "owing to low economical reasons of accountant" mean? I believe Mr. Rucki (for whom I assume English is a second language) is suggesting that Intrada is being frugal, and if that is his point, I don't think it bears any scrutiny at all.

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