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Film Score Friday 12/8/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/7/2017 - 9:00 PM
Hot on the heels of La-La Land's impressive Black Friday quintet of new releases, Intrada has announced a pair of truly historic soundtrack releases this week.

The 1977 science-fiction adventure DAMNATION ALLEY is a perfect encapsulation of Jerry Goldsmith's talent for writing inspired scores for uninspired films. Jack Smight (Harper, The Illustrated Man) directed this loose adaptation of the novel by Roger Zelazny (whose Lord of Light was the basis for the script used in the real-life Argo caper), co-written, surprisingly enough, by the excellent screenwriter Alan Sharp (Night Moves, The Last Run, Ulzana's Raid, Rob Roy). George Peppard and Jan Michael Vincent play a pair of Air Force officers who survive World War Three inside a desert missile base, and proceed to travel across the irradiated America in a high-tech tank called the "Landmaster" (movie geeks like myself who lived in L.A. in the early '80s were always thrilled to spot the Landmaster in a lot just off the freeway north of the Hollywood Bowl), battling such menaces as freak storms and killer cockroaches, and picking up stray survivors (Euro-star Dominique Sanda and the then-teenage Jackie Earle Haley). The film was a box-office failure (rumor has long had it that certain 20th Century Fox execs were convinced that this film, not Star Wars, was destined to be the studio's sci-fi blockbuster for 1977), with visual effects that were far from state-of-the-art in the wake of Star Wars and many unintentionally hilarous moments, but is one of those indefensible films that manages to still be consisently entertaining and endlessly rewatchable 40 years later. But what makes the film most rewatchable is Goldsmith's thrilling score, an inventive mixture of rousing orchestral tracks and distinctively Goldsmithian synth overlays. Goldsmith's score was one of his few popular works to not receive a satisfactory release in the archival soundtrack boom of the last few decades -- because most of the synth parts were missing, the only release so far had been eight largely orchestral cues on Varese Sarabande's epic Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox boxed set. Intrada has since found the complete master session tapes from the orchestral recordings, including music not featured in the final film, and has engaged synthesizer artist Leigh Phillips to recreate the missing electronic parts, resulting in a soundtrack release that has been a forty-years-in-the-making, true Holy Grail for Goldsmith fans like myself.

Their other new release is a four-disc set featuring previously unreleased original score tracks from one of the all-time film music masters, two-time Oscar winner Franz Waxman. Disc One of CAPTAINS COURAGOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION features 43 minutes of music from the title film, which won Spencer Tracy the Best Actor Oscar, and 34 minutes from another Tracy vehicle, the 1941 remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which earned Waxman an Oscar nomination. Disc Two features the 1939 film of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (20 min.), the classic 1938 version of A Christmas Carol (34:06), and the first classic Tracy-Hepburn romantic comedy, Woman of the Year (14 min.). Disc Three features the 1959 Deborah Kerr comedy Count Your Blessings (48 min.), the 1936 Joan Crawford-Clark Gable romantic comedy Love on the Run (15 min.), and Fritz Lang's classic 1936 crime drama Fury (6 min.). Disc Four concludes the set with Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 romantic mystery Suspicion (18 min.), which earned Joan Fontaine a Best Actress Oscar and nominations for Best Picture and for Waxman's score, Tod Browning's 1936 horror film The Devil-Doll (19 min.), and the 1961 gangster biopic King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (37 min.). The set features liner notes by Frank DeWald as well as illustrations including scoring manuscripts and stills from the collection of the composer's son, John Waxman.


Quartet has also announced their final batch of 2017 soundtrack CD releases -- an expanded edition of Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful romantic jazz score for the Fred Schepisi-Tom Stoppard adaptation of John Le Carre's THE RUSSIA HOUSE; a two-disc expanded version of an international film and film-music classic, Nino Rota's score for Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA; a new re-recording of Fernando Velazquez's score for J.A. Bayona's memorable ghost story, THE ORPHANAGE; and a remastered, 50th anniversary edition of perhaps the greatest pop movie music ever written, Burt Bacharach's score for the 1967 comedy film version of Ian Fleming's CASINO ROYALE.

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Film Score Friday 12/1/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land has announced their latest batch of "Black Friday" titles, now available to order, and even by the standards of La-La Land Black Fridays this is a "wow!" bunch -- the first-ever release of David Shire's unused score for Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning Vietnam epic APOCALYPSE NOW; a greatly expanded, two-disc edition of David Arnold's score for the final Pierce-Brosnan-as-James-Bond movie, DIE ANOTHER DAY (not, however, including Madonna's title song); an expanded, two-disc edition of one of John Williams' first masterpieces, Steven Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND; a two-disc expanded version of the lavish 1967 musicalDOCTOR DOLITTLE, with both the Leslie Bricusse songs and the Oscar-nominated adaptation underscoring by Alexander Courage and Lionel Newman (Bricusse was nominated for the film's score and won for the song "Talk to the Animals); and last but not least, a four-disc set of James Horner's phenomenally popular, Oscar-winning score for TITANIC, with three discs of Horner music (though not Celine Dion's song) and one disc of source cues.

The label has also announced plans to release John Powell's for the new animated FERDINAND in a couple weeks. (Parental advisory -- my boss at my day-job said that his six-year-old daughter ran out screaming during one light-hearted slaughterhouse scene, so be warned.)


Intrada plans two new releases for next week, including one which, if the hints are any indication, means that my own last remaining "Holy Grail" soundtrack may finally be available. (Which doesn't mean there aren't still unreleased scores I'd love to own -- everything from the Columbo TV scores to a host of unused scores including Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Casey's Shadow, Distant Drums, Five Days One Summer, Frenzy, The Go-Between, Goodbye Lover, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, I Love Trouble, Interview with the Vampire, Kramer vs. Kramer, The New Centurions, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, Peeper, The Reivers, A River Runs Through It, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, See No Evil and The 13th Warrrior.)

Comments: 5  (read on)
Film Score Friday 11/24/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
I am currently on vacation, so if there is any important film music news that has transpired in the last week or so, you will have to learn about it from each other on our Message Board (or perhaps, instead, from the rest of the Internet, whose name is Legion for it contains multitudes).

La-La Land was scheduled to announce its latest batch of end-of-year, "Black Friday" CD releases today.  
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The 2017 Top Forty Composer Countdown (Abbreviated Version)
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/17/2017 - 9:00 PM
40. MARCELO ZARVOS
 
2016 RANKING: Not ranked
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Fences
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The Good Shepherd--59 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Fences--57
3. Beastly--27
4. Brooklyn’s Finest--27
5. Remember Me--19
6. The Choice--18  
7. American Ultra--14
8. Hollywoodland--14
9. Friends with Kids--14
10. Kissing Jessica Stein--7
 
Fences proved to be his highest-grossing solo scoring credit as well as his first Best Picture nominee and major award contender in other categories, winning a long-expected Oscar for Viola Davis. His latest is an adaptation of the bestseller Wonder, and upcoming is another racially-themed drama, The Best of Enemies (no relation to the Vidal/Buckley documentary)
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Best of Enemies, The Land of Steady Habits, Wonder 
Comments: 3  (read on)
Film Score Friday 11/17/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is a third volume of Alan Silvestri's music for the TV series COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY.
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Film Score Friday 11/10/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/9/2017 - 9:00 PM
Quartet has announced three new soundtrack releases -- the first CD release of Henry Mancini's score for actor-director Paul Newman's 1970 film version of Ken Kesey's logging drama SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION (sometimes screened as Never Give an Inch), featuring the same cues as the original MCA LP, which itself featured all of Mancini's brief score except for one 90-second cue -- the film received Oscar nominations for Richard Jaeckel's supporting performance and Mancini's original song "All His Children"; Lalo Schifrin's score for Jackie Chan's American starring debut, 1980's THE BIG BRAWL, directed by Robert Clouse (Enter the Dragon, Game of Death), and featuring the same cues as the original Japanese LP; and Victor Reyes' score for the new sci-fi horror film COLD SKIN.
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Film Score Friday 11/3/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/2/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada pairs the LP tracks from two Quincy Jones scores from the 1960s -- the star-laden Western MACKENNA'S GOLD, a film produced by none other than Dimitri Tiomkin, and his Oscar-nominated score for Richard Brooks' classic film version of Truman Capote's IN COLD BLOOD.


Varese Sarabande has announced three new CD Club releases, which can be pre-ordered now and are expected to begin shipping the week of November 20 -- a greatly expanded Deluxe Edition of Jerry Goldsmith's score for director Jan de Bont's lavish remake of THE HAUNTING, starring Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson; a Deluxe Edition of Maurice Jarre's score for the Paul Hogan fantasy-comedy ALMOST AN ANGEL, featuring both the full score tracks and the original CD sequencing; and an Encore Edition re-release of Craig Safan's score for the uplifting true-life drama STAND AND DELIVER, which earned Edward James Olmos a Best Actor Oscar nomination (Olmos and other cast-and-crew members are currently expected to take part in a November 18th public screening of the film at the Academy's Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, as part of the ongoing Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA at the Academy series.)

The label has also announced an upcoming boxed set -- STEPHEN KING SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION, an eight-disc set featuring two discs of W.G. Snuffy Walden's Emmy-nominated music from the epic miniseries adaptation of THE STAND (previously released by Varese as a single-disc CD); three discs of Nicholas Pike's score for the miniseries remake of THE SHINING (previously available only as a one-disc composer promo); a Deluxe Edition of James Newton Howard's DREAMCATCHER, his fifth score for writer-director Lawrence Kasdan; and Tangerine Dream's score for the 1984 film version of FIRESTARTER.


The latest release from Kritzerland is a two-disc set titled THE RED SHOES: MUSIC FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF BRITISH CINEMA, featuring remastered versions of music from such scores as William Walton's Henry V, Arthur Bliss's Things to Come, and Brian Easdale's Oscar winner The Red Shoes.

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Film Score Friday 10/27/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/26/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from La-La Land is the first CD of Alex North's score for the 1956 evil-child thriller THE BAD SEED, which earned Oscar nominations for actresses Nancy Kelly, Eileen Heckart and Patty McCormack. The La-La Land Bad Seed features the original LP tracks plus five additional cues.

The Bad Seed is currently planned to be the label's final release for the year until they close out 2017 with their annual "Black Friday" releases of high-profile and in-demand scores and box-sets, to be announced the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 24).


Varese Sarabande plans to announce their latest batch of CD Club releases next week.


On Sunday, November 5 at Santa Monica's Aero theater, the American Cinematheque has scheduled an advance screening (in 70mm!) of Kenneth Branagh's remake of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, and composer Patrick Doyle is currently scheduled to join the film's screenwriter, Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049, American Gods) in a discussion following the film.

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Film Score Friday 10/20/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/19/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new releases this week, both featuring scores from horror films from the 1980s -- a remastered version of director Frank LaLoggia's lush, Bernstein-esque score for his cult classic ghost story LADY IN WHITE (this two-disc set also includes LaLoggia's concept album "Frankie Goes to Tuscany"); and the first CD release of Richard Band's TERRORVISION (limited to 500 units.)


Varese Sarabande has announced three new CDs in their Limited Edition (500 units each for this batch) of contemporary scores, all from this year's films and expected to begin shipping next week: the animated sequel NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE, scored by Heitor Pereira (the Despicable Me/Minions films); the period thriller THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM, starring Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth and Eddie Marsan, scored by Johan Soderqvist (Let the Right One In, In a Better World, Kon-Tiki); and the score for the romance HAMPSTEAD, pairing Brendan Gleeson and Oscar winner Diane Keaton, directed by Joel Hopkins (Last Chance Harvey) and composed by Oscar winner Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot).   

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Film Score Friday 10/13/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/12/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Varese Sarbande's "We Hear You" series, limited to 2000 units, is a two-disc edition of music from NBC's long-running THE WEST WING, featuring episode scoring by W.G. Snuffy Walden, who earned an Emmy and two nominations for his contribution to the series.

Next week Varese plans to announce three new releases in their Limited Edition CD series of contemporary scores. 


La-La Land has announced their latest batch of releases, with an emphasis on composer Blake Neely -- CDs of Neely's music for ARROW: SEASON 5, DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: SEASON 2, THE FLASH: SEASON 3, and SUPERGIRL: SEASON 2, as well as a two-disc set of Harry Manfredini's scores for the second and third films in the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise.  

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