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Film Score Friday 4/28/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 4/27/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from La-La Land is a two-disc set featuring Mark Snow's music for the recent "Event Series" revival of THE X-FILES.
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Film Score Friday 4/21/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 4/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release in Varese Sarabande's "500" series of limited edition re-releases is Bob Cobert's score for the epic 1983 miniseries THE WINDS OF WAR.

Along with several current scores, among Varese's upcoming wide releases is the first U.S. CD release of Bob Crewe and Charles Fox's memorable pop score for Roger Vadim's 1968 comic book sci-fi sex comedy BARBARELLA, starring Jane Fonda, John Philip Law, David Hemmings, Milo O'Shea, Ugo Tognazzi and Anita Pallenberg, the film which brought us, among many other things, the name "Duran Duran." 
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Film Score Friday 4/14/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 4/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Quartet presents the score for director J. Lee Thompson's off-beat 1977 monster Western THE WHITE BUFFALO, with Wild Bill Hickock (Charles Bronson) and Crazy Horse (Will Sampson) hunting the mythical beast (animatronic effects courtesy of three-time Oscar winner Carlo Rambaldi). Quartet's CD actually features two scores for the film -- the John Barry score used in the release version of the film (with sound improved from Prometheus' previous release of the Barry score) and the first-ever release of David Shire's original, unused score.
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Film Score Friday 4/7/16
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 4/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is an expanded version of Richard Band's score for 1986's H.P. Lovecraft adaptation FROM BEYOND, director Stuart Gordon's follow-up to his classic Re-Animator.


The latest batch of CDs announced by Quartet includes an expanded version of the only full score Stephen Sondheim composed for the screen, the 1974 French biopic STAVISKY, directed by Alain Resnais and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as the swindler Alexandre Stavisky, adding 20 minutes of Sondheim score to the previous LP/CD releases. (Along with a handful of original film songs, Sondheim wrote the love theme for Warren Beatty's Reds.)


La-La Land has announced that part of their slate of April releases will be the first release of the original score tracks from Elmer Bernstein's THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER, restored from the original mono music stems and due next week. 

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Film Score Friday 3/31/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


Kritzerland's latest release is the first-ever CD of the score for the 1967 science-fiction comedy ROCKET TO THE MOON (aka Those Fantastic Flying Fools), starring Burl Ives and Terry-Thomas and loosely inspired by the books of Jules Verne. The score was composed by John Scott (back when he was billed as Patrick John Scott), and was originally released in England on an LP so rare that even I, who have been collecting soundtracks for more than 40 years, didn't even know of its existence until a few weeks ago.


This weekend I was listening to the soundtrack LP for writer-director S. Craig Zahler's terrific horror Western BONE TOMAHAWK, with its score composed by Jeff Herriott and Zahler himself. It's been nearly a year and a half since I saw the film, and it's low-key, somber music wasn't especially fresh in my memory, so it wasn't until the end title song played that I realized I was playing the album at the wrong speed -- because nowhere on the album label, the cover, the inserts, or even the sticker on the plastic wrap, did it mention that the album was meant to be played at 45 rpm (nor is it mentioned on the label's website, or on the album's Amazon listing). That's the kind of information that's handy to know when you put an album on the turntable.

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Film Score Friday 3/24/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada pairs two previously unreleased scores by two-time Oscar winner Leonard Rosenman -- the Satanic car chase thriller RACE WITH THE DEVIL, and the groundbreaking gay drama MAKING LOVE.


Tadlow's new recording of cues and suites from Jerry Goldsmith's Emmy-nominated music for the 60s TV anthology series THRILLER is now available to pre-order.


The latest release from Kritzerland features the Oscar-nominated music from the first feature film based on Charles Schulz' Peanuts comic strip, A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN. The film incorporated Vince Guaraldi's beloved original themes from the TV specials as well as original songs by Rod McKuen and underscore by John Scott Trotter, and all three men were nominated for Music (Original Song Score), along with lyricists Bill Melendez and Al Shean. Multiple LPs of the film's music were released at the time, including one that also featured other McKuen themes and which was recently released on CD by Varese Sarabande. This Kritzerland release is the first-ever release of the complete score and songs recorded for the film.

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Film Score Friday 3/17/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


Varese Sarabande has announced the latest releases in their limited edition CD Club series, which can be ordered now and should already be shipping.

The romantic drama STANLEY & IRIS, starring Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro, was the final film directed by the great Martin Ritt (Hud, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Sounder), and featured one of John Williams's most underrated scores. Varese originally released a CD with 29 minutes of Williams' lovely score at the time of the film's 1990 release, but their new Deluxe Edition not only adds additional cues but also includes the first-ever release of Williams' 20-minute score for Ritt's 1972 romantic comedy-drama PETE 'N' TILLIE, which starred Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett and earned Oscar nominations for Julius J. Epstein's screenplay and Geraldine Page's supporting performance. (When I was 11 years old, this was my favorite movie -- I don't know if it was because it was partly shot in my home town, or because I subconsciously identified with Burnett's character, somehow realizing I would grow up to become a wisecracking redheaded spinster).

In the 1990s, it seemed like half the action films being produced could be described as "Die Hard on a...", and after Steven Seagal had his biggest hit with the "Die Hard on a battleship" Under Siege (which earned two Oscar nominations and led to director Andrew Davis and co-star Tommy Lee Jones reteaming for The Fugitive the following year), it was only to be expected that "the cook from Under Siege" (as the sequel's trailer described Seagal's character) should return for the "Die Hard on a train" sequel UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY. Geoff Murphy (Utu, Young Guns II) was the director this time, and the supporting cast included acclaimed stage monologuist Eric Bogosian as the villain and a 16-year-old Katherine Heigl as Seagal's daughter. The rousing score was composed by the great Basil Poledouris, and while Varese's previous Under Siege 2 release was from the era when score CDs were habitually only 30 minutes long for financial reasons, their Deluxe Edition expands Poledouris' score to a whopping 75 minutes.

Their third CD Club release is an Encore Edition re-release of their out-of-print CD of THE BLACK CAULDRON, the Disney-produced animated fantasy with a symphonic score by Elmer Bernstein, for which he re-recorded 32 minutes of his score for the Varese LP/CD (the original Bernstein score tracks were released decades later by Intrada).

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Film Score Friday 3/10/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/9/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is the first-ever commercial release of Bruce Broughton's charming score for writer-producer John Hughes' 1994 comedy BABY'S DAY OUT. In one of the many composer shuffles that were common in the mid-90s, Jerry Goldsmith was originally announced to score the film but had to bow out due to a scheduling conflict, and Broughton (who famously had to back out of Hughes' Home Alone due to a conflict with The Rescuers Down Under) contributed his usual melodic gift and light orchestral touch, even later remarking in an interview on his fondness for the film. A rare, 38-minute promotional CD of Broughton's score was released around the time of the film, but Intrada's Baby's Day Out features more than twice as much Broughton music.


The latest CD from Kritzerland presents the first-ever release of the original score tracks from one of Henry Mancini's loveliest scores of the 1960s, for the time-jumping marital romantic comedy-drama TWO FOR THE ROAD, starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, directed by the great Stanley Donen, and featuring an Oscar-nominated screenplay by Frederic Raphael (Darling). Mancini's score was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination that year (as was his Wait Until Dark), and as with nearly all Mancini scores from that era, the commercially released soundtrack LP, later released on CD, was a re-recording emphaszing source cues.


Varese Sarabande plans to announce their next batch of limited edition CD Club releases next Monday. 

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Film Score Friday 3/3/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/2/2017 - 9:00 PM
As expected, LA LA LAND won Oscars for Original Score (Justin Hurwitz) and Original Song ("City of Stars" - Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul).

Unless it was actually Moonlight. We're waiting for further updates.


The latest edition in Varese Sarabande's limited edition "We Hear You" series of CD releases of older scores pairs the LP tracks from two Neal Hefti scores for Oscar-nominated adaptations of Neil Simon comedies -- 1967's BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, and 1968's THE ODD COUPLE, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. (The Odd Couple LP's contents included the main theme later popularlized by the long-running TV series, and dialogue tracks with -- gasp -- a laugh track).


Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


On March 14, La La Land plans to release a two-LP set of one of Jerry Goldsmith's masterpieces, 1979's Oscar-nominated STAR TREK -- THE MOTION PICTURE. On March 28 they will re-release their 2-CD edition of Michael Kamen's original DIE HARD.


Composer Ibrahim Maalouf (Yves St. Laurent) won this year's Cesar award for Original Score for IN THE FORESTS OF SIBERIA

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Film Score Friday 2/24/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 2/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada presents the score for an early 1960s classic -- writer-director Robert Rossen's pool hall drama THE HUSTLER (based on the novel by Man Who Fell to Earth novelist Walter Tevis), which featured unforgettable, Oscar-nominated performances by Paul Newman (as "Fast Eddie" Felson, a role he reprised to Oscar glory in Martin Scorsese's 1986 sequel The Color of Money), Piper Laurie, George C. Scott and a remarkable Jackie Gleason. The film's score was composed by jazz and film composer Kenyon Hopkins, who scored many high-profile projects in his heyday (including Baby Doll, 12 Angry Men and The Fugitive Kind) but is nearly forgotten by many film music fans today, possibly because so few of his scores have been released on CD. The Intrada Hustler features the cues from the original soundtrack LP plus a plethora of extras. (Best Picture nominee The Hustler won two Oscars, including one for production designer Harry Horner, father of James)


Varese Sarabande has announced three new CDs in their Limited Edition series of contemporary scores -- the romantic drama BITTER HARVEST (due in Los Angeles theaters this Friday), set in Stalinist Russia in the years leading up to World War II, with a score by the suddenly ubiquitous Benjamin Wallfisch (Hidden Figures, A Cure for Wellness); the 2016 World War II naval docudrama USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE, recounting the fateful mission described so memorably by Robert Shaw in Jaws, starring Nicolas Cage as the ship's captain, with a score by Laurent Eyquem (Copperhead, Momentum, Winnie Mandela); and the score for the horror film BEFORE I WAKE, starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane and Room's Jacob Tremblay, (which was set to be released in theaters last fall but pulled at the last minute), music by The Newton Brothers (Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil) with themes and additional music by Danny Elfman (I don't think anyone reading this column needs to be told what films he's scored). 

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Today in Film Score History:
April 28
Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for Judge Dredd (1995)
Billy Goldenberg records his score for High Risk (1976)
Blake Neely born (1969)
Christopher Young born (1957)
Christopher Young records orchestral passages for his Invaders from Mars score (1986)
Lyn Murray records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Who Needs an Enemy?” (1964)
Paul Baillargeon records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Children of Time” (1997)
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