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 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 2:23 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is another entry in my Complete Score Breakdown Series, focusing on the complete scores to films that have had abbreviated previous releases or have gone unreleased.

Today we are looking at Volunteers (1985) by James Horner.

I suppose James Horner’s 1985 score to the adventure/comedy Volunteers is one of his most sought-after unreleased scores, as not one note has ever been turned out in all of these years for apparent licensor issues. I had never seen the film nor heard the score until just recently when I watched it in order to do this CSB, and overall I thought it was a pretty good score. Not quite the unearthed treasure I thought it might be, but there was a lot to like about the score and I do very much hope that it finds its way to a CD release one of these days.

Compositionally, it’s very diverse, featuring orchestra, exotic Far East accents and instrumentation (though not as much as you might think), buoyant and witty comedy music, rousing and exciting adventure cues, a very good main theme, plenty of snare drums, metallic percussion, some sultry saxophone moments, some Star Trek echoes, some pretty romantic music, and so on. The highlights of the score are certainly “Bridge Building”, a rousing and terrific cue scoring the sequence where the bridge is constructed; this cue most resembled Star Trek II to my ears, featured metallic percussion and swirling strings, and really had a nice sense of ‘building’ musically. “Entering the Fortress” was also a nice piece. “Arrival in Thailand” had an epic sweep to it, presenting the main theme in full with orchestra as the film pans over Thailand, while maintaining a bouncy, jaunty tone. “Escape” is a wonderful cue and had a Willow meets Aliens feel to it. “Blowing Up the Bridge Pt. 1” and “Pt. 2” had more Star Trek II feel to it (plus danger motif), and was a great final action/adventure cue, with strong brass bursts and steady snare rhythms with metallic percussion. Finally, “Finale / End Credits” features an excellent grand finale and wonderful end credits music summarizing the score (minus action music).

COMPLETE (AS HEARD IN FILM)/UNRELEASED SCORE: 29min 05sec

Complete Score Cue Titles and Cue Times (unreleased cues named by me for the sake of identification):

1. Drive to the Airport (0:44)
2. Arrival in Thailand (1:47)
3. Soldiers (0:21)
4. New Player (1:00)
5. Chung Mee’s Fortress (1:18)
6. Bodyguard (0:44)
7. Bridge Building (2:34)
8. Lawrence’s Place (2:10)
9. Nefarious John Reynolds (0:50)
10. Lucille’s Ploy (1:52)
11. Nail Attack (0:11)
12. Entering the Fortress (3:56)
13. Escape (2:24)
14. River Jump (1:05)
15. Dynamite (0:16)
16. Blowing Up the Bridge Pt. 1 (2:42)
17. Blowing Up the Bridge Pt. 2 (1:10)
18. Finale / End Credits (4:00)

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Deputy Riley

smile

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 2:26 AM   
 By:   johnbijl   (Member)

Why, o why, do you keep confronting yourself with saxophone, Dep?

big grin

Thanks for this! Enjoyed the score (and film) back in the day. Love to see a release.

"Time is money"

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 2:29 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Why, o why, do you keep confronting yourself with saxophone, Dep?

big grin


Aren't you the attentive reader! Oh, the things I do for my CSBs... (melodramatic hand to forehead) And this won't be the last score I do with sax, although the next one is the most enjoyable.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Volunteers represents my last true Horner grail.
While I would be happy to get his un-used Romeo & Juliet, expanded *batteries not included and Cocoon The Return or his many TV movie scores, this is the Main Feature for me in his great unreleased scores.
It's brimming with that old Horner vitality and exhuberance and runs through a whole range of styles while maintaining that early Horner magic sparkle.
I'm not that big a fan of the film - it's okay I suppose - but the score is a beaut and I hope it's released on CD soon(ish), once all that legal smeagel stuff is sorted.

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Roger at Intrada has been working on this one for years and I really hope he's ultimately successful in getting it out!

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Jun 16, 2015 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

There was an update on that. Posted May 26:

Roger:
I wish, but we only had one cue to test out the elements. The licensor is 100% unresponsive. I can't seem to get any traction. Very frustrating -- it reminds me of trying to get that Slipstream license. But I'll figure it out eventually.

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)

Roger says


As many of you know, I've been trying to pull this project off for 10 years now. I finally heard definitively from the licensor that they have no interest in licensing any back catalog. It's unfortunate because earlier on we transferred a test reel and there was some deterioration present. I mentioned that the situation only gets worse and we really should get the rest transferred, but that didn't seem to resonate much. So for now at least it's not a possibility.


http://www.intrada.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=84284#p84284

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Heartbreaking.

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Chris Hadley   (Member)

Given all the rights issues involved, does that ultimately rule out any possibility of doing a new recording of Volunteers in lieu of the original tracks?

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Ian J.   (Member)

Why are licensors so damn stubborn sometimes...

frown

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

You would think in these days and times that when a company has a catalog of something and someone offers to pay legal licensing for something in that catalog, that they would jump on it. Yes, it just seems stupid not to make more money off of something that already exists and is just sitting there decaying. Where is the logic Mr. Spock? Frustrating.

Well, at least we got the VOLUNTEERS End Titles (3:23) as a Bonus Track on the TESTAMENT CD Release:

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Maybe there are tapes within the Horner estate, with his wife?
I know that still doesn't get around the legal/rights side of things, but they might hand over the tapes for preservation's sake?

 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 6:51 PM   
 By:   RcM   (Member)

Well, at least we got the VOLUNTEERS End Titles (3:23) as a Bonus Track on the TESTAMENT CD Release:

Damn - My Testament CD must be defective!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 9:08 PM   
 By:   scorehound79   (Member)

I’d pay good money for the Testament CD with the End Credits from Volunteers. Can anyone share which CD this is?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 9:17 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I’d pay good money for the Testament CD with the End Credits from Volunteers. Can anyone share which CD this is?

Sorry guys. I could have sworn I saw a release of TESTAMENT on CD that had the VOLUNTEERS Bonus Track. Perhaps I am wrong, or it was on an Unmentionable Release? I guess that youtube video tricked me. I apologize.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 25, 2021 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   SilentWitness   (Member)

Sorry guys. I could have sworn I saw a release of TESTAMENT on CD that had the VOLUNTEERS Bonus Track. Perhaps I am wrong, or it was on an Unmentionable Release? I guess that youtube video tricked me. I apologize.

It was an Unmentionable and the End Titles are taken directly from the film. They are just edited so that it wouldn't be noticeable. The actual beginning is missing, because in the film it's buried under dialogue and SFX. Someone just used a passage from the middle to work as an opening. Works well, but it's not what was composed/recorded.

 
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