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 Posted:   Feb 15, 2020 - 7:09 PM   
 By:   JThree   (Member)



With the recent death of Orson Bean, I find myself wishing that the soundtracks and "story of" the Hobbit and the Return of the King would come on CD. Bean did a great job as Bilbo, which I appreciated even more on a listening of the album. The music was great, but I would love a decent restoration job and some of the songs sounded abbreviated.

Maury Laws was fantastic.

--Jthree

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2020 - 7:34 PM   
 By:   TacktheCobbler   (Member)

I fear that the prospects of expanded versions of the Tolkien specials may be impossible. Another member of the board got in touch with Rick Goldschmidt (the leading authority on Rankin/Bass) last year asking about the tapes for any of those specials and this was Goldschmidt’s response:

"... no underscores were saved to my knowledge. ... I doubt any more releases will come to CD properly by these idiotic companies, that is why I offer the CDs I sell.

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=135999&forumID=1&archive=0

We can only hope that the album masters for the Hobbit’s soundtrack album and those “story of” albums were preserved for an eventual release.

 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2020 - 10:33 PM   
 By:   C. J. Smith   (Member)

I fear that the prospects of expanded versions of the Tolkien specials may be impossible. Another member of the board got in touch with Rick Goldschmidt (the leading authority on Rankin/Bass) last year asking about the tapes for any of those specials and this was Goldschmidt’s response:

"... no underscores were saved to my knowledge. ... I doubt any more releases will come to CD properly by these idiotic companies, that is why I offer the CDs I sell.

https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=135999&forumID=1&archive=0

We can only hope that the album masters for the Hobbit’s soundtrack album and those “story of” albums were preserved for an eventual release.


I was the one that reached out to Rick last year regarding the masters -- at the time, I would have (and did) take his word as gospel, but my stance has changed somewhat after doing some research and reasoning of my own.

What evidence is there to suggest that the Rankin/Bass masters aren't around? None, but there is evidence suggesting the alternative. On the recent FROSTY THE SNOWMAN Blu-ray, there is fully isolated music (possibly stereo, though it remains uncertain at this point) in the rear channels all throughout the special, without any SFX interference to suggest it comes from a music & effects track.
None of the music has ever been released, and there are no LP masters or other things of that nature that could be used as an alternative to the original, real-deal master tapes, which leads me to believe that they're newly unearthed. The FROSTY music was all recorded in New York by a selection of the NY Philharmonic -- this is also where all of their post-1974 sessions were held, among them those of THE HOBBIT and RETURN OF THE KING.
Since Rankin/Bass lacked a proper archive of their own (nor did they ever record their material in-house), it seems very reasonable to me that the music would have remained in safekeeping where it was recorded, that being somewhere in New York. There could be some legal issues involving the physical ownership of the masters that prevents companies like Classic Media from easily accessing the material for home video releases or potential soundtrack releases, in addition to their own corporate laziness.

I am also reminded of the 1992 RHINO CD soundtrack release of SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN (paired with FROSTY), whose audio track was reconstructed from the ground up using original dialogue sessions -- presumably from, again, New York, where all of the Rankin/Bass voicework was recorded. Contrarily, the music is simply represented by a music & effects track, however I'd rule that this was due to the lack of original sources for the SFX, which would otherwise be entirely missing from the soundtrack if only dialogue and music elements were available.

Amid all of this, there is no hard evidence to suggest that the masters are indeed lost beyond the paranoid quarrels of fans (with all due respect to Rick, he doesn't have any more insight into the archival material owned by Universal & Warner than the average fan -- both companies treat him like one). It doesn't make a release any more likely, but it isn't damning evidence that it can't happen either.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2020 - 11:13 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)



 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The album masters may exist but if the actual recording sessions were available Intrada would've released this by now. (IMHO)

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 6:58 AM   
 By:   TacktheCobbler   (Member)

The album masters may exist but if the actual recording sessions were available Intrada would've released this by now. (IMHO)

I'm not so sure about that. As was mentioned earlier, there may be legal issues getting in the way of a soundtrack release (though the loss of elements still sounds plausible).

 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

This would truly be one of my grails. Some of the songs may be a little sappy (although they hold a special place in my heart) but there is some terrific underscore. I'd love to get Misty Mountains without John Huston's narration.

Sad to hear about Bean. 91 and he gets hit by a CAR?

Even though he will always be Bilbo to me, when I hear his name I hear him saying the line from Being John Malkovich: "I piss orange!"

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 6:03 PM   
 By:   JThree   (Member)


Sad to hear about Bean. 91 and he gets hit by a CAR?

"


That was my reaction as well. It breaks my heart that a man credited as being a real nice man, full of the history of Hollywood and part of it, dies so suddenly and needlessly. We've lost so many, and I miss the old Hollywood.

P.S. He got clipped by one car, and then fell into the pathway of another one.

--jthree

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 16, 2020 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   roy phillippe   (Member)


Sad to hear about Bean. 91 and he gets hit by a CAR?

"


That was my reaction as well. It breaks my heart that a man credited as being a real nice man, full of the history of Hollywood and part of it, dies so suddenly and needlessly. We've lost so many, and I miss the old Hollywood.

P.S. He got clipped by one car, and then fell into the pathway of another one.

--jthree


I live near where Mr. Bean was hit. it is a very busy street. He was jaywalking.

 
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