GH: Limited edition soundtracks are basically the norm with specialty labels now and it may be hard to decide how many copies to make of each album. Have you ever been pleasantly surprised or disappointed?
MBR: Well, releasing soundtracks is a very exciting experience with its ups and downs. We had some good surprises, like Silvestri's Overboard or Garvarentz's Killer Force/The Corrupt Ones. We never thought that they would sell so well. On the other hand, we were very disappointed by sales of other CDs that would deserve more interest from soundtracks enthusiasts. She-Devil (Shore), Clean Slate (Silvestri) and Tough Guys Don't Dance (Angelo Badalamenti) are great symphonic scores filled with strong melodies, composed by famous international composers.
GH: How long do you usually work on a project?
MBR: That depends on a number of factors. Usually, it’s between three and six months, but we’ve had several projects that could take years from conception to release. One of our best-selling titles was John Williams’ Fitzwilly, which had some special audio issues we had to sort out, so that was among the longer projects. Our latest announced title, The French Revolution by Georges Delerue, is also among those that took a long time to produce.
GH: Let’s talk a bit about that, since it’s your latest release.
MBR: The French Revolution is a huge, two-part film that runs for six hours and has an international cast that includes people like Klaus Maria Brandauer, Jane Seymour, Peter Ustinov and Claudia Cardinale. It was made in 1989 for the 200th anniversary of the revolution but it wasn’t a very big financial success, so it’s not that well-known in France either. Delerue’s score is, of course, fantastic and there was a 2-LP set by Polydor when the film was released. Our 2-CD set contains the original Polydor programs, transferred from the original master tapes, which is followed by 35 minutes of previously unreleased music from the composer’s own archives. It will be a deluxe edition (as we did for The Outsiders) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film. Since the score is out-of-print and goes for astronomical sums on eBay, we hope that our limited edition will be a delight for fans that missed out on previous issues.
GH: Could you tell us a bit more about your new soundtrack distribution service? Why did you choose to distribute other labels’ CDs as well?
MBR: We simply felt that our business should grow alongside the label. It’s been already mentioned that there’s no real soundtrack label focused on issuing previously unreleased French soundtracks, but there’s another problem: There’s no French online store devoted to selling soundtracks either. Now, apart from selling our own releases, we carry the CDs of most specialty labels. It’s a tough job running a web store and a label at the same time but we have a couple of new ideas, too. For instance, we’ve started a loyalty program in our online store: For every purchase made on our website, the customer receives points that can be converted into coupons and discounts. As far as we know, we’re the only specialty soundtracks store that offers this!
GH: So what’s coming up from Music Box Records that you can already tell us?
MBR: Apart from The French Revolution, we’re also working on another very sought-after Delerue title from the late ’80s—it will be the expanded version of a beloved score of his. Let the guessing game begin! We’re also expanding our roster with a French composer whom we haven’t released before and, of course, we’re also keeping up with current French films. We’ve just done the Sepp Blatter biopic United Passions with music by Jean-Pascal Beintus (one of Alexandre Desplat's orchestrators)—this is a download-only release.