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Release Round-Up: Week of September 16

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JH

Jimi Hendrix, The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

Legacy and Experience Hendrix have reissues of Jimi Hendrix’s first two posthumously-released albums, both from 1971; The Cry of Love is long out-of-print on CD, while Rainbow Bridge makes its first authorized appearance in the CD format.  Both titles have been freshly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog masters.

The Cry of Love: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Rainbow Bridge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack : Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

 

CL

Charles Lloyd, Manhattan Stories (Resonance) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jazz great Charles Lloyd, on saxophone and flute, is joined by guitarist Gábor Szabó, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca on this set premiering two 1965 New York concerts.  The deluxe 2-CD edition, remastered by Bernie Grundman, features new liner notes by Stanley Crouch, Willard Jenkins, Don Heckman & Michael Cuscuna.

Scruffy

Scruffy the Cat – Good Goodbye: Unreleased Recordings 1984-1990 (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

College radio heroes and alt-country rockers Scruffy the Cat return on this new anthology from Omnivore Recordings featuring 23 songs – one issued on a rare single and 22 never released anywhere – encompassing both live and studio tracks.

Galway

James Galway, The Man with the Golden Flute: The Complete RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

This 73-disc (!) box set chronicles the career of “The Man with the Golden Flute.”  Over  71 CDs and 2 DVDs, Galway tackles both classical and pop repertoire with collaborators including Henry Mancini, The Chieftains, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and many of the greatest orchestras and conductors in the world.

Salsoul Christmas

The Salsoul Orchestra, Christmas Jollies: The Deluxe Edition (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Friday Music’s new collection re-presents The Salsoul Orchestra’s first holiday album from 1976, produced, arranged and conducted by the late, great Vince Montana, plus three bonus tracks – “New Year’s Americana Suite” and the single versions of “Merry Christmas, All” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Ray Price Christmas

Ray Price, The Ray Price Christmas Album (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Friday Music also has the late country crooner’s 1969 Columbia holiday LP on CD featuring “Jingle Bells,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and more.

BS

Barbra Streisand, Partners (Columbia) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Okay, this isn’t a catalogue title, but it’s Barbra Streisand!  The legendary artist returns with her latest studio album, featuring duets with Billy Joel, John Legend, John Mayer, Blake Shelton, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and the late Elvis Presley.  Target stores have an exclusive edition with five bonus tracks – four previously released duets with Barry Gibb, Barry Manilow, Bryan Adams and Frank Sinatra plus one outtake with the album’s co-producer, Babyface.  (He’s also heard on Partners with “Evergreen.”)  This edition is also available in the U.K. from general retailers!

Northern Soul - The Soundtrack

Various Artists, Northern Soul: The Soundtrack (Harmless) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Demon Music Group’s Harmless imprint has the soundtrack to director Elaine Constantine’s new film chronicling the U.K. Northern Soul movement that gave new life to classic American soul records; the soundtrack set consists of two CDs (the actual songs from the film on the first CD and other Northern Soul favorites compiled by the director on the second disc) plus an exclusive DVD with Elaine Constantine being interviewed about the making of the film by actor James Lance who portrays Northern Soul DJ Ray Henderson in the movie.  A special limited edition set of vinyl singles is also available.

Real Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini / Neil Sedaka / Paul Anka / Harry Belafonte / Aretha Franklin, The Real… (Sony U.K.)

The U.K. arm of Sony Music continues its series of 3-CD anthologies drawing primarily from the Columbia and RCA archives, adding a number of favorite classic pop artists to a series that’s already 25+-titles strong.

The Real Henry Mancini: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Neil Sedaka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Paul Anka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Harry Belafonte: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Aretha Franklin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Elmer Bernstein - GE

Elmer Bernstein, Themes from the General Electric Theatre / See No Evil (Intrada)

The Intrada label has two new titles from the composer and maestro Elmer Bernstein including the CD premiere of Columbia Records’ soundtrack to the anthology television series starring future President Ronald Reagan, and the world premiere release of Bernstein’s score to Richard Fleischer’s 1971 thriller starring Mia Farrow, See No Evil!

A Bernstein Bouquet: Cherry Red’s él Label Reissues Elmer’s “Mockingbird” and “Brass”

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Bernstein - Mockingbird ElIn a career that placed him among the most legendary of film composers, Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004) penned the scores to more than 200 films in what seemed like every genre conceivable –comedies (Airplane!), dramas (Sweet Smell of Success), musicals (Thoroughly Modern Millie), fantasies (Ghostbusters) and of course, westerns (The Magnificent Seven). But among his most beloved scores is 1962’s Academy Award-nominated To Kill a Mockingbird. Cherry Red’s él imprint has paired the re-recorded soundtrack album, originally released on Ava Records, with Bernstein’s long out-of-print 1956 Decca album Blues and Brass – two things Bernstein certainly knew all about! The two-fer will arrive on September 15 in the U.K.!

Director Robert Mulligan made many inspired choices in his film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), but chief among them was selecting Elmer Bernstein to compose the score. Bernstein’s sensitive, multilayered score captured the essence of the rich cast of characters– the noble lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), his children Scout and Jem (Mary Badham and Philip Alford), the unfairly accused Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), the misunderstood Boo Radley (Robert Duvall). The music of Mockingbird evoked Americana through the eyes of the children at the film’s heart, particularly via the subtle, gentle piano lines that recur throughout. But the dramatic score, one of Bernstein’s finest accomplishments, also encompasses tension and fear (“The Search for Boo,” “Tree Treasure”), pulse-pounding danger (“Children Attacked”), triumph (“Jem’s Discovery”) and stately beauty (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” the string-laden “Footsteps in the Dark”).

The 11-track album presentation was recorded by Bernstein for Ava Records, of which Bernstein was one of the founders alongside Fred Astaire, Jackie Mills and Thomas Wolf. Conducting his own score at United Recorders for credited producers Mills and Wolf, Bernstein employed many of the same players who actually performed on the original film soundtrack. The orchestrations of Hollywood vets Leo Shuken and Jack Hayes were used for the album, as well. Fans interested in this period of the prolific Bernstein’s career are advised to seek out Intrada’s recent 3-CD set The Ava Collection featuring all six of Bernstein’s LPs for the label. In addition, the Intrada release presents Mockingbird – and the other five albums – remastered for the first and only time from the original stereo session masters.

The él release, however, has been paired with the CD debut of Blues and Brass. With twelve smoky, seductive compositions composed, arranged, orchestrated and conducted by Bernstein and a stunning Saul Bass-designed cover (reprinted in the booklet of él’s new release), Blues and Brass was an extension of the hard-boiled jazz style utilized by Bernstein for his Academy Award-nominated score to 1955’s The Man with the Golden Arm. The West Coast “cool school” of jazzmen turned out in full force for this LP, with artists including Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Maynard Ferguson, Andre Previn, Pete Candoli, Bill Holman, Dave Pell and Ted Nash all contributing. The original liner notes – reprinted in this reissue – cite the influence of Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and Count Basie on these sophisticated, urbane “city blues.”

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2014 at 10:32

High Time: Henry Mancini’s Film Music Celebrated On 9-CD, 18-Score Box Set

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Henry Mancini - Classic CollectionIt’s been a good year to be a fan of Henry Mancini. And it’s about to get even better!

The career of the composer, arranger and conductor – the rare artist for whom the word “legendary” is not only apt, but perhaps an understatement – has been recognized on disc in 2014 by labels including Varese Vintage, Vocalion, Intrada and Sony’s Legacy Recordings. Legacy previously marked the 50th anniversary of Mancini’s iconic music of The Pink Panther with a limited edition pink vinyl release for Record Store Day (this author’s top RSD pick!), and promised the release of a deluxe box set culled from Mancini’s long association with RCA Records and beyond. That box set has just been announced, continuing the celebration of what would have been the maestro’s 90th year. The Classic Soundtrack Collection, scheduled for November 19, features 18 of Mancini’s seminal soundtrack albums for RCA, Columbia and Epic Records on nine CDs, spanning the period between 1960’s High Time and 1978’s Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (That latter soundtrack received its first-ever CD reissue earlier this year from Varese.) Even better, bonus material – including Julie Andrews’ previously unreleased vocal version of “Nothing to Lose” from 1968’s The Party and songs from Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis – has been appended.

While eschewing Mancini’s television scores like Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky as well as his numerous pop albums for RCA, The Classic Soundtrack Collection is the most comprehensive overview yet of the composer’s vintage scores. Many of Mancini’s most beloved themes can be heard here (“Moon River,” “Charade,” “Baby Elephant Walk,” “The Pink Panther”), and for many years, these soundtracks were the only available audio presentations of these scores. Mancini re-recorded his classic music for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, The Pink Panther and more in frequently swinging, pop-friendly LP packages that achieved incredible popularity in the 1960s; only in recent years have a number of his true original film soundtracks (including Tiffany’s, Charade and Hatari!) seen release. Mancini’s lyricists on these many albums include Johnny Mercer, Leslie Bricusse, Rod McKuen and Don Black.

In his career, Mancini received 20 Grammy Awards and four Academy Awards. A master of cinematic scoring, he could turn out expert work for thrillers, romances, dramas, adventures, noirs, westerns, and even science-fiction pictures. In fact, you’ll hear many of those styles on this box set, all filtered through Mancini’s melodic sensibility. But the idiom most associated with Mancini may be comedy. A full ten scores here represent the roughly 35-year collaboration between Henry Mancini and director-screenwriter Blake Edwards. The partnership of the versatile composer and the comic master endured until Mancini’s death. These soundtracks include all-time classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Pink Panther, of course, but also the crime adventure Gunn (based on Peter Gunn), the zany Peter Sellers vehicle The Party, the Bing Crosby-starring college romp High Time, and the ambitious musical Darling Lili. The latter film, starring Edwards’ wife Julie Andrews, threatened to derail the Mancini/Edwards team, but the two men were far too in tune to let their collaboration languish for too long. For one of the most unusual works from the Edwards/Mancini team, look no further than the chilling Experiment in Terror. Its vivid score – filled with Mancini’s trademark sixties lounge sound yet with an undercurrent of tension – is included here in its RCA album presentation.

What can you expect to find on this new set? Hit the jump for a full list of included albums, complete rundown of the bonus material, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 5, 2014 at 13:41

Release Round-Up: Week of September 2

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Real Gone - September 2014

Willie Hutch, In Tune (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / Willie Hutch, Midnight Dancer (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / Esther Phillips, Alone Again, Naturally (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) /Ullanda McCullough, Ullanda McCullough/Watching You, Watching Me (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / Ray Griff, The Entertainer – Greatest U.S. & Canadian Hits (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / Rick Wakeman, Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / The Ides of March, Vehicle (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 16 – Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 11/8/69 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) (all Real Gone Music)

Real Gone Music is kicking off September with classic soul, disco, country, prog rock, jazz-rock and more on this packed slate of eight titles!

George Benson - Breezin SACD

George Benson, Breezin’ SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Audio Fidelity makes a splash in the multi-channel audio arena with this hybrid SACD release featuring stereo and surround mixes of the guitar great’s pop breakthrough!

Big_Star_Number_One_Record

Big Star, # 1 Record and Radio City (Stax)

# 1 Record : Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Radio City: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Concord has a pair of standalone reissues of Big Star’s first two albums with new liner notes from R.E.M.’s Mike Mills!

Jackie DeShannon - She Did It

Jackie DeShannon, She Did It! The Songs of Jackie DeShannon, Volume 2 (Ace) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ace has a second volume filled with hits and rarities from the pen of the great Jackie DeShannon – including tracks from Olivia Newton-John, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers, Peter and Gordon, Rita Coolidge, Tammy Grimes, The Carpenters, Randy Edelman, and of course, Kim Carnes with the smash hit “Bette Davis Eyes” – plus an exclusive demo from Jackie herself!  Look for Joe’s review coming soon!

Game Theory - Blaze of Glory

Game Theory, Blaze of Glory (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Omnivore has CD and vinyl reissues of the 1982 debut album from power pop/new wave band Game Theory, generously expanding the CD edition with fifteen bonus tracks – eleven of which are previously unissued!  The label promises this will be the first in a series, so don’t miss out – this is the ground floor!

10cc - Ten Out of 10

10cc, Ten Out of 10 and Windows in the Jungle (UMC)

10cc’s eighth and ninth albums get the deluxe treatment in the U.K.!  The expanded  Ten Out Of 10  features 7 bonus tracks including B-sides and live versions; Windows, 10cc’s first collaboration with Andrew Gold, adds seven bonuses including B-sides and tracks from the U.S. version of the album.

Ten Out of 10: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Windows: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Other Side of Midnight

Michel Legrand, The Other Side of Midnight: Original Music from the Motion Picture (Intrada)

Intrada is now shipping the CD premiere of composer Michel Legrand’s (The Thomas Crown Affair, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) lush, atmospheric score to director Charles Jarrott’s (Lost Horizon) 1977 film based on Sidney Sheldon’s novel.

Gorky Park OST

James Horner, Gorky Park: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Intrada)

Also newly-available from Intrada: a newly expanded presentation of James Horner’s (Titanic, Braveheart) score to Michael Apted’s 1983 crime thriller.  This edition features the complete score in true stereo for the first time, and a brace of bonus tracks!

Written by Joe Marchese

September 2, 2014 at 08:39

Release Round-Up: Week of August 25

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Kinks - Lola

The Kinks, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround: Deluxe Edition (Sanctuary/BMG, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

The Kinks’ 1970 classic is expanded with a second album – 1971’s Percy – plus an array of bonus tracks (many previously unreleased) on a new 2-CD set!

Mary Poppins 50

Mary Poppins: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – The Legacy Collection (Walt Disney Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Walt Disney Records’ deluxe Legacy Collection unveils its second release – a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 3-CD expansion of Mary Poppins that promises to be the most comprehensive presentation of the Sherman Brothers’ score yet!

Randy Bachman - Vinyl Tap

Randy Bachman, Vinyl Tap Tour: Every Song Tells a Story (ILS)

Randy Bachman of Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive renown, is “shakin’ all over” with this new release of his 2013 hometown concert at Winnipeg’s Pantages Playhouse Theatre!  This greatest hits-centric set – featuring “Undun,” “No Time,” “Laughing,” “No Sugar Tonight,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” “Takin’ Care of Business” and more – updates a similarly-titled program of Bachman’s from over a decade ago, and melds music with Bachman’s stories behind the songs!  It’s available in a DVD/CD set as well as a standalone CD.  Features Bachman’s band including Marc LaFrance on drums and vocals, Brent Howard Knudsen on guitars and vocals, and Mick Dalla-Vee on bass and vocals.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blu-ray:  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Esther Phillips - Black-Eyed and Capricorn

Esther Phillips, Black-Eyed Blues/Capricorn Princess (Soul Brother) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Two of Esther Phillips’ CTI/Kudu LPs – including the long out-of-print Capricorn Princess – are combined on one CD from the U.K.’s Soul Brother label!

Switch - Switch BBR

High Inergy – Turnin’ On / Switch – Switch (BBR)

High Inergy: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Switch: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Big Break continues its series of Motown reissues with 1977’s Turnin’ On from High Inergy and the self-titled 1978 set from Switch!  Full rundowns of both titles are coming soon!

Wild is the Wind

Dimitri Tiomkin, Wild is the Wind: Music from the Motion Picture (La-La Land)

La-La Land is now shipping its 2-CD expansion of the original soundtrack to the 1957 Hollywood drama, and this set features both the original film recordings composed by Dimitri Tiomkin and the re-recorded Columbia Records soundtrack release including the title song performed by Johnny Mathis!

All That Jazz - Criterion

The Criterion Collection: All That Jazz (Dual-Format BD/DVD Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Criterion Collection has a lavish new edition of Bob Fosse’s 1979 film All That Jazz on tap!  The deluxe BD/DVD edition includes a variety of special features illuminating just how the innovative director/choreographer/auteur turned the movie musical on its ear with the shocking, and shockingly autobiographical, motion picture.

Written by Joe Marchese

August 25, 2014 at 08:25

Release Round-Up: Week of August 19

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Posies

The Posies, Failure (Omnivore)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Omnivore expands the 1988 debut album from power-pop heroes The Posies.  The new Failure restores the album’s original 12-track running order (preserved on cassette but cut down by one song on vinyl) and adds eight bonus tracks. Many of these are sourced from a long out-of-print 2000 box set and a 2004 reissue of the album proper, but one, a demo of “At Least for Now,” is being heard for the first time on this disc.  The deluxe configuration is available on CD, and the original 12-track album on vinyl plus the bonus tracks on a download card.  Even better, the first pressing of the LP will be green vinyl!

Professor

Professor Longhair, Let’s Go to New Orleans: The Sansu Sessions (Fuel) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Fuel continues to raid the catalogues of Allen Toussaint’s Sansu and Dessu labels with a compilation of Toussaint-helmed sides for New Orleans’ great piano man Professor Longhair.

On the Town - London

Original London Cast Recording, On the Town (Masterworks Broadway)

In conjunction with the upcoming Broadway revival of the classic Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green musical, Masterworks Broadway brings the 1963 Original London Cast Recording to CD-R and DD for the first time.  Elliott Gould, Don McKay, Franklin Kiser and Carol Arthur star in this recording of the production directed and choreographed by Joe Layton.  Available exclusively at MasterworksBroadway.com for a limited time.

Smokey

Smokey Robinson, Smokey and Friends (Verve) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Okay, this isn’t a catalogue title, but we couldn’t resist putting the spotlight on Smokey Robinson’s new studio collection!  Smokey puts his own spin on the now-de rigeur duets album, featuring many of his famous Motown hits in new versions alongside Elton John, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, James Taylor, Steven Tyler and more!

Bitter Tears Revisited

Various Artists, Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited (Sony Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This isn’t a reissue, either, but rather a tribute to The Man in Black’s 1964 concept album which daringly shed light on the plight of Native Americans.  This 50th anniversary set presents Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and veteran of the original LP Norman Blake as they reinvent Cash’s original songs with producer Joe Henry.  Look Again to the Wind is also a companion piece to the new documentary film We’re Still Here: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, chronicling the story of Bitter Tears and this new recording.

Spider - Kritzerland

Soren Hyldgaard, The Spider: Original Soundtrack Recording (Kritzerland)

Pre-orders are now being accepted for Kritzerland’s latest offering: Soren Hyldgaard’s spellbinding score to the 2000 Danish miniseries The Spider, a noir set in Copenhagen in the wake of World War II.  This 1,000-unit limited edition release improves on an earlier CD release in Denmark, upping the running time from around 44 minutes to nearly 79, mastered from the composer’s complete score tapes. The disc will ship by the last week of September, but pre-orders directly from Kritzerland usually arrive three to five weeks ahead of schedule.

Blow Out OST

Pino Donaggio, Blow Out: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Intrada)

Intrada has pre-orders open for this reissue of the soundtrack by Pino Donaggio (Carrie) for Brian DePalma’s 1981 thriller starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz and John Lithgow.  Though the haunting score was previously released on CD in 2002, Intrada corrects errors in track titles and sequencing, and otherwise upgrades its presentation for a new group of listeners who might have missed out on the first, now out-of-print release.

Friday Feature: Roy Budd’s “Phantom of the Opera” Score Premieres For Classic Film

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Roy Budd - Phantom

Welcome to the return of the Friday Feature, in which we turn the Second Disc spotlight onto classic film soundtracks and their various releases!  Today, the Friday Feature is the 1925 Universal horror classic The Phantom of the Opera, and the rarely-heard score is by the late Roy Budd!  Cue Mr. Budd’s music of the night…

When author Gaston Leroux introduced Le Fantôme de l’Opéra as a serialized novel in the pages of newspaper Le Gaulois in 1909, it was hardly likely that the former journalist could have imagined the role his creation would play in popular culture around the world. Since the novel’s debut, The Phantom of the Opera has conquered nearly every medium imaginable, most notably motion pictures and the stage, where Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation has become one of the most successful musicals ever. From a young age, composer Roy Budd (Get Carter, Soldier Blue, Flight of the Doves) was taken with the tragic tale of a phantom haunting the Paris Opera House, hideously deformed and tormented by his love for the beautiful young soprano Christine Daaé. Budd was spellbound by Lon Chaney’s portrayal in Universal Pictures’ original 1925 silent movie produced by the studio founder Carl Laemmle. Before his tragic death in 1993 at the age of 46, Budd completed a full symphonic score for the still-iconic horror film. This landmark work from the late composer has now made its debut on CD and DVD from Mishka Productions.

Much like The Phantom himself, Roy Budd made his mark in a variety of media. A child prodigy, Budd parlayed his skill into an acclaimed career as a jazz pianist. Like another young artist, vocalist Matt Monro, Budd was championed by the pianist Winifred Atwell who had the very first U.K. piano instrumental chart-topper with 1954’s “Let’s Have Another Party.” Budd made his debut at the London Coliseum in 1953, and earned the attention of pianists and composers including Liberace, Oscar Peterson, Dudley Moore, and Antonio Carlos Jobim; the latter two gentlemen would become lifelong friends. When he formed The Roy Budd Trio at the age of 16 with Chris Karan and Pete Morgan, he was beginning an association that would last for decades.

Budd broke into film score composition with 1970’s Soldier Blue, director Ralph Nelson’s controversial western starring Candice Bergen, Donald Pleasance and Peter Strauss. Budd’s work was well-received, but the best was yet to come with 1971’s Get Carter. Budd’s memorable music was central to the success of the crime drama directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine and Britt Ekland. Years later, Budd’s hard-hitting score for the gritty Carter would be celebrated by a younger generation of musicians from bands like Portishead, The Human League and Stereolab. Tyler Bates, composer of this summer’s space epic Guardians of the Galaxy, even paid homage to Budd’s original score when creating his music for 2000’s Get Carter remake.

Roy Budd went on to compose over 30 scores for motion pictures and had even composed for the opera stage. But one of the projects closest to his heart was his work on Phantom of the Opera. In 1991, Budd purchased a rare 35mm print of the original Universal film, committing himself to its restoration and to penning its very first complete symphonic score. Arranging and conducting himself, as usual, Budd recorded his score in Luxembourg with over 80 musicians. It was to premiere in a live setting at London’s Barbican with Budd conducting in September 1993; he tragically and shockingly passed away just over a month before the scheduled date, beginning a journey to its release for a wide audience that is only culminating now.

In the ensuing two decades-plus since 1993, other symphonic scores have been written and performed for Chaney’s Phantom, but Budd’s was the first such score to be composed, and through the dedication of his widow Sylvia, it’s finally available as a limited edition CD as well as on DVD, synchronized to the original movie. As of now, the Budd-scored Phantom of the Opera is only available on all-region PAL DVD, but even if you can’t enjoy the music with its accompanying visuals, it’s still a striking and dramatic listen on CD.

After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at the music of Roy Budd’s Phantom!  Plus: order links and track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 8, 2014 at 10:13

Posted in DVD, News, Roy Budd, Soundtracks

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