Archive for the ‘Soundtracks’ Category
Last week saw Intrada release two score titles. The first is the world premiere of Maurice Jarre’s score to Distant Thunder, from the 1988 John Lithgow-Ralph Macchio film about a Vietnam War veteran uneasily returning to his family after a decade spent in the American wilderness. Jarre’s small-scale electronic ensemble balances the tentativeness of Lithgow and Macchio’s burgeoning father-son relationship with sudden bursts representing the fear and violence that Lithgow’s Mark Lambert so often lived with.
Elsewhere, Intrada unleashes no less than six albums on three discs from acclaimed composer Elmer Bernstein’s tenure on the MGM-distributed label Ava Records. Recorded and released between 1962 and 1965, The Ava Collection features original soundtrack albums from such classics as The Carpetbaggers, To Kill a Mockingbird and Walk on the Wild Side, as well as a compilation of stray movie and television themes by Bernstein. Not only is this the first collection of all six of these releases, it’s also the first time all six of them have been mastered from the original first generation stereo masters! This mix of quality and quantity make it a must-have for not only Bernstein fans, but for fans of great ’60s film scoring.
Last, but certainly not least, Kritzerland uncovers two classics from the scoring sessions of 20th Century-Fox: Alfred Newman’s O. Henry’s Full House (1952) and Cyril Holdridge’s The Luck of the Irish (1948). Full House is quite an interesting picture: five adaptations of short stories by the popular American author, including “The Last Leaf,” “The Ransom of Red Chief” and the enduring “The Gift of the Magi” – all put on by five different directors and five different casts (including Charles Laughton, Marilyn Monroe, Farley Granger and others) and narrated by John Steinbeck, in a rare film appearance. Newman’s five mini-scores, ably arranged by Ken Darby, are treats for any fan of his work. Full House is paired with the score to The Luck of the Irish, a fantasy about a man (Tyrone Power) torn between his wealthy fiancé in New York and a beautiful stranger he met on the Emerald Isle. His journey is guided by Cecil Kellaway as Horace, an honest-to-goodness leprechaun he also makes the acquaintance of.
The Kritzerland two-fer is limited to 1,000 copies, while the Intrada sets are available “while quantities and interest remain.” Make your orders and check out the track lists after the jump!
A host of Allman-related catalogue projects are due out today to commemorate 45 years since the beloved rockers first came together. The band is self-releasing a fine find of a show recorded just weeks after the dates that were captured on At Fillmore East and months before Duane Allman’s sudden passing. Elsewhere, Legacy is releasing some great stuff from the rejuvenated/revived lineup (featuring originals Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe alongside new guitarist Warren Haynes, bassist Allen Woody and percussionist Marc Quinones), including a double-disc set from one of the band’s now-legendary runs at New York’s Beacon Theatre (where they’ve played more than 200 shows over 25 years) and a reissue of the Live At Great Woods concert program on DVD. (Unlike previous reissues, this version is not intercut with interviews, allowing for maximum enjoyment of the music and visuals.)
A trio of manly various artists soundtracks, the first two starring Clint Eastwood (the latter of the two also directed by him) and the other starring and directed by Burt Reynolds. Music by Glen Campbell, Porter Wagoner, Marty Robbins, Chet Baker, Doc Severinsen and The Manhattan Transfer feature here; a full rundown by Joe is forthcoming!
It’s not Halloween for a while yet, but the Kritzerland label is scaring up some ghoulish tunes with its brand-new reissue of the 2003 anthology Jeepers Creepers: Great Songs from Horror Films! With a stellar cast of performers drawn from Broadway and Hollywood including Brent Barrett, Alison Fraser, Jason Graae, Juliana Hansen, Katharine Helmond, Judy Kaye, Rebecca Luker, Michelle Nicastro and Christiane Noll, with a special appearance from the “Cool Ghoul” Zacherley (a.k.a. John Zacherle), Jeepers Creepers features arrangements by album producer Bruce Kimmel and co-arranger/musical director Grant Geissman, composer of television’s Two and a Half Men and Mike and Molly.
Jeepers Creepers first appeared in 2003 as a co-production between the Red Circle label and Kritzerland, and was in fact the first CD to bear the name of the future soundtrack and cast recording specialist label. Though these songs share their origins in horror films (for the most part!), they’re otherwise an eclectic group penned by an A-list of songwriters past and present: Burt Bacharach and Mack David (“The Blob” from the film of the same name, sung here by Broadway’s Alison Fraser), Tony Hatch (“Look for a Star,” from 1960’s Circus of Horrors, sung by the mysterious Guy Haines), Bob Gaudio and Al Kasha (“Who Killed Teddy Bear?” from the campy 1965 thriller, sung here by Tami Tappan Damiano), Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn (“The Faithful Heart” from Journey to the Center of the Earth, sung by Rebecca Luker) and the legendary Johnny Mercer.
Mercer’s contributions might be surprising to some. He co-wrote the title song of Jeepers Creepers with Harry Warren (42nd Street) for Louis Armstrong in the 1938 film Going Places referring to a horse called Jeepers Creepers, but the song found its way into the horror genre courtesy of a 2001 chiller named after the song and its 2003 sequel. Mercer’s other track here is “Goody Goody,” co-written with Matty Malneck, which wasn’t written for a horror movie but certainly made an impression in one thanks to the Debbie Reynolds/Shelley Winters campfest What’s the Matter with Helen? in 1971. (Who could forget – SPOILER – the maniacal Winters serenading the murdered Reynolds, hung like a scarecrow, on piano at the film’s conclusion?) Cabaret star and actress Sharon McNight sings “Jeepers” here, and Lynette Perry (Broadway’s Ragtime, Grand Hotel) does “Goody Goody” with a little help from Zacherley. Another surprising selection might be Ned Washington and Victor Young’s “Stella by Starlight.” It’s since become a standard for both vocalists and jazz musicians (including John Coltrane and Miles Davis), but it had its roots in the 1944 ghost story The Uninvited. Brent Barrett (Phantom of the Opera, Chicago) does it here.
Hit the jump for more on Jeepers Creepers, including the track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »
How did you celebrate yesterday, which would have been the 85th birthday of revered film composer Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004)? Did you play some of the great recent reissues of some of his most classic scores? It’s safe to say whatever you did, Varese Sarabande did it one step ahead: yesterday the label announced the long-awaited releases of one of Goldsmith’s most enduring and unavailable scores, 1963′s The List of Adrian Messenger.
Based on a 1959 novel of the same name, Adrian Messenger, directed by John Huston finds George C. Scott as a retired British intelligence officer following a late writer friend’s mysterious hunch that a recent string of seemingly accidental deaths are in fact a string of murders. An all-star cast, largely hidden by makeup and disguises (including Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra), adds an extra layer of fun to this suspenseful picture.
The year before Adrian Messenger, Goldsmith began to make a name for himself after years writing scores for television shows (Dr. Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Twilight Zone - a feature film of which he’d score in 1983). 1962 saw the release of Lonely Are the Brave, a Western with a fantastic score by the composer, and Freud, whose atonal score netted Goldsmith his first of 18 Oscar nominations. (He’d only win once, for The Omen.) Adrian Messenger‘s thrilling but intimate score was some of Goldsmith’s finest work to date, and an exciting preview of the years to come.
Varese’s CD features the complete score for The List of Adrian Messenger for the first time on any format, limited to just 3,000 copies. Discs will ship the week of February 24, so place your orders fast!
Jerry Goldsmith, The List of Adrian Messenger: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande VCL 0214 1449, 2014 – original film released 1963)
- Prologue/Main Title/Gleneyre
- Death in Disguise
- Le Borg Remembers
- Back in the Ditch
- Cat and Louse
- It’s a Gasser
- Lost Love
- Assault on Slattery
- The Brush Off
- The Gypsy
- Beagles and Fox
- Quail Hunt
- Baiting the Trap
- It’s a Drag
- Broom’s Doom
- End Cast
Camper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart/Key Lime Pie: Deluxe Editions (Omnivore)
Omnivore expands both Virgin Records releases from the winning alt-folk group, released in 1988 and 1989.
Def Leppard, Slang: Deluxe Edition (Bludgeon Riffola)
The band’s fan-favorite 1996 album gets a generous deluxe edition treatment with B-sides and unreleased demos.
New ZTT comps abound this week, including an updated double-disc retrospective for the U.K. (which differs from last year’s U.S. edition on Razor & Tie) and a CD/DVD edition of the latest Frankie best-of.
Some underrated soundtrack goodness is due from this U.K. label. Stiletto features the song “Sugar in the Rain” as written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, while Visions of Eight also features Just You and Me Together Love, Mancini’s 1977 collaboration LP with poet Joe Laws.
Various Artists, The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Anthology (Sepia)
Produced through the unintended convenience of U.K. copyright/public domain laws, Sepia provides a neat little “bonus disc” to accompany the immortal soundtrack to the 1939 film. (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)
Culture Factory dips into the Motown and James Brown catalogues (among others) for vinyl replica CD reissues.
Diana: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Temptations: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
J.B. Ain’t It Funky: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
J.B. The Popcorn: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rod: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Runaways: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The U.K.’s Vocalion label is dedicated to exploring the corners of music catalogue too often overlooked by other labels: dance bands, big bands, “personalities,” “easy, light and Latin,” soundtracks, and classical titles, per its website. A new batch of rare and new-to-CD titles (including “easy listening” releases from Peter Nero, Floyd Cramer, Paul Mauriat and George Melachrino) is highlighted by a two-fer containing two rare Henry Mancini LPs, and another two-fer drawn from Anthony Newley’s tenure at RCA Victor in which the consummate entertainer was teamed with arrangers like H.B. Barnum, Billy Strange, Peter Knight and future Bread leader David Gates.
Producers David L. Wolper and Stan Margulies’ 1973 documentary Visions of Eight enlisted eight different directors to “capture what the naked eye cannot see” at the August 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, West Germany. Milos Forman, John Schlesinger and Arthur Penn were among the film’s auteurs; each man selected his own crew and a subject on which to focus at the Games. Forman took “The Decathlon,” Schlesinger covered marathoners in “The Longest,” and Penn filmed “The Highest” about pole vaulters. French director Claude Lelouch’s The Losers depicted the pain of those athletes who didn’t take a medal home. Mai Zetterling’s “The Strongest” focused on weightlifters, and Kon Ichikawa’s “The Fastest” concentrated on the men’s 100-meter dash, and so on. Hardly any of the films referred to the athletes by name, instead focusing on an artful, stylish interpretation of their accomplishments.
Tragically, the Games themselves were overshadowed by the Black September terrorist attacks (or the Munich massacre, as depicted in Steven Spielberg’s film Munich) on the Israeli Olympic team which left eleven Israeli athletes and coaches as well as a West German policeman dead. Critics at the time of Visions’ release took note that only Schlesinger fully addressed the attacks in his film The Longest; most of the directors reportedly had concluded their location shooting by the time of the September 5 attack. The Golden Globe-winning Visions was dedicated to “The Eleven Slain Israeli Athletes, Tragic Victims of the Violence of Our Times.”
The versatile Henry Mancini was called on to score Visions of Eight, unifying many of the sequences with his dramatic musical cues. RCA Victor, the label to which Mancini was signed, issued a relatively brief soundtrack album, including one composition recorded especially for the LP, “Ludmilla’s Theme.” Vocalion’s reissue marks its first appearance on CD since a 1999 BMG Spain edition which is long out-of-print. Visions of Eight has been paired with a more unusual project of the great composer’s. Just You and Me Together Love, recorded in San Francisco in 1977, teamed Mancini with the poet John Laws. Once described as “Australia’s best-selling poet of the 1970s,” Laws might be described as the Rod McKuen of the Aussie set. And Just You and Me Together Love could then be thought of as Laws and Mancini’s answer to McKuen and the Anita Kerr Singers’ The Sea. In any event, Laws narrated, and Mancini provided a typically lush array of original melodies and arrangements to accompany Laws’ recited poems. Vocalion’s reissue is the first CD appearance of this rare LP, making it essential for Mancini collectors.
After the jump: Vocalion offers a two-for-one release from Anthony Newley! Read the rest of this entry »
Twentieth Century Fox’s 1953 Biblical epic The Robe boldly trumpeted on its posters, “The First Motion Picture in CinemaScope – The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses!” So confident was Fox about the success of The Robe and indeed, the widescreen CinemaScope format, that the studio began production on a sequel (or “continuation,” as it was dubbed) before the first film had even reached theatres. Screenwriter Philip Dunne, producer Frank Ross, art directors George W. Davis and Lyle Wheeler, and actors Victor Mature as the titular slave-turned-gladiator, Michael Rennie as Peter, and Jay Robinson as the notorious Caligula all returned for Demetrius and the Gladiators. Director Henry Koster, cinematographer Leon Shamroy, and composer Alfred Newman – all still occupied with The Robe – gave way to Delmer Daves, Milton Krasner and Franz Waxman, respectively for Demetrius. But though the sequel didn’t match the success of its predecessor, it was far from a disappointment and actually ranked as the fourth highest-grossing film of 1954. In addition to its repeat performances from the above-mentioned actors, Demetrius also featured Ernest Borgnine, Susan Hayward, Anne Bancroft and Julie Newmar among its cast! The picture has held up remarkably well, with no small credit due to Waxman’s score. Kritzerland is premiering a new restoration of this grandiose soundtrack as its latest release, now available for pre-order.
Franz Waxman deftly incorporated Alfred Newman’s themes for The Robe into the sonic tapestry he devised for Demetrius and the Gladiators. Kritzerland producer Bruce Kimmel writes that Waxman’s score “manages to display a modernist élan and power all its own. Demetrius and the Gladiators was this fabulously versatile composer’s first Biblical epic; as usual, he adapted his talents to a new genre with superbly dramatic dexterity. Beginning with a pulse-pounding ‘Prelude’ which twines Newman’s themes with his own, Waxman moves on to one stunning cue after another.”
After the jump: the lowdown on what sets the 2014 Demetrius apart from its past CD release, plus a pre-order link and the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »
Uncle Tupelo, No Depression: Legacy Edition (Legacy)
After at least two teasers in the form of Record Store Day releases, one of the most beloved alt-country albums is greatly expanded as a double-disc set with a host of rare and unreleased demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Tony Bennett, The Classics (RPM/Columbia/Legacy)
One of the most beloved singers of the 20th century is the subject of a new career-spanning compilation, available in single and double-disc iterations.
Frank Sinatra, Sinatra, with Love (Capitol/UMe)
The first in a new Sinatra series (now distributed by Universal) explores the Chairman’s romantic side, with an unreleased alternate take on “My Foolish Heart” from Sinatra’s last studio session for Reprise. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
The Gaslight Anthem, The B-Sides (SideOneDummy)
The New Jersey rockers compile their rarer tracks on a new single-disc compilation.
Dionne Warwick, Presenting Dionne Warwick/Anyone Who Had a Heart/Make Way for Dionne Warwick/The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick; Here I Am/Live in Paris/Here Where There is Love/On Stage and In the Movies; The Windows of the World/Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls/Promises, Promises/Soulful…Plus; I’ll Never Fall in Love Again/Very Dionne/Dionne/Just Being Myself (Edsel)
Sixteen Dionne Warwick albums (plus some bonus tracks) combined on four new sets from Edsel.
The latest from BBR includes two semi-obscure Kool & The Gang LPs (released between their biggest hit periods of the early-mid ’70s and early-mid ’80s) and a funky classic from Leon Haywood.
Hazell Dean, The Sound of Bacharach and David (Cherry Pop)
The debut LP from the Oscar-winning singer/songwriter (otherwise known as The Leprechauns Are Upon Me). Features new sleeve notes by Bob Stanley, author of the recent Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Privates on Parade: Original London Cast Recording (Stage Door Records)
The Beatles, The U.S. Albums (Apple/Capitol/UMe)
The centerpiece product of The Fab Four’s 50th anniversary celebration (thus far, anyway) is a 13-disc box featuring the original, unique American releases on Capitol/United Artists from 1964 to 1970 (including six titles from that first year alone). All but the spoken-word documentary album The Beatles’ Story will be available individually, and all but that and 1970′s stereo-only Hey Jude compilation will be available in mono and stereo on the same disc.
The U.S. Albums: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Meet The Beatles!: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Beatles’ Second Album: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
A Hard Day’s Night: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Something New: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Beatles ’65: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Early Beatles: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Beatles VI: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Help! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rubber Soul: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Yesterday and Today: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Revolver: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Hey Jude: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Del Amitri, Waking Hours / Change Everything / Twisted: Deluxe Editions (Mercury/UMC)
Best known in the U.S. for peppy rock radio hit “Roll to Me,” the recently-reunited Glasgow rockers’ first three alternative-friendly albums for A&M are being expanded as double-disc sets with heaps of non-LP B-sides.
Mike + The Mechanics, The Singles 1985-2014 / The Living Years: Deluxe Edition (UMC)
To time with Mike Rutherford’s new memoir, the Genesis guitarist/bassist’s famed side-project (with vocals from Paul Carrack and Sad Café’s Paul Young) is first anthologized with a career-spanning double-disc hits and rarities set, and then an expansion of 1988′s The Living Years (whose title track was the band’s biggest worldwide hit), featuring a new version of the track with vocalist Andrew Roachford and a disc’s worth of live recordings from 1989.
Two more expanded albums from the Salsoul label on BBR – one from label queen Loleatta Holloway and the debut album from the famed singer-comedienne.
FTG puts the first and only RCA album by ex-Delfonic/”Love Won’t Let Me Wait” singer Major Harris on CD for the first time, while expanding a 1983 album by Harris’ onetime labelmate Margie Joseph.
Various Artists, Playlist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)
The latest wave in Legacy’s low-price hits series includes some converted greatest hits titles (Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, Journey’s Greatest Hits Live, Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan) but also some new titles – chiefly some newly-curated compilations from Dean Martin, Ronnie Spector, Jermaine Jackson and Ray Parker, Jr. (All Amazon U.S. and U.K. links can be found in the link above!)
There’s No Place Like Oz: Sepia Celebrates 75th Anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” With New Rarities Anthology
When L. Frank Baum published his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the turn of the century in 1900, could the author have ever possibly imagined that his characters would still be known by virtually every man, woman and child some 114 years later? Much of that success, however, is attributable to MGM’s lavish, Oscar-winning 1939 musical film adaptation which immortalized Judy Garland as Dorothy along with Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr as, respectively, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion. Thanks to the success of MGM’s The Wizard of Oz – which solidified its place in American culture largely thanks to annual television airings beginning in 1956 – “There’s no place like home” and “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” have entered the lexicon. The film introduced the world to Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s “Over the Rainbow,” voted the 20th Century’s Best Song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts, in front of “White Christmas,” “This Land is Your Land,” “Respect” and “American Pie.” It also set the stage (pun intended) for further adaptations based on the original source material such as the Broadway blockbuster Wicked, itself based on Gregory Maguire’s Oz spin-off novel of the same name. Now, U.K. label Sepia Recordings is celebrating the film’s 75th anniversary (already recognized by current rights-holder Warner Bros. with a 3-D Blu-ray presentation and lavish new box set) with an unusual anthology that should pique the interest of Ozians everywhere.
The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Anthology brings together songs from the film in rare and little-heard versions recorded by its stars such as Judy Garland, composer Harold Arlen and popular performers including Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. Live radio broadcasts to promote the movie are heavily drawn upon, and devotees will find four recordings of “Over the Rainbow” performed by Garland: the original movie version, a live performance, a “pop” version and finally, one with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra recorded to sell government war bonds. Big bands are represented here by Miller as well as Vincent Lopez and Frankie Masters, each performing their “dance band” version of songs from the Arlen/Harburg score. This disc, basically a collection of “bonus tracks,” makes a fine complement to Rhino/Turner Classic Movies’ definitive 1995 soundtrack restoration and other associated releases such as 1998’s The Story and Songs of the Wizard of Oz.
After the jump, we have more details including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »