Film score fans have had a lot to sing about in the past year or so. Thanks to the Herculean efforts of independent soundtrack labels, a lot of highly sought-after soundtracks that major labels would never think to release have been put on disc to the delight of fans everywhere. The Intrada label recently scored an enormous coup by releasing Alan Silvestri's complete score to Back to the Future, La La Land Records recently pressed limited editions of James Newton Howard's music for the film version of The Fugitive and the first-ever CD release of the Caddyshack soundtrack. And Film Score Monthly, which made one of the decade's best box sets in Superman: The Music 1978-1988, has put out such recent fan faves as James Horner's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and John Williams' Black Sunday, and (as previously posted) will be putting out a deluxe edition of Jerry Goldsmith's Poltergeist later in the year.
But one cannot forget the score label that started it all: Varese Sarabande has been releasing new and old soundtracks since 1978, and are rapidly approaching their 1000th-title mark. For what seems like years, fans have speculated that the 1000th release will be the score to Spartacus, a classic soundtrack by Alex North and a favorite of label VP of Soundtracks and score producer Robert Townson.
Yesterday, the first semi-confirmations were issued.
Fellow composer Mark Isham recently posted a video of him conducting a tribute to North, and at the end revealed Varese's plans to release a two-disc set of the score: one featuring the complete score as heard in the film, and another comprised of re-recordings by other famous composers.
Of course, as no official announcement has taken place yet, the video was quickly pulled. But Isham wasn't done! In a series of tweets, he wrote:
Ok - I jumped the gun!! SPARTACUS hasn't been officially announced yet - so it "doesn't really exist" yet - video must come down for now -
-but it is a VERY cool project!!!!! Stay tuned!
Those missives quickly disappeared, too, but film score fans are quick on the draw (as such, big hat tip to the forums at the John Williams Fan Network, where I gleaned my info). So anyone excited over the revelation of Spartacus - a true classic of film scores - will not be disappointed this year.
As always, stay tuned to The Second Disc for updates on this and other great catalogue projects.