Until the End of the World

Until the End of the WorldThis was a weird film, and it deserves a weird soundtrack, and did it ever get one. There are tantalizing snippets of a wonderfully low-key, cello-drenched Graeme Revell score, but the rest of the album is comprised of an eclectic list of “various artists.” The best entries here are those by the Talking Heads, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, REM, and U2. Also represented are Depeche Mode, T-Bone Burnett, Daniel Lanois, and a rather dull cover of “Summer Kisses, Winter Tear”s by Julee Cruise of Twin Peaks fame. If only for the 3 out of 4lovely tidbits of the score, I recommend this one.

  1. Opening Titles (Graeme Revell) (1:59)
  2. Sax and Violins (Talking Heads) (5:18)
  3. Summer Kisses, Winter Tears (Julee Cruise) (2:37)
  4. Move With Me (Neneh Cherry) (2:59)
  5. The Adversary (Crime & the City Solution) (5:32)
  6. Order this CD What’s Good (Lou Reed) (5:08)
  7. Last Night Sleep (Can) (3:35)
  8. Fretless (R.E.M.) (4:49)
  9. Days (Elvis Costello) (4:50)
  10. Claire’s Theme (Graeme Revell) (0:52)
  11. I’ll Love You Til the End of the World (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) (4:38)
  12. It Takes Time (Patti Smith & Fred Smith) (5:00)
  13. Death’s Door (Depeche Mode) (3:53)
  14. Love Theme (Graeme Revell) (0:45)
  15. Calling All Angels (Jane Siberry with k.d. lang) (5:11)
  16. Humans From Earth (T-Bone Burnett) (3:08)
  17. Sleeping in the Devil’s Bed (Daniel Lanois) (3:50)
  18. Until the End of the World (U2) (4:34)
  19. Finale (Graeme Revell) (0:58)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 1991
Total running time: 69:36

Alan Parsons Project – Freudiana

Alan Parsons Project - FreudianaTruly a shame that this album is narely impossible to find – it’s really one of the Project’s best. It was also the last hurrah for Eric Woolfson, co-founder of the group and instantly recognizable vocalist on such past hits as “Eye In The Sky” and “Time”. Some surprising guests are also assembled, such as Leo Sayer and Kiki Dee (well, she had to find some kind of work after that Elton John duet!). It’s a concept album – no surprise there! – and the recording of a musical about the life, influences and legacy of Sigmund Freud. That’s really no surprise either, but more of an It’s about time! The Project’s 4 out of 4grandiose theatrical sound, with their slower pieces especially begging for a play to surround them, lends itself to the stage musical sound well. Worth seeking out! The reason it’s so hard to find in many areas is because of its European-only release, a baffling marketing strategy if ever I saw one, though I’m not sure the Freudiana musical has ever played in the States, so that may explain it.

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  1. The Nirvana Principle (3:45)
  2. Freudiana (6:21)
  3. I Am A Mirror (4:07)
  4. Little Hans (3:15)
  5. Dora (3:51)
  6. Funny You Should Say That (4:36)
  7. You’re On Your Own (3:54)
  8. Far Away From Home (3:12)
  9. Let Yourself Go (5:26)
  10. Beyond the Pleasure Principle (3:14)
  11. The Ring (4:23)
  12. Sects Therapy (3:40)
  13. No One Can Love You Better Than Me (5:41)
  14. Don’t Let The Moment Pass (3:41)
  15. Upper Me (5:16)
  16. Freudiana – instrumental reprise (3:43)
  17. Destiny (0:51)
  18. There But For The Grace Of God (5:56)

Released by: Parlophone Odeon
Release date: 1990
Total running time: 74:52

2001: A Space Odyssey – The Lost Score

2001: A Space Odyssey - The Lost ScoreIt’s somewhat common knowledge that prior to tracking his entire two-and-a-half- hour science fiction opus with pieces from the classical repertoire, Stanley Kubrick had commissioned the prolific film composer Alex North – whose other screen accomplishments include Spartacus, Cleopatra and The Agony and the Ecstasy – to compose original music for 2001 along the lines of many classical numbers that Kubrick already had in mind. According to the very detailed liner notes booklet, which is admittedly biased in favor of the late Mr. North, who died in 1991, Kubrick kept North under the illusion that his original music would be used up until shortly before the film’s release; having completed the score up to the moon scenes in the movie, North was told that the entire second half of 2001 taking place aboard spaceships, in spacesuits and so on, would not be scored, but instead covered with “breathing effects.” In short – North’s services would no longer be required. Imagine North’s surprise when he went to the premiere of 2001 and heard the very classical numbers which Kubrick had asked him to approximate. To hear his wife tell it, Alex North stowed the manuscripts of his 2001 score away safely, and the only people aside from Kubrick who heard the music were Mrs. North and a close family friend by the name of Jerry Goldsmith. North, before his death, was finally persuaded to allow a fresh recording of his legendary brainchild to be conducted by Goldsmith. The results are quite satisfying indeed. North’s 2001 main title borrows the triplet structure of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, but trades the almost religious sound of Strauss in for a somewhat more stately and heraldic tone. (Considering the immense scope of 2001, this could be one place where Kubrick’s choice was justified; indeed, though I like North’s work on the movie, I really do like the 4 out of 4movie’s soundtrack as it turned out.) The rest of North’s work is steeped in belligerence for the scenes of primitive man, intricate beauty for the grace of spaceflight, and mystery for the ambiguous story at the heart of the film. Somehow, a track-by-track breakdown of the existing half of North’s work doesn’t seem to carry enough weight to do the music justice. I highly recommend it.

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  1. Main Title (1:37)
  2. The Foraging (3:44)
  3. Eat Meat and the Kill (3:27)
  4. The Bluff (3:01)
  5. Night Terrors (2:02)
  6. The Dawn of Man (3:14)
  7. Space Station Docking (2:22)
  8. Trip to the Moon (3:21)
  9. Moon Rocket Bus (5:01)
  10. Space Talk (3:30)
  11. Interior Orion (1:26)
  12. Main Theme Entr’acte (2:31)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 35:16

Flash Gordon – music by Queen

Flash Gordon soundtrackFlash! Aaaaaaaah! He’ll save every one of us! Okay, okay, you get the idea. I just wanted to make sure you youngsters out there know which Flash Gordon movie we’re talking about here. What a wonderfully campy movie – you had to love it. Well, sort of. This movie also served as my introduction to Queen at the time – I had heard “Bohemian Rhapsody” before then but hadn’t yet associated it with Queen – and to be honest, though some may write this album off as a silly soundtrack from a silly movie, the music in places is among Queen’s best. The music brings back fond memories of better days and childhood for me, and my only peeve with the album is that it commits one of the worst sins a soundtrack album can commit in my book – tons of soundbytes. I have to admit to being a bit of a film score purist in that this soundtrack and others such as Apollo 13 really get on my nerves with the soundbytes. Soundbytes aren’t bad, but when they cut into the music itself, I bare my teeth and growl.

A little obscure trivia for you: Aside from being a soundtrack to a sci-fi-ish movie, this album shares something else with A Kind of Magic. On track 13, “Battle Theme”, one of my favorite parts of the whole movie, that wondeful and quite literal giant of British acting, Brian Blessed, can be heard yelling “Who wants to live forever?” in character as the leader of the Hawk Men. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

4 out of 4One of my biggest peeves with the remastered Queen CDs has been the remixes that someone decided needed to be included on each one. I risk all my credibility here by announcing that, in a strange, Art-of-Noise-ish way, I liked the heavily sampled remix of “Flash’s Theme”. It must have been something in the water…

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  1. Flash’s Theme (3:29)
  2. In the Space Capsule (2:42)
  3. Ming’s Theme (2:40)
  4. The Ring (0:57)
  5. Football Fight (1:28)
  6. In the Death Cell (2:24)
  7. Execution of Flash (1:05)
  8. The Kiss (1:44)
  9. Arboria (1:41)
  10. Escape from the Swamp (1:43)
  11. Flash to the Rescue (2:44)
  12. Vultan’s Theme (1:12)
  13. Battle Theme (2:18)
  14. The Wedding March (0:56)
  15. Marriage of Dale and Ming (2:04)
  16. Crash-Dive on Mingo City (1:00)
  17. Flash’s Theme Reprise (1:23)
  18. The Hero (3:31)
  19. Flash’s Theme – bonus remix (6:43)

Released by: Hollywood Records
Release date: 1980
Total running time: 42:07

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Emissary

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine soundtrackWow. If you thought this was impressive with the sound effects and dialogue over it, you’d better fasten your safety belts and listen to this thing with headphones on at full blast. Much more action in the music than the show’s sound mix would lead one to believe. What’s more, McCarthy even makes brief use of the “chorus” effect initiated by Ron Jones for the Borg all the way back in Best Of Both Worlds. The original incarnation of the DS9 theme tune is majestic, the scenes surrounding the discovery of the wormhole are haunting, ethereal and mysterious, and the action sequences 4 out of 4are shattering. I highly recommend this mold-breaking Trek soundtrack over almost any other CD with the Star Trek title on the cover. It’s on the DNP Album List, too.

  1. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine main title (1:55)
  2. Wolf 359 (4:51)
  3. The Enterprise Departs / A New Home (1:11)
  4. Trashed and Thrashed (1:59)
  5. Order this CDBajor / Jake / Saying Goodbye (1:44)
  6. Cucumbers in Space (1:44)
  7. New Personality (2:18)
  8. Into the Wormhole (3:41)
  9. Time Stood Still (4:13)
  10. Searching For Relatives (1:13)
  11. Painful Memories (4:21)
  12. Passage Terminated (3:43)
  13. Back to the Saratoga / What Shields? (2:00)
  14. Reconciliation (3:19)
  15. The Sisko Kid (4:41)
  16. A New Beginning (1:48)

    Single/rock versions:

  17. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine main title (4:17)
  18. Passage Terminated (3:33)

Released by: GNP Crescendo
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 52:31

JFK – music by John Williams

JFK soundtrackThis is an interesting mix of new sounds and musical ephemera of the early to middle 60s accompanying Oliver Stone’s hotly debated film on a conspiracy behind the Kennedy assassination. Perhaps most surprising are the dark, despairing and brooding pieces concocted by John Williams, whose usual musical style always seems to be stuck in a celebratory mode. The original score segments are heavy on synthesizers and electronic percussion, with harsh and sometimes even violent retorts from the traditional orchestral complement. If you thought you’d heard it all where Williams was concerned, you may like this distinctly different work. The oldies but goodies on this album are also nicely selected, from “El Watusi!” to some wonderfully selected classics – not rock ‘n’ roll, mind you, but very good easy-listening, especially “Maybe September”. Capping it all 4 out of 4off is Williams’ beautiful 8-minute “Arlington”, a funereal piece mourning the loss of America’s innocence, accompanying the film’s scenes of Kevin Costner honoring the eternal flame that marks the dead president’s burial plot.

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  1. Prologue (4:00)
  2. The Motorcade (5:14)
  3. Drummers’ Salute (2:55)
  4. Theme from JFK (2:23)
  5. Eternal Father, Strong To Save For Those In Peril On The Sea (1:19)
  6. Garrison’s Obsession (2:33)
  7. On the Sunny Side of the Street (Sidney Bechet) (4:23)
  8. The Conspirators (4:04)
  9. The Death of David Ferrie (2:47)
  10. Maybe September (Tony Bennett) (4:03)
  11. Garrison Family Theme (2:14)
  12. Ode to Buckwheat (Brent Lewis) (3:54)
  13. El Watusi (Ray Barretto) (2:41)
  14. The Witnesses (2:46)
  15. Concerto #2 for Horn & Orchestra K 417:1 Allegro Maestoso (6:29)
  16. Arlington (6:29)
  17. Finale (3:14)
  18. Theme from JFK (reprise) (2:23)

Released by: Elektra
Release date: 1992
Total running time: 63:51

Space Age – music by Jay Chattaway

Space Age soundtrackJay Chattaway is probably known best at the present for his work on various Star Trek TV episodes since 1990, when he took over from the excellent Ron Jones; Jones’ music proved to be too good for the show he was scoring and he vanished from the show’s credits less than a year after his Best Of Both Worlds soundtrack raked in more orders than virtually any other soundtrack GNP Crescendo had released on CD. Chattaway replaced Jones and proceeded to appease the producers of Star Trek with a much more subtle and generic sound; indeed, most of Chattaway’s Trek music is interchangeable. While many of the same musical phrases crop up in this soundtrack assembled by Chattaway for PBS’ 1992 documentary miniseries Space Age, the arrangements are much more varied and the music rises above the domain of background noise. About time! It allows you to hear that Chattaway is actually a fairly decent 3 out of 4composer if he’s given room to do the job. The most un-Trekkish tracks on this collection are the best, including the wonderful “Amazon Highway”, “Luna” and “Dance Of The Blue Wonder”. Be warned, if you’ve only listened to Chattway’s orchestral meanderings on Star Trek, the instrumentation is almost completely electronic aside from some lovely French horn solos.

Order this CD

  1. Theme from Space Age (3:43)
  2. Mars (2:59)
  3. Dance of the Blue Wonder (3:42)
  4. Alchemy (3:39)
  5. The High Ground (2:34)
  6. Luna (5:14)
  7. Animations (3:13)
  8. The Mission (3:01)
  9. Innerspace (1:13)
  10. Freestar (4:17)
  11. Amazon Highway (4:17)
  12. A View From Earth (4:13)
  13. Radiation Alert (2:11)
  14. Earthrise (2:14)
  15. Robotics (2:24)
  16. The Red Planet (4:08)
  17. War Games (3:12)
  18. The Quest (6:14)

Released by: Narada Cinema
Release date: 1992
Total running time: 62:28