Tales From The Score Keeper: (Un)buried Alive

I have listened to you, and I shall go on… listening to you…

Friends, it’s been a very busy year for your old pal the Score Keeper. But the music just keeps on coming. And some all-time classics are getting dusted off, remastered, and expanded, so that merits me popping out of my hiding place to give you a heads-up or two.

La-La Land Records has just dropped a quartet of new releases, and I expect the one most of you will be most excited about is this one…

Image courtesy La-La Land Records

Even if you already own Film Score Monthly/Retrograde Records’ fine single-CD release of the late, great James Horner’s score from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982), La-La Land’s new double-disc re-release is worthy of your attention. Master tapes that weren’t available at the time the previous edition was assembled have come to light since then, meriting a new edition. Disc one presents the complete score as heard in the film (which often means not only is every cue presented in its original sequence and length, but the mixing might be a bit different than it would be for a soundtrack release), while the second disc replicates the original 1982 soundtrack LP – remastered from the original tapes – along with a selection of alternate takes we haven’t heard before, including different versions of key scenes – yes, including this one…

La-La Land’s other three releases this month are no slouches by comparison: there’s Martin Todsharow’s two-disc score from the brand new Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins movie, a three-disc box set of more music from Irwin Allen’s The Time Tunnel series (featuring music by John Williams, Leith Stevens, Joseph Mullendore, Paul Sawtell, Robert Drasnin, and George Duning), and Women Warriors: Voices For Change, a symphonic work including passages by an all-star selection of female composers, including Lolita Ritmanis of Batman: The Animated Series fame. Snake Eyes is limited to a pressing of 2000 copies, while only 1000 copies of The Time Tunnel Volume Two are being pressed. Perhaps anticipating that everyone in Starfleet will be demanding a copy, La-La Land has splashed out enough for 10,000 copies of Star Trek II.

Other recent La-La Land releases worthy of note include a 40th anniversary release of Alex North’s score from Dragonslayer, a 2-CD complete limited edition of Michael Kamen’s music from the 1999 X-Men movie, and a limited edition of John Williams’ music from Always.

More John Williams music is up for grabs over at Intrada Records with their recent release of a new 2-CD remastered edition of Williams’ score from the 1975 Clint Eastwood movie The Eiger Sanction. Intrada has also released a newly remastered, complete 2-CD edition of Jerry Goldsmith’s modern western score for 1987’s Extreme Prejudice. Intrada has other projects in the works too – we’ll get back to that momentarily.

Varese Sarabande has been busy as well, putting the complete score from 1999’s The Matrix back in print for the first time in quite a while through the Varese CD Club. (It’s also available from Varese as a digital download in your choice of format if your CD shelf is getting a little crowded.) Varese has also rolled out a nice new vinyl double-LP release of the score from The Crow, including 30 minutes of previously unreleased music.

Image courtesy Varese Sarabande

What else is Intrada working on, though? They’re holding a Kickstarter – with about half a month left to go – to fund new recordings of two Jerry Goldsmith scores whose original master tapes are lost to time: the 1957 western Black Patch, and the 1972 political drama The Man. If the label can raise the funds, they plan to have the Royal Scottish National Orchestra record each score from the ground up. If you want to pitch in on restoring these two lost Goldsmith treasures, Intrada’s Kickstarter page can be found here.

What’s next on the soundtrack horizon? Only time, and the soundtrack labels, will tell. And I’ll try to tell you too.

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