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.

Tales From The Score Keeper: Pumpkin Spice Martial Arts

If there are two non-political things uniting Americans right now, it’s Halloween season and the fact that half the country seems to have only just now discovered Cobra Kai. A new slate of classic soundtracks is here to provide musical accompaniment for both spooky shenanigans and sweeping the leg.

La-La Land Records has rolled out a newly remastered, expanded edition of Bill Conti’s score from The Karate Kid Part II, which has been out of print for quite some time. A brand new transfer from the original studio tapes fills a single CD to the brim not only with what was previously released, but some material that has not been released before, including alternate versions of what made it into the movie – the musical equivalent of deleted scenes. There’s also a new liner notes booklet to go with the new release; 3000 copies are available.

But hey, you came here for spooky stuff too, right? I mean, Halloween is just a few weeks away, and La-La Land has you covered there too with a single CD release of Anthony Marinelli and Brian Banks’ score from Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift. Again, there are new liner notes and bonus tracks, including the trailer music composed by John Beal, the reigning king of ’80s/’90s movie trailer music. Only 1,000 copies are being pressed, so this title may go scarily fast.

If you missed the big, every-score-from-every-movie-in-the-franchise Friday The 13th box set a few years ago, La-La Land is making sure you’re covered there as well, with the score from Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood, composed by Harry Manfredini, Jason’s composer of choice since the first movie, and Fred Mollin, who had joined the Friday franchise by way of Friday The 13th: The Series. 2,000 copies of this soundtrack are available.

Also at La-La Land, a number of soundtracks that had previously been backordered are back in stock, including Day Of The Dead, Krull, Die Hard, Minority Report, Ladyhawke, Planet Of The Apes: The Series, and the original Friday The 13th. They’re also having a sale on spooky soundtracks, including The Bride Of Frankenstein, Child’s Play 2, Creepshow, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and The Haunting Of Hill House, among quite a few others. Clearly La-La Land is trying to scare up some business here, so give them a shout – or, dare I say it, a scream? – and fill some gaps in your collection.

Intrada also has some musical chills on tap with its latest release, with a definitive 2-CD release of John Williams’ score from the 2005 Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise remake of The War Of The Worlds. The complete score, plus alternate unused music, is included, as well as the original 2005 album in freshly remastered form, meaning you can hear the soundtrack with Morgan Freeman’s opening narration (on disc two as part of the original album release), or without (on disc one).

Varese Sarabande is also delivering a couple of much-anticipated expanded releases. John Powell’s amazing score from How To Train Your Dragon is being expanded to two discs, with a significant amount of new material that hasn’t previously been available, making this one deluxe edition release that definitely isn’t toothless. 3,000 copies will be available.

The other Varese release is the complete score, over two discs, from John Carpenter’s Village Of The Damned, with music by Carpenter himself the Dave Davies of the Kinks. The deluxe edition of the score from this movie is limited to only 2,000 copies.

Needless to say, if you need some spooky mood music, you’re spoiled for choice this month. Spoiled…rotten.

Tales From The Score Keeper: Thieves & Smugglers & Ghosts

The September smorgasbord of soundtracks just keeps spinning – and there’s a little something for everyone this time around.

If thieves are your thing, you can’t do much better than the Prince of Thieves, as in Robin Hood – as in Intrada’s four-disc remastered release of the late Michael Kamen’s complete score (and then some) from 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Now, this has been released before – as a single CD alongside the movie’s original release, and as a 2-CD collection by Intrada just a couple of years ago. But with help from Kamen’s estate, missing material that had to be omitted from the 2018 release now comprises a third CD – that’s three discs of the score as composed for the film, and, on a fourth disc, the score suite from the 1991 CD release in remastered form.

Before you ask: no, the Bryan Adams songs – you know the one – is not to be found on the 4-CD set, nor is the much more obscure (but much desired by ELO fans) Jeff Lynne song “Wild Times”. The entire 4-CD set is simply Kamen’s score – but what a score it is.

To help you contain your disappointment that it’s not on the otherwise amazing 4-CD set, here’s That Bryan Adams Song. Video courtesy Bryan Adams

From BSX Records comes a trio of releases, including one that has been very near the top of the Score Keeper’s soundtrack holy grail list for several years. Just in time for Halloween, two spooky scores by Howard (Flash Gordon) Blake arrive in remastered form on a single CD, The Canterville Ghost and Amityville 3-D. The latter of these was previously available on a now-out-of-print limited edition CD along with Blake’s Flash Gordon score (you know, the bits of music that weren’t done by Queen), but it finally gets, shall we say, a more “official” release this time around.

BSX is also releasing Conrad Pope’s score from the movie Lloyd, a comedy for kids filmed in the ’90s but not released theatrically until 2001. (It’s almost as if the movie and its score were competing to see whose release could be delayed longer. With a 19-year gap between movie premiere and the soundtrack, I think the soundtrack wins.)

The third BSX release is one that yours truly has been wanting on CD for ages, but gave up on ever actually seeing or hearing. It’s Don Davis’ score from the 2004 BBC docudrama Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets, the first volume in what will hopefully be a series of releases of Davis’ soundtrack work. The two-night BBC miniseries was a project Davis took on almost immediately after The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and a little bit of the Matrix trilogy’s style can be heard rubbing off on the epic music for the fictional (but educational) documentary about a crewed space mission spanning the entire solar system, from Venus to Mars. I’m particularly fond of this oddball piece of television and its fantastic score, so if you’re looking for an endorsement, just know that I ordered this one immediately.

Video courtesy Mike Combs

In fact, thanks to BSX’s policy of making a digital download (with a PDF digital liner notes booklet) available immediately upon purchase, I’m listening to it right now before the CD even goes in the mail. Each of the three BSX titles have very limited print runs: only 500 copies each. (I have it on good authority that Space Odyssey’s down to 499 already.)

Varese Sarabande has another of its expanded deluxe releases on tap, and this one is both movie music and rock ‘n’ roll. The new single-disc release of music from The Buddy Holly Story offers previously unavailable film versions and alternate versions of songs featured in the film, with songs performed by Gary Busey (in character as Buddy Holly), Jerry Zaremba as Eddie Cochran, and Gailard Sartain as the Big Bopper (hellooooooo, baby!)

Finally, exciting news of an upcoming digital-only release on the horizon, one that will make Star Wars fans feel like they’ve just pulled off the galaxy’s biggest heist with their favorite smuggler. Composer John Powell posted a trailer on Instagram announcing the imminent release of over two hours of the complete, unedited (!) score from Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring the complete end credits suite and a wealth of other material not available on the previous single-disc-length release. Find me a Wookiee sidekick and count me in.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFcZDwYBa24/

See? Something for everyone.

Also missing from Intrada’s 4-CD set, here’s the Robin Hood song you don’t remember by ELO’s Jeff Lynne.
Video courtesy Music From Movies

Tales from the Score Keeper: September Songs

Does your local branch of our shared pandemic hellscape need some new tunes? If it does, the soundtrack labels of the world have got your back. September’s giving us quite the soundtrack smorgasbord, so let’s get right to it.

La-La Land Records has three – yes, three! – new releases on tap, starting with a two disc set of vintage ’70s TV music from The Streets Of San Francisco, the third volume of the label’s Quinn Martin Collection. The set includes music from the pilot episode and nine later episodes, all composed by Patrick Williams. Only 2000 copies of this set will be pressed.

The next La-La Land release slides even further back in time, presenting Jack Marshall’s music from the 1966 movie Munster, Go Home for the first time in any format. (That’s right – this has never been out on LP or cassette; it’s making its debut on CD 54 years after the fact.) Marshall also scored the Munsters on TV, so this one will be a treat for Munsters fans. 3000 copies will be available.

On the much more modern end of things is the release of John Powell’s score from the 1999 rom-com Forces Of Nature, which has also not been available commercially prior to this release. Including some of the composer’s demos (a vital stage of the process before committing to the resources of a live orchestra), this will be limited to 1000 copies.

From Intrada comes a remastered two-disc reissue of Laurence Rosenthal’s Emmy nominated score from the 1985 TV miniseries Mussolini: The Untold Story. Rosenthal himself conducted the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, delivering two hours of music in total. (If you’re wondering who won the Emmy that year: it was another Rosenthal score for another miniseries!)

Varese Sarabande is also stepping back into 1999 for one of its latest releases, an expanded edition of the late, great Elmer Bernstein’s score from the big-screen adaptation Wild Wild West. New bonus tracks not heard on previous releases of this score include additional music composed by Bernstein’s son, fellow composer Peter Bernstein, as well as some demos. 2000 copies are being made available.

Quartet Records has a couple of new releases of note too; one is a 2-CD remastered CD release of John Addison’s score from 1976’s Swashbuckler. Previously released as a single disc by Intrada, Quartet’s Swashbuckler release presents the complete film score as mixed for the movie, as well as the contents of the original 1976 soundtrack LP. The film score features some unused alternate cues; 2000 copies of this reissue are up for grabs.

Also from Quartet, and again available for the first time, is Pino Donaggio’s score from the Middle Eastern-themed 2001 Jean Claude Van Damme action thriller The Order. Boasting an impressive orchestra and choir, this is a slightly obscure and extremely limited release, topping out at only 500 copies available worldwide (!!), a surprisingly low run given the popularity of the film’s star and the impressive choice of composer.

There are some decent digital releases available now as well; Clint Mansell and Kevin Kiner team up for the score from season 2 of the DC streaming series Doom Patrol, a fun show that features some fun music to match. In the category of “most surprising release”, or perhaps in the category of “holy crap, they can put the Star Wars name on anything and it’ll sell”, is Gordy Haab’s score from the Youtube competition series Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge.

As this was essentially a Star Wars-themed game show, there really wasn’t a whole lot of music – the album clocks in at just a little over 18 minutes, and yet costs as much as quite a few (much longer) digital soundtrack releases. But it does serve as a useful reminder that, with season two of The Mandalorian about six weeks away, we may once again have the complete score from each episode of that series to look forward to on the day of each episode’s release, if Disney Music follows the pattern established in The Mandalorian’s first season. And those releases will most definitely be worth picking up.

Come back here, froggy!

Tales From The Score Keeper: A Summer Of Classics

The summer soundtrack smorgasbord is slowly filling up with 20th century classics…a surprise appearance by a famous time traveler…as well as a vampire and some superheroes.

The days are getting hot enough to melt the CDs in your car’s front seat, so maybe the soundtrack labels are easing off their release schedule a bit. But the titles that are coming out are some all-time classics.

Courtesy La-La Land Records

Hot on the heels of the death of the late, great Ennio Morricone, the release of a definitive, remastered 2-CD set of Morricone’s complete score from Two Mules For Sister Sara is either exquisitely timed, or tragically timed. It was already on La-La Land Records’ schedule, and it’s been an eagerly-awaited new edition on many soundtrack collectors’ “holy grail” lists, so…maybe a bit of both? The first disc is the world premiere of the music as recorded for the film, nearly an hour of music in total (including pieces not used in the final cut), while the second disc remasters the original, just-over-half-an-hour 1970 soundtrack LP for its CD debut. To many ears out there, this is two brand new discs’ worth of unreleased Morricone – and surely that is a fitting tribute. 3,000 copies of this 2-CD set have been pressed.

Courtesy La-La Land Records

La-Land Land’s other release, Escape To Danger, is a different kind of trip through time, presenting two scores by Joe Kraemer (who has also scored films such as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Jack Reacher) for Big Finish Productions’ series of Doctor Who audio dramas. The scores presented here are from the 2015 seventh-Doctor-meet-’70s-UNIT story The Defectors, starring Sylvester McCoy and Katy Manning, and the 2016 story Absolute Power, which starred Colin Baker. This is a surprising release coming from an American label, since the last CD releases of music from Big Finish’s Doctor Who audios came in the early 2000s from Big Finish itself. 1,000 copies of this release are on hand, including some autographed copies. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Big Finish still includes highlights from the music of its audio stories, as bonus tracks on those stories’ CD releases.)

Courtesy Intrada Records

From Intrada comes Frank DeVol‘s score from the 1972 Burt Lancaster western, Ulzana’s Raid, which has a wildly percussive score even for an action film. This is a score that hasn’t even had a prior LP release, making this single-CD the premiere of this music in any form outside of the movie itself. As usual, Intrada plays coy on how many copies will be available, but I think it’s safe to assume that the pressing will top out at 3,000 copies.

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Varese Sarabande has a treat lined up for fans of the late Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000. Marco Beltrami‘s score from the movie, previously available only as part of a box set also issued by Varese, is going on sale as a standalone CD on July 24th, but only 1,000 copies of this standalone edition will be available before this score once again disappears, as if slinking back to its coffin to escape the sunlight.

Courtesy La-La Land

One other release of note sees La-La Land evolving beyond simply being a soundtrack label. They’re giving the offbeat superhero film The Specials its Blu-Ray debut, marking the movie’s 20th anniversary. Written by James Gunn of Guardians Of The Galaxy fame, and starring Thomas Haden Church, Rob Lowe, Jamie Kennedy, Paget Brewster and many others, the Blu-Ray originates from a fresh scan of the film and boasts lossless 5.1 and stereo audio, along with some new bonus features. If this sells well, who knows what other cult classics could get the Blu-Ray treatment from La-La Land?

Tales From The Score Keeper: Keeping Things Running Around Here

Your friendly neighborhood soundtrack aficionado is back with a smorgasbord of summer listening!

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m still not venturing out into a world that seems to have collectively forgotten that there’s a dangerous and highly contagious health hazard still out there, so what to do while staying inside? Ah, yes… soundtracks. There are always soundtracks to listen to. And it just so happens that some of your favorite soundtrack labels are gracing you with some new ones, and new editions of old favorites.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

Dragon’s Domain Records is unleashing a trio of releases that’s… eclectic, to say the least. A new recording of Lee Holdridge’s score from the 2004 NBC miniseries 10.5, about a cataclysmic, west-coast-shaking earthquake, is probably the least obscure of the three; it’s worth noting that the miniseries was also co-written and directed by the late John Lafia of Child’s Play fame. Why a new recording? Due to the lion’s share of 10.5’s budget being thrown at stunts and special effects, there was only enough money left for an electronic score with no orchestra. Holdridge collaborated with MIDI wiz Robert Irving to try to make it sound orchestral, and it’s Irving who is behind the new version of the score, bringing more modern technology and samples to bear on that tug-of-war between “electronic instruments” and “orchestral sound”. 500 copies will be available.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

The oddest of the three releases, if it’s not a now-forgotten 2004 disaster-flick miniseries? It’s an entire disc devoted to the works of composer Dr. Edward David Zeliff, who often provided the scores to religious films that had a somewhat limited audience. But his orchestral and choral works both large-scale and small are represented here – Beyond The Next Mountain, The Living Word, Under Fire, Ezekiel File, and Pilate’s Easter – in their original recordings. Volume One – wait, there are going to be further volumes? – will be limited to 500 copies, the first 50 of them signed by the composer.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

The last of the Dragon’s Domain trio features Richard Band’s original score from 1978’s The Day Time Ended, which was only Band’s second foray into film scoring (his first, of course, being the infamous, MST3K-lampooned Laserblast, composed in collaboration with Joel Goldsmith), but his first created with an orchestra in mind. Band also contributes to the liner notes of this release, which has been remastered from the original session tapes. 500 CD copies will be available; all of the Dragon’s Domain releases also give buyers access to an instant download of a digital copy of the music, complete with a digital copy of the booklet, so technically…you don’t actually have to open the CDs.

Courtesy Quartet Records

Quartet Records has remastered and reissued Ennio Morricone’s album of music from John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing, digging the original master tapes out of the ice and thawing them out because, really, what could go wrong? The original running order of Morricone’s album – which featured some music not used in the movie because late editing changes were rescored by Carpenter and Alan Howarth – is preserved for this CD release. As things would have it, at the time I’m writing this, The Thing is temporarily out of stock, but more copies will be pressed to meet demand – watch Quartet Records’ page closely, because it’ll probably go fast.

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Varese Sarabande Records is delivering a couple of much-anticipated expanded releases as part of its limited-edition CD Club line, starting with Harold Faltermeyer’s score from The Running Man (1987). While The Running Man did have a soundtrack release alongside the film’s premiere, this CD edition more than doubles the number of tracks from 17 to 35, adds original cover artwork and liner notes, and gives the orignal records a fresh remaster. Pre-orders are being taken ahead of the August release of a CD edition of 2000 copies, as well as a double LP vinyl edition.

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Getting not just a vinyl release but a picture disc release is another title from Varese’s vault, the songs from the Xena: Warrior Princess episode Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire. The CD has been available since the episode’s premiere, but this LP edition is a new one, with packaging aimed, perhaps, at display rather than play. (On a personal note, I just never dug Lyre, Lyre‘s “cover album” selection of existing songs as much as I did the original numbers from the first Xena musical episode, The Bitter Suite.)

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Varese is digging into its vault of already-released TV soundtracks for August’s other CD Club surprise, a remastered edition of 1995’s seaQuest DSV score by John Debney. If you measure the value of a soundtrack reissue by how many tracks it adds to the original, this one is worth the (re)investment: the original 1995 CD contained 14 tracks from the pilot episode, but this new edition balloons out to two discs, featuring a whopping 58 tracks spanning Debney’s music from the entire first season of the show. seaQuest fans parched for anything related to the much-missed show better be thirsty enough to jump on this one fast – only 1500 copies of the 2-CD seaQuest deluxe soundtrack will be pressed.

Courtesy Intrada

Looking ahead, Intrada has already start dropping hints about a late June release of a 2-CD edition of Hugo Friedhofer’s music from The Young Lions (1958). Whether this will be 2 CDs devoted entirely to that film, or if it’ll be sharing space with another classic film score, won’t be known until Intrada gives more details. As of now, there isn’t even a pre-order link available.

See? There’s a lot to listen to while you’re still practicing your social distancing and contemplating whether or not our future is a little too uncomfortably close to the plot of The Running Man.

Tales From The Score Keeper: Mystery Men vs. Deadites vs. the Empire

If this is a slow time for soundtracks…imagine how expensive a busy time would be.

It’s an interesting time for all of our favorite boutique soundtrack labels – their customer base isn’t necessarily spending money on slightly pricey CDs, international supply chains for everything from compact disc duplication to packaging have been disrupted, and their already small staff has to distance from one another while packing outgoing CDs into boxes and envelopes bound for everywhere soundtrack fans are still hunkering down. Despite that, though, this latest round of releases…really looks a lot like business as usual from just half a year ago.

Mystery Men, from La-La Land Records, and John Williams’ The River from Intrada

The Brand New: More than 20 years after it debuted in theaters, one of my all-time personal favorite superhero flicks finally has a full score release. Mystery Men, previously represented by a single CD song album that arrived alongside the movie, now has a deluxe 2-CD release that’s nothing but score. And what a score it had! Stephen Warbeck (Prime Suspect, Billy Elliot, Indian Summers) and the late, great, undersung Shirley Walker (Batman: The Animated Series, The Flash, Space: Above & Beyond, the Final Destination films) both contributed to the score, and each of them get one disc of this release devoted to them. If you have the previous “songtrack” release, hang onto it – there’s no Smash Mouth on this collection. La-La Land is pressing only 3000 copies of the 2-CD Mystery Men score release, so you might want to get yours now instead of saying “frak-you-later!”

Intrada Records has given an out-of-print John Williams score a new lease of life. 1984’s Mel Gibson/Sissy Spacek film The River may not be right on the tip of your tongue, but it did boast a John Williams score that got an LP release in ’84, now long since out of print. Intrada not only brings The River to CD for the first time, featuring the entire contents of the original LP release, but also for the first time makes the complete original film score available. (Williams often re-arranged and recorded “concert arrangements” of his film scores’ highlights, so what wound up on his albums sometimes wasn’t exactly the same as what was heard in the movie. The new jam-packed single-CD release offers listeners both on disc for the first time.

Varese releases: Army Of Darkness remastered, and Shadows Of The Empire resurrected

Recent, and coming soon: Varese Sarabande records has dug up the Deadites yet again (much to Ash’s chagrin, no doubt). Joseph LoDuca himself has remastered his original score from Army Of Darkness, the third film in the Evil Dead series, and this newly remastered classic is being released both on CD (in a pressing of only 1500 copies!) and vinyl (2500 copies). Hail to the long-reigning king, baby.

Announced on May the Fourth (of course!), Varese is reviving another of its classic releases for an August release date. Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire, the 1990s every-media-except-a-movie brand extension for the then-languishing Star Wars franchise, brought us not just books, action figures, and video games, but a fantastic soundtrack composed by Joel McNeely (Young Indiana Jones, Air Force One, The Orville) and given a gorgeous performance by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. I remember being blown away, at the time, at what I was hearing – it’s as thrilling as a new Star Wars movie soundtrack, and yet there’s no movie. Varese is now taking pre-orders for a new CD pressing as well as Shadows’ first-ever appearance on vinyl, both slated for an August release. Long before Rogue One, Solo, and The Mandalorian, Shadows Of The Empire gave us a glorious taste of what post-John-Williams Star Wars music could sound like. This new release will have an identical tracklisting to the original ’90s release, since the Shadows soundtrack release was kind of an experiment, rather than an actual film score from which any unreleased pieces exist.

They’re baaaaaaaaack! Intrada’s Chinatown and Roger Rabbit releases

Back in stock: two already-released Intrada releases, Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown and Alan Silvestri’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, were very quickly snapped up by soundtrack collectors upon release and further copies had to be pressed. And then a global pandemic hit – that, admittedly, didn’t help get these titles back in circulation. But finally, Intrada has both titles back in stock, and they’re highly recommended – Silvestri’s Roger Rabbit score is just insane.

The Doctor is in! Silva Screen’s Doctor Who: The Sun Makers release, for real.

What am I listening to? A few recent releases have been in my ears quite a bit: Silva’s Doctor Who: The Sun Makers CD just landed in my mailbox, featuring a vintage Dudley Simpson Doctor Who score from Tom Baker’s 1970s heyday in its entirety, and it’s wonderful. The other two things I’ve been listening to quite a bit are both digital releases: Kevin Kiner’s score to the closing triogy of episodes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ final season – another composer playing in a musical universe whose door was first kicked open by Shadows Of The Empire – as well as the surprise release, several years after the movie landed with a dull, wet plop, of Marc and Staffan Fantini’s score from Space Station 76. This latter movie, a somewhat plodding trying-to-be-straight-faced-ironic comedy with gorgeously designed futuristic sets and visuals, tried to evoke the all-curves-and-no-corners design aesthetic that the 1970s assumed the future would have. It looked great, but didn’t actually manage to be very funny, and its score had the unenviable task of having to lead into and out of classic ’70s tunes by the likes of Ambrosia and Todd Rundgren, which it actually did very well. So: nice score, great art direction, pity about the rest of the movie. What soundtracks are you listening to?

Soundtracks… in spaaaaaaace!