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Screen Archives Entertainment 250 Golden and Silver Age Classics on CD from 1996-2013! Exclusive distribution by SCREEN ARCHIVES ENTERTAINMENT.
Wild Bunch, The King Kong: The Deluxe Edition (2CD) Body Heat Friends of Eddie Coyle/Three Days of the Condor, The It's Alive Ben-Hur Nightwatch/Killer by Night Gremlins Space Children/The Colossus of New York, The
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February 5, 2001:
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Here's my farewell tribute to Film Score Monthly which has spent seventeen years of hard labor and has crossed three decades. To double-check my selection of soundtracks and listen to audio samples, I advise you to go to FSM's complete list page.
 “I trust Mr. Brown, I do not trust Mr. Grey. I think he's an enormous, arrogant pain in the a.. who could turn out to be trouble. I also think that he is mad. Why do you think they threw him out of the Mafia?” 
“Alright then… from the beginning,” as Dan Briggs used to say to his IMFers in the first Santa Costa assignment. I bought the very first Film Score Monthly CD back in 1996 and I was in heaven: David Shire’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three which was urban, tough, modern, hip, tense and gritty as hell—listen carefully to the grim dissonant organ-oriented a la Lalo Schifrin’s THX 1138 track “Smoking More, Enjoying It Less” (24 seconds of pure minimalism). In 1997, they released their first European score by English composer John Barry: Deadfall and more from the man will come. In 1998, FSM used to spread the complete recording of Jerry Fielding’s The Wild Bunch (Warner Brothers) that I picked as fast as I could. Still the same year, we saw the first Jerry Goldsmith title: the double header Stagecoach/The Loner.
  THX 1138
In 2001, FSM presented their very first Herrmann title: the stellar Beneath the 12-Mile Reef. In 2002, they released the unused score for The Man Who Loves Cat Dancing by their first French composer: Michel Legrand. In 2003, FSM offered their first Schifrin and a versatile masterpiece of avant garde entitled THX 1138 featuring fascinating dissonant organ tracks (“First Escape” and “Second Escape”) and the same year the first official Legrand entitled Ice Station Zebra and a great Bernard Herrmann score: On Dangerous Ground but transfered from an uneven 33 1/3 rpm acetate discs source. In 2005, the label offered Crossed Swords by another notorious French composer: Maurice Jarre. In June 2006, the company achieved their first big box set: Elmer Bernstein’s Film Music Collection that contained 12 discs. In 2007, the label produced the first archive CD edition meaning a combination of original recording and music-and-effects tracks from the film for Jerry Goldsmith’s The Satan Bug: a terrific score. In 2008, the magnum opus Dark of the Sun of another French composer (Jacques Loussier) was highlit.
From 2009 to 2010, the label knew its peak with fabulous titles like Time After Time by Miklós Rózsa, Bullitt by Lalo Schifrin which contains first the 1968 album version and the original recording with unreleased and unused tracks and source music, Black Sunday by John Williams, Islands in the Stream by Jerry Goldsmith, Prophecy by Leonard Rosenman, Marathon Man/The Parallax View by Michael Small.
In 2013—the swansong year of the label—, we had their absolute masterpiece in terms of music and achievement: the 3-CD set of The Wild Bunch by Jerry Fielding that contained many extras like alternate and additional tracks, the album version and the demo score. This new presentation is different from the 1998 version especially through two tracks: “Angel Confronts the Gorch Brothers/1st Denver Hotel” and “Denver Flashback” that feature a haunting banjo overlay effect.
Among my favourite titles, some are experimental and edgy: Fantastic Voyage, The Omega Man (I ordered the two editions), Beneath the Planet of the Apes, The French Connection, The Illustrated Man, Logan’s Run, THX 1138, Point Blank, Soylent Green/Demon Seed, Coma/Westworld/The Carey Treatment, Klute, Prophecy, Marathon Man/The Parallax View, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. And that was the reason why I loved FSM because they took risks, they went beyond the markers. Some of their best titles were strange, poetic and beautiful at once like The Appointment by a trio of composers (Michel Legrand, John Barry and Stu Phillips), The Yakuza, The Swimmer, Wait Until Dark (a unique and highly dramatical score by Henry Mancini), Eye of the Devil, The Wreck of the Mary Deare.
All their Schifrin’s titles were worthwhile and some more than others like THX 1138, Kelly's Heroes and Bullitt and the amazing multi-set of Lalo Schifrin Film Scores, Vol. 1 (1964-1968). They also provided some of the best Jerry Fielding film scores: The Outfit—that includes a key sneaky motif in “Assault on Impregnable Fortress of Anti-Social Adversary”—, the music concrète-oriented Demon Seed, the rejected score for The Getaway, The Super Cops, The Wild Bunch, the television scores for Hawkins, Hunters Are for Killing whose main title anticipates The Big Sleep and Shirts/Skins.
Silver Age television scores initiated by the label were exquisite: the four sets of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Jericho paired with John Williams' The GhostbreakerJericho has a score by Lalo Schifrin entitled "Upbeat and Underground" that anticipates "The Plot" from Mission: Impossible—, two volumes of I Spy, Logan’s Run: The Series, the proto-Escape from Planet of the Apes-oriented Crosscurrent by Jerry Goldsmith paired with Dave Grusin's The Scorpio Letters, Jerry Goldsmith's Dr. Kildare and Cain’s Hundred, Hunters Are for Killing, TV Omnibus: Vol. 1 (featuring the Silver Age vanguard as Leonard Rosenman, Don Ellis, Jerry Fielding, Gil Mellé, Lalo Schifrin, Billy Goldenberg), Nightwatch by John Williams paired with Quincy Jones' Killer by Night.
My single favourite double header remained Zigzag/The Super Cops by Oliver Nelson and Jerry Fielding and it ended up with rare television scores for Hawkins. FSM exceled with Goldsmith and Rózsa: needless to list the scores—we finally got the complete recording of The Power but from another big box set entitled Miklós Rózsa Treasury (1949-1968).
Of all Herrmann ones they brought us, I would pick one that I found superior in all departments (music, art direction—see the most inspired cover ever conceived featuring Rudolf Koch’s Bauhaus-influenced geometric sans-serif typeface Kabel): The Wrong Man. Thanks to FSM, I discovered composers from the Golden Age as Bronislau Kaper (Invitation) and Hugo Friedhofer (Between Heaven and Hell).
Graphic design-wise, from January 2000, the label abandoned the Golden and Silver front banners and explored a minimalistic artwork with Take a Hard Ride but the first front cover I noticed was for The Omega Man: black background, actors’ profile, fancy sans-serif typeface derived from Tom Carnase’s Neo-Art Deco-oriented Busorama. I also enjoyed the one for THX 1138 with the white on white bare leaning.
What made FSM different was the lavish art direction of Joe Sikoryak supervised by Lukas Kendall’s demanding input over the booklets and his memorable track-by-track analysis. The alpha of FSM was a Silver Age title and the omega was also a Silver Age title therefore the cyle was complete. Hats off to FSM which was the king of the Silver Age! All good things come to an end “but” they will be remembered as a turning point in the confidential history of soundtracks. The Man from FSM Lukas Kendall works now as a mercenary for other labels since 2012.
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We share many of the same favorites, Thomas, so you highlighting those particular titles is a great reminder of Lukas's dedication to late Sixties-early Seventies films and scores. I always felt that FSM's releases didn't get the same level of praise as their fellow labels but their output was in many instances superior to anything by the others. The fact that FSM "went out" with their definitive Wild Bunch release was to me a final nod to those of us who hold that late-Sixties-early Seventies period of cinema in such high regard.

And as I'm so often fond of pointing out, Nick Redman's dead-on assessment of that fabled era:

"It is widely believed among film historians that the decade of the 1970s was the last great hurrah of american film. Much has been written and spoken about why this is so, and yet, in truth, it is the only the first half of the '70s that is meaningful--roughly the period between 1969-1976. Afterward the tide inevitably turned toward younger subjects for younger audiences, and the innovative, adult-themed--some would say nihilistically inclined--pictures went the way of the Dodo bird."

I'm the other guy who likes these things! But I still haven't got them all, or even half of the scores mentioned. Why do I punish myself like this?

"I'm not mean, I'm just careful." (Norbert Colon)

Looking personally at all the labels, it has been FSM that has delivered the most grails to me. And this says a tremendous amount since the other labels have done incredible amounts of them! And their model for releasing them was emulated by all the rest, even Varese who started it all!

In 2003, FSM offered their first Schifrin and a versatile masterpiece of avant garde entitled THX 1138 featuring fascinating dissonant organ tracks (“First Escape” and “Second Escape”)

Now please listen to these two fabulous icy tracks

Schifrin reworked that buzzing device for "Dirty Harry" and many other film scores and television scores of that era.

Nice tribute indeed, Thomas. FSM was really the label which started producing soundtrack releases which filled a previously neglected gap. Going back to 1996, when STAGECOACH/ THE LONER came out, I automatically started to order each new FSM CD. I had to stop after about the first half-dozen, because other labels started making inroads - but FSM certainly paved the way. Some of there releases didn't interest me (naturally), so I didn't buy them, but I've just counted and was somewhat surprised that I have 57 of them - not bad considering how infrequently I buy. I could probably spend the rest of my life picking up the FSMs I still have on my "to be purchased, perhaps" list.

And even when I personally wasn't interested in buying a particular score, everyone could be guaranteed absolutely top-notch presentation.

R.I.P. FSM, and Long Live LK and team in other incarnations.

Lukas Kendall, pioneer where no man had gone before.

A very nice summary, Thomas.

And it can't be said that FSM didn't offer plenty of variety. And they did release an awful lot of 'my type' of music. I don't actually think I could pick one favourite score now.

All those fabulous bass lines which contained in themselves more memorable melodies than most of the entire scores being composed today - I'm thinking The Taking of Pelham 123, The Split, Shaft, The Thief Who Came to Dinner...and so on.

FSM will be missed.

Great tribute to a great label. Many of my favourite scores were from FSM. It hit my sweet spot for soundtracks, namely from the early 50's to the mid 70's. I did a count - 65 with only a handful that I could have done without. And, there are still some on my wish list (one I was reminded of from another comment is The Wrong Man). So, thanks Lucas for your dedication to excellence.

So, thanks Lucas for your dedication to excellence.

No! Thanks LUKAS!

Here's how you can keep 'em straight:

LUCAS is the one who got married recently . . .

So, thanks Lucas for your dedication to excellence.

No! Thanks LUKAS!

Here's how you can keep 'em straight:

LUCAS is the one who got married recently . . .

O'K', sorry Lukas! :o

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