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Film Score Friday 1/15/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/14/2021 - 10:00 PM
The latest soundtrack from Intrada is the first CD release of a striking early score by one of current cinema's most respected composers.

The surprise success of 1983's Psycho II led Universal to plan a third film in the series, while star Anthony Perkins was only interested in continuing to play Norman Bates if the studio would let him make his directorial debut on PSYCHO III. Perkins was such a fan of the Coen Brothers' first film, Blood Simple, that not only did he show the film to his cast and crew for inspiration but sought the film's first-time composer, Carter Burwell, for his own film. Burwell had seen scoring Blood Simple as a one-off and had returned to his "day job," but his distinctly off-beat score for Perkins' film helped launch his full-time scoring career, which continues thirty five years and two Oscar nominations later. At the time of the film's release, MCA put out an LP of Burwell's music for the film (his first soundtrack release) with particular emphasis on the source cues. Intrada's Psycho III is a two-disc set featuring Burwell's full score plus alternates, as well as the LP sequencing; the lengthy booklet includes my liner notes on the film's production and its score as well as a new reminiscence from the composer himself on his experience on the project.

Varese Sarabande has announced two brand new limited Deluxe Edition CD Club releases.

Jerry Goldsmith's collaboration with director Joe Dante began with the "It's a Good Life" segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie and continued for two decades, including the blockbuster hit Gremlins. Their final film together, the 2003 animation/live-action comedy hybrid LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, was Goldsmith's last work for the screen and released only eight months before the composer's passing, and Varese Sarabande originally released a CD featuring a generous selection of cues from his score. Their new two-disc set includes the full original score, including the additional cues composed by John Debney and Cameron Patrick, plus alternates and the original CD sequencing.

Goldsmith was actually the original composer hired for BABE, the 1995 George Miller production which proved to be not only a critical and box-office hit but also a major Oscar contender, but the final score was written by Australian composer Nigel Westlake, who also scored the film's 1998 sequel, Babe: Pig in the City. (The Academy's Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills features Goldsmith's original music sketches for his unused score in their Special Collections). The original Varese soundtrack for Babe was a child-friendly release featuring a generous amount of dialogue and narration, but Varese Club's new Deluxe Edition is a greatly expanded music-only release.

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Film Score Friday 1/8/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/7/2021 - 10:00 PM
Intrada will announce a new release next week. For those who do not mind soundtrack "spoilers," go to this Message Board thread.

The week after next, La-La Land will be releasing score CDs for the second and third seasons (the latter a two-disc set) of the Karate Kid-spinoff Netflix series COBRA KAI, composed by Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson.

Varese Sarabande is expected to announce their latest CD Club releases today.


The Twentieth Century - George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud, Harold Shapero - Kritzerland


No major new releases are expected today but the films released at the end of 2020 are still playing where theaters are open, and some theaters are even still screening films from earlier in the year like Tenet and The War with Grandpa.

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Film Score Friday 1/1/21
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/31/2020 - 10:00 PM
Happy New Year! (It had better be)

Normally at this time of year I'd be listing my Oscar predictions for 2020, but due to the pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has moved the 2021 Oscars to April 25, and extended the eligibility period of film releases through February 28. They currently plan to announce the shortlists on February 9 and the nominations on March 15. I plan to post a predictions column sometime between those two dates, though I still expect I will have seen few if any of the major contenders by then, so mentally I'll be putting an asterisk next to this year's list. A friend was asking my predictions for the score shortlist*, and at this point I have no idea what's even eligible. Is Soderbergh's Let Them All Talk (score by Thomas Newman) considered a 2020 feature? I've heard that Steve McQueen's critically acclaimed Small Axe movies are not being submitted for Oscar consideration.


ALIVE (Intrada)
THE SWARM (La-La Land)


Films currently screening in cities where are theaters are still open include The Croods: A New Age, Fatale, Monster Hunter, News of the World, Pinocchio, Promising Young Woman and Wonder Woman 1984.

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Film Score Friday 12/25/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/24/2020 - 10:00 PM
Merry Christmas!

La-La Land has announced that next month they will release a two-disc set of music from the second season of TV's THE ORVILLE, with cues from episodes scored by Andrew Cottee, John Debney and Joel McNeely.


The Gerald Fried Collection Vol. 1 - Gerald Fried - Dragon's Domain
The Golden Age of Science Fiction Vol. 1 - Marlin Skiles, Leith Stevens - Dragon's Domain

Inchon - Jerry Goldsmith - Intrada Special Collection
John Williams in Vienna [CD/BluRay] - John Williams - Deutsche Grammophon
Patrick - Brian May - Dragon's Domain
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous - William Ross - Dragon's Domain
Wonder Woman 1984 - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower [CD-R]


Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to open in theaters and premiere on HBO Max today. Hans Zimmer wrote the score, which WaterTower is releasing as a two-disc CD-R.

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Film Score Friday 12/18/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/17/2020 - 10:00 PM
Intrada has announced two CDs -- Mark Mothersbaugh's score for the just-released animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, and (shipping next week) a three-disc, remastered edition of Jerry Goldsmith's stirring score for the 1982 Korean War epic INCHON, featuring the original soundtrack sequencing, the expanded sequencing featured on the 2006 score assembly, and a new seqencing of the complete score plus alternates.


The Croods: A New Age - Mark Mothersbaugh - Intrada
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Branford Marsalis - Milan
News of the World
- James Newton Howard - Backlot

Total Recall [re-release] - Jerry Goldsmith - Quartet
Un Sceriffo Extraterrestre...Poco Extra e Molto Terrestre - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Digitmovies


Monster Hunter, the latest videogame adaption from star Milla Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson, with a score by Paul Haslinger, is opening...somewhere.

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Film Score Friday 12/11/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/10/2020 - 10:00 PM
Intrada plans to release two CDs next week. For those who don't mind "spoilers," information on these releases can be found on this Message Board thread.

Quartet has announced their final four releases for 2020, all featuring scores by Oscar-winning composers: the first-ever release of one of the last scores composed by Bernard Herrmann, for the 1972 Agatha Christie adaptation ENDLESS NIGHT, in a re-recording featuring Fernando Velazquez conducting the Basque National Orchestra; a three-disc release of one of Ennio Morricone's most beloved scores, for Sergio Leone's Western epic THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, featuring the complete score, alternate cues, and the original LP sequencing; a two-disc version of the soundtrack for 1969 Best Picture winner MIDNIGHT COWBOY, featuring the film's songs as well as the score cues by John Barry, both in their film versions and in the soundtrack album re-recordings; and a two-disc edition of the score for the all-star WWII epic A BRIDGE TOO FAR, featuring the film's score by John Addison (who three decades earlier had fought in the battle depicted in the film), alternate cues and the original LP sequencing.


Becoming - Kamasi Washington - Young Turks
A Bridge Too Far
- John Addison - Quartet
Endless Night [re-recording]
- Bernard Herrmann - Quartet

Freaky - Bear McCreary - La-La Land
The Glorias - Elliot Goldenthal - Zarathustra

Goldsmith at 20th Vol. 1: Von Ryan's Express/The Blue Max - Jerry Goldsmith - La-La Land
Goldsmith at 20th Vol. 2: The Detective/The Flim-Flam Man - Jerry Goldsmith - La-La Land
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Ennio Morricone - Quartet

Jay Sebring...Cutting to the Truth - Jeff Beal - Noteforenote

King of Kings [re-recording] - Miklos Rozsa - Tadlow
La ragazza di Trieste
- Riz Ortolani - Beat
Lolita My Love [stage] - John Barry - Kritzerland
Midnight Cowboy
- John Barry - Quartet
- Ennio Morricone - Beat

The X-Files Vol. 4 - Mark Snow - La-La Land

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Film Score Friday 12/4/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/3/2020 - 10:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada, available for only a limited time, is a remastered edition of their re-recording of Miklos Rozsa's triumphant score for the 1952 film version of IVANHOE, with Bruce Broughton conducting the Sinfonia of London.

In additional Miklos Rozsa news, Tadlow's two-disc re-recording of the complete KING OF KINGS, with Nic Raine conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus, is now available for pre-order.

La-La Land has announced six new soundtrack releases in their annual end-of-year "Black Friday" batch:

A fourth volume of their series of Mark Snow's music for the long-running sci-fi classic THE X-FILES, a four-disc set including episodic cues from all nine seasons.

The latest CD from their recent partnership with Universal is the first commercial release of the score for the 1990 cult classic monster movie TREMORS, a two-disc set featuring Ernest Troost's original score on Disc One and the additional music composed for the film by Robert Folk on Disc Two (cues from both scores had previously been released on promotional CDs).

Bear McCreary's score for the just released dark horror comedy FREAKY starring Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, which reteamed the composer with Christopher Landon, director of the Happy Death Day films.

The newest in their series of expanded releases of Bill Conti's music for the original Karate Kid films is his score for 1989's THE KARATE KID PART III, with a generous amount of additional cues.

Finally, two separate volumes of their brand new series, GOLDSMITH AT 20TH, featuring scores Jerry Goldsmith composed and recorded during his years at 20th Century Fox. VOL. 1 is a two-disc set featuring two war scores from the 1960s, the WWII escape adventure VON RYAN'S EXPRESS and his classic score for the WWI aviation drama THE BLUE MAXVOL. 2 pairs two very different scores from the mid-1960s -- the dark police mystery THE DETECTIVE, from the novel by Roderick Thorp (the book's sequel, Nothing Lasts Forever, was the basis for Die Hard), and the picaresque comedy THE FLIM-FLAM MAN (featuring one previously unreleased cue).

This month Turner Classic Movies will be showing 25 films scored by the master, Bernard Herrmann, as part of a month-long tribute to the composer.

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Film Score Friday 11/27/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/26/2020 - 10:00 PM
La-La Land is expected to announce its latest group of "Black Friday" end-of-year CD releases today.

Kronos has announced three new soundtrack releases -- the score for Roger Corman's 1957 adventure film VIKING WOMEN AND THE SEA SERPENT (whose onscreen title, amusingly enough, is actually The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Yoyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent), by B-movie great Albert Glasser; Bruno Nicolai's music for the TV documentary series CIVILTA DEL MEDITERRANEO; and Francesco DeMasi's score for another TV documentary series, L'UOMO EUROPO.

Dragon's Domain has announced four new soundtrack releases -- THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION VOL. 1, featuring the scores for QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (by Marlin Skiles) and WORLD WITHOUT END (by Leith Stevens); THE GERALD FRIED COLLECTION VOL. 1, featuring two scores by the Oscar nominee and Emmy winner -- the 1978 TV horror movie CRUISE INTO TERROR and the U.S. score for the Mexican film SURVIVE!, inspired by the same true story as Alive; William Ross's score for the IMAX 3D film T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS; and Brian May's score for the Australian horror classic PATRICK.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has announced this year’s Grammy nominations, including the following film music-related categories:

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Film Score Friday 11/20/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/19/2020 - 10:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada is a greatly expanded release of the score for the 1998 sci-fi horror sequel SPECIES II, in which Natasha Henstridge reprised her role as the beautiful alien Sil, with Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger also returning from the original film. The director was Peter Medak (The Ruling Class, The Changeling), and the music was composed by Edward Shearmur.

The label's previously announced release of the Newton Brothers' score for the new miniseries THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR is also now available.

Quartet has announced two new releases -- NEL CINEMA E NELLA CLASSICA, with Pino Donaggio conducting his own concert and film music, including the "New York Suite," which incorporates his music for Blow Out and Carrie as well as the first release of music from one of his most sought-after scores, The Fan; and Dominik Scherrer's music for the series MARPLE, based on Agatha Christie's beloved character.


Bill & Ted Face the Music
- Mark Isham - Rambling (import)
Dark: Cycle 3 - Ben Frost - Invada (import)
The Haunting of Bly Manor - The Newton Brothers - Intrada
Species II - Edward Shearmur - Intrada Special Collection
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Daniel Pemberton - Varese Sarabande 

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Film Score Friday 11/13/20
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/12/2020 - 10:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week. For those who don't mind "spoilers" about upcoming releases, go to this Message Board thread.

Quartet is re-releasing their two-disc edition of Jerry Goldsmith's thrilling score for TOTAL RECALL with new packaging to celebrate the film's 30th anniversary. They are also releasing the score on a 3-LP vinyl set.

Kritzerland is releasing a CD of music from the TV* documentary series THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, which ran from 1957 to 1970 (its final three seasons as The 21st Century). The Kritzerland disc features music from the show's first two seasons, composed by George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud and Harold Shapero. (*When this column was originally posted I inexplicably referred to this as a radio program. Thanks to poster "scifiguy" for the correction. As a wise and great American once said, "D'oh!")


The Albert Glasser Collection vol. 1: Huk!/Tokyo File 212 - Albert Glasser - Dragon's Domain
Demon in the Bottle
- John Morgan - Dragon's Domain
From Beyond
- Richard Band - Dragon's Domain

Interstellar: Expanded Edition - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower
- Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Over the Moon
- Steven Price - Milan


Freaky, the new dark horror comedy from Christopher Landon, the director of the Happy Death Day films (and starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton) opens this week, with a score by Bear McCreary. Due to the spike in coronavirus rates, some theaters that had re-opened are closing again for the time being.

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