Retroist Scoreboard: The Summer Soundtrack Smorgasbord

As a rule, the soundtrack boutique labels have a kind of gentlemen’s agreement to not step on one another’s release dates.  Most of the time, this is a great arrangement – I can have half of my paycheck deposited directly to Intrada one week and La-La Land the next.  But every once in a while, the release dates collide.  Remember how there was only one release to talk about at the end of June?  There’s a bunch of stuff to talk about this time around now that everyone’s back from their Fourth of July break.  And I kind of want one of everything on this week’s release slate.

Intrada is having a musical flashback to ‘Nam this week with a single CD release containing the complete scores from two Vietnam War-themed movies: Alex North‘s brief score from 1987’s Good Morning, Vietnam and David Newman‘s score from the 1995 comedy Operation Dumbo Drop.  Since Good Morning, Vietnam was tracked primarily with vintage rock and pop music being DJ’ed by Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer, not much score is required – and all 17-and-a-half minutes of North’s score is presented here for the first time.  Operation Dumbo Drop is the more substantial score, weighing in at just under 48 minutes, but due to how it was recorded (two analog-synched 24-track digital recorders in unison, technology which has now been phased out and is hard to find), a great deal of manual effort was expended in recombining all the tracks in perfect synchronization for this CD release.

La-La Land Records is gracing us with a glut of releases this week, and some of them are very limited editions.

Henry Mancini‘s all-time classic score from 1965’s The Great Race is arriving on CD for the first time, and by “on CD”, I mean “in the form of a 3-CD box set”.  2500 copies of this set are being pressed.  Widely regarded as one of the best comedy film scores ever, this set gives you two ways to enjoy the music – the first two discs contain Mancini’s original session tapes as heard in the movie itself, while the third contains re-recorded highlights assembled for LP release alongside the movie itself.

If you’re yearning for a return not just to the west, but to The Wild Wild West, La-La Land has you covered with a limited edition 4-CD set of music from the original TV series, including highlights from such episodes as The Night of the Inferno, The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth, The Night of the Glowing Corpse, The Night That Terror Stalked the Town, The Night of the Infernal Machine, The Night of the Samurai, and The Night of the Kraken.  Veteran composers such as Richard Markowitz, Robert Drasnin, Dave Grusin, Harry Geller, Walter Scharf, Fred Steiner, and Dimitri Tiomkin are featured…but there’ll only be 1,000 copies pressed, and then this release is moseying out of town…and out of print.

In re-issues this week, La-La Land has expanded and remastered the late James Horner‘s score from 1992’s Unlawful Entry, now including the complete score and fresh liner notes.  Unlawful Entry will be treated to a print run of 2,000 copies.

In more recent releases, La-La Land is also unleashing the 2-CD complete score from Transformers: The Last Knight, composed by Steve Jablonsky, and scarily-overworked TV composer Blake Neely‘s music from the first season of the CW’s Riverdale.

   

Is that all?  That is not all.  Quartet Records has unearthed Stephen Oliver‘s score from the 1986 film Lady Jane, which starred the likes of Helena Bonham-Carter and Patrick Stewart.  Though a soundtrack album was assembled for release in 1986, the movie barely showed up on the box office radar at the time of its release, and the album masters languished in the vaults, outliving their composer, who passed away in 1992, better known for his original operas – this was his only film score.  Quartet presents Lady Jane as a 2-CD set, with the original session masters on one disc and the unreleased 1986 soundtrack master on the other.

Varese Sarabande has announced an August 11th release, on “prairie sand” colored vinyl, of the Lennie Niehaus/Clint Eastwood score for Eastwood’s 1993 western Unforgiven.  This release will be limited to 1,000 copies, available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.

There you go, fellow soundtrack fanatics – your summer smorgasbord is laid out before you.  Where will your feast begin?

Earl Green

Podcaster-in-Chief at theLogBook.com
As the writer of the Retroist’s weekly Scoreboard column, Earl Green is keeping score on soundtrack releases old and new, a topic he’s written and podcasted about extensively at his own site, theLogBook.com.He’s also written entire books about Doctor Who (VWORP!1 and VWORP!2), Star Trek (WARP!1), and growing up geeky, and hosts theLogBook.com’s Escape Pod, Select Game and Don’t Give This Tape To Earl podcasts.He is large, he contains multitudes.

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required

Leave a Reply