Retroist Scoreboard: Trolling Transformers and Swimming with Sharks

School may be out for summer, but soundtrack school is never closed. This week’s releases are a crash course in the classics, both old and modern.

La-La Land Records is very much “in the now” with its latest and future releases. Though opinions seem to be, shall we say, widely varied as to whether the big-screen comedy rehash of ’90s syndicated super-hit Baywatch was worth committing to film, La-La Land is still giving the movie’s score a chance on CD. Composed by Christopher Lennertz, the Baywatch score may well be one of the better things about the movie, and there’ll be 3,000 copies pressed so fans of either the movie or the composer can give it a spin.

Baywatch

Coming next month from La-La Land is an even bigger release – a deluxe, 2-CD limited edition of Steve Jablonsky‘s score from Transformers: The Last Knight. That will be released on July 11th, and is also likely to be an edition of only 3,000 copies. The label will start taking orders closer to the release date.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Dragon’s Domain Records has a pair of new releases that’ll begin shipping on July 10th: Brian May‘s score from the 1986 movie Sky Pirates (bear in mind that this is the Australian film composer Brian May of Mad Max fame, not the Queen guitarist), and a CD containing a pair of lesser-known TV movie scores by the late, great Basil Poledouris, Prison For Children and Single Bars, Single Women. Sky Pirates is a limited edition of 1,000 copies, while there will be 2,000 copies of the Poledouris scores made available.

Sky Pirates

Buysoundtrax.com’s in-house label BSX Records has some digital-only releases that’ll delight fans of ’80s movies – they’ve made Jerrold Immel‘s score from Mega Force available for download, which includes music Immel composed for the movie that was later dropped, such as the original, never-before-heard end credit music that was left on the cutting room floor in favor of a song.

Mega Force

Also on tap is Richard Band‘s original score from 1986’s Troll – you know, back when movies about trolls were creepy, and didn’t drown their audience in covers of 1980s hits.

Troll

Quartet Records is targeting the end of June for a remastered release of Jerry Goldsmith‘s score for the 1973 prison break drama Papillon. The original multi-track studio tapes of the original record sessions were recently recovered in Italy and have been remastered by Mike Matessino; among the material that these tapes brought to light were “source music” (music which characters in the movie can hear from an on-screen source) composed by longtime Goldsmith collaborator Alexander Courage (also composer of the original Star Trek theme). Only 1,000 copies of this CD are being pressed.

Papillon

Kritzerland Records‘ blurb for their latest release makes it very clear that they know this movie’s place in cinematic history. Is it a golden age delight uncovered and remastered for the first time? No, friends…it’s the Chuck Cirino score from the Syfy original movie Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. That awareness of the movie’s unique stature extends to its print run: Kritzerland is only pressing 500 copies of this new classic for the ages, and then, as it says at the end of many a shark movie (or as it should say), fin.

Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre

Nothing new from Intrada this week, but the scuttlebutt on their release for next week involves gate addresses, chevrons, dial-home devices, and probably some zat guns. Watch this space.

Mega Force

Stranger Things Action Figures are coming!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been looking at your forlorn, staffed-only-by-Stormtroopers vintage Kenner Death Star playset and you’ve been thinking to yourself, “Hey, you know who would look good in the gunner seat of that top-floor cannon? The Demogorgon would.” Fortunately, Funko, the makers of the Stranger Things vinyl pops, hears us. Coming this August, Funko is rolling out two boxed sets of action figures based on the addictive Netflix show…which means you can sit down with the gang to watch the new season this Halloween and look nervously over at Will Byers and wonder “is he okay?”

Stranger Things action figures

The accessories are to die for: Lucas has his slingshot. Eleven has some Eggos, as she should. The Demogorgon…well…that’s scary enough without accessories.

Stranger Things action figures

These figures are in the “Star Wars scale” (assuming 3 3/4″ as the height of an average adult male), so they are most definitely compatible with your existing collection. They can hang out with Twiki and catch a ride in Luke’s landspeeder…and they can hide out while Batman fights the Demogorgon.

These are the Stranger Things we’ve been waiting for…now we just have to wait…patiently…possibly in a cupboard with a string of Christmas lights. Or maybe that’s just me.

Keith Robinson - Intellivision

Farewell, Keith Robinson – Mr. Intellivision

Keith Robinson - Intellivision
One of the titans of retro video gaming evangelism and business sense within the industry has left us. I’m very sorry to report that Keith “Mr. Intellivision” Robinson, one of the organizing forces who kept the “Blue Sky Rangers” team behind the Intellivision working together both during and after the classic console’s heyday, has left us.

The photo you see at the top of this article is a prime example of Keith doing what he did best – not only was he involved in the Intellivision during its salad days, he evangelized the system and its software (and the many products that kept those games alive on more modern hardware) more capably than an army of Intellvision fanboys could. That was Keith at the 2003 Classic Gaming Expo, introducing a new generation to the menacing mazes of Night Stalker. Now, I can tell you that the time I’ve spent with Night Stalker on the Intellivision in my lifetime has probably reached into the dozens of hours, but watching Keith hand that unique Intellivision controller over to a new recruit was enough to make me want to play it some more.


Believe it or not, he was a better pitchman than George Plimpton. Courtesy Intellivision Productions

Keith Robinson was warm and genuine; he was comfortable being almost a caricuature of himself at gaming events, while simultaneously being totally himself – he was that outgoing. If you were lucky, he might temporarily bestow upon you the cherished Burgertime Chef Hat, as he did here, crowning CGE organizer John Hardie the new Intellivision king for one night.

Keith Robinson @ CGE - photo: Earl Green
I crown you Burger King!

He was one of the nice guys of gaming, and yet doggedly sought out new opportunities to continue bringing the Intellivision IP to new audiences – cell phone games, PC and Playstation compilations, plug-and-play Intellivision handhelds and new miniature replicas of the original units, you name it. This not only kept Intellivision alive, but kept cash coming in both for himself and his fellow Blue Sky Rangers, the people who’d originally programmed the games in the first place and had bought the rights to the Intellivision architecture, software and hardware from Mattel Electronics in the late 1980s. As the president of newly christened and independent Intellivision Productions, Robinson was the group’s spokesman, and a powerful organizing force. The difference between Intellivision Productions and nearly every modern IP holder who has acquired game platforms after the fact is that Keith engaged with the fans, and never lost sight of why some of us loved the Intellivision.

Here’s the windup…
Keith Robinson @ CGE - photo: Earl Green
…and the pitch!
Keith Robinson @ CGE - photo: Earl Green
And it’s off into the stands!
Keith Robinson @ CGE - photo: Earl Green
At the end of a gaming convention, any Intellivision swag left over would be chucked into the eagerly awaiting crowd by Mr. Intellivision himself.

You had to love a guy like that. Keith Robinson was the beating heart of the Intellivision community. And the best thing about it was that, hanging out with him, you’d hear some of the best stories – and because his storytelling was near-legendary, you still can.


Courtesy G4icons

Retroist Scoreboard: Silent Stranger Starstuff

Brace yourselves, soundtrack fans, because this summer’s going to get just a little bit expensive if you’re into vinyl.  If you’re not into vinyl…sorry, it’s still going to be expensive.  There’s good stuff on the way.  Starstuff.

Even though it had a digital release shortly after the series premiered, Intrada Records is releasing the first volume of Alan Silvestri‘s astronomically awesome music from Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.  Best of all, even if you’ve already done the download thing, Intrada’s CDs contain bonus tracks not included in the digital edition.

Slightly more down-to-earth are a couple of new Tadlow releases, Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (the last film scored by the late, great Elmer Bernstein of Ghostbusters fame), and a fresh new re-recording of Dmitri Tiomkin‘s score from Duel In The Sun, getting an epic 2-CD treatment.

Like Tadlow’s recent re-recording of Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the classic Thriller TV series, Duel In The Sun was painstakingly recreated and digitally re-recorded by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nic Raine.

Now, while you’re listening to the rousing notes of Tiomkin’s masterpiece brought back to life, prepare your wallet for an epic July.  I’m giving you a heads-up so you can start saving a few bucks now for what’s to come.

July will see the release of Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection release of Robin Hood, scored by George Bruns.  Something tells me, however, that you can probably expect to hear Roger Miller sing a song here or there as well.

For decades, the only way to get Silent Running was to track down the original vinyl LP, consisting of Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele‘s moody score and Joan Baez‘s folksy contributions; late last year, Intrada made many a Silent Running fan happy by finally giving this soundtrack an official CD release after more than 40 years (and by the way, the CD’s still available).  But now Silent Running is headed back to vinyl, with Varese Sarabande pressing a new run of green LPs befitting the movie’s environmental themes.

Is that all?  Grab some Pop Tarts and brace yourself, for that is not all.

Lakeshore Records is rolling out deluxe LP pressings of both volumes of Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein‘s moody, Moogy music from Netflix’s Stranger Things.  Now, if you’ve been visiting the Retroist for the past year or so, you know we love us some Stranger Things around here, and I think we’re in agreement that this package does not disappoint.  Volume 1 and Volume 2 can both be pre-ordered from Amazon ahead of their July 14th release, but be prepared for a Demogorgon-sized price tag for the sheer amount of Stranger Things goodness you’ll be getting.

Want an even stranger blast from the past?

July will also see (sadly, no pre-order links available at press time) a cassette release of music from Stranger Things, complete with a cardboard sleeve and inner artwork mimicking the look of a  VHS tape.  This release will be exclusive to Urban Outfitters, and might come in a little bit cheaper than the LPs.  If you’ve been wanting your Stranger Things soundtrack in a more novel format, this is your summer – remember to crank it up to Eleven.

On that note, let’s have a little more Duel In The Sun, courtesy of Tadlow Records and the City of Prague Philharmonic.  The summer of soundtrack music is here, and it’s only going to get stranger.

Retroist Scoreboard: Quake of the Living Dead(ites)

This summer is already showing signs of being a scorcher, to the point that even the soundtrack shelf is heating up – especially if you like big slabs of freshly pressed vinyl.

I try not to leave any new soundtrack release unannounced here if I can help it, but I will admit to completely fumbling the play from time to time. Case in point: Lunaris Records‘ CD release of Carlo Maria Cordio‘s score from the infamous Troll 2 snuck right past me…you know, as horror movie trolls and goblins often do, just before they strike. I thought it was only fair that I circle back and let fans of classic horror scores know that this one exists. Is it better as a solo listening experience than it is saddled with the visual and narrative aspects of the movie in question (often said to be one of the worst films ever made)? You, brave listeners, will have to discover that for yourselves.

Troll 2

Varese Sarabande is taking pre-orders for a CD release later this month of Dave Grusin‘s score from the 1974 Robert Mitchum movie The Yakuza. Like the movie itself, the score represents the clash of east and west, and Grusin had an able assist from legendary jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour. Varese is pressing only 1,500 copies of The Yakuza.

The Yakuza

Quartet Records is putting fans of Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone in a state of bliss with its remastered, 2-CD re-release of 1990’s State Of Grace, now complete for the first time ever. The second disc remasters the original soundtrack album release assembled and mixed by Morricone in 1990, which featured roughly half of the score, while the first disc collects the complete score in chronological film order, which received a distinctly different mix. Only 1,000 copies of this soundtrack are being pressed.

State Of Grace

Now, friends, let’s discuss the dead coming to life anew on vinyl. Waxwork Records is a label dedicated to releasing a few high-quality LPs of classic horror scores each year, and their latest is the positively beautiful new vinyl release of Joseph LoDuca’s soundtrack from 1987’s Evil Dead 2.

Evil Dead 2

Featuring both original movie artwork and brand new pieces created just for the LP release by Justin Erickson, Waxwork’s Evil Dead 2 LP comes in two flavors – at least where the record inside is concerned. Customers have their choice of the bloodied “Ash” vinyl…

Evil Dead 2

…or, honoring Ash’s trusty Oldsmobile, the “Delta 88” vinyl. Let’s face it, the car is more of a beloved steed than a vehicle, and it’s earned this shout-out in vinyl form.

Evil Dead 2

Whichever you choose, because it’s an LP, this Evil Dead 2 release is guaranteed to be…groovy.

Evil Dead 2Ash sees what I did there

Is that all? That is not all. Sharp-eyed Trent Reznor fans sat up and took note when a vinyl release of Reznor’s soundtrack from the 1996 video game Quake appeared as a pre-order – with no release date as of the time of this writing – in the store on the official Nine Inch Nails website.

Quake

For an entirely different type of Quake why not check out this vintage commerical for Quake cereal?

With no information other than “coming soon”, consider this a preview of things to come. Needless to say, if you were worried that the soundtrack releases might start to taper off in the summer months…we’re just getting started.