Killer Klowns - John Massari - Varese Sarabande

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: Reimagined!

Holy cow, friends! I was working down here in the Retroist Vault this morning when we got in this bit of exciting news. Varese Sarabande has totally released the digital soundtrack for John Massari’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined today. There will be a physical CD released next week on May 25th. Furthermore Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined features a brand new version of the theme song from the film. Performed of course by the Dickies!

[Via] Back O Beyond

Much like Albert Pyun’s Radioactive Dreams, I first discovered Killer Klowns from Outer Space on VHS. The Chiodo Brothers released their cult classic while I was still in High School. I was in computer science class and the description of the film from a fellow student, forced me to rent it that very evening after class. In no way was I disappointed by Killer Klowns from Outer Space, indeed it became one of my favorite films.

Obviously what the Chiodo Brothers pulled off, it’s similar to 1984’s Gremlins. You are certainly a little creeped out by the alien clowns in the film but you are laughing too. Of course what do you expect from the same three brothers who worked on the likes of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure as well as the Critters series?

Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined is being released at the perfect time. As May 27th in fact is the 30th anniversary of the cult classic film. The new soundtrack of course features the fantastic score by John Massari. However this time he is also being backed up by the 30-piece Hollywood Chamber Orchestra.

Did I forget to mention that Bear McCreary also is featured on the new album? Yeah, he sits in and plays both accordion and the hurdy-gurdy. The very same McCreary of Battlestar Galactica, God of War, as well as Outlander fame.

Let me be clear, the synth score for the original motion picture was great. Backed up with a full orchestra however and it has become absolutely epic. John Massari is no stranger to scoring for films and television either. In fact he got his start working on the likes of Little House on the Prairie, I, Madman, and 1986’s The New Adventures of Jonny Quest!

[Via] Varese Sarabande Records

The film most assuredly contains elements of madcap comedy. However, it is still very much a horror film beneath those bright colors and bizarre situations. The same rings true with Massari’s score, there are jovial elements in it but they are darkly twisted. The soundtrack knows it is intended for a horror film. That I believe is one of the reasons that it is so remarkable, friends.
Killer Klowns - Officer Down

With the track Killer Klown March you have a toe-tapping calliope styled main melody. Which weaves itself in and out of other tracks throughout the score. The score is proudly ‘metal’, however there are softer elements in the score too. Overall the composer while sticking to a horror feel – still successfully injects fun into it.
Killer Klowns - Reimagined Score

You can hop on over to the official Varese Sarabande site to pre-order your CD now. The digital version of the score should be available there too as well as iTunes, etc.

Now then, with the 30th anniversary of the film just around the bend. There is one other super special event taking place besides the Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined release.

How would you like to see a live concert to film presentation of the movie?

Have You Heard This Version of “Beginnings”?

Just to recap (because this isn’t the “Beginnings” of my Chicago love): Chicago, love Chicago, Chicago, Jason Scheff = hot, love their music, love Chicago. Chicago, Chicago, freakin’ Chicago! Spoiler alert: This is about one of their live performances. Back out now.

So, you’re still here. That’s good!

Not The Beginnings Of My Chicago Articles…

…and not the ending either!

If you’ve seen enough Chicago concert footage, you know by now that the sound, regardless of the vocalist, barely changes. From Peter Cetera to Jason Scheff, Terry Kath to Bill Champlin (let’s skip Donnie Dacus, please!) to Lou Pardini, the person changes, but the quality does not. The only difference I’ve ever noticed is with “Colour My World” – that song changed hands several times, from Terry Kath to Bill Champlin to Robert Lamm to Lee Loughnane (who currently sings it), but it has never decreased in quality.

It’s still not my favorite Chicago song, but I don’t have a problem with it.


So, when you hear the Chicago song “Beginnings,” this is the version you likely know best…

Upload via Chicago Band

Or, this version…

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And, this version…

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It’s all nice, it’s all amazing, and it’s all Robert Lamm…and sometimes Phillip Bailey. But always Robert Lamm.

Robert Lamm, circa 2003

But what happens when the person whose made that song sound incredible for so many years gets a sore throat prior to a concert, and needs a little help?

Well, it happened!

Devon, Pennsylvania: August 4, 1994

As the story goes, Robert Lamm was at the concert (part of the Valley Forge Music Fair) that evening, and had a sore throat, effectively limiting him to singing songs from the their then-current album, Night and Day: Big Band. But when you’re backed by a talented group of seasoned pros (including two other lead vocalists), ready to jump in, you know you’ve got the best.

Bill Champlin took the reigns of “Saturday in the Park,” but it was Jason Scheff who sang that it was only the beginning!

Jason Scheff – July 1993 at the Greek Theatre

That’s right, Jason Scheff took lead on “Beginnings,” and the audio exists. I wish it were video, but can’t be picky, this version is incredible!

Would you like to hear it?

“Beginnings” (With Jason Scheff on Lead Vocals!)

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Scheff captures the mood of the song perfectly, and hopefully, he smiled the way Robert Lamm does singing this. :-)

Related: Filed Under “Chicago”

Did You Know Chicago Performed on Solid Gold? – The group’s 1987 appearance on the dance/music hybrid Solid Gold!

Have You Heard Tris Imboden’s Chicago Story? – Tris Imboden departed Chicago after 28 years in January 2018, but did you know how he got started with the group?

Chicago Did Hip Hop?! – Stone of Sisyphus keeps on rolling, and spawned the most unconventional of Chicago songs. You’re in for a surprise!

Watch The Peanuts Gang Rocking Out To Chicago! – YouTuber Garren Lazar takes on Chicago songs…with a few familiar faces!

Have You Heard Chicago’s “The Pull”? – First performed at the Greek Theatre in 1993, this rare Chicago song was another offering from Stone of Sisyphus. 

David Foster Is Playing With Fire…And Chicago’s Horn Section! – That time James Pankow, Walter Parazaider, and Lee Loughnane provided their horns for a David Foster instrumental…

Chicago Did Disco?! – …and when you hear it, you’ll never forget it! (Not sure if that’s a good thing…)

Chicago Proclaims Someone Else is “Bigger Than Elvis” – Jason Scheff pours his heart out in a song about his father, Elvis Presley’s bassist, Jerry Scheff.

Will You Still Love the Changing Face of Chicago? – Peter Cetera is out, Jason Scheff is in. Will you still love them?

Hard to Say I’m Sorry (That You May Never Have Heard this Chicago Song Before!) – Resign yourself to getting this catchy, horn section-heavy song stuck in your head!

Along Comes a Woman…And Indiana Cetera! – Peter Cetera plays Indiana Jones, the James Pankow and Lee Loughnane rough up Robert Lamm a little, and Cetera (as Humphrey Bogart) gets taken away by police.  It’s a funny music video.

Christmas with Horns –  A look at Chicago’s first Christmas album, Chicago 25, and the follow up, What’s It Gonna Be, Santa?

Old Days…Good Times Some Didn’t Have! – Keith Howland takes the reigns on a classic Chicago song about growing up.

Rubberband Man - The Spinners - The Midnight Special

Watch The Spinners Perform 1976’s The Rubberband Man

For obvious reasons the 1976 song entitled The Rubberband Man has found itself back in the spotlight. Since it makes a memorable appearance in a very popular film that was released recently. However I can certainly say that I knew the song very well before the film. That was due to my Grandmother and her record collection. I have mentioned before that as a baby and wee lad, I listened to the likes of The Mills Brothers. As well as members of the Rat Pack and of course The Spinners which included The Rubberband Man.

Yeah if that is not in fact the height of being cool on stage, I don’t want to know what is. Besides, for all you know I might wearing that sequin outfit while I type this.
Rubberband Man - LP Album

The Rubberband Man was released as a single as well as on the album Happiness is Being with the Spinners. For myself I listened to the album version, which is the full version. The single besides having Now That We’re Together on the B-side. Is only three minutes and thirty seconds long with the album version running almost seven and a half minutes.
Rubberband Man - The Spinners - Back of Album

While The Rubberband Man has been classified as Soul, Pop, as well as Funk. There can certainly be no denying that it deserves to be on greatest lists. Which is in fact what the Detroit Free Press did, listing it in “Detroit’s 100 Greatest Songs“. The catchy tune came in at number 70 in that list I should add.

Were you aware though that the song title started out quite differently? That is an absolute fact, friends. Songwriters Thom Bell and Linda Creed originally wrote a tune entitled “The Fat Man”. Because at the time Thom’s Son was being mercilessly picked on at school due to his weight. The duo had intended the song to help the young man strengthen his self-esteem so it became The Rubberband Man. If you listen to the lyrics closely you can hear that original intent. Actually, why not watch the 1976 performance by the Spinners on The Midnight Special?

[Via] Sean Bryand

In that performance of The Rubberband Man you heard the abridged version. So ready for the full length song?

Just try and stop your foot start tapping as soon as you hear that song begin!

[Via] Auntie Soul 34

Lost In Space Soundtrack - christopher Lennertz - Lakeshore Records

Lost In Space Soundtrack Released By Lakeshore Records!

Friends, last week we had exciting news with the upcoming 3-CD release of The Storyteller. That excitement builds to a new level as Lakeshore Records has released Christopher Lennertz’s Lost in Space soundtrack too. My spoiler free review of the first episode was quick to praise the acting and effects. I would add that Netflix’s worthy reboot of the original ’60s TV show shines brightly with the score as well. Showrunner Zack Estrin chose wisely when picking Christopher Lennertz to compose the Lost in Space soundtrack!

Lost in Space Soundtrack - Christopher Lennertz - IMDB

Image courtesy of IMDB.

Lennertz is no stranger to composing stunning music for films and television. At this moment he has a staggering 123 credits to his name. Some notable projects from his career include The Horde, Horrible Bosses, Agent Carter, 176 episodes of Supernatural as well as the spinoff Ghostfacers. I certainly feel it is safe to say he knows his way around all manner of genres.

At the end of the review for that first episode. I made a small comment about hoping the score would be worthy of the 1998 feature film. After having watched the series and Lakeshore Records kindly letting me review the Lost in Space soundtrack itself. I can in all honesty say that Christopher has exceeded the wonderful work by Bruce Broughton. Furthermore Lennertz has crafted a score that manages to convey the emotional gist of the series.
Lost in Space Soundtrack - Robot and Will Robinson

The heroic swell heard in Main Titles, naturally builds off John Williams original theme. Parts of that iconic theme plays throughout the score for the Lost in Space soundtrack. While William’s original theme might have inspired the composer. Lennertz is solely responsible for delivering an exceptionally moving and exciting score. Friends, he deserves accolades and awards on this!

From the pulse pounding start of To The Chariot that deftly slides into a softer touch before returning to a thrilling score. Without being jarring of course. Or the absolutely moving combination of strings and piano at the beginning of The Waterfall, which in turn becomes mysterious and threatening. Lennertz with the Philharmonia Orchestra, have delivered a rousing and beautiful soundtrack. While I am indeed attempting to avoid spoilers with the names of the tracks. I will go on record stating that Will and the Robot as well as Flowers-Father And Son are two of my favorites.
Lost in Space soundtrack - John and Will Robinson

With all due respect to Lakeshore Records, I think that Zack Estrin says it better than I could. This is courtesy of the liner notes for the soundtrack:
“Much like the Robinsons themselves, there’s an underlying sense of hope to the music here. It’s a sonic rollercoaster full of fun and heart…”
Lost In Space Soundtrack - Chariot

Now the great news is Lakeshore Records have already released the soundtrack. It actually debuted at the same time as the Netflix series went live. Now you can of course hop on over to the Lakeshore’s official site and purchase it in any number of ways. I would however suggest you go the iTunes route. Why? That is because you will indeed get more than the standard 22 tracks. By going through iTunes you will get 7 more bonus tracks!

Are you ready to hear a medley of Christopher Lennert’s Lost in Space soundtrack?

[Via] Lakeshore Records