There’s a whole cottage industry surrounding the release of classic TV and movie soundtracks out there that you may not know about. Small labels, usually limited by musicians’ union rules to a releasing only 3,000 or so copies of a given title, unearth classic soundtracks that have often never been issued on CD before, or have only had a CD release featuring about half of the music that was included in the movie. Labels like Intrada, La-La Land Records, Perseverance, and Quartet Records release a steady stream of classic TV and movie scores throughout the year…and the Retroist Scoreboard is here to let you know what’s just dropped.
Intrada gets bragging rights this week with the first-time-ever-on-CD release of the complete score from 1990s DuckTales: The Movie, composed by David Newman (later of The Mighty Ducks, The Phantom, Galaxy Quest, Serenity, and many others). Weighing in at nearly the maximum possible length of an audio CD, it isn’t just that DuckTales hasn’t been on CD before, it’s never been released before in any form other than a couple of excerpts featured on a 1990 Disney compilation CD, The Disney Afternoon. Disney animation fans are ecstatic about this one, to say the least.
As new titles are introduced, old ones sell out or are retired; Intrada is giving everyone until February 13th to buy the last remaining copies of the soundtracks from Disney’s Unidentifed Flying Oddball (1979, known to UK audiences as The Spaceman & King Arthur) and a two-fer CD with the Laurence Rosenthal scores from 1976’s Return Of A Man Called Horse and the 1999 TV movie remake of Inherit The Wind.
La-La Land Records has just released the score from the 1993 Sylvester Stallone flick Cliffhanger, scored by Trevor Jones (Excalibur, Time Bandits, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Notting Hill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). As is often the case with La-La Land’s released, the first disc of the 2-CD set is the complete score (including never before heard tracks), while the second is a remastered reissue of the original 1993 album.
A gaggle of past La-La Land releases are about to go out of print forever, including David Newman’s The Phantom (1996), Tangerine Dream’s score from Wavelength (1983), a lavish 2-CD set of Alfred Newman’s A Certain Smile (1958), Mark Mancina’s score from 1995’s Money Train, Bill Conti’s score from I, The Jury (1982), Andrew Belling’s score from the 1977 Ralph Bakshi animated film Wizards, a selection of Brian Tyler’s music from the far more recent TV series Terra Nova, and a similar selection of music by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter from Batman: The Brave And The Bold. All of the retiring titles have been marked down while supplies last.
UK classical label Dutton Vocalian has jumped into the fray with a CD reissue of the original soundtrack album from Watership Down (1978), scored by Angela Morley (The Goon Show, Dynasty, Dallas), including the original album’s Art Garfunkel vocals and narration by Michael Hordern. The single disc is a hybrid SACD which is compatible with most garden-variety CD players, and for an import, it’s surprisingly affordable.
Looking further down the road, soundtrack specialty labels often let their customer base know if something is coming up that they might have to save up for. La-La Land – who has all but taken ownership of vintage Star Trek soundtrack releases in recent years – has announced that its first (yes, first) 4-CD box set of music from Star Trek: Voyager will land on February 28th. La-La Land’s Star Trek box sets tend to arrive at the $50-$60 price point, so start saving your quatloos now; they’ve tentatively scheduled a second box set of Deep Space Nine soundtracks for the third quarter of 2017, with a second Voyager box set hitting about a year from now, and what the label says will be its final Star Trek release, a 4-CD box set collecting fan-requested “leftovers” from Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise in late 2018.
Varese Sarabande has announced an April release date for the scores of all three of the original Mel Gibson Mad Max films on “sandy” vinyl, and they’re accepting pre-orders now.
Stay tuned to the Retroist Scoreboard…as new releases arrive, we’ll let you know what, and more importantly where, the score is.
When he’s not keeping score at the Retroist, Earl Green is the founder, head writer and podcaster-in-chief at theLogBook.com, a site devoted in roughly equal parts to classic sci-fi, classic video games, classic soundtracks, and space history. You can catch him lining up carefully curated excerpts from TV, movie and game scores most months on the Log Book’s soundtrack mixtape podcast, In The Grand Theme Of Things.