V'ger - Star Trek the Motion Picture

Retroist Scoreboard 3-14-17: V’ger, you’re my knight in shining armor

Soundtrack fans, we’re in yet another unexpectedly meaty week of wonders, so let’s waste no time in diving right in.

La-La Land Records, as previously announced, is now taking orders for their limited edition (1500 copies) double LP vinyl pressing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, returning Jerry Goldsmith’s magnum opus to turntables for the first time in nearly 40 years, this time with the complete score spread across four sides. (The CD box set has even more music, if you’re after music instead of a display piece: Goldsmith scored half the movie before coming up with the iconic Enterprise theme, which was later repurposed as the theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the CD edition presents the complete score as heard in the movie plus what basically amounts to an unused alternate soundtrack.)
V'ger

While the first Star Trek movie is returning to vinyl, another classic movie is, incredibly, only just now making its way to CD thanks to Varese Sarabande, which is presenting Dave Grusin’s music from On Golden Pond, interspersed with dialogue from the movie (in some cases, quite lengthy chunks of dialogue).

Varese also has a trio of limited editions now available: an “encore” re-pressing of Elmer Bernstein’s score from Disney’s The Black Cauldron, limited to just 1000 copies for those who missed out on the last limited edition issue of this title.

For fans of high-octane action movies (and their music), there’s a new edition of Basil Poledouris’ music from the Steven Segal flick Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, more than doubling the running time of the original 1995 CD release. Even the movie’s source music is included as bonus tracks. What’s source music? Ask me that again in a minute.

And finally, John Williams’ score from the 1990’s Stanley & Iris gets a limited edition CD release of 3,000 copies, but that’s not all: tucked into the open space left by that movie’s score is a second Williams score hitting CD for the first time, 1972’s Pete ‘n’ Tillie. The two movies’ music are a good fit to share a CD: both are heartfelt relationship movies, and hey, it’s John Williams.

So…about source music: it’s a wonderful thing when original source music winds up as a bonus track on a CD…of course, that’s assuming that the director isn’t married to his temp track. Confused yet? That’s why we have another slice of the Retroist Scoreboard Glossary this week.

The Retroist Scoreboard Glossary: How The Sausage Gets Made
Additional Music – you’ll see this in movie and especially TV credits these days…often in small print. Particularly with the breakneck production timetable of television, but also with movies, composers must hire extra help to ghost-write the sheer amount of music needed within that timetable. Some of today’s biggest names were yesterday’s up-and-coming “additional music” composers: the ubiquitous Bear McCreary (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Walking Dead, Agents Of SHIELD, Outlander, Black Sails, Da Vinci’s Demons) got his break composing “additional music” for the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries, whose primary composer moved on, leaving McCreary to take over the hourly series, making his career in the process. Due to the structure of CD release contracts with the primary composer, this additional music may or may not appear on an official release, leaving music from memorable scenes off the table. (Thus was the fate of the pivotal, Joel Goldsmith-composed “Flight Of The Phoenix” scene from Star Trek: First Contact, which was left off of the original 1996 soundtrack release at the label’s demand, simply because it wasn’t by primary composer Jerry Goldsmith.) In a few cases, the assistant composers may release their material as a composer promo.

Music+FX Track or Stem – a special mix of a movie or TV show’s music score and sound effects, prepared so that local voice artists in various parts of the world can do a language dub without the original actors’ voices in the background. Particularly with older films, this may be the closest we come to having a film’s original music tapes; it’s exceedingly rare to see a CD release of a Music+FX mix, but not unheard of (i.e. La-La Land’s “archival” release of Jerry Goldsmith’s rare score from The Satan Bug). Music+FX mixes are more often the domain of bootleggers.

Source Music – composers may be called upon to create “source music” for a scene in which a movie’s characters can hear that song in question from some on-screen source – a radio, a jukebox, a band on stage, to name a few examples. (Contrast this against the movie’s score, which the characters do not hear.) Some reissue producers go out of their way to include specially composed source music, particularly if it’s been the subject of “what was that song…?” debates for years and years. In some cases, source music is a piece of music from a movie’s songtrack.

Spotting – a process during pre-production of a movie or TV show in which the composer sits in on a screening of a rough edit to discuss the timing, placement and emotional thrust of the music with the director and/or editor(s), sometimes using temp tracks as a guide. (These meetings are called spotting sessions.) Once spotting is complete, the process of composing actually begins, though some composers may discover at a very late stage that the director’s ideas on spotting has changed, and their music has been tracked over a completely different scene…or has been replaced with a piece of the temp track.

Temp Track – a “temporary track” is often assembled, during a movie’s editing process, by the director and/or the film editor to track scenes in a movie that has no score yet. Temp tracks are often cobbled together from classical pieces or other movie soundtracks, and a composer hired to score a movie will often be asked to compose music with a similar feel…without actually duplicating it note-for-note, of course. The history of film music is rife with instances of directors falling in love with their temp tracks to the point that they either don’t hire a composer, or reject a specially commissioned score when it doesn’t live up to the director’s expectations (perhaps the most famous specimen of this category being Alex North’s unused original score for 2001: a space odyssey). Temp tracks are controversial in film music, whether for the perception that they limit a composer’s creativity, or for the not-limited-to-Kubrick phenomenon which plagues composers to this day (just this year, Johann Johannson’s score for Arrival was disqualified from Oscar contention because of the prominence of Max Richter’s composition, “On The Nature Of Daylight”, in key scenes of the movie – a holdover from the temp track that the director felt couldn’t be improved upon, costing his composer a nomination).

Tracking – once a composer has turned in a completed score, that music is at the mercy of the film’s director and/or editor(s), and may not appear where it was originally spotted. The music may be chopped up, edited and tracked in a different place entirely, such as >em>Star Wars Episode IStar Wars Episode III. Additionally, licensed or specially commissioned songs may be tracked into scenes, replacing sections of more traditional scoring (Ray Parker Jr.’s memorable song was tracked into as many scenes of Ghostbusters as possible late in editing, leaving significant portions of Elmer Bernstein’s score on the cutting room floor).

Skull Island

Retroist Scoreboard: From Central Park to Nakatomi Plaza to Skull Island

March is roaring in with some serious music, soundtrack fans, so gather ’round for this week’s batch of retro releases.


Intrada is rolling out the never-before-released-on-CD score from Baby’s Day Out (1994), by Bruce Broughton. The movie was positively slathered with music – 9/10 of its screen time had music underneath it – so the CD is filled to capacity. You can’t ask for better than that.

Varese Sarabande has a new entry in its “We Hear You” series – fan-requested reissues of titles that had previously been issued only on LP or as very limited edition CDs. This time around, Neal Hefti (he of Batman ’66 theme music fame) is in the spotlight with two scores from movie versions of Neil Simon plays, Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple, both on a single CD. There are only 2,000 copies of this disc being pressed.

Kritzerland Records has a slice of vintage Henry Mancini on tap, an ever more limited release of the maestro’s score for the 1967 Audrey Hepburn comedy Two For The Road. Only 1,000 copies of this CD are being pressed.

Want an edition that’s even more limited than that? Try 500. 500 copies. As in 500 copies of Ennio Morricone’s score from the 1977 killer whale flick Orca, thanks to European label Music Box Records. Jump on this one fast…which isn’t something I usually say about Orca.

A current movie score of keen interest to retro cinema fans can now be ordered from WaterTower Music, Henry Jackman’s soundtrack from Kong: Skull Island . Be aware that Watertower’s releases often come in CD-R form, as they rely more on digital sales, and produce physical copies of their releases on a burn-on-demand basis.
Skull Island

Further into the future – the 23rd century to be exact – La-La Land Records has revealed that its March 14th release (not yet available for pre-order) will be a 2-LP vinyl pressing of the expanded Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack from 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, now with eye-popping new artwork by Darren Dochterman, a CGI artist who was part of the team behind the CGI scenes from the DVD Director’s Edition. 1,500 copies of this 2-LP set will be pressed; smart money says it’d be wise to be sitting on La-La Land’s website next Tuesday at noon Pacific time to get an order in.
Skull Island - Star Trek

Even further out, on March 28th, La-La Land will be putting one of their fastest-selling releases back into print for a limited time: the late, great Michael Kamen’s score from Die Hard was released a few years ago on the same label, selling out in record time. Proving that the same soundtrack can happen to the same guy twice, La-La Land is re-releasing Die Hard in an edition of 2,000 copies, with new artwork to differentiate it from the previous release.

Now, why does everything happen in limited editions of only a few hundred to a couple thousand copies? Here to answer that is the first chunk of an essential glossary of terms and concepts for budding soundtrack collectors. I’ll be adding to this in the weeks ahead, so stick around and you might learn a few things about this tuneful hobby.

The Retroist Scoreboard Glossary, Part 1: Collectorspeak
One of my aims with the Retroist Scoreboard is to heed the words of Master Yoda and pass on what I have learned – in this case, about the soundtrack collecting hobby. After you’ve been reading the Scoreboard for a while, you should basically know what I know. Our tastes may not line up, sure, but you’ll have the objective knowledge that it’s taken me 25+ years to accumulate. With that in mind, here’s a quick – but probably by no means complete – glossary of terms that come up frequently in the course of building a soundtrack collection.

Golden Age – generally considered to have been Hollywood’s heyday, stretching from the 1920s or ‘30s through the 1950s, Hollywood’s Golden Age has become a useful category for film score collectors. “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” were labels that Film Score Monthly (FSM) applied to its own soundtrack releases, and were quickly picked up by the soundtrack collecting community at large.

Limited Edition – many boutique soundtrack labels limit the print run of a new CD release to 3,000 copies, a number that became an industry standard due to Film Score Monthly negotiating with the American Federation of Musicians in the early days of specialty soundtrack releases. To keep a title in print indefinitely (i.e. FSM’s Star Trek II and Gremlins expanded soundtracks), it costs the label more, sometimes significantly more money. Limited editions may, if a label perceives a smaller audience for a release, number less than 3,000, possibly even in the hundreds.

Out Of Print (OOP) – whether it’s 3,000 copies or a whopping 10,000 copies, this title has sold out, and in most cases no more will be made. OOP = oops…you’re headed to the Secondary Market. Good luck, we’re all counting on you. There are precedents for OOP titles being reissued (SpaceCamp, the 1987 Masters Of The Universe movie score, The Omega Man, the soundtrack from the 1966 Batman movie, Die Hard), but these are the exception rather than the rule, and the reissues themselves may be Limited Editions.

Pegwarmer – this is a term from the toy-collecting hobby that I use to describe any slow seller. If it’s a pegwarmer, it’ll be keeping the pegs on a retail display warm for quite some time because no one’s buying it. Granted, CDs aren’t sold this way, especially from the soundtrack specialty labels, but it’s a nice bit of shorthand. “Shelfwarmer” may be more accurate, but “pegwarmer” is just so catchy.

Secondary Market – when a title goes Out Of Print (OOP), this becomes your last refuge for obtaining a soundtrack CD. Some soundtrack vendors do carry second-hand/used items, such as Screen Archive Entertainment and Buysoundtrax.com, but whether you’re dealing with them or heading straight to the dreaded swamp of eBay or Amazon sellers, expect to shell out more. In a few rare cases, quickly-sold-out titles that are in demand can command prices into multiple hundreds of dollars. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Silver Age – a period in which Hollywood’s output gained maturity, presenting more stark realism and occasionally violence, stretching from the 1950s through the late 1970s, Hollywood’s Silver Age has become a useful category for film score collectors. “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” were labels that Film Score Monthly (FSM) applied to its own soundtrack releases, and were quickly picked up by the soundtrack collecting community at large. It could be argued that Jaws (1975) is a Silver Age film, while Star Wars (1977) belongs to the modern age.

Transporter

Transporter Goes Wrong In This UK National Power Ad!

Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise have faced many grave dangers. Quite a few of them avoided thanks to the transporter. As well as the talents of Lieutenant commander Montgomery Scott. As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion on The Retroist – Mr. Scott was always one of my favorites.

Equally at ease on an away mission as keeping the engine room running at peak performance.
Transporter - Mr. Scott

Or even taking command of the USS Enterprise when need be.

On the other hand Scotty could take care of himself when action was called for as well. In particular with uppity Klingons mouthing off about the Enterprise.

Mr. Scott was honest and hardworking as well as loyal. These traits sum up what James Doohan brought to the character. Throughout the original series and perhaps even more so in the films – we had a chance to see the more humorous side of Scotty. Although perhaps none more so than with this 1990 TV commercial for the UK’s now defunct National Power. Check it out for yourself and see what shenanigans occur when Kirk presses Scotty for more power.

[Via] Captain Simpson

That is seriously one of the more humorous commercials I’ve had the pleasure of watching. In particular I enjoyed the reactions of the two away team members that are stranded. I would also add that it appears that both William Shatner and James Doohan had fun while shooting the ad.

Don’t you think that Kirk might behave himself better though if this transporter body mix-up were to take place…yeah…probably not.

Now that you’ve enjoyed the comedy of a transporter mishap. This is the part where I remind you…it wouldn’t be that funny in real life.

[Via] Cole

Wow. That was something of a downer, huh? So to lift our spirits – here is Mr. Scott with a special message.

Is Mr. Spock Listening To The Radio In This Star Trek: The Motion Picture Puzzle?

I like the look of this Star Trek puzzle that was uploaded on the Vintage Toy Archive Tumblr, for one thing it does kind of look like maybe Mr. Spock is either listening to an important announcement from Captian Kirk…or it could be that he is tuning in to listen to his favorite ka’athyra channel.

The real reason I get a kick out of it is because it brings back so many memories of visiting a particular grocery store in my neck of the woods, that while it had an honest to goodness toy department with everything from the Millennium Falcon to Shogun Warriors it also had an absolute boatload of cheaper toys like this very puzzle. I’m pretty sure I actually owned this puzzle in my youth!

Though I don’t believe I picked it up at around any point that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was in the theaters.

[Via] Paramount Movies