La-La Land Records Releases The Soundtrack For Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards!!

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A soundtrack that I have been waiting for going on 31 years has finally been released thanks to the folks over at La-La Land Records. In collaboration with the film’s original composer Andrew Belling and filmmaker Ralph Bakshi, La-La Land Records has given us fans of this fantastic cult film a mighty gift indeed.

I received my copy in the mail on Saturday and it has been in heavy rotation the entire weekend, the funky 70s sound of most the tracks blends wonderfully with moments of Miles Davis inspired Jazz, rock riffs and the hauntingly sad “Time Will Tell” theme. This release also allows us to hear more of Belling’s score than we do in the actual film as some cues and segments were excised from the film and in certain battle scenes the audio effects drown out the music.

In case you have not yet been introduced to the film here is the trailer where you can hear a bit of Andrew Belling’s groovy score.

Now like most of La-La Land offerings these are limited edition prints, Wizards has a run of only 2000, so if you want the score then you need to follow the link provided up top and secure your copy quickly.

From the Press Release:
“NOW SHIPPING

LIMITED EDITION OF 2000 UNITS

La-La Land Records and 20th Century Fox present the world premiere release of composer Andrew Belling’s (STARCHASER) original motion picture score to the 1977 Twentieth Century Fox animated cult classic WIZARDS, written and directed by Ralph Bakshi. For this still-timely, post-apocalyptic fantasy regarding a pint-sized wizard who saves the universe from fascist mutants, Belling conjures a dynamic mix of synth and live players, creating a one-of-a-kind musical soundscape that inventively melds dramatic narrative scoring with experimental rock, jazz and electronics. Produced by Nick Redman and Ford A. Thaxton and meticulously mastered by James Nelson with input from Belling, this special limited release of 2000 Units includes the never-before-heard Full Version of the song “Time Will Tell” performed by Susan Anton. Exclusive, in-depth liner notes by film music writer Randall Larson take you behind the scenes of this beloved gem and its remarkable score – and includes new comments from the composer and director.

NOTE: Some musical elements of WIZARDS were not found – most significantly the main title (a delicate synth-choral melody that runs over the brief opening titles). Additionally, some brief transition cues were also missing. However, the primary components of the score as it was recorded are all here, PRESENTED IN MONO, and featuring several unused cues that were found to have survived.”

Trailer Tuesday: Wizards (1977)

When Wizards first hit the screens in my neck of the woods it was only carried by our local Drive-In, which was great a experience as they did an all-nighter of movies that weekend. Wizards was the fourth movie in the line-up, the third being the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and when the last of the credits were rolling on Ralph Bakshi’s animated fantasy epic the sun just peeked over the mountains obliterating the image on the screen. A truly magical movie watching memory though I bet at the time if you would have asked my father how he felt about it he might have had a different viewpoint. However, the movie universe of Wizards was embedded in my brain from then on out and I know that I used up a ton of notebooks drawing images of Peace on his horse/lizard mount…at least I was able to secure the poster for the VHS release many years later and I’m happy to report that it still hangs on my wall.

When it was released on VHS…I was confused as to why it had a PG rating, I remember the original being R for obvious animated violence, there were also scenes missing from the release. You can see a few of them here in the trailer. When the film gained a DVD printing back in 2004 thanks to fan online petitions, I was certain that the scenes would be restored…but alas that was not to be. I’m beginning to wonder if those scenes ever existed at all. I also wish they would release a soundtrack for the picture, which they never did even on original release, I especially enjoy Jesse Welles “Only Time Will Tell”. I want the soundtrack for Wizards almost as much as I do for Silent Running!

By the way, doing a little research shows that there are rumors of a sequel to Wizards though that was back in 2008. So let us hope that Ralph Bakshi can work some more of his magic and get that backing secured because us fantasy fans could use further adventures of Avatar, Weehawk, and Elinore!

Cart Art: Solstice

Welcome back to Cart Art, the place for those who appreciate the type of dedication and style that goes into cartridge based graphic design. This week, we shall delve deep into the world of wizards and magic and review the 8-bit classic, Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos, as requested by The Retroist himself! After staring at this box are for a week, I still can’t decide if this is one of greatest pieces of cart art or the most eye ball stabbing worst of all time.

NES Solstice

Normally, I like to start with the text on the top of the box or the color of the box, but doing that would be ignoring the huge, BalCo supplied elephant in the room. Look at that wizard. Apparently someone has learned the spell of “Steroidus Maximus.” Actually, you know what? I doubt that guy might be an actual wizard. Anyone who has enough time to get themselves some washboard abs and a set of guns like that guy, can’t possibly have enough time to learn spells. On the other hand, maybe this Wizard got beat up a lot during his freshman year of magic school, got fed up with it and then spent the next 3 years doing arm curls in his Mom’s basement. In any case, we have one strong spell slinger on the cover.

Now, how do you accent a physique that says more Conan than Gandalf? With an absolutely ridiculous outfit of course! From the bottom up we first encounter a pair of green boots with a simple inlay. By themselves, not a totally terrible choice but the outfit goes all to heck from there. Next up, a snazzy pair of electric blue caprice pants. Well, they might be caprice pants. Might be rolled up dungarees for all I know. Either way, we accent those lovely pants with a thick belt and a jaunty purple and gold see-through crotch tabard. Finally a pair of black bracers and a huge, flowing purple cloak and maybe a hat, I really can’t tell. Wow, just look at that outfit. Let this be a lesson to all you Retroist fans out there: Never dress yourself blindfolded while using your feet to pick through a renaissance faire garb discards bin.

Now if a Body by Jake and a Wardrobe by a Colorblind Minotaur isn’t enough, just take a look at his hair. Let that blond mustache/beard/heavy metal hair combo wash over you. Seriously, I can’t even tell where his beard ends and the hair on his head begins. Look at the right side of that flowing mane, doesn’t look something akin to a moose antler? The left side? Hmmm, I think it has more of a “pile of squid tentacles in which one end has been hooked into a car battery” feel to it. The only thing I know, a food saver/chin mane like that is something to behold. . . and fear.

Here is the part of the article where I would break down the rest of the box (why does it look like fighter jets have just passed by the moon, is that a lighting bolt or someone in the art department have a nervous twitch while holding a white out pen, etc) but instead I will use this space for even more magic related body building one liners:

-Apparently before he was Gandalf the White or Gandalf the Gray, he was Gandalf the Jacked!

-Draco Malfoy has been using the free weights in the student gym at Hogwarts just a little too much.

-Who knew a young Hulk Hogan practiced wizardry?

-I knew when that Wizard starting hanging out with Barry Bonds it would be nothing but trouble.

-The Coach of the Potions Team began to suspect that Merlin was using spell enhancing drugs when after failing to create a shrinking potion in competition, he violently crammed all 6 of his competitors into a 4 oz flask and smashed it over the head of the lead judge.

-Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Albus “The Situation” Dumbledore.

-And lastly, our Wizard hero is still working on that “Back-is Ance-us Awayus” spell.

That’s it for this weeks edition of Cart Art. I hope you have all enjoyed the ride. Please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section and if you have any suggestions, I am all ears. Now if you excuse me, I have to work on his spell I just found. Anyone know where I can get a pinch of newt and a. . . (looks at spell scroll). . .vat of HGH?