Soundtrack Reviews – Reissues & Premieres

May 14, 2013 | By

Just uploaded another quartet of reviews of which some are reissues, and a few genuine premieres.

Have to admit I’d never heard of John Barry’s First Love [M], but La-La Land’s production is really beautiful, especially the graphic design of the booklet and sleeve. Given this was a Paramount production, perhaps it’s in the pipeline at Olive, since they’ve been mining the studio’s catalogue on DVD and Blu-ray for the last few years.

Also from LLL is an expanded release of James Newton’s Howard’s Grand Canyon [M] – a personal favourite – and a remastered reissue of John Williams’ Jane Eyre [M], which features one of the composer’s most memorable romantic themes.

Perhaps due to the interest from a theme extract in Silva Screen’s compilation CD Titanic: The Epic Musical Voyage [M], the label sought out Howard Blake’s score for S.O.S. Titanic [M], and their elegant CD features both score tracks and period source music.

Also of note (and a little self-serving): in the May issue of Rue Morgue magazine I’ve reviews of John Williams’ The Fury, which LLL released as a 2-disc set in tandem with Twilight Time’s new Blu-ray [M]; Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders’ fun score for Warm Bodies (Red River Entertainment); and Mondo Tees’ 2-LP set of Poltergeist, which features the Rhino mastering of Jerry Goldsmith’s superb score for Tobe Hooper & Steven Spielberg’s eighties classic [M].

In addition to a review of TT’s Christine Blu-ray (which looks & sounds gorgeous), I’ve a tally of 10 top British horror scores, noting several that deserve a release after lying dormant in vaults, garages, boxes, and closets for decades. One title that was shortlisted is Ron Grainer’s Straight On Til Morning, an underrated gem of a score & film which ranks as one of Hammer’s best seventies shockers. I think I asked a producer years ago about a score release, and the response was the familiar ‘they wanted an irrational amount of money,’ which is a pity, since so few of Grainer’s work exists in complete form on CD.

The point of the RM tally was to alert fans of the good music out there, but the stealth goal on my part purpose is really simple: it’s a challenge to producers, labels, and rights holders to find common ground and release some of Britain’s best horror scores. I know there’s at least one or two bull-headed producers out there who share the same love for Ron Grainer’s Village + Children of the Damned, Humphrey Searle’s The Haunting, Paul Ferris’ Witchfinder General, Delia Derbyshre + Brian Hodgson + Dudley Simpson’s Legend of Hell House, and Guy Farley’s The Broken.

Lastly, and somewhat related: the Cole Porter – Peter Bogdanovich cult film / career assault At Long Last Love [M] has popped up on as a pre-order title (At Long Last Love ’75 [Blu-ray])

TT announced the release several months ago as an exclusive title, and while Fox engaged the label to handle all the production details, perhaps the studio realized the film’s pent-up potential and chose a broader release. No word on whether it’s an exclusive deal the way Warner Bros. isolated the new Funny Girl Blu-ray to (Funny Girl [Blu-ray]), bit after years of being written about by a select few but rarely seen by anyone after its original release (if not sparse TV airings), the mystique surrounding Bogdanovich’s misstep should soon be revealed.

Coming shortly: the last set of reviews from Hot Docs 2013 + a related DVD review.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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