Your friendly neighborhood soundtrack aficionado is back with a smorgasbord of summer listening!
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m still not venturing out into a world that seems to have collectively forgotten that there’s a dangerous and highly contagious health hazard still out there, so what to do while staying inside? Ah, yes… soundtracks. There are always soundtracks to listen to. And it just so happens that some of your favorite soundtrack labels are gracing you with some new ones, and new editions of old favorites.
Dragon’s Domain Records is unleashing a trio of releases that’s… eclectic, to say the least. A new recording of Lee Holdridge’s score from the 2004 NBC miniseries 10.5, about a cataclysmic, west-coast-shaking earthquake, is probably the least obscure of the three; it’s worth noting that the miniseries was also co-written and directed by the late John Lafia of Child’s Play fame. Why a new recording? Due to the lion’s share of 10.5’s budget being thrown at stunts and special effects, there was only enough money left for an electronic score with no orchestra. Holdridge collaborated with MIDI wiz Robert Irving to try to make it sound orchestral, and it’s Irving who is behind the new version of the score, bringing more modern technology and samples to bear on that tug-of-war between “electronic instruments” and “orchestral sound”. 500 copies will be available.
The oddest of the three releases, if it’s not a now-forgotten 2004 disaster-flick miniseries? It’s an entire disc devoted to the works of composer Dr. Edward David Zeliff, who often provided the scores to religious films that had a somewhat limited audience. But his orchestral and choral works both large-scale and small are represented here – Beyond The Next Mountain, The Living Word, Under Fire, Ezekiel File, and Pilate’s Easter – in their original recordings. Volume One – wait, there are going to be further volumes? – will be limited to 500 copies, the first 50 of them signed by the composer.
The last of the Dragon’s Domain trio features Richard Band’s original score from 1978’s The Day Time Ended, which was only Band’s second foray into film scoring (his first, of course, being the infamous, MST3K-lampooned Laserblast, composed in collaboration with Joel Goldsmith), but his first created with an orchestra in mind. Band also contributes to the liner notes of this release, which has been remastered from the original session tapes. 500 CD copies will be available; all of the Dragon’s Domain releases also give buyers access to an instant download of a digital copy of the music, complete with a digital copy of the booklet, so technically…you don’t actually have to open the CDs.
Quartet Records has remastered and reissued Ennio Morricone’s album of music from John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing, digging the original master tapes out of the ice and thawing them out because, really, what could go wrong? The original running order of Morricone’s album – which featured some music not used in the movie because late editing changes were rescored by Carpenter and Alan Howarth – is preserved for this CD release. As things would have it, at the time I’m writing this, The Thing is temporarily out of stock, but more copies will be pressed to meet demand – watch Quartet Records’ page closely, because it’ll probably go fast.
Varese Sarabande Records is delivering a couple of much-anticipated expanded releases as part of its limited-edition CD Club line, starting with Harold Faltermeyer’s score from The Running Man (1987). While The Running Man did have a soundtrack release alongside the film’s premiere, this CD edition more than doubles the number of tracks from 17 to 35, adds original cover artwork and liner notes, and gives the orignal records a fresh remaster. Pre-orders are being taken ahead of the August release of a CD edition of 2000 copies, as well as a double LP vinyl edition.
Getting not just a vinyl release but a picture disc release is another title from Varese’s vault, the songs from the Xena: Warrior Princess episode Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire. The CD has been available since the episode’s premiere, but this LP edition is a new one, with packaging aimed, perhaps, at display rather than play. (On a personal note, I just never dug Lyre, Lyre‘s “cover album” selection of existing songs as much as I did the original numbers from the first Xena musical episode, The Bitter Suite.)
Varese is digging into its vault of already-released TV soundtracks for August’s other CD Club surprise, a remastered edition of 1995’s seaQuest DSV score by John Debney. If you measure the value of a soundtrack reissue by how many tracks it adds to the original, this one is worth the (re)investment: the original 1995 CD contained 14 tracks from the pilot episode, but this new edition balloons out to two discs, featuring a whopping 58 tracks spanning Debney’s music from the entire first season of the show. seaQuest fans parched for anything related to the much-missed show better be thirsty enough to jump on this one fast – only 1500 copies of the 2-CD seaQuest deluxe soundtrack will be pressed.
Looking ahead, Intrada has already start dropping hints about a late June release of a 2-CD edition of Hugo Friedhofer’s music from The Young Lions (1958). Whether this will be 2 CDs devoted entirely to that film, or if it’ll be sharing space with another classic film score, won’t be known until Intrada gives more details. As of now, there isn’t even a pre-order link available.
See? There’s a lot to listen to while you’re still practicing your social distancing and contemplating whether or not our future is a little too uncomfortably close to the plot of The Running Man.