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Music Tales from the Score Keeper

The Score Keeper Catches Up

Earl Green breaks down the latest soundtrack releases.

Friends and roamin’ countrymen, lend me your ears, because I have soundtrack news to pour into them. That’s actually kind of a disturbing image now that I type out the words. Ever said something where it sounded a lot more clever before you said it out loud? This may be one of those cases. But hey, soundtrack news.

La-La Land Records has unleashed a brand new box set from what would now be called the Irwin Allen Cinematic Universe, and this is three discs’ worth of music from one of my favorite Irwin Allen TV series of the sixties – The Time Tunnel! I honestly never figured out how this show didn’t catch on like Lost In Space, or how it missed out on at least a two-season run like Land Of The Giants, because I love a good time travel show. And if it’s a good time travel show with good music, all the better! This box set covers early episodes such as “Rendezvous With Yesterday”, “One Way To The Moon”, “The Day The Sky Fell”, “Crack Of Doom” and others. That means music from such ’60s TV mainstays as Johnny Williams (I wonder whatever happened with his career?), Lyn Murray, Paul Sawtell, and Robert Drasnin. There are even bonus tracks, including alternate takes and, of course, several permutations of Williams’ memorable theme music. Over three hours of music from the series in all, with the promising “Volume 1” subtitle hinting at more to come! Only 1,000 copies of the set are being pressed, so you better snatch one up now – or be working on a reliable means of time travel so future you can come back to the present and snatch one up now. Really, snatching one up now is your only option, no matter how you slice it.

Jason’s back and he’s brought tunes – La-La Land is also rolling out a limited edition score release for Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, the first score in the Friday franchise with no involvement from composer Harry Manfredini. Part VIII was the first chapter scored entirely by Fred Mollin, who had composed additional music for Part VII and had scored the Friday TV spinoff. Not only does this release feature Mollin’s first solo film score for the franchise, but four songs featured in the movie, which haven’t featured on any prior releases. 2,000 copies of this soundtrack will be released.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Forever Horror Video Archive.

La-La Land has been plenty busy this year, with some earlier 2021 releases still available, including the first-ever release of Quincy Jones’ score from the 1967 Robert Wagner golfing movie Banning (3000 copies), Christopher Young’s music from 1998’s Hard Rain (1000 copies), and one of my early favorites among this year’s soundtrack releases, the 2-CD set of music from the second season of The Orville, featuring music by John Debney, Joel McNeely, and Andrew Cottee, a release with epic widescreen sci-fi action music that, frankly, makes me wish that season three of The Orville would hurry up and get here.

Intrada Records has also been busy; their most recent releases are the world premiere CD release of Jerry Goldsmith’s score from 1959’s Face Of A Fugitive, an expanded 2-CD release of Michael Kamen’s score from Company Business, Elmer Bernstein’s score from Legal Eagles, and a 2-CD collection of music from Frank DeVol’s The Flight Of The Phoenix.

And our friends at Dragon’s Domain continue to be a powerhouse as far as releasing underappreciated scores – such as Joel Goldsmith’s score from Vampirella, Fredric Ensign Teetsel’s music from Adventures In Dinosaur City, and the third volume of the Mark Snow collection, gathering two Snow TV movie scores (Murder Between Friends and Shadows Of Desire) in one place.

In the realm of digital releases, very much like the first season (but not the second season) of The Mandalorian, the Disney Plus Marvel series Wandavision had a soundtrack release for each new episode. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems not to have followed this pattern, however; watch this space for news of any eventual release of that show’s music.

And lastly – an apology for not doing a great job keeping score so far in 2021! As some of you might have heard, I’ve been writing, editing, and occasionally even hosting a new podcast at the Roddenberry Podcast Network called Sci-Fi 5 – five minutes of science fiction history poured into your ears every weekday. Generally, if you hear a segment about a TV show that didn’t last long but had amazing theme music, I probably wrote that bit. Give it a listen and a follow if you like what you hear – and I’ll try to do a better job of staying on top of this year’s soundtrack releases.

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