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Monday, February 19, 2007

CD REVIEW - Spaceballs: The 19th Anniversary Edition

Spaceballs: The 19th Anniversary Edition
Music by John Morris
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1050 (USA)
45 Tracks 70:53 mins

Forget the "19th Anniversary Edition" tag, this is really the only soundtrack album to the film you need, or are likely to actually get hold of anyway, due to the rarity of the original album put out at the time of the film's release. That disc featured mainly songs placed in the film, together with the title song "Spaceballs, co-written by Mel Brooks, Jeff Pescetto and Clyde Lieberman, especially for The Spinners, a now quite dated number in the vein of "Ghostbusters." There were however three score tracks, which are here placed at the end of this disc, and which feature Morris' principal themes, his noble, adventurous "Main Title" march; the 40s/50sish lush string love theme, complete with expressive violin solo; and the two-part "Winnebago/Mega-Maid," with its exciting action first half and build to a great timpani-driven climax in the second.
This new limited edition of 3000 units properly presents Morris' full score for the 1987 spoof, principally of Star Wars, but with nods towards other genre efforts. As you can probably tell by the number of tracks listed, many of them are quite brief, which doesn't make for the most satisfying listening experience, but this is how the score was in the film, with Morris' score just pointing up the larger moments and scene changes of the film. However, after the 25 score tracks, there are included a further 17 "alternate" cues, and some of these are lengthier and prove the more satisfying tracks on the disc, with multiple takes on the love theme, including dance-band style arrangements and several versions of the great main theme, all without the irritating laser effects present in the version that opens the disc.
Accompanying the CD is a colourful 8-page booklet, with numerous stills from the film and Dan Goldwasser's notes, which include interview extracts with Brooks.
John Morris' score for Spaceballs is firmly in the Elmer Bernstein school of comedy scoring, a largely serious and overblown orchestral effort that has strong themes and is a joy to listen to, so grab your copy of this disc before they are all gone.
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