Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Sex and the Cinema
Silva Screen SILCD1263 (UK)
16 Tracks 61:49 mins

To coincide with the release of the big screen spin-off of popular saucy series Sex and the City, Silva Screen are (on June 16th) releasing a 16-track compilation of some of the best themes and suites from "sensual classics from the silver screen."
The selections are drawn from a wide variety of pictures, some more racy than others, and include Michael Nyman's The Piano; Pierre Bachelet's Emmanuelle (sung here by Keith Ferreira); Francis Lai's Bilitis; two from John Barry, his Body Heat and Indecent Proposal themes; Robert Harris' "love theme" from the 1962 version of Lolita; the "Plastic Bag Theme" from American Beauty by Thomas Newman; a suite from Gabriel Yared's Betty Blue; "Bygone Love" from Farewell My Concubine; Jerry Goldsmith's Basic Instinct; a suite from Brokeback Mountain by Gustavo Santoialla; Gato Barbieri's Last Tango in Paris; Maurice Jarre's Fatal Attraction; and a couple of classical pieces featured in Eyes Wide Shut and The Hunger. The album of course concludes with Douglas Cuomo's brief theme from Sex and the City.
More than an hour of memorable themes, faithfully performed by the label's regular orchestra and musicians, in distinctive pink, black and white packaging, with brief introductory notes and credits in the accompanying booklet.

BSX Presents MERVYN WARREN's score to A RAISIN IN THE SUN (2008)

The first 100 copies will be autographed by Co-Composer MERVYN WARREN
(May 28th, 2008, Los Angeles, CA) BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing A RAISIN IN THE SUN. The album features music composed by Mervyn Warren for the 2008 Sony Pictures television film, adapted by Paris Qualles (THE TUSKEEGEE AIRMEN) for the screen from the classic play written by Lorraine Hansberry, directed by Kenny Leon and starring Sean Combs, Tony Award winners Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald, Tony Award nominee Sanaa Lathan, along with John Stamos.
This is the third filmed production of A RAISIN IN THE SUN, following in the footsteps of the 1961 classic film directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Louis Gossett, Jr. and the 1989 television film directed by Bill Duke and starring Danny Glover, springing from the 2004 award-winning Broadway revival of the play. Presented as a special three-hour television event, A RAISIN IN THE SUN, set in the 1950s, tells the story of the Younger family, a hard-working Black family living in a cramped tenement building in Chicago’s South Side and their attempts to struggle with poverty, racism and internal conflict as they strive for a better life. The Younger family is about to receive a $10,000 insurance check and tensions rise as the family tries to decide how to best use the money.
Composer Mervyn Warren was playing piano by the age of 5 and writing songs by the age of 10. He is a Five-time Grammy Award winner and Ten-time nominee. He is a highly accomplished film composer, record producer, songwriter/lyricist, arranger, pianist and vocalist. Equally adept at various styles, Merv’s work spans the genres of pop, R&B, jazz, orchestral, classical, hip-hop, vocal, country and gospel. He is one of the industry’s most sought-after record producers and has collaborated with Whitney Houston, Barbara Streisand, Chicago and Queen Latifah. His credits as film composer include A WALK TO REMEMBER, HONEY, THE PREACHER’S WIFE and THE WEDDING PLANNER. He is an original member of Take 6, the a-cappella sextet that took the world by storm in 1988. Merv has also written many arrangements for his mentors, Quincy Jones and David Foster.

BUYSOUNDTRAX Records presents A RAISIN IN THE SUN, featuring music composed by Meryn Warren. A RAISIN IN THE SUN is a limited edition release of 1000 units.
The first 100 copies ordered through the website will include a booklet signed by composer Mervyn Warren.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN is available for pre-orders at and starts shipping on June 9th, 2008.
1. A Raisin In The Sun (Main Title) (2:19)
2. Race To The Bathroom (0:14)
3. "I Dream Of Love And You" (2:47)
4. 50 Cents (1:29)
5. Walter's Scheme (3:00)
6. Walter And Beneatha Argue (1:26)
7. “Cross My Heart” (2:25)
8. George Asks For A Date (0:35)
9. Big Walter (1:42)
10. Still A Little Girl (1:31)
11. Walter Needs A Chance (1:39)
12. The Green Hat (3:06)
13. Pregnant (1:29)
14. The Check Arrives (2:00)
15. Lena’s Decision (6:26)
16. Walter Attacks George (1:22)
17. Somewhere We Lost It (1:54)
18. Ruth And Walter Make Up (2:03)
19. Ruth Rejoices (1:04)
20. Walter’s Inner Turmoil (1:25)
21. Ruth Aborts (1:16)
22. Never Stopped Loving (1:15)
23. Walter Calls Bobo (0:31)
24. Night On The Town (0:19)
25. Ambitious (2:19)
26. New House (1:51)
27. New Hat (1:16)
28. Lindner’s Offer (1:47)
29. Money’s All Gone (1:45)
30. Nigeria (3:26)
31. A Raisin In The Sun (2:47)

AHI RECORDS present THEY LIVE-20th Anniversary Edition

The first 100 copies will be autographed by Co-Composer Alan Howarth
You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong.
(May 28th, 2008, Los Angeles, CA) AHI Records, to be distributed by BUYSOUNDTRAX Records, will be releasing a special 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of THEY LIVE. The soundtrack features music composed & performed by John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) and Alan Howarth (THE LOST EMPIRE, HEADLESS) for the 1988 cult science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter, from the short story “Eight O’Clock In The Morning” by Ray Nelson, starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques and the great George ‘Buck’ Flower.
Twenty years later, THEY LIVE continues to engage old fans of the film and gather up new fans with its potent combination of science fiction, action along with biting political and social commentary. THEY LIVE tells the story of John Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, who comes to Los Angeles in 1988 looking for work. What he finds instead is the ultimate conspiracy as he puts on a special pair of sunglasses and begins to see the world as it really is. Aliens have infiltrated every level of our society and are controlling us with subliminal messages while they quietly rob us of our world’s precious resources. Taken lightly at the time of its release, THEY LIVE seems to have become more apocryphal as the years go by, especially in light of the world’s current political climate.
Alan Howarth, in addition to being a composer, is an accomplished sound designer and editor, having worked on films such as STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, POLTERGEIST, TOTAL RECALL, ARMY OF DARKNESS, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, STARGATE and many others. He has been a frequent music collaborator with John Carpenter on his films beginning with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in 1980 and including HALLOWEEN II, CHRISTINE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and PRINCE OF DARKNESS and Alan has scored many films on his own, including THE LOST EMPIRE, RETRIBUTION, HALLOWEEN 4 & 5, THE DENTIST and, most recently, HEADLESS and BOO!, for the SCI-FI Channel.
THEY LIVE was released on compact disc at the time of the film’s release by Enigma Records and contained around thirty minutes of music. To this day, despite having been out of print for several years, THEY LIVE continues to fetch high prices in the collector’s market. AHI Records, to be distributed by BUYSOUNDTRAX Records, presents a new 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition release of THEY LIVE, which includes the contents of the original album release, newly remastered, along with sixteen tracks of previously unreleased music as bonus tracks, nearly 75 minutes of music. The booklet contains notes written by the composer himself.
This is a limited edition release of 1000 units. The first 100 copies will be autographed by composer Alan Howarth. For fans of THEY LIVE, the time has come again to kick ass and chew bubblegum.
Bubblegum not included with purchase.
01 Prologue Broadcast 01:49
02 Coming To L.A. 04:00
03 A Message 02:37
04 The Siege Of Justiceville 05:38
05 Return To Church 01:24
06 All Out Of Bubble Gum 02:38
07 Back To The Street 02:22
08 Kidnapped 03:29
09 Transient Hotel 02:15
10 Underground 03:20
11 Wake Up 03:24

12 Chew Bubble Gum And Kick Ass 00:19
13 Sunglasses On 02:47
14 Back Alley 02:36
15 Transport Station 02:16
16 Tunnel 02:04
17 Holly's Hill 02:39
18 Roll Away 01:16
19 Get Me Out 01:50
20 Portal 01:37
21 Out The Window / L.A. Blues 02:47
22 All Out Of Bubble Gum (film) 03:43
23 TV Signal 03:18
24 Underground (film Verison) 07:04
25 Commercial Break 00:43
26 Car Commercial 00:20
27 Press On Nails 00:47
28 The Cheese Dip* 00:35
29 THEY LIVE Main Theme 03:33
* - Dialogue From Film

THEY LIVE is available for pre-orders at and will be available on JUNE 9th, 2008.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Lost - Season Three
Music by Michael Giacchino
Varese Sarabande VSD-6892 (EU)
Disc 1 - 30 Tracks 78:20 mins Disc 2 - 37 Tracks 76:23 mins

I'm a little out of touch with this unusual and fascinating series, since it switched from terrestrial to satellite broadcast, but I gather we're now just about to conclude the fourth season of the show. This splendidly generous double CD presents music from Season Three and again Michael Giacchino was entrusted with the composing duties.
Disc One highlights the best of the composer's efforts up until the Season's two hour finale and, in an unprecedented move, Disc Two features the complete score for that two-part finale. An unbelievable amount of music.
As with the first two seasons, Giacchino makes interesting and inventive use of his relatively limited orchestral forces and, with his increased experience in scoring all manner of features, his scores display much confidence and maturity. Many of the themes and motifs written for the first two seasons are developed and expanded upon, thus retaining the show's familiar sound. There are of course all the usual moments of mystery and suspense, exciting and often quite menacing action, together with more poignant, personal and reflective passages; all making for a lengthy, but seldom dull, listening experience.
The accompanying 16-page booklet features many full colour stills from the show, plus a note on the music by producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.
Fans of the show and its composer will certainly not be disappointed with this bumper collection of some of the very finest music contemporary TV has to offer.

Monday, May 26, 2008


The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Walt Disney records D000074202 (US)
16 Tracks 75:09 mins

Director Andrew Adamson and composer of choice Harry Gregson-Williams reunite for the second Walt Disney/Walden Media adaptation of the C.S. Lewis Chronicle of Narnia series, Prince Caspian, which sees the young cast from the first film return, a little older, to the magical land to once more do battle against evil, this time in the shape of the evil King Miraz.
Gregson-Williams' score for the first film, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, had its critics, but I enjoyed it and it served the film admirably. This time, the composer calls upon huge orchestral and choral resources (no less than three choirs are credited), plus soloists like Lisbeth Scott, Hugh Marsh and Richard Harvey (of course, a fine composer in his own right), to produce a score which has a somewhat darker tone, reminiscent of Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings trilogy. I just hope that, like Alan Silvestri's score for Van Helsing, for instance, the critics don't complain that there is too much action writing. For me, that was a stupendous listen, and this is very much along those same lines, with the action hardly letting up through the album's 12 score tracks.
Gregson-Williams of course reprises material from the first film, with the Narnia theme, in particular, always welcome; adding new themes to the mix to create a score which is filled with memorable moments, be they dark and menacing, light and ethereal, or downright triumphant and soaring. It's a musical treat, with every track having something to offer.
About an hour of the score is presented on this attractively packaged album, with the final four tracks being given over to unremarkable vocals by Regina Spektor, Oren Lavie, Switchfoot and Hanne Hukkelberg, all unfamiliar names to me. The disc is also enhanced and, if you pop it into your computer, and connect to the internet, you can see the "official movie trailer," as well as a photo gallery; though there are also plenty of these in the accompanying booklet, together with a note on the music by the director, full music credits, plus lyrics for all the featured songs.
It's hard to imagine there will be many more enjoyable scores this year than Prince Caspian, and that for the new Indiana Jones film, and we are indeed fortunate that they both debut around the same time.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


From Costa Communications




(Hollywood, CA) Award-winning composer and X-Files theme creator Mark Snow returns to the paranormal with the score for “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” Based on the hit sci-fi TV series, the 20th Century Fox film is directed by X-Files creator Chris Carter and reunites original cast members Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Andersen). For his score, Mark Snow incorporates an 80-piece orchestral rendition of his iconic theme as well as an original haunting, yet dramatic underscore.

Best known for creating memorable music for leading TV shows, Mark Snow continues to receive accolades for his film work. Last year, Snow was the only American nominated for the prestigious César Award, France’s equivalent of the Oscar, for “Best Music Written for a Film” for the French film “Coeurs.” He has also received over a dozen Emmy and ASCAP awards, including ASCAP’s prestigious Golden Note Award for his significant impact on music culture. Mark Snow is the first composer to receive the Golden Note Award, joining past recipients such as Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

As a master at composing electronically and with an orchestra, Snow has scored over one hundred feature films, television series and telefilms. His name is synonymous with the most popular themes in TV history including Starsky and Hutch, Hart to Hart, Dynasty, Cagney and Lacey, and T.J. Hooker. Snow continues to evolve with current TV scores for “Ghost Whisperer, “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill.”

Mark Snow continues to demonstrate his ability to transcend genres and make significant contributions to the realm of film and television music.

Friday, May 23, 2008


From Top Dollar PR



May 7, 2008 (Rockville, MD) --
Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced today that Inon Zur has created the original musical score for Bethesda Softworks’ highly anticipated post-apocalyptic video game, Fallout® 3. Zur, an award-winning composer, has created numerous scores for films, television, and new media.

“We’ve wanted to work with Inon for a long time,” said Todd Howard executive producer of Fallout 3. “He brings so much to the table, in terms of his talent, background, and the music that’s influenced him. He’s created a score that has epic sweep; from the lonely ambience of the wasteland to dramatic fights for survival.”

Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout 3 is one of the most engaging and demanding projects I've scored,” said Inon Zur. “It was very rewarding to put all my creative energy into supporting Bethesda's vision for the game. I’m very proud of the outcome, and look forward to sharing the music with the players."

In addition to scoring a number of best-selling video games, Zur’s music has been featured in many high-profile projects including Hollywood film trailers, network television productions, CGI movies, and symphony concerts. Most recently, Zur has composed music for CBS’ ‘Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side’ TV webisode series as well as the Marvel Kids webisodes for ‘IRON MAN’.

Currently under development at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of award-winning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2006 Game of the Year – Fallout 3 is slated for release this Fall on Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows.

Fallout® 3 has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout 3, visit

For more information on Inon Zur visit


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Music by John Williams
Concord 7230856 (EU)
19 Tracks 77:28 mins

Nineteen years after he first swung onto our screens as archaelogist extrordinaire Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford returns, older and even more grizzled than before, and aided by young up-and-comer Shia LaBeouf, as he battles evil Soviets, lead by Cate Blanchett in a cold war-set adventure this time.
Of course, Lucas and Spielberg's composer of choice, John Williams, returns as well, and this generous album serves as a real nostalgia trip, commencing as it only can with the famous "Raiders March," which crops up pretty regularly throughout the subsequent score, with "Marian's Theme" from the original Indy adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark," also making apperances, for the returning Karen Allen; and there's even a snippet of the "Map Room/Dawn" theme in "The Spell of the Skull."
But there are of course new themes on display here to, and "Call of the Crystal Skull" has a mysterious theme that initially builds to a crescendo, rather like the Krypton music calling to young Clark in the barn in Superman - The Movie;" but later becomes more intense and powerful; whilst "Irina's Theme" has a dark, seductive beauty. Quite a startling change from what has gone before comes with the splendidly catchy Latin American flavoured tune of "The Journey to Akator," complete with flutes, trumpets, guitars and percussive rhythm. And "Hidden Treasure and the City of Gold" is a standout cue, with its powerful and impressive climax, as is "The Departure;" whilst "Secret Doors and Scorpions" and later "Temple Ruins and the Secret Revealed" provide moments of vintage Williams menace, with the high pitched flutes reminiscent of much earlier work on the likes of Lost in Space and the original Star Wars trilogy.
Of course no Indy adventure would be complete without plenty of exciting action sequences and Williams shows he still possesses enough younthful vitality to provide splendid accompaniment, both light and more menacing, for the likes of "The Adventures of Mutt," "The Snake Pit," "A Whirl Through Academe," "The Jungle Chase," "Grave Robbers" and "Ants!"
The nine minute "Finale" of course reprises the "Raiders March," which brackets an interesting Russian tinged flight of fancy, along with the energetic "Adventures of Mutt" piece, and of course "Marian's Theme;" bringing this thoroughly entertaining album to a close.
The colourful accompanying booklet features stills from the film, together with Steven Spielberg's customary tribute to his composer and friend.

From Top Dollar PR



- The Soundtrack to Alone in the Dark Features a Mesmerizing Score by Composer Olivier Deriviere Performed by Grammy Award-winning Choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices -

NEW YORK, May 22, 2008 – Atari Interactive Inc. and MILAN RECORDS today announced their first collaboration with the forthcoming MILAN RECORDS release on May 24, 2008 of the soundtrack to the highly anticipated action survival video game Alone in the Dark. The original Alone in the Dark created the survival horror genre and set the standard for later games. Developed by Eden Games, the new Alone in the Dark is set to reinvent the genre once again with unique innovations and thrilling gameplay.

The evocative score was composed by Olivier Deriviere (Obscure) and performed by world-famous, Grammy Award-winning choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices. The result is an energetic, memorable score that mixes orchestration with the unique sound of The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices.

“For its first release of a video game soundtrack, Milan Records is very proud to be associated with such a classic series as Alone in the Dark,” said Nick Bobetsky, VP Sales and Marketing, MILAN RECORDS. “This is an original and powerful soundtrack, which goes beyond what you would normally expect in a video game.”

Alone in the Dark follows paranormal investigator Edward Carnby as over the course of one apocalyptic night he must fight to survive and uncover the earth-shattering secret behind New York’s Central Park. With an exhilarating mix of gameplay, intense storytelling in a TV season style, unprecedented environmental interaction, and DVD chapter select feature which lets players move on if they get stuck, Alone in the Dark is set to change what players expect from action games.

Alone in the Dark is scheduled to ship on June 20th in Europe and June 24th in North America on Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows-based PC, Wii™ and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, followed by PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system later in 2008. Classic soundtrack label MILAN RECORDS (City of God, Tsotsi, Flags of Our Fathers, Ghost, Monsoon Wedding, Pan’s Labyrinth) will release the album physically and digitally in North America on May 24th and across Europe in late June.

Here’s what the press has to say about Alone in the Dark:

Alone in the Dark’s sheer scale is simply mind-blowing. –

A fresh approach to video game storytelling” –


1- Prelude to an End

2- Edward Carnby

3- The Fissure

4- Collapsing Floors

5- The Façade

6- Reception Hall

7- The Humanz

8- Who Am I?

9- Central Park

10- Crying NY

11- Loneliness

12- Bethesda Fight

13- Killing The Fissure

14- No More Humans

15- Truth

16- Niamam

17- The Light Carrier Test

18- Shto Li (A cappella)

19- The Final Gate

20- The Choice

21- An End for a Prelude

For more information on the game please visit

For more information about the soundtrack please contact Greg O'Connor-Read: or +1 (702) 407-0935

Atari Interactive Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment S.A.

About Infogrames Entertainment and Atari:

Infogrames Entertainment (IESA) is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (ISIN code: FR0010478248) and has two principal subsidiaries: Atari Europe, a privately-held company, and Atari, Inc., a United States corporation listed on NASDAQ (OTC Pink Sheets: ATAR).

The Atari Group is an international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment software for all market segments and in all existing game formats (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) and on CD-ROM for PC. Its games are sold in more than 60 countries.

The Atari Group’s extensive catalogue of popular games is based on original franchises (Alone in the Dark, V-Rally, Test Drive, etc.) and international licenses (Dragon Ball Z, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.).

For more information:

© 2008 Atari Europe SASU. All rights reserved.

Atari and the Atari logo are trademarks owned by Atari Interactive, Inc. Alone in the Dark is a registered trademark owned by Infogrames Entertainment SA in the US and other territories.

Safe Harbor Statement

With the exception of the historical information contained in this release, the matters described herein contain certain "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this release are not promises or guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and are naturally subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. We caution you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein. Some of the factors which could cause our results to differ materially include the following: the loss of key customers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and GameStop; delays in product development and related product release schedules; loss of our credit facility; inability to secure capital; adapting to the rapidly changing industry technology, including new console technology; maintaining relationships with leading independent video game software developers; maintaining or acquiring licenses to intellectual property; fluctuations in the Company's quarterly net revenues and results of operations based on the seasonality of our industry; the termination or modification of our agreements with hardware manufacturers; and other factors described in our SEC filings.

The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the Company's expectations.

# # #

Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, the Xbox logos, and the Xbox Live logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

“Playstation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Wii and the Wii logo are trademarks of Nintendo. © 2006 Nintendo.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Fool's Gold
Music by George Fenton
Varese Sarabande VSD-6885 (EU)
25 Tracks 68:20 mins.

For this fun action adventure, starring the attractive pairing of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, George Fenton breaks the shackles of documentary and small serious features to produce one of his most enjoyable scores for years. Not that he hasn't written some fine music in recent times, it's just that he seems to really have had fun on this assignment and, as a result, has come up with his most accessible score since Valiant and Ever After.
Fenton's music for Fool's Gold is adventurous and exciting at times, and lighter and comedic when it needs to be. The opening track encapsulates the composer's approach to the score for, after an adventurous flourish, a rhythmic guitar-lead theme moves things nicely along, with reggae-styled interludes and even a brief appearance by steel drums. It's a great way to start the album.
Throughout the subsequent score, Caribbean and Latin elements make their presence felt, alongside the more conventional orchestral sounds, and there's even a bit of funk to be found in the sneaky "Debt Collector" and "Sabotaging the Grid."
I'm a sucker for good action writing and Fenton certainly provides some in cues like "Man Overboard," "Trouble in the Churchyard," "Finn to the Rescue" and "The Treasure, The Kidnap and the Sea Plane;" and pure fun in the likes of "Late for the Hearing," mixing the two in cues like "Saving Gemma's Hat."
"The Stand Off" sees a return for the horns-lead theme that opened the album, which continues purposefully on strings; and "Tess's Theme" is a lovely interlude for acoustic guitars, which is expanded upon in "A Nice...Soft...Landing;" with "The Day Drive," providing some feel-good music; whilst the horns return in style for the big, satisfying conlusion in "Sharing the Spoils."
The album ends with four vocal performances by Majek Fashek, Classic, The Dualers, and the fondly remembered "You Can Get It If You Really Want" by Desmond Decker.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


From Costa Communications





(Hollywood, CA) Platinum selling recording artist/award-winning composer Trevor Rabin scores the Warner Bros. action comedy, “Get Smart.” The film, directed by Peter Segal and starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, opens June 20 (soundtrack available June 17 on Varese Sarabande). Based on the 1960s TV series, “Get Smart” follows protagonist Maxwell Smart (Carell) and his partner Agent 99 (Hathaway) on their mission to defeat crime syndicate KAOS and save the world from evil domination. Trevor Rabin, originally from South Africa, had never seen or heard of the series prior to working on the film adaptation. “I literally watched full seasons of the show on YouTube, non-stop, before interviewing with the director,” explains Rabin.

In addition to writing the score, the composer/musician created a rock rendition of the original “Get Smart” TV theme by Irving Szathmary. “My rock background was my inspiration for my arrangement of the theme,” explain Rabin. In composing the score, Rabin primarily used a dramatic/action approach as opposed to a comedic approach. “I wanted the music to be the straight man,” explains Rabin. Also doing a comedy like this allowed me to utilize my jazz sensibilities.”

Prior to starting the band Yes, music was always a part of Rabin’s life. He studied classical piano at age six and he taught himself the guitar at eleven. His family was musical. Rabin’s father was the first violinist of the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra; his mother a concert pianist; his brother a violinist and sister a pianist and ballet dancer. As a teenager, Rabin was doing session work, producing and arranging for records. He formed the legendary multi-platinum selling rock band Rabbitt. In protest to Apartheid, Rabin challenged the South Africa government and toured with an Anti Apartheid band called Freedoms Children. Later, Rabin moved to Los Angeles and became a founding member of the multi-platinum selling progressive rock group, Yes. He wanted the name to be Cinema, but he was out-voted. Rabin was a crucial band mate, fulfilling the role of guitarist, keyboardist, singer, producer and recording engineer as well as writer of the smash hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Rabin left Yes in 1994 to pursue film composing.

Trevor Rabin’s diverse musical background complements his ability to create memorable film scores in various genres. As a winner of numerous BMI Film Music Awards, Rabin’s scores include action thrillers “Con Air” and “Armageddon” to the eerie “Exorcist: The Beginning” and Disney favorite “Remember the Titans.” Recently Rabin has scored the blockbuster hits “National Treasure,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “Flyboys,” and “Bad Boys 2.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Continuing on from yesterday, here are my 20 favourite CD releases by Varese Sarabande (normal or CD Club) and Masters Film Music, again listed in no particular order of preference.

The Great Escape - Elmer Bernstein

This much expanded release of the actual score, rather than a re-recording, reveals so much that was missing on the original album. Simply one of the composer's greatest scores.

Stripes - Elmer Bernstein

Whilst not a classic like the above, the score is still great fun, with a very infectious march theme.

Ghostbusters - Elmer Bernstein

Most people will remember the title song, but what about Bernstein's underscore. Well, I'm here to tell you there's some great stuff here.

North and South - Bill Conti

I just lapped up these epic mini-series and waited a long time for these tracks to be released. Bill Conti has written so many great themes over the years and this one has long been a favourite.

The London Sessions - Georges Delerue

Cheating again - I know this is more than one CD, by this ambitious project rescued some very much sought after themes and music by the late, lamented French composer.

The Final Conflict - Jerry Goldsmith

The first release by Bob Townson's Master Film Music, and what a way to start. This third score in the Omen series had so much memorable music that it was long sought after by fans of the composer and good film music in general. Of course we have since had special editions of all three Goldsmith Omen scores, and that deserves a special mention too.

Jerry Goldsmith: Suites & Themes

Recorded following the first Goldsmith concert I attended, and representative of the programme he conducted. Had I not been taken ill the night before, I would have attended these recording sessions.

Planet of the Apes/Escape from the Planet of the Apes - Jerr Goldsmith

Teaming the composer's landmark score for the first film in the Apes series with his very different, but much sought after music for one of the sequels.

Magic - Jerry Goldsmith

Another great score that was long sought after.

The Mephisto Waltz/The Other - Jerry Goldsmith

Coupling two very different scores for supernatural stories, and again fulfilling the wishes of many Goldsmith fans.

Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox

An unbelievable release this, bringing together so much great and previously unreleased music from some lesser known Goldsmith assignments.

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir - Bernard Herrmann

The great composer at his most romantic. Elmer Bernstein's FMC re-recording, good as it was, only scratched the surface and it was great when the original tracks surfaced.

The Thorn Birds - Henry Mancini

As I said before, I was a sucker for these epic mini-series and just loved this particular one (even if it was short on kangaroos). Mancini's themes played on my mind for years after and, despite the recording's one major flaw, it was simply wonderful to finally have the score available.

The Song of Bernadette - Alfred Newman

Simply one of the greatest film scores of all time, in my humble opinion. Pure magic.

Cleopatra - Alex North

Spartacus remains North's masterpiece, but this epic score comes close to matching it. The original LP release barely scratched the surface and this much expanded release is to be treasured.

Conan the Barbarian - Basil Poledouris

The much-missed composer's masterpiece, given the expanded treatment.

Flesh + Blood - Basil Poledouris

Another great score for the historical genre.

The Cowboys - John Williams

Any John Wayne western score release is welcome and this rare contribution to the series by John Williams is well worthy of preservation.

Heartbeeps - John Williams

An unusual, electronic entry by the great composer, but still filled with great melodies. A very much sought after score, finally released.

The Fury - John Williams

For me, one of the composer's most underrated scores. Powerful stuff, and given a well-deserved expanded release.

Monday, May 19, 2008


A couple of evenings ago I spent a very enjoyable hour plus listening to an interview with Lukas Kendall of Film Score Monthly and Robert Townson of Varese Sarabande. This only served to remind me of how much we, the soundtrack collectors, owe these fine gentlemen for the wonderful CDs they've released over the years, and prompted me to consider what my favourite items on each label might be - the ones I treasure the most, for whatever reason. Herewith the first part then, concentrating on Film Score Monthly, listing my top 20 releases on the label, in no particular order:-

Heavy Metal - Elmer Bernstein

Bernstein's score for this animated sci-fi simply blew me away from the first time I heard it, and the original LP has probably been played as much as any score in my collection, especially for the Taarna episode and also "Bomber and the Green Ball." It's great now to have the score on CD, with even more music than on the LP.

The Time Machine - Russell Garcia

I've always had a soft spot for the original Rod Taylor version of the classic sci-fi story and Garcia's score serves the film so well.

100 Rifles - Jerry Goldsmith

This is another instance of being "blown away" by a score or theme, and in this case it is Goldsmith's fabulous main theme, but there's plenty more on offer in the score. I waited for years to own this music.

Force Ten From Navarone - Ron Goodwin

Not one of Goodwin's greatest scores, but a tremendously catchy main theme.

Where Eagles Dare/Operation Crossbow - Ron Goodwin

Where Eagles Dare, with its amazing main theme is a Goodwin classic and it was great to have an expanded version to replace my much played LP. I always loved his main theme for Operation Crossbow too and only had a scratchy 45 to enjoy prior to this premiere presentation of the score.

The Omega Man - Ron Grainer

Another great sci-fi film adaptation, with a fine turn by Charlton Heston. The same can be said of Grainer's score as that of Garcia's for The Time Machine.

Raintree County - John Green

I already owned the great double LP release of Johnny Green's great music for this civil war epic, so FSM's fine CD presentation was most welcome and a fitting tribute to a man who should (on the evidence of this score alone) have written many more dramatic scores.

Guns for San Sebastian - Ennio Morricone

Again, a treasured and much played LP in my collection, with a great love theme.

Navajo Joe - Ennio Morricone

A very different score from Guns, but again a much played LP in my collection. There's some real savagery about this music, and a tremendously catchy main theme.

Big Wednesday - Basil Poledouris

I simply love this film and Basil's music is a big part of it, though actually used quite sparingly really. I miss the Milius/Poledouris teaming.

Plymouth Adventure - Miklos Rozsa

A fabulous, and perhaps underrated, score from the great Hungarian composer, coming slap bang in the middle of his historical period.

The Green Berets - Miklos Rozsa

I have always been a big John Wayne fan, whatever his politics. As a result, I still enjoy this Vietnam War-set film, which never fails to bring a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat at its conclusion; and I just love the title song and Rozsa's dramatic score.

Knights of the Round Table/The King's Thief - Miklos Rozsa

Yet another great Rozsa historical score. I loved the Varese Sarabande LP, and to have an expanded release from FSM was heaven - and having the inclusion of his the lesser known The King's Thief was a welcome bonus.

The Thing/Take The High Ground - Dimitri Tiomkin

I've been a fan of Tiomkin's music since repeated viewings of The Alamo as a kid. I even used to hum the music as I recreated the great battle with my toy soldiers. Whilst a proper representation of this score remains sadly unavailable, I was delighted to have these two scores. The Thing is tremendously creepy music and Take The High Ground has a title song that stays in the memory.

Land of the Pharaohs - Dimitri Tiomkin

Another great Tiomkin score, which elevates the picture no end. It's really great to finally have a proper representation of this wonderful music.

The Superman Box - John Williams et al

Although I was perfectly happy with the Rhino release of Williams' brilliant Superman score, the version included here is even better. I wasn't keen on the three films that followed in the series, and Ken Thorne's adapation of Williams' themes for Superman II always sounded a bit "cheap and nasty" on LP, whilst I can't comment too much on Superman III (or should I say Richard Prior I), as I wouldn't watch the film again if you paid me. Having these scores presented properly for the first time is a real eye( or ear)-opener, and Alexander Courage's efforts (with new Williams material) for Superman IV are as good as Thorne's, if not even better. Having the Ron Jones animated scores is also a very welcome bonus.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Various composers

I suppose I've slightly cheated here, as there are four separate releases, but the music really belongs to one production, albeit spread out over a number of series of the show. Having been brought up on '60s shows like U.N.C.L.E., the decade holds a special place in my memories and this series in particular captured my imagination. As with, The Alamo, I remember playing at Napoleon Solo, with Goldsmith's fabulous theme running through my head. But it wasn't so much the great composer's scores for the first series that stayed with me, but the adapatations and additions to the U.N.C.L.E. music library made by the likes of Lalo Schifrin and Richard Shores, but especially by Gerald Fried, who proved himself an absolute genius with the limited resources at his disposal.

The Bridge at Remagen/The Train - Elmer Bernstein/Maurice Jarre

The Bridge at Remagen is another of those films that I have enjoyed many times over the years. I always loved Bernstein's main theme and again waited a long time to own this score.

The Comancheros - Elmer Bernstein

Simply one of the composer's greatest western themes, which is as much on my mind as his acknowledged classic The Magnificent Seven. If only we had all Bernstein's original western scores properly represented on CD, as this is.

King's Row/The Sea Wolf - Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Anything by this great Austrian composer is always worth having, but King's Row is one of his finest and the original LP re-recording, whilst treasured, barely scratched the surface.

Tomorrow, my Varese Sarabande top 20. And if you want to listen to the interview go to

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Sex and the City
Various Artists
Decca 478 0652 (EU)
15 Tracks 59:02 mins

The big screen spin-off of popular TV series Sex and the City received its premiere in London last week and goes on UK release from 28th May.
Decca will release the soundtrack a couple of days earlier on 26th May. The album consists of songs, some more well known than others, by a diverse range of artists, including Fergie, Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, Duffy, Nina Simone and Joss Stone. Most are new songs to me, but there's an acceptable cover of the Bee Gees' "How Deep is Your Love" and an awful remix of the classic Bacharach/David song "The Look of Love." A somewhat unusual acoustic version of "Aul Lang Syne" is also included. The album concludes with a brief big band rendition of the "Sex and the City Movie Theme" by the Pfeiffer Broz. Orchestra.
The whole package is put together by music producer Salaam Remi, who also wrote the Fergie number featured on the album, one of two new songs, the other being the Jennifer Hudson number.

Saturday, May 17, 2008



For more detailed information, click on this URL:

Friday, May 16, 2008


Symphony No.1: The Four Elements
Music by Chris Walden
Origin Classical OC 33002 (US)
4 Tracks 40:45 mins

German composer in America Chris Walden has had a diverse musical career to date, composing for films, arranging for orchestras the world over, and for TV shows such as American Idol, as well as creating the leading West Coast big band the Chris Walden Big Band. Through all this, he has long held the ambition to write a symphony. At last this ambition has been realised with the release of this enhanced CD recording of his Symphony No.1: The Four Elements.
As the title would suggest, the piece has four movements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.
Gaia (earth) opens appropriately with a big bang, a thunderous orchestral crash which arrives out of the blue and nearly knocks you off your chair - so be warned. Thereafter, the movement is varied, at times almost majestic, at others less interesting, with the strings playing a "long sustaining D-flat," representative of the frequency the Earth swings at.
Hudor (water) starts out pizzicato, suggestive of rain drops falling, before gradually developing into a raging torrent, which eventually dies away. Throughout, the strings dominate.
Aer (air) features some light string writing, suggestive of stillness, but with a solo viola playing expressively as the movement continues. The tranquil feeling is only broken by the introduction of a more brassy, turbulent feel towards the end.
Therma (Fire) is probably the boldest movement, with some powerful and menacing moments, one almost martial in its bombast, as this sometimes destructive element does its worse. The themes explored in the previous movements are also reprised during the movement, before the composer, who also conducts the piece incidentally, brings the work to a thunderous close.
The accompanying booklet features notes by the composer, together with a biography, but the disc is enhanced, so pop it into your PC to enjoy a behind the scenes look at the recording of the score, with the composer and others involved talking about the work, as well as film of the sessions. You can also catch an EPK at
I'm not expert on classical music, but this is a finely written, performed and recorded work, worthy of exploration.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Speed Racer
Music by Michael Giacchino
Varese Sarabande VSD6898 (EU)
20 Tracks 60:24 mins

Speed Racer originated in Japan in the 1960s, firstly as a manga series and then moved to anime. The show was acquired for American TV and producer Peter Fernandez set about adapting it for U.S. audiences, also providing character voices and even lyrics for the rearranged theme song. It is presumably this song that composer Michael Giacchino utilises throughout his score for this new big screen mix of live action and CGI, starring Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci.
From the clips I've seen, the film seems a colourful and spectacular cross between Tron, the Pixar movies and a computer game. Totally fantastical, particularly in terms of the cars' impossible manoeuvres, the film is driven by Giacchino's often action-packed music, written in the similar jazzy style of his music for The Incredibles and Ratatouille, sometimes recalling the music of other '60s shows like Batman. There's seldom a dull moment in the score, which is fully orchestral, and features many exciting passages, with suitable doses of tension and menace here and there, and the odd moment of tragedy.
The composer injects a little breezy cartoon-styled music into "Vroom and Board" and some heartfelt strings in "Racing's in our Blood." The dynamic "Casa Cristo" features choir, ethnic vocalist and electric guitar, alongside the orchestra. Vocalist and choir return for another exciting cue "The Maltese Ice Cave," and after some intense action writing in "Grand Ol' Prix," the latter also make their presence felt in "Reboot," with its big, triumphant ending, their voices then soaring heavenwards in the noble and again triumphant "Let Us Drink Milk."
For the album's final (and title) cue, Giacchino's wraps what sounds like parts of the original recording of the "Go Speed Racer" song in an otherwise orchestral arrangement, providing a catchy and satisfying close to proceedings.
In conclusion, another fine score from a composer who is fast establishing himself among the elite in his craft. Can't wait for his music for the new Star Trek movie.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Iron Man
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Silva Screen SILCD1264 (UK)
19 Tracks 54:12 mins

Released next week (May 19th) in the UK is the soundtrack for the latest big screen incarnation of a Marvel superhero. Iron Man features the unlikely casting of Robert Downey Jr as the wealthy industrialist, turned crime fighter, Tony Stark. The film has only just been released in UK cinemas and is already earning big bucks, as well as critical praise.
Film music followers were expecting director Jon Favreau to call upon his regular composer of choice, John Debney, for his latest assignment, and were anticipating a blockbusting orchestral score. For whatever reason, the Hans Zimmer stable got the gig and, whilst the name on the box says Ramin Djawadi, already people are questioning as to the full extent of "score producer" Zimmer's involvement. Could it be another Pirates of the Caribbean?
The score is certainly straight out of the Remote Control school of scoring, mixing orchestral and electronic elements, though the strong heavy metal guitar vibe may well be down to Djawadi, who started out as a guitarist, I believe.
Some critics have dismissed the music out of hand, but I'm not averse to the Zimmer school, and must say that I find a great deal to enjoy in this soundtrack album. The cues are not presented in filmic order and indeed the album starts out with one of the exciting action pieces in the film, "Driving with the Top Down," which accompanies Iron Man as he plays tag with a pair of fighter planes. "Merchant of Death" is another highlight, a powerful piece, featuring big and bad guitar work, with industrial accompaniment. The largely suspenseful "Trinkets to Kill a Prince" follows, then more powerful, percussive action in "Mark 1" and the guitars-heavy "Fireman."
"Vacation's Over" has a sense of import to it, whilst "Golden Egg" starts lightly, then becomes an increasingly powerful march of doom. "Damn Kid" provides a techno interlude, before more guitars-driven heroics in "Mark II."
A more intimate moment arises in "Extra Dry, Extra Olives," possibly commenting on the employer-employee relationship between Star and Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, which flirts with becoming much more. "Iron Man" starts out quite low-key, but the guitars take over for another big and bad conclusion, continuing on into "Gulmira."
After the reflective "Are Those Bullet Holes?" and the ethnic-tinged threat of "Section 16," the action-packed "Iron Monger" and "Arc Reaktor," bring the score tracks to an exciting close.
To conclude, if you are a fan of the Zimmer school of filmscoring, this is another for your collection. Nothing very original, but a competent, toe-tapping ride.
Making up the album's playing time are a big band jazz track by John O'Brien and Rick Boston, Jack Urbont's theme from the '60s animated Iron Man show, and a bonus track from Suicidal Tendencies. Thankfully, two of these are at the end of the disc, so do not detract from the score selections.