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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Big Trouble in Little China
Music by John Carpenter, in association with Alan Howarth
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1086 (US)
Disc 1 - 13 Tracks 50:44 mins Disc 2 - 9 Tracks 45:45 mins

I wish I could recommend this new limited edition release by La-La Land Records, but I'm afraid that, with the exception of his early scores for Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween, I have found much of the rest of John Carpenter's electronic musings, many produced in association with Alan Howarth, as here, not to my taste, and 1986's Big Trouble in Little China, a very different film from the director's usual horror/thriller fare, is no exception.
Having said this, if you are a fan of Carpenter's films and scores, you will certainly want to snap up one of the 3,000 pressed copies, as it is a superior production, much expanding the film's original soundtrack release to more than 96 minutes of music, including a couple of bonus tracks at the end of disc 2. In addition, Daniel Schweiger's liner notes in the accompanying 20-page booklet could hardly be more detailed, and are peppered with reminiscences from both Carpenter and Howarth. This, and the cue-by-cue guide, together with the numerous colourful stills, make for just about the perfect package.
Go to for your copy.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I was fortunate, thanks to the composer's publicists, Costa Communications, to be able to sample some of relative newcomer Austin Wintory's music for Captain Abu Raed recently and was, if you read the review, obviously quite impressed. He has now followed up that award-winning score with another, very different score, for the psychological thriller Grace, which won the Jury Prize at France's Gerardmer International Fantasy Film Festival last month.
Again, Costa Communications kindly sent me a promotional disc of Wintory's score, and I just wish I could be as enthusiastic about it as Abu Raed, but this is indeed a very different animal. The film's writer/director Paul Solet, being already a friend of the composer, involved him in the project early on and in fact Wintory wrote some 2o minutes of music solely based on the script. He then played it to the actors on set and discussed their characters with them, getting a unique perspective. The music wasn't ever intended to be used in the score for the finished film, for which he wrote a new score.
A film music fan from a young age, whose idol was the much-missed Jerry Goldsmith, Wintory wrote an experimental score for the film, something his hero wasn't slow to do on numerous scores himself, basing his music on manipulated sounds, like sampled baby cries and the buzzing of flies, together with using traditional instruments in unusual ways, something Goldsmith had done most notably on Planet of the Apes. Recording at London's famous Abbey Road Studios, the score also features contributions by Lisbeth Scott, who sung on Abu Raed and here contributed the lyrics to the lullaby, sung by Jordan Ladd, playing the mother, over the "End Titles" track presented on the disc.
Like most experimental scores, I have to say that this is not an easy listen away from the film, where it may well work very effectively, and is at times barely recognisable as music. Obviously as a fan of melody, I would prefer to be listening to more scores like Captain Abu Raed from the composer. If, however, you are a fan of the genre, you may well appreciate Wintory's efforts for Grace.
Neither Abu Raed, nor Grace has yet been commercially recorded, but Wintory, in a fascinating interview that you can hear at, appears hopeful that a deal may be done at some stage. Maybe the two can be paired on one disc, which would certainly illustrate the versatility of their composer.

Whilst mentioning Austin Wintory's publicists, Costa Communications, you might like to check out their blog at, where you can keep up with the latest news on their clients' activities.


Sadly, word has reached me of the death of of Maurice Jarre, at the age of 84, from cancer, in Los Angeles.
Jarre of course won three Oscars during his distinguished career, for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India, but wrote the music for more than 150 films. His fluid and very distinctive style of scoring was not everyone's "cup of tea" but, on his day, he was a force to be reckoned with, and he certainly knew how to compose a good tune. Favourite themes and scores of mine, as well as those for Lawrence and Zhivago, include Villa Rides, The Professionals, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The Man Who Would Be King, Crossed Swords, Resurrection, Firefox and Moon Over Parador.
Jarre also won two BAFTAS, four Golden Globes and a Grammy, and was of course also father of Jean-Michel Jarre. Another giant has passed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Island of Dr. Moreau
Music by Laurence Rosenthal
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1085 (US)
15 Tracks 57:33 mins

Only previously available as a bootleg LP and a promotional CD, it's good to have this fine 1977 score by Laurence Rosenthal commercially available, albeit as a limited edition of just 1200 units.
Don Taylor's version of the H.G. Wells novel is the second of three filmed adaptations, the first in 1932 under the title of Island of the Lost Souls, and the most recent directed by John Frankenheimer with Marlon Brando as the title character in 1996. Taylor's version stars Burt Lancaster as mad scientist Moreau, whose experiments on a remote island have produced a number of human-animal hybrids; with support from Michael York, as the shipwreck victim who becomes stranded there, and Barbara Carrera as the love interest.
Rosenthal considered his score for the film as one of his favourites, in his own words an effort to "produce a melodic style that was primitive and struggling, as though to suggest these humanimals were struggling and trying to become human beings; using, for example, a combination of very high bassoon and very high English Horn playing in their top registers, producing a strained, agonized sound."
It's certainly an interesting score and somewhat influential, with echoes in early works by James Horner, for example.
The "Main Title" opens with "Moreau's Theme," a mysterious English horn solo, which is taken up increasingly dramatically by orchestra. This gives way to the savage action of "The Jungle,"as Braddock (York) is pursued by unseen creatures, before ending on the Moreau theme again.
Rosenthal gently introduces his somewhat ethereal love theme in "Maria and Friend/After Dinner," the Moreau theme returning rather ominously in "Doctor's Study" to conclude the track, and then given full voice on the horn again in the subsequent "On the Beach," but quickly giving way to the love theme, which surges passionately at times, before the cue ends mysteriously with "More Questions."
We're back with the savagery in "Forest Murmurs," which at times reminds somewhat of Jerry Goldsmith's action music in Planet of the Apes. The cue then turns ominous and suspenseful for "Dr. Moreau's Zoo," with the character's theme returning in somewhat subdued, sinister mode; the suspense building to a crescendo, as the living, breathing results of the good doctor's experiments are revealed to Braddock. After a low-key opening, the following "Maria and Andrew" once more returns us to the love theme. The next track brings together several short cues in sequence, providing a variety of moods, mostly of the darker variety, with a little action here and there. There's action all the way in the following "To the House of Pain," opening with savage horn calls, but eventually giving way to the increasingly tragic "Funeral Pyre." "Involution" opens menacingly, then turns mysterious as Moreau adds Braddock to his list of experimental subjects. Moreau's theme is heard in a variation for flutes here and in the following "Braddock's Cage," in which the humanimals witness another side to the doctor and the music builds ominously towards their rebellion, and the brief furious action of "Moreau's Death," horns screaming as Braddock fights the humanimals off, the cue ending on almost a simulation of Moreau's fading heartbeat.
Rosnethal lets the dogs loose in the high-powered action of "Man and Beast" that follows, as the humanimals destroy Moreau's compound and let loose the caged beasts. The action concludes in "The Holocaust," the cue ending powerfully as Moreau's compound burns.
Interestingly, the ending of the film was changed after Rosenthal had written his finale, which is hugely dramatic as Maria reverts to the jungle cat she originally was
A couple of bonus tracks are included at the end of the disc, the first, an alternate take of "The Jungle;" the second, a livelier take of "To the House of Pain."
The accompanying booklet is the usual high-quality publication, featuring numerous colour stills from the film, together with Randall D. Larson's extensive notes and cue-by-cue guide.
Go to for more info and samples, though the page now shows the album to be sold out, so you may have to shop around a little to secure your copy of this splendid score.


Go to to order your copy of each of these new Italian western score releases.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The Secret of Moonacre
Music by Christian Henson
MovieScore Media MMMS09006
26 Tracks 64:41 mins

This recent fantasy offering from Bridge to Terabithia director Gabor Csupo stars Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry and Natascha McElhone, and is based on Elizabeth Goudge's award-winning children's book The Little White Horse.
Composer of the symphonic score (conducted incidentally by composer-in-his-own-right Paul Englishby) is by a relatively new name to me, Christian Henson, but apparently he has written music for many British TV shows like Top Gear and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, has assisted composers like Anne Dudley, Dario Marianelli, Patrick Doyle and the Gregson-Williams brothers on a variety of film scores, and written the Ivor Novello Award nominated score to 2007's Severance. With all this body of work, it's amazing he has largely thus far slipped under my radar.
The score's "Opening Titles" start rather ominously, but quickly build to epic orchestral/choral heights, before taking on something of a dream-like quality with solo female voice, piano and flutes. The playful "The Journey to Moonacre" follows, complete with finger snaps and and what sounds like a bit of Bavarian thigh slapping thrown in. Things take a darker turn with the brief action of "Robin Attacks," giving way to the serene "Arrival at Moonacre," the magical quality continuing in "Into the Book," which was co-written by Adam Balazs, who also had a hand in "Apology Tango" and "Love Waltz."
"Marmaduke Scarlet" is largely a comical affair, breezy and a little slapsticky; the mood changing considerably for the luminous beauty of "Maria's Room." The darkness returns with the menacing "Into the Forest;" the subsequent "The Moonraker Curse" also ending dramatically.
The flute-lead "Milk and Cookies" restores some lightness to proceedings, but gives way to the flowing "Running from Moonacre," this in turn giving way to the mysterious "Loveday;" the mood continuing into "The 5,000th Moon," where the tinkling piano and female voice from the "Opening Titles" return, before a big, menacing ending.
The brief piano, flute and cello of "I'm Glad That You're Back," restores a little lightness, before the menacing action of "Maria is Captured." The magic returns, along with the female voice and an expressive cello in "The Two Moon Princesses," and then its action and suspense aplenty in "Maria Escapes." The aforementioned "Apology Tango" follows, with featured parts for cello and violin, and then the purposeful "Setting the Bait" and "The Search Begins," followed by more menacing action in "Robin and Wrolf are Captured."
Serenity is briefly restored with "Little White Horse Leads On," but this quickly gives way to anxious action in "Chase Through the Forest." The suspenseful "Back Where it all Began" follows, and then the weighty "Maria's Sacrifice." A kind of ethereal lament follows at the start of "Sea Horses," but the female voice takes on a harsher quality, accompanied by a war-like drumbeat as the track builds to its conclusion.
"Love Waltz" is initially a charming interlude for piano and strings, but the track turns somewhat bittersweet at its conclusion. However, "All's Well That Ends Well" ends the score on an optimistic note, after one or two ominous intrusions, and even a little light comedy, the main theme soaring at its conclusion.
The album, available on CD from the likes of Screen Archives, and as a download from iTunes, concludes with Sky's rendition of "Stars," co-written by Henson and Caroline Lost, a song which seems vaguely familiar to me from somewhere.
In conclusion, it's nice to see a lesser known composer given what must have been a fairly big budgeted film like this to score, and Henson has done a capable job here. I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The Music of Batman
Various Composers
Silva Screen SILCD1276 (UK)
15 Tracks

This second recent collection of music from Silva Screen features the label's orchestra of choice, the City of Prague Philharmonic, performing suites and themes from the wide variety of screen adaptations of the adventures of DC comic book hero Batman, spanning from the campy TV series of the '60s right up to the latest live-action feature The Dark Knight and encompassing other live-action and animated adventures in between.
The album commences with a generous six selections from Danny Elfman's score for the first Tim Burton Batman movie, including of course his dynamic main theme for the character, followed by the "End Titles" from Burton's sequel Batman Returns. Unfortunately, after these two excellent films, the series took a rapid downturn through Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, though the music remained of high quality, courtesy of Elliot Goldenthal, who has a selection from each film included here, the music from the latter being particularly welcome, even if it really only showcases the composer's new theme for the character as, sadly, no score was issued at the time of the film's release.
It was some years later that Brit Christopher Nolan got the go-ahead to revive the character, taking a completely fresh and much darker approach in Batman Begins, enlisting the services of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard to provide a much different approach to the music, which continued into the subsequent The Dark Knight, and a track from each film is included here.
Following the music for this live-action fare are selections from the animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a spin-off from the animated series, scored so capably by Shirley Walker and her young proteges, and the "End Credits" from the recent anthology "Batman: Gotham Knight."
Rounding out the disc are Neal Hefti's infectious theme from the aforementioned '60s TV series, together with the "Main Titles" from the movie spin-off , displaying perfectly Nelson Riddle's jazzy approach to the music for the Adam West Batman.
A fine overview of the music of Batman then, in his many incarnations, mostly capably played, (though the Elfman selections are a little lacking), which would make a fine gift for any young fan of the character.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Hannah Montana The Movie
Music by Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana & Various Artists
Walt Disney Records 50999 6 96174 2 3 ((EU)
18 Tracks 61:19 mins

Back in the '80s and early '90s I was quite a fan of country music. Those were the days when the songs were written by craftsmen, guys who had really lived and knew how to put their experiences down in terms that really meant something. Not only that but they worked with tune smiths, who could come up with great melodies that would stand the test of time. Sadly, this is rarely true of what masquerades as country music these days, where much of the stuff on offer is written and performed by artists who seem to come and go like the wind.
Anyway, what has this got to do with Hannah Montana, you may ask? Well, I remember a guy back then called Billy Ray Cyrus who unfortunately got rather typecast by his huge hit "Achy Breaky Heart," a song that even crossed into the British pop charts. But Cyrus had much more depth to his talent than that and himself was responsible for his share of meaningful numbers. Unfortunately however, he never quite could leave that monster hit behind and so faded from view. I'm glad to say he is back in the spotlight again, only now more as an actor than a singer, playing the father of schoolgirl Miley Stewart and manager of her alter ego tween pop star Hannah Montana in the hugely popular Disney TV show. The thing is Miley is really Miley Cyrus, his real-life daughter and as herself and Hannah is hugely popular amongst US tweens/teens, and I guess those of them over here with access to the Disney Channel.
The success of the show was bound to spawn a movie, I suppose, particularly as Disney's other tween orientated success, High School Musical, itself made a highly successful transition to the big screen. In the movie, Billy takes his daughter back to her Tennessee roots when her super stardom starts to take over her life. The soundtrack album reflects this, with the early rock-pop numbers belted out by Hannah giving way to more country orientated sounds, including a couple of acoustic numbers by popular band Rascal Flatts and another typically good love song by female country singer/songwriter of the moment, Taylor Swift. Cyrus himself has the song "Back To Tennessee," and duets with Miley on "Butterfly Fly Away," incidentally written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, who will be better known to readers of this blog for his great film scores over the years. But the big ballad here is "The Climb" by Jessi Alexander and Jon Mobe, belted out by Miley - certainly the stand out number on the album. After this, it's back to the tween stuff with more numbers by Hannah/Miley and another by Steve Rushton, who also had the almost reggae-styled "Everything I Want" amongst the earlier Hannah numbers.
No doubt, if your kid has the Disney Channel, he/she will certainly want you to buy this album for him/her. Not sure what they'll make of the country fare on offer, but you might like to take a listen to "The Climb" at least. As for the movie, they'll have to wait until May 1st for it to reach UK cinemas.
Incidentally, couldn't close this review without mentioning that the score is courtesy of John Debney. No word as to whether his efforts will make it to a disc of their own, but I'm still hoping that his publicists will let me have a listen to it at some point, at which time I'll let you know what I think.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Young Victoria
Music by Ilan Eshkeri
EMI 50999697622 (EU)
21 Tracks 51:44 mins

This biopic of the Queen Victoria we seldom hear about, her younger self and her romance with the love of her life, Prince Albert, comes with quite a pedigree, having the likes of Martin Scorsese and the Duchess of York among its producers; and Julian Fellowes as its writer.
The music is by Ilan Eshkeri, best known thus far for his work on the fantasy Stardust, and is expertly performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra, with notable instrumental and vocal solos. Within his score, he weaves much material from the classical repertoire, including works by Handel, Strauss, Schubert, Dvorak, Donizetti and Purcell, and so skilfully is it done that at times it's hard to tell where Eshkeri starts and the classical pieces leave off. This of course makes for a frustrating listening experience for those of us interested in original scoring only, and perhaps therefore doesn't make as lasting impression as it might have done, worthy though it may all be.
Original themes that do emerge however, and are given their head particularly in the later tracks, are the rather innocent, yet tinged with sadness, piano-lead theme for the title character, a somewhat versatile theme for Albert, and the love theme, which is given plenty of workouts, though you're likely to end up humming Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy," rather than this, due to its opening bars' similarity to the opening of that pop classic. The theme is given lyrics as "Only You" over the final track of the album, and performed by Sinead O'Connor on something of an off day.
Very little drama is on display, though "Riot" provides some welcome energy.
In conclusion, I really wanted to like this score, and certainly enjoyed it more from track 15 onwards, once the classical excerpts had ceased to intrude. Recommended with obvious reservations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Cult Cuts - Music from the Modern Cinema
Silva Screen Records SILCD1270 (UK)
18 Tracks

This, the first of two recent compilations from Silva Screen, features a wide variety of themes, both original and reused for films, some of which I would hardly call modern (Dirty Harry, Bullitt, Chinatown, The Last Emperor), though the majority are more contemporary offerings like Kill Bill, The Bourne Supremacy, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Departed, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, The Hours, True Romance, Solaris and 300.
Die-hard film music fans will more than likely have the original versions of most of what is on offer here, perhaps with the exception of the Tarantino films, which of course mostly lack original scoring; but this is a nice sampler for newcomers to the art, most capably performed by the label's orchestra of choice, The City of Prague Philharmonic, together with London Music Works, though its hard to completely satisfactorily re-create classics like Battle Without Honour or Humanity, used in Kill Bill, Bullitt and Chinatown.
At the end of the day, this collection, if nothing else, vividly illustrates how far the art has come since the early days of big orchestral scoring, with small and unusual ensembles nowadays often creating memorable music in its own right that may not have the legs of classic themes like those written for the likes of Gone with the Wind or Doctor Zhivago, but then just might.
Visit for your copy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Halo Wars
Music by Stephen Rippy
Sumthing Else SE-2052-2 (US)
25 Tracks 53:56 mins + Bonus DVD

For the latest in the Halo series of video games, Stephen Rippy, best known for his work on the Age of Empires series of games, has provided the score, with performances by the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir Prague.
The album opens with the impressive "Spirit of Fire," its piano intro giving way to a fine orchestral/choral treatment. Choir continues to dominate the subsequent "Bad Here Day," which flows easily along, though unfortunately loses its way somewhat. Other laid-back numbers include "Money or Meteors;" "Flip and Sizzle;" and "Action Figure Hands;" with ambient offerings including "Flollo," "Six-Armed Robbing Suit;" and "Best Guess at Best;" whilst more kick-ass and dramatic stuff is provided by the likes of "Just Ad Nauseum;" "Status Quo Show;" "Freaked Out;" "Rescued or Not;" "One Problem at a Time;" "De Facto the Matter;" and "Through Your Hoops;" the composer himself providing the electric guitar work where required. Along the way there are some weighty moments, but these are few and far between.
The disc closes on with "Insignificantia" which, is largely easy-going, though choir does add some weight in the midst of things. Of course, the familiar Halo theme, by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, is present in the score, and track 24, "Under Your Hurdles," is composed by Kevin McMullen.
What I would say is for a game with "Wars" in its title, the score is very light on action music, which is disappointing, but then this is isn't unusual in the music for the series thus far.
Included with the regular CD is a bonus DVD, featuring nine additional tracks, of which I would pick out the more action-orientated "X-06," "Quite the Vacation Resort" and "We're Burning Sunshine;" together with the poignant "Five Long Years." There are also another nine 5.1 mixes of tracks from the music disc, two cinematic trailers and a teaser trailer.
As usual, the CD is available in stores, or you can download the album at

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Sorry for the lack of reviews for the best part of a week, but I have been unwell again. Hopefully, I am on the mend and some reviews should start appearing in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are a couple of news items:-

From Top Dollar PR:-

In-Game Soundtrack Immerses Players Into Barcelona Setting With Flamenco Orchestrations

Raleigh, North Carolina - March 17th, 2009 - Today composer Rod Abernethy and Rednote
Audio ( announce their involvement in the production of the authentic
and edgy score for the highly-anticipated driving game starring action-film megastar
Vin Diesel as an expert driver for hire. Wheelman is developed by Midway Studios
- Newcastle Ltd in close association with Vin Diesel's video game production company
Tigon Studios and is being published worldwide by Ubisoft® and Midway.

Combining spectacular Hollywood-style stunts with a gripping storyline, Wheelman
provides an adrenaline-fueled, cinematic thrill ride through the winding streets
of Barcelona, Spain. To enhance the experience of over-the-top car chases in this
stylish setting, Rod Abernethy and Rednote Audio created the majority of the game's
intense hybrid score blending Flamenco guitars, modern electronica and hi-octane
orchestral music into a heart-pounding audio experience that matches the gameplay
and on-screen sequences.

"Working on Wheelman was a very rewarding experience," said composer Rod Abernethy.
"My goal with Wheelman was to create a cinematic, hard-hitting score that has a
traditional Spanish feel with a powerful, modern style."

Wheelman is expected to ship to retailers March 24, 2009, in North America and has
a scheduled street date of March 27, 2009, in Europe. Wheelman will be available
for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3
computer entertainment system, and for Windows PC. For more information on Wheelman,
please visit

About Rod Abernethy

Rod is known worldwide for his cutting-edge approach to composition, placing him
at the top of the interactive composer A-list. He has created award winning scores
for over 50 video games including Blacksite: Area 51, Star Trek: Legacy, Blazing
Angels I & II, Transformers, Dead Head Fred, Silent Hunter 4 and The Hobbit
that won G.A.N.G.'s Best Soundtrack of the Year Award in 2003. Most recently Rod
helped develop the music and co-produced the live orchestral sessions for EA's sci-fi
survival horror opus, Dead Space. His video game work includes collaboration with
Harry Gregson-Williams on Flushed Away and veteran film composer Elmer Bernstein
on the Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin. Rod has recorded in major studios around
the world for record industry giants Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic, and MCA Records
and collaborated with legendary producers Paul Rothchild (The Doors, Bonnie Raitt),
John Anthony (Roxy Music, Queen) and David Lord (Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, Tears
for Fears, The Pretenders). For more information visit

About Wheelman

Action film megastar Vin Diesel and his Tigon Studios are again blurring the lines
between entertainment mediums, this time collaborating with Midway in the design
and production of Wheelman to ensure an edge-of- your-seat gaming experience. Diesel's
voice and likeness will appear as the game's main character, expert Wheelman Milo
Combining spectacular Hollywood-style stunts with a gripping storyline, Wheelman
provides an adrenaline-fueled, cinematic thrill ride guaranteed to leave you breathless.
Weave in and out of traffic, engaging in intense vehicular warfare through the winding
streets of Barcelona. Your vehicle is your weapon, leaving wreckage in your wake
as you take out anything or anyone that gets in your way. Wheelman is slated for
a March 24, 2009, ship date in North America and a March 27, 2009, street date in
Europe for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and for Windows

About Tigon Studios

Based in Los Angeles, California, TIGON STUDIOS was founded in 2002 by Vin Diesel
with the goal of breaking new ground in interactive franchise entertainment by bringing
strong story, high production value and interesting and intelligent characters which
can exist in multiple mediums, simultaneously to the gaming and film & television
industries. TIGON focuses on creating properties that can be launched in both mediums.
The only game production company founded by a major motion picture star, TIGON combines
a film industry style business model with veteran talent from the gaming industry
to produce the highest quality of interactive entertainment. In its unique role,
TIGON works closely with both the developer and the publisher of its games to ensure
clear creative vision and quality in each title. By combining the strengths of traditional
film development with the innovations of the video game world, TIGON is in an exclusive
position to ensure streamlined production across various platforms.

About Ubisoft

Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment
products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up
of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has teams in 28 countries and distributes
games in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering
high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2007-08 fiscal
year, Ubisoft generated sales of 928 million euros. To learn more, please visit

About Midway

Midway Games Inc. (OTC Pink Sheets: MWYGQ), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois,
with offices throughout the world, is a leading developer and publisher of interactive
entertainment software for major videogame systems and personal computers. More
information about Midway and its products can be found at

WHEELMAN is a trademark of Midway Home Entertainment Inc. "PlayStation", "PLAYSTATION"
and "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or
other countries. Ubisoft,, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft
Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.


THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING – ORIGINAL TELEVISION SOUNDTRACK RECORDING - FEATURING MUSIC COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY JOE HARNELL AVAILABLE FROM WWW.JOEHARNELL.COM.] presents THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, featuring music composed and conducted by Joe Harnell for the 1970’s cult television show, THE BIONIC WOMAN, created and developed by Kenneth Johnson (THE BIONIC MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, V – The Original Mini-Series) and starring Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Ford Rainey, Martha Scott and Jennifer Darling.
DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW was a two part episode that aired during the second season of THE BIONIC WOMAN, while the show was still on ABC. The plot of DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW is focused on Dr. Elijah Cooper (Lew Ayres), an aging scientist who threatens the release of a doomsday device unless world peace is maintained. Cooper has created a cobalt bomb, more powerful than any existing nuclear weapon and capable of rendering all life on Earth extinct if detonated. The bomb is located in the center of Cooper’s research facility and is guarded by the ALEX 7000, a sentient computer created by Dr. Cooper.
THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING was an episode broadcast during the third and final season of the show on NBC. While working on a project to track UFOs, Oscar Goldman watches helplessly as Rudy Wells and Ray Fisk are abducted by a flying saucer. While tracking the flight path of the UFO, Jaime discovers that the UFO is, in fact, a helicopter, masked by holographic projectors that have been mounted to the helicopter.
THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING features music composed and conducted by Joe Harnell, continuing his successful creative collaboration with Writer/Director/Producer Kenneth Johnson, a relationship that includes fondly remembered television projects such as THE INCREDIBLE HULK, HOT PURSUIT, CLIFFHANGERS, V – The Original Mini-Series and ALIEN NATION. The first part of DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW contained music tracked in from previous episodes of THE BIONIC WOMAN such as KILL OSCAR, PARTS I & III and RETURN OF BIGFOOT PART II. Joe Harnell has been nominated for an Emmy Award on three occasions for Best Dramatic Score. During his career, Harnell composed over 400 hours of original music for motion pictures and television. His scores for THE BIONIC WOMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK heavily influenced the scoring of all Universal television programs in the late 1970’s. His scores used a traditional orchestral approach (influenced by his Jazz roots) using a 32 piece orchestra. He frequently conducted scores from the piano during recording sessions and he performed all the piano and keyboard solos in all of his scores. presents the original television soundtrack recording to THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING in loving memory of the great Joe Harnell. THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING is an Exclusive release, professionally mastered by Digital Outland, factory manufactured and limited to 1500 units.

THE BIONIC WOMAN: DOOMSDAY IS TOMORROW PART II / THE MARTIANS ARE COMING, THE MARTIANS featuring music composed and conducted by Joe Harnell is available for pre-orders at and starts shipping on March 31, 2009.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Follow Me
Music by John Barry
Harkit Records HRKCD 8303 (UK)
12 Tracks 29:50 mins

John Barry fans rejoice! Following the label's previous releases of the composer's Boom!, The Wrong Box and The Dove albums, Harkit Records has now come up with another gem in 1972's Follow Me, previously only available on a hard to find LP.
It's pretty much a one-themed score, but is an approach entirely suited to the film, and pretty soon that theme lodges itself firmly in the brain, so that it follows you (pun intended) everywhere you go.
The album commences with the said Main Title theme "Follow, Follow," featuring lush strings and Roz and John's dreamlike rendering of Don Black's lyrics. A light and almost playful variation opens "The Meeting," before continuing somewhat subdued on strings and flute. It's amazing the number of different variations Barry puts the theme through in subsequent tracks, so that it never becomes boring, but remains fresh and interesting at all times, with Roz and John also chiming in again here and there to provide the icing on a quite delicious cake.
There is a secondary theme to be heard, a somewhat melancholy melody for flute and strings, first heard in "Another Chance," but even this is really just something of a variant of the main theme; whilst the composer also provides some source music in the somewhat psychedelic "This Is How You Dance" and the smoky lounge of "Some Party."
Both main and secondary themes come together to provide a satisfying conclusion in the "End Title" cue.
As always, with Harkit's fine releases, the disc is accompanied by a quality booklet, with stills from the film, and extensive notes on film and score, cast profiles and a synopsis of the plot.
Go to for samples and to order your copy of this fine album.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Lesbian Vampire Killers
Music by Debbie Wiseman
Silva Screen SILCD1284 (UK)
20 Tracks 54:25 mins

Lesbian Vampire Killers is perhaps not a title one would not normally expect to find a Debbie Wiseman score attached to, but this comedy, starring Gavin & Stacey's James Corden and Matthew Holden, receives her usual high quality accompaniment, utilising the services of regular collaborators the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Hayley Westenra.
The soundtrack album, released by Silva Screen Records on 16th March, mercifully is predominantly score, with just one song by Showaddywaddy, "Under the Moon of Love," which takes me back to my youth.
The album gets under the way with Ms Westenra's solo voice leading into and then soaring over a bold and impressive orchestral/choral piece in "Centuries Ago..." From such an impressive opening, one would hardly expect to be watching a comedy, but then its a tried and trusted formula to add serious scoring to on screen comedy antics. The serious tone continues in the impressively brassy opening to "Adventure," though a more lightly comic feel is given to the remainder of the track. Ms Westenra returns to open the mysterious "At the Olde Mircalla Cottage." (wow, that name really takes me back to the days of Ingrid Pitt and Yutte Stensgaard!). "Have You Been Hanging Out With Vicars?" is in more menacing Gothic vein (pardon the pun!), which is followed by the incredibly long titled "I Know Something Really Wrong is Happening Here, But is There Any Chance We Can Ignore It," which is a mix of suspense and menace, leading to an action conclusion. "Vampires? Lesbian Vampires!" sees Ms Westenra reintroduce the main theme, which is again taken up by orchestra and choir, before more action writing concludes the track. After a low-key opening, there's more action in "Run You Bellends!" and also in the subsequent "You're a Virgin?" where it takes on a more heroic feel. "Give me One Last kiss" opens with sinewy-stringed menace, before taking on a lighter feel, which continues in the riotous "My Axe Girlfriend," complete with can-can music. "Full-On Lesbian Vampire Attack" actually starts out quite sweetly, but soon transforms into a menacing dark march, complete with choir, followed by some frantic chase music.
"The Dawn of the Red Moon," the lengthiest track on the album, opens ominously, but Ms Westenra then re-introduces the main theme, initially powerfully, then with just her elegant vocal carrying the cue. However, this is cut short by more choir-lead menace. "Jimmy, I Love You" offers a gorgeous romantic interlude, but the mood is soon broken by more relentless menace. "All Grown Up" tiptoes its way forward, but of course lands in trouble again with more menacing music taking over. A feeling of destiny opens "The Crypt of Carmilla," with the main theme returning in ceremonial glory. "Carmilla, the Vampire Queen" opens in relentless fashion, giving way to tense action writing, leading into the colourfully titled "Whores of F***ing Hades, Prepare for F***ing Death!" which actually opens quite serenely, before building tensely and fatefully, leading on to a reckoning in the title track, where the music emerges triumphant; the score tracks concluding sunnily, then again triumphantly, with "Lesbian Vampire Killers it is...Let's Ride!"
Whatever the project, one can usually count on Debbie Wiseman to deliver and this score is certainly no exception. Highly enjoyable stuff!
Order your copy of the CD, or download, from

Monday, March 09, 2009


Time After Time
Music by Miklos Rozsa
Film Score Monthly Vol.12 No.3
27 Tracks 54:07 mins

Another must-have release for all fans of great film music is FSM's new complete original recording of Miklos Rozsa's last great score for Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time, a fantasy in which H.G. Wells not only wrote The Time Machine, but also invented it, only for Jack The Ripper to use it to evade capture by travelling to the future - of course with Wells in hit pursuit. The excellent David Warner played The Ripper, with Malcolm McDowell perhaps a surprise choice as Wells, but acquitting himself very well in such a mannered and subdued role for him. His love interest was played by Mary Steenburgen, and their love spilled over into real life, with the couple marrying.
There was a soundtrack album at the time of the film's release but, as was often the custom of the time, it was a re-recording, with the great Hungarian composer conducting the Royal Philharmonic in a programme of just under 40 minutes, and the music was in places modified for the recording. Here, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the film, the complete score, as heard in the film, is finally released.
Probably the most memorable theme the composer wrote for the film is "The Time Machine Waltz," one of many fine waltz tunes he came up with over his lengthy career. The track however is used as source in the film and mixed low so its hard to hear. Interestingly, Meyer wanted to used Rozsa's Spellbound theme, but couldn't obtain the rights to the piece, so Rozsa came up with the new theme, and aren't we glad he did?! The piece is heard within the body of the score, with a piano version of the theme, of which only a brief snatch was heard in the film, included as a bonus track at the end.
But, leaving this theme behind, the score has much, much more to appreciate, including some of the most frantic and excited action music Rozsa ever composed for, the various chases involving Wells and The Ripper; a typically gorgeous love theme, which positively soars during the "Finale;" an adventurous, propulsive theme for the time machine; a plaintive oboe theme for what Wells initially thinks is his future Utopia, before the truth or modern-day life is revealed to him; and a music box-like theme (adapted by Rozsa from the Chants d'Auvergne) for The Ripper's watch. Among the many memorable cues, worth a special mention is the music for the taking off of the time machine, a ticking motif, which adds an even more propulsive feel the the "time machine theme," especially when swirling violins and urgent brass are added to the mix.
Accompanying the disc is the usual high-quality booklet, with stills from in front and behind the camera, notes on the film and its score, plus the always appreciated cue-by-cue guide, courtesy of Jeff Bond and Frank K. DeWald, and most valuably, the director's "Retrospective Thoughts" on the film.
Rozsa fans will be delighted by this release (I certainly am) and I have no hesitation in recommending it to all devotees of great orchestral film music. While you're at it, check out the movie, if you can: it's a delight.
Visit for further details, samples and of course to order your copy.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Music by Ryan Shore
MovieScore Media MMS09004
21 Tracks 48:17 mins

First a warning, for those of you who enjoyed the lighter fare of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (also released on the MovieScore Media label, you will find a very different Ryan Shore here.
Milcho Manchevski's new film Shadows is described as a "mysterious drama with thriller elements and, as such, Shore has provided a serious orchestral score, providing room for solos by woodwinds, strings and vocalist Janita.
The main theme presents an ethnic woodwind solo, backed by subtle strings, with Janita making her first contribution in the largely urgent "Appearance." Much of the remainder of the album is either on the mournful or tense and mysterious side, with Shore's use of strings at times reminding of the late great Bernard Herrmann. "Propelling," however provides a sunnier feel, after early dramatics, and the strings also sing out at the end of the initially sad "Police Phonecall." Janita provides an effective vocal refrain at the end of "Menka Hangs," and continues the good work in the following "Revelation," which gains in urgency as it continues, and also provides a light touch to "Journey."
The penultimate and lengthiest track on the album, "Burial" provides something of a conversation between Janita and cello, before blossoming gloriously with full orchestra and Janita's vocal; the main theme returning to close the score in "Lazar and Dad."
For more info and samples, visit, then
check for the CD at your regular soundtrack dealer, or download from Film Music Downloads or iTunes.


Dark Ride
Muic by Kostas Christides (Theme co-composed with Christopher Young)
BSX Records BSXCD 8848 (US)
12 Tracks 45:20 mins

This 2006 horror/thriller (with yet another brutal serial killer on the loose) features a largely unfamiliar cast, the exception being Tony Soprano's daughter Jamie-Lynn DiScala, and a score by another unfamiliar name to me, Greek composer Kostas Christides, a graduate of both the London College of Music and USC. Christides has worked as an orchestrator on a number of film scores by Christopher Young, including Wonder Boys, Swordfish, The Shipping News, The Core, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Spider-Man 3. For Dark Ride, Young co-composed the main theme, a mysterious fairground waltz, which one first gets to hear at the conclusion of the opening atmospheric track "Twin Carousel." The title track follows, introducing the theme in a fairly subdued presentation, with dark undertones. The theme also features strongly in "Kris to Offer Yang," seemingly reflecting on the human cost of psychopath Jonah's work, and of course returns to close the score in its grandest form at the conclusion of "Ode to Jonah."
Much of the remainder of the score consists of standard fare for this time of film, with plenty of mysterious and eerie atmospheric writing, along with ferocious and menacing action.
"La Valse Organum Eerieson" introduces another fairground piece, a haunting little waltz, which seems like an echo from the past; and yet another features in the beautiful, yet sad "Jonah's Legend."
The accompanying booklet provides a synopsis of the plot and notes on the composer. You can order this limited edition of just 1000 units direct from

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Music by Ed Lima and Duncan Watt
Sumthing Else SE-2043-2 (US)
10 Tracks 22:47 mins

This latest in the Brothers in Arms series of video games features music by Ed Lima and Duncan Watt, two names that are unfamiliar to me, performed by the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir Prague, under the baton of Adam Klemens.
When you first give the disc a spin, you may well feel short-changed at the brief running time, but there is a good reason for this and that is that, unlike many war games, the Brothers in Arms series does not set out to glorify combat, but instead to pay due respect and honour to the men who laid their lives on the lines to defeat the forces who sought to enslave us in World War II. Consequently, the battles are largely unscored, the music focusing on the relationships between the men, which, though they have their high points, of course often ended in tragedy.
The album commences with the noble and heroic "Main Theme," which is as good as any similarly styled piece that features in any number of war films and games. This is followed by a reprise of the theme in "The Story So Far," initially on solo piano, but quickly taken up by orchestra and choir again, giving way to a brief chorus of heavenly voices, before the military feel resumes; the track ending poignantly with piano returning. "Baker's Dozen" introduces us to lead character Matt Baker and his comrades, initially tentatively, then in flowing, heroic mode. "Double Time" is, as one would expect, an uptempo cue, with variations on the main theme, and is followed by "The First Bad news/Letters to Loved Ones," which is an appropriately largely tragic affair. "For Matthew" opens peacefully, with solo piano and heavenly choir giving a serene feel to the music, but gradually a feeling of menace sneaks in to close the track. A warm and noble version of the main theme opens "We Happy Fewer," but is interrupted by a menacing passage for timpani, before resuming. "Eindhoven/Roadblocks/Frankie's Choice" opens with a march for military band, which fades away; the track concluding with a suspenseful choral.
The penultimate track, "Those We Lost" opens forcefully, but gradually fades away, leading to "Farewell is Goodbye," the lengthiest track on the album, which opens reverently, before solo piano softly re-introduces the main theme, only to be interrupted by an eerie choral, which builds to a crescendo before the theme returns in full orchestral/choral fashion to close.
In conclusion, this is a fine military-styled score, which more than makes up for its brief running time.
The album's foldout booklet features full music credits, as well as the composers' notes on their score. Go to for more info on the label's releases, and/or to download the score.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Music by Gast Waltzing
MovieScore Media MMS09002
16 Tracks 42:47 mins

Surprisingly perhaps, this latest outing for action star Jean-Claude van Damme, is be hailed in some corners as the best film he has made for years. Also surprisingly, the man actually plays himself, hence the title.
The score is provided by Luxemburg's most famous film composer (the only one I have heard of, in any case) Gast Waltzing, whose score for George and the Dragon was also released by MovieScore Media and, like that enjoyable symphonic work, this is also a fine score, though very different; this time written in great late '60s/early '70s retro style, and very reminiscent of Lalo Schifrin at his peak, with hints of David Shire's "Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" and Elmer Bernstein's "McQ" (to name just two) thrown in.
The album gets off in fine swinging style with the brassy jazz of the "JVCD Theme," and continues with the menace of "Get Him" with its timpani-lead opening. "Family Card" is subdued and suspenseful; with the main theme returning in "Eh, Monsieur Van Damme," which again features some menacing timpani at its conclusion. A fabulous full-blown version of the theme appears in "JCVD Theme II," which is followed by the easy-going "State of Siege." Menacing percussion and brass feature in "Palindrome;" with the expectant "Negotiator" following; leading to some violent action in "Hoodheaded Fight/Gunshot." "Naked Parliament" is another easy-goer, with much tension following in "Hey Man!" "Discovered" is something of an oddity, an unaccompanied, expressive trumpet solo, which is followed by more tension in "Let's Go For It!"
There's a return to the menacing material of "Get Him" in "Premiere Liberation," followed by the largely suspenseful "Menace and Execution," which does however erupt with brassy cacophony at one point. The album closes with another straightforward rendition of the "JVCD Theme."
So, if you're in the mood for some nostalgia, and are a fan of the jazzy film music of Lalo Schifrin and his contemporaries from the '60s and '70s, you should check out this album, available on CD from the usual sources and for download from iTunes. Visit for more info and samples.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Music by Various Artists
EMI 268 7702 (UK)
25 Tracks

Director Nicolas Winding's film, released in UK cinemas on 13th March, details the events leading to the imprisonment of Charles Bronson, Britain's most notoriously violent criminal, who has been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement.
The soundtrack album draws on the classical and operatic repertoire, both familiar and less so, with works by the likes of Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, Delibes and Puccini. But the album, due out on 9th March, also features such diverse tracks as Eric Coates' famous "Dambusters March," as well as numbers by Pet Shop Boys, New Order and The Walker Brothers.
I have no running time, I'm afraid, as I was only sent a 15-track sampler, though the publicity lists 25.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


The Home of Dark Butterflies
Music by Panu Aaltio
MovieScore Media MMS09005
18 Tracks 43:21 mins

Another new name to make my listening acquaintance is Panu Aaltio, whose score for Finland's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of this year's Academy Awards has been released by MovieScore Media as a limited edition CD (available from the usual sources) and of course as an 1Tunes download.
Aaltio has worked on many of his better known compatriot Tuomas Kantelinen's recent scores, both as an assistant and orchestrator, but he also scored acclaimed 2008 Finnish horror film Sauna. Here, Matt Dunkley, a composer in his own right, and also a member of the MovieScore Media family, conducts a predominantly string orchestra, with solo piano, performed by Ritva Viitala-Aaltio and Milla Viljamaa, respectively, to the fore.
The disc gets underway with Aaltio's initially flowing-stringed "Main Title," which gives way to a softer touch as it continues. The piano first makes its presence felt in the lovely "Big Plans." "Fever and Nightmares" commences almost inaudibly, but builds to a forceful crescendo, before dying away again. The flowing, yet somewhat anguished piano and strings of "Unwelcome Visit" follows. After an uncertain start, the composer's beautiful main theme from "Big Plans" blossoms forth in "The Butterfly Project." The theme surfaces again, after a tentative start to "Boys Decide to Stay." There's a sad stillness to "Juhani's Great Loss," followed by a return to forceful, string writing in the driven "Memories in Water." "Jealous Christmas" is a largely low-key affair, though it eventually builds to another string-driven crescendo, before ending reflectively on piano. "Alone" is just as it sounds really, with piano always good for this mood. The feel continues into "The Farewell," though strings join to further tug at the heartstrings.
A welcome change of mood comes with the flowing piano of "Spring Arrives," giving way to perhaps the most satisfying yet rendering of the main theme in "Glimpse of Happiness." Aaltio's secondary theme from the second part of the "Main Title" music gets a good workout in "The Past Revealed," with strings taking it to new levels of intensity, before fading away. "We Can Be Just as Fragile" follows, initially very restrained, but finishing strongly on strings. The lonely piano returns again for "Point of No Return," the track taking a decidedly dark turn with the addition of strings, turning propulsive, before a tragic conclusion.
The penultimate track, "Forgiveness," sees a return to the main theme in all its passionate glory, also receiving a particularly propulsive ending, before the lonely piano strains of "Saying Goodbye" provide a low-key conclusion to the album.
This is a very capable dramatic score, with a very memorable main theme, and I certainly look forward to hearing more of Panu Aaltio's work in the future.
More info at