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

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Music by Carter Burwell
Lakeshore Records (US)
12 Tracks 35:58 mins

Available from Lakeshore Records now, as a digital download, and on CD from October 19th, is Carter Burwell's score for Howl, which stars James Franco as Beat Generation chronicler Allen Ginsberg.
The opening track of the fairly brief album, "Supernatural Darkness," is filled with guitar-lead mysticism, and "I Saw the Best Minds" continues in that mode, building in wonderment before being carried along by piano and strings. "From Park to Pad to Bar to Bellevue" introduces a jazz rhythm to propel it steadily on its way, before taking a more driven turn. "Weeping in the Park" is a morose effort for string quartet, and mercifully quite brief, whereas "And Their Heads Shall Be Crowned" briefly returns us to that same feeling of wonderment, before being interrupted by harsh electric guitar work, which heralds an exhilarating climax. "My Mother" follows, and offers strings-lead sentiment, with piano taking the lead to conclude the track. "Now Denver is Lonesome For Her Heroes" is initially a sad affair, although the "wonderment" feel does return to close the track. "Prophecy" opens intimately on piano, before those harsh electric guitars return, with the track concluding purposefully to close. "Moloch!" takes a little while to get going, but a weaving cello theme then propels it forward, accompanied by piano.
"I'm With You in Rockland" is a base-driven piece, which continues into the penultimate track "Angelic Bombs," with "Holy" closing out the album in more guitars-lead wonderment.
This is an intimate, melodic little score - nothing too much to get very excited about, but a pleasant enough listen, if you like things more on the quiet side.


From Top Dollar PR:-


Award-winning Label to Distribute Soundtrack Albums including Darksiders(TM), Red
Faction® and Homefront franchises

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier label dedicated
to licensing and distributing video game soundtracks, today announced that it has
entered into a multiple-title licensing agreement with THQ Inc., a leading interactive
entertainment developer and publisher, to release the original soundtrack albums
for best-selling franchises including Darksiders(TM), Red Faction, Company of Heroes®
and MX vs. ATV, and upcoming titles including Homefront(TM). Under the terms of
the agreement, Sumthing Else Music Works will license THQ's catalog for distribution
as digital and/or CD format. Physical releases will be distributed by Sumthing Distribution
and digital releases will be available on Sumthing Digital,
Amazon MP3, iTunes®, and other digital music sites.

"We are very excited to partner with THQ in bringing their video game soundtracks
to the marketplace," said Andy Uterano, President of Sumthing Else Music Works.
"Our mission as a label is to support and enhance the lifestyle experience of the
gamer by offering the latest and greatest soundtracks so they can enjoy and revisit
their favorite gaming moments through the music.

"Great music, quite simply, elevates the gameplay experience," said Germaine Gioia,
Senior Vice President of Licensing and Merchandising. "This partnership underscores
our commitment to core gamers as we continue to offer new and exciting ways to engage
with our brands, be it merchandise, original programming, and, now, music."
Building on its reputation as the industry leader for licensing and distributing
video game soundtracks, the deal with THQ further expands Sumthing's growing list
of partnerships with the world's top video game developers and publishers and continues
its tradition as a distributor of high quality entertainment products for the gaming
consumer. The deal announced today with THQ includes the following titles:

Red Faction: Armageddon(TM)

Red Faction: Guerrilla(TM)


Company of Heroes®


MX vs. ATV(TM) Reflex(TM)

Frontlines: Fuel of War(TM)

The Outfit(TM)

Deadly Creatures(TM)

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video
game soundtracks, please visit and

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Per Il Gusto Di Uccidere (Bounty Killer)
Music by Nico Fidenco
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4137
35 Tracks 59:37 mins

The first of three new releases in the GDM Hillside Series, Tonino Valerii's 1966 western stars genre regulars Craig Hill, George Martin and Fernando Sancho and follows a bounty hunter who tracks stagecoaches, watches them robbed and then moves on the perpetrators to collect his reward.
The first twelve tracks on the album are in stereo, which sugggests they were prepared for an album release but, to the best of my knowledge, this never happened, though nine of them featured on an RCA collection of four of composer Fidenco's western scores. The remainder of the selections on this release feature the mono film tracks.
The music is familiar Italian Western fare, sporting one of my favourite genre songs, titled "The Yankee Fellow" on this album, but actually is "A Lanky Gunman," sung by the Wilder Brothers who also sang another of my favourites "Johnny Yuma." The song opens the album and is followed by "Titoli," which is a great instrumental version on the song, though I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni also feature prominently. Further variations on the theme can be found in "Lanky Fellow Il Bounty Killer," "Transporto Blindato," "La Sfida," "Omaha," and "Transporto Blindato (#2); all of which demonstrate the theme's great versatility.
The remainder of the stereo tracks are made up of the fast-flowing, but all-too brief "Il Carico D'Argento;" the somewhat mournful "L'Orgoglio di Lanky" and "Addio Lanky Fellow;" and the tense "La Sfida (#2); with a more laid-back reprise of the vocal closing things out.
As for the mono tracks, well, it should be said that there's a good deal of suspenseful stuff here, which is typical of the genre, and doesn't make for great listening away from the film; but there are of course versions of the themes featured in the stereo tracks, and also new material in the form of a fife and drum march theme, with "A Lanky Gunman" again closing out the programme.
The colourful accompanying booklet is lacking in information, but features plenty of poster artwork and stills from the film.
Order your copy of this very limited edition release of just units from, but you'd best hurry, as I'm sure it will quickly sell out.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Hell's Belles
Music by Les Baxter
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1149 (US)
17 Tracks 41:22 mins

The latest in La-La Land Records' recent line of Les Baxter releases is his score for the 1969 biker movie Hell's Belles, a kind of western with motor bikes, which apparently draws its plot from sources like the 1934 serial Law of the Wild and the classic oater Winchester '73. The film was one of the final entries in American International's biker gang series, with the most notable name in the cast perhaps being Angelique Pettyjohn, who will always be remembered for her turn in one the original Star Trek series episodes and who infamously later turned to porn to eke out a living when the straight roles dried up.
Whilst the film's plot may be seated in traditional western fare, Baxter's music draws more from the popularity of the spaghetti western at the time, mixing familiar sounds from those productions with contemporary pop stylings. This remastered recording offers a straight reissue of the original twelve LP tracks, issued at the time of the film's release, and adds a further five previously unreleased cues, which include alternate versions.
Baxter's main titles theme, "Wheels," is driven by a typically American pop beat, but features organ, harmonica, electric guitar and trumpet, instruments oft favoured by Italian western composers. The theme returns in "Chain Fight" and "Hogin' Machine."
"Groove" forsakes the spaghetti western sound for a funky American sound, as does "Dan's Theme," with its harmonica and chorus singing "sha-la-la-las;" the theme continuing into "Hot Wind," where it is eventually taken up by brass and electric guitar, and then appearing later in "Dan Again." The brassy, laid-back "Take It From Me" follows, and the penultimate track from the original album programme, is also a new, easy-going theme, "Scoobee Doo," with a male vocalist providing the appropriate "scoobee doos."
In addition to Baxter's score, Chuck Cowan sings the title song, featured on track 2, and "Travelin' Man," with a brief reprise of the latter for the final track off the original album.
Amongst the bonus material, there is a tender harmonica-lead love theme, heard in "Cathy Reminisces/Cathy Reminisces Part 2."
Accompanying the CD is the usual quality booklet, with Randall D. Larson's notes on the film and its music, including the invaluable cue-by-cue guide and an indication of the order the tracks appear in the film, their having been rearranged for the album, as was often the custom at the time - if indeed an album was issued at all- all accompanied by original colour and black & white pictures and artwork.
Limited to just 1200 units, you'd best get along to, where you can hear samples and order your copy of this breezy little album.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


So, after reviewing the recent Silva Screen box set, I got to thinking "what would my 100 Greatest Western Themes be." It is actually tougher than one might think to narrow it down to just 100 pieces, not all of them main themes I might add, and if I were to do the list again I would quite possibly change it, though not substantially. Like Silva, I have included Mexican-set films, but have not considered war films like The Alamo and Civil War stories. Anyway, this is my list, in no particular order, except that I have started it with the films represented in the box set, though with subtle changes:-

The Big Country - theme The Big Country - The Welcoming Big Jake - theme
Bonanza - theme Cahilll - theme The Comancheros - theme The Cowboys - overture
Dances with Wolves - John Dunbar A Fistful of Dollars - Titoli A Fistful of Dollars - theme
A Fistful of Dynamite - theme For a Few Dollars More - theme For a Few Dollars More - 60 Seconds to What? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly - theme The Good, the Bad & the Ugly - Ecstasy of Gold The Good, the Bad & the Ugly - The Trio Gunfight at the OK Corral - song
Guns for San Sebastian - love theme Hallelujah Trail - song High Chaparral - theme
High Noon - song How the West Was Won - song How the West Was Won - instrumental
Lonesome Dove - theme Lonesome Dove - Night Mares The Magnificent Seven - theme
The Magnificent Seven - After the Brawl Monte Walsh - The Good Times are Comin'
My Name is Nobody - The Wild Bunch My Name is Nobody - Jack Beauregard Nevada Smith - theme Night Passage - Follow the River Once Upon a Time in the West - Man with the Harmonica Once Upon a Time in the West - Jill's Theme The Professionals - Rigging the Pass Rawhide - song Red River - River Crossing The Scalphunters - theme Shane - theme She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - song Silverado - end titles Sons of Katie Elder - theme True Grit - Rooster & Le Boeuf/Warm Wrap-up True Grit - song Villa Rides - theme Wagon Train - theme Wild Rovers - song Wild Rovers - Bronco Bustin' How the West Was Won (TV series) - theme Rooster Cogburn - theme Joe Kidd - theme The Master Gunfighter - end titles 100 Rifles - theme Eagle's Wing - theme Mystic Warrior - theme Return of a Man Called Horse - theme Shalako - song Django - song Johnny Yuma - song Rio Conchos - theme Rio Lobo - theme Take a Hard Ride - theme Bandolero - theme Hour of the Gun - theme They Call Me Trinity - Lazy Cowboy (song) Navajo Joe - theme Navajo Joe - Demise of Barbara & Return of Joe A Pistol for Ringo - song A Professional Gun - theme The Big Gundown - song A Skyful of Stars for a Roof - theme The Hills Run Red - theme Custer of the West - theme Centennial - theme Ride the High Country - theme The Train Robbers - theme Chisum - song The Bravados - theme Run of the Arrow - The Purple Hills 3:10 To Yuma - song The Glory Guys - song El Dorado - song The Undefeated - theme Breakheart Pass - theme Tombstone - end titles Butch & Sundance: the Early Days - theme The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean - theme Arizona Colt - theme A Man, a Horse & a Gun - theme Seven Winchesters for a Massacre - song Indio Black - theme Vado L'Amazzo e Torno - theme Ammazzal Tutti e Torna Solo - theme Seven Dollars on the Red - theme Seven Dollars on the Red - A Man Must Fight One Silver Dollar - song Il Pistolero Dell'-Ava Maria - theme Sabata - song The Genius - Cavalcade for Elise F-Troop song

What do you think?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Waiting for Superman
Music by Christophe Beck
Lakeshore Records
21 Tracks 38:19 mins

Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth won him an Oscar, and now his latest documentary, Waiting For Superman, which has already won the Audience Award, U.S. Documentary, at the Sundance Film Festival, is on release in selected US theatres. The film is described as "a deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it affects our children."
The music for the film is written by Christophe Beck, who is known largely for his work on the Buffy The Vampire TV series and a host of comedies. Although his has written scores in most genres, I cannot recall a documentary among his recent assignments, so I was curious to hear this one.
Utilising largely live players, but obviously composed on a smaller scale than in features, Beck opens with "Juice, Shoes, Backpack," which lightly propels us into the film. Written in whimsical fashion, the, strings-driven, fast-moving "Presidential Address" follows, and then "The A thru G" ticks along reprising the opening theme on piano as it proceeds.
After a brief, downbeat pause for "Schools v Neighborhoods, "Anthony" again ticks along nicely, with "3 2 1 Tenure!" offering plucked-stringed sneakiness. A touch of sentiment follows in "Teacher of the Year," largely for solo piano; then the urgent "Firing Range," the urban "Jeffrey Canada," and "Rheebellion," with snare drum offering a slight martial feel to Beck's urban sound.
"Redwood City" has an expectant, somewhat ethereal quality, whilst "All About Options" returns us to the composer's urban keyboards from before. The propulsive "Human Assembly Line" follows, with electric guitar over a Latin-styled backing; with things slowing down for the guitar and piano-lead sentiment of "KIPP."
It's back to the urban feel with the increasingly propulsive "Educational Pipeline," before "Seed," which opens with solo acoustic guitar, before taking on a more hopeful, piano-lead feel, and acoustic guitar continues to lead in the more American-styled "Sound Barrier."
Most of the aforementioned tracks are quite brief, but there follow two lengthier offerings; firstly, "Roll Out," which starts quite sparely on piano, before strings enter, with acoustic guitar taking over from piano; then all of a sudden, an uptempo riff takes over. The second 4-minute-plus track is "The Lottery," which moves along somewhat nervously.
The penultimate track, "Aftermath" offers piano-lead sentiment, before the opening theme returns to close out the score as the title theme.
Mostly light and melodic, though with a moody urban feel at times, some might find it a little too fragmented, but this is often the nature of a documentary score, and this is a competent effort from Christophe Beck, and makes for an interesting side-step from his predominantly comedic output, though the score is not without its whimsical moments, as previously noted.
Already available as a digital download, the album will be released on CD from October 19th.

Friday, September 24, 2010


The Horde
Music by Christopher Lennertz
MovieScore Media MMS10016
24 Tracks 58:47 mins

The new zombie movie in town is different in that it is a French production. The score however is provided by an American, the dependable Christopher Lennertz (with additional music and co-production by Philip White). Used more to working with orchestra of late, Lennertz here resorts largely to synths and samples, but the sampling is of such quality as to sound pretty orchestral at times, with ethnic elements like duduk, zorna and Tuvan throat singing, as well as more conventional sounds and a good deal of percussion.
The album gets underway in largely menacing fashion with "Prologue," but a solitary airy female voice soon enters and wafts over the raminder of the track. The first action of the score follows in the electric guitars-propelled "The Beating," but is not sustained.
There is more action however, often savage, with eerie, sinewy strings, wailing electric guitars, choir, brass and driving percussion, in tracks like "First Attack and Escape," "Jo's Fight," "Headbanging," "C'est Finis," and "Mouthful of Grenade; as well as a good deal of mystery and suspense in cues like "Inside the Apartment," "Held Hostage," "Sound Behind the Doors," "In the Darkness," "Meeting Rene," and "Bola Rebels;" whilst "Rooftop Realization" offers choral weightiness;" "Badass Alliance," a cool groove; and "Guns," a subdued martial feel.
There are precious few moments of sentiment, but "The Mirror" offers a little, with delicate piano featured, as does "Oessem and Aurore," before turning ominous; and there's a mournful moment, with duduk, at the start of "Mutiny;" the sound also featuring, along with choir at the fateful climax of the initially heroic "Facing the Horde."
Got to for samples, a trailer, and for details as to how to order your copy of the soundtrack on CD, or as a digital download.


From Visions in Sound via Edwin Wendler:-

VISIONS IN SOUND celebrating 10 amazing years on the air (2000-2010) is a unique and award winning radio program featuring the soundtracks from movies, television and video games.
The Music Of Edwin Wendler
This week I feature scores of composer Edwin Wendler. Featured this week will be music from Christmas With A Capitol C, The Interior, Cheshire Adventures, Wrong Hollywood Number, Home The Horror Story and Azureus Rising. Included is a special interview with Edwin.
Join me at CKWR 98.5 - FM this Saturday, September 25th from 2:00-4:00 a.m (EASTERN TIME) 11:00pm(Friday)-1:00am(Saturday) (PACIFIC TIME) 6:00-8:00am (UTC/GMT)
Not in the CKWR listening area but still want to hear Visions In Sound (Saturday's at 2-4am)? Just visit CLICK "LISTEN LIVE"
Follow me on Facebook or The Visions In Sound Fan Page
You can also visit these sites to hear past shows
Composer Richard Band has the show I did with him on his website.
Composer Austin Wintory has the 10th Anniversary show "10 Scores That Changed The Industry" he co-hosted with me on his website. Check out

Also check out the medley of the 10 scores he arranged for the show available on its own:
Composer Benoit Grey has the show I did with him up on his website at select "Benoit in the News"
Composer Frederik Wiedman has the show I did with him up on his website.
Composer Austin Wintory has the show I did with him on his website. If you want to hear just the interview click
ALSO the roundtable discussion from my 9th anniversary show is also up on Austin's website
Composer Paul Cristo has the interview I did with him on his website at
Composer Justin R. Durban has the composer feature I did on his website at
Composer Mark Isham is featuring the show I did on him on his website at check the press section.
Composer Scott Glasgow is featuring the show I did with him about his score to Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles on his website click to hear the show.
Composers Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Heroes, Bionic Woman) have the interview I did with them on their Myspace site.
Would you like to see the soundtrack to "The Crow-Wicked Prayer" get an official release? Please sign the online petition at
Want to sample another show? Composer Bill Brown has my interview with him on his web site at In addition to the interview, Bill's music from Any Given Sunday, Ali, Trapped, Scorcher, Return To Castle Wolfenstein and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six - Rogue Spear were featured in the program including a couple of tracks that are not on Bill's site.
Composer Jeff Beal has my interview with him about his score to Nightmares and Dreamscapes available on his web site at
Attention Sci-Fi fans: My show celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Blade Runner is also available at
Check out this interview with composer Bruce Broughton by Bear McCreary
Check out my 350th show with interviews with composers Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis and Kristopher Carter at

Join me regularly at Visions In Sound every Saturday morning from 2:00a.m. until 4:00 a.m. (ET) for the pure listening enjoyment of the sounds of film and television music.
Robert Daniels, Host/Producer
Visions In Sound

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The sad news has reached me that British composer Geoffrey Burgon has died after a short illness at the age of 69. Burgon will be best remembered for his extensive work in British TV, composing scores for the likes of the Ivor Novello Award winning Brideshead Revisited; Doctor Who; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Chronicles of Narnia; Longitude; Cider with Rosie; Silent Witness; Martin Chuzzlewit; and the remake of The Forsyte Saga. He big screen assignments, though rare, include Monty Python's Life of Brian, Robin Hood, and The Dogs of War.
Away from the screen he composed works for full orchestra and soloists, ballet and even an opera.
He is survived by second wife Jacqueline and his three children.


From Costa Communications:-


Composer Behind Iron Man, Flash Forward and Clash of the Titans

Creates Modern Tier-1 Auditory Experience for Franchise Reboot

Soundtrack available Tuesday September 28th, 2010

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – September 22, 2010 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) has recruited award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi to create a deep and meaningful audio experience for the modern combat first-person shooter, Medal of Honor™. Known for his recent work on the Iron Man movie, the “Prison Break” television series and the remake of Clash of the Titans, Ramin Djawadi is developing a score to match the intense soldier’s story and Tier 1 experience told throughout Medal of Honor, which takes place in the current war in Afghanistan. Medal of Honor score album will be available on iTunes Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

"The new version of a landmark game always requires a next-level soundtrack," said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing. "But this 'reinvention' of Medal Of Honor demanded a composer who could create an epic score that brings the game into a whole new era. The intuition and skill that makes Ramin Djawadi one of Hollywood's top young talents in film scoring is exemplified in MoH. This is an incredibly intense score, and we're tremendously proud to have him in the EA family."

For the first time in its 11-year history, Medal of Honor leaves the World War II theatre and enters the modern day setting of war-torn Afghanistan told through the lens of a small band of fictional characters. Medal of Honor introduces players to the Tier 1 Operator, an elite warrior and relatively unknown instrument of the U.S. Military that operates under the National Command Authority, taking on missions no one else can handle. Composer Ramin Djawadi explains “The fact that it is modern day with various locations asked for a completely different approach both stylistically and thematically. The score is very wide spread from emotional orchestral to edgy modern action. Western and ethnic instruments are used to represent the different cultures.”

“Designing a score that defines both the scalpel-like quiet professionals that are the Tier 1 Operators and the bold execution of the sledge hammer big military, has been truly unlike any project I’ve had the opportunity to work on,” said Djawadi. “Between the fast paced action and the precise battle sequences, players will be kept on the edge of their seats the entire game.”

“Ramin Djawadi has brought an incredible amount of creativity and emotion to his score for Medal of Honor,” said Paul Lackey, audio director for Medal of Honor. “His take on traditional middle eastern music with the incorporation of modern twists including sequences of heavy electric guitar and bass have helped create a unique and engaging composition that will help set the tone for the reboot of Medal of Honor.”

Medal of Honor launches on October 12, 2010 in North America and October 15 in Europe for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PC. Follow the game on twitter at: or become a fan on Facebook at

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EATM, EA SPORTSTM, EA Mobile TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2009, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.2 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile, POGO and Medal of Honor are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The Town
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams & David Buckley
Silva Screen Records Cat. No.: 738572134327
16 Tracks 41 :59 mins

Already the buzz is pretty positive for Ben Affleck's new thriller, The Town, which opens in UK cinemas on Friday.
For the music, Harry Gregson-Williams reunites with David Buckley, with whom he has collaborated on a number of projects in recent years. Buckley's recent solo credits include The Forbidden Kingdom and From Paris With Love, whilst Gregson-Williams, who needs no introduction, worked on Affleck's directorial debut, the Oscar-nominated Gone Baby Gone.
Written in contemporary urban fashion, the composers mix electronics with the live players, opening the score with the lonely, atmospheric "Charlestown," which only really gets going right at the end. "Bank Attack" follows and mixes suspense with moments of rhythmic action, before strings enter to propel the getaway. "Doug Reflects" is well, reflective, with effective electric guitar solo. "FBI Show & Tell" has an oppressive pulse to it, a feeling that continues into "Oxycontin," before strings enter in sorrowful fashion, only picking up at the end. The reflective theme from before opens "Healing and Stealing," this time voiced by piano, but things quickly pick up and move rhythmically to a close. "Nuns with Guns" follows and returns us to the style of "Bank Attack." After the action, the music pauses for reflection again with the piano-lead sentiment of "The Necklace;" whilst the oppressive pulse returns vengefully in "The Wreath."
Largely rhythmic and suspenseful, "Cathedral of Boston," only comes to life at the very end, and the music ticks along in similar fashion throughout "Fenway" and "Who Called 911?" before becoming more purposeful. "Making the Switch" builds to a crescendo, before a burst of action leads to yet another purposeful build. "Sunny Days" again gives pause, with more solo piano and even offers a glimmer of hope at its close, with strings returning to propel "Leaving" towards the promise of better things, a promise that seems to be realised in the closing track "The Letter" where the reflective theme returns once more on piano and is then taken up by electric violin and orchestra to bring the score to a peaceful close.
Go to for samples and to order your copy on CD, or as a digital download.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Monster Hunter 3 (Tri)
Music by Yukko Miyama & Tadayo Shimakin
Sumthing Else SE-2083-2 (US)
Disc 1 - 29 Tracks 67:43 mins
Disc 2 - 23 Tracks 68:46 mins

Through their licensing agreement with Capcom, Sumthing Else Music has released the score for the latest in the popular Japanese fantasy adventure game series. There's a huge amount of music on this double-disc set for a score that is basically made up of two very distinct elements. Firstly, there is the dramatic orchestral underscore, recorded with the full and conventional forces of the FILMharmonic Orchestra in Prague, and secondly, the more intimate ethnic, often dance-styled music, realised by a variety of ethnic instruments and percussion . To be honest, the two styles do not sit comfortably together and I have to admit to preferring the former, with the happy, uptempo dance stuff becoming irritating after a while - especially the more comedic efforts.
So, I will concentrate here on the dramatic stuff, with the best of the orchestral writing on disc one, starting with the title theme, which opens disc one, an initially noble affair that quickly transforms into exciting action, before ending in sweeping heroism. "The Door to the Hunter Life" expands upon the heroic main theme, as it boldly rides forth. A number of the symphonic tracks that follow are too brief to comment on, but "Tremble of the Sea and Land/Lagiacrus" reprises the action section of the title track, whilst "Success!!!" is suitably triumphant, with a return to the noble heroism of the main theme. "Earth Sand and Firey Winds/Barroth" presents more propulsive action, incorporating electronic and ethnic elements within its fury. These elements continue in "Trao of the Muddy Stream/Gobul," which has a very percussive and somewhat menacing feel to it, and there's more to follow in "The Subzero White Knight/Barioth" and "Sound of the Great Mountain/Agnaktor."
By contrast, "The Lunar Abyss" has an impressive, grand scale to it, with bold brassy moments, whilst still incorporating ethnic elements. The following "Moonquake/Ceadeus" mixes an ethnic choral sound (courtesy of Kuko) with heavy percussion, somewhat in the style of Kenji Kawai, the choir continuing, with much lighter percussion, into "Everlasting Words." Disc one concludes with a grand reprise of the main theme in all its glory.
Disc two, which is largely given over to the ethnic style, but does include some nice, airy scenic tracks, opens with an electronic/percussive reprise of the main theme in "The Great Desert Post, Loc Lac," which gets a very ethnic treatment in "Hunter of the Violent Sands. The first orchestral appearance comes with track 6, "Inseparable Bond/Arena," but this is over almost as soon as it begins. However, "Give Your Back/Arena" quickly follows, and though synths largely substitute for orchestra, the furious percussion drives it nicely along.
The next orchestral track is the desperate struggle of "The Voracious Devil/Deviljho," which incorporates elements of the main theme as it strives for victory. We have to wait until track 20 until the next orchestral cue, the heroic determination of "Jhen that Rides the Sea of Sand," which again has to toil hard for victory. Immediately after, "Intercepting the Great Gong" continues the action in powerful, heroic style, again utilising the main theme. Closing Disc two is "Testament of a Hero/3(Tri) Version," which reprises the main theme in one last heroic arrangement.
In conclusion, there's a very nice single disc struggling to break out of this double-disc set, but that's just looking at it from an orchestra lover's standpoint. You may prefer the other style on display here and there's no denying there's some catchy, easy-going stuff to be heard if that's you bag.
The set comes with liner notes by Capcom's principal composers on the project, Yukko Miyama and Tadayo Shimakin, director Kaname Fujioka, and producer Ryozo Tujimoto, as well as thumbnail bios of all.
The Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) soundtrack is available from retailers, both on CD and as a digital download from, Amazon, or iTunes.

Monday, September 20, 2010


From Silva Screen Records:-

Doctor Who: Series 4 - The Specials with two bonus tracks and digital booklet is now available to pre-order exclusively from iTunes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


100 Greatest Western Themes
Music by Various Composers
Silva Screen Records SILCD 1325
Disc 1 - 17 Tracks 68:43 mins
Disc 2 - 16 Tracks 77:31 mins
Disc 3 - 15 Tracks 68:00 mins
Disc 4 - 19 Tracks 74:00 mins
Disc 5 - 16 Tracks 69:08 mins
Disc 6 - 17 Tracks 63:18 mins

Silva Screen are very careful not to call this collection The 100 Greatest Western Themes, because, though many of the inclusions on this weighty 6-disc collection are indeed among the greatest themes composed for the genre (Magnificent Seven, Big Country etc.), I can think of a good many more that are equally as great and that should certainly have been included ahead of non-genre efforts like The Alamo, Gettysburg, Gone With The Wind, Johnny Belinda, North and South, Quigley Down Under; Villa Rides and Viva Zapata (as well as a few more Mexico-set films that do admittedly involve Americans in their plots). I suppose Giant and Brokeback Mountain, two modern westerns, do borderline qualify, though I imagine that wherever Duke Wayne flew to on his demise, he will not be too happy with the inclusion of the latter alongside so many of his classic macho westerns. I should also say that "themes" isn't a very accurate description in any case, as a number of selections are suites, rather than just themes.
But before you veteran soundtrack collectors dismiss this release out of hand as just another collection of covers that may try, but never quite manage to sound quite like the original versions (though I should tell you that the difficult Morricone "dollars" scores are the closest thing I've heard yet), I should point out that, if you haven't already got any of the label's previous theme and composer collections, this is possibly the only place you are likely to hear rarities such as Cahill: United States Marshal, A Distant Trumpet, El Condor, The Hanging Tree, High Plains Drifter, The Jayhawkers, The Men From Shiloh, The Rare Breed, Rio Bravo, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Tension at Table Rock, The Young Land and The Young Riders.
Anther good reason to purchase this collection is that it is pretty reasonably priced for such a huge amount of music and, if nothing else, works very well as good, familiar background listening to keep the old toes tapping while you perform some mundane task or other. And, if you just can't abide covers, why not consider purchasing it as a gift for a friend or family member, who may not be a film music enthusiast, and therefore will not have the originals, but enjoys a good western. I would certainly put my own brother in this category, who is prone to enquire of anything vaguely familiar as he passes my workstation.
You can preview tracks at, where you can then order your copy of the box set on CD, or as a digital download, if you prefer.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


The Lone Gunmen/Harsh Realm
Music by Mark Snow
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1135 (US)
33 Tracks 77:42 mins

Although live instrumental scoring of TV shows never totally went away, the trend in recent years has been for studio-produced electronic music which, though functional, for me, seldom offers little away from the images it serves. Probably the greatest exponent of the art however is Mark Snow, who has worked away on his trusty Synclavier on all manner of shows, and often comes up with music that stands out from the crowd. His name of course became more widely known thanks to Chris Carter's The X-Files, principally for his unique and popular main theme. Carter went on to create X-Files spin-off The Lone Gunmen, and then 1999's Harsh Realm, both sadly failing to receive airings on UK terrestrial TV. I was particularly disappointed we didn't get the chance to see the Gunmen in action, as I always enjoyed their appearances in The X-Files.
La-La Land Records has done fans of the shows a big favour in releasing this album of selections from the scores, with Lone Gunmen taking up the first 18 tracks, with a further 15 tracks of Harsh Realm following.
Lone Gunmen is the most organic and enjoyable of the two scores, featuring, as it does, electric guitar alongside Snow's keyboards. The composer must have enjoyed composing the music for this show, which gave him more opportunity to write in a light-hearted manner, something he was able to do only rarely in The X-Files, and mostly this was when the Gunmen guested. The main theme is a cool, propulsive affair and opens with a Hendrix-styled take on the "Star-Spangled Banner," before proceeding in guitar-lead, percussive, semi-martial fashion. The theme returns a number of times throughout subsequent tracks, and is always welcome. All in all, there's plenty to keep one interested here, and many moods are covered, though the overall feeling remains light and quirky, with that cool underlying spy vibe never far away. An interesting keyboards-lead alternate take on the main theme closes the Lone Gunmen programme.
The final 15 tracks on this album feature music from Harsh Realm, which was based on a comic book and saw Scott Bairstow play a soldier in an apocalyptic military simulation. Interestingly, Snow makes use of processed fragments of human voices, including speeches by Mussolini, in his insistent main theme. Again, many moods are covered in subsequent tracks, with wistful, airy sentiment, mixed with nightmarish atmospheres, again using fragments of human voice, including the Vienna Boys' Choir, as well as martial-styled percussion. As with Lone Gunmen, Snow demonstrates the inventiveness that lifts him above many of his contemporaries in the field of home-produced scores, but overall this is a darker, less attractive listening experience than Gunmen, and has more in common with his X-Files scores. Again, an alternate version of the main theme concludes the Harsh Realm selections, this a much lengthier and more developed affair.
As always, a splendid booklet accompanies the disc, illustrated with colour stills from both series, and interestingly featuring notes by screenwriter Julie Kirgo, someone with an insider's view, being the sister of Nicholas Kirgo, session guitarist on The Lone Gunmen.
Go to for samples and to order your copy of this limited edition release of just 2000 units.

Friday, September 17, 2010


To order, visit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Least Among You
Music by Mark Kilian
Lakeshore Records (US)
23 Tracks 43:51 mins

Lakeshore Records has released, as a digital download only, Mark Kilian's (Tsotsi) score for the feature debut of writer/director Mark Young, The Least Among You, which is based on a true story and earned the film's star Cedric Sanders an NAACP Best Actor Award for his portrayal of wrongly convicted Richard Kelly, who was sent to an all-white seminary following the 1965 Watts riots. The film is available on DVD in the States.
For his score, Killian incorporates instruments from all over the world, combining them with gospel organ and choir, fiddle and more traditional western orchestra. Overall, the music has a typically southern gospel feel, opening soulfully in "Surrender" with wordless female vocal, piano and synth-strings. "Class Struggle" bubbles along, somewhat Thomas Newman-like, with things turning sorrowful in the violin-lead "What Did He Say?" There's a dose of good old-fashioned southern blues in the brief "Reading Petition," before things take a dark, atonal turn in "Broken and Healed," though a gospel choir offers redemption at the close. The following "Sam's Story" is somewhat spare, with guitar solo, before "Proclaim or Serve" offers percussion-based motivation.
Solo piano and strings, joined by choir offer a touch of down-home sentiment in "Time Alone," with "Dean's Montage" opening with a somewhat spiritual feel, complete with male vocal, before giving way to violin-lead sadness.
The remainder of the score continues largely in the same vein, with standout moments, for me, being the warm horn solo that leads "Welcome Speech;" the reprise of the "Time Alone" theme in "Leaving Footprints;" the tender oboe-lead opening of "Burning Cross" (before it builds to a hellish crescendo); the warm, violin-lead "Lending a Hand," and piano-lead close of "What Do You Dream About?" There is however an uncharacteristic rock groove to "To the Seminary," which sticks out like a sore thumb. The closing "Called to Act" ends the score with horn-lead nobility.
To conclude, there's nothing here to get excited about, and many of the tracks are quite brief, but if you like a touch of southern gospel-influenced sentimentality, you will probably find this music much to your liking.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Tamara Drewe
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Silva Screen Records Cat No: 738572134426
19 Tracks 48:16 mins

Stephen Frears' new romcom Tamara Drewe, which is based on the Posy Simmonds graphic novel and started life as a Guardian cartoon strip, that was in turn inspired by Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd, and stars Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper (phew!), is receiving plaudits from just about every critic in town.
The score for the film has been composed by Alexandre Desplat, who may have started his career in his native France, but is now truly an international composer.
He describes his score thusly: "I let the audience appreciate the moments of emotion...Leave space for the acting moments and the strong emotional moments to be by themselves, without pushing the music." The result is a score that is largely light and often energetic, starting with the propulsive "Opening Title," which introduces the oft-used main theme; with much use throughout of xylophone, glockenspiel, chimes or the like, as well as woodwinds, plucked strings and other percussion elements. Other tracks are a little more reserved, or laid-back, like "I Need a Dump;" the dreamy "Tamara;" the fairytale-like opening of "Mushrooms; the romantic "A Good Time;" and "Packing and Closing," with its sad violin solo. And of course, this being a comedy, there is a whimsicality to many of the cues and, just occasionally, as in "Alarm at Winnards" and the opening of "Dog and Cows," a degree of urgency.
Three songs, two by Swipe, the other presumably an on-screen performance by Dominic Cooper (who plays a musician) close the album but, ignoring these, Desplat's score is a delightful little effort that trips along melodically and makes for a light and pleasurable listening experience.
The Tamara Drewe album will be available on CD and as a digital download from 20th September. Get along to for samples and to order your copy.


From: "Perseverance Records"

Simon Boswell‘s
Jason and the Argonauts
Available for Pre-Order Now

Perseverance Records PRD 036
Will ship the first week of October 2010.

This beautiful score from the epic Hallmark miniseries is available
for the first time ever on CD. The album had been compiled by the
composer himself for the airing of the show. Sadly, or luckily for
us, plans for a CD release weren‘t pursued. It starts with the
magnificent „Jason‘s Theme“, which meanders through the album
and closes it on the last track. There is a wonderful „Love
Theme“, as well as a bold statement for „The Golden Fleece“. A
breathtaking score.

To order, click here:

01 Jason‘s Theme 2:24
02 Destiny / The Bull 9:45
03 Mother / Gathering Argonauts 2:42
04 Map of the Stars 5:46
05 The Edge of the World 3:50
06 Battle 5:40
07 Love Theme 0:55
08 The Truth 5:53
09 Prince to the People 5:26
10 Table of the Gods 4:44
11 A Thief‘s Tale 2:42
12 Death of the Dragon 0:58
13 The Golden Fleece 0:54
14 Pyre 1:11
15 Orpheus 1:44
16 The End of the Quest 3:19

New Projects
Coming in October:
Rain Man: The Original Score by Hans Zimmer

Coming Soon
Red Sonja by Ennio Morricone
Unforgettable by Christopher Young
Puppet Master: The Soundtrack Collection Box by Richard Band, Jeff
Walton, John Massari & Peter Bernstein

Saturday, September 11, 2010


From Top Dollar PR:-

2-CD Set Features Music Score by Award-Winning Composers

Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori


New York - September 10th, 2010 - Sumthing Else Music Works, through its licensing
relationship with Microsoft Game Studios, proudly presents Halo: Reach Original
Soundtrack featuring the original musical score from this year's most anticipated
video game Halo: Reach composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori. Created
by acclaimed developer Bungie Studios exclusively on Xbox 360, Halo: Reach is the
blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time. The Halo: Reach
Original Soundtrack will be available for digital download on Sumthing Digital and iTunes® to coincide with the game's release on September 14th.
The 2-disc CD set will be released on September 28th to retail outlets through Sumthing Else
Music Works

"Mike and I are pleased to be able to release the Soundtrack to Reach," said composer
Martin O'Donnell. "We've been composing and producing music for Bungie's Halo universe
since 1999 and this soundtrack represents the culmination of our efforts. Once again
we were able to work with other composers C Paul Johnson and Stan LePard, along
with recording much of this music at Studio X in Seattle with the Northwest Sinfonia
and Choir. This is about 2 hours' worth of music culled from the more than 5 hours
of music actually produced for the game itself. We hope everyone enjoys listening."

Halo: Reach represents the culmination of Bungie's 10 years of experience crafting
groundbreaking Halo games that have raised expectations for what can be achieved
in a video game. Experience the fateful moments that forged the Halolegend. This
is the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, and their final
stand on planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant
and Earth. This darker story is echoed by grittier visuals amid a backdrop of massive,
awe-inspiring environments. Characters, enemies, and environments are rendered in
amazing detail by an all-new engine designed to deliver epic-scale encounters against
the cunning and ruthless Covenant.

For more information on Halo: Reach please visit

For more information on Bungie Studios please visit

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video
game soundtracks, please visit and

Friday, September 10, 2010


Lawrence of Arabia
Music by Maurice Jarre
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Conducted by Nic Raine/Crouch End Festival Chorus (Choir Master: David Temple)
Tadlow Music TADLOW012
Disc 1 - 26 Tracks 77:34 mins
Disc 2 - 20 Tracks 71:04 mins

On Monday, Tadlow Music release their latest stunning production, the complete re-recording of Maurice Jarre's classic score for 1962's Lawrence of Arabia. True, the original soundtrack album has long been available and Tadlow's own James Fitzpatrick brought out a splendid expanded re-recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra on the Silva Screen label some 20 years ago, but this new recording with the City of Prague Philharmonic adds more than 20 minutes to even that version. Not only that, but every care was taken in the choice of venue and recording techniques to ensure that this sounded as true as possible to the original score recording and didn't come off sounding like a concert performance. This was achieved in spades and, not only that, but the City of Prague Philharmonic have seldom, if at all, performed better. All in all, I would unreservedly recommend you add this version to your collection.
However, if you are still not convinced, Fitzpatrick has pulled out all the stops with this release (which is dedicated to his late composer friend) by adding a second disc of his personal picks from Jarre's extensive catalogue, presenting premiere recordings of music that has been begging for release for many a year, including a "Symphonic Dance Suite" compiled from the score for 1979's The Magician of Lublin; a suite from 1968's The Fixer; the "Main Theme" from the '60s TV series Cimarron Strip; music from the 1989 children's Christmas fantasy Prancer; and the "End Credits" from the obscure 1987 film The Palanquin of Tears, 1990's Solar Crisis, 1980's Resurrection, and 1982's Firefox. I'd never even heard of The Palanquin of Tears, so it was great to acquaint myself with this, whilst The Magician of Lublin, The Fixer and Resurrection have long been favourites of mine. As for Firefox, whilst even Fitzpatrick has his doubts about the appropriateness of Jarre's score, the rousing end titles music cannot help but sweep one away.
Added to all of the above, there is also music from more familiar fare, like Ryan's Daughter, Sunshine, Dead Poets Society and Jesus of Nazareth, with a couple more pieces from Lawrence of Arabia thrown in; a new recording of the "Nocturne," which the late, renowned orchestrator Christopher Palmer virtually re-wrote for the 1980's recording; and a straight forward rendition of Kenneth J. Alford's "The Voice of the Guns," which of course featured so effectively alongside Jarre's score for the film.
Of course, with Tadlow's releases, one is always treated to a splendid accompanying booklet, and this is of course the case here; its 24 pages featuring Frank K. DeWald's scholarly notes on Lawrence and its music, including the always invaluable cue-by-cue guide; along with extensive producer's notes by Fitzpatrick, including his guide to his personal choices for disc two; all illustrated with black & white stills from both the original and the recording sessions for this album.
Get along to Tadlow's website at, where you can hear samples from the album, as well as watch footage from the recording sessions, and then order your copy of this magnificent release. Take my word for it, if you're a Maurice Jarre fan, or just of good film music in general, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


From Top Dollar PR:-


Original soundtrack features new dynamic themes, a Russian choir, Middle-Eastern instrumentation, and high-flying action and stealth music.

New York, September 8, 2010 - Award-winning composer and music producer Tom Salta,
who scored the action-packed orchestral music score for Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X®, the
first air-combat game set in the world-renowned Tom Clancy's video game universe,
returns to provide an all-new music soundtrack for the sequel, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X
2. Developed by Ubisoft's Bucharest studio, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 plunges fans
into an explosive environment where they can become elite aerial soldiers in control
of the world's most technologically advanced aircraft. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 is
now available in North America for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system
from Microsoft and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system. For more information

From Moscow to the Persian Gulf, from the Arctic Circle to the Indian Ocean, Salta's
dynamic original score for Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 reflects the game's new multinational
cinematic story narrative. It presents emotional, dynamic themes with rousing Russian
choral chants, cinematic Middle-Eastern instrumentals, pulse-pounding combat music,
and suspenseful covert ambience. The hybrid score was written, recorded and produced
by Tom Salta; it features a live choir, electric guitar and solo acoustic performances
with A-list musicians and vocalists from the New York Film Chorale.

"Tom Salta brought a new level of engagement to the story and gameplay of H.A.W.X
2 with this fantastic score," said Tom Clancy'sH.A.W.X 2 Narrative and Creative
Director Edward Douglas. "From large-scale orchestral and choral tracks to unexpected
intimate moments, he truly takes the player on an international journey with this
soundtrack. I would not want to work on another project without Tom helming the

Tom Salta is one of the most in-demand musical talents working in multimedia, including
film, television, advertising, and (most notably) video games. His previous credits
include the original scores for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter® (GRAW
was nominated for "Best Video Game Score" at the MTV Video Music Awards), the acclaimed
sequel (Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter® 2) and the live-action trailer
for Tom Clancy(TM)'s Ghost Recon Future Soldier(TM). Salta will deliver the keynote
address for GameSoundCon at Columbia University in New York on October 2−3,
2010. For more information on Tom Salta, visit


From Top Dollar PR:-


Transmedia music talent credits include original film scores for

LOS ANGELES, September 8th, 2010 - Four Bars Intertainment, the leading agency exclusively
representing A-List and award-winning composers for video games, today announced
the company will represent innovative composer duo tomandandy. Best known for their
edgy, sublime sonic landscapes for movies such as THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES, THE HILLS
HAVE EYES, THE STRANGERS, KILLING ZOE and pioneering soundtracks for numerous television
commercial campaigns, tomandandy recently created the original, hybrid genre score
for RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE 3D, the highly-anticipated fourth installment of the
popular film series based on the video games.

"I don't represent composers unless they have an absolute passion for video games,"
said Bob Rice, President of Four Bars Intertainment. "tomandandy love video games
and their music is unique and perfect for this medium. I am proud to have tomandandy
with Four Bars Intertainment and look forward to presenting their music to game
developers worldwide."

tomandandy commented, "We've always been fascinated by the narrative musical opportunities
that video game scoring provides. Bob is a legendary force, we are thrilled to
be working with him."

tomandandy are composers and producers in transmedia. While they are widely recognized
for their work in film scores and television commercials they have produced music
for most media including record projects, art installations, fashion shows and interactive
entertainment. tomandandy have collaborated with artists such as William Buroughs,
David Byrne, Oliver Stone, Roger Avary, Lou Reed, Wes Borland, La Fura dels Baus,
Jenny Holzer, Tom Sachs, William Gibson among others. For more information on tomandandy

Since 1992 Four Bars Intertainment has been the #1 source for award-winning composers
of music for video games. For more information visit

The names of companies and products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their
respective owners.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Resident Evil: Afterlife
Music by tomandandy
Milan Records (to be released 28th September)
20 Tracks

Recently, Top Dollar PR kindly sent me an advance CD of tomandandy's score for the latest entry in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife. I understand the score is to be released by Milan Records later this month, with the content being similar, though this advance disc has a suite tagged on at the end.
Writer/director Paul W. Anderson, who helmed the original Resident Evil film, returns for this latest effort, released in cinemas worldwide on Friday, so expect it to be top notch. As for the music, well, various composers have had a go at the Resident Evil movie sound world, and all have produced interesting, if largely unmemorable, music. Now it's the composing duo, tomandandy, who have a go, bringing their unique approach, heard previously in films like The Mothman Prophecies and Killing Zoe, to the film. They explain their approach to the score thusly: "we developed an aggressive palette of heavily distorted sounds and complex metric structures. At times the music is soft, gentle and airy, a fusion of organic sounds and electronics. Bracketing the music world with these two extremes: aggressive and distorted on one end and soft and dreamy on the other, we framed a palette, one with tremendous range." If that's a little over your head, my own take on the music is that it is, as one would expect, more effective in its action moments when driving rhythms provide a good deal of excitement. Mixed together are electronic elements, rock guitars, percussion and sampled voices, and it's often a powerful combination.
As you will know by now, I'm more of an orchestral score kind of guy, but have to admit that when this kind of hybrid music kicks ass as it often does here, I can be easily persuaded, and therefore, though I approached the disc with some trepidation, it didn't turn out to be the unsatisfactory listening experience I expected, and I can well see how this score could prove to be a powerful asset to the film. And the airy moments the composers describe are effective in providing some poignancy along the way.
If you're a Resident Evil fan, you'll no doubt be queueing up for the film on Friday and, if suitably inspired, you should be able to get a hold of the score from the 28th.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Beach Blanket Bingo
Music by Les Baxter
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1142 (US)
18 Tracks 47:41 mins

Following the recent release of Les Baxter's score for Panic in Year Zero, La_La Land Records continue their retrospective of the composer's music with his very different score for 1965's Beach Blanket Bingo. Baxter worked on all manner of pictures distributed by American International, probably most famously the Roger Corman adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories like Fall of the House of Usher. He also re-scored a number of Italian made pictures, like Goliath and the Barbarians (reissued recently by Intrada). But, in addition to all this (relatively) serious stuff, he was also responsible for the music to the wave (sic) of "beach party" pictures, commencing in 1963 with the film of the same name. All these films were variations on the same theme, with a more positive spin being given on the rock 'n' roll generation than in films like Rebel Without a Cause that came before. The clean-cut young leads at the centre were teen idol Frankie Avalon and former Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funnicello, but they were invariably backed by veteran players to provide something for the "grown-ups." In the case of Beach Blanket Bingo, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde and Harvey Lembeck were on hand - all of them familiar light comedic actors of the time, and there was even a cameo from Buster Keaton, no less.
Younger supporting members of the case included Linda Evans and Marta Kristen, both of whom were to make their mark in episodic television.
These films were just all a shade before my time. Oh, I was alive, just not aware of them at my tender age. I am However familiar with the style of music employed by Baxter, which is largely beat-driven pop/rock, a style that continued through all kinds of '60s film and TV fare. Songs were the dominant feature in the music for the "beach party" films, but unfortunately these cannot be presented here due to licensing problems (though their backing tracks are included as eight bonus tracks at the end of this disc), and Baxter's main theme is an instrumental arrangement of the film's title song, and this is used primarily in the more comedic moments. A secondary theme accompanies a number of featured skydiving sequences, and this is a suitably soaring affair, a little reminiscent of the composer's great theme for Master of the World. There is also a suitably ethereal love theme for Kristen's mermaid (yes, that's right, a mermaid - adding an element of fantasy to proceedings), and some suitably slapsticky moments, including a typically silent movie-styled piano accompaniment for the antics of Keaton.
It's all very light and charmingly nostalgic, though I must say that without the lyrics to sing along to (if that is your wont), the bonus backing tracks do begin to irritate after a while.
Accompanying the disc, is the usual high quality booklet, illustrated with colour and black and white stills, and featuring Randall D. Larson's detailed notes on both the film and its music, including the always invaluable cue-by-cue guide.
Limited to just 1200 units, you'd best get along to if you want to grab a copy. If you're not sure, take a listen to the clips provided before ordering.
I should also mention in closing that the label's Baxter fest continues with his rock 'n' roll score for AIP's biker flick Hell's Belles, released on the 14th of this month.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Jack Goes Boating
Music by Evan Lurie & Various Artists
Lakeshore Records (US)
13 Tracks

Released digitally tomorrow and on CD on the 14th of this month by Lakeshore Records, is the soundtrack album for Philip Symour Hoffman's directorial debut, Jack Goes Boating, an adaptation of Bob Glaudini's Off-Broadway play, in which Hoffman also takes the lead. The film enjoys a limited release in US theatres from the 17th.
The album largely consists of songs, some familiar, others not so, by a diverse range of artists, including Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, The Melodians, Cat Power, Goldfrapp, Darondo, Devotchka, Dave's True Story and Mel Torme - not many of whom I have heard of, but they might mean something to some of you out there. There's also a jazz instrumental by Bill Evans, whose classic take on the Spartacus Love Theme was of course the inspiration for the many diverse takes on the theme featured with the recent release of that classic score by Varese Sarabande.
Sadly, Jack Goes Boating's score composer Evan Lurie only features on two very brief tracks on the album; both pieces predominantly feature piano and are pretty sparse and cold.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


From 20th September, Silva Screen Records will once more make available Brad Fiedel's score for the best of the Terminator franchise, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The album, which has been unavailable for some time, has been remastered, and features notes by the composer.
As with the original Terminator movie, Fiedel's score for the film is electronically realised, utilising two Fairlight CMIs, enhanced with percussion. It's industrial feel perfectly suited the film, as did his original Terminator score. Having said this, I have always found both scores difficult to listen to away from the films. The composer's mix of music and sound effects are more an exercise in atmosphere, rather than something that can be enjoyed away from the film like many a conventional underscore. Having said this, Fiedel's Terminator theme is of course undoubtedly a classic - the one piece I never tire of listening to, and of course it gets pride of place on this album, in a new arrangement that includes sampled choir. Personally, I prefer the more stripped-down original version, but I suppose it's all a matter of taste.
The Terminator 2: Judgment Day album (cat. no. SILCD1337) will be available both on CD and as a digital download from

Friday, September 03, 2010


On 20th September, Silva Screen Records will release a massive 4 disc set entitled 100 Greatest American TV Themes. Available both on CD and as a digital download, the set revisits themes previously released on the label and its satellites, adding more, as well as bringing things right up to date with the addition of themes for more recent productions, like The Pacific, The Wire, John Adams, Dexter, Rome, C.S.I. New York, Desperate Housewives, House MD, Lost, NCIS, The O.C., CSI: Miami, 24, Band of Brothers, Scrubs, Six Feet Under, Smallville, CSI, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The West Wing, Sex And The City, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. All these latest offerings can be found on Disc 1, with the music proceeding chronologically right back to Fred Steiner's great Perry Mason theme from 1957 at the end of Disc 4.
Sure to be a great nostalgia trip, this great collection (catalogue no. SILED1319) will be available from

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Sorry it's been nearly a week since I last posted, but after the rain everything in the garden went wild and so, when not doing paid work, I have been spending every available hour doing battle with the grass, weeds and hedges. This situation is likely to continue for some days yet, so my postings will I'm afraid be intermittent. Just to say that I have more than ten releases waiting to cover, including a batch of new stuff from Silva Screen and another tremendous re-recording from Tadlow. So, keep checking in. In the meantime, here's some news just in:-

From Costa Communications:-


LOS ANGELES (September 2, 2010) – Composer Alex Wurman was awarded one of seven Emmys given to the HBO film “Temple Grandin” last Sunday in Los Angeles. The 62nd Prime Time Emmy Awards honored Wurman with the Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. In 2008 he was nominated in the same category for another HBO film, “Bernard and Doris.”

According to “Temple Grandin” director Mick Jackson, “Wurman’s score for ‘Temple Grandin’ is astonishing and truly original – both cosmic and intimate, full of boundless energy, yet movingly simple. An amazing achievement. This music really finds and gives voice to the true spirit of the movie.” “The film stars Claire Danes as a young woman who persevered while struggling with autism at a time when it was still quite unknown. The film chronicles Temple’s early diagnosis to her emergence as a woman with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior.

When it came to scoring "Temple Grandin," Wurman took the assignment and the challenges of Autism very personally, "My nephew is autistic and I’ve learned alot from him and my tireless sister. This film gave me the opportunity create music that conveys the frantic, smart and passionate mindset of Temple Grandin,” said Wurman.

During his career, Wurman has shown himself to be a truly versatile composer with a broad musical palette: the eerie, spare piano melodies of “Confessions of A Dangerous Mind,” the lush 85 piece orchestral chases of “Hollywood Homicide,” avant-heartland score to the Emmy nominated HBO film “Normal,” groovy ‘70’s themes for the outrageous comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” contemporary interpretations of French impressionism for “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” and soulful melodies combined with ethereal orchestrations for “March of the Penguins,” in which the music gives voice to the characters. His signature style is defined by an emphasis on harmony, rhythm and melody, not sound design.

After studying music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Alex Wurman moved to Los Angeles to pursue film music scoring. Independent films started coming his way, and soon he was working with directors such as John August, Doug Liman and Ron Shelton. Wurman’s resume reflects the quality and diversity of his talent. Wurman’s next film, “The Switch,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, will be released nationwide on August 20. He is also scoring the 2011 feature “The Convincer.”