The fall season signals a ramping up of titles on CD, and since Xmas isn’t far off (hey, the décor will likely be up at midnight on October 31, before any candy is marked down), this is the time when you’re supposed to start thinking about buying things.
That isn’t hard when there’s good music coming out in horror, cult, spaghetti westerns, and vintage scores no one ever thought would be released.
That’s perhaps the biggest surprise of late: the dogged efforts of producers and indie labels actually getting results with major studio labels.
Intrada, for example, just released John Barry’s The Deep, which has been a Holy Grail for Barry fans, since the suite on the LP has been the only legal source of the score. The limited release is a 2-disc set, but as per the quirks of legal matters, the album master was owned by Universal, and the film score by Sony.
Even more weird is the loss of the original stereo masters. Intrada did a great job in mastering the album (stereo) and complete score (mono) for CD, but certainly the head-scratcher among fans is how the hell does a studio lose the masters, or feel a mono safety master is the only worthy archival format for a movie whose stereo soundtrack album sold millions?
One aspect that’s become somewhat of the norm is limited pressings, which may drive fans and collectors crazy.
I used to buy everything, and then realized some of the titles just weren’t that memorable, which is why a few just sat on the shelf, breeding dust. Approximately two and a half years ago I unloaded more than 500 CDs to a dealer, and while the per-CD sale price was low (maybe $4 per disc), the buyer was willing to take a lot of titles off of my hands because there was no way in the world they would ever sell.
That’s perhaps why labels have gone limited: collectors like the physical product (as, undoubtedly, do CD producers, since labels such as La-La Land Records make a point of printing fat booklets with liner notes and interview materials), but they are expensive to make.
Collectors also want something that can be added to their archive, which some may feel is a kind of private treasury in case an apocalypse wipes out all history of film music (or stereo masters. Ahem). If Fat Boy II or a rabid case of Flubovia decimates civilization, you may have the surviving proof that Henry Mancini’s Lifeforce was one of the best scores of 1985. (It was.)A limited run also reflects the realities that there are only so many people interested in buying Les Baxter’s Dunwich Horror, so a run of 10,000 is simply a waste, and there are no more delete bins to fish through in record stores in search of little gems.
Indie labels have had to think about the real size of the market, and sometimes take a gamble that a run of 1500 copies will provide room for the title to float around for a year or two, so every hard and potential fan has a chance to own the music (excepting Predator, which, in my eyes was still a bungled opportunity, since the 3000-copy run was gone in less than 36 hours).
For around a year or two, a few Italian labels such as GDM have started tiny runs of 500 copies, and I’ve no idea how that’s been working out. Are there only 500 people out there who would appreciate Ennio Morricone’s Tre nel mille (1971), a little known TV production? Label Cometa seems to think so, and yet one would think anything with “Morricone” on the package would sell more copies. (The score, by the way, doesn’t reflect the teleplay’s western/comedy elements, and is gorgeous.)
One thing that hasn’t changed is the unknown haze that surrounds European scores by recognizable composers for films few English collectors have ever heard of.
Good music doesn’t always filter past a country’s border, and that’s not unique to Italy; Poland has a history of superb composers in classical and jazz, for example, but very little gets distributed overseas.
Spain, because of the diligent effort by native (Quartet) and international labels (MovieScore Media, Milan), has a strong presence. Javier Navarette is simply amazing. No idea what his background is (Classical? Jazz? Zither?), but there’s great care in his writing.
In any event, enough blathering. I’ve pasted an edited version of the master list (see mondomark.com for the all-genre version) to reflect horror and cult, with links to the labels for further info.
The dates or rough release periods aren’t sometimes in stone, but in most cases these should be available from most online retailers (except Predator, which is gone. Harumph).
Chris’ Soundtrack Corner (Germany)
Papaya dei caraibi / Papaya: Love Goddess of the Cannibals (Stelvio Cipriani) – early September.
Image Entertainment (USA)
Thriller: Complete Series (DVD, featuring select isolated music & effects tracks of music by Jerry Goldsmith & Morton Stevens)
Kritzerland Records (USA)
Boy and the Pirates, The + Attack of the Puppet People suite (Albert Glasser)
Lakeshore Records (USA)
Vampires Suck (Christopher Lennertz) – see review in RM#105
La-La Land Records (USA)
Beach Blanket Bingo (Les Baxter)
Hell’s Bells (Les Baxter) – ltd. 1200 copies, September 14
Lone Gunman, The / Harsh Realm (Mark Snow) – ltd. 2000 copies
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Tomandandy) – September 28
MovieScore Media (Sweden)
Deadline (Carlos Jose Alvarez)
Horde, The (Christopher Lennertz)
Within (Jeff Toyne)
Perseverance Records (USA)
Jason and the Argonauts (Simon Boswell) – early October
Red Sonja (Ennio Morricone) – coming soon
Unforgettable (Christopher Young) – ltd. 1200 copies, Coming Soon
Quartet Records (Spain)
Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue / Horror Express – ltd. 500 copies, late September
Silva Screen (USA/UK)
Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy (Jacob Groth)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Brad Fiedel)
Wicker Man, The (Pauk Giovanni) – reissue, October 5
Varese Sarabande (USA)
Angelo Badalamenti: Music for Film and Television – October 12
Let Me In (Michael Giacchino) – October 5
Tru Blood: Season 2 (Nathan Barr) – September 14
Water Tower Records (USA)
Supernatural: Seasons 1-5 (Christopher Lennertz, Jay Gruska)
- MRH (2010)