Jason Drury has become a regular contributor to the online radio station, Cinematic sounds radio, and has put together some interesting programmes under the banner of THE ARCHIVE, he is a passionate follower of film music both old and new.
1. Firstly. Why film music? And when did first become aware of music in movies?
I first realised a sort of interest in film music when I was as young as 7 years old. I was a fan of Thunderbirds and Barry Gary’s dramatic music really hit me even at that age. I remember starting to notice composer names Jerry Goldsmith and sub-consciously looking forward to the music. However, it was when I was 13 years old and seeing a showing of Close Encounters on television, I finally acknowledged to myself a clear awareness of music in movies which has increased more and more to this day.
2.What was your first record purchase. If it was not a soundtrack what was the first film music, you went out and paid for?
I cannot remember my first record purchase, I usually was given them for Christmas. I remember in 1984, receiving an Ultravox and a Duran Duran album. I really preferred comedy albums in those days. Jasper Carrott, Billy Connelly and Not the Nine O’clock News were regularly played. I guess that’s where my interest in satire came from.
I feel not long after I started looking around record shops for score albums. I remember buying Geoff Love and his Orchestra performing film and tv Sci-Fi Themes The first film score album I ever bought was a vinyl copy of James Horner’s score for Star trek III. Ironic really considering how much I have been consumed in his music recently.
The second was the Gremlins album with Goldsmith’s music on Side 2 and soon after Rambo First Blood Part 2.
3. Before the arrival of CDs how many soundtracks did you have in your collection on vinyl?
I had around 20-30 on vinyl and round 40 on cassette. It was only until I received the CD of Danny Elfman’s Batman score for Christmas that my CD collection kicked off. My first complete score was Rambo III in 1989.
4. What was your most expensive soundtrack purchase?
I think the Superman box set and The Ron Jones Project for that honour. They will be beaten in time by the La La Land Star Trek set. I am waiting for the right time and I am sure you will know when I have it as I am hoping to utilise the set on a future show I have in mind.
5. Do you still buy lps.and which do you prefer.lp.cd or download?
I have not brought vinyl in years. We had a turntable, but it was mainly used for my partner Mandy’s 78s collection. She has a far wider range of musical taste than I have. I mainly prefer to buy CD’s mainly for the inlays can give so much info on who was involved with the score and the booklets can give interesting info on the making of the score. I am increasingly using downloads to fill in the gaps. I noticed that some downloads have digital booklets which can be very useful.
6. Is there anything that you are looking for that maybe you have not been able to find
I am sure there still some ‘holy grail’ scores out there for me. Usually if I have missed out, it’s because I could not afford them at the time, and now I know now, that in most cases, they will get re-issued eventually. I just must be patient.
7. What composer would you say dominates your collection?
Over the years, Jerry Goldsmith has dominated my collection. James Horner has recently jumped into second position, and not far behind is John Williams. Goldsmith, Williams and Horner. Film music’s modern age ‘Holy Trinity’.
What is your opinion of the state of film music in recent years. compared to the 40.s 50. s 60.s and 70s?
We have a lot to thank the 70s and John Williams for. Star Wars and Close Encounters etc. If it wasn’t for Williams, traditional film music would not have had the renaissance in the 70s and 80s which spawned the emergence of composers such as James Horner or Alan Silvestri and brought back composers like Elmer Bernstein. I am sure I would not be doing this interview or producing film music radio shows like The Archive on Cinematic Sound Radio if it was not for John Williams and Star Wars.
Going forward to now, I feel sadly traditional film scoring is in decline. I love the sound of a huge orchestra performing melodic, symphonic film score, however, with the popularity of certain composers in the film industry, and directors preferring scores as background rumblings and not front and centre, these type of scores are becoming side-lined particularly for the blockbuster movies. That why we should support the John William’s, the James Newton Howard’s, the Michael Giacchino’s, the Alan Silvestri’s, the John Debney’s and others who use orchestras in their film scores in the traditional way pioneered all though years ago by Steiner and Korngold.
How do you store your CDs?
A mix of shelfs, cupboards and containers. The collection has grown more in recent years as I am always looking out for bargain buys. I must try to get them in some sort of order in time when I get the time.
And finally, if you were asked by a soundtrack label to choose ten soundtracks to be released for first time or re-released in a complete version what would be on your list?
Brainstorm- James Horner
Dracula- John Williams
Moonraker- John Barry
Airport 79: The Concorde- Lalo Schifrin (a forgotten gem)
Timeline- Jerry Goldsmith
Air Force One- Jerry Goldsmith (just don’t send a copy to Trump)
Troy (rejected score) – Gabriel Yared
Marnie- Bernard Herrmann
The Mummy – Jerry Goldsmith
The Mummy Returns- Alan Silvestri