Category Archives: up and coming releases and scoring assignments.

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW.

Soundtrack releases and up and coming releases of film music.

Kronos records have announced CD releases of three recordings that were previously only available on digital platforms, which for me is wonderful news as the more soundtracks that are released onto compact disc or even vinyl is only a good thing. For a few years now there have been several soundtracks that received digital releases only, which for collectors such as me who prefer to see physical recordings in their collection can be quite frustrating. But thanks to a handful of labels (to few now sadly) we are still seeing the CD release holding its head above water as it were, and with the resurgence of the popularity of the LP record things are on the up for old fogies like me.

So, when a label such as Kronos announces its new releases on CD and all have previously been available on digital platforms it does give hope to collectors of the physical format. And its encouraging too that the latest three releases from Kronos are all wonderful and atmospheric in their own unique way, which tells us that the art of film music too is alive and well. The three scores in question are Claret by ÓSCAR M LEANIZBARRUTIA, The Gravediggers Wife by ANDRE MATTHIAS and Suono Velati which is a compilation of music from documentaries as scored by MATTEO CREMOLINI. Each release is innovative and brilliantly thematic, with the individual composer flexing their creative muscles fashioning unique and affecting compositions. The Gravediggers Wife is I would say an interesting score because it is so subtle but still effective, the orchestration and instrumentation creating a sound and a style that is haunting. With some alluring guitar performances from Riccardo Rocchi.

Claret too is a wonderfully rich and spiritual sounding work which earned the composer much applause and recognition this year from the likes of IFMCA, and MMI. And Suono Velati the compilation of documentary music is just stunning.

All three are ready for pre order now from Kronos and should be released officially by September 2022. Reber Clark is a composer who I feel is somewhat overlooked, he has written so many great scores for both film, and radio, His House of the Gorgon particularly standing out as a homage to the music of both Hammer and AIP productions from yesteryear. His latest score is now available on Bandcamp and it is again a worthy addition to his ever growing canon.

Mystery Highway may only be a score of just three short cues, but the music is in my opinion superbly written and creates a mood that becomes uneasy and highly atmospheric, it is quite low key and subtle, but builds to a menacing and apprehensive peak. Again, I must remark that the music evokes the style of Jerry Goldsmith in places, its effectively bringing to fruition an unnerving and uncertain mood but also contains thematic qualities that are pleasing and rewarding. It’s a smouldering and slow burning work but hits all the right spots. Another great work from a composer who so deserves to be given a big box office production.

Other releases that are soon to be unleashed on the unsuspecting film music collecting community include Force to Fear by Matt Cannon, who has written an excellent synth based score that oozes an atmosphere of 1980’s retro, and is probably one of the best non symphonic scores to get a release this year thus far, this and Andrew Scott Bell’s amazing score for Psycho Storm Chaser are both available on Howlin’ Wolf records for order, the latter score is superbly rich and contains so many wonderfully affecting and gloriously thematic pieces throughout. Whilst you are ordering these two worthy soundtracks check out the abundance of excellence from the horror genre that are available at HWR. And bookmark their website as there are some very fine soundtracks in the works.

More Italian and American soundtracks receive a release and reissue from labels such as BEAT and Quartet. The scores for La Casa StregataMia Moglie e Una Strega are both available on one CD on BEAT,  music by Detto Mariano and a 50th Anniversary LP is now on sale from the label of the soundtrack for the Italian western They Still Call me Trinity, music by De Angelis.

THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY.
Trinity Stand Tall vocal.

As is an LP release of Piero Piccioni soundtrack from Io e Caterina and the Maestro’s Inghilterra Nuda, is now available from Quartet records on both LP and CD.

The Spanish soundtrack label have also released Ernest Gold’s score for Sam Peckinpah’s gritty WWll drama Cross of Iron which is a welcomed re-issue.

Also released from Quartet is a pair of soundtracks on one disc from composer Alberto Baldan Bembo, L’Amica di mia Madre and Ecco Lingua d’ Argento is available now as is another Bembo score in which he collaborates with his sibling and fellow composer Dario, on Velluto Nero. Quartet have also released on LP record.

Scorpio and Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia in celebration of what would have been Jerry Fielding’s 100th Birthday. Also on LP from Quartet is Woody Allen’s Bananas, which has a score by Marvin Hamlish.

Going back to the BEAT label and mention should be made of Acqua e Sepone which is a delightful score by composer Fabio Liberatori and is available on CD, with ltd LP pressings also coming soon.

Cinevox is one of the oldest soundtrack labels in Italy alongside the likes of CAM, they have this month re-issued Ennio Morricone’s western score for Occhio Alla Penna, which is a parody of everything that Morricone created for the Italian western genre. We hear segments of his dollar films, slices of Death Rides a Horse and elements of his They Call me Nobody and The Genius, its an entertaining score with this release boasting 14 bonus tracks.


At the time of the film’s release (1981), Cinevox Records released a 33 rpm disc (MDF 33/145) containing 15 selections. The first CD reissue was only released in Germany in 1990 (Alhambra A 8916), but the sound of that edition left much to be desired as the 33 rpm master had deteriorated. It was not until 2007 when the specialist label Digitmovies printed an expanded CD (CDDM071) using the 1981 Session master tapes considered lost forever. The stereo elements were in perfect condition. For this new CD edition, Cinevox Record label, we were able to find a first-generation master assembled for the 33 rpm by Ennio Morricone himself. At the end of the album program alternate versions of the main themes are included. For the new edition of this score Cinevox discovered two totally unreleased tracks, which is a bonus for fans of Maestro Ennio Morricone and actor Bud Spencer.  

Chris’ Soundtrack Corner is a label that has released a whole bunch of wonderful Italian scores and sells other Italian and International soundtrack releases on their web site. They have recently released the CD soundtrack to José María Forqué’s La Donna Della Calda Terra. This,1978 film was produced off of the back of the popularity of erotic cinema which was prominent in the 1970s, which was led by those Sylvia Kristel Emanuele movies. And La Donna Della Calda is amongst the many imitators of the Emanuelle series. The sensual and sensitive sounding score is the work of the much-underrated Italian Maestro Carlo Savina. In which the composer utilises a very different approach from what we were accustomed to from him. This is a first time release for the score and available now.

KEOMA inst.

Chris’ Soundtrack Corner have also re-released on a gatefold presentation LP Keoma by De Angelis, they are saying it’s the first official release of the score, but this is not so, Hexachord released Keoma on CD and LP,  back in 1993/94, which was an official release, and this is a reissue of Chris’ Soundtrack corners 2020 LP issue, which was itself a re-issue of the Hexachord release, so nothing new here apart from the art work.

in front of my desperation vocal.

Dragons Domain will release The Ratings Game, featuring music composed by David Spear from the 1984 romantic comedy directed by Danny DeVito,

Written by Jim Mulholland and Michael Barrie, and starring Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Gerrit Graham, Barry Corbin, Basil Hoffman, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, Ron Rifkin, Joe Santos and Vincent Schiavelli.

That’s it for now.

IT’S JUST A BUNCH OF HOCUS POCUS.

Let’s head back to 1993, and to a movie that I have to admit being one of my favourites, Hocus Pocus, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters a trio of Witches that were hanged by the nice folks in Salem after kidnapping and sucking the life out of a young girl.

Oh yes and they also turned her brother who attempted to rescue her from the clutches of the witches into a cat and cursed him to live forever. This Disney production was and remains a popular movie with kids of all ages. For many years now fans of the film have been begging Disney for a sequel, well the wait is now over, and Hocus Pocus 2 comes to Disney + on September 30th 2022. The three main characters return to the contemporary world to wreak havoc, run amuck and continue to suck the life out of innocent children, whilst at the same time raising more than a smile from any watching audience. Apart from being a great movie the original film also contained one of the best scores of the 1990,s which was the work of the highly talented American composer John Debney.

I am pleased to say that Mr. Debney returns along with the Sanderson Sisters for Hocus Pocus 2. So how do the Sanderson’s get to be resurrected once again after being despatched at the end of the original movie? Well, this time three young women accidentally bring them back to modern-day Salem and after doing so soon realise that they too must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from again going on a snatching rampage to give them the gift of youth.

The world may have been free of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah for nearly three decades, but they return and are ready to inflict even more fear and unease via their black magic and hap hazard antics. The new movie is directed by Anne Fletcher and written by Jen D’Angelo.

If you have not watched the original movie for a while and not returned to John Debney’s fantastic score for a few months, now is the time to watch and listen again, to get you ready for the return of the Witches. Stand by for magic, mayhem, and raucous goings on, in another dramatic, comedic and exciting instalment that pitches good against not so good. Cant wait……..

HOCUS POCUS 2, PREMIERES ON DISNEY + ON SEPTEMBER 30TH 2022.

THE TIME MACHINE (1960). A CLASSIC SCORE RE-ISSUED AND EXPANDED.

STEPPING BACK IN TIME WITH RUSSELL GARCIA.

Many of you like me remember the great movies of the 1950’s and the 1960’s and categorize many of these as classics with iconic scores by composers who went onto become household names, if you were a soundtrack collector that is. One composer who I remember because of just one score is Russell Garcia, who wrote the music for the George Pal movie The Time Machine. The movie which was produced and directed by George Pal was released in 1960. At first the film was entitled H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, because it was based upon the 1895 novella by the author, its, a movie that attracted the attention of many, and I can also remember seeing it in the cinema when it was re-released a few years after its initial run.

It’s a movie that also shows up on TV regularly and each time I just must sit and watch it from beginning to end. I think it was more the movie that I was firstly attracted to but as my interest in music for film grew, I discovered the music that Russell Garcia had penned for the film. I suppose it is also a good thing that my focus on the movie and its storyline was not distracted by the musical score, it was something that I took for granted because it was not only good and supportive of the movie but was an important and integral part of the unfolding and ever-changing storyline. They often say that if you notice the music in a movie then it is not really doing what it is supposed to. So, I guess that Garcia’s music for The Time Machine, was working with and for the movie. His rich and dramatic symphonic compositions were to become a regular listen for me when I finally added the soundtrack to my collection.

Russell Garcia.

In 1987 the composer recreated his atmospheric and breath-taking score when he conducted the Graunke Symphony Orchestra in Munich. The result of these sessions was a re-recording of the score. Now some thirty-five years on we are once again to be treated to this brilliant score, which has been superbly re-mastered from the original digital stereo elements, this latest edition of the score contains previously unreleased material. With Garcia’s suite from Atlantis, The Lost Continent included which he also re-recorded.

This stunning compact disc release is packaged in a jewel case and contains an informative and colourful twenty-page booklet. The booklet contains an interview with the composer and background information on the movie and its score written by the producer of the disc Arnold Leibovit. It also has attractive cover art which has been designed by Jim Titus.

It’s a limited-edition release and one that every film music fan should own and is available now. The Time Machine, the movie I think stands out as one of George Pal’s most accomplished pieces of cinema, and as a fantastic slice of science fiction in film full stop. The film is one that you just cannot stop watching, and stars Rod Taylor, as a Victorian scientist, who I have always assumed was H. G. Wells? He invents a machine that hurtles him through time to the far distant future world in the year 802,701 where we find that mankind has evolved into two species.

A gentle surface-dwelling, vegetarian, childlike, pacifist race called the Eloi, and the brutal, beastly, meat eating, Morlocks who live beneath the Earth and prey upon the weaker and more subdued race that live on the surface, feeding on them.

The movie also starred Yvette Mimieux and Alan Young, Young. I think was probably the most liked character in the story and we see the relationship between his character Filby and Rod Taylor’s time traveller develop and grow over the years and at various stages of the film, with Taylor moving back and forward in time experiencing the past and being shocked at times by the future of the earth.

Gene Warren and Tim Baar received the Oscar for Best Special Effects which was mainly due to the time-lapse photographic sequences, that effectively and convincingly show the world rapidly altering, most effectively via a tailor’s dummy in a shop window, where we see the fashions changing as the time traveller journeys to the future accompanied by Garcia’ music which has a slightly more comedic tone to it in places during this sequence.

The imagery and the sets are wonderful, and the direction is nothing short of brilliant. Russell Garcia’s score fuses the dramatic with the romantic and adds much to the overall mood and atmosphere of the film. The composer captures the frightening and brutal world of the Morlocks, but at the same time underlines the beautiful and for the most part carefree world of the Eloi.

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It also provides a strong and slightly darker musical persona for the Time Machine itself, which is driving as well as melodic. Overall, the music has to it full and rich sound that is lavish at key moments within the movie, with the composer utilising the string section to great effect. .

Garcia’s lilting theme for Filby is subtle and filled with melancholy and tenderness. Which conveys the warmth of the friendship between him and George (Rod Taylor’s character )throughout the movie.

Australian actor Rod Taylor as H George Wells .

The theme that the composer created for Weena, which is the Love theme from the score, is beautiful and gracious. Again the string section is utilised to maximum effect. Garcia’s driving and highly dramatic action cues for the movie are fairly typical of the style that many other composes employed when scoring films during this period, but work wonderfully punctuating and adding tense and nervous support to the time travellers violent encounters with the Morlocks.

Percussion is combined with rasping brass flourishes and swirling strings to underline the ferocious creatures as they attempt to kill the time traveller. The score is wonderfully expressive and sensitive, and I am pleased that this glorious music has at last been re-issued in its re-mastered and complete form. The soundtrack is available now from,  The Time Machine – Puppetoon Productions  Be quick though it is a limited edition.

COMING SOON.

THIS NOVEMBER 2021… ALL SCORE GERMANY PRESENTS.

PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTER

WINNETOU AND OLD FIREHAND.

Released back in 1966, Winnetou and Old Firehand aka. Thunder at the Border put an end to the Karl May film adaptions by Horst Wendlandt’s Rialto Film company. Alfred Vohrer (Perrak…), a “genius” according to legendary director Quentin Tarantino, brought the film away from comfy German Western towards a more violent form of Spaghetti Western. Critics and fans alike shared a rather ambivalent opinion at the time, with verdicts ranging from “explosive” to “the lowest point of the series”.

The soundtrack went down an altogether different path, too: Peter Thomas replaced Martin Böttcher in his role as “Winnetou composer” although it should remain the only Karl May movie with music by Peter Thomas. And no wonder: He was in high demand at the time, scoring Edgar Wallace thrillers as well as Jerry Cotton action flicks. It was not until 1980 that he returned to the franchise with his music to the TV series Mein Freund Winnetou.

The result was a soundtrack that can be seen as a missing link between Böttcher’s typical Karl May strings and the decidedly more experimental music of Italo Western from the likes of Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani and others.

This soundtrack has never before been released on vinyl. All the 42 (!) tracks, of course, were remastered.
The CD version even boasts three previously unreleased tracks that have been found in the vaults of the
Peter Thomas estate as well as a bonus track with the composer himself on piano where he is presenting
his first themes and ideas to the film‘s producer (recorded 1966 at Bavaria Tonstudios in Munich).


After Peter Thomas Sound Orchester – Bruce Lee: The Big Boss (CD/LP ASM 048, Allscore 2020), this release
marks the second Vinyl/CD instalment in a new Allscore series exclusively dedicated to legendary
composer Peter Thomas who died on May 17th, 2020 in Lugano.


Illustrations on the Gatefold cover as well as the CD digipack are once again courtesy of ingenious
Adrian Keindorf. The 180g vinyl is pressed in black and, limited to 300, in transparent turquoise.

This is a landmark release and a recording that every film music fan should own, the stunning art-work is alluring and fitting for such an interesting and innovative soundtrack, this is a classic score from a bygone age of film music, where films had themes that were memorable.  Available soon on vinyl and CD digipack.

ALSO ARRIVING ON NOVEMBER 26TH 2021, FROM ALL SCORE GERMANY.

 MONDO SANGUE

Rosso come la notte

Barbara, a taxidermist from Milan, travels to a tranquil village in the Black Forest area on a devoted museum assignment. Soon after her arrival she vanishes without a trace. Her sister sets out to find her and discovers not only a mysterious series of ill-defined murders, but also a dark secret revolving around her own persona…

Hell is closer that you think. With ROSSO COME LA NOTTE, MONDO SANGUE dare to approach the epitome of all Italian genres: GIALLO. With intense colouring, paranoid imagery and a phantasmagoric undertow, it not only started a whole new chapter of cinema history in the mid-sixties; but especially with its musical idiosyncrasies, GIALLO became the very essence of European cinema, making Italy the birthplace of the contemporary Horror genre. From track one, MONDO SANGUE enthral with a nightmarish, psychedelic aura, slowly building up a fascinating yet uncanny psycho drama at the gruesome end of which the protagonist is not the only one losing her mind…

Brimming with references to the Italian genre film, the band evokes a disturbing balance between cinematic instrumentals and catchy songs. And while ROSSO COME LA NOTTE will most certainly thrill and delight genre pros and cineastes, it’s also working as both an imaginary soundtrack and an intense sonic journey akin to legendary concept albums of the past.