CHINA SYNDROME, THE
Special Collection Volume ISC 110
World premiere of Michael Small's tense, exciting (and never used) score for famous thriller! Limited to 1000 copies!
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Doug's Tech Talk
One of the best kept secrets in film music is out! World premiere release of never-used Michael Small score for highly-praised, then-timely thriller directed by James Bridges, starring Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon. Tense tale of nuclear plant disaster played incredibly well without any dramatic scoring, but original intent was to have Small add suspense, excitement to grim & eerie proceedings. Small offers terse ideas, keeps pace with pending disaster, then unleashes sensational action cue with "Meltdown!" sequence. While multi-track elements have vanished, Sony fortunately vaulted mono safety copies of entire sessions. Engineering slates and paperwork allowed us to recreate Small's original picture intent as well. Also included is "bonus" section of Small's original source music, used for various TV bumpers (Fonda & Douglas are TV reporters). Michael Small conducts. Intrada Special Collection release limited to 1000 copies!
Play all clips
01. The Plant (2:21)
02. News At 6:00 (1:41)
03. Ticking Time Bomb (7:48)
04. Hot Rods (3:08)
05. News At 11:00 (1:50)
06. Meltdown! (3:31)
07. The China Syndrome (4:18)
08. The Truth and Finale (5:28)
Bonus Tracks - Michael Small Source Music
09. Source Suite #1 (1:32)
10. Source Suite #2 (5:20)
Tech Talk From The CD Producer…
One of the best kept secrets in film music would have remained a secret if it weren’t for the personnel at Sony Pictures having discovered two rolls of ¼" scoring session masters for The China Syndrome nestled amongst various other sound elements for this most-famous of all nuclear nightmare movies.
While only mono mixdowns of the ultimately-unused Michael Small score were all that survived, they were complete and in very good condition, offering clean and crisp audio. No paperwork on the scoring sessions has survived but engineering slates on the session masters allowed us to accurately recreate the intentions of Small. Some additional "source" music, composed and conducted by Small appears at the end of the main program. These tracks appear to have been recorded as "utility" cues, designed for any number of scenes involving the TV news station during bulletins, station breaks and other possible broadcasting moments. As they are scored in styles that don’t compliment the suspense-filled background score itself, we felt they would be better suited to play out as final bonuses.
Now one of the best kept secrets in film music is out. Michael Small wrote a terrific score for a terrific film that ultimately proved quite exciting without any original scoring at all. Fortunately, for fans of this great composer, an ultra-rare opportunity to hear what might have been now becomes a reality.
Composed and Conducted by Michael Small.
Recorded on October 16 and 17, 1978, at The Burbank Studio, Burbank, California.
This soundtrack was produced in cooperation with the
American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.
Linda N. Rose
Robert L. Martin
Robert W. Daugherty
Louise DiTullio (Dissman)
James M. Kanter
ohn F. Ellis
Richard E. Perissi
Thomas M. Stevens
Lloyd E. Ulyate
John D. Berkman
John P. Guerin