GRAY LADY DOWN
Special Collection Volume ISC 114
Film Date: 1978
Jerry Fielding military action score! SOLD OUT!
Price: - (Sold Out)
Doug's Tech Talk
Big treat for Jerry Fielding fans! World premiere release of his military action score from David Greene submarine rescue movie, released by Universal, starring Charlton Heston, David Carradine, Christopher Reeve. Fielding anchors with throbbing "question & answer" rhythmic motif that trades between woodwinds, brass. Military fanfares for brass, percussion play exciting role, as do intense, aggressive action cues for disasters, dangerous rescue efforts. Complete score presented from pristine condition 1/2" three-track stereo session masters stored in Universal vaults. Dynamic score seemed like it would never see the light of day, until now! Nick Redman liner notes complete this exciting package. Jerry Fielding conducts.
Tech Talk From The Producer…
The scoring sessions for Gray Lady Down were recorded in four-track formats - left, center and
right - plus a separate synch pulse for matching with the picture. This was customary for scores
recorded at Universal. The masters, often made on mag stock, were then usually stored on ½”
15 i.p.s. tape, in the same track configuration. Happily these original masters, preserved in mint
condition, were available to us for the preparation of this CD.
Since the film was being presented in mono, and no soundtrack album was being prepared
at the time, it wasn’t cost effective to mix the elements into a proper two-channel stereo balance for listening enjoyment. As such, while the configuration does allow for true stereo mixing, the
audio results have strings favoring the left channel only, brass and woodwinds favoring the right
channel, and percussion relegated to the center. But these masters don’t merely sound like stems
designed for storage (as is sometimes the case) since the three-channels actually seem to conform
to the musical stylings of the composer. It is very possible that Fielding intended the discreet
separation of his orchestral timbres since much of his score finds strings commenting, brass and
woodwinds responding and percussion remaining active throughout. In any case, this is the way
the actual sessions were made, allowing us to mix the three channels down to two, presumably
for the first time ever.
The sonic quality is crisp and
clean with superb dynamics and
a solid punch. The entire score is
being presented, in stereo, in film
sequence. As is typical for film
productions, some cues in the
film were truncated or positioned
differently than what was originally
intended. For example, the dramatic
snare drum roll prior to the “End
Credits” was dropped from the
finished picture so it is being heard
here for the first time. For the
climactic rescue sequences, Fielding
wrote several tender passages for
violin over strings and percussion to
lend sympathy to characters portrayed by David Carradine and Ned Beatty, but numerous bars
were cut from their respective cues during post-production. These are also being heard here for
the first time ever.
The combination of the seventies’ disaster genre, military hardware, rescue heroics and Jerry
Fielding guarantees the soundtrack listener with excitement. Full steam ahead!
Composed and Conducted by Jerry Fielding.
Recorded on April 26-28, 1977, at Universal City Studios.
This soundtrack was produced in cooperation with the
American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.