As most folks are aware, California has seen the fiery wrath of Mother Nature quite a bit lately. Thing are still ablaze in places but improvements in the weather have mercifully aided firefighting efforts. Activity at our end has been slowed due to power outages but people here are safe and things are getting back on track. I’ve just finished editing and mastering a major Disney title and the resulting 2-CD release will be one of our early releases for 2020. Another Disney release is scheduled for next month, alongside one from Paramount, albeit workloads at the major film studios - many of them now busy establishing streaming services or settling in from mergers and whatnot - are slowing down the final approval processes. As much as I’d like to imagine otherwise, getting sign-offs on the latest Intrada releases isn’t at the top of the studio to-do lists, nor even in the middle of them. Hopefully not at the bottom, however.
Our upcoming release of Dial M For Murder progresses rapidly. Simon Rhodes mixed everything and I’ve edited and mastered the album already. We’re amidst the liner note and artwork/packaging phase now. In my humble opinion this is one of the most vibrant and authentic re-recordings of a classic film score as has been so far released. In tandem with Simon’s peerless contributions in the booth of this amazing new venue in Glasgow, the credit goes to William T. Stromberg for his bravura work on the podium and all those fabulous players of the RSNO that brought Tiomkin’s florid music to life. So there’s plenty of cool stuff coming up ahead.
In time for Halloween and the new blu-ray release, Crawl. Max Aruj & Steffen Thum get their say with the score for the recent Paramount horror thriller. It’s lean and mean with little distractions. A fierce storm and killer alligators vs two people you actually care about. The score does triple duty. It makes you cringe at those killer gators, seek shelter from the terrifying storm and floods and - through everything - feel emotional about daughter and father trying to connect under the most intense of circumstances. In the canon of nature vs people thrillers, this is a good one. Orders for the CD begin shipping this Tuesday, October 22. Contents and sound samples will be available here tomorrow eve.
Those who appreciate Elmer Bernstein’s singular talents are in for a treat this week with Tuesday’s first ever release of the charming and dramatic score he wrote for The Amazing Mr. Blunden. The 1972 film, directed by famous British character actor Lionel Jeffries, involves an old cottage, new caretakers, two children who meet ghosts of yet another pair of children from 100 years earlier, murder and a terrible fire, all of which are terrific inspiration for Bernstein to fashion music anchored in charming simplicity and surrounded with vivid orchestral dramatics. This is an amazing one! Listen to samples and peruse the artwork and contents this coming Monday evening. Orders begin shipping on Tuesday.
Next week’s new CD releases from Intrada at last bring everyone - including myself - a lot of John Barry love. Over 100 minutes of original Barry music for Universal’s early Marvel superhero movie, Howard The Duck from executive producer George Lucas probably headlines for most listeners. Literally packed with Barry at his best, from riveting sci-fi action music to smoky shades of film noir, from beautifully gentle romantic moods to the best of James Bond. 3-CDs offer all of Barry’s music, most of it never-before-released, his numerous alternates and re-scored cues plus replacement music scored by Sylvester Levay, also previously unreleased. All of Thomas Dolby’s songs, performed in the movie by star Lea Thompson’s all-female band also appear, as does the premiere CD release of MCA’s original 40-minute album. A tough act to follow for Barry fans. But one of my own most-played John Barry albums in my youth was King Rat, the Bryan Forbes WWII prisoner of war film with George Segal, written by James Clavell. As part of our well-regarded series of Mainstream and Ava label CDs, mixed and mastered from the first generation master elements, we initially planned on just bringing out the best release of Barry’s classic re-recorded stereo Mainstream album. Upon delivery of the masters, we made the incredible discovery of finding, amongst the many rolls of tape, the long-lost and never-before-released masters for the actual soundtrack itself, a darker and moodier musical masterpiece. Barry’s film soundtrack is an entirely different experience from his opened-up and thematically-expanded Mainstream album. Both musical experiences are terrific. Noted John Barry authority Jon Burlingame supplies all the informative details in his notes for both the Duck and the King. Look for artwork, contents and sound samples here next Monday evening!