Soundtrack News & Reviews

This week Fox released their Alien Anthology Blu-ray set, which ports over 99.9% of the extras from the two prior sets, and adds an isolated score track for each film, making it the first time the complete scores for Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection have appeared on a commercial release.

The full score to Alien already appeared in the first DVD set, and featured a batch of unused cues. No word on whether the BRs contain those alternate cues, but DigitBit’s exhaustive review and comparison of extras of all prior sets states the ‘alternate production sounds’ found on the first Alien special edition DVD aren’t on the BR.

Given Jerry Goldsmith’s Alien is available on a non-limited 2-CD set from Intrada, and a 2-CD set of John Frizzell’s Alien Resurrection is due this month from La-La Land Records (albeit limited to 3500 copies), at least two of the scores are fully represented on CD.

Also of note to those in Region B land and those capable of playing Region B Blu-rays, neat British company Eureka Entertainment has released Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? on BR as part of their Masters of Cinema series.

Eureka’s collection features a number of titles not available anytime soon on BR in North America, and their Rock Hunter BR has more extras than the R1 DVD released by Fox. Among the goodies is an alternate music & effects track, with alternate main title music.

Also of note is yesterday’s report that the Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica is being axed after one season. SyFy will blow out the last episodes, and while they’ve another BG prequel series in the works – Blood and Chrome – I think they should grab some of the profits from the hugely successful BG series (it made a mint) and make one or however many feature-length movies to wrap up the Caprica storyline, or at least tie it to the new series.

Fans hate nothing more than being left in the cold with unresolved characters and stories they stuck with for months. At least there’s a solid soundtrack album of Bear McCreary’s music.

Lastly, here are some soundtrack reviews recently uploaded, with more to come, including FSM’s 5-disc monster, TV Omnibus: Volume One (1962-1976), which offers amazing treats for jazz fans.

Uploaded late last week are a pair of Les Baxter scores from La-La Land: the music and backing tracks from the bubble-headed Beach Blanket Bingo (1965); and the biker film Hell’s Belles (1969), featuring the original album and unreleased cues that offer more musical impressions of the belle belles in Hell’s Belles who may catfight now and then, but never actually ring hellish bells. (Ahem.)

Silva’s reissue of Brad Fiedel’s superb score for James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The CD’s release is somehow perfectly timed for the Governator’s recent TV appearances on the news as he comments on a contentious proposition with big buddy Cameron, who recently visited the Alberta oil sands and said ‘it’s a gift’ as long as we don’t fudge things up anymore.

Also from Silva (and wholly unrelated to Arnie & Jimmy) is The Town, sporting a more toned down electronic mélange by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley.

Lastly, from Intrada comes another rare Gil Melle score. Following the label’s recent release of Melle’s pioneering electronic score for The Andromeda Strain is The Organization, the third and final installment in the Virgil Tibbs saga on the big screen.

Melle wrote Andromeda that same year, and it’s amazing to hear the contrast between his all-electronic score and this large orchestral jazz work that really grooves. Not great is the CD’s running time, plus a few picky points that really aren’t Intrada’s fault (but no doubt they’re getting blamed for).

Melle’s writing is also featured on the FSM TV Omnibus, and I’ll have a review up this weekend.

Mark R. Hasan, Editor


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