May 31st, 2010

Bones Redux (Star Trek)

"Bones, this man is choking!" "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor not a… oh!"

  • In one of the fastest turnarounds from truncated album to complete score,¹ Varèse Sarabande has just released the complete score to the 2009 Star Trek. Michael Giacchino has said that he was never satisfied with how the album played out, and I myself have lamented that there are huge chunks of the score missing and that the material that is left suffers from its absence. After viewing the film on Thanksgiving, I even made a short list of several cues that I would really like to have. Well, they're all going to be here very shortly.

    If you're wondering why I'm not disappointed that it wasn't Spartacus… I'm not for three reasons: I really liked what they did choose to release, I've waited decades for Spartacus and I now know it is coming, a few months more won't be that bad, and I'm not sure that Spartacus would fit comfortably on two discs (I could be wrong).

  • I've been on something of a Henry Mancini kick since I received Intrada's release of 99 and 44/100% Dead. This is the disc that Intrada had mentioned was going to be an approximation of an LP presentation followed by the remainder of the score. It was a perfect choice to premiere the idea because Mancini's albums are so iconic. Nick Redman does a great job of giving the "LP segment" that distinctive Mancini feel, but all of those dramatic moments can be heard too. While I had applauded Intrada earlier for the decision to do an upcoming release in this format, I have to say how perfect a choice of score this was to premiere this format. Nick Redman did a great job of mimicking the feel of a Mancini LP, and yet all the dramatic music is there to savor as well.

    Nice, clean mono transfers as well.

    As for the music… it's Mancini. Enough said.

  • I found a copy of the Rhino expanded version of Henry Mancini's Victor/Victoria in a used bin for practically nothing, so it came home with me. I had the GNP Crescendo edition, which expanded on the original LP by a few tracks, but the Rhino album presents the entire score including all of the source music. The thing of it is… the album is immensely improved by having all of that material there. For one thing, the themes in the orchestral score was, of course, based on the songs, so it is nice to hear those melodies developed in so many different ways. For another, this is Hank we're talking about here, a man who made a successful recording career because he could make a throwaway piece of source music in a film something at worst infectious and at best unforgettable.

¹ — Craig Armstrong's The Incredible Hulk doesn't count. Yes, it's the complete score, but no it doesn't qualify as a turnaround because there was no other version.