James Fitzpatrick of Tadlow and Luc Van de Ven of Prometheus joined forces to produce a brand-new recording of the complete Basil Poledouris score for Conan the Barbarian! This is a dream come true, especially in light of their masterful re-creation of Lawrence of Arabia. The sound samples that can be heard on the Screen Archives sales page demonstrate that this is going to be another spot-on recording from Nic Raine and the crew.
Wow. Just… wow. Talk about what is best in life…
Kritzerland has announced a little known but excellent Richard Einhorn score for the thriller Dead of Winter. The film itself, an unofficial remake of My Name Is Julia Ross, is a nice wicked bit of fun with Mary Steenburgen and a very twisted Roddy McDowell. Einhorn's score is rather reminiscent of Michael Kamen's work on The Dead Zone, and promises to be another little gem unearthed by Bruce Kimmel.
This morning I was pleased to find a package in my mailbox from ehowton of several of his mixes! I've not had a chance to listen to them (t'was a busy day, what with the election and all), but it was a very nice surprise!
Speaking of things that have surprised me in the mail, glenniebun had sent me a copy of Flying High, his compilation of music from the first three seasons of Lost. While I have been familiar with Michael Giacchino's music since I was introduced to it by lehah several years ago, I'd not yet had a chance to sample much of his television work. I have still not seen a single episode of Lost, so I had no idea what to expect from the album. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find that the show had some very good writing in it, similar to his video game work, with strong thematic material. I'm grateful to glenniebun for introducing me to another facet of a composer whose work I admired. I'll be picking up the respective soundtrack albums shortly.
Lukas Kendall made a blog post "Seriously, Are There Too Many CDs?" addressing the current glut of film music releases in a depressed economy, and how the death of the CD format which this niche had formerly been insulated against is beginning to strain all of the labels. In the ensuing discussion, Lukas revealed that Film Score Monthly had quietly been licensing additional runs of supposedly 'limited' titles, and that this is how certain titles have managed to stay in print despite their apparent popularity. They were all originally licensed and announced as 3000 run editions, but the demand was there.
Logan's Run (6500 pressed)
Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vol 1 (6000 pressed)
Ice Station Zebra (3500 pressed)
Knights of the Round Table (3500 pressed)
Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vol 2 (5000 pressed)
Where Eagles Dare (6500 pressed)
Big Wednesday (I think 4000 pressed...we need to do an inventory count to be sure)
Man From U.N.C.L.E. Vol 3 (4000 pressed)
Mutiny on the Bounty (4500 pressed)
Kelly's Heroes (7500 pressed! who'da thunk?)
The Thing From Another World (4000 pressed)
CHiPs Vol 1 (3500)
Twilight Zone The Movie (5000)
So why did Lukas do this? To stay in business, to "keep the lights" on as he puts it. Popular titles like these carry oddball titles like the Maurice Jarre concert works. Lukas paid the fees and legally repressed the titles, he just didn't tell anybody he was doing so. He never amended the original "limited edition of 3,000 copies" print on the record sleeve, they just maintained their catalog status.
These discs got these repressings because they sell. FSM needed those sales to stay afloat, which I have a personal stake in. Furthermore, they are titles that people have had time to discover. I myself picked up Where Eagles Dare and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series long after their initial releases and I'm relatively certain that the ones I have were not of the original run. This meant that I paid the original price to the label that produced them instead of having to pony up obnoxious sums of cash in the after-market.
I have been pretty vocal on the FSM board about my support for Lukas' decision, and really the only argument I've seen against it is that it's false advertising. Maybe. It wasn't when the original runs were announced, though, and more importantly, nobody lost. He kept his company alive, and from the customer's perspective, new releases came out while popular titles stayed in print and nobody got raped on eBay for them. It is the very definition of victim-less.
I hate to be so blunt, but it does seem that there is a certain set of people who seem to like the idea that there are other people who don't have the stuff they have but want it, and it seems to me they're the ones that are always crying "foul" when a title gets rereleased by another label or repressed or something. I've never really enjoyed music any more or less just because there might be more than 2,999 people that own the same record as I do.
James Fitzpatrick has commented that the only way that Tadlow can fund their recordings is through the work they contract with for the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In the pre-Sean Parker world, major labels would be making such profits off of mainstream entertainers that they could build a durable catalog of other material at the same time. There was a time when we were getting new Herrmann and Rózsa recordings from the majors. Now, as music becomes less and less profitable, the banner falls niche labels whose very existence hinges on the success of their next release. I can't fault Lukas for doing what he needed to do, especially considering the way that he did it.