Sunday, December 31, 2017

Catching up with Intrada (Part 2)

Picking up where I left off, we begin with an interesting bit of eighties electronica: Alan Silvestri's score for the Stephen King anthology film Cat's Eye ... a release that seems like it ought to be of special interest to fans riding the nostalgia wave of Stranger Things and It. It's also intriguing from the standpoint of coming between Romancing the Stone and Back to the Future in Silvestri's filmography; you can hear him working out some ideas that would be developed in the latter score. After this project, I worked on a CD containing two classic LPs: The Heroes of Telemark by Malcolm Arnold and Stagecoach by Jerry Goldsmith. The former is a realistic wartime thriller about a vital WWII espionage mission, and is classic Arnold. Stagecoach is perhaps the loveliest of Goldsmith's many western scores, and this is a pristine presentation of the beautiful album re-recording (the film tracks have been released separately, most recently by La-La Land Records).

Next up was The Monkey King, a modern fantasy epic from China scored by American composer Christopher Young. This is a fairly massive orchestral effort, of a type not seen too often these days, and fans of the composers work ought to be very pleased. This was followed by Unidentified Flying Oddball, a live-action Disney comedy from 1979 that was released in some markets as The Spaceman and King Arthur. The film is very loosely adapted from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and features a dynamic and very fun score by Ron Goodwin. I also had the pleasure of seeing an old favorite revisited with Intrada's deluxe expanded version of Laurence Rosenthal's masterpiece Clash of the Titans making its way to vinyl. A portion of my notes for the CD release were extracted and repurposed, with a few minor tweaks and fixes. Incidentally, the classic poster art by the Brothers Hildebrandt looks simply fantastic at LP scale!

After that came a magnificent 3-CD set containing scores from the eighties revival of The Twilight Zone. While the series itself never gained the notoriety of its ancestor, music supervisor Robert Drasnin gathered together a team of distinguished veterans and up-and-coming talents to provide numerous original scores. On this collection you will hear amazing work by Christopher Young, Basil Poledouris, Kenneth Wannberg, Dennis McCarthy, J.A.C. Redford, Craig Safan, Fred Steiner, Elliot Kaplan, Arthur Kempel and William Goldstein, in addition to the revamped theme song by Merl Saunders and The Grateful Dead! Very highly recommended. Finally (at least as far as this post is concerned) we have Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, another brilliant family adventure score from one of my favorite film composers, Bruce Broughton. This score stands proudly alongside his score to the original film (also released by Intrada) and surpasses it in some ways, in my opinion. It's always a treat to write about maestro Broughton's music, and this was no exception.

This concludes Part 2! The third and final round of Intrada catch-up will feature more Young and Poledouris, a heaping helping of David Newman, monumental works by Horner and Jarre, and a pair of classic scores by the great Quincy Jones. Stay tuned!

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