Thursday 10 January 2013

Top 40 Soundtrack CD releases of 2012

Well, here I am again with another run down of what I personally consider to be the best film related album releases of the year just gone. I use the word film related because, as you’ll see if you read further, not all the coolest gems released this year were actually used in the movie they were intended for.

As you can guess from the fact that this yearly article seems to be gaining another ten spots every year I do it, the market is nearly saturated now with even more really great soundtrack restorations from some great little labels. This has been pretty hard on the wallets of even the most seasoned of collectors, let alone casual non-collector buyers like myself, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if the bottom drops out now, before too long. At least, that’s what I think may happen, anyway.

Whatever happens though, I know one thing... we’ve never had it so good in terms of great releases in a single year. In fact, we’ve had it so good that I’ve included a section right at the end here of “honourable mentions” where you will find the titles of almost another 40 of this years score releases just listed because, not ten years ago when releases were slightly slimmer than they have been the last few years, any or all of these could easily have made it into the top ten.

Finally, I’ve put a small section in right at the end for a couple of scores that really disappointed me and which I thought might have pushed the boat out a little further than they did. I feel these were wasted opportunities.

So, if you enjoy a nice piece of scoring, settle down to read my round up of what I consider to be the best releases in a year which seemed to have two main themes or biases running through it, as you’ll discover the further you read - I think 2012 will definitely be remembered in soundtrack circles as both the year of the “rejected score” (this year really reached its zenith in that respect when an album containing not one but two unused scores for The Last Hard Men, by Rosenman and Goldsmith, was released) and, of course, the year of Star Trek... enjoy.

40. The Expendables 2 by Brian Tyler (Silva Screen)
Okay, so The Expendables 2 (movie reviewed here) was a much more entertaining movie than the first film and, likewise, Brian Tyler’s score is at once more rhythmic and captivating than his previous effort for the franchise (although that was a rock solid and robust piece of scoring too). I’ve started getting into this composer much more over the last couple of years and this album release continues my relationship with his music in a positive light.

39. The Woman In Black by Marco Beltrami (Silva Screen)
Beltrami is another of the “younger guns” of modern film score composing that I’m willing to consider more as I get older. This is exactly the kind of atonal dominated score, pitched against some softer melodies, you would expect to get for a horror movie, but that’s okay because it’s competent, appropriate and does its job effectively. A good listen. My review of the film itself can be found here.

38. Dracula 3D by Claudio Simonetti (Deep Red)
It’s nice to have any new film from Dario Argento and, though I despair that this movie will never get a cinema release in this country, this doesn’t stop me from celebrating the fact that it’s, once again, composed by Goblin’s figurehead member Claudio Simonetti. It’s a great little score and will appeal to most fans of Simonetti’s work (but hey, I even liked his score for The Cardplayer, so take what I’m saying with a pinch of garlic, maybe). There’s what sounds like some nice theremin components (don’t know for sure if an actual theremin was used on this album but he’s certainly trying to make it sound like there was) and also a punchy, if somewhat obvious in its lyrical content, “Dracula song”. As an extra bonus, aside from the snazzy 3D lenticular cover, the CD has a free DVD of an old set of Simonetti videos of his Argento re-orchestrations and remixes (including the rap versions... yeah). On second thoughts... that last may not be much of a bonus after all.

37. The Sword And The Sorcerer by David Whitaker (BSX)
Well this was an interesting surprise. I have no other full scores (to my knowledge) by Hammer composer David Whitaker, so I thought I’d better grab this one as it’s a movie I remember from my teenage years. I nearly missed how good this one is the first time I played it because I was busy with something else and just didn’t pay it enough attention. However, I tried it again a month or two ago and realised how brilliant it is. This really is a rousing, old school score in the style of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Errol Flynn romps and listening to this rich album, your buckles will truly be swashed!

36. Alfred Hitchcock Hour Vol 3 by Various 
(Varese Sarabande Club)
Following on from the previous year’s releases of Bernard Herrmann scores for the TV show The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, this third volume release proves almost as essential with composers such as Lyn Murray, Lalo Schifrin and Leonard Rosenman contributing to scores in a variety of styles.

35. The Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer (Watertower)
For the third part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (movie reviewed here), James Newton Howard, co-composer of the previous two scores, dropped himself out of the mix and Zimmer goes it alone. This isn’t a bad score though and, while not as good as the music in the previous movie, certainly manages to follow in its footsteps in a way which is both appropriate to the story and in a way which ties the films together thematically. Zimmer seems to have been getting a lot better at movie music over the last five years or so and this one doesn’t let the side down.

34. The Bourne Legacy by James Newton Howard 
(Varese Sarabande)
And talking of James Newton Howard, his score for the new Bourne movie (reviewed here) is a nice match for the legacy left by John Powells scores from the earlier movies. Howard re-uses parts of Powell’s leitmotif as starting blocks for some of the scoring on this and it all makes for an exciting listen... perhaps a little better than the movie that inspired it.

33. The Amazing Spider-Man by James Horner (Sony Music Classical)
Okay, so I am still not sure what to make of Horner after all these years. I used to love him when he first started out, before I realised how much... um... borrowing was going on. And before each album essentially became a repeat of the last one. The new Spider-Man movie (reviewed here) surprised me in that not a lot of the music was familiar to me and I thought it a pretty groovy listen... even the bit which somehow jumped out at me as being from Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan but, oh well, that’s showbiz I guess.

32. Sherlock Series 1 - David Arnold and Michael Price (Silva Screen)
Arnold and Price’s scores for the two Sherlock TV series were both released within a month or so of each other at the start of 2012. This first album is a lot more engaging than the second, continuing all the main themes and variations that I wanted to hear (including the action music which was artfully alluded to in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen.  For reviews of the individual episodes of Sherlock, click on the index at the top right of this page and go to the TV section.

31. Haywire by David Holmes (Silva Screen)
David Holmes score for Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire (movie reviewed here) is a curious blend of elements. At once evocative of jazz and laid back at its own pace, it also simultaneously manages to be great action/chase music... which is a bizarre combination of mellow, soothing orchestration and pulse-pounding tension. I have no idea why this score and the subsequent album release works so well... it just does.

30. Planet Of The Apes by Danny Elfman 
(La La Land) Expanded 3 Disc Edition
Well, when everyone heard that the talented Danny Elfman would be taking on the “reimagining” of Planet Of The Apes, everybody (myself included) assumed it would be unmemorable in comparison to the original, groundbreaking Jerry Goldsmith score for the first on-screen incarnation. Everybody was wrong and this fully expanded three disc edition of the score really shows up just how great it was (although still not a patch on Jerry’s).

29. The Shadow by Jerry Goldsmith (Intrada) Expanded 2 Disc Edition
I’m always a sucker for a good bit of Goldsmith and his score for The Shadow, which utilises some electronics alongside the orchestra (like he did in such classic scores as Supergirl) is a haunting vision of 1930s New York. There’s a little bit of the feel and atmosphere of Elfman’s music to Burton’s first Batman movie lurking within the heart of this score, which is unsurprising for the time, but Goldsmith manages to still do his own thing and it’s a catchy, fun ride. This expanded edition makes it even catchier and even more fun!

28. It's Alive by Bernard Herrmann (Film Score Monthly)
Film Score Monthly finally makes available, Bernard Herrmann’s Moog-tinted score for the Larry Cohen classic about a killer baby with very big teeth and a healthy appetite. Weird and disturbing in Herrmann’s choice of orchestration, as you would expect from this particular artist. There is no way on earth you could ever mistake this kind of sound with any other composer. A very welcome addition to anybody’s soundtrack library.

27. Le Pistole Non Discutono 
(aka Pistols Don’t Argue aka Guns Don’t Argue) 
by Ennio Morricone (GDM)
Morricone’s score for the Spaghetti Western Guns Don’t Argue is a welcome disc for any lover of the “Morricone sound”. Most people will have the song from this score, Lonesome Billy, laying about on some Morricone compilation or other, but it’s good to finally have a decent edition of the score it came from available for a limited time.

26. The Sweeney by Lorne Balfe (Rhino)
I don’t exactly know who Lorne Balfe is but he certainly succeeds in out-Zimmering Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight Rises with this one. If you appreciate Zimmer’s Herrmannesque repeat motifs, layered with a jagged sense of gritty texture, then you’ll love what Balfe does here with this score. Very dark, very propulsive and, ultimately, very listenable. I’ll have to keep an ear out for this composer in the future. Movie reviewed here.

25. Dredd 3D by Paul Leonard-Morgan (Fontana)
Again, another composer I know nothing about, this score has one foot in the clean urban electronica of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and one foot in the gritty, disordered, audio sleaze of modern scoring. Sometimes there’s a main theme which kind of gets in the way when it’s used in the film itself (reviewed here) but it certainly makes for a nice listen. Just not as good a listen as the next entry...

24. Drokk: Music Inspired by Mega City One 
by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury (Invada)
Ok, so remember back in the intro where I said that one of the themes to this year’s soundtrack releases was rejected and unused scores? Well this album of electronic music, which can be found in the shelves of the larger record stores in their pop music section, is actually the rejected score for Dredd 3D (and it beat the actual score release to the movie, and the movie itself for that matter, by a few months). This one really is in full-on, early 80s John Carpenter mode, so if you’re a fan of those scores like The Fog, Dark Star and the aforementioned Escape From New York, then there’s a good chance that this could be your kind of thing. Nice album release decision.

23. Los Angeles, 1937 (Chinatown rejected score) by Philip Lambro (Perseverence)
Okay... so here we have quite a legendary rejected score... this time to Chinatown. Up until now, even the name of the composer who Goldsmith replaced was in some debate, until fairly recently. The label who put out the CD aren't even allowed to name the fact that it's the rejected score to Chinatown on the actual cover. This CD of the rejected score by Philip Lambro, which also includes a few of his other musical pieces, (which helped get him the gig) is a great piece of scoring and not, in tone, dissimilar to what Goldsmith ended up composing for some sequences. Some brilliant atonal sections too.

22. Die Hard With A Vengeance by Michael Kamen 
(La La Land) Expanded 2 Disc Edition
Finally we have a full and expanded release of a score that everyone bought back in the day, spent ages trying to find their favourite cues, and then got angry when said cues weren’t on the original release. This movie score, whether the composer liked it or not, is all about his brilliant orchestrations of the American Civil War song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and this 2 disc version of the album finally lets you hear those. La La Land had already released a greatly expanded version of the original Die Hard a year or two ago and Varese Sarabande Club had followed suit a couple of months before this release with a two disc, expanded edition of Die Hard 2: Die Harder (which almost made it into this list)... for Die Hard soundtrack fans, this was the year when John McClane Came Marching Home.

21. King Kong by John Barry 
(Film Score Monthly) Expanded 2 Disc Edition
So Film Score Monthly’s penultimate release  in the marketplace is an expanded, proper edition of John Barry’s score for the 1976 remake of King Kong. Excellent stuff here for Barry fans, full of sweeping, lush, romantic themes before Barry started overworking them (hey, that’s just my opinion, leave me alone). Could possibly have done without some of the native percussion music but, otherwise a sound listen.

20. Moonrise Kingdom by Alexander Desplat (Commercial Marketing)
If it wasn’t for the fact that this was a various artists compilation album with only 5 tracks full of Desplat’s gorgeous score on it (possibly all he composed for the movie which is reviewed here?) then this would undoubtedly have beat out the next entry and placed a lot higher. As it was this album has possibly the best cue of all year... the tone of the film leans heavily on an old, narrated recording of Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra and about halfway through the end credits, which is the final track on this album, Desplat’s brilliant cue The Heroic Weather gets a similar narrative deconstruction... and it’s brilliant.

19. John Carter by Michael Giacchino (Disney)
This film was not the absolute best adaptation there could be of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels A Princess Of Mars and The Gods Of Mars (the first two novels in his Barsoomian chronicles) but it was certainly a fun, well made, science fantasy epic in keeping with the spirit of the novels (if not the main protagonist) and it really didn’t deserve to flop like it did. However, because it did flop, I’m guessing a lot of people didn’t get to hear Giachino’s wonderful, lush score. This is the highest entry for any soundtrack to a brand new movie this year... which means that it gets my “Number One Score Of The Year Award”, if such a thing existed. Movie reviewed here. 

18. The Last Man On Earth by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter 
(Monstrous Movie Music)
One of the great modern soundtrack labels, Monstrous Movie Music are pretty much the only soundtrack label who specialise purely in releasing scores from old 1950s/60s US monster infested B-movies... and the film scoring community is all the richer for it. They actually had a number of great releases out this year (see my honourable mentions section... but they were The Brain From Planet Arous/Teenage Monster, Destination Moon, Kronos/The Cosmic Man, Missile To The Moon/Frankenstein's Daughter and Rocketship XM) and in any other year I can imagine they might have all been present in my top 40... there just wasn’t enough room to fit them all in this year. Sawtell and Shefter’s score to The Last Man On Earth, the first of four movie adaptations to date of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend, is a real ear opener for me. I usually like a bit of S and S composition but the rawness and power of some of these cues, especially those “backed up” with choral “overlays”, make for a very rich listen. They only pressed a thousand of these just recently, so miss it at your peril.  I review the film here. 

17. Star Trek: First Contact by Jerry and Joel Goldsmith 
(GNP Crescendo) Expanded edition
Well GNP Crescendo surprised everyone by jumping onto the “expanded Star Trek” bandwagon and releasing the first album they’ve released in years (then did it again several months later with an expanded edition of Star Trek: Generations). The late, great Jerry Goldsmith delivers a fantastic score for the second of The Next Generation movies (and that crew’s best movie), drawing on both his original Star Trek The Motion Picture theme (which had already become the standard by now for both crews) and also his Klingon music from the first and fifth Star Trek movies, but used this time as a more heroic theme to accompany Worf. He is aided in some cues by his son, Joel, who sadly died last year. Some really beautiful pieces here.

16. X2: X-Men United by John Ottman (La La Land) 2 Disc Expanded
Wow. This was a surprise. La La Land’s release of an expanded score to the second X-Men movie reminded me of why I’d wanted the soundtrack so much when the original album came out (which, as so often the case, neglected to include the best cues from the movie). This is a score which really benefits from an expansion as all the different elements seem to make more sense over a larger time frame... and it’s finally got that opening kick-ass White House invasion choral music everybody wanted the first time around.

15. The Fog by John Carpenter (Silva Screen)
John Carpenter’s classic, scary, haunting and occasionally jump-out-of-your-skin disturbing score to his best movie gets “another” 2 disc expansion but unlike the last time this happened, this one gets it right with the original scoring sessions finally on here, as well as the original album released. High pitched, almost subliminal electronics will grate away at your mind while the various percussion and effects will remind you why this picture scared you in the first place.

14. 7 Cadaveri Per Scotland Yard by Piero Piccioni (Quartet)
The composer of such groovy ass scores as The Tenth Victim and Le Streghe gets his score for a Paul Naschy movie released in what is only the second new score devoted to this label's “continuing” music for Paul Naschy movies, since they launched the idea with Howl Of The Devil. As you might expect, Piccioni’s score of sinister crime filtered through sexy sixties/seventies style jazz makes this one of the most fun releases of the year. Really glad I jumped on this one and also looking forward to acquiring a “review copy” of the film at some point from the usual suspects.

13. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by Cliff Eidelman 
(Intrada) 2 Disc Expanded
Back in 1991, when I first heard this score, I was really taken by it. It was sweeping and moody and I even didn’t mind the “homage” to Gustav Holst’s Mars, Bringer Of War nestled not so subtly within it’s brooding intensity. Cliff Eidelman would obviously be the next Johnny Williams... or so I thought. These days, I still havent heard anything else by him or knowingly seen any other movie he scored. What happened? This score is brilliant. And, of course, this new expanded edition is even more welcome.

12. Batman Forever by Elliot Goldenthal (La La Land) 2 Disc Expanded
What a terrible, terrible Batman movie this was (followed by an even worse sequel) and what a brilliant, amazing bit of scoring to accompany this bat-wreck. Goldenthal’s unusual orchestrations and metallic percussions twisting furiously around fast paced, hopped up jazz noodlings have always made this a winning soundtrack. This expanded edition extends the win for you.

11. Star Trek The Motion Picture by Jerry Goldsmith 
(La La Land) 3 Disc Expanded
Another Trek dream comes true as Goldsmith's original Star Trek score gets the full-on, deluxe expanded treatment from La La Land. Over three hours of music including the complete score as heard in the movie, the original album, outtakes, alternatives, oddities and, of course, a musical instrument called the “blaster beam” which is supposed to be able to make a woman spontaneously orgasm when she hears it for sustained lengths. One of the all-time greats sounds the best it ever has.

10. The Robe by Alfred Newman (La La Land) 2 Disc Expanded
I may not be the religious type but I’m a sucker for old school Hollywood biblical epics from time to time and this movie is curiously cynical in tone (see my review here). The music on this one, a new discovery for me, is lush and romantic and sounds suitably big for when you’re in the mood to blast that kind of stuff out yer speakers. Definitely one which will get a lot of plays over the years.

9. Wolfen (unused score) by Craig Safan (Intrada)
Less than a year after they finally released James Horner’s score for Wolfen on CD, Intrada made available Safan’s rejected score for the movie (a casualty of the project shifting through various executives hands, from what I can make out... they lost the director in the deal too). I’ve not actually seen this movie yet myself (yeah, I know, don’t worry... it’s in the pile) but as much as I liked Horner’s score for the finished product, I like Safan’s rejected score more. It’s a lot more subtle than Horner’s version and has a vague sense of dread and unease about it. I don’t know how appropriate each score is to the movie, but I’d recommend picking this one up before it’s too late if you are into horror movie music.

8. The Long Goodbye by Johnny Williams (Quartet) Expanded
This expanded edition of what is, essentially, the same song/tune treated in various ways, hasn’t been far from my ears since Quartet released it earlier in the year. It’s got to be one of the catchiest tunes (and sets of lyrics for that matter) going and it will stay in your head long after you finish playing it. An absolutely astonishing inclusion is an eight minute plus ad-lib rehearsal version with Clydie King constantly chatting and jumping in and missing her cues as she accompanies the piano. Absolutely riveting track which I can’t do without.

7. North By Northwest by Bernard Herrmann (Intrada)
Well, I certainly didn’t expect to be buying this album again for a fifth time. All time classic Herrmann score makes it’s remastered STEREO debut from the original sessions. One of those incessant bits of Herrmann repeat scores that grabs you by your collar and shakes you around a bit until you appreciate the composer’s genius. This sounds pretty amazing for a 1959 recording.

6. La Resa Dei Conti (The Big Gundown) by Ennio Morricone 
(GDM) Expanded and complete
Morricone’s classic Spaghetti Western score is expanded once again... which means I have to buy it all over again. At least, unlike the previous Japanese expansion, the end titles weren’t missed off this time. It’s all in stereo and the restored few seconds of unbelievable intro on Seconda Caccia is actually something I’m really pleased to have restored, even if those few seconds are the only new material on the album. Those opening guitars as “the mob” hunt down Cuchillo are just amazing. I ummed and ahhed about picking up what is my fourth or fifth edition of this score for months... but am now really pleased I did. One of the all time great Spaghetti Western scores. Read my review of the movie here. 

5. Casino Royale by Burt Bacharach 
(Quartet) 2 Disc Expanded
This (yet another) expanded edition of the 1967 comedy indulgence, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bond movies, is pretty much the definitive edition. It comes in a little box with a couple of beautiful booklets and the, pretty much, complete score to the movie this time around. If you want a fun listen... this is it.

4. Ben Hur: The Complete Collection by Miklos Rozsa 
(Film Score Monthly) Expanded 5 Disc Edition
Yeah, you read that right. It said five discs. Five! I thought the former, expanded 2 disc edition from Rhino was amazing enough (and complete). This brilliant remastered and represented edition of Rozsa’s classic score is an amazing achievement and it also contains, aside from the complete score, various out-takes and alternate versions plus some compilation cover albums from the time of the film’s release by some famous conductors which lend the score a different sound and actually, and I find this surprising myself, enrichen the whole Ben Hur musical experience. Set your stereo for ramming speed!

3. Conan The Barbarian by Basil Poledouris 
(Intrada) Expanded 3 disc edition
This is a truly incredible score and I’ll grudgingly admit that this is probably going to be the best presentation of it we’re going to get now. If you’ve never heard it before... it’s easily up there in the top five all time greatest scores, along with the likes of Ben Hur, Vertigo, The Empire Strikes Back and The Magnificent Seven. Any other time it would probably make my number one spot but my favourite track got kinda screwed up in the mastering (I reckon) and the other track I was desperate to hear got treated like source music and moved out of sequence. Still a welcome presentation, however.

2. Star Trek: The Original Series by various composers 
(La La Land) 15 Discs Complete Scores
Wow. Since this came out right at the end of the year (arrived over here a few days after Christmas) I’m still trying to work my way through these very familiar compositions by the likes of Alexander Courage and Gerald Fried (among many) which make up all the music and library cues from the original Star Trek TV show from the sixties. Some amazing stuff full of nostalgic deja vu. This should have been this years number one spot and any other year it probably would have been except... this next album was released.

1. Condorman by Henry Mancini (Intrada)
Blimey. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve personally been waiting for somebody, anybody, to release the score to Condorman. Oh wait, yes I can. I saw it at the cinema on its initial release and came out humming two of the main themes back in 1981. So that means I was waiting for this particular “Holy Grail” for 31 years. If you live anywhere in England and you heard a big, long echoey “Woohoooooo” lasting 5 minutes a few months ago, then that was me reading Intrada’s announcement of this release. Loads of fun and catchy comedy/action cues and easily the greatest score release of the year. Catch this one before it becomes extinct.

Honourable Mentions
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Henry Jackman
L'Assassino E' Al Telefono by Stelvio Cipriani
Battlestar Galactica Vols 3 and 4 by Stu Phillips
Black Sabbath (US score) by Les Baxter
Body Heat by John Barry
The Brain From Planet Arous/Teenage Monster by Walter Greene
Charade by Henry Mancini (expanded)
A Comedy Of Terrors by Les Baxter
Destination Moon by Leith Stevens
Die Hard 2: Die Harder by Michael Kamen (expanded)
Enemy Mine by Maurice Jarre
High Plains Drifter (including used and unused scores) by Dee Barton
The Hobbit by Howard Shore
I Married A Monster From Outer Space (various artists)
L'Isola Degli Uomini Pesce (Island Of The Fishmen) by Luciano Michelini
Kronos/The Cosmic Man by Sawtell and Shefter
King Kong Lives by John Scott
The Last Hard Men (rejected scores) by Leonard Rosenman and Jerry Goldsmith
The Masque Of The Red Death by David Lee
Men In Black 3 by Danny Elfman
Missile To The Moon/Frankenstein's Daughter by Nicholas Carras
Moon 44 by Joel Goldsmith
The Phantom by David Newman (expanded)
The Raven by Lucas Vidal
The Raven/An Evening Of Edgar Allan Poe by Les Baxter
Resident Evil: Retribution by TomandAndy
Rocketship XM by Ferde Grofé
Silent Hill: Revelation by Jeff Danna/Akira Yamaoka
Sinister by Christopher Young
Sherlock Series 2 by David Arnold and Michael Price
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home by Leonard Rosenman (expanded)
Star Trek VII: Generations by Dennis McArthy (expanded)
2 Days In The Valley (rejected score) by Jerry Goldsmith
War Of The Worlds/When Worlds Collide by Leith Stevens

My two biggest disappointments this year were Thomas Newman’s Skyfall and Marc Streitenfeld’s Prometheus. Tommy Newmans Skyfall is not a terrible Bond album, but it was hampered by not having a strong theme to build on and the percussion heavy style of the composer made it feel a little like “Snicket,  Lemony Snicket’s, Series Of Unremarkable Bond Moments”. It’s sure to grow on me over the years but I think the composer could have made it a bit more striking (which just goes to show how “political” the oscars are, when something like this gets a nomination for best score).

Ditto for Streitenfeld’s Prometheus. All the Alien movies, whether they were any good or not, had a truly great score. Heck, even the appalling Alien Vs Predator: Requiem had a brilliant Brian Tyler score on it (the only thing about that movie that was any good) and I would have expected a score which claims to have connective tissue with the Alien movies to be a lot stronger than this. Even the acquisition, rearrangement and placement of part of Goldsmith’s score for the original Alien made no sense within the context of its use. But I’ll give it another go later in the year.

My two reissue disappointments were the absolutely essential scores by John Barry for The Quiller Memorandum and Jerry Goldsmith for Chinatown. Both cornerstones of anyone’s soundtrack library, these reissues featured no new music or alternatives and were pretty much straight re-pressings. Which is a great shame as I suspect most of the target audience for these two particular titles already had them.

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