Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Music is for Sharing

Probably the best/worst thing I discovered was the various music labels that specialize in rare and obscure film scores.  I've spent a little too much money tracking down soundtracks that I thought I'd never get my hands on.  And of course, I went into Trekkie nirvana a couple of years ago when I noticed that many of these record labels had begun producing the complete, uncut soundtracks to the various Star Trek films.

Thanks to these various labels, I currently have the uncut soundtracks for The Wrath of Khan through The Undiscovered Country.  I also managed to snag the one for the 2009 film.  The fact that I didn't have the uncut The Motion Picture was starting to bother me, though.  Without it, it was like I had a gaping hole in my collection.  I couldn't let the entire original series films be an incomplete set.

The original, uncut The Motion Picture actually came out way back in 1999, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film.  That was back before I had gotten as in to film scores as I currently am.  I saw it on the shelves at HMV back in the day, always thought about picking it up, but never did.  And now, here we are, 13 years later.  And I wanted it.  I wanted it bad.  Poking around online, I found I could still get from Amazon.com out of the States.  So I decided to go for it.

That caused some...frustration.  As you may recall from my recent blog entry about trying to pick up vacuum cleaner filters out of the States, Amazon.com switched to couriers instead of Canada Post in the wake of the postal strike last year.  And my last purchase from Amazon.com was returned to sender because I was never home to sign for the package.  This time around, though, I was clever.  I decided to have it shipped to work instead of home.  I'd be there to pick up the package, and all would be right.

The thing about a job like radio is it's tough to hide from people.  Doing the request show today, I got a call from the courier that he was in town, and he wanted to know if he should deliver it to my house or the station.  "The station," I said.  Because after all, that's the address I put on the label.  Courier said, "Great!  I'll be there this afternoon."  Crap.  I don't work in the afternoon!  The station is closed in the afternoon!  So much for clever.

I started fretting quite a bit, but it turned out to be for naught, because he did show up before I went home at 12.  We chatted for a bit, and I finally got my complete, uncut Star Trek: The Motion Picture!

And now at the very least, I can re-construct Star Trek: The Astral Symphony as a playlist on MP3 player.  Star Trek: The Astral Symphony was the official 25th anniversary album for Star Trek.  Released in 1991, it was a compilation of music from The Motion Picture through The Final Frontier.  I had it on cassette.  Pretty much wore it out listening to it non-stop throughout high school.  And now I can re-assemble it, all digitally re-mastered!

In a way, though, I regret buying it.  Mainly because, shortly after I placed my order, one of my obscure film score record labels announced that they'd be releasing a brand-new version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  Complete, uncut, and even containing the original, rejected score!

Yes, it's something that happens quite a bit, sadly.  The composer will sit down and write the music for the movie, the director will listen to the score, decide he wants to take things in a different direction, and order a new score be written.

They get into it a little bit on DVD bonus features for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  In the featurettes, director Robert Wise describes listening to Jerry Goldsmith's score, and it just wasn't sounding right to him.  Wise was having difficulty articulating what was wrong with it.  Finally, he blurted out, "There's no Star Trek theme!"  Goldsmith nodded in agreement.  His score was lacking a main theme.

So Goldsmith went back to his piano and wrote the theme we all know and love.

That's not all, I got.  Thank you, Amazon, for training me to buy just enough to qualify for free shipping.  I also finally broke down and bought an album from the Puppini Sisters.  I discovered their music during the Michael Buble Christmas special.  If you picked up Buble's Christmas album, the Puppini Sisters join him to do Jingle Bells.  I saw them on that special and instantly fell in love.  Helped that they sing good, too.

The Puppini Sisters are what Wikipedia describes as a "close harmony group."  Probably the best-known example of such a group is the Andrews Sisters from the 1940s.  (If you were raised on Disney like me, you'll probably know the Andrews Sisters as they contributed to music to a couple Disney shorts from that era.)  Their main gimmick is to take many well-known songs and then do them in that classic, retro, close harmony style.

I picked up their most recent album, Hollywood, in which they cover many classic songs from the Golden Age of musicals.

I'll probably pick up more of their stuff before all is said and done...seeking out more of their stuff on YouTube, I kind of fell in love with their rendition of the Blondie classic Heart of Glass.

Now, as it is such a nice day, time to load this into the MP3 player, head outside, and enjoy the sunshine!

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