Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Paul Hertzog releases new collection of songs "Waking The Dragon"

Paul Hertzog, the legendary composer behind the Bloodsport and Kickboxer scores has recently released a new collection of songs based on and written around that period of composition.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/paulhertzog2

http://www.paulhertzog.com/

Paul goes into detail on the story behind this release, so check out his website and find out more.


          Waking the Dragon was composed and recorded over a period of five years, beginning in 2009, using a somewhat ancient PC running Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.  I won’t get into all the complexities required to achieve this music on this system, but let us say the process was painstaking.  

            I see this recording as a tribute to the fans of the music I wrote for Bloodsport and Kickboxer, so I have alluded to the scores of those films with certain sounds and attitudes, though I add the disclaimer that all the music itself is completely new and original.  

            The opening track, “The Need,” begins with a bell-like sound produced on the Yamaha DX7 that I used throughout Bloodsport.  I continue using that sound both as a melody instrument and a sound effect across almost the entire CD.  The fighting tracks, “The Renewal” and “The Final Battle,” are underpinned with the same tuned triangle sounds from the Alesis HR-16 that I used in Kickboxer.  The pulsating ostinato sound underlying the final section of “The Final Battle” is the same DX7 sound that provides the main pulse of “Fight to Survive” along with many of the fight cues in Bloodsport. Several other DX7 sounds from both films make appearances here and there, along with some sounds from the Roland D50 that I used on Kickboxer.  Anything that sounds like an electric guitar is from my first sampling instrument, the Ensoniq Mirage (one of the first built – it created almost all of the guitar sounds on Bloodsport and Kickboxer and much of the percussion on those scores), though the Mirage gave out about halfway through this project.  (If you know anyone who can repair them, let me know.)  I also use a few sounds from the Proteus 1 that I used on Breathing Fire, but the bulk of the sounds on this CD were produced by the Emulator X, a software sampler that resides in a slightly more up-to-date PC than the one that runs Cakewalk, though it, too, is more or less obsolete.

            I am very fond of many of the Emulator X sounds, which include the main lead instrument, an Irish flute sample, virtually all of the drums and percussion, many of the sound effects, all of the strings, the basses, the harp, and too many others to name.  Obviously I had to record each sound separately, so I am ever so grateful for all the years I spent recording various songs one musician at a time.  

            Tunes that sound more in the pop vein, “The Renewal” and “Miles to Go” for example, I wrote directly into the computer.  The more complicated cues that required orchestration, such as “The Need,” “The Search,” “The Awakening,” and “The Fall of the Ancient Warrior,” I wrote out on score paper before entering into the computer so that I could get my voice leading into proper shape.  String parts especially need to appear visually on score paper for me to understand the relationships between the individual lines.

            Throughout the composing process, I tried to keep in mind the fans of my scores while also allowing my music to reflect my growth as a human being and musician since the late ’80s when I wrote my film music.  Also I have now the advantage of decades of technological improvement.  It amazes me how primitive my earlier music sounds as well as how much it cost to produce in traditional studios with engineers, musicians, tape costs, etc. etc. etc.  Now anyone with an ear can produce infinitely more sophisticated recordings in the home studio than I did back in the day in expensive, well-equipped studios.  And that is what we have here: a group of tunes written, performed, and engineered entirely by me in a corner of my home office.

Waking the dragon - a cautionary tale

             Perhaps each listener will provide his own scenario to go with this music.  Certainly the martial arts are involved.  Certainly conflict arises and is ultimately resolved.  Perhaps the story depicts a martial arts contest; I’ve done that before.  Perhaps the story involves a societal struggle that requires a hero to sort out the crooks and corrupt politicians.  Here is the story I imagined as I composed:

(1) “The Need” 
            Several years after the retirement of the last of the “dragons,” corruption, crime, and venality have overtaken the supposedly good intentions of the weak politicians who, full of the promise of empty words with their thieving fingers hidden, took control of the capitol after the so-called “final campaign.”  Now these politicians themselves have become mere puppets of the crime bosses, and fear rules both capitol and countryside.  The ordinary, law-abiding citizens are only too aware of their need for a hero.


(2) “The Search”
             A young man, whose mother claims he was fathered by the last dragon, has come of age without the teachings of his “father,” without even knowing his father, without even truly knowing if his mother was correct in naming his father.  But this young man has faith.  He “knows” in his heart that the dragon is his father, and he recognizes the need of his people for honor, justice, and peace. Seeing no alternative, the young man leaves for the countryside to seek the dragon and his assistance.  Will the old man be able to return to his former powers and glory?  Or will he train the youngster to take his place?  The young would-be hero does not know.  He only knows he must do something.


(3) “A Disturbance”
            Searching the depths of an ancient forest, last known dwelling place of the dragon, the young man disturbs the balance of nature, finally coming to the attention of a very old man.


(4) “The Awakening”
            The old man exudes calm patience.  He listens to the youngster.  His mind comes slowly to grips with the facts of modern times.  He realizes what his retirement without a replacement has cost the people, and he comes to the conclusion that he must engage with the enemies of peace and justice.


(5) “Meanwhile”
            Back in the capitol, the boss of all bosses struts, poses, and inflicts pain with impunity.


(6) “Not Yet Prepared”
            The old man is not restored to his former power, if he ever will be, and the young man has yet to receive training.  An encounter with the forces of darkness comes too soon, resulting in pain, damage, bewilderment.


(7) “Despair or Determination?”
            Both the ancient warrior and the youngster must battle despair and find the resolution to prepare to return to the battle.


(8) “The Renewal”
            The old man, who is indeed the retired dragon, trains himself and his new apprentice.  The dragon, it soon becomes apparent, will never reclaim his prior glory, but gradually the apprentice reveals his talent and acquires the dragon’s ancient skills.  Perhaps he is truly the heir of the ancient warrior.


(9) “The Fall of the Ancient Warrior”
            As all too often occurs, the mentor falls, ambushed by insidious trickery.


(10) “The Final Battle: The New Dragon Wakes”
            Facing the forces of evil without his mentor, the young apprentice falters at first, but discovers his inner strength in the midst of battle.  The new skills and raw talent, burnished in the crucible of battle, lead to triumph and the emergence of a new dragon, the mighty warrior who can restore peace and honor.


(11)  “Miles to Go”
            The new dragon journeys back to the capitol.  Caution accompanies victory as much struggle remains.



Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dumb and Dumber To: A Worthy Sequel With Music to Match

So, the Dumb and Dumber sequel by the Farrelly Brothers was released last month, and a few days ago in the UK, and overall it was a worthy sequel.

Some critics were saying this movie was "unfunny" or simply terrible, but the opposite is true. This is a movie made for the fans, with great jokes and some hilarious scenes thrown in to remind you of the first one.


The music in this was surprisingly well done, considering that we live in a completely different landscape of music, technology and culture. The 90s have long gone and today's cynical culture of social media and generally hating on everything meant this movie was never going to satisfy everyone, but for genuine fans it satisfies.
This movie has brief moments were songs from the first movie are played, giving a sense of familiarity to the first movie. Further on, there are several Empire of the Sun songs which work great in this movie, and give it a great memorable sound.


There are no songs in this movie which distract or remove you from the story, and that is the great thing about this movie/soundtrack. It works perfectly.

Would it have been great to have Todd Rundgren return? Probably, but i'm guessing the Farrelly brothers went for a mixture of old and relatively new and it works great.

A great movie with a great soundtrack. Watch it for yourself and don't listen to the critics!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo Discussion - Harold Faltermeyer

A very interesting video from the Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo has popped up, featuring a nice long discussion by Harold Faltermeyer about his music and film scoring career, touching on his most famous work such as Beverly Hills Cop, Fletch and Top Gun.

Faltermeyer discusses his early beginnings, and there is even a very rare video of him with his family performing and singing. A very rare video indeed.

A key highlight of this video is the discussions around his method of film scoring, and how some of his iconic scores were simply done by virtue of him being left alone to complete them.

The Running Man and Tango & Cash are scores which Harold completed when left alone to his creative freedom. The results are simply astounding, in particular his score for The Running Man, a true dystopian vision of the future which is more relevant now than ever.


Additional discussion is placed on his production work for popular artists such as Laura Branigan, and The Pet Shop Boys.

All in all, Faltermeyer says he is back in Hollywood and available to score movies and video games.
Let's hope the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop 4 movie producers have the guts to hire Faltermeyer and bring some much needed funky synth back to the movie world.


Monday, 25 August 2014

Kickboxer Complete Soundtrack & Score Release - Paul Hertzog - Perseverance Records

If you missed out on the previous Soundtrack score release by Perseverance Records a couple of years back, then you can grab this new updated version which now includes all the songs too.

The original release a couple of years back only featured the complete Paul Hertzog score, but this new release now features the entire collection of songs excluding 1 track "I Won't Stay" by Lucinda Ramseur, for which the original masters couldn't be obtained.  This song was on the original German CD release all those years back.

Here is the info from Perseverance Records.
Everything has been remastered and is in pristine high quality.

This release is differentiated simply by a blue coloured front cover, and nothing else. The original release was a red coloured cover.



Product Description

Paul Hertzog
This is the complete soundtrack, containing the original score as heard on our previous release, PLUS 9 of the 10 original songs from the ultimate Jean-Claude Van Damme movie that launched his career. Digitally remastered, with new liner notes by Gergely Hubai that explain in depth the difference between our two Kickboxer albums and the history behind one of the greatest soundtracks of the Eighties.
It features no less than THREE songs by 80's cult icon Stan Bush, as well as the beautiful ballad "Love is the Way", performed by Craig Copeland. This song was originally envisioned for the end titles, but was later dropped in favor of a more action-oriented piece.
We only had access to masters of 9 of the original 10 songs from the German CD. Therefore, the song "I Won't Stay" by Lucinda Ramseur has been omitted.
A special thank you goes out to Paul Hertzog, Stan Bush, Craig Copeland, Mike Piccirillo and David Chackler for making this release possible.
Limited to 3,000 units.

Track Listing
Streets of Siam 3:51 (performed by Stan Bush)
2 To The Hospital/We’ll See 1:15
3 Groceries 1:48
4 Very Stupid 0:45
5 Tai Chi 2:55
6 First Kiss 0:53
7 Stone City 2:33
8 Second Stone 0:52
9 Hospital 2:21
10 Palm Tree 0:30
11 Advanced Training 1:47
12 Ancient Voices 2:07
13 Mylee Is The Way 1:31
14 Warriors 0:44
15 Buddha’s Eagle 1:01
16 Kidnap 1:01
17 You’ve Done It Before 1:45
18 Downstairs 0:54
19 Round One 2:11
20 Round Two 1:36
21 The Hook 1:31
22 Round Three 1:31
23 The Eagle Lands 4:02
24 Never Surrender 4:38 (performed by Stan Bush)
25 Fight for Love 3:22 (performed by Stan Bush)
26 How Do You Keep Me Comin’ Back 3:34 (performed by Terry Wood)
27 Chack’s Stew 3:25 (performed by Jamboxx)
28 Roll with the Punches 3:38 (performed by Michael Logan)
29 Feeling So Good Today 4:12 (performed by Beau Williams)
Bonus Tracks
30 The Eagle Lands (album mix) 4:33
31 Love is the Way (original end title) 5:27 (performed by Craig Copeland)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Vince DiCola - Transformers The Movie Soundtrack Score from Intrada

This release has been a long wait, but Intrada have managed to bring out an official release of the classic Vince DiCola Transformers soundtrack score.



Plenty of synthesizers and familiar themes, this pretty much continues where Rocky IV left, and is a great soundtrack on its own.

This is a highly recommended release for any 80s or Synthesizer soundtrack collector.

Available here:

http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.8506/.f?sc=13&category=-113



Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 263
Date: 1986
Time: 78:13
Tracks: 25
Original soundtrack from initial big-screen animated treatment of The Transformers, numerous iconic battling robot characters spawned from Hasbro television mini-series that became wildly popular in subsequent syndication.
 
01. Unicron Attacks (2:32)
02. Moon Base 2 – Shuttle Launch (3:20)
03. Space Attack (:47)
04. Fishing (0:47)
05. Autobot/Decepticon Battle (4:17)
06. Prepare For Extermination (3:42)
07. Optimus Prime vs. Megatron (5:42)
08. Megatron Departs (2:06)
09. I Am Unicron (4:24)
10. The Coronation (2:03)
11. Moon Base 1 Destroyed (2:07)
12. Escape (4:46)
13. Closing In (4:53)
14. Crash Landing (2:07)
15. Twisted Planet (4:54)
16. The Wrong Way (2:00)
17. Destroy The Matrix (1:44)
18. The Trial (2:00)
19. Decepticon Attack (6:48)
20. Unicron Transforms (2:59)
21. The Matrix (1:45)
22. Attack On Unicron (1:00)
23. Reunited (2:26)
24. The Fight Continues (1:48)
25. Legacy (6:09)
 
 Original soundtrack from initial big-screen animated treatment of The Transformers, numerous iconic battling robot characters spawned from Hasbro television mini-series that became wildly popular in subsequent syndication. Cars, trucks, toy dinosaurs, you name it became behemoths of warring destruction. Vince DiCola, fresh off dynamic score for Rocky IV, brings sizzling modern up-tempo sensibilities to his electronic score for Transformers, melds driving energy with striking fully-composed quasi-orchestral themes, motifs. Exciting compositions result, with plethora of rhythms infused with composer's unique harmonic vernacular on display. 
 
DiCola, who gets start as session keyboardist, then moves into scoring with Staying Alive, sequel toSaturday Night Fever, connects well with with director Sylvester Stallone, lands mega-hit Rocky IV and captures attention of TV producers transforming Hasbro's small-screen robots into big-screen monoliths. Intrada CD presents first widely available release of score, courtesy Sony Music, first available as very limited "BotCon" editions in 1997 & 2001. Newly assembled and mastered from two-track digital masters, Intrada CD also features composer's "Legacy", originally written as six-minute powerhouse demo for producers during early stages of project. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remain!
 
 
 

Tangerine Dream - Wavelength Soundtrack Score Remastered Release by La La Land Records

La La Land has released a limited edition of 1500 units of Tangerine Dream's classic score to the movie "Wavelength"

This comes fully remastered and complete, and is a worthy addition to any Tangerine Dream collector.

The sound quality is amazing, and La La Land have done a great job on this one, right up there with the recent release by Perseverance of the "Thief" score.




TRACK LISTING:
  1. Alien Voices (0:20)
  2. Wavelength Main Title (1:58)
  3. �Desert Drive (2:04)
  4. Mojave End Title (4:00)
  5. �Healing (2:22)
  6. Breakout (1:12)
  7. Alien Goodbyes (1:49)
  8. Spaceship (2:22)
  9. Church Theme (3:42)
  10. Sunset Drive (3:25)
  11. �Airshaft (3:11)
  12. Alley Walk (2:55)
  13. Cyro Lab (2:20)
  14. �Running Through The Hills (1:34)
  15. Campfire Theme (1:26)
  16. Mojave End Title Reprise (3:55)
Total Time: 38:35
LLLCD 1297

You can order your copy here:

http://www.lalalandrecords.com/Wavelength.html

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hold On - Corey Hart vs Keta Bill - Beverly Hills Cop 2

Those familiar with the movie Beverly Hills Cop 2 will notice that the soundtrack release has a glaring omission still not rectified to this day.

During a key scene involving the Playboy mansion, a notable synthesizer/guitar track is played titled "Hold On", which is sung by Keta Bill.


This song however was never released, and still remains unreleased to this day. Instead, a different version sung by Corey Hart was released on the soundtrack.

One thing people might not notice is that both versions of the song can be heard in the movie.  The Corey Hart version is indeed in the movie.

The Corey Hart version is heard faintly whilst the three lead characters are sitting in their car discussing their next move.

As to why the Corey Hart version was released and not the Keta Bill version remains a mystery.



The Corey Hart version is a slightly faster, more guitar driven version produced by Giorgio Moroder, whilst the other version is a more DX7 bass driven track along with its superior guitar solos.













Friday, 10 January 2014

Vintage Trailer Music Score - Jonathan Elias - Back To The Future & Explorers

These days, most movie trailers will either pick a generic Media Venture style score track with the obligatory big brass drone sound and plenty of choral voices.

In the 1980s however, there seemed to be a bit more mystique to the trailers, especially the teaser trailers.  There was no actual footage shown, and the music in the end was completely different to the styles used in the actual movies.

Some examples are Back To The Future and Explorers, both given teaser trailer music by Jonathan Elias.




Explorers ended up with a Jerry Goldsmith score, whilst Back To The Future ended up with an Alan Silvestri score.

A possible example of where Silvestri could have gone with an electronic score is by listening to "Flight Of The Navigator".

It would definitely have been interesting to have had a full electronic score for Back To The Future, but in the end the Silvestri score was perfect.

Jonathan Elias started off doing many trailer scores and these ones seem to stand out, as they are both similar and have a signature electronic arpeggiated sound very similar to the Tangerine Dream sound of the era.

Many have been mistaken such is the distinctive synthesizer sound, that its quite easy to mistake it for a Tangerine Dream piece, but these are both composed by Jonathan Elias.


These days Jonathan Elias does not like to discuss his 80s synthesizer score period (it seems he did not like it!), but he did give a few great scores such as Tuff Turf and Vamp amongst others.



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

La La Land Records Lethal Weapon Complete Soundtrack Collection Released

The 80s was full of buddy cop movies, and one of the finest is Lethal Weapon.  It was 1987 when Mel Gibson and Danny Glover gave us the hilarious and action packed team that eventually lasted another 3 sequels.

A big part of these movies were the soundtrack scores by Michael Kamen.  Orchestra heavy but with plenty of Jazzy themes and driven by the distinctive saxaphone sound, it was a classic and memorable set of soundtrack scores.

The classic Michael Kamen scores for all four of the Lethal Weapon movies are now being released in one collection by La La Land Records as part of an 8 CD boxset.  This is the first time all the scores in their almost complete form have been released, and a must have for any Michael Kamen score collectors.




You can check out more here:

http://www.lalalandrecords.com/LethalWeapon.html


The La La Land description is as follows.



(8-CD BOX SET) LIMTED EDITION OF 3000 UNITS
STARTS SHIPPING DEC 5th

La-La Land Records, Warner Bros. and WEA celebrate Warner Bros.' 90th Anniversary, with the LETHAL WEAPON SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION - an 8-CD BOX SET featuring Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, and David Sanborn's iconic film scores from all four LETHAL WEAPON films. Each LETHAL WEAPON score is contained in its own 2-CD jewel case, and all four scores, along with a 40-Page booklet, are housed in an attractive slip case.

Finally, some of the greatest action film music ever composed — from the most celebrated cop-action saga of all time — is presented here in a deluxe presentation worthy of their legacy. The scores to LETHAL WEAPON 1-3 have been greatly expanded beyond their original soundtrack album presentations (the original soundtrack assemblies are remastered and presented as well.) and the score from LETHAL WEAPON 4 makes its world premiere with this set. A bounty of previously unreleased score music is featured here, literally hours worth, along with bonus score tracks and knockout songs from the likes of Sting, Elton John, George Harrison, The Beach Boys and more — not to mention the Bobby Helms rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock," which opens the original LETHAL WEAPON!

Produced by Neil S. Bulk and MV Gerhard and mastered by James Nelson from WB vault materials, this amazing release, limited to 3000 Units, features a 40 Page booklet with exclusive liners by film music writer Jeff Bond, with new comments from director Richard Donner, and explosive art design by Jim Titus. Once you dig into this sensational set, we know you'll agree with us when it comes to Michael Kamen and LETHAL WEAPON, you'll never get "too old for this sh#*!"