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Film Score Monthly announces the Blue Box - Superman.


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I've made my way to Superman II and it's like I'm hearing this for the first time.

I had the old LP of SII when the movie was released and I did enjoy listening to it. The brass always sounded flat and weak and used to annoy me but as the years went by it was explained as to why the score sounded smaller.

Ken Thorne did an outstanding job in selecting the cues are re-arranging them to fit the scenes. Plus he takes smaller ideas from Williams and expands upon them, such as the theme for the 3 villians.

While the problems with the brass isn't solved the cues sound very crisp and the strings stand out on this release.

Tonight I listen to Superman III.

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Oh no. As much as I adore this release and the sound quality.... I've noticed a mixing error, and I'm certain now (I noticed it right off the bat), I have done comparisons.

The track Prelude And Main Title (Film Version) at 1:41 which is where the principal trumpet statement appears suddenly loses a great deal of bass and fidelity that should be present in the track which just vanishes from that point on.

I've compared it to the Theme From Superman from the first disc which features the exact same rendition of that statement, the DVD (which has a pitch shift I know) and the Prelude And Main Title March from the Rhino disc. It's definitely wrong. :(

From how I'm hearing it, the music goes from sounding full and robust... to merely hollow and lacking. The Rhino disc sounds fuller. I feel ashamed to say that right now, because up until that point I had been enthusiastically pleased with this release, and I am still extremely grateful to everybody involved for their work on its inception.

I think I'm going to send FSM an email making them aware of this. It is only one track, but it's my favourite rendition of the overall march. :blink:

Well I received my email response from FSM today, and am very pleased to report that they have put my mind at ease.

They have further elaborated on something which is in the booklet and I had suspected may have been the case, but have thankfully now had my suspicion removed.

Basically, the mixes between the recorded cues were different and for the Rhino and DVD versions of the film edit of the Main Title March they tracked from different sources to achieve the right overall sound, where as on this new release they obtained it from a superior source, which I already knew about and is also mentioned in the book. So this now explains perfectly why the bass suddenly drops at 1:41 into the cue.

All in all... A marvellous release from FSM, kudos! ;)

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I've made it to Superman 3 so far. It's not really as exciting as the first two, but I do have high hopes for when I pop in Superman 4! S3 was always my least favorite of the films, so that may have something to do with it.

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Would you mind posting the respective portion of the mail? I'd be interested.

I already did, pretty much.

"The various incantations between the recorded cues of the popular Superman March were in retrospect "different" and for the Rhino and DVD releases of the film multiple sources that existed of the Main Title March were used and pieced together in accordance of achieving the right overall sound. Where as for this new mix of the popular film version we obtained all material from a superior source and corrected any problems that were previously present when this edit of the track was done in the past. Anything else you wish to know is already in the booklet, which I am sure you have already gone through."

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I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:ola::jump::joy::dance:

I came home, and there it was!!! Man, I can't tell you how excited I am! This is really a class act. I'm just marvelling at how great this set looks (and from the first three tracks, sounds!). This is something I'll be proud to display on my shelf, and I'm sure I'll be enjoying it for some time to come. Great job, FSM!!

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I GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:ola::joy::ola::dance:

I came home, and there it was!!! Man, I can't tell you how excited I am! This is really a class act. I'm just marvelling at how great this set looks (and from the first three tracks, sounds!). This is something I'll be proud to display on my shelf, and I'm sure I'll be enjoying it for some time to come. Great job, FSM!!

Enjoy my friend. E-n-j-o-y!!! :jump:

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I've never ordered from them before...and no sign of it shipping any time soon. Status still says "pending."

Yeah, mine still said pending this morning, but there it was at the post office this afternoon.

I've only dipped into a couple of the discs briefly, but they sound terrific, and the packaging is pretty excellent. Looks like this was a thoroughly satisfactory misuse of money.

You're right...I just got mine in the mail and am listening to it.

You know, I can't remember the last time I actually sat in my living room just listening to music like i am now.

This set is worth every single penny. Thank you to all who had a hand in putting it together.

I only hope we could someday have something similar with the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jaws films.

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This set is worth every single penny. Thank you to all who had a hand in putting it together.

I only hope we could someday have something similar with the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jaws films.

Hear hear!

(and "Hear Hear" to the second sentence too!)

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I only hope we could someday have something similar with the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jaws films.

I wouldn't hold my breath with Star Wars nor Indiana Jones. I for one am tired of hearing the same "boring" "generic" "sob story" being given by Lucas and his own personal team of robots. :dance:

As for a re-release of Jaws with actual decent sound quality this time? That would be fantastic! :jump:

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Bloody hell. I haven't even received my copy of Butch and Sundance yet and that shipped a week ago. :nopity:

Same here; I was charged on February 25. :(

Varèse's package shipped on February 29 and I received it yesterday, and that's one whole continent farther away.

BTW Marc, Don't watch RoboCop 2 today. You watched the fantastic original last night. Leave it at that. If you absolutely MUST watch R2 today for goodness sake don't watch R3 tomorrow. That's even worse!

Robocop 2 is a great sequel.

Robocop 3 is... pretty awful, indeed. I can be pretty tolerant with a movie provided it is fun enough, but this one is really bad. There are some good ideas for the city's evolution, but the result is a mess. The kid is unbearable. The girl scientist is pretty, but that's not enough to make the movie enjoyable. Even Poledouris had a hard time making the action seem exciting, and his score turned out only so-so-- and it's by far the movie's only good thing.

It's like The Dark Knight Returns: Frank Miller wrote very bad sequels to both this book and the second movie.

I've made my way to Superman II and it's like I'm hearing this for the first time.

Ken Thorne did an outstanding job in selecting the cues are re-arranging them to fit the scenes. Plus he takes smaller ideas from Williams and expands upon them, such as the theme for the 3 villians.

Even years ago I found his re-use and development of Williams' themes very good; it was nicely spotted and done.

I watched the movie last evening; I had not watched it in a long while, and I paid even more attention to the music; it is really very good.

Unfortunately, SAE hasn't even come around to processing my order (my card has not been charged yet).

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Robocop 2 is a great sequel.

Robocop 3 is... pretty awful, indeed. I can be pretty tolerant with a movie provided it is fun enough, but this one is really bad. There are some good ideas for the city's evolution, but the result is a mess. The kid is unbearable. The girl scientist is pretty, but that's not enough to make the movie enjoyable. Even Poledouris had a hard time making the action seem exciting, and his score turned out only so-so-- and it's by far the movie's only good thing.

It's like The Dark Knight Returns: Frank Miller wrote very bad sequels to both this book and the second movie.

I absolutely agree.

RoboCop is a fantastic film. RoboCop 2 is most certainly a sequel worthy of the superior original (regardless of its flaws). RoboCop 3 is absymal.

I loathe the film so much in fact, When I bought the Trilogy box set here in the UK (they are not available separately) the first thing I did was to take out the third disc and throw it out. Good riddance.

This is why the US Double Feature of Poltergeist II and III always sends the eyes rolling. What a surprise... It was a double sided disc! Makes sense, because nobody in their right mind would ever want Poltergeist III, because it's terrible and MGM knew it would have sold extremely poorly as a standalone.

It has been released separately by itself here in the UK and the sale figures have been dismal, even when going for a mere £1.00 ($2.00).

Poltergeist II (whilst also inferior to the classic original) was like Jaws 2 a worthy successor.

I remember when I first saw Psycho II, and expected it to be awful compared to Hitchcock's film. It was a great sequel (works to an even greater extent when viewed in B&W), you couldn't have asked for a better sequel to a much respected 60's classic. The less said about the other two sequels however, the better.

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*looks at his Superman II bootleg* :nopity:

Yesterday, I was desperate enough to listen to mine (also to III), and seems like it ain't getting any better today. :P:(

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I sure know that, but it's all I've got until my box arrives. :nopity:

Just sweat it out, don't ruin your ears! :(

I couldn't even get through 20secs of track one before scrapping it. I no longer remotely attempt to make the effort with bootlegs, just not worth the waste of time.

I'd rather not have any variant of a non-commercial/expanded/deluxe/definitive/complete score.

Promotional releases on the other hand are a whole different ball of wax. :P

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I couldn't even get through 20secs of track one before scrapping it. I no longer even go near bootlegs, just not worth the waste of time.

I'll wait for my box to arrive and then post both very same sentences. :(:nopity:

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I'm listening to Superman IV now. This is just a really fun score. It may be a little thoughtless, but it's so enjoyable. Great new themes by Williams, great adaptation and composition by Courage. It's unabashedly heroic and romantic and all that... if a little immature. The sappy tone, however, is the film's fault.

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Partially through Disc 1, haven't had much listening opportunity. Fantastic! And to think I once thought the Rhino release sounded great. The book I'm enjoying very much too, again not much reading time so slow going there too. What a labor of love, the effort and the time people put into this release is greatly appreciated. Just wonderful. I have it ripped into iTunes now, think I wanna play around with the organization a bit, putting the source music with their respective films and so forth. Plus I don't know what album covers to put with each of them... I don't think I want to just do a Blue Box general cover for the whole thing. Man, why am I so nitpicky about stuff like that? :nopity:

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To my great sadness I had to cancel my order with Peter at the last second today. I just checked my bank account and don't have enough funds in there to cover the set. I thought I did but I don't. :D I'm hoping the set will still be around this summer so I can buy it then from SAE...

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I ordered The Blue Box from SAE a day or two after release day, and it arrived yesterday! Most of the discs had come lose in transit, but no harm done.

Also in my order was a CD and two FSM magazines. Since one of the issues was sold out, they simply included a dollar bill as a refund.

Great service from SAE and another fine release from FSM. :D

I do wish that the sound quality were a bit better. With some very simple and minute mixing, you can easily rebirth the score to sound much more... clean and crisp. I wish they had done that... to make it sound more like the isolated sound track does... which is nice sounding.

Yeah, I wish a high-resolution, multi-channel disc format had been utilized - which would have done the project complete justice. SA-CD, DVD-Audio, and Dual-Disc are never going to reach main stream if they keep passing up opportunities like this. The marketers and advertisers of these formats have basically given up, as only select music releases get this 'special' treatment. This a losing strategy, as it most people aren't even aware that music is available on something other than regular CD. The hybrid multi-channel SA-CD is an amazing thing: ripping to a computer is still an option, while its surround playback has to be heard to be believed.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very grateful for those involved in making releases like The Blue Box possible. But the way I see it is that they almost got it right. If they had access the the complete 3-channel mastertapes, why only make the music available on a 25-year-old format? The people that will buy these kind of releases are more likely to own the proper equipment, so it makes even more sense to utilize SA-CD. Granted, said product would likely cost more, but it would be worth it. Varese Sarabande gave "The Great Train Robbery" a newly-mixed 5.1 release on SA-CD, so why not the film scores "Alien" or "Superman" - which are far more worthy of special treatment. It doesn't make sense to me.

I hate to think music being released on a high-res. disc (or not) all comes down to money. Is it only the album producers' decision not to 'bother' with SA-CD, or is there some other bureaucracy involved? What are they waiting for !!!???

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And how many scores has Varese released in SACD form since then?

I would imagine for small labels like FSM and Intrada the cost issue and number of units sold play a large factor. Not all soundtrack collectors or people who bought this set are audiophiles and as a person who owns a SACD player and several discs I have yet to be convinced that the sound is that much better. Now DVD-A does sound better but how many DVD players do you see these days that play that format?

Pretty much every store that has sold SACDs or DVD-A have done away with them or only offer what is left in stock.

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I have received an e-mail from Movie-Music.com

Final costs for shipping overseas are announced, and MM.com will start shipping on Saturday.

Yay.

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I have received an e-mail from Movie-Music.com

Final costs for shipping overseas are announced, and MM.com will start shipping on Saturday.

Yay.

Didn't get an email yet, but ordered from MovieMusic & I'm stateside so I'm hoping to get it next week as I'm off for Spring Break and will be able to enjoy it.

:D

P.S. Sorry to hear that Vosk.

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The e-mail was basically just about the overseas shpping rates, so don't worry if you didn't get one. They probably only sent it to overseas customers.

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And how many scores has Varese released in SACD form since then?

Was Goldsmith's Timeline an SACD? I know Star Trek: Nemesis was, but that was 5 years ago. The A.I. soundtrack had a DVD-A release: a poor choice to show off DVD-A's superior sound quality, not to mention it had a shoddy mix. And why wasn't the Williams's American Journey album released on SACD instead of the Cello Concerto? I wish I knew. If the record producers selected these albums to judge the popularity of DVD-A and SACD based on the number of copies sold, what a joke. It's like they never wanted (or expected) the formats to catch on.

I would imagine for small labels like FSM and Intrada the cost issue and number of units sold play a large factor.

Yeah, "the system" is not set-up for SACD or DVD-Audio. The cost efficiency per unit (or release) just isn't there, and little effort is being made to change this fact. It's seems to be a huge deal if a project sees this treatment. This is never going to change unless they push the formats - something they haven't really done yet. Apart from the classical music releases and classic rock remasters, what else is there? So much potential, yet so little realized.

There's some promise, however, as many of Telarc's new releases are hybrid SACDs that play on all regular CD players. Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops make available all their new albums on SACD. I suppose this does something to promote the format...

Not all soundtrack collectors or people who bought this set are audiophiles and as a person who owns a SACD player and several discs I have yet to be convinced that the sound is that much better. Now DVD-A does sound better but how many DVD players do you see these days that play that format?

Soundtrack collectors are one of the most likely demographics to own (or at least desire) better playback equipment (receivers, speakers, SACD / DVD-A players, etc.). To me, the sound is a massive step-up from regular CD - especially in surround sound. All DVD players can decode the Dolby Digital or DTS tracks that are also on the discs. Properly mixed 5.1 is far better than 2-channel stereo.

Pretty much every store that has sold SACDs or DVD-A have done away with them or only offer what is left in stock.

Retail stores have clearly given up on SACD and DVD-Audio. It doesn't look good for their future. Something major has to change for the Compact Disc to be replaced as the standard for music playback in the home.

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think I wanna play around with the organization a bit, putting the source music with their respective films and so forth. Plus I don't know what album covers to put with each of them... I don't think I want to just do a Blue Box general cover for the whole thing. Man, why am I so nitpicky about stuff like that? :D

That's not nitpicky, it's just how you like to hear the music sometimes ;)

When the "how to edit it all together for this version and that" type lists appear, which no doubt they will, I might do a few things too.....

....first of which will probably be putting together a soundtrack for Superman II - The Donner Cut....which is actually very, very good......

Greg - who has hardly had Superman IV out of his CD player since it arrived - no two ways about it, it's bloody superb....a revelation indeed!

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....first of which will probably be putting together a soundtrack for Superman II - The Donner Cut....which is actually very, very good......

<insert "alternate 'Dome Opens' on repeat" joke here>

Neil

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....first of which will probably be putting together a soundtrack for Superman II - The Donner Cut....which is actually very, very good......

<insert "alternate 'Dome Opens' on repeat" joke here>

Neil

:D Yeah - it does get a bit like that.......but there is much more in there and some surprisingly subtle stuff too.......I don't have the attention span (nor the sheer bredth of knowledge of the scores) to put something like that together, but I dare say someone will.....

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I ripped the cd's, which I can't afford, to my computer today, so in way I also got my version of the blue box today.

Nuclear Man's theme is incredibly catchy, I love it.

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This is a truly magnificent boxed set. I am exceedingly pleased. Mike Matissimo, Lukas Kendall, and FSM truly have to be thanked for this set. I can't believe how many I read were not getting this. Although I could hardly afford it (I kind of split it with my Superman-fan brother), it cannot be missed.

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