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Jay

Joel McNeely's A Million Ways To Die In The West

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Interesting, I didn't realize this film was getting an extended cut

Well, that explains why you didn't remember the scene :)

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I wonder if any of the other deleted scenes have cues written for them that didn't happen to turn up on the Digital Deluxe Edition so are still unreleased after 4 releases

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By the way, I was reading the liner notes written by McFarlane, and noticed this bit:

His [McNeely's] combination of serious compositional skill and playful Hollywood showmanship represents the essence of what I believe a film composer should deliver, although here in the 21st century, we’re running out of composers who can really do it well. One of the problems is that we’re seeing an abundance of film composers who have risen to great success while never really understanding the mechanics and nuances of how an orchestra works as a united organism. They’ll build synthesized scores in their studios using a variety of computer programs (sometimes not even knowing how to write a single note on paper), and then have those scores transcribed for a live acoustic orchestra. The orchestra is then recorded through a process called “striping.” This means that the strings are recorded in isolation, the woodwinds are recorded in isolation, the brass is recorded in isolation, etc. They’re then mixed together after the fact, resulting in a lifeless, sanitized sound that sounds mechanical and airless. Think of it like Humphrey Bogart doing all of his lines on one soundstage, while Ingrid Bergman does her lines on another, and then the two are edited together later. There would be no performance. Because of this trend, I have found that my interest in film music has diminished. There have been no great, memorable orchestral scores to emerge for some time.

Made me grin, since it sounds so much like a JWFANer could say. And knowing McFarlane is a John Williams fan too, it wouldn't surprise me if he was a member here, actually!

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Out of curiosity, has anyone here compared the OST to the Digital Deluxe Edition to the FYC CD to the FYC Web site tracks?

There you go: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jm-974XfYkmzgP6iSCA85i9vygQbpDqnZjlcPoZtrNo/edit?usp=sharing

In yellow are the tracks that are exclusive to a release (or tracks that contain music exclusive to a release).

Thanks for this!

Can you confirm the placement of "Lewis Breaks Out" before "At the Dance"? FunnyML put it after "More Barn Dance", which is why I ask.

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Well, the thing is, I haven't compared the score to the film. I only assumed that the FYC CD is in chronological order.

That's what I forgot to mention when I said "the OST program is in chronological order" and "the DE program is mostly in chronological order": I used the FYC CD as a basis for that, assuming that it was in chronological order (which I think it is, from what I remember from the film and looking at the track titles).

I'm not 100% sure about that, but I think FYC promos are always in chronological order, right? (at least the ones that were released since that new rule stating that the FYC CDs should present the music as heard in the film showed up)

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Yeah I haven't seen the film yet myself. That was the only difference with the FYC tracklist.

Anyone know if the other version of "People Die at the Fair" is the film version, or an alternate? There's only a very slight difference by the way I think. (towards the end)

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The FYC is probably in the order of the film when McNeely scored it; Maybe at the last minute a scene or two got shuffled into another spot

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Can you confirm the placement of "Lewis Breaks Out" before "At the Dance"? FunnyML put it after "More Barn Dance", which is why I ask.

I arranged the tracks in film order. They probably shuffled around some scenes during post. At least I don't think it was placed between 4M4 and 4M5 originally.

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Aside from a few needlessly vulgar jokes, I enjoyed the film (extended cut). MacFarlane's logical/observational style of humour, which is similar to Stewie and Brian's conversations, works well at making fun of the genre. I don't think anyone else would pull off his role as well.

McNeely's main theme wanders too much for my liking - there isn't a really memorable central melody that sticks in my head. In fact the only two cues in my playlist are Early Morning and Saloon Brawl.

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OK, so here is the final chronological order (all the tracks come from the FYC Promo, except from The Stagecoach Robbery and End Title Suite Extended which come from the Deluxe Edition):

 

01. A Million Ways Logos

02. Main Title

03. Big Giant Pussies

04. I Got Shot Today

05. Goodbye Albert

06. Missing Louise - Oh Suzanna ([00:55 - End] Unused)

07. Reprise (Unused)

08. Majesty Of The West

09. Show Us The Gold

10. Stick And Hoop

11. The Moustachery

12. Saloon Brawl

13. She's Too Good For Me

14. Early Morning

15. People Die At The Fair (Original)

16. Reprise (Unused)

17. On The Move

18. Albert Learns To Shoot

19. The Stagecoach Robbery

20. At The Dance

21. If You've Only Got A Moustache

22. More Barn Dance

23. Lewis Breaks Out

24. On The Fence

25. Anna And Albert

26. Hello Sweetheart

27. She's All Yours

28. Looking For Anna

29. Someone's Gonna Get Fucked Up

30. Ride To Albert's

31. You Gotta Get Outta Here

32. Albert Makes A Run For It

33. Someone's Watching

34. At The Door

35. Burned At The Stake ([01:45 - End] Unused)

36. Wormholes

37. Albert's Acid Trip (Reprise)

38. Velocipede (Unused)

39. Albert's Acid Trip Pt.1

40. If You've Only Got A Moustache (Reprise)

41. Albert's Acid Trip Pt.2

42. Did You Kick The Condor In The Balls?

43. Clinch Is Dead

44. Sorry I Killed Your Husband

45. A Million Ways To Die

46. End Title Suite Extended

 

Bonus:

47. People Die At The Fair (Alternate) (Unused)

48. A Million Ways End Credit Suite (Unused)

 

 

A few notes:

 

- I'm pretty sure the FYC Promo uses the actual cues' titles. Why do I think that? Well, it's pretty simple: I just compared the track titles on the FYC Promo to the FYC website cues and the OST and Deluxe Edition tracks' titles. Each of the cues on the FYC Promo that appear on the FYC website have the exact same title, while they have a different title on the OST and DE. For example, 3M6 Albert Learns To Shoot is called The Shooting Lesson on the OST and DE, but is called Albert Learns To Shoot on the FYC Promo. Another example is 4M2 At The Dance, which is called The Barn Dance on the OST and DE, but is called At The Dance on the FYC Promo.

 

- A Million Ways Logos, Main Title and Big Giant Pussies are meant to segue into one another.

 

- Funnily enough, the track Missing Louise found on the OST and DE is titled Missing Louise - Oh Suzanna on the FYC Promo, but doesn't feature any additional music compared to the other releases. However, right after that cue in the film, you have a source music cue using the Oh Suzanna melody (for those of you who don't know, Oh Suzanna is a traditional American song). I'm guessing maybe that both Missing Louise and Oh Suzanna were written (and possibly recorded) as one single cue, and so on the FYC Promo, they used the cue title that appeared on the sheets, but for some reason didn't include the Oh Suzanna source music part of the recording.

 

- Lewis Breaks Out can be put either right before At The Dance (that's where it is in the Theatrical Cut) or right after More Barn Dance (where it shows up in the Unrated Cut). Basically, in the Theatrical Cut, it goes like this: Albert Learns To Shoot -> Lewis Breaks Out -> At The Dance -> If You've Only Got A Moustache -> More Barn Dance -> On The Fence (the Stagecoach Robbery scene doesn't appear in this cut), while in the Unrated Cut, it goes like this: Albert Learns To Shoot -> The Stagecoach Robbery -> At The Dance -> If You've Only Got A Moustache -> More Barn Dance -> Lewis Breaks Out -> On The Fence. I think that the Unrated Cut presents the original order of the scenes: my guess is that when the Stagecoach Robbery scene was cut, McFarlane still wanted a more serious scene before the barn sequence, and so he moved Lewis' escape earlier than where it was supposed to appear.

 

- While I originally said that the OST, FYC Promo and FYC website present a microedited version of End Title Suite and that the DE present the unedited version of the cue, I'd like to correct that. I'm now convinced that the extended version found on the DE is either a completely separate recording, or it's the version found on the OST, FYC Promo and FYC website but with inserts (I think the first option is more probable). There are two reasons why I believe that. Firstly, comparing the sections that are found in both versions, some of it sounds a bit different. Then, why would the FYC website and FYC Promo present a microedited version of the cue, instead of presenting the unedited cue?

 

- While The Stagecoach Robbery only appearing in the Unrated Cut explains why that cue wasn't on the FYC Promo, I have no idea why the FYC Promo includes the shorter version of End Title Suite instead of the extended one (which is the version used in the film), though.

 

- The FYC Promo presents almost the complete score for the Theatrical Cut. The only things missing are two source music cues (the one using the Oh Suzanna melody, plus another), a 15 seconds insert that should appear at 01:52 in At The Dance (oddly not restored on the FYC Promo), the short Back To The Future theme statement (which could be tracked and not a rerecording) and a few short stingers (which I believe are tracked) at the end of a few cues (at the end of She's Too Good For Me, at the end of Anna and Albert and at the beginning of Sorry I Killed Your Husband). The Unrated Cut adds 4 more unreleased cues to that (all pretty short, under 30 seconds each), two of them being an alternate of Ride To Albert's (which is split in two in this cut). So really nothing noteworthy, in the end.

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- I'm pretty sure the FYC Promo uses the actual cues' titles.

Is "Did You Kick the Condor..." one cue, or is it maybe composed of two cues, one named "The Showdown" and the other "Did You Kick..."? (I assume the former, right?)

Also, is there anything noteworthy on the shorter End Credit Suite that's not on the extended you think? Seems a bit superfluous to put the shorter version in my edit, even though it's a different recording, hence my question.

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- I'm pretty sure the FYC Promo uses the actual cues' titles.

Is "Did You Kick the Condor..." one cue, or is it maybe composed of two cues, one named "The Showdown" and the other "Did You Kick..."? (I assume the former, right?)

There's no way to know for sure (that is, until the recording sessions leak), but yeah, the former is more likely, given that on the FYC Promo, it seems that each cue is presented separately (take Albert Takes A Trip on the OST, for example: it combines multiple cues, which are presented separately on the FYC Promo. Same for People Die At The Fair. So why would they do that for these, but combine two cues in Did You Kick The Condor In The Balls? Hence, it's more likely it's just one lenghty cue (which was shortened on the OST), rather than two combined).

Also, is there anything noteworthy on the shorter End Credit Suite that's not on the extended you think? Seems a bit superfluous to put the shorter version in my edit, even though it's a different recording, hence my question.

Yeah, the shorter End Credit Suite doesn't offer anything noteworthy. All the music found in this track is in the extended version (whether it's a different performance or not doesn't really matter. Well, at least to me). Plus, the extended version has a much cooler ending, compared to the shorter version which basically just reprises the ending of the Main Title cue.

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For some reason, I was inspired to revisit this fun score today, and I have to say it is still amongst my favorites of the past decade.  Yes, yes, I know it is a pastiche, but it is a damn good one.  And to confirm Bloodboal's suggestion above about the extended end title cue on the iTunes release, yes it is an entirely different performance.

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Heh, I finally saw this film last month, it wasn't very good, but I enjoyed hearing the music again.  Thanks for reminding me to dig the OST back out!

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A very enjoyable score -- straight-up, old-school western pastiche. McNeely is a master of pastiche. The film had its moments, but overall rather disappointing. I'm a fan of MacFarlane, but he's very on/off.

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The film is a guilty pleasure for me - it's really stupid but funny.

 

The score is the best thing that the movie could possibly have, and the FYC adds some nice moments on top of the OST. Does anyone else get an E.T. vibe from a bit in the horse/train sequence?

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42 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

As for the score, I'd rather just listen to Back to the Future Part III.

 

It's a fine score, but is that really the best western score you could think of?

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