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Obsession by Bernard Herrmann - Music Box Records 2CD Complete


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OBSESSION (Special Archival Edition) (1976)

Music Composed and Conducted by Bernard Herrmann

A 2-CD set. Newly remastered and expanded deluxe edition.

Limited Collector's Edition of 3000 units.

A full-color 24-page CD booklet with in-depth liner notes by Daniel Schweiger.

Ref: MBR-060

Release Date: February 16, 2014

In collaboration with Litto Enterprises Inc., Music Box Records is very proud to present one of its most ambitious releases yet - a classic Bernard Herrmann score from one of his last efforts and an important milestone in his immense career for Brian De Palma´s classic melodrama Obsession (1976) written by Paul Schrader and starring Geneviève Bujold, Cliff Robertson and John Lithgow.

In a career often spent paying tribute to Alfred Hitchcock with the likes of Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and Body Double, Obsession even today stands as De Palma’s ultimate fever dream homage to the director who’d made Bernard Herrmann a household name as the romantic master of musical suspense during an eight film collaboration, no more so than with 1958s Vertigo. Yet Obsession’s reincarnation of that masterpiece showed just how devious De Palma always was in his admiration, cloaking a truly seditious plot twist that would’ve given even Hitchcock pause within sleek, star-filtered visuals.

Obsession remains his most fervently romantic, and dare one say innocent attempt to recreate the studio gloss of a time when outright violence and sex were left to the mind’s eye, its rage and sensuality truly made explicit in its music. It’s a powerful, stylistic subtlety that increasingly made Obsession into the filmmaker’s most discerning cult film.

When at last Herrmann returned to his grandly symphonic style for a movie with a major pedigree, 1976s Obsession resounded with more haunted passion than ever before. It was a much movie score as it was Herrmann’s own requiem for an uninhibited scoring style that had become a ghost of itself in Hollywood. He composed a stunning score, filled with powerful themes, ominously underlined by an organ, or a harp, sometimes with abrupt choral flourishes, in eerie evocations of a mystery. He again creates an unusual combination to underscore the drama: a large cathedral organ and tympani as primary musical signature characters, and a small choir of wordless and sighing female voices, horns, winds and strings. The score was nominated for an Oscar for 'Best Original Score' in 1977.

For this special archival edition 2-CD set, Music Box Records has gathered the best sources available to this day in order to present faithfully the original score written by the composer.

CD 1 presents “The Film Score'. With the precious technical assistance of our sound engineer, we did our best to reconstruct and restore the score from the 5.1 Music Stem (courtesy of Sony Pictures) and a safety copy of the original tapes. The result is stunningly convincing. As such, we kindly ask you to listen to our samples and make a decision on the quality yourself.

CD 2 presents 'The Original 1976 Soundtrack Album' (courtesy of Universal Music) that was edited from Herrmann’s sessions and was specially remastered for this edition. We also corrected the cue titles of the 1976 London Decca release which were misnamed and incomplete in tracks 4 and 5. Now you have the details of all the right cues used in the original LP.

Our release offers a rare opportunity to hear the magnificent romantic Herrmann score in two different presentations and preserves the composer’s own irreplaceable interpretation, bringing this marvelous music back to life just 40 years after it was written. This Deluxe Edition with slipcase is limited to 3000 units and includes a 24-page full-color booklet with in-depth liner notes by Daniel Schweiger, sharing his comments about the film and the score, including new interviews with editor Paul Hirsch and producer George Litto. Everyone will no doubt be 'obsessed' with this true original masterpiece!

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TRACK LISTING:

DISC 1 • THE FILM SCORE (Stereo)

1. Main Title (1:58)

2. Opening Party (0:40)

3. Valse Lente (1:33)

4. Kidnap (2:32)

5. Newsboy (1:45)

6. The Tape (0:29)

7. The Ferry (2:42)

8. Hideout (0:46)

9. Breakout (1:34)

10. The Tomb (1:16)

11. Memorial Park (1:19)

12. Sandra (6:44)

13. Sandra Again (0:58)

14. Court Meets Sandra (1:24)

15. The Church (1:26)

16. Bryn Mawr (2:04)

17. Bryn Mawr Walk (1:16)

18. Court's Confession (2:29)

19. Hospital (0:44)

20. Cemetery (1:04)

21. New Orleans (1:54)

22. Walk Down Hallway (1:07)

23. Portrait of Elizabeth (1:49)

24. Memorabilia (2:54)

25. Walk to Church (0:12)

26. Sandra at Monument (2:59)

27. After Dinner (0:46)

28. The Wedding (2:33)

29. The Wedding Part II (1:31)

30. Court, The Morning After (1:33)

31. Court Signs Papers (1:34)

32. Sandra Finds Briefcase (2:25)

33. Court Arrives at Wharf (0:41)

34. LaSalle and Sandra at Airport (2:02)

35. The Plane (2:21)

36. Court Finds LaSalle (2:02)

37. Court and LaSalle Struggle (1:06)

38. Airport (3:50)

BONUS TRACKS

39. Ransom (Unused Cue)* (0:18)

40. Past and Present (Unused Cue)* (0:28)

41. Airport (Alternate)* (3:41)

* not used in film

Disc 1 Time • 74:00

DISC 2 • THE ORIGNAL 1976 SOUNDTRACK ALBUM (Remastered Edition)

1. Main Title / Valse Lente / Kidnap (5:58)

2. Newsboy / The Tape / The Ferry (4:57)

3. The Tomb / Sandra (8:04)

4. The Church / Court’s Confession / Bryn Mawr / New Orleans / Wedding (9:25)

5. Court, The Morning After / Court Signs Papers / Sandra Finds Briefcase / Court Arrives at Wharf (4:31)

6. The Plane / Court and LaSalle Struggle / Airport (5:58)

Disc 2 Time • 39:07

Total Two-Disc Time • 113:07

For sound clips and available for order, please visit: http://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-soundtracks/1414-obsession.html

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I don't get the point of putting unused cues as bonus tracks instead of within the flow of the main program. Whether or not they got dialed out in the final cut of the film is irrelevant to the score the composer was intending to be heard.

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I'm rather amused by the use of the word "STEREO" for the film score.

Woooow! It's in stereo!


CD 1 presents “The Film Score'. With the precious technical assistance of our sound engineer, we did our best to reconstruct and restore the score from the 5.1 Music Stem (courtesy of Sony Pictures) and a safety copy of the original tapes. The result is stunningly convincing. As such, we kindly ask you to listen to our samples and make a decision on the quality yourself.

This sounds quite dubious actually. Though the samples seem to sound alright.

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I'm rather amused by the use of the word "STEREO" for the film score.

Woooow! It's in stereo!

CD 1 presents “The Film Score'. With the precious technical assistance of our sound engineer, we did our best to reconstruct and restore the score from the 5.1 Music Stem (courtesy of Sony Pictures) and a safety copy of the original tapes. The result is stunningly convincing. As such, we kindly ask you to listen to our samples and make a decision on the quality yourself.

This sounds quite dubious actually. Though the samples seem to sound alright.

Yes the wording of that description is awfully dodgy. :P

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I don't get the point of putting unused cues as bonus tracks instead of within the flow of the main program. Whether or not they got dialed out in the final cut of the film is irrelevant to the score the composer was intending to be heard.

Perhaps not all sources had these cues and they sounds worse than the rest, considering they didn't have original masters?

Anyway... WHY do these things always get released just one day after I've placed an order?

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Well it's not shipping until February 16th anyway, so between now and then you could bundle it with something else that gets announced, and you'd still get it at the same time as if you ordered it today.

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I know a member who's going to be ecstatic about this release.

Me?

No!

Hopefully it's something interesting. I get bummed when some sh*t like THE FAVOR is released. Makes me want to write to them and ask "Where is OBSESSION, you f*ckers?"

However, if OBSESSION is ever released on CD, I'd probably drop everything and buy about 3 copies of it.

Better be OBSESSION.

(I'm just going to keep saying that until it actually is released.)

What film scores do you hope are released some day, under any record label?

My #1 is Herrmann's OBSESSION. I'd love a cleaned-up and full presentation of the score. Personally, I think it's better than VERTIGO, although very similar in some areas.

OBSESSION

(I'll never lose hope...)

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I know a member who's going to be ecstatic about this release.

Me?

No!

Hopefully it's something interesting. I get bummed when some sh*t like THE FAVOR is released. Makes me want to write to them and ask "Where is OBSESSION, you f*ckers?"

However, if OBSESSION is ever released on CD, I'd probably drop everything and buy about 3 copies of it.

Better be OBSESSION.

(I'm just going to keep saying that until it actually is released.)

What film scores do you hope are released some day, under any record label?

My #1 is Herrmann's OBSESSION. I'd love a cleaned-up and full presentation of the score. Personally, I think it's better than VERTIGO, although very similar in some areas.

OBSESSION

(I'll never lose hope...)

LOL.

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Well it's not shipping until February 16th anyway, so between now and then you could bundle it with something else that gets announced,

Hopefully. 3,000 is a lot. On the other hand, it's an unreleased Herrmann score that's been requested and holy grailed for decades.

and you'd still get it at the same time as if you ordered it today.

That remains to be seen. I currently have two SAE orders pending - the one from five weeks ago hasn't shipped yet.

I might demonstrate a bit of solidarity and wait for the re-recording. It will not be easy though...

I'll get both.

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Yeah I still have an SAE order pending right now.

It actually arrived today (meaning I can fetch it from the post office tomorrow). They just never seem to have updated the order status or sent a shipping confirmation. First time this has happened to me with SAE, but I remember people complaining about it frequently a while ago.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received my copy in the post today and have listened to the first CD so far (the original film tracks). It really is quite magnificent, a distillation and summation of everything I like about Bernard Herrmann's music. The sound quality is amazing - it is as if it had been recorded yesterday - while the liner notes are very well written and revealing too (John Williams is mentioned a few times, all good).

Everyone should get this.

:up:

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In what context is John Williams mentioned?

Obsession's producer George Litto "had become fixated on the lushly thematic orchestral sound of John Williams" and thought that his jazz background would make him the ideal composer to score a movie set in New Orleans, but director Brian de Palma wanted only Bernard Herrmann. Williams's contemporaneous score to Hitchcock's Family Plot is also mentioned.

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Got it today. It's a very nicely produced album, with stylish packaging and excellent liner notes. While it sounds good for the sources they used and it's slightly archival sonics (compared to other recordings from this era) even add certain "ghostly" aura to Herrmann's writing, I'm still more than interested in brand new state-of-the-art recording of Tadlow. So that I can appreciate this masterpiece from two different perspectives.

Karol

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  • 2 months later...

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