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SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE - 3CD Set from La-La Land Records

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2 hours ago, rough cut said:

And it’s a long list: CE3K, A.I., Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun, 1941, The Fury, Home Alone Superman II/III & IV and now Superman.

Aren't you forgetting something major?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the first time a JW score recorded by Eric Tomlinson is presented from an actual first generation multi-track source like 2" 24-track tape?

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4 hours ago, rough cut said:

@Jay If I might kindly suggest: Why don’t you reach out to Jim Titus for an interview about his work process for the different John Williams releases.

 

The Second Disc published a story that goes into depth about the art created for the LLL E.T. release, including alternate cover art. I just love this article.

 

Jim Titus is as much part of these releases as Mike Matessino. I’m sure there’s lots to tell about the other JW-releases as well. And it’s a long list: CE3K, A.I., Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun, 1941, The Fury, Home Alone Superman II/III & IV and now Superman.

 

Jim Titus is the Man.

 

...and it would be great to get to know more about the work process.

 

 

Jim Titus IS the man, and that's a great idea!

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6 hours ago, rough cut said:

@Jay

The Second Disc published a story that goes into depth about the art created for the LLL E.T. release, including alternate cover art. I just love this article.

 

Thanks so much for linking to that article, it's a fun read and I loved seeing some of the unused proof of concept covers.

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32 minutes ago, ATXHusker said:

Leaving Home and The Fortress of Solitude is definitely one of the best, if not the best, two-consecutive tracks in JW history!  That moment when Supes first emerges and the music swells up after about 9 minutes is pure joy and never fails to give me the goose bumps!  It's a hard choice between that and Rescue from Cloud City/Hyperspace and The Rebel Fleet/End Title from TESB.

 

That is QUITE the toss up, good man. He was on such a creative roll during this time. I've always felt like those two scores have characteristics that are wholly unique to themselves, that aren't repeated or varied in other works. They represent creative 'breakthroughs' in my mind. 

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1 hour ago, JTWfan77 said:

 

Thanks so much for linking to that article, it's a fun read and I loved seeing some of the unused proof of concept covers.

If you haven't seen it yet, I also recommend this one, together with browsing further through the gallery:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/17755369/Empire-of-the-Sun

Some fascinating details for what, along with the HP set, is my absolute favourite of all of Titus' works that I own and thus have seen in person.

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Just finished listening through this - love it!  Sounds great.  The new track is nice. 

 

I've never heard the long-form OST and have only heard the OTHER OST once (my intro to the score was the Rhino release), so that program was new to me too.  Greatly enjoyed it!  Well arranged, and with a nice amount of emphasis on the earlier scenes, fewer late-score action scenes. 

 

Kind of a bummer that, like the disco version on Close Encounters, the pop version of CYRMM is left off.  I certainly understand why.  It's not something I particularly love, but I strongly feel that for these releases to truly be archival/ultimate, they should include the oddities.

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20 minutes ago, Holko said:

If you haven't seen it yet, I also recommend this one, together with browsing further through the gallery:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/17755369/Empire-of-the-Sun

Some fascinating details for what, along with the HP set, is my absolute favourite of all of Titus' works that I own and thus have seen in person.

 

Thanks, yes I am familiar with Jim Titus's Behance page, it's terrific, just wish he would update it more often (probably too busy creating more fantastic cover art though) :)

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1 hour ago, jwalk713 said:

Of interest-- in the original 1978 LP (and the subsequent CD releases based upon that program), the end title actually includes the tempo / pitch change that was applied when the end title was edited into the opening of the film. This is not the case in the new program, which is totally fine. Additionally-- the mono version of the film's audio track, which was on my worn out VHS tape-- seemed to favor the left channel; -- meaning, that the altered pitch 'Prelude and Main Title' was not only slightly faster and pitch-adjusted, but the strings and woodwinds were VERY prominent, swirling a magnificent tapestry around the many brass passages/fanfares. Interestingly, on the 1978 program AND this new set, said strings and woodwinds are very faint in the mix, favoring the brass far more prominently. The Blue Box presentation, however, closely matches the alternative sound mix, in which the strings and woodwinds are very pronounced. Therefore, I remain happy in my choice to purchase every iteration of this score, as each one of them has something wholly different to offer! 

 

 

I'll add another observation from the left channel.  Neither the Blue Box nor the 2018 restoration seem to prominently feature the dotted staccato trombones you hear in the Rhino version of Planet Krypton at the 4:26 mark.

 

 

I'm finding it hard to describe the difference, but both the Blue Box and the 2018 restoration seem to bury that articulation in their mix, just slightly.

 

I did an A/B comparison on the wav files, and decided I would merge the Rhino with the 2018 around that point, as seamlessly as possible.

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52 minutes ago, Hedji said:

 

 

I'll add another observation from the left channel.  Neither the Blue Box nor the 2018 restoration seem to prominently feature the dotted staccato trombones you hear in the Rhino version of Planet Krypton at the 4:26 mark.

 

 

I'm finding it hard to describe the difference, but both the Blue Box and the 2018 restoration seem to bury that articulation in their mix, just slightly.

 

I did an A/B comparison on the wav files, and decided I would merge the Rhino with the 2018 around that point, as seamlessly as possible.

How fascinating! I hear what you mean. It's really interesting to hear certain familiar passages somewhat buried or re-mixed, versus ones that are now seemingly illuminated for the first time: ie, in the disaster motif of 'The Helicopter Sequence,' I'm 99% that I can now hear a piano, in the bass register, doubling the bass/bass cellos/bones underneath the horn melody. EDIT: Anyone with score sheets wanna confirm if there is a piano line in the piece? Confirm my rightness/madness? 

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4 hours ago, mstrox said:

Just finished listening through this - love it!  Sounds great.  The new track is nice. 

 

I've never heard the long-form OST and have only heard the OTHER OST once (my intro to the score was the Rhino release), so that program was new to me too.  Greatly enjoyed it!  Well arranged, and with a nice amount of emphasis on the earlier scenes, fewer late-score action scenes. 

 

Kind of a bummer that, like the disco version on Close Encounters, the pop version of CYRMM is left off.  I certainly understand why.  It's not something I particularly love, but I strongly feel that for these releases to truly be archival/ultimate, they should include the oddities.

Do you mean the version on the Superman II/III set?

 

 

4 hours ago, jwalk713 said:

Of interest-- in the original 1978 LP (and the subsequent CD releases based upon that program), the end title actually includes the tempo / pitch change that was applied when the end title was edited into the opening of the film. This is not the case in the new program, which is totally fine. Additionally-- the mono version of the film's audio track, which was on my worn out VHS tape-- seemed to favor the left channel; -- meaning, that the altered pitch 'Prelude and Main Title' was not only slightly faster and pitch-adjusted, but the strings and woodwinds were VERY prominent, swirling a magnificent tapestry around the many brass passages/fanfares. Interestingly, on the 1978 program AND this new set, said strings and woodwinds are very faint in the mix, favoring the brass far more prominently. The Blue Box presentation, however, closely matches the alternative sound mix, in which the strings and woodwinds are very pronounced. Therefore, I remain happy in my choice to purchase every iteration of this score, as each one of them has something wholly different to offer! 

I think the whole soundtrack is slightly off pitch though.

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20 minutes ago, Faleel J.M. said:

Do you mean the version on the Superman II/III set?

 

 

I think the whole soundtrack is slightly off pitch though.

 

Wasnt there a vocal version of that?  Or am I misremembering

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11 minutes ago, mstrox said:

 

Wasnt there a vocal version of that?  Or am I misremembering

Only on the Rhino

 

The Blu box "replaced" it with the longer slightly more orchestral pop version

 

These tracks from the previous releases are on the Superman II/III set:


6. Can You Read My Mind (Instrumental No. 1) 3:11
8. Kansas High School 1:47 (BB only)
9. Kansas Kids 1:30 (BB only)
11. Luthor’s Luau 2:50 (R & BB)
14. Lois Car Radio 1:56 (BB only)
16. Can You Read My Mind (Instrumental No. 2) 2:55

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1 hour ago, crocodile said:

I'm just listening to the alternate Fortress of Solitude. It really wants to quote the Force theme. Naughty John!

 

Karol

 

You can't help but hear similarities in the way it's presented, but I believe it's this motif from The Planet Krypton at 1:31

 

 

Mike Matessino mentioned on Mauricio's podcast that this motif only being repeated in an unused alternate was similar to the "Threepio in distress" motif heard in the Alternate Binary Sunset, heard only once in the film when Threepio is whining after loosing an arm to the Sand People.

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32 minutes ago, Nemesis said:

I always have the feeling the trumpet players had pitch problems when the main theme starts in the diffrent versions of Main Title and End Title. 

I wondered this for the end title in particular; but for whatever reason, the pitch altered version doesn't strike me as being off (other than the jarring moment IN the film when the edit makes the pitch change abundantly clear). But in its current iteration on the new album, it's a tad bit tinny on the 1 to 5 jump in the fanfare. Nevertheless, the level of roundness and clarity that's present here is breath-taking. All the individual notes in the brass chords can be heard so clearly. I've always thought the end title truly sounds like a refined concert version of the piece, while the intended opening title has a more intense energy propelling it. There's even a grittiness in a few moments that I love. The bass ostinato leading to the 'up and away' trumpet call is utterly thrilling. 

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I'm generally not a headphone listener, so maybe this is a lost cause, but I've done side-by-side listens between my Blue Box CD and the samples on the LLL site, and I just don't hear much difference.  Am I just not capable of hearing the increase in quality with these ears and these speakers (Bose Companion 20), or can someone who owns the new set chime in on the extent to which the online samples represent the actual audio quality of the release?  I love my Blue Box and certainly won't complain if this release is essentially unnecessary for me, but I'm just curious if there's something I'm not hearing.

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45 minutes ago, Locrius said:

I can't believe I never noticed this before, but what's with the fart sound at 6:48 in "The Flying Sequence"? Just checked the 2000 Rhino release and it's in there, too...

Yeah, it's a funky slap on electric bass

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Just now, MrJosh said:

Yeah, it's a funky slap on electric bass

 it's the sound of a broken wire!

 

Superman can't really fly for real...

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I just listened to that unearthed Fortress of Solitude alternate...WOW. It's so different, it's fascinating! I need to listen to it 3 more times when I get home. 

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3 hours ago, Locrius said:

I can't believe I never noticed this before, but what's with the fart sound at 6:48 in "The Flying Sequence"? Just checked the 2000 Rhino release and it's in there, too...

Its been there since the beginning. Lol I always thought it was Margot Kidder. 😁😊

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7 hours ago, igger6 said:

Am I just not capable of hearing the increase in quality with these ears and these speakers (Bose Companion 20), or can someone who owns the new set chime in on the extent to which the online samples represent the actual audio quality of the release?

 

This right here is probably one of the most honest posts I’ve ever read on JWFan.

 

Don’t beat yourself up. Sound is subjective. I personally stayed away from the samples on the site - not wanting to listen to flat mp3s, but rather to hear it in its full glory (read: in CD-quality, aka lossless) on my speakers at home.

 

But here, you are not talking about mp3s vs CD vs hi-res audio... you are talking about the upgrade because of new masters and new mixing.

 

I did not succeed in staying away from samples. They turned up on Muarizio’s podcast, as well as on the CapedWonder podcast. (FYI - all podcasts are mp3s.)

 

Mp3 quality aside - The difference jumps out. I’ve been listening to these scores since I wore out my VHS copy of Superman in 1985! The OST, the Rhino, the Blue Box... what I heard in the samples played, sounded stunning.

 

Hearing Superman 2019 lossless will be even more so, since it’ll remove the “flat” sound of the mp3.

 

But sound is subjective. If you can’t hear it, don’t beat yourself up. Not every one has to agree, everyone perceives art differently and that’s fine.

 

7 hours ago, igger6 said:

I'm generally not a headphone listener, so maybe this is a lost cause,

 

I have no idea though what headphones has to do with anything with your question.

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My set came in on Wednesday, and I'm very pleased.  The orchestral details are very striking, indeed, as many have pointed out.  Not all the tracks are night and day difference when compared to the FSM set, but in most cases the instrumentation can be heard with even greater clarity and stereo separation.  I gave it a couple listens through speakers and on my computer (as FLAC files through a DAC and Sony MDR-7506 headphones). You can almost hear each specific section of orchestra in finer detail, with the first chair leading the way. 

 

That said -- I concur with what jwalk713 said about the film version of the "Prelude and Main Title."  One of my favorite portions of the piece, as heard in the film (both the original sound mix, the music remix for the DVD/Blu-ray) and the FSM edition, is the theme reprise after the love theme.  When the swirling strings and percussion kick in (i.e. cymbal crashes, tinkling of the xylophones), it's a nice counterpoint to the brass,and it really gives an added energy and drive.  But on the LLL version, it was toned down to the point where it's almost inaudible, almost going backwards as it were, to the 1978 album mix.  I guess this was what Mike Matessino alluding to on "levels."  It's what Williams  signed off on, so we're hearing what he wants us to hear. :)  So I'm not going to retire the FSM version from my hard drive just yet; I'm just too used to that particular mix.

 

Also it's finally great to have the alternate "Prelude and Main Title" in better quality.  It always sounded rough on the Rhino edition; the FSM was a marginal improvement, but this one finally sounds fresh and consistent with the rest of the tracks.  And yes, the early version of "The Fortress Solitude" is a bit of quasi-religious experience to listen to... but I'm half-expecting Obi-Wan to materialize instead to teach Clark the ways of the Force.

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2 hours ago, Eplicon said:

My set came in on Wednesday, and I'm very pleased.  The orchestral details are very striking, indeed, as many have pointed out.  Not all the tracks are night and day difference when compared to the FSM set, but in most cases the instrumentation can be heard with even greater clarity and stereo separation.  I gave it a couple listens through speakers and on my computer (as FLAC files through a DAC and Sony MDR-7506 headphones). You can almost hear each specific section of orchestra in finer detail, with the first chair leading the way. 

 

That said -- I concur with what jwalk713 said about the film version of the "Prelude and Main Title."  One of my favorite portions of the piece, as heard in the film (both the original sound mix, the music remix for the DVD/Blu-ray) and the FSM edition, is the theme reprise after the love theme.  When the swirling strings and percussion kick in (i.e. cymbal crashes, tinkling of the xylophones), it's a nice counterpoint to the brass,and it really gives an added energy and drive.  But on the LLL version, it was toned down to the point where it's almost inaudible, almost going backwards as it were, to the 1978 album mix.  I guess this was what Mike Matessino alluding to on "levels."  It's what Williams  signed off on, so we're hearing what he wants us to hear. :)  So I'm not going to retire the FSM version from my hard drive just yet; I'm just too used to that particular mix.

 

Also it's finally great to have the alternate "Prelude and Main Title" in better quality.  It always sounded rough on the Rhino edition; the FSM was a marginal improvement, but this one finally sounds fresh and consistent with the rest of the tracks.  And yes, the early version of "The Fortress Solitude" is a bit of quasi-religious experience to listen to... but I'm half-expecting Obi-Wan to materialize instead to teach Clark the ways of the Force.

 

Many thanks, sir! I agree with your assertions here as well. As soon as I read Mike's reference to 'levels,' this is exactly what came to mind. The Alternate 'Prelude and Main Title' does indeed, finally, sound wondrous. Particularly, from the moment the 'B' theme is heard until the end, it is stellar. It would be a dream come to see the original footage/opening that this accompanied. Likewise with the 'Fortress' cue, which, like its revision, is a near-religious experiences to behold. Just when I think I have learned everything there is to know about this film, we are presented with another fascinating revelation. Out of curiosity, when it comes to the March or Main Title-- what is your favorite presentation/Iteration of it? Presently, for me, it is the as-intended Prelude and Main Title. 

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7 hours ago, jwalk713 said:

Out of curiosity, when it comes to the March or Main Title-- what is your favorite presentation/Iteration of it? Presently, for me, it is the as-intended Prelude and Main Title.

The intended version for me as well. With the release of the FSM set, not only was it a revelation in finally listening to the intended main titles restored in its rightful place after the "Prelude," but also hearing it synchronized to the title sequence (featured in FSM's "Score Restore" article when the Blue Box was released).   However, since seeing the clip, now all those nuances in the performance where the orchestra "hits"/modulates/flourishes on the names in the credits sticks out far, far more than ever before in just listening to it by itself.  But in a good way, since the intended main titles now makes more sense musically, if that makes any sense, and this is the version is my "go to" when I want to hear the Superman theme.

 

But for nearly 30 years, until 2008, I had always loved the film version -- with those two edits.  It was something about this performance of the main theme that had a bit of an oomph to it that seemed absent on the original 2-LP album.  For a time I had thought this was a version that Williams recorded specifically for the credit sequence.  And of course, that was not the case, and that it wasn't later that what I found to be so energetic about the performance (i.e., a bit faster) was due to a slight pitch alteration!  I remember wondering why the LP sounded so slow in comparison... I thought my dad's turntable wasn't calibrated properly, so I had cranked the speed control up to make it sound more like what I heard in the movie -- and I'm not referring to changing it from "33" to "45" speed; it had a knob to fine tune going up or down in pitch.  The glory days of analog technology with knobs and buttons!

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28 minutes ago, Eplicon said:

The intended version for me as well. With the release of the FSM set, not only was it a revelation in finally listening to the intended main titles restored in its rightful place after the "Prelude," but also hearing it synchronized to the title sequence (featured in FSM's "Score Restore" article when the Blue Box was released).   However, since seeing the clip, now all those nuances in the performance where the orchestra "hits"/modulates/flourishes on the names in the credits sticks out far, far more than ever before in just listening to it by itself.  But in a good way, since the intended main titles now makes more sense musically, if that makes any sense, and this is the version is my "go to" when I want to hear the Superman theme.

 

But for nearly 30 years, until 2008, I had always loved the film version -- with those two edits.  It was something about this performance of the main theme that had a bit of an oomph to it that seemed absent on the original 2-LP album.  For a time I had thought this was a version that Williams recorded specifically for the credit sequence.  And of course, that was not the case, and that it wasn't later that what I found to be so energetic about the performance (i.e., a bit faster) was due to a slight pitch alteration!  I remember wondering why the LP sounded so slow in comparison... I thought my dad's turntable wasn't calibrated properly, so I had cranked the speed control up to make it sound more like what I heard in the movie -- and I'm not referring to changing it from "33" to "45" speed; it had a knob to fine tune going up or down in pitch.  The glory days of analog technology with knobs and buttons!

Man.... You are the only person I've encountered in 30 years whose thought process on this was identical to mine! Thank you! I too thought it was some mystery version that was recorded for the opening, that would never see the light of day. The end title on the original LP was my first clue that they had simply cranked the pitch and speed. Next, when the Special Edition DVD was released, they had a score section with some 'alternate cues.' This included an alternate take of the film version prelude (the only release it's ever had), that segued into the pitch altered end title, following the timpani roll. But, unique to THIS version, was a right channel mix that was accurate to the 2001 sound mix. (Insert eye twitch of impending madness) The left Channel was STILL almost inaudible, though. So I began work on my most ambitious fan edit ever: I painstakingly pitch and speed altered the Left channel of the FSM end title, and synchronized it with the DVD version's RIGHT channel. It wasn't completely perfect, but it worked. I successfully matched the speed/pitch, and came closer than ever to duplicating the actual film version. I'll dig it out send it to you, if you'd like to hear it!

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1 hour ago, crocodile said:

Mike had this to say about any other "missing" music on the FSM forum:

 

 

Apologies if this has already been posted. I couldn't find it anywhere.

 

Karol

I received the package yesterday and had time to listen to the complete score presentation on discs 1 and 2 last night. It is a fantastic one. The Fortress of Solitude alternate segment is a wonderful little find although I was surprised how it couple of times almost veers into a passage that sounds like the opening of the Force Theme.

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20 hours ago, crocodile said:

Mike had this to say about any other "missing" music on the FSM forum:

 

 

Apologies if this has already been posted. I couldn't find it anywhere.

 

Karol

This was actually in response to my original query at FSM:

 

Speaking of un-recorded cues-do we have a list of what alternate cues Williams also wrote but didn't record?. I thought there was another alternate cue of 'Baby Lifts Lorry'- I had assumed this was recorded instead of the alternate Fortress of Solitude segment- but still glad that the latter was recorded and found instead because its part of a significant sequence.

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