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Varese to reissue Joel McNeely's Shadows of the Empire album

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Their press released doesn't say if they remastered it or not 🤷‍♀️

 

Quote

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Music from the LucasArts Video Game
Joel McNeely

UPC: 888072173637
Release Date: 8/7/20

$ 13.98

 

ShadowsOfTheEmpire_Cover_2048x2048.jpg?v

 

May the 4th be with you! In celebration of Star Wars Day, Varèse Sarabande Records is thrilled to announce the upcoming special release of the Original Video Game Soundtrack for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by GRAMMY®-nominated composer Joel McNeely. The soundtrack will be released for the first time on LP and reissued on CD on August 7, 2020, exclusively from Varèse Sarabande Records and is now available for pre-order.

 

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was developed and published by LucasArts for Nintendo 64 on December 3, 1996, and sold one million copies in its first year. A version for Microsoft Windows followed in 1997, and sold out reissues have kept the game alive amongst the Star Wars fan base since its release over 20 years ago.

 

As part of the Shadows of the Empire multimedia project, a full soundtrack was composed by Joel McNeely and recorded with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Samples of the soundtrack were used in both versions of the game, with the Windows version containing many of the full tracks. The album art features the main Star Wars characters and was created by legendary illustrator Drew Struzan (Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future).

 

In the game, which serves as backstory between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the player controls the mercenary Dash Rendar in his efforts to help Luke Skywalker and rescue Princess Leia from Prince Xizor.

 

Joel McNeely is an Emmy® Award-winning composer and conductor with more than 100 motion picture and television credits.  As a composer for film and television, McNeely has worked with such respected filmmakers as James Cameron, John Lasseter, Seth MacFarlane and George Lucas, among others.  McNeely received the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.” He was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction (“The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”) and received a GRAMMY® nomination for Outstanding Classical Crossover Album for “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” 

 

https://www.varesesarabande.com/products/star-wars-shadows-of-the-empire-1

 

Also on vinyl:

 

https://www.varesesarabande.com/products/star-wars-shadows-of-the-empire-lp

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Interesting. I don't think I've ever actually heard the whole thing start to finish, might be interested.

 

Wonder if JW had to sign off on it as writer of, or Lucasfilm or DIscney or whoever as owners of some original material this reprises/plays with.

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Never read the book, but I've loved this album since the 90s. Glad to see it get a repressing. The fact that Varese doesn't know it was originally written for a book (which was then subsequently adapted for a video game), is just embarassing. And in the post that Karol posted, just digging themselves deeper and deeper.

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28 minutes ago, crocodile said:

EDIT: Varese replied to my comment on their Facebook page. 

 

IMG_20200504_184550.jpg

 

"Partially correct". All they need to do is read liner notes for the album. This is literally the first thing it mentions. 😆

 

sote02.jpg

 

Karol

 

Wow.  Pathetic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 minutes ago, Holko said:

Wonder if JW had to sign off

 

Nope

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35 minutes ago, Jay said:

Their press released doesn't say if they remastered it or not 🤷‍♀️

 

As far as I know, Varese seldom remasters the albums they've recorded themselves when re-released.

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Makes you wonder why even announce a "re-issue" if it was never OOP anyway and the new discs are identical to the old

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1 hour ago, Holko said:

Interesting. I don't think I've ever actually heard the whole thing start to finish, might be interested.

 

Wonder if JW had to sign off on it as writer of, or Lucasfilm or DIscney or whoever as owners of some original material this reprises/plays with.

 

I'm pretty sure I've read that JW wasn't informed about this project and didn't find out before Lucas had hired the composer and the project was well underway. So there's a possibility that JW would have wanted to do this. I guess Lucas didn't want to pay more than he had to for a score for a book, so he didn't want to give JW the opportunity.

 

1 hour ago, Jay said:

Makes you wonder why even announce a "re-issue" if it was never OOP anyway and the new discs are identical to the old

 

It's a "new" format. You've never heard the album with pops and crackles!

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6 minutes ago, Jay said:

Makes you wonder why even announce a "re-issue" if it was never OOP anyway and the new discs are identical to the old

Not wanting to be left out of May the 4th I guess.

I wonder if they updated the enhanced CD content....

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I haven't been able to play my enhanced CD content in decades. The NIXON material, for example, became completely unreadable just some 5-6 years after the album came out. Now I don't even have a CD-ROM player. But the content is on Youtube anyway, so no biggie.

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I wonder if the booklet will be different.  I seem to recall the original booklet having a weird in-universe history of the album, and specifically remember the name Mungo Baobub.

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3 minutes ago, mstrox said:

I wonder if the booklet will be different.  I seem to recall the original booklet having a weird in-universe history of the album, and specifically remember the name Mungo Baobub.

A reference to something from the Droids cartoon, connected to Ben Burtt I believe

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3 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:


Why not post this image as a reply to Varese? :) 

Yavar

I just don't want to be that negative fanboy to moan about stuff. I politely pointed it out once, that's it. And told them also that I'm happy about the reissue...not to be too negative.

 

6 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

I'm looking forward to this. It's the best Star Wars score that JW never wrote.

I don't necessarily disagree with that. But it's not exactly fair to compare this with any of the live action scores. McNeely's music is highly enjoyable but can you imagine a SW score by John Williams written for a project like this? With no restrictions...no sound effects or dialogue to worry about... or spotting... or even pacing. 

 

Karol

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2 minutes ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

A reference to something from the Droids cartoon, connected to Ben Burtt I believe

 

I've never seen any Droids or Ewoks cartoons - at least not since I can remember.  Hopefully a Disney+ addition in the future.  My kid would love them

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1 minute ago, crocodile said:

I just don't want to be that negative fanboy to moan about stuff. I pointed it out once, that's it.

 

I don't think it's "moaning" to quote the album's own Townson liner notes as a helpful correction...

Yavar

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2 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

 

I don't think it's "moaning" to quote the album's own Townson liner notes as a helpful correction...

Yavar

I think someone else already pointed that out already. Let's leave it there. :)

 

Karol

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17 minutes ago, crocodile said:

I just don't want to be that negative fanboy to moan about stuff. I politely pointed it out once, that's it. And told them also that I'm happy about the reissue...not to be too negative.

 

I don't necessarily disagree with that. But it's not exactly fair to compare this with any of the live action scores. McNeely's music is highly enjoyable but can you imagine a SW score by John Williams written for a project like this? With no restrictions...no sound effects or dialogue to worry about... or spotting... or even pacing. 

 

Karol

Well, no film pacing anyway.

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I mean, isn't that what a lot of operas are?  Someone writing new music based on an existing story?

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3 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

An original soundtrack to a novel? Does that even make sense?

 

Any other examples of such a thing?

The Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit ;)

 

Seriously though:

 

The Lord of the Rings Symphony by Johan De Meij

Rimsky Korsakov's Seherezade

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

I mean, isn't that what a lot of operas are?  Someone writing new music based on an existing story?

 

An opera is performed on the stage. A book is not.

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7 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

An original soundtrack to a novel? Does that even make sense?

 

Any other examples of such a thing?

 

Yes, POWER DOWN by Dane Walker.

https://open.spotify.com/album/2Dq17OpGKVlIDAuWXIMkFn?si=IJXrWfbDSXSDsdopm7gOiA

And there are a bunch more that I unfortunately can't recall of the top of my head. But writing music inspired by literature isn't anything new.

 

-Erik-

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Just now, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

Extremely short bits were used in the game. Space was limited!

From what I understand the Windows versions used more than the N64 version.

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2 hours ago, crocodile said:

Still, great to see this back in print. Very enjoyable album.

 

But more important: is the book back in print?

 

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This is good.

 

I doubt it’ll be remastered though, if the press release doesn’t say so.

 

But I remember it to sound quite good, so, no harm no foul.

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15 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

An original soundtrack to a novel? Does that even make sense?

 

Any other examples of such a thing?

 

It's not unusual among kiddie books to have buttons you can push to get sounds or songs.

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Just now, crocodile said:

Hopefully, not...

tumblr_p5td5zNYDQ1qgvqxoo6_400.gif

 

Karol

Ummm....

 

 

Most EU books were reprinted as Legends around 2014

 

https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Empire-Star-Steve-Perry/dp/0553574132/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=shadows+of+the+empire+paperback+legends&qid=1588621366&sr=8-5

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SOTE wasn't bad. Kids these days probably don't know what the hell it is but that's how it was for me circa 1996. It was pretty startling back then to suddenly see dolls from a SW thing we didn't know what it was.

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3 minutes ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

SOTE wasn't bad. Kids these days probably don't know what the hell it is but that's how it was for me circa 1996. It was pretty startling back then to suddenly see dolls from a SW thing we didn't know what it was.

It wasn't exactly horrible but there are far better EU books out there. Dozens of them, even. :)

 

Karol

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If I recall correctly, the N64 game used "Beggar's Canyon Chase," "Into the Sewers," the bolder B-portion of "Xizor's Theme," and the choral finale of "Destruction of Xizor's Palace."  The tracks were in the levels where you'd expect 'em storywise.  I think most of the other music was loops from the ESB soundtrack - I know Hyperspace was used on the train level, and the asteroid chase music was used in its appropriate place as well.

 

Not sure about the PC version, if it even existed.

 

Thinking about it now, it's kind of weird that you didn't face off against Xizor at all - although I'm aware a Rendar/Xizor face-off would have been off-canon from the book, especially if Dash won. (but I think Dash destroying the Skyhook is already counter the book, where Vader pops in and blows it up).  In the end, the bosses were a stream of random creatures, bounty hunters, and droids.  I played the hell out of that game, though.  Loved it.  I would make up my own adventures on Gall and take strafing runs at the invincible Star Destroyer in the last level when you're able to truly fly the Outrider.

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Just now, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

Problem with it for me, was Luke seemed out of character for that period of the timeline..

What do you mean? In this book specifically?

 

Karol

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2 minutes ago, crocodile said:

What do you mean? In this book specifically?

 

Karol

Yeah, he seemed way too flippant and "extroverted" for right before ROTJ,  very "Hey guys whats up, whoah!!" if that makes any sense.

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1 minute ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

Yeah, he seemed way too flippant and "extroverted" for right before ROTJ,  very "Hey guys whats up, whoah!!" if that makes any sense.

Yeah, makes sense. I can't remember this one too well. As I said, there were far better books out there that I have better memories of.

 

Karol

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Luke is a hard character to get right in fiction, and I'm not sure anybody has really done it.  He's such a cipher in the movies.  In the EU books, he bounces back and forth between a low self esteem goon and a super-powerful monk.

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