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Keeping or recreating the Original Album (or not)


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First up, please can this not turn into a discussion about the relative merits of "proper" soundtrack albums versus C&C and everything in between. Leave that for the many threads that already exist on that. I was more hoping to gauge views on whether people like to have both the original album arrangement as well as whatever expanded version is available, or both, or hybrids of the two. I guess this is more directed at iTunes (and other audio player) users who can recreate the original album assembly in a playlist (if possible) and whether they both doing this or just keep a rip of the original album.

 

How different do the arrangements of the tracks have to be for you to want to have both? There are plenty of original albums where tracks are edited together (Williams does this more than pretty much anyone). Alternatively, there the original album may have lots of micro edits that mean it's essentially impossible to recreate the original album exactly without audio editing software;  Elfman's Mission: Impossible for example or say, Star Treks V & VI which have gaps in a couple of action cues that are cut out in the original album arrangement. Do you usually keep the original album arrangement, either from the original disc or prefer to assemble it (or close to it) from an expanded release?

 

As I've mentioned elsewhere, there are some cases where the original album forms a really great, concise tone poem of the score with most of the major highlights - like a ballet suite compared to the full thing. For me, Starship Troopers, is the perfect example. I love having the entire score (it's an equal with Wind for my favourite Basil score - sorry Conan lovers) but the original album plays so perfectly, without a weak spot. However, some tracks are edited together on the original album that means recreating it as a playlist doesn't quite work. Then again, for example, Empire of the Sun has (as far as I can tell) only relatively minor differences in some tracks so I didn't feel I miss out by recreating the original album as a playlist while having the full score too. I'm currently contemplating whether to retain the original HTTYD album - the expanded release has better sound and I'm unlikely to actually want to listen to the original album but I feel I should keep it for nostalgic reasons. Which seems crazy somehow...

 

Let the mud slinging (or sensible and thoughtful comments) commence. Or not.

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OSTs only. Extra music usually sucks anyway.

The hardworking folks who bring us our beloved expansions would surely disagree! Apart from the SW demastered edition, there aren't any albums that got worse sound in the expansion that I can recall b

The OST is all you need.

I collect and listen to the OSTs too, I like to have choice. And it depends on the time I have to spend listening to a score. 

 

I don't make house edits, life is too short for that!

 

I love when expansions features also the original album.

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I use the expansion's cover for the new main program and bonus tracks (unless I see a fan-made one I like more), and the old OST album cover for the OST album re-creation in a new expansion.

 

EDIT: I thought the title said something about keeping the original album ART! :P

 

To answer the actual question:


I'd never sell any of my physical film score CDs, nor delete any of my film score albums on my hard drive.  I occasionally listen to old OST albums if I feel like it, even when there's an expansion. Most of the time the new expanded main program becomes my go-to and I rarely have an interest in listening to the old OST again.  Sometimes the old OST is great forever like ET or War Horse.

 

It all depends

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Not sure if I understood your question correctly, but I'll try:

 

On my CD/LP shelf, you'll find 99% OSTs, extremely few expanded/C&C releases.

 

In my iTunes, I have 95% OSTs, but also some C&C, or scores that were released too long and sluggish from the get-go without any curated OST. I aim to 'playlist' these at some point. There are also a few expanded releases on my harddrive that I have not imported, nor will I ever import into iTunes. They're there more for research purposes etc.

 

When I playlist an album in iTunes, I keep the deleted tracks on my harddrive.

 

Not sure any of this answered your question.

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Most of the time, when I obtain a complete or near complete release, I tend to pass on or sell on the OST.

 

In many cases, such as E.T. and Superman releases from LLLR, the OST becomes moot and is included in the package, in which case I include that OST arrangement in my digital extraction, and utilize the OST artwork in my digital version.

 

I try, as far as possible, to have one definitive version of each score in the collection.

 

For artwork choice, I use the expansion and alternate covers for the expansions, and the OST album art for OST if included.

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1 hour ago, Tom Guernsey said:

First up, please can this not turn into a discussion about the relative merits of "proper" soundtrack albums versus C&C and everything in between.

 

Probably just a question of when, but we can try to stave off that for a while :) 

 

I have a number of scores for which I've got the album and a complete version or session leak. Off the top of my head, I've done that with The HauntingAlien: ResurrectionHidalgoand the first Narnia score. In all of those cases, the complete score is long and I don't know it that well, so having the OST to come back to is nice. Also in some cases, if the OST is nostalgic or nicely put together, I'll keep it anyway, but that's not common.

 

More common is that I dump the OST, but keep the odd interesting track and put them at the end of the complete set. I recently got rid of my 'enhanced' JP 20th anniversary set, and just added the album suites for 'Incident At Isla Nublar' and 'Hatching Baby Raptor', and 'Theme from Jurasic Park' to the end of the LLL set.

 

And of course there are the Lord of the Rings OSTs and CRs. Both unique as listening experiences, and powerful nostalgia attached to the original albums.

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In my iTunes (sorry, Music) library, I usually delete my rip of the OST once I have the expansion in my hot little hands, whether or not the expansion contains the remastered OST after the main program. If it's JW or Elfman, the OST cd stays in my collection because I'm striving to be a completist for those two (the only two for whom I'll bother attempting that feat).

 

A few weeks ago, I wrote in some other thread my interest in one day becoming an audiophile. My cd collection is basically waiting for the day when I have a modest but decent sound system to play it on. Until then, I'll rely on my Music library for all my listening.

 

In terms of editing playlists or rebuilding cues or tracks with software, I do none of that. I admire the folks here who have the know-how and the ear for it, but that's one area I'll never venture into.

 

5 hours ago, The Big Man said:

OSTs only. Extra music usually sucks anyway.

I see @Gruesome Son of a Bitch liked your post, but where's @Thor's enthusiastic approval??

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2 minutes ago, The Big Man said:

Usually the OST has better sound quality

The hardworking folks who bring us our beloved expansions would surely disagree! Apart from the SW demastered edition, there aren't any albums that got worse sound in the expansion that I can recall being talked about. (Maybe Rocketeer?)

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19 minutes ago, Bayesian said:

The hardworking folks who bring us our beloved expansions would surely disagree! Apart from the SW demastered edition, there aren't any albums that got worse sound in the expansion that I can recall being talked about. (Maybe Rocketeer?)

 

Spartacus

The Edge

Congo

Starship Troopers

A View to a Kill

Rambo III

 

Just to name a few off the top of my head, all brighter and louder than their OSTs or previous releases. Varese's Spartacus particularly is a disgrace compared to the old MCA.

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Sounds like the kinda range of responses I expected. Sorry if my original post wasn't entirely sensible, but it was hard to explain it. I started writing it a few times but gave up until I just decided to post and hope for the best! I guess I'm more leaning towards keeping fewer and fewer of the original album programmes but, if the expanded edition allows, recreating them as a playlist. I have made some custom album arrangements based on suggestions from here and FSM, notably the whittler thread which has some good suggestions.

 

In the opposite direction of creating an approximation of the complete score, I'll combine the commercial album and FYC into a playlist (the Star Wars sequels in particular) but I've not bothered to try and edit the actual tracks or resquence in iTunes itself - I'm happy to have each as different versions of the score even if there is some overlap. However, for those Bond scores where the original album had to be preserved at the start of the expanded edition, I just reordered the iTunes tracks into film order (or as close as possible where tracks are combined).

 

The only time when I've done the latter was to incorporate the Chariot Race and finale from Prince of Egypt which were available as a single track on a Walmart (or something) disc but it drove me nuts having them as a single track since there was no obvious place to put it in the score and they had a pretty easy separation point.

 

It would be great to have a database of expanded editions and whether it's possible to recreate the original album with the expanded tracks or if there are edits that prohibit this. I'm sure @Jay technically has enough information to do this, but pulling it all together could be quite a ballache!

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2 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

It would be great to have a database of expanded editions and whether it's possible to recreate the original album with the expanded tracks or if there are edits that prohibit this. I'm sure @Jay technically has enough information to do this, but pulling it all together could be quite a ballache!

 

I dunno about this - a lot of expansions have the OST included in them, and the ones that don't most often do not contain tracks with the same weird edits/overlaps/looping/whatever else he does to OSTs so it'd be impossible to rebuild without editing - and why would you want to?  No one takes your OST album away when you buy the expansion, so can't you just put the old OST on if you yearn to hear it again?

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3 hours ago, Jay said:

 

I dunno about this - a lot of expansions have the OST included in them, and the ones that don't most often do not contain tracks with the same weird edits/overlaps/looping/whatever else he does to OSTs so it'd be impossible to rebuild without editing - and why would you want to?  No one takes your OST album away when you buy the expansion, so can't you just put the old OST on if you yearn to hear it again?

I totally get that, but I guess I'm a bit anally retentive and don't want an album version in my library if I can just reorder the expanded edition to replicate (or approximate) the OST in a playlist that's all. Plus there's always the issue that the expanded edition might sound better too - for HTTYD, I elected to delete the original album as, much though I love the score, I couldn't see myself listening to the original mix anyway. However, it does mean that several of my most frequently played tracks have disappeared, although I'm sure See You Tomorrow and Test Drive will quickly work their way back up... 

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

I think there's very few expansions you can just make a playlist and end up with the EXACT original OST album

I think you're right. James Horner seems the easiest to do it for on the whole, guess he never really was much into micro-editing or combining cues. I saw your comment regarding An American Tail, I did a playlist version that omitted the songs. They are fun, but kinda twee and somewhat undercut the tone of the score (which is fairly subtle but quite serious much of the time) so it's nice to be able to skip them once in a while.

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

I think there are a lot of expansions you can make a playlist that is a decent approximation of the OST album

Agreed! I guess that's the crux of what I'm getting at... being able to do that and how close those approximations are of the OST. Sometimes it's tiny moments so you'd hardly notice, like Star Trek II, the only difference I'm aware of is that Battle in the Mutara Nebula hangs onto that long synth/high strings note about 40 seconds from the end longer than it originally did, but otherwise the tracks are (I think) identical. But then my "album" version includes a few of the expanded cues (such as Enterprise Attacks Reliant and the fun Kirk in Shuttle Cue) but I don't miss some of the more suspenseful tracks from earlier on. I've started a playlist for Star Trek V too as a couple of the action cues were edited for the original album to take out some repeated bars and a couple of pauses which, musically, are more enjoyable in their album incarnation.

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I do my own edits when I see fit. Typical examples of this are scores very dependent on the images, i. e. cartoony stuff or if I feel the musical flow isn't there or it gets too redundant. I work with Audition since 20 years, so it's easy. There are very few film scores, even regular releases, that don't require trimming or feature extraneous parts.

 

If the album edit is the definitive version, I use that. E. T. for instance is the old MCA album plus a few choice cuts from the film score. 

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My answer would depend on the composer.

 

For John Williams releases, my completist leanings require me to keep the OSTs even when an expansion becomes available. The uniqueness of Williams' album arrangements happily complement this compulsion. Even where the OST assembly is preserved and remastered on the expansion, I still retain the prior release.

 

For other composers, I tend to mix and match between OSTs and expansions depending on my preferences. For example, I have many Jerry Goldsmith expansions of his 80s scores but hardly any expansions of his 90s and 00s scores, because I find his later scores less enjoyable and varied in long form.

 

Another factor is the near-impossibility to recover the cost of OST purchases where I live. Nobody buys CDs here anymore, and they certainly never bought instrumental soundtracks to begin with (unless it's The Mission or Dying Young or Titanic), so once I've acquired something it's usually in my collection for good unless I basically give it away for next to nothing.

 

I've never tried to recreate an album from an expansion but I can understand the appeal of a bite-sized "highlights" presentation.

 

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I would love it if more expanded albums allowed me to recreate the original OSTs via playlists. For expanded scores like Twister, Jurassic Park and Close Encounters, I actually recreated most or all of the album edits just so I could listen to either program with Mike Matessino's new mastering.

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55 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

Another factor is the near-impossibility to recover the cost of OST purchases where I live. Nobody buys CDs here anymore, and they certainly never bought instrumental soundtracks to begin with (unless it's The Mission or Dying Young or Titanic)

 

DYING YOUNG? I had no idea that was on the same popularity level as the other two you mention.

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Over the years I've come to appreciate the Lord of the Rings OSTs more after listening to the CRs for so long. For instance, despite how much I love the track 'The Fighting Uruk-Hai', I think the presentation of several of the key moments is nicely arranged and edited in the OST track 'The Great River'. The medley is truncated, but it still presents the essence of those scenes. 'The White Rider' is another OST presentation I love, even if it unforgivablly excised the Shadowfax part of the scene.

So nowadays I prefer to have both CR and OST on my walkman to be able to switch between versions.

 

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On 10/29/2020 at 8:21 PM, JTWfan77 said:

My answer would depend on the composer.

 

For John Williams releases, my completist leanings require me to keep the OSTs even when an expansion becomes available. The uniqueness of Williams' album arrangements happily complement this compulsion. Even where the OST assembly is preserved and remastered on the expansion, I still retain the prior release.

 

For other composers, I tend to mix and match between OSTs and expansions depending on my preferences. For example, I have many Jerry Goldsmith expansions of his 80s scores but hardly any expansions of his 90s and 00s scores, because I find his later scores less enjoyable and varied in long form.

 

Another factor is the near-impossibility to recover the cost of OST purchases where I live. Nobody buys CDs here anymore, and they certainly never bought instrumental soundtracks to begin with (unless it's The Mission or Dying Young or Titanic), so once I've acquired something it's usually in my collection for good unless I basically give it away for next to nothing.

 

I've never tried to recreate an album from an expansion but I can understand the appeal of a bite-sized "highlights" presentation.

 

I think that broadly matches my approach. Williams usually creates such good albums that it's great to have them as a separate entity to the full thing. Funnily enough, the main case where I don't have the original album arrangements are the original Star Wars scores as the first time I bought them was the Arista box set. Having seen how they were laid out originally, I can't imagine myself wanting to listen to those scores so out of order from the films, far too familiar with both the movies and the music. Plus the Star Wars scores are perhaps the epitome of scores that tell the story through music. Curious that the original Superman album presentation is broadly (entirely?) in film order when the Star Wars scores were not.

 

On the point about not recovering costs, I have been quite lucky in being able to sell off original albums, sometimes at fairly decent money. I think someone bought the original Cowboys CD for £20, which pretty well covered the cost of the expansion. Similar for Dracula and a few others. Obviously things like Titanic and Robin Hood: POT aren't worth bothering to sell so they will probably go to the charity shop, but I've been surprised at how much people will pay for difficult to obtain/out of print original soundtrack albums. Having said that, nobody has yet purchased Earthquake after it was superseded by the Disaster set! However, it's worth having a look as some OSTs are worth trying to sell.

18 hours ago, Arpy said:

Over the years I've come to appreciate the Lord of the Rings OSTs more after listening to the CRs for so long. For instance, despite how much I love the track 'The Fighting Uruk-Hai', I think the presentation of several of the key moments is nicely arranged and edited in the OST track 'The Great River'. The medley is truncated, but it still presents the essence of those scenes. 'The White Rider' is another OST presentation I love, even if it unforgivablly excised the Shadowfax part of the scene.

So nowadays I prefer to have both CR and OST on my walkman to be able to switch between versions.

 

I totally forgotten about the LOTR scores as examples where I absolutely elected to retain the original score albums as well as the expansions. Similar to Starship Troopers, I find the original albums make for a more concise (notwithstanding that they were fairly long!) presentation of the highlights of each score that still effectively tells the story in music but in a more abridged format.

 

I bought both the original and slightly expanded Hobbit scores, but elected to retain both versions even though the differences are relatively slight between them. On that note, does anyone have or know where there's a breakdown of which tracks are the same and which are different between the releases? I have to admit that releasing them in two, very slightly different but (more or less?) complete versions struck me as quite odd. I've tried to whittle each of the three scores down to a single CD length album but no luck. Anyone tried?

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I pitch the original album, it’s worthless once the complete score is released.

 

Now there are exceptions but the labels usually include the original album with the expanded release if it’s a truly unique recording.

 

And personally I don’t waste my time recreating anything. I admire those who take the time to edit and recreate but I’m satisfied with what the labels decide for the most part.

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On 10/29/2020 at 5:41 PM, Tom Guernsey said:

I think you're right. James Horner seems the easiest to do it for on the whole, guess he never really was much into micro-editing or combining cues.

 

Yes, at least for his more straightforward scores. I don't know how much editing/arranging has been done for the Avatar album, but some other albums, notably those with long tracks, seem like he's just chosen 75 mins of sections of continuous music from the film and put it on disc.

 

One that comes to mind is 'The Long Ride Home' from The Missing, at a whopping 16 minutes. I only really listen to the second half, or so, of that.

 

9 hours ago, Ollie said:


 

no, I have a ceremony where I burn it for it’s poor representation.

 

I never bought the OST for a couple of scores where I felt an expansion was imminent and the current representation was really bad. Dante's Peak being my primary culprit. The album is a not a good representation, and all I have is the boot. I also never had the original album for Starship Troopers, although that was more because I'm not massively into the score.

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1 hour ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Yes, at least for his more straightforward scores. I don't know how much editing/arranging has been done for the Avatar album, but some other albums, notably those with long tracks, seem like he's just chosen 75 mins of sections of continuous music from the film and put it on disc.

 

One that comes to mind is 'The Long Ride Home' from The Missing, at a whopping 16 minutes. I only really listen to the second half, or so, of that.

 

 

I never bought the OST for a couple of scores where I felt an expansion was imminent and the current representation was really bad. Dante's Peak being my primary culprit. The album is a not a good representation, and all I have is the boot. I also never had the original album for Starship Troopers, although that was more because I'm not massively into the score.

 

I have the same issue with Bavmorda's Spell Is Cast from Willow. It's a pretty even 50/50 split between not hugely exciting suspenseful noodling and the second half being a great action cue. I kinda hope that any expanded version does actually split them as the first half of that track is pretty hard work!

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3 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Yes, at least for his more straightforward scores. I don't know how much editing/arranging has been done for the Avatar album, but some other albums, notably those with long tracks, seem like he's just chosen 75 mins of sections of continuous music from the film and put it on disc.

 

One that comes to mind is 'The Long Ride Home' from The Missing, at a whopping 16 minutes. I only really listen to the second half, or so, of that.

 

 

I never bought the OST for a couple of scores where I felt an expansion was imminent and the current representation was really bad. Dante's Peak being my primary culprit. The album is a not a good representation, and all I have is the boot. I also never had the original album for Starship Troopers, although that was more because I'm not massively into the score.

 

 

i was a bit tongue in cheek with my response, but I grew up where short soundtracks were the norm. If that’s all that was available, then I bought it.

 

 

3 hours ago, Holko said:

Or he hates crap clipped hissy rushed LP transfers. Or the ones where it's the OST that's brickwalled.


 

I was a bit tongue in cheek with my response.

 

I grew up with the 30 min soundtrack so having short albums was the norm. And even though I enjoyed them, I’d get a bit frustrated over missing music. Imagine coming home with the 2 LP of Superman and realizing the helicopter sequence was missing. 
 

 

Not to continue to beat this dead horse, but I never really cared about Album Presentation or a composer’s artistic choice. The album is going to flow, regardless of whether it’s the complete score or an arrangement by the composer.

 

I’m interested in everything the composer wrote for the film. The music in a complete presentation flows just fine for me.

 

 

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I've started looking through release which include the original album to try and determine if there's any benefit in retaining the original album or if it's just a case of making a playlist with the expanded/complete score. Some helpfully tell you how to recreate the original album - case in point being First Knight, which is pretty simple aside from the fact that Jerry decided to rename several of the cues. Otherwise, aside from a couple of very minor edits, the cues are identical, so that's one to ditch (although I think First Knight pretty much works complete, it's such a great, fun score). On the other hand, The Wind and the Lion notes don't say whether the original album cues are the same as the expanded edition. Any ideas? Would be good to start a catalogue for those of us who care about such things (although I concede even by JWFan anal retentive standards, it's close to the most, erm, retentive...).

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I still remember noticing that the end of "The Prophecy" on the FOTR OST has a harp accentuating things at the end, while "Prologue (Alternate)" on the Rarities Archive does not - two different takes of the same music (I prefer it with the harp)

 

I think ever since then I've started to notice more take differences, though generally it's when I've already known that there's supposed to be some kind of difference to look out for ahead of time...

 

Comparing Bouzereau's Hook album to the session leak is fun too, like with the low male choir in Looney Wendy

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42 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

On the other hand, The Wind and the Lion notes don't say whether the original album cues are the same as the expanded edition. Any ideas? Would be good to start a catalogue for those of us who care about such things (although I concede even by JWFan anal retentive standards, it's close to the most, erm, retentive...).

 

Pretty much the same, just edited down in the movie.

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