Jump to content

James Horner's WILLOW (1988) - NEW! 2022 2-CD Intrada Records


Jay
 Share

Recommended Posts

CD Remixed from 48 track by Botnick, CD produced by Douglass Fake, edited and mastered by Douglass Fake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I thought the major issues people had with it all had to do with the remix: different elements too prominent, others too recessed, new audio artifacts apparent in a few cues?

 

Yavar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original release of Willow had its problems, too.

 

As in it was too long for first generation CD players to play without skipping near the end.  I had a friend who had his copy skip, so he returned it and got another copy.  It skipped, and he returned that copy.  The third one he finally tried on another CD player (mine).  He got a new CD player so he could play it properly.

 

A couple of years later, I started working at a radio station and found out that the problem was industry wide.  I never did ask how long it took the radio station to figure out the problem was with the players.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obvious obnoxious phasing in the middle of Night Boarders isn't done in he mixing phase. And even if something like the loud noise hiss thing in he fibal minute of Camel Race was in the source, why the hell not use the better noiseless source that's available and included on disc 2? That's editing, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Holko said:

Obvious obnoxious phasing in the middle of Night Boarders isn't done in he mixing phase. And even if something like the loud noise hiss thing in he fibal minute of Camel Race was in the source, why the hell not use the better noiseless source that's available and included on disc 2? That's editing, too.

 

There wasn't a "better noiseless source" -- the noise was always there (apparently an artifact of the original recording); it's just *far* less noticeable in the original film/album mix...which was not found in the Universal archives, necessitating a full remix from the 48 track for the complete score...done by Bruce Botnick. Now I'm not attacking Bruce; he's done a lot of fine work. But he's definitely responsible for the changes that bothered (some) people on the expansion of The Mummy.

Haven't heard any complaints about the recent Matinee expansion, and that was done by Doug Fake... I'm not saying Doug Fake is infallible either, but if you're acting like everything he works on is garbage I think that's both unfair and inaccurate.

 

Yavar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

but if you're acting like everything he works on is garbage I think that's both unfair and inaccurate.

I'm not acting like that but people were hoping for MM and with Doug you have to expect a larger margin of error and less consistently high quality work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

3m1 Saying Goodbye (Not on CD)

 

This is on the album, it's the first part of "Willow's Journey Begins"

 

19 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

4m2 Crossroads (some material contained in Willow's Journey Begins)

 

4M2 does not appear in "Willow's Journey Begins".  That track only contains 3M1 and 3M3.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wohoo! Great news! And the release coincides with my birthday! :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About the unreleased cues (which won't be "unreleased" for much longer :lovethis:), Jon Broxton's quote from his review summarizes nicely what's missing from the old OST album:

 

Quote

However, despite its generous length, a great deal of music remains unreleased. The entire sequence with Willow and the fairy queen Cherlindrea, the entire sequence where Willow first encounters Fin Raziel on an isolated island, the entire sequence where Willow and Madmartigan escape from the Nockmaar snow camp (including the chemically-enhanced seduction scene between Madmartigan and Sorsha), and much more besides, are all missing from the soundtrack album; as such, this is one of the few long James Horner scores which desperately needs an expanded edition – preferably a 2-CD set of the entire score, re-mastered and re-edited into chronological order.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, bruckhorn said:

The original release of Willow had its problems, too.

 

As in it was too long for first generation CD players to play without skipping near the end.  I had a friend who had his copy skip, so he returned it and got another copy.  It skipped, and he returned that copy.  The third one he finally tried on another CD player (mine).  He got a new CD player so he could play it properly.

 

A couple of years later, I started working at a radio station and found out that the problem was industry wide.  I never did ask how long it took the radio station to figure out the problem was with the players.

 

I've had two copies over the years and never experienced this issue in any of my players.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very excited for this one. I’m curious to know how they’ll remaster it as the existing album has quite a concert hall style acoustic and it would be nice if they managed to give it a little more clarity here and there (it feels like you miss some of the detail at times). Also hope they split Bavmorda’s Spell is Cast into two tracks. It’s very much a cue where the first half is kinda dull with the second half being a terrific action cue (which kicks off with Star Wars end credits descending string runs) and there’s a very clear split in the track and it always felt a bit odd that Horner programmed them as a single track on disc.

 

When I was in my early days of collecting, this score used to be really hard to find in the US but oddly easily available (and mid priced) in the U.K. and much of my early CD trading was copies of Willow for some rarity. Can’t remember the last time I did a CD trade now though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

There wasn't a "better noiseless source" -- the noise was always there (apparently an artifact of the original recording); it's just *far* less noticeable in the original film/album mix...which was not found in the Universal archives, necessitating a full remix from the 48 track for the complete score...done by Bruce Botnick.

Oh, also, a Horner example in the similar area: Land Before Time has a few pretty bad performance edits, hard cuts between pretty different takes mid-held note or something like that. This was the first time in 30 years anyone could touch the score, it will remain the only time for decades, they had the unedited multitracks but decided to use the premixed pre-edited (sometimes badly) source anyway because it's less work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Haven't heard any complaints about the recent Matinee expansion, and that was done by Doug Fake... I'm not saying Doug Fake is infallible either, but if you're acting like everything he works on is garbage I think that's both unfair and inaccurate.

 

A german friend and classical/crossover sound engineer sometimes uploads his own adjustments of Intrada albums mixed by DF and he regularly complains that the guy is an amateur who often does things you just don't do when you are a professional working in this field. This is what he wrote about The Last Castle and from memory, apart from the clicks and pops issues etc., that was his  major complaint, that DF often does things that leave out important groundwork, i. e. finding a consistent volume level, randomly applies gain to loud and soft parts without consideration to the next cue etc. I'm not an expert, so take this with a grain of salt, let's just say i agree that his adjustments of really sound much more smooth and less idiosyncratic.

 

Quote

Rant (if you don't like rants, jump to the next paragraph): This was mastered by Douglass Fake and I know that his fans don't want to read this... but he sucks. One can't gild the lily for this one, he's one of the worst mastering engineers working right now. Thankfully, he's restricted to releases by Intrada, so thanks for small favours. The mastering for Last Castle is atrocious. You know when something is called "remastered" I expect an improvement in sound, not something that sounds worse than the original. Yet Last Castle as released by Intrada sounds uneven, more "dirty" (how he did that is a mystery to me) and flawed. Some tracks have clicks and pops that aren't caused by the orchestra, in one case a barrage of clicks I then had to remove. You know, deleting flaws like clicks is one of the basics a mastering engineer has to do! It's true, I myself perform several listening passes to look for flaws. But no, Douglass Fake cannot be bothered to do that. He only increases gain for soft pieces but leaves pieces alone that also have loud parts. And he says, he doesn't do dynamic compression. Liar! His holier-than-thou attitude is unwarranted, especially considering the fact that a score composition counts as one complete work and not a compilation and therefore needs to be judged on its own. It's its own micro-cosmos so to speak. Besides, I caught him doing it here  On two pieces containing soft and loud material he actually attempted to compress dynamics. But he didn't take it far enough.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, eitam said:

OK, so once again I'll be relying on my bad ears to enjoy this release and just not notice any of its flaws... 

 

Certainly worked for me on 'The Mummy', where i never picked up all the noise and separation issues mentioned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I never hear the things people gripe about, and have never hunted down replacement discs for any of these recent Intrada releases.  The Mummy and Sleepy Hollow were fine for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 23/6/2022 at 5:18 AM, A. A. Ron said:

Don't know the score, but I like Horner and if you all love it, I'll check it out!

If you like Horner, this is a must! The best one, up there with Krull, Rocketeer, even better in terms of orchestration, theme development (even if some themes / motifs were borrowed from Schumann, Beethoven etc ;)) , harmonically and melodically wise. My opinion as a professional violinist..:) A gem!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a cool chunk of Horner score that is not on the OST album

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, bruckhorn said:

The original release of Willow had its problems, too.

 

As in it was too long for first generation CD players to play without skipping near the end.  I had a friend who had his copy skip, so he returned it and got another copy.  It skipped, and he returned that copy.  The third one he finally tried on another CD player (mine).  He got a new CD player so he could play it properly.

 

A couple of years later, I started working at a radio station and found out that the problem was industry wide.  I never did ask how long it took the radio station to figure out the problem was with the players.

 

 

Never had any problem with the original 73 min. CD.

What is more puzzling to me is how they managed to fit that program in a single LP edition.

 

I believe that, at 73 min., this is the longest ever single LP release of a score (?) I`m curious about how that LP sounded, the CD sounds great as it seems it was a great recording.

The shorter 55 minutes score album for Batman had two tracks removed from the LP to fit the format. Other than Willow, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade was the the longest single LP I can remember (59 min) and it was still much shorter than Willow.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, publicist said:

 

Certainly worked for me on 'The Mummy', where i never picked up all the noise and separation issues mentioned.

I had to manually adjust the volume in Goldsmith's CONGO, because the softer cues were so loud, as if they were action cues. IRRC the brackground noise was very noticeable because of that. After that, i always check the volume level of non mattessino intrada releases before creating itunes tracklists.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Wrath of Khan predates this score by six years

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually forgot it was in Battle Beyond The Stars and Wolfen before Wrath of Khan.

 

According to this video it was used in six of his scores before Willow

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I THINK it became out very prominent in WILLOW. From then onward it became a very recognizable element.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me personally it's never more prominent that the opening of Surprise Attack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Jean-Baptiste Martin said:

Promise me you won't call the insane asylum if I tell you that one of the chapters of the book lists the 1187 appearances of the motif, with timecode in the films and albums, and also a description of the scenes and orchestrations. :D

[Insert nonexistent gobsmacked/LOL/shakes head in disbelief reaction emoji here]  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somehow, for me, Willow is a better listening journey than its closest cousin, Krull.  Krull seems to start at level 11, and doesn't really do much narratively. You cold almost shuffle the tracks and get the same experience.  Willow does have more maturity and a bit more soul to its themes, and it does tell the story musically, rather than just accompany the action.

 

I think the reason we have so much interest in this title is because it's a real holdout from so long ago.  Only 1 release over 35 years, and we're on our triple dip of Wrath of Khan.  This is silver age Lucasfilm from a beloved genre and an enjoyable film.  Horner really gave it his all on this one, so while additional material may not radically improve it, it feels right to honor this one after all this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huh, hard disagree on Krull. Strangely, trying to listen to the OST, I felt that Willow is the one where the cues don't really go anywhere, from the partial listen it felt like a way overspotted score trying to somehow fill everything in, I didn't feel it progressing or achieving emotional beats, all the old fashioned theme's renditions seemed the same etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never been able to get through the whole of Krull (the expansion on Supertracks). It just doesn't click with me somehow. Perhaps I should try the shorter Southern Cross album.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

I've never been able to get through the whole of Krull (the expansion on Supertracks). It just doesn't click with me somehow. Perhaps I should try the shorter Southern Cross album.

 

We have the same problem. Here's the solution:

 

image.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original Krull LP contained just 6 tracks, which are, I think, tracks 1,2,3,6,7,8 from Bespin's list, and that worked pretty well. But good to know now that we didn't miss much.

It's just a James Horner score.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's totally cool that you enjoy the whole thing @Holko.  Sometimes it just clicks, right?  I think I will try @Bespin 's playlist, because I know there's a lot to love in there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What works the best for me is first trying to get used to the Original Album (when there is one), THEN going with the Expansion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Land Before Time and Rocketeer kick Willow’s ass to the curb and leaves it weeping and pleading for mercy before a bus drives by and runs it over (while the danger motif plays), finishing it off. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.