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Sci-Fi September is coming to a close, but I’m doing my best to fit in as many albums as possible before it does. Today’s selection is a limited edition compilation of the science-fiction and fantasy music of George Pal. This was released in limited numbers by La-La Land Records in 2004, with only 3,000 copies being pressed and hand-numbered. Each of the scores found within have been remastered from their original recordings. For some of these scores this compilation would mark the first time they were officially released. Of course this score is now out of print, and no longer available to purchase at La-La Land Records.
George Pal was a Hungarian-American animator and film producer, who principally worked with the genres of science-fiction and fantasy. The scores contained on these discs were all composed between the late ‘50s and early ‘70s. Scores for three of the most recognized films he ever produced are noticeably absent from this compilation though: “When Worlds Collide”, “The War of the Worlds” and “Destination Moon”. This is due to the fact that Paramount Pictures, which owns the distributing rights to these films, did not take part in producing this compilation.
The compilation contains scores composed by Russell Garcia, Leigh Harline, Miklós Rózsa, Ken E. Jones, Frank De Vol and John Phillip Sousa . Each of them bring their own unique approach to the genre, though most of them incorporate methods which were typical of sci-fi scores from this era; however, there are a few exceptions to be found. Curious woodwind melodies guide along the more peaceful and narrative moments of the films, heavy percussion and brass bring home the action, while the occasional novelty instruments or sound effects are introduced for the most mysterious and unbelievable sequences.My personal favorite out of the bunch would have to be the score for The Power, with the highlight being his schizophrenic cue “Death on the Centrifuge”. I’m out of time for now, but I have listed each of the films below, along with their respective film score composer, and the year it was released.
I have also included scans of the fully-illustrated 16 page booklet that accompanied this collection. It features selections of classic promotional art, rare behind-the-scenes photos and in-depth notes of George Pal, his films, the composers and the spectacular scores they created. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful collection of science-fiction score, which is surely to become even more rare as the years go by. Already copies are selling for well over $100, and I expect that figure to continue to climb, making the probability of owning a physical copy very unlikely. As always, please let me know what you thought of this release in the comments section. Also, "Sci-Fi September" is coming to a close, so if any of you have any recommendations, please don't hesitate to post them there also.
Year of Release: 2004 Label: La-La Land Records Genres: Soundtrack/Score, Science-Fiction, Fantasy Bitrate: 320kbps
Atlantis The Lost Continent 1. Prologue/Main Title 2. Love Scene/Submarine Scene 3. Fanfare 4. Rebellion & Murder/Stabs/Rumbles/Madness/Justice/Miracle – Finale
The Time Machine - Russell Garcia (1960) 5. Prologue/Main Title * 6. Montage Cues 7. The Future Jungle * 8. Filby's Theme-Short Version
The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao - Leigh Harline (1964) 9. Main Title 10. Apollonius 11. Pan's Dance 12. Farewell/Finale
The Power - Miklós Rózsa (1968) 13. Prelude 14. Death on the Centrifuge 15. Viva La Amour 16. Transformation 17. The Killer Killed-Finale
Tom Thumb - Ken E. ones (1958) 18. Main Title *
The Wonderful Worlds of the Brothers Grimm - Leigh Harline (1962) 19. Prologue/Main Title *
Doc Savage-Man of Bronze - Frank Devol (1975) 20. Main Theme 21. The Assassin/After Him 22. Doc Confronts The Assassin/Assassin Jumps 23. Radio Source Music 24. Doc and The Girl 25. The Journey 26. Final Confrontation 27. The Happy Ending 28. Theme Song from Doc Savage-Man of Bronze * (Lyrics by Don Black, Arrangement by Frank DeVol, Music by John Phillips Sousa)
* These have been taken from the best available sources. In some cases the original master recordings have been lost or otherwise compromised. As a result, sound quality on some tracks will vary.