Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've just today recieved my copy of the Two-Dic Collector's Edition Batman: The Animated Series score and having only yet listened to snipets thus far, I've got to say... if you have yet to purchase this set, do so, right now. I don't care about the economy, or the holidays, or how strapped for cash you are. This is worth it. I've got more or less all of the score tracks from this series that are available to have, in any manner. Trade, bought, shared, what have you. All of it combined does not live up to how truly fantastic in quality and selection the material on this set is. I'm blown away, especially considering how often I'm disappointed in such things.

I'll be writing a more detailed opinion, and (somehow) offering this material to you, though it's going to be problematic what with the volume of material when it comes to uploading... for now... go to LaLaLandRecords.com and buy it. You'll thank me later.

Also, I'm aware this has fairly well become the "Batman Music" blog of late, but... it's just been a phenomenal year for the dark knight, what can I say? Starting in the new year I'll try to focus back on Sci-Fi. Likely to begin with the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles score by prolific composer, Bear McCreary.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Out of Exile: Dark Knight Score Re-Qualified for Oscar Consideration!

Last month, the Academy (as in, 'I'd like to thank the Academy'?) ruled that the score for The Dark Knight was disqualified from Oscar consideration, because composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard had listed five other individuals who helped them create the unique sounds for the score on the cue sheets. In other words, Zimmer and Howard did the stand-up nice thing of giving credit where credit was due, but not required to be given. For their good deed, the Academy screwed them over and disqualified the score for an Oscar because of some old rules on the books. They had done this before with 2005's Batman Begins and it seemed history was doomed to repeat itself.

Thankfully, it seems that WB has it's Oscar battle brigade out in full force to support their tent-pole and the years highest grossing film. New information submitted by all effected parties - Zimmer, Howard, and the other five folks who helped them make the unique sounds they used - has convinced the Academy board in charge of such things to reverse it's decision. Thus, TDK's score is back in contention for an Oscar. The nominations are still 6 weeks away, and the actual awards ceramony 6 weeks after that, but this is one more step forward in the TDK Oscar crusade. For all of us score fans, it's a big feather in our cap.

Also, in case you've been under a rock for a while and missed it, the 2-disc limited edition expanded score for TDK has been released. Head over to Amazon or anywhere else you might buy such from and snatch it up while you can. It's -- as you know -- exceedingly rare that a studio pays the fees required to put out an extended edition of a motion picture score. If not for TDK's box office revenue, it's likely this would not have occurred. It's one of the few commercial available expanded scores though, and it's financial success could convince studios of the viability of such releases. So buy, buy, buy!

This is the time to put our money where our ears are, folks. We beg, plead, and cry for commercial expanded scores, and 99.9% of the time no one listens. So now that WB has, we have to put up or shut up. Amazon has it going for $47. Yeah, I know, a pretty penny for a score. If we buy it up though, we may open the flood gates and get more such releases in the future. So skimp, save, pinch pennies, and buy!

Same for the article below, for Batman: The Animated Series 2-disc score. Put your money where your mouth is!

UPDATE: I received my copy of the Limited Edition 2-Disc Expanded Score today (well, I didn't get the mail until tonight) and this is the first chance I've had to listen. The presentation of the set is exemplary. The outer box and the interior CD-holding inlays are of a material I can only describe as "leather-like" in feel. The CDs are presented within a 40-page color hard-bound book full of photographs from The Dark Knight. Sadly, no new information of interviews, comments, et cetera. Still, I'm quite pleased. I only wish my computer sound system was better (on an older system these days) so I could enjoy the music fully! Damn technology...

As to why you don't have a link to listen yourself... honestly, I don't know when or if I'll upload it. I know it's hyper-hypocritical of me, but I want people to actually put their money out and buy this one. Why? Because it just might make an iota of a difference in whether or not we get future expanded score releases. So... I'll mull it over. I'm sure everyone has other sites they can locate it from. For me, for now, I just want to encourage everyone to actually pony up the dough for this occasion. It doesn't happen often enough.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Batman: The Animated Series - Limited Edition 2-Disc Set

Hurry up and get over to LaLaLand Records where they have just released for order a 2-disc limited edition score of Batman: The Animated Series. I've known of this release for some time, back when it was just a rumor, and waited here at my computer an hour before it's exact release time - 3 PM EST/12 PM PST - so that I could place my order as soon as possible. By 3:46 PM EST, sources from LaLaLand say the autographed (by composers Lolita Ritmanos and Michael McCuistion) had already sold out. Hopefully, my 3:21 PM EST order will be signed.

The important thing, though, is the music itself. This is the first time, ever, in the 16 years since the series premiered that any of the musical score has been made commercially available. The 2-disc set is limited to only 3,000 copies, and it's expected to sell out within 12-24 hours, if previous rare releases by LaLaLand are any indications. So get your lazy asses over there, now, and order while you still can!

You may also want to grab a copy of prolific composer Bear McCreary's score from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as I did. Bear's work is astounding, and I guarantee we'll be hearing his name during the Oscar ceremonies at some future point. His ground-breaking work on Battlestar Galactica has helped to re-define music scores across the industry, from the subtle to the overt.

I'll have a few review with details, track listing, and images, of both scores at some point post-December 16 (date of shipping for delivery). So stay tuned!

UPDATE: Amazingly, LaLaLand still has copies available for purchase. I'm also told by a source -- webmaster of the linked-to The Scores of Batman: The Animated Series -- that a second volume of B:TAS material is also ready to go, and that a third is in the works. So to get them, Volume 1 needs to sell, folks! Make it happen! I know so many people who have salivated over B:TAS scores for years... here is the chance! Take advantage!