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Arrival to Earth

Posted on 2007.10.29 at 21:18
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Jablonsky - Transformers The Score

I'm too old to have grown up with Transformers. I'm familiar with it, but never watched it. My son became interested in the cartoons and toys a couple of years ago, and was sore excited when news of the movie began to surface. I wanted to take him to see it in the theater, but that never materialized, so to make up for it, we got it the day it was released on DVD, and sat and watched it as a family that Friday night.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

My wife has watched it at least a dozen times now. I had downloaded the score prior to having seen the movie, and I found the tracks short, and uninspiring. No surprise since The Island though tepid, was at least consistent. But as I watched the movie again and again, and started picking up cues and finding that I enjoyed the music immensely, realized I didn't have the score. What I had, it seems was the video game score! Armed with this new found information, and after hitting stores for about a week - I finally ordered it online. It came today!

I then began down that emotional roller coaster: Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,12,18,20 - *Different Version in Film

The last time I was this crestfallen was when I purchased the score to The Saint and discovered the Title Track was on the CD was different than the one they used in the film.

Then I became angry! "How can they call this the score?" I screamed at my wife! "Under half the tracks actually appeared in the film!" So I started doing a little research. Wikipeidia offers:

This may refer to the fact that these tracks, though complete on the CDas originally scored, are not heard in their entirety in the film or are broken up.

When has that ever justified "Different Version in Film?" It hasn't. So I grow increasingly frustrated. Still, my wife had listened to it the car all day...told me it gave her goosebumps and she wanted a copy of it. Maybe, just maybe, I'll give it a try...

Yeah, its that good.


Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-10-30 02:40 (UTC) (Link)
This may refer to the fact that these tracks, though complete on the CD as originally scored, are not heard in their entirety in the film or are broken up.

When has that ever justified "Different Version in Film?" It hasn't.

This isn't unusual in the least. There are often many different takes recorded for different versions of scenes, especially one with as complicated a post-production as The Transformers must have had, what with unfinished visual effects shots and whatnot. Often a scene will be recut after it has been scored, and either the composer has to go back and rescore it or the music will be edited.

What appears on the album is representative of the score at the time that the album tracks are due. Everything has a deadline, and sometimes score albums are released before the score is completed... that's why Alan Silvestri's The Mummy Returns only features cues from the first two thirds of the movie, similarly the original release of John Barry's Thunderball never music from the second half of the film... hell, it even accounts for "The Prophecy" being included on the original Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack album, which Howard Shore had to put together before the prologue had changed.

What you generally hear on the soundtrack album are is what the composer wrote for the scene... if changes were made after the fact, they may not be reflected for personal reasons or aesthetic ones. Sometimes both: Jerry Goldsmith included both his original and the requested re-score of one of the climactic scenes on the original Alien LP. Or the title track of Shawshank Redemption finally reaching its crescendo, oafishly edited out of the theatrical and original video releases of the film (it has been restored for the most recent DVD).

But think about what a fragmented and unsatisfying listen the "Ultimate Edition" of John Williams' The Phantom Menace or the complete score CD of Trevor Jones' The Dark Crystal... cutting with little regard for musical continuity, phrases repeating, tracks truncated... and figure that it is entirely possible that the tracks on the album consist of what the score was supposed to sound like in the first place.
ehowton at 2007-10-30 04:55 (UTC) (Link)
I've seen the movie enough times that the score does indeed mimic what plays throughout, and I enjoyed your counter that it is entirely possible that the tracks on the album consist of what the score was supposed to sound like in the first place.

However, given your examples, wouldn't it be commonplace for nearly every album to be released with the caveat which was placed on this one? If the practice is not unusual, why display the disclaimer three different places on the album and make it applicable to over half the tracks?

I suppose the anticipation of the album coupled with the wording set me completely off. It really is a great listen, and had it differed greatly from the film, I would've remained forever disappointed.
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332 at 2007-10-30 05:03 (UTC) (Link)
The notation on the album artwork might have occurred because the album artwork was prepared at a later date, when they knew which version would be appearing in the film, but too late to change the disc selections.

In other cases, the album producer might not mention it because it might not be necessary to... most of the takes used on the original Fellowship of the Ring CD are different from those appearing in the films and on the Complete Recordings, but making such a notation would be distracting given that the differences tend to be minor.

Don't forget, many classic film score albums, including most of the work of Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein's The Ten Commandments, Franz Waxman's Taras Bulba, John Williams' Dracula, Ernest Gold's It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and many others are completely different recordings that what appear in the film.
ehowton at 2007-10-30 05:24 (UTC) (Link)
The Ten Commandments was one of my early lessons. My father has all of those. We'd get all roused up watching the end of that movie and put on the soundtrack record, and just...lose interest.

We always ended up listening to Ben-Hur.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-10-30 14:10 (UTC) (Link)
I was unaware that your dad has the same passion for film music that you do. You've been at this game a long time.
ehowton at 2007-10-30 14:55 (UTC) (Link)
That's likely where I picked it up. We'd visit the record store after a particularly rousing score in a movie.

It probably started with Star Wars. What a grandiose score that was when first heard in 1977! I'll never forget it.

I remember buying The Black Hole, Chariots of Fire and even Cat People on vinyl when I was younger. We both started with classical music used in films, onto classical from there, eventually graduating to opera.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-10-30 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
That's likely where I picked it up.
I know I got my liking of the oldies and (though I hate to admit it) country-western from my Mom before she died. We had a large vinyl collection as well as eight-tracks and cassettes.

Come to think of it, she must have loved music just as much as I did if not more. I bet I get a lot from my mom that I don't know about. Maybe I should try to dig up my dad.

Anyway, I don't really remember when or how I got into scores. I just remember that I noticed that the music was really moving or catching and started collecting it.

Speaking on vinyl, I think you'd enjoy this story.
ehowton at 2007-10-30 15:48 (UTC) (Link)
heh - read the comments. Yeah, another name for that title is, Vinyl May Not Be Final Nail in CD's Coffin.

Driving down the road, I pull out my 12-inch album, and slide it into this HUGE FRIGGIN SLOT in my dash.

Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-10-30 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
I agree. Vinyl isn't portable and I don't think we'll go back to 45 singles. What would be interesting is if they could improve the range of vinyl while keeping it's warm properties.

P.S. Your avatar doesn't look like a bee.
ehowton at 2007-10-30 20:31 (UTC) (Link)
P.S. Your avatar doesn't look like a bee.
Your avatar doesn't look like an aircraft carrier.
ehowton at 2007-11-06 19:55 (UTC) (Link)
galinda822 at 2007-10-30 17:35 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for sending it to me last night. I finally downloaded it but didn't get the chance to listen to it. All those late night VP calls - ugh! :)
ehowton at 2007-10-30 20:30 (UTC) (Link)
Track 12 is my favorite right now. The title of this entry.

Silly VP's.
irulan_amy at 2007-10-30 17:56 (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, I want to see Transformers. I didn't watch the cartoon either, but it looks like good fun. And I really like Shia LeBouf, he's a fine young actor.

Bummer about the soundtrack though. :/

Speaking of soundtracks, do you by chance have the Nightmare Before Christmas?
ehowton at 2007-10-30 20:34 (UTC) (Link)
I must not have been clear in my entry. The soundtrack is fantastic! I've listened to it about a dozen times already. I'll have to look for that other when I get home. I used to ssh into my Mac and navigate the /iTunes volume, but my provider is a big hunk of crap and I no longer have a static IP. Sorry!
irulan_amy at 2007-10-30 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I totally read it wrong. I thought you were annoyed because stuff from it wasn't on the movie.

This is what I get for checking LJ surreptiously at work. ;)
ehowton at 2007-11-16 03:37 (UTC) (Link)
Did I send you the link to the Transformers score? I thought I had.
irulan_amy at 2007-11-16 04:00 (UTC) (Link)
Yeppers, you did. Thank you! :) I've at least got it on my iPod finally, but I haven't listened to it just yet.
snapper521 at 2007-10-30 21:20 (UTC) (Link)


[Before I get into the comment: I got my Elkhart EMS application today. :-) I'm happy and my mom is about three steps behind me in the rejoicing. Says that this time around, she is going to make me do the best I can even if she has to drag me in by my toes... (*giggle*) anyway :-)]

I had that happen to me also. (where there was songs on it that weren't in the film) But it was so minor... and it was a CD for my brother and my brother loved it so I wasn't going to take it back... *shrugs*

Anyway :-) I'll catch you later
ehowton at 2007-10-30 21:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Transformers:

[And before I reply to your comment might I say, "Congratulations!" If someone like me were to be so bold as to give someone like you advice (especially considering the disaster which was your instructor) in place of saying, "Whatever" everytime something doesn't go your way, stand up and announce, "EXCUSE ME!" And let them know exactly what you expect of them. Take the bull by the horns and you'll get exactly what you want 100% of the time.]

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. About that...that would be the Soundtrack. Songs from various artists (in this case rock bands) who's songs were chosen to be played at key elements of the film.

What I bought was the Score. The film music composed to accompany (and highlight, cue, etc) the entire film. Its all instrumental. Played by a symphony orchestra.

I enjoy listening to film scores.
snapper521 at 2007-10-31 19:33 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Transformers:

[Yes I suppose so. However the first time around, I had no idea what the level of expectation was... I had never been to college before, had no idea he wasn't doing his job the way he should.

This time around, I have a better idea of what he or she should be doing/not doing, AND I will have a much better idea of what type of study habits I should be keeping. :-) Should be better all around this time.]

Yes, I know you and Tomas both do. Tomas bought me the score from the fountain, and I adore it.

Its also true that the cd I got for Matt was indeed the soundtrack. However I am not so stupid as to not know what a score is... If I didn't then Tomas's lectures would have been for naught. :-)

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