Northern Exposure Season 4: More Music Replacement AARGGH!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by RoyM, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    I just picked up the season four DVD set and watched my favorite episode of the season (and perhaps the whole series) "Nothing's Perfect". And sure enough, my favorite moment at the close of the episode when Danny Kaye's version of "Inchworm" is played over a final montage has been completely ruined because Universal replaced nearly the entire song with not one but TWO different generic pieces of music. Strangely, the opening few seconds of "Inchworm" are intact, with the children's chorus, but just before the Danny Kaye vocal begins, the music suddenly changes to a generic instrumental, and then a few seconds later to an entirely different acoustic song with vocals. The effect is not only jarring to the intended mood of the montage scene, but also downright bizarre. What the heck was Universal thinking?

    This is so disappointing to me, as it will be I'm sure to any fans of Northern Exposure and especially of this particular episode, one of the finest in the series. Why Universal can't be bothered to go to the trouble or likely small expense of clearing a mostly forgotten 50 year old Danny Kaye song is beyond me. This convinces me that they really don't care at all about the quality of their TV product.

    Well, it's not like there wasn't already plenty of evidence of that anyway. Boy, does Universal stink on ice.
     
  2. Hank E

    Hank E Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anybody own (use to own) the laserdisc versions of these shows? I'm curious to know if the original music was intact on the laserdiscs.
     
  3. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I was kicking around getting the NE sets (I take a little longer than usual deciding on the multiple season sets since I either commit to getting them all or I don't bother). But I remember the closing song being intimately tied into the feel of the show. If they botched that they might as well not have bothered.

    I'm not anywhere near the business side of video; but I had imagined without really thinking about it that each one was thought out prior to development. Now that I am thinking about it for 30 seconds I can imaging that some shows get the royal traeatment and for some others they assign "Bob the intern". If someone who didn't understand the show was in front of NE I can see them entirely missing the point and taking the *quicker* way out. (I'm thinking that it was the ease of not clearing the music rather than the cost that might have driven the choice.)
     
  4. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Well, that's certainly the case with all of the Stephen Cannell shows anyway. Makes me glad I recorded the series off CBS when it originally aired.
     
  5. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    It isn't quicker to replace music, as it means going back to the original stems, commissioning/licensing new music, and remixing each episode. It would certainly be easier to use existing finished elements. That siad, it could also be possible that it wasn't possible to locate the current rights holders for some pieces. So far I haven't noticed anything glaring - not that I took notes when I watched the show a decade ago - and even the substitution mentioned in the first post didn't stand out. The only thing about tht episode that did seem questionable (and only because I know replacement is possible on these releases) was the heavy metal song that the clock dude was air guitaring to. Anyone know if this was original?

    One thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere yet is that we will be seeing season 5 fairly soon, as there is a coupon for $5 off which expires Dec 1, 2006 inside the box.
     

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