Scores vs. songs in movies today

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan Fisher, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. Jonathan Fisher

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    Here's an article on, well, just what the subject says. Any info./thoughts appreciated. Thanks for taking a look.

    18 Mar.

    MUSIC SCORES VS. SONGS IN MOVIES

    I've recently read some info. that probably Sony are gonna do another Danny Elfman-wait on us - ilke with MIB in '97. Or worse still, not bring out a Spider-Man score album at all! Please tell me this isn't true. What they did in '97 was have a songs 'soundtrack'(loose term) cd out at the time of the movie's summer release. But no score album until as a mere afterthought in Nov. (video release time), once they'd seen the movie had done very well (the success was hardly a surprise), and could be bothered to 'gamble' on a score cd too. The same happened with Columbia music's Armageddon albums in '98. Us SCORE fans and collectors - who spend £100's a year on the industry's cd's and so deserve some service - want a score album at the SAME time as the inferior 'music barely from and inspired by the movie and by a pile of money' songs 'soundtrack'.

    The songs cd is on the Sony/Columbia label Apr.23. Since the movie is from Sony, the score was recorded at the Sony scoring stage, and Elfman's 2001 'Apes score was on Sony Classical, I thought perhaps 'Classical might handle the score to Spider-Man too? Hopefully the score on cd will be a decent +50 min.length, like 'Apes was (even though recorded using U.S. union musicians (high re-use fees)), since the movie will likely contain and need a lot of score, to add atmosphere to the action, thrills, suspense, romance, etc in a movie story such as Spider-Man's, so the score will need a decent-length representation on cd too.

    If not on a Sony label, has anyone else picked up the score for release?

    Because of all these current, dodgy songs'/bands' too-temporary, short-term-only popularity, songs date movies badly. Most scores are much more timeless. Songs in movies can trivialise the seriousness of sequences, and are mostly only good for scenes/genres that are more lighthearted/romantic (e.g. montages, comedies) or only belong/are used in the end credits or heard briefly in the background on someone's radio. Songs have little place in a movie like Spider-Man. Score can serve all its needs. Score contributes (subtle) atmosphere to movies, songs only sell more 'soundtrack' cd's. The score composer's talent and contribution to a movie shouldn't have to compete with the song artist's ability to shift cd's.

    Often when a song is bought for use in a movie, only the instrumental version is used anyway (admittedly being more percussively effective that way, for use in kinetic scenes - e.g. The Matrix). The score composer's specific job and ability is to write music without lyrics, so how come they get pushed out of the way in favour of those who don't write instrumentals?

    Composers and their scores have a hard enough time as it is, without competing wth songs for on-screen/cd attention. Poor 'spotting' for a movie often results in too much music being used; A lot of scores are far better than the movies they are written for; Many scores are too 'temp-track'-influenced, as unoriginally requested by the directors/producers; Much score music is overwhelmed by sound fx, so is rendered fairly pointless being in a scene at all. Give score composers a break someone. They do a lot of hard work for little recognition.

    There's far too much talk on the 'net about what artists/bands will be on the 'soundtrack'. Who cares. The songs won't be in the movie anyway. Even if they are partially, they'll still be no good. Do (moron) song buyers really want to buy a cd that's only connected to the Spidey movie because the album cover will have the movie's poster artwork on it?! Yes they do apparently, like countless times before, with these movie cash-in albums(!).

    The irony is that a song can have a few secs. heard in a movie, yet the whole 4 or 5 mins. of it are on the cd. Yet score can have +80 mins. in the movie, yet less than half of that usually gets onto score cd's. Indiscriminating song buyers get most, and score buyers get screwed on nearly every album. Directors often can't even find places for songs in their movies - they don't fit - but the songs-only cd's come out as a 'tie-in' nevertheless. They don't belong. Sam Raimi dislikes songs in his movies anyway. He only relented on For Love Of The Game because of the genre (and producers' pressure?). Wonder what pressure he was under for songs in Spidey? I know he trusts Elfman to provide his movie with all it's music requirements. Except for cd sales, songs are obsolete in a genre like Spider-Man's.

    I'm not against song ALBUMS, where their movies have little score (e.g. Notting Hill), but I am where the movie has no/few songs but plenty of decent, listenable score music (e.g. MIB) yet no score album released. That's wrong I think. At least give us a score album as well as the songs one, even if less copies are pressed so are a bit pricier. For collectors, I'm not sure what's more frustrating. A decent score in a movie, but no album released. Or a decent score in a movie, but an album that's missing good pieces. A lot of the time, no commercial score album comes out, yet certain industry/trader people get (free) promotional/cdr versions that studios/labels/composers put out. Most score buyers (who pay for their albums) get screwed again there.

    I'm not a score geek. My ears are just tuned to (orchestral) score music, rather than songs. Some percussive/quieter love song-style releases ARE decent and more timeless, but most other types are just dissonant and cacophonous - by artists who record their instruments so loud that it disguises that they don't sing very well.

    Anyway, enough sidetracking. The last point here is that songs have no place in a genre movie like Spider-Man, so don't let them dominate. Oh, and give us a score cd in/before May please.
     
  2. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    The Spider-Man score IS getting a release, trust me on that. I know guys who were recently on the scoring stage with Elfman and Rami, it's all go (and the music is great apparently!).... Indeed, there is no score release date yet, it May not make it for May. It should though...
    Soundtracks bug me most when they are the "inspired by" tripe, I hate those, nothing but cash ins. Even scores that never get a commerical release I can usualy hunt down through various...er...channels though. [​IMG]
    Moving this to the music forum.
    Dan
     
  3. Jonathan Fisher

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    Wow! You know people who were there when the music was recorded?! You sure have some contacts in the movie world, don't you.

    Great if a score cd is on the way, but when damn it. Not after summer/after the movie's release please.

    If you're sure there will be an album, what was said between you and who you spoke to? No person/website I've asked seems to know jacks***, and that's really annoying me. And what did they say about the score itself (length, style, quality, etc) too?
     
  4. Jonathan Fisher

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    Actually Dan, now we know that the movie is officially PG-13 in the U.S. (meaning the movie's complete), wonder when the BBFC will be seeing it?

    I know the movie is 1.85 flat aspect ratio, rather than wider scope, but what I want to know now is what runtime the movie has come in at.
     
  5. Jonathan Fisher

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    Dan:

    How do you move someone else's thread to another area of HTF? Not objecting though, just curious.

    Pleased you're interested in movie SCORES as well as movies. Anything on that subject you wanna discuss, let me know. Be good to talk about that subject with you/anyone else.

    Quietly does it, but what 'channels' do you mean. How do I get scores that aren't in HMV, Virgin, etc music stores. Intrigued to find out. I'll start saving up right away!
     
  6. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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  7. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    "Soundtracks bug me most when they are the 'inspired by' tripe, I hate those, nothing but cash ins."
    Except, of course, in the case of Elmer Bernstein's "Music Inspired by the Film Last Man Standing," which was his rejected score that was not heard in the film, because Hill liked Ry Cooder's guitar wailings more.[​IMG]
     

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