Air Force One - Randy Newman

Although I doubt that Randy Newman has ever had to press promotional discs beyond the "For Your Consideration" awards kind, let's pretend that someone somewhere felt it was necessary that his unused/rejected score for Wolfgang Petersen's rah-rah presidential-thriller Air Force One be heard if not in the film than on disc.

Newman, not known for his straight-up action scoring, was perhaps a "prestige" pick for Air Force One, meant to lend the production some much needed class. Ultimately, the composer's personal idiosyncratic style didn't work for the filmmakers, and was tossed and hastily replaced in the eleventh hour by legendary Jerry Goldsmith (with a significant assist by the dependable Joel McNeely, in full Goldsmith mode).

Newman's score is a crackerjack mix. Think of it as A Bug's Life on speed. A lot of the action writing reminds me of Don Davis' later Matrix scores, which gradually mixed in more traditional, melodic action material as the series progressed. It's hard to imagine this hyperactive Newman score being any more different than Goldsmith's decidedly more linear effort. At that point in his career Goldsmith was painting action sequences with broad strokes, whereas Newman's score was hitting every eye blink.

Enjoy the 15th share on SoundtrackSHARITY!

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The Faculty - Marco Beltrami

I remember reading an article in Cinefantastique (back when it was a real genre movie magazine) on Wes Craven's Scream where Craven revealed the composer on the film would be Marco Beltrami. Marco who?

Beltrami made a huge splash on the film, helping to reinvent horror film music (while the film single-handedly resurrected the horror genre) and save it from the synth doldrums that had become the stock sound for the rare horror movie that reached Blockbuster shelves at the time.

It was no surprise then that Beltrami would become Dimension Films' favorite composer, scoring all three of the Scream films, Nightwatch, Mimic, 54 and writing additional music for Halloween H20, for the studio. Next up would be Dimension's The Faculty, for director Robert Rodriguez, and once again Beltrami would go back to the well, pulling out an orchestral scare score in the Scream vein.

To celebrate back to school time (in North American at least), here's Beltrami's The Faculty. Released as a promotional disc and manufactured by the Intrada label in 2000, the disc runs a brisk 29 minutes.

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Cartoon Concerto - Bruce Broughton

I'm baaaack! I'll now resume a regular posting schedule...

After enjoying a successful stretch in the '80s scoring features, Bruce Broughton moved to the small screen, scoring several animated series, namely Tiny Toons. This promotional disc is a major collection of Broughton's cartoon material, running almost an hour in length spread over six lengthy suites.

The music is in the manic, "mickey-mousing" Carl Stalling style, so fans of the shifting schizophrenic nature of animation music -- from Gershwin one moment to fiddle-ho-down the next in "Carnival Presto" -- will find plenty to enjoy here.

Produced for promotional use only in 2002, Cartoon Concerto was made available in limited quantities to buyers, and is still available via Screen Archives, if you are so inclined to try before you buy.

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