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Wishful Thinking: Soundtracks That I Hope To See Finally In 2014

The 1993 Michael Douglas thriller "Falling Down" Featuring the music of James Newton Howard
Courtesy of Getty Images

Now after picking my best and worst of 2013, I came up with the idea of another article that soundtrack collectors and fans would embrace. Everyone compiles a list of things they want or want to see that range from clothing styles to another version of the iPhone for example. Of course, everyone's list is different or pretty much on par with what most would want to see depending on a particular thing. So with in mind this list of soundtracks that I will mention in some form or another may or may not be what soundtrack collectors would want but it's pretty much an idea of what I wish would be released. There are many composers with musical gold mines in their filmography that remain in studio vaults (sadly) just sitting there to be rediscovered prime examples would be Thomas Newman, David Newman, Theodore Shapiro, Carter Burwell, George S. Clinton amongst many.

The movies may or may not have been hits, but the music was definitely memorable enough to warrant some type of a release in some way, shape or form. Most soundtrack collectors may not think that a suite or one track of music on a "Music From or Inspired By The Film" counts, but sometimes it does open the door for an eventual soundtrack release of its' own and other times sadly, aren't just ask Alan Silvestri with "Blown Away", which took 20 years for Intrada Records to finally give it it's just due for example. Many others have also benefited from this as well like Silvestri had done with "The Bodyguard" and "Forrest Gump" with his lone track apart of a Grammy Winning Gold Records that sold millions of copies with "Gump" getting a separate score album release of its' own and "The Bodyguard" was also given its' own complete album a year ago. The reason alot of soundtrack score albums weren't released were due to the exorbitant musicians re-use fees that really hampered alot of soundtrack labels such as Varese Sarabande in releasing albums that were just barely at 30 minutes or slightly more. Now that this is pretty much out of the window and the flood gates already open for any or all soundtracks that collectors have salivated about for decades could come to fruition. Sadly, however the flip side of this is that alot of soundtracks stored, mislabeled or even lost to time that the only alternative is to reconstruct and re-record it just to preserve it look at Tadlow's recent releases of "The Salamander" and "QB VII" as perfect examples. And it's hard to fathom the others that are now deemed officially lost like one of my favorite comedy scores by the late Miles Goodman in "Real Men" for the 1987 action comedy starring James Belushi and late Three's Company star John Ritter, which is easily one of Goodman's best scores. "Ghostbusters 2" by Randy Edelman might also be apart of this list, but then again you never know.

I have to admit that when I first started collecting full time, I too came up with a list of scores I wished were released and while the labels have pretty much released almost all of the ones I've ever wanted and thensome. There's the great few that I personally treasure but others may not really know about it mainly because the movie was either a disappointment or not worthy of their time to discover the music. So with that in mind, let's delve into this subject and also keep in mind, this list of soundtracks are just what I hope would become reality, not that they're being released at this point. So I'm not leaking any information in regards to possible future releases because I personally don't know what is going to be released. That's up to the labels to reveal them to you and me (the reviewer) when they decide to reveal upcoming releases like labels like Intrada and La-La Land Records decide to do so when they feel it is the appropriate time.

I'm going to do this by categories which will make it a little easier for most and get an idea of what gems are still languishing in studio vaults.

"Comedy Scores That Backed The Funny Bone" This category is dedicated to exceptional comedy scores that just didn't Mickey Mouse the action on screen but they also had thematic material that made them worthy of a release.

  1. National Lampoon's Animal House (Elmer Bernstein)
  2. The Man With One Red Shoe (Thomas Newman)
  3. The Freshman (David Newman)
  4. Disorganized Crime (David Newman)
  5. Funny Farm by Elmer Bernstein
  6. Dodgeball (Theodore Shapiro)
  7. Starsky & Hutch (Theodore Shapiro)
  8. I Love You To Death (James Horner)
  9. Mystery, Alaska (Carter Burwell)
  10. Gung Ho (Thomas Newman)

The king of this list is Elmer Bernstein's brilliant straight laced score that really added great backing to the hit film as well as standing out as a grand work of its' own. David Newman can also be named of King of Comedy scores since he's done so many but two of his more important ones made this list for me in the enjoyable brilliant take off Nino Rota's "The Godfather" for "The Freshman" and writing a country-based and exciting heist score for "Disorganized Crime". David's brother, Thomas also makes this list with the great improvisational score for the Tom Hanks comedy "The Man With One Red Shoe" that featured animal yelps to boot and the rocking "Gung Ho" that featured the late Stevie Ray Vaughn doing the great guitar solos with Newman displaying Japanese attributes to it as well. Theodore Shapiro had a banner year in 2004 with two great comedy scores that never got a release with the Elmer Bernstein inspired "Dodgeball" and the hip-funky retro score for "Starsky & Hutch" that criminally didn't get a release of its' own. Carter Burwell's seminal score for the comedy "Mystery, Alaska" was one that surprisingly didn't get a release for its' strong work along with James Horner's Caribbean inspired score for the Kevin Kline-Tracey Ullman comedy "I Love You To Death"

Other Notables: Revenge Of The Nerds by Thomas Newman, Real Genius by Thomas Newman, Quick Change by Randy Edelman & Howard Shore, Wilder Napalm by Michael Kamen, The Man With Two Brains by Joel Goldsmith, Big Trouble by James Newton Howard, Mr. Mom by Lee Holdridge, Multiplicity by George Fenton, Wise Guys by Ira Newborn, Switching Channels by Michel Legrand, Weird Science by Ira Newborn, Adventures In Babysitting by Michael Kamen, Semi-Pro by Theodore Shapiro, The Man Who Wasn't There 3D by Miles Goodman, Going Ape by Elmer Bernstein, Best Defense by Patrick Williams, The Buddy System by Patrick Williams, Uncle Buck by Ira Newborn, The Miliagro Beanfield War by Dave Grusin, My Bodyguard by Dave Grusin

"Mystery Thriller Scores The Went Mysteriously Unreleased"

  1. Tequila Sunrise (Dave Grusin)
  2. Deceived (Thomas Newman)
  3. Bad Company (1995) (Carter Burwell)
  4. Devil In A Blue Dress (Elmer Bernstein)
  5. Fear (1996) (Carter Burwell)
  6. Antitrust (Don Davis)
  7. Night Falls On Manhattan (Mark Isham)
  8. Training Day (Mark Mancina)
  9. Secret Window (Phillip Glass & Geoff Zanelli)
  10. Physical Evidence (Henry Mancini)

It was rather hard to come with this list in a way because mystery or thriller scores can go in the way of action and horror categories and fit perfectly. However, the choices here do warrant attention because they are good scores starting with "Tequila Sunrise" which featured a wonderful varied score by the great Oscar winning jazz legend Dave Grusin that warranted a release of its' own to display the brilliance of the score. Thomas Newman's "Deceived" is a tremendous work that showcased him doing something in the way of Hitchcock and it was very memorable in every aspect. "Bad Company" which was directed by "Deceived's" Damien Harris chose Carter Burwell to write a brilliant jazz influenced score for the on screen CIA shenanigans featuring Laurence Fishburne and Ellen Barkin in which the "Main Title" alone would make you want to hear it on its' own. Burwell also scored another memorable score with "Fear" the thriller with Mark Wahlberg and Oscar Winner Reese Witherspoon that bordered on horror and romance. Elmer Bernstein continued his legendary noir status as one the greatest with "Devil In A Blue Dress" a score that was largely discarded to the great jazz period songs, sadly. A brilliant jazz noir score that has a bit of 70's feel to it too. "Antitrust" featured Don Davis in post-Matrix form mixing a huge orchestra with kinetic electronics in this fine techno-thriller. "Secret Window" featured an excellent last minute rescue by Geoff Zanelli that really stood very tall against the work of Phillip Glass while moody electronics and convention orchestra carried the Burt Reynolds thriller "Physical Evidence" and Mark Isham featured a similar approach to the underrated corruption drama "Night Falls On Manhattan" directed by the late Sidney Lumet. Mark Mancina's moody, atmospheric crime thriller score for "Training Day" definitely belongs on this list for its' strong work.

Other Notables: "The Fan (1981)" by Pino Donaggio, Double Jeopardy by Normand Corbeil

"Great Unreleased Action Scores"

  1. Metro (Steve Porcaro)
  2. Falling Down (James Newton Howard)
  3. Bird On A Wire (Hans Zimmer)
  4. The Last Boy Scout (Michael Kamen)
  5. Black Dog (George S. Clinton)
  6. Marked For Death (James Newton Howard)
  7. The Jackal (Carter Burwell)
  8. The Long Kiss Goodnight (Alan Silvestri)
  9. Surviving The Game (Stewart Copeland)
  10. 3000 Miles To Graceland (George S. Clinton)/Heist (Theodore Shapiro)

Action scores aren't too hard to demand because they're that good to demand. While I can continue long into the night with action scores that I'd love to see released. Former Toto member Steve Porcaro's exceptional action score for the Eddie Murphy headliner "Metro" featured an adrenaline pumping action score featuring amazing musical set pieces that made your head scratch as to why it was not released. "Falling Down" is a gritty and moody score by James Newton Howard that is quite similar to his work on "Grand Canyon" only more intense and a fan favorite along with the film. Howard also scored a hip and funk driven score for the great Steven Seagal film "Marked For Death" which combined contemporary music along with JNH's electronics and chorus for the film's memorable villain. "Black Dog" is an outstanding action score by George S.Clinton which features two great themes: a brilliant opening track setting the tone for the action and an awesome fiddle theme for the ominous Black Dog that the late Patrick Swayze talks about in the film. Clinton also scored big with the audacious "3000 Miles To Graceland", a hip contemporary Western styled score that was due for a release but didn't happen sadly. While Carter Burwell was severely disenchanted with "The Jackal", soundtrack fans (myself) included really loved his efforts on this one and one that he personally doesn't want released at this point but really deserves it. Following the great action music of "Eraser" and the rejection of "Mission: Impossible", Alan Silvestri found a way to utilize both scores into a pulse pounding adrenaline driven score for "The Long Kiss Goodnight" a fan favorite of many. Stewart Copeland's excellent percussion driven score for the Ice-T "Hard Target-esque" thriller "Surviving The Game" another fans have asked for over the years. Theodore Shapiro's propulsive action-score for the David Mamet thiller "Heist" is a terrific score that should've had a release and turly deserved one.

Other notables: 15 Minutes by Anthony Marinelli & J. Peter Robinson, Gunmen by John Debney, Fair Game by Mark Mancina, Chill Factor by Hans Zimmer and John Powell, Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man by Basil Poledouris, Outrageous Fortune by Alan Silvestri

"One Track (More Or Less!) Is Definitely Not Enough"

  1. Dead Presidents (Danny Elfman)
  2. Seven (Howard Shore)
  3. The Great Outdoors (Thomas Newman)
  4. The Pursuit Of D.B.Cooper (James Horner)
  5. Phenomenon (Thomas Newman)
  6. One Fine Day (James Newton Howard)
  7. Career Opportunities (Thomas Newman)
  8. The Lonely Guy (Jerry Goldsmith)
  9. French Kiss (James Newton Howard)
  10. American Anthem (Alan Silvestri)

This category is obviously for soundtracks that featured at least a track or two of score and no score album came about it. In the case of "Seven" about twenty minutes of this massively dark work by Oscar Winner Howard Shore made it onto the album, but really deserved alot more. "Dead Presidents" was Danny Elfman's first conducting gig and took the job wanting to channel Jimi Hendrix which he really does pull off writing a complex action score that fit the moods of the film and was the beginning of Elfman's ascent into the grand writing style that he's now known for. Thomas Newman dominates this category with three scores one for the hit "Phenomenon" starring John Travolta, a dramatic memorable score that people have wanted for ages along with the comedy scores for the John Hughes' films "The Great Outdoors" and "Career Opportunites" both featuring energetic big band inspired scores by the amazing composer who was really growing as versitile composer. Jerry Goldsmith's goofy, electronic score for the Steve Martin comedy "The Lonely Guy" also warrants mentioning. James Newton Howard has two fun and vastly superior comedy scores for the Fox comedies "One Fine Day" and "French Kiss". Alan Silvestri's fine and patriotic score for "American Anthem" deserved a better fate to showcase this nice work. "The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper" is one of Oscar Winner James Horner's finest efforts that is an infectious country-flavored work that fits the film to a tee.

Other Notables: "Down With Love" by Marc Shaiman, "George Of The Jungle" by Marc Shaiman, "Chicago" by Danny Elfman, "Major League" by James Newton Howard

"The Missing Sci-Fi/Horror Thrills"

  1. Urban Legend (Christopher Young)
  2. Virtuosity (Christopher Young)
  3. Tales From The Hood (Christopher Young)
  4. Final Destination (Shirley Walker)
  5. The Lost Boys (Thomas Newman)
  6. Johnny Mnemonic (Brad Fiedel)
  7. Jaws The Revenge (Michael Small)
  8. I Know What You Did Last Summer (John Debney)
  9. Screamers (Normand Corbeil)

This category easily dominated by powerhouse composer Christopher Young has three of the best unreleased scores in this category and in particular "Urban Legend" in which he made a triumphant return to the horror genre with a powerhouse effort that matches wits with "Tales From The Hood" and wrote a huge exciting orchestrial score for the VR thriller "Virtuosity" featuring Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

"What About These Scores?"

  1. Fly Away Home (Mark Isham)
  2. Sugar Hill (Terence Blanchard)
  3. Little Giants (John Debney)
  4. The Public Eye (Rejected Score) (Jerry Goldsmith)
  5. Jungle Fever (Terence Blanchard)
  6. Everybody's All American (James Newton Howard)
  7. Flatliners (James Newton Howard)
  8. Frequency (Michael Kamen)
  9. Super Mario Bros. (Alan Silvestri)
  10. Spartan (Mark Isham)

Other Notables: Practical Magic by Alan Silvestri, Holy Man by Alan Silvestri, Murder At 1600 by Christopher Young, Trial By Jury by Terence Blanchard, The Inkwell by Terence Blanchard

This little group of odds and ends feature scores that well not exactly at the top of anyone's release lists at least I don't think so, but they're worthy of mention without a doubt because they are really good scores. Blanchard's work in particular really deserves attention since his discography other than his jazz albums is pretty paper thin. Jerry Goldsmith's score for "The Public Eye" has been the stuff of legend and much like his other rejected scores such as "Gladiator (1992)", "2 Days In The Valley" and "Alien Nation" are certainly curious listens for the biggest die hard Goldsmith fan.

"Save The Drama For...."

  1. Men Don't Leave (Thomas Newman)
  2. Less Than Zero (Thomas Newman)
  3. A Little Sex (Georges Delerue)
  4. This Boy's Life (Carter Burwell)
  5. The Company Men (Aaron Zigman)
  6. The Waterdance (Michael Convertino)
  7. True Believer (Brad Fiedel)
  8. Table For Five (John Morris/Miles Goodman)
  9. Sweet November (Christopher Young)
  10. Indian Summer (Miles Goodman)

Other Notables: Bad Manners by Ira Newborn, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Theodore Shapiro, Gia by Terence Blanchard, True Colors by Trevor Jones, Life Or Something Like It by David Newman

Drama scores can go two ways: too sappy and boring or just flat out brilliant. This group features an ecclectic group of scores that are worthy of a release. Thomas Newman's work is easily the strongest here and without question would probably see the light of day sooner than the others listed here sadly.

"Animation Domination!"

  1. Anastasia (David Newman)
  2. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Marc Shaiman)
  3. Titan A.E. (Graeme Revell)
  4. Ducktails The Movie (David Newman)
  5. Quest For Camelot (Patrick Doyle)

Other Notables: The Prince of Eygpt by Hans Zimmer, Mulan by Jerry Goldsmith, Brother Bear by Mark Mancina, Tarzan The Animated Movie by Mark Mancina

Animated scores are tricky because alot them do see a release for the most part with songs mixed in with original score. Some get alot of music, while others barely got anything to represent the score properly. In this case, these scores didn't get one or barely got one especially in the case of David Newman's masterful score for the animated remake of "Anastasia" his lengthy score was replaced largely in part by songs on the album that was release not doing justice to his beautiful music. "Titan A.E.", "South Park" and "Ducktails The Movie" never saw the light of day despite the fact that "Titan" and "South Park" did get a song album releases. Others like "The Prince Of Egypt", "Tarzan The Animated Movie" and "Mulan" deserve longer expanded releases to do these scores justice.

"The LP's That Should Be On CD, But Criminally Aren't"

  1. The Hot Rock (Quincy Jones)
  2. Prince Of The City (Paul Chihara)
  3. Ewoks (Peter Bernstein)
  4. Bobby Deerfield (Dave Grusin)
  5. The Next Man (Michael Kamen)
  6. On Golden Pond (Dave Grusin)
  7. Cat's Eye (Alan Silvestri)
  8. The Champ (Dave Grusin)
  9. No Mercy (Alan Silvestri)
  10. Revenge Of The Ninja (Rob Walsh)

Other Notables: Firewalker by Gary Chang, Solarbabies by Maurice Jarre, 52 Pick-Up by Gary Chang, Ghandi by George Fenton & Ravi Shankar

LP's still remain a great gold mine for soundtracks that have yet received a CD or digital counterpart at this point. These that I've listed are some solid examples of gems that are sorely missed on CD which is absolutely criminal. Gems like the Oscar nominated "On Golden Pond" and "The Champ" should've already made it to CD already.

"Primed For Expansion And Thensome!"

  1. A Simple Plan (Danny Elfman)
  2. The Three Musketeers (Michael Kamen)
  3. The Thomas Crown Affair (Bill Conti)
  4. Primal Fear (James Newton Howard)
  5. Courage Under Fire (James Horner)
  6. The Thin Red Line (Hans Zimmer & John Powell)
  7. The Pelican Brief (James Horner)
  8. Deep Rising (Jerry Goldsmith)
  9. Far & Away (John Williams)
  10. Armageddon (Trevor Rabin & Harry Gregson-Williams)

A small sample of a group of titles that could easily see important additional music that is severely missing from these albums to begin with. Armageddon and The Thin Red Line enjoying the most of the wealth in this category with oodles and oodles of missing music that would fill an entire box set of CD's.

Other Notables: Psycho (1998) by Bernard Herrmann, Danny Elfman adpt., The Gift by Christopher Young, Enemy Of The State by Trevor Rabin & Harry Gregson-Williams, The Peacemaker by Hans Zimmer, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery by George S.Clinton, Twister by Mark Mancina

"Varese's Expansion, Expansion, Expansion"

  1. Air Force One (Jerry Goldsmith & Joel McNeely)
  2. Dolores Claiborne (Danny Elfman)
  3. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Jerry Goldsmith)
  4. Back To The Future Part 3 (Alan Silvestri)
  5. Terminal Velocity (Joel McNeely)
  6. U.S.Marshals (Jerry Goldsmith)
  7. Soldier (Joel McNeely)
  8. Chain Reaction (Jerry Goldsmith)
  9. A Perfect Murder (James Newton Howard)
  10. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (Basil Poleoduris)
  11. The Quick And The Dead (Alan Silvestri)
  12. Outbreak (James Newton Howard)
  13. Executive Decision (Jerry Goldsmith)
  14. Vertical Limit (James Newton Howard)
  15. Deep Blue Sea (Trevor Rabin)
  16. Memoirs Of An Invisible Man (Shirley Walker)
  17. Drop Zone (Hans Zimmer)
  18. Sudden Death (John Debney)
  19. Sphere (Elliot Goldenthal)
  20. Wild Wild West (Elmer Bernstein)
  21. Rudy (Jerry Goldsmith)
  22. City Hall (Jerry Goldsmith)
  23. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (Laurence Rosenthal/Joel McNeely)
  24. Dante's Peak (John Frizzell/James Newton Howard)
  25. Volcano (Alan Silvestri)
  26. No Escape (Graeme Revell)
  27. For Love Of The Game (Basil Poledouris)
  28. Small Soldiers (Jerry Goldsmith)
  29. Mouse Hunt (Alan Silvestri)
  30. Time Cop (Mark Isham)

I could really go on and on with this great list of scores that are really worthy for release under the Varese banner and you really can't go wrong with any of these to be honest. Time will tell if the label and when they will get around to these anytime soon. You can also make a case for "The Hard Way" by Arthur B. Rubinstein, "Donnie Brasco" by Patrick Doyle, "Carlito's Way" by Patrick Doyle, "On Deadly Ground" by Basil Poledouris, "Pleasantville" by Randy Newman, "Don't Say A Word" by Mark Isham, "Just Cause" by James Newton Howard, "Blade" by Mark Isham, "Payback" by Chris Boardman, "What Lies Beneath" by Alan Silvestri, "Mobsters" by Michael Small, "Extreme Measures" by Danny Elfman

"You Again! Primed For Reissue"

  1. Ghostbusters (Elmer Bernstein)
  2. Romancing The Stone (Alan Silvestri)
  3. The Towering Inferno (John Williams)
  4. Joe Vs. The Volcano (Georges Delerue)
  5. The Blue Max (Jerry Goldsmith)
  6. Heaven Can Wait/Racing With The Moon (Dave Grusin)
  7. The Bride (Maurice Jarre)
  8. Laura (David Raskin)
  9. Flesh & Blood (Basil Poledouris)
  10. Cliffhanger (Trevor Jones)/Robocop (Basil Poledouris)

Now that these albums have been long gone for a while now with Heaven Can Wait/Racing With The Moon happily selling out so quickly, these albums are ones I would expect to see in the years ahead mostly because of demand as well as the fact that the music is great and deserve to be heard again.

Other Notables: True Confessions by Georges Delerue, Cinderella Liberty by John Williams, Monsignor by John Williams, SpaceCamp by John Williams, WarGames by Arthur B. Rubinstein, The Black Stallion by Carmine Coppola, The Black Stallion Returns by Georges Delerue, Miracle On 34th Street by Bruce Broughton, Home Alone by John Williams, Take A Hard Ride by Jerry Goldsmith, Switchback by Basil Poledouris, Jack The Bear by James Horner, The Beast Within by Les Baxter, Silver Streak by Henry Mancini, The Island by Ennio Morricone, Lifeforce by Henry Mancini, Nightwing by Henry Mancini, The Right Stuff by Bill Conti, The Goonies by Dave Grusin

Oh that about do it this time around. Compiling lists are easy but writing them out, is a chore! But a fun one!

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