Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Available while quantities and interest remain.

(Note: this post was - mostly - written up earlier in the year. I could not have accounted for one of the labels actually releasing something from one of the composers listed here in the meantime.)

Don't let this get around, but I have an affinity for film music. I wait with baited breath at the latest announcements about specialty releases. With so few release slots and so many inter-label reissues, a number of composers get lost in the shuffle. Here are ten that I think the labels ought to look closer at:

Randy Edelman
Last specialty release: Pontiac Moon (Quartet; 2014)

Given his resume filled with silly comedies and his...shall we say, electronically-drenched music, I honestly thought it would've taken several years for a specialty release of his music to surface (clearly, I was proven wrong). Some may be clamoring for Ghostbusters II, which is fine, but there are stronger efforts to savor, such as The Chipmunk Adventure, one of Edelman's first scores, highlighted by its rousing overture and the underrated Down Periscope, featuring a stirring main theme that's almost like Edelman's take on the Police Academy march...and speaking of...

Robert Folk
Last specialty release: Police Academy (La La Land; 2013)

2013 saw an unprecedented three releases from Folk: Buysoundtrax's Beastmaster 2, Intrada's Can't Buy Me Love and La La Land's Police Academy. Another composer burdened with a risible resume of comedies, but there are many musical gems scattered about, like the heartbreaking horror of The Slayer, the jazzy parody of Loaded Weapon 1 and the orchestral shenanigans of The Adventures of Laurel and Hardy: For Love or Mummy (yes, this is a movie that exists).

Richard Gibbs
Last specialty release: nothing

Though he continues to work, I really believe that Gibbs' best work came around the early 90s, his successful run as a comedy composer cemented with his delightful score for the (underrated) spoof, Fatal Instinct as well as equally fine work for comparatively lesser films like Ladybugs, Once Upon a Crime, Clifford and Amos and Andrew. Don't believe me? Check out the clips at and get back to me. I'll wait.

Miles Goodman
Last specialty release: Dunston Checks In (La La Land; 2010)

It's said that comedy scores are poor sellers, which screws me blue vis-a-vis a lot of this list, but there's no law saying a boy can't dream. For example, the elements of one of Goodman's most entertaining scores - Real Men - are said to be lost. Even if this situation continues, there are many other works of his to consider, such as Blankman, Indian Summer and What About Bob?.

Rolfe Kent
Last specialty release: nothing

Unlike a lot of the composers on this list, Kent's had some pretty good comedies to work with (okay, 40 Days and 40 Nights was a raging dumpster fire, but let's not hold that against him). I'll shout it from the mountaintops until my throat is sore: Mean Girls and Election would make a perfect double bill and there are several other scores that deserve official exposure: Killers, Legally Blonde, Citizen Ruth...

Michael J. Lewis
Last specialty release: Theatre of Blood (La La Land; 2010)

This is something of a cheat, as a lot of his scores are available on self-produced promo CDs, but many of them are rather expensive. Still, fully-produced liner notes augmenting Lewis' lush music would be nice. Who wouldn't like to know about the production histories of The Medusa Touch, Sphinx, Ffolkes and The Passage while enjoying the scores?

Mark Mothersbaugh
Last specialty release:...I guess you could count 21/22 Jump Street (La La Land; 2014)

The Devo co-founder branched out into scoring TV and films in the late 80s yet, for all his credits, there are shockingly few releases of his work. Granted, his Wes Anderson scores were released, but what of It's Pat, Sugar and Spice, A Guy Thing and the Hotel Transylvania movies? Who will speak for them?

Amotz Plessner
Last specialty release: nothing

I've been championing Plessner for a good 15 years, but no one - from film music fans to soundtrack producers - seems to know (or care about) him. Pity. His scores for Deal of a Lifetime, Addams Family Reunion and Digimon: the Movie reveal an incredible talent. Of all the composers on this list, I get the feeling that he will be the last to be considered for any new releases.

Graeme Revell
Last specialty release: Titan A.E. (La La Land; 2014)

Much like Richard Gibbs, Revell's best work came around the early 90s. A number of terrific scores saw release, such as Street Fighter, Power Rangers and Hard Target, but there's still the likes of Child's Play 2 and Ghost in the Machine to consider.

Arthur B. Rubinstein
Last specialty release: Whose Life is it Anyway? (FSM; 2009)

Rubinstein got his start in the 1970s, scoring made-for-TV movies, but it was a collaboration with fellow Yale alumnus John Badham - Whose Life is it Anyway? - that got him started in features. For the following two decades, he bounced between features and television, writing distinctive scores all the way. He's all but retired now, but his music deserves to be heard on disc. Stakeout, Another Stakeout, Once Upon a Texas Train, Lost in America, The Heist, The Best of Times, Where the Hell's that Gold?!!?...the list goes on.



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