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T O P I C    R E V I E W
DaveWest Posted - 04/12/2017 : 08:49:06
Awesome, can't wait! Finally a soundtrack release!
30   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
nittanyapple Posted - 09/19/2017 : 16:19:46
Originally posted by ccb

"Three kids, one in college, two new drivers...yeah."

You have my sincere sympathy. I'm not joking.

I know you aren't. Luckily the two new driver's are not actually driving and on my insurance yet. Soon though.
ccb Posted - 09/16/2017 : 08:51:44
"Three kids, one in college, two new drivers...yeah."

You have my sincere sympathy. I'm not joking.
SordoTheBandit Posted - 09/15/2017 : 14:19:11
Really sorry. Hopefully it will be waiting for you when you are ready.
nittanyapple Posted - 09/14/2017 : 09:05:24
Affordability makes it impossible to just buy it right now. A gift for Christmas would be the only way right now. Three kids, one in college, two new drivers...yeah.
SordoTheBandit Posted - 08/19/2017 : 12:45:37
I laugh then I cry then I laugh then I cry alternatively.

I love this music. What a treasure trove.

Dieter Epping Posted - 08/18/2017 : 17:33:23
That's what I was thinking. Just buy it yourself Apple
Cindylover1969 Posted - 08/17/2017 : 22:04:48
Can't you get it yourself?
nittanyapple Posted - 08/17/2017 : 09:01:42
Originally posted by Cindylover1969

You must get it!

I know. I told my husband about it...he doesn't take my hints well though.
Cindylover1969 Posted - 08/12/2017 : 00:26:40
You must get it!
nittanyapple Posted - 08/10/2017 : 09:07:38
This thread has been an awesome read today. I have been absent from the board for several weeks and am still not sure about purchasing the soundtrack...but reading this today may change my mind. My daughter needs college books next week, so...we'll see.
SordoTheBandit Posted - 08/08/2017 : 15:27:01
Interesting. Thanks ccb.
Cindylover1969 Posted - 08/08/2017 : 12:38:48
It is annoying about the Stevens litigation (especially since that means no Hawaii Five-O collection in the near future).

The most glaring omission for me personally is the bumper for act 1 of "The Night of the Firebrand" (which made its debut before the rest of the episode it was written for thanks its appearance in "The Night of the Bubbling Death" - where it works a lot better with the images...). And he does have a point for the season 4 scores, John Parker's blaring work for "The Night of the Spanish Curse" is a bit meh. Although not as meh as Robert Prince's contributions.
ccb Posted - 08/08/2017 : 08:58:52
CL69: … although having to enter all the track titles manually not so much... Yeah, that's a bummer, but a price worth paying for excellence.

I've been in correspondence with Jon Burlingame, the set's producer, whose articles and interviews many of you have read. I am editing and pasting here some background information not included in the accompanying set he wrote for the booklet.

This [job] was much more complicated than doing THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. or MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE -- we couldn't find everything we wanted or needed, and there are expenses involved at every step of the process. So I feel I've done the best I can under the circumstances.

When we could not find Grusin's "Night of the Puppeteer" or Shores' "Night of the Big Blackmail" among the CBS scores at UCLA, we had to go back to CBS and ask for musical elements (this gets a little complicated), for example, in order to present something of those scores even if the sound might be slightly compromised. Your readers should also know that we were barred from using any Morton Stevens music ("Night of the Returning Dead," which several fans really wanted) because CBS is currently enmeshed in litigation with the Stevens estate. And there were a handful of scores we simply could not find.

There was some concern that, commercially speaking, to do more than four discs might not make sense. So I was limited in terms of how much I could accommodate. So ultimately I chose the 26 scores that I thought best represented the series, that were good solid musical choices, and also maximized the contributions of the series' three primary composers (Markowitz, Drasnin, Shores). There is an inevitable degree of regret about not being able to either find, or include, the Parker / Prince / Lowe plus some additional Geller / Pleis scores. People have asked about a possible sequel; it might be possible but it would be another colossal challenge to try and find the remaining scores.…

I never found "Bars of Hell." Still looking for it. If there is a sequel, we will include it, even if it means utilizing the sound from the show itself (as we had to do with four scores on the existing album). "Returning Dead" ([with cues] pretty much evenly split between Stevens and Geller) was a problem because CBS will not allow any Mort Stevens music to appear on any album until their current litigation with the Stevens family … is resolved. That will take years, in all probability. So even if there is a sequel, there cannot be any Stevens music included. CBS must approve everything we do, from musical choices to booklet design.

[I had commented on the few tracks allotted to Scharf's score for "The Assassin," which was used to score so many Season Three episodes.]

Regarding Scharf: I didn't find it very interesting, musically, and the way we were laying out the various suites over the four discs, it fell at the end of Disc 3 and frankly I trimmed a few minutes out of it in order to make sure everything fit.

I have been monitoring the various film-score message boards and noticed the disappointment about Pleis, Geller, Lowe and Prince not being better represented. I haven't seen anyone complaining about the lack of Parker. … I [was] trying my best to make a musically compelling set and I didn't really think the fourth season scores (apart from Shores) measured up. However, that being said, I think I can find it all and if there is a sequel, I will add the Lowe, the Prince, more Pleis (especially "Bubbling Death," which lots of people seem to want) and more Geller (and if there's room, some of the Parker score too).

[I asked if legal or technical issues had prevented reproduction of any of the duets performed by Michael Dunn and Phoebe Dorin.]

Regarding the vocal tracks: It is always dicey to use these on an album. We are generally warned by the legal departments to avoid them because a later use of songs sung by actors may require permission or additional payment to the actors or their estates; plus, to be honest, I never found any of them in the UCLA tapes.

[I asked who had composed the mysterioso that opens the teaser for "The Watery Death." I also noted what a strange score "Big Blast" had: one-half original, one-half recycled cues.]

The tracks you cite from "Watery Death" and "Big Blast" were composed by CBS staff composer Joel Davis, who never received screen credit. Finding those for a sequel could be difficult. …

I am especially pleased that you liked "Man-Eating House." I love that episode, and that score, and debated endlessly whether I should take up 17 minutes with it. I finally decided "yes" and am relieved that you appreciated it. And I too love the Showcards, and was mightily pleased to discover them among the second-season format music.

… I too remember this series with great fondness, and to present the best of THE WILD WILD WEST's music has been a dream come true for me. … I hope that your readers will grab the opportunity to relive the series via its music. I might also say that I wish the run was more than 1,000 -- because I hear they are selling fast and I would hate for anyone to miss out.

In addition to knowing everything worth knowing about classic television and movie soundtracks, Mr. Burlingame is an extraordinarily kind gentleman. As you can tell, he loves the music for this show and genuinely hopes that the work he has invested in this project (one among many, for him) pleases the show's fans.
stephen_pomes Posted - 08/08/2017 : 08:16:42
My copy arrived yesterday. I'm only on the first disc, but I'm thrilled. I'm looking forward to reading the booklet. I can see that a lot of labor -- and love -- have gone into this release. Bravo and thanks to Mr. Burlingame and to all who contributed to this project!
Cindylover1969 Posted - 08/07/2017 : 22:12:47
Complete blast - although having to enter all the track titles manually not so much...
SordoTheBandit Posted - 08/05/2017 : 08:32:47
To Mr. Burlingame and everyone else involved with this CD project,

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
Cindylover1969 Posted - 08/05/2017 : 02:09:27
Depends on sales, and what's left... one fan on Film Score Monthly wondered why Robert Prince was left off with Richard Markowitz and Robert Drasnin got so much space.
Dieter Epping Posted - 08/04/2017 : 22:17:00
I liked it a lot. Already heard the whole thing and started disc 1 again. I hope they make another one!!
SordoTheBandit Posted - 08/04/2017 : 11:48:19
I've got it. It came today.

This weekend will be fun.
SordoTheBandit Posted - 07/31/2017 : 08:58:49
I just placed the order today.

I will let you know what I think after I have had a chance to listen to the entire set.

I feel like a kid all over again.
Dieter Epping Posted - 07/30/2017 : 12:04:04
I'm up to Sedgewick Curse now on disc 4. Sounds so cool. Amazing to hear without the action and speach that normally went with all the music. Highly recommended to all WWW fans!!
Dieter Epping Posted - 07/30/2017 : 09:01:12
I just heard the ending of Jack O'Diamonds that leads into the 4th bumper. So yes it's included. Cant believw I'm already on the last disc!! I'm up to Samurai now and this is all while driving places in my car. It's got a great surround sound stereo system so I can hear it sounding beyond great!
SordoTheBandit Posted - 07/29/2017 : 07:21:32
Thanks for the update. I will be placing the order next week. I have been waiting for the release of this music for decades.
Dieter Epping Posted - 07/28/2017 : 19:01:38
I'm not up to Jack O'Diamonds yet so don't know. I just got up to the Eccentrics on disc 2. But one part I was looking forward to but didn't hear is the very end of Puppeteer leading into the last bumper. Was surprised that wasn't included!! But everything else has been great so far.
SordoTheBandit Posted - 07/28/2017 : 14:56:52
Cindylover1969 said:
"I must know - if the finale of "The Night Of Jack O'Diamonds" on the set - the piece with Sordo's theme combined with the series' theme for a big finish?"

I must know too. I don't have mine ordered yet. Is the finale there?

Cindylover1969 Posted - 07/28/2017 : 13:57:01
FSMO has a Burlingame interview on the set (I can't link because you might not be a subscriber and only subscribers can read on-site:

Neil Shurley: What are your first memories of The Wild Wild West?

Jon Burlingame: I was a huge fan of action-adventure shows in the 1960s, and The Wild Wild West fell neatly into that category, essentially offering viewers James Bond in the Old West for an hour a week. But Fridays at 7:30 involved some very tough decision-making for a 13- to 15-year-old boy.

In that pre-VCR era, you had to choose between West on CBS, Tarzan on NBC, The Green Hornet and Time Tunnel on ABC, and in its final year, it was opposite another western favorite, The High Chaparral on NBC. If I missed an episode, I’d try to catch up with it in reruns. But Jim and Artie on that train, and the gadgets and girls and villains, were all pretty irresistible.

NS: What drew you to pursue getting this music released?

JB: If you consider the great spy series of the ’60s, we now have comprehensive soundtrack releases of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I Spy, Mission: Impossible and Secret Agent. But The Wild Wild West was every bit as popular as those shows, with a really well-known and well-liked theme, and yet there was never even one commercial release of the theme in the ’60s, much less an album of scores. And all of those shows are a passion of mine. Talk about an album way overdue!

NS: Can you describe the music for those unfamiliar with the series?

JB: Like all these shows, it’s nostalgic and fun and, at times, genuinely brilliant. To a certain extent, it’s a few of “the usual suspects,” composers like Robert Drasnin and Richard Shores, who are familiar as Man From U.N.C.L.E. composers. The primary composer was Richard Markowitz, who had had a hit with the theme for The Rebel (a Johnny Cash vocal) a few years earlier, and whose theme for Wild Wild West is still well known to every baby boomer today.

There are a few lesser-known composers like Harry Geller and Jack Pleis, a couple of TV standbys like Fred Steiner and Walter Scharf, and an early and especially noteworthy contribution by later Oscar winner and terrific jazz keyboardist Dave Grusin. There are some nods to traditional western scoring, such as guitar and harmonica, but for the most part this is action-adventure-suspense material with lots of color and energy.

NS: Tell me a little about the journey of putting this together. Did you initiate it or did La-La Land?

JB: I did. With the success of our Mission: Impossible box, released in 2015, I thought a suitable follow-up would be The Wild Wild West, although the situation wasn’t as simple as Mission (since all the Mission tapes were basically in one place). La-La Land gave me the green light to begin looking for everything.

And my hat is off to Matt Verboys and MV Gerhard, the La-La Land executives who took a chance on this project, and Lukas Kendall, who was the invaluable liaison with CBS and was able to find elements we otherwise might not have had.

NS: How long did it take to find the elements and choose what tracks to use?

JB: The whole project took two years. I knew it would be a challenge, and it was. When CBS closed its music department in the early 1990s, it (luckily) deposited all of its tapes at UCLA. Unfortunately, the collection is incomplete and many of the 50-year-old tape-box labels have fallen off, which complicated the search for scores.

Past research for my books and articles gave me a head start in that I knew what shows were scored, when and by whom. I then went through all of those episodes to choose the best, as we knew we’d never find everything and could concentrate our search on the material we most wanted. Once I assembled a list, the search began, mostly at UCLA but also at Brigham Young University (where Fred Steiner’s materials are), as well as the estates of Richard Markowitz and Robert Drasnin.

I knew there were at least two recordings of the original, unused, Dimitri Tiomkin theme, and I knew when they were made. Thanks to the Tiomkin estate, I had the original “Ballad of Jim West” vocal and knew we could get permission to use it. The question was, were any of the others (there were two tunes and a total of three sets of lyrics: “Wild West,” “The Ballad of the Wild West” and “The Ballad of Jim West”) recorded and could we locate them? (Ultimately, Lukas and I decided that only one of the three was actually recorded by CBS.)

NS: Were the elements stored well? Were you able to find everything you wanted?

JB: Yes and no. UCLA Special Collections had about 90 percent of what we needed—a miracle, I thought—and it was all in immaculate shape. Lukas, our consulting producer and FSM founder, had visited with them a few years ago and discovered many otherwise unidentifiable reels, which enabled me to direct UCLA personnel to specific tapes we might not otherwise have located. The pilot score was even found in three-track stereo, including never-before-heard versions of the classic Markowitz theme.

I did a lot of research, not just listening and choosing my own favorites but also consulting with a number of knowledgeable West fans and experts about what they felt was the best music. It was important to use as much of Richard Markowitz, Robert Drasnin and Richard Shores’ music as possible, as they were really the scoring mainstays over the four years. The Markowitz family, in particular, is very excited about this release because this is his best-known theme and the work he was most proud of.

Four scores I really wanted for the set were never found at UCLA: Two first-season scores by Dave Grusin and Richard Shores; a third-season score by Walter Scharf; and a fourth-season score by Shores. For those, again thanks to Lukas, we were able to access music stems from CBS, which were then restored to best possible condition by our resident restoration genius Chris Malone. Interestingly, we had a full set of acetates of the Grusin score that had been archived years ago by The Film Music Society, and I was prepared to use those if necessary. But Malone’s restoration work on the stems was really remarkable and it was ultimately a better sonic choice than the noisy acetates.

I was able to find four of the six reels of recordings that CBS made on Dec. 30, 1964, and luckily the instrumental version of the Tiomkin theme was there. The estate’s vocal version, recorded a couple of weeks earlier, was problematic sonically—but I happened to discover, just weeks before the end of the project, that CBS music director Herschel Burke Gilbert had retained a tape of several different mixes of the vocal. We managed to get that transferred quickly and our mastering engineer, Doug Schwartz, did a brilliant job of creating a much improved version of “The Ballad of Jim West.”

JB: I feel very lucky to have been able to work with some of my favorite TV music, scores I grew up loving and remember with such fondness. So—and this goes for everything I’ve worked on—to hear the original recordings of music from U.N.C.L.E., Mission, West, etc. is itself an enormous thrill. So when Lukas started sending over individual scores for audition and track selection, well, let’s just say it was the best part of my year.

The challenge with making TV scores into albums is to choose the most diverse and listenable material, preserving the best of each score and avoiding too much repetition or very short cues that don’t say much, musically speaking. On U.N.C.L.E., it was a guessing game because we didn’t even know if anyone would buy the album, so I assembled best-of medleys that were sometimes as short as four minutes or as long as 10 or 12 minutes. On Mission, the challenge was to find something of value in each original score. On West, it was finding the right music, the most memorable music, and assembling it into tracks (sometimes two or three cues put together) that would make for enjoyable listening apart from the episodes themselves.

NS: What are some of your favorite tracks?

JB: Of course, the original recordings of Markowitz’s theme are great to hear, especially in stereo. Drasnin’s funny little 12-tone theme for Dr. Loveless is delightful, as is Markowitz’s (rarely used) theme for Artemus Gordon. We discovered that the end title theme we know so well was actually abridged from a longer version that Markowitz recorded for the pilot, so we have included that; and we discovered the “showcards” (those brief five- to 10-second theme excerpts used for station identification, etc.) for the second season. Those are fun, too.

I am crazy about the Grusin score for “Night of the Puppeteer” with its wonderful waltz, Markowitz’s landmark use of the sitar in “Night of the Golden Cobra,” and his last score, “Night of Jack O’Diamonds.” Oh, and a lot of the action music that Shores contributed over his six scores; Shores is one of those completely unique composers for TV whose style is immediately identifiable. I love Drasnin’s dark “Night of the Man-Eating House” and the colorful ethnic material that Harry Geller wrote for “Night the Dragon Screamed,” and that Jack Pleis added in “Night of the Samurai.” Fred Steiner’s voodoo score, “Night of the Undead,” is pretty creepy, too.

One of the mysteries we discovered was a marching band version of the Markowitz theme, recorded in 1966 and not meant for release. It appears to be just a single take, and I suspect it may have been a trial run for a marching band arrangement that CBS was considering making available (because drum-and-bugle corps shows were very big in that era and they sometimes did TV themes). But we’ve added it to the bonus tracks for fun.

NS: Did you talk to Robert Conrad or anyone else involved with the series?

JB: I did interview Conrad, 30 years ago, at the time of his last series, High Mountain Rangers. We spent a fun afternoon talking about his career over beers in Hollywood. He had nothing but fond memories of the series and of Ross Martin. But for this project, the booklet was going to be mostly about the music and the composers, so I didn’t really have the room to go into depth about the series itself. Most of the key people involved with the series (particularly on the music side) are no longer with us.

NS: Did this dream project live up to your expectations?

JB: Yes. We found nearly everything we sought in pristine condition. There may be a few scores that dyed-in-the-wool West fans might have wanted, but the vast majority of the finest work done for the show is here on these four discs. They’ve only pressed 1,000 copies (it’s always hard to know what the real life sales numbers are going to be, especially in this era of declining CD purchases), so I hope everyone who wants a copy will manage to get one!

Cindylover1969 Posted - 07/28/2017 : 00:27:40
I must know - if the finale of "The Night Of Jack O'Diamonds" on the set - the piece with Sordo's theme combined with the series' theme for a big finish?
Dieter Epping Posted - 07/26/2017 : 17:16:26
I received mine today and already love it. Sounds so awesome in stereo!! I'm up to Night of the Deadly Bed and so impressed with the sound quality. Like a new motion picture. Im imagining the scenes of each episode as I hear the music that went along with each part.

And definitely an awesome box set. The booklet with all the info and the photos are the best. This is going right there with all my other WWW collectibles of dvds, books and all the rest!!

Cindylover1969 Posted - 07/26/2017 : 12:34:43
I picked mine up today, and once I'm finished listening to my Lost In Space boxset (12 discs!) I'll cue it up!
Dieter Epping Posted - 07/26/2017 : 02:03:56
Thanks ccb and Cindylover for the info. I should be getting mine in the mail tomorrow or so...I got the email that it was mailed to me so anytime. Looking forward to getting it even more now!!

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