A Huge new seventy four minute version of the Logan's Run soundtrack now out at www.filmscoremonthly.com Developed with minor help from this site, this CD is a dream come true!. You can even preview many of the tracks online! Inludes amazing music from deleted sequences and expands on the limited vinyl album and subsequent CD releases. A large article about Jerry Goldsmith to follow soon in their great magazine! CD's from Film Score Monthly are simply fantastic and completely filled with music! Read reviews of two of their amazing Planet of the Apes CD's here. This production is limited to 3000 copies so be sure and order one today!
Q: Of all the movies how did you pick this one to add to your impressive library of soundtracks?
A: We have released over 45 classic film score CDs since 1998, so you might ask, how did we choose this one to be among those 45 (with many more to come)? Our titles have ranged from sci-fi to biopic, from horror to soap opera, with composers as famous as John Williams or as relatively obscure as Cyril Mockridge. We pick titles that are interesting to us which we think our readers will enjoy.
But the answer is simple: we at FSM are huge Logan's Run and Jerry Goldsmith fans and knew this to be one of his greatest scores, long deserving of a full restoration (the existing album, while adequate in its time, was incomplete and suffered from somewhat compromised sound quality). So when the opportunity arose to license film scores from the Turner library, we made Logan's Run among our very first choices.
Q: How much contact did you have with the composer?
A: Actually none at all. Mr. Goldsmith has shown varying degrees of interest (or not) in having his works from the past presented on CD, and is generally occupied with a full schedule of current movies. We are confident that we have treated his work with the appropriate care and respect.
Q: Where were the tapes you used stored?
A: We used DA-88 (a multitrack digital tape format) transfers of the original analogue masters stored in the Turner (now Warner Bros.) vaults, provided to us by the studio. The Turner library (which includes pre-1987 MGM films like Logan's Run) has been thoroughly preserved and cataloged in recent years, and the studio is to be commended for their dedication to film preservation. (This is sadly not always the case at motion picture studios.) We were blown away by the relative ease with which the relevant tapes and paperwork could be retrieved.
Q: What condition were they in? What type of tape was used? How many tracks?
A: The tapes were in sterling condition. The orchestral portions were recorded on six-track magnetic film (although only five tracks were used for most of the cues) and the electronic cues were recorded on four-track magnetic film. Generally, MGM film scores were recorded on three-track magnetic film, but Logan's Run was intended as a widescreen stereo presentation and so the music was recorded onto more channels than usual.
(On Goldsmith's sketch for the main title, he specifies that the trumpets are meant to come out of the rear channels and work their way towards the front, a nifty idea -- and typical example of his ingenuity -- which we could not replicate on a two-track commercial CD.)
We loaded all of the music from DA-88 into a Pro Tools editing system at a Hollywood facility called Private Island Trax, where we remixed it from scratch. We used the old Bay Cities CD as a guide as well as the finished soundtrack from the DVD. The electronic passages were far and away the most challenging, as they are so abstract and could be mixed any number of ways.
We followed the balances (volumes of the different channels) and panning (placement of the instruments in the stereo field) of the old album and the movie which was very ambitious -- with various instruments bouncing from speaker to speaker. For the previously unreleased electronic cues ("Fatal Games," "The Assignment," "The Interrogation") we had to make it up as we went, using the film as a template but realizing that this was to be a CD for independent listening.
Far and away the most challenging cues were "Flameout" and "Love Shop" as these were recorded in six or seven passes, each pass having three or four tracks. My engineer, Michael McDonald, and I spent many afternoons lining up all of the material, making sure that all of the segues were exactly correct, and that every beep and boop was accounted for. It would have been easy just to give up and use the old album master, but the improvement in quality was so stunning in the multitracks that we pressed forward until the job was complete. "Love Shop" took the longest because the musicis so amorphous and strange -- there is little for your ear to hang onto as you compare mixes. Furthermore, the album version is different from the finished film version which is different from the original film version in the preview cut, which I heard thanks to your website. (It's the same overall material, but assembled differently.) We recreated the 1976 album version, assuming that to be the best presentation for listening purposes.
Incidentally, there were several passages where electronics and orchestra were playing at the same time, which was another mixing challenge. It was fascinating how the balances could go astray so easily, but if you listen to the beginning of "Crazy Ideas" on the CD I don't think you'll hear a note out of place.
After mixing the album at Trax it was mastered by Doug Schwartz at Mulholland Music, who has done all of the Turner albums and is a wizard at making archival recordings sound vivid and fresh. Mastering is a separate process in which another computer program, Sonic Solutions, is used along with very expensive supplementary equipment to improve the music's equalization, balance the overall volume levels, and remove certain "ticks" and "pops" that could not be eliminated in mixing.
Q: Were there any tracks that you did not use (aside from alternate cues) due to time constraints?
A: I can confidently say we used everything we could. Of the orchestral portions, we had the first take of "A Little Muscle" with slightly different orchestration which we left off for time constraints. The electronic portions were a little more confusing in that there were multiple prints of several cues, some being mono mix-downs, and alternate performances of passages here and there, where we had to select the correct take by comparing it against the film or existing album. There was no logical way to include these and I'm glad we did not.
There was one cue we almost left off because it seemed to make no sense and was almost like a sound effect: the wild, shrieking cue for the end of the deleted opening after Francis kills the first runner. Thanks to the preview cut, we realized what this was for and included it in the CD, albeit after "Fatal Games" which is slightly out of chronological order.
Several other "minor" cues we managed to include: the "Intensive Care" waiting room music, the City gongs and "hand" sound effect (track 20), and an unused orchestral whoosh which was marked 1M1 - Part Three but is nowhere to be heard in the preview cut. I think it may have been recorded for the cut into the City, or some part of the Francis/runner chase, but it was not used. We included it also in track 20 (at 2:05).
The "alarm" at Nursery after Francis disturbs the infants was recorded as a musical effect but it was so marginal that we left it off. And there were two, I think, very short reprises of the City music (sounding PRECISELY the same as the actual cue, "The City," but cutting off early) which we left off. Ultimately, we still needed to make a CD that people could listen to -- and we ended up with a 74:18 running time which certainly a full listen.
Q: How did you approach Turner?
A: I approached George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Turner, who has been with the MGM film library ever since it was a part of the MGM film company, and has been the driving force behind the catalog's restoration and presentation on dozens of top-notch CDs from Rhino Records.
George and his colleagues at Rhino and Warner Bros. saw the opportunity to make more of their masters available through FSM, in addition to the efforts with Rhino (and Rhino's limited edition label, Rhino Handmade) and we're very gratefully that they decided to try us out.
Fortunately, here at FSM we have a fairly unique business model, and we also have a history of licensing albums from Warner Bros., the corporate parent of Turner, and all of this paved the way for our new relationship. We could not be more thrilled with the opportunity.
I do want to proudly point out that I think our work is consistently the best of any of the specialty labels, owing to the fantastic people working for us, particularly our art director, Joe Sikoryak, and tireless liner note author, Jeff Bond. We try to make it very easy for film companies to look at our albums and want to do business with us.
Q: What interesting things did you learn while working on this project?
A: I learned more about mixing music on the Logan's Run CD than I did on any other of our film score restorations. Most of the stereo remixes we had done from the Twentieth Century-Fox library were from three- or six-track masters where the restoration work was concentrated in lining up overlays and masking deterioration. It was and is very challenging and Michael McDonald and I learned a lot about taking archival film music masters which use an arcane system of organization (by today's standards) and putting them back together again.
Still, Fox scores rarely need to be "mixed" in the traditional sense: taking a multitrack master and adjusting levels and panning so that it is appealing as a piece of music. The Fox material needs a lot of work, but musically it is recorded so that if you just play all three or six channels, it is presentable as a fully mixed piece of music (part of Alfred Newman's genius in setting up that studio's system).
With Logan's Run, both the symphonic and electronic portions played like "raw" elements until we did a hefty amount of mixing. This is where Michael's experience as a mixing engineer for 20 years was invaluable, as he knew just how to apply reverb (which we used, but sparingly) and how to bring the music to life through panning and volume graphs. We used the Bay Cities CD as a guide for the orchestral mixing in tracks like "The Monument" and it really brought the music to life, showing us where to spotlight the woodwind solos, for example.
It was a terrific experience and I hope fans are as thrilled with the finished CD as we are!