Tag Archives: The Iron Giant

Varèse Sarabande Announces Titles for Record Store Day Black Friday 2021

Varèse Sarabande has announced the following titles will be released on Record Store Day Black Friday 2021: Blue Velvet: Deluxe Edition by Angelo Badalamenti, How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell, Ghosts of Mars by John Carpenter, and The Iron Giant by Michael Kamen.

These special limited-run LP releases will be available on Black Friday, November 26, at participating Record Store Day retailers.

BLUE VELVET (Deluxe Edition 2-LP) – Angelo Badalamenti David Lynch’s dark 1986 masterpiece has a deep and passionate relationship to music, starting with the Bobby Vinton title song that plays a central role in the story (which has been integrated into the original soundtrack for the first time). Angelo Badalamenti was hired by producer Fred Caruso to develop Isabella Rossellini’s version of the song for the film and deliver the tape to David—meeting for the first time. Picture the very moment that Alfred Hitchcock met Bernard Herrmann, or Steven Spielberg met John Williams. The story has now evolved into that kind of legend, often repeated, with the uniquely coiffed director listening to the tape through a pair of headphones and delivering one of his uniquely retro phrases: “That’s peachy keen!”  As part of the Blue Velvet scoring process, Badalamenti recorded lengthy orchestral tracks the pair called “firewood,” which Lynch could use in his distinct sound design. Numerous cues were also created—alternate versions, improvisations, and experimentations that may or may not have been written with a scene in mind, which Lynch could then apply to his film (or not) however he chose. The second LP is full of these cues, mastered from tape and heard for the first time under the title of “Lumberton Firewood.” Generally considered one of the Top 50 soundtracks of all time, the Blue Velvet deluxe edition is pressed on marbleized blue vinyl featuring Enzo Sciotti’s 1986 Italian poster art on the cover and new notes and interviews with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti.   

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (2-LP) – John Powell How to Train Your Dragon was composer John Powell’s first solo score for a DreamWorks animated feature and earned him his first Academy Award® nomination. Powell took the Viking milieu literally and started researching Scandinavian folk tunes and musical traditions, which he says are “wonderfully cold and warm at the same time.” Icelandic singer/songwriter Jónsi, of the celebrated band Sigur Rós, is featured on “Sticks and Stones.”  A truncated 11-track LP was part of Record Store Day in 2016, but this is the first-ever pressing of the complete original soundtrack release.  The 25-track album is expanded to two multicolored green splatter LPs and housed in a gatefold jacket. 

GHOSTS OF MARS – John Carpenter In celebration of Ghosts of Mars’ 20th anniversary, the epic soundtrack will be released on “Red Planet” vinyl.  John Carpenter recruited an unbelievable cast of musicians to record the soundtrack to this sci-fi horror film, starring Ice Cube and Natasha Henstridge. Among the featured players are GRAMMY®-winning musician Steve Vai, most of the heavy metal band Anthrax (including Scott Ian), Elliot Easton of The Cars, Buckethead, and Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails and Guns N’ Roses. This soundtrack is apocalyptic and an important mark in John Carpenter’s unparalleled career as a director and composer.  

THE IRON GIANT (Picture Disc) – Michael Kamen This first-ever picture disc of this heartwarming 1999 animated film celebrates The Robot, his best friend, Hogarth, and a cast of characters. The music is by Academy Award®-nominated composer Michael Kamen (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard), who was well known for his work with Eric Clapton, Metallica and Pink Floyd, in addition to his brilliant theatrical scores.  

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Michael Kamen talks The Iron Giant (1999)

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Credit to Warner Bros.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

At the close of the old century, Warner Bros. Studio released The Iron Giant. The feature starred Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes, Christopher McDonald as Agent Kent Mansley, Harry Connick Jr. as Dean, Jennifer Aniston as Hogarth’s mother and Vin Diesel (yes, THAT Vin Diesel) as the voice of the Giant. This film marked the directorial debut of Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol).

The composer, Michael Kamen, was initially given a temp score of science-fiction music composed by Bernard Herrmann, but the music “scared him completely.” As a result, Kamen traveled to Prague for inspiration and eventually found it listening to the Czech Philharmonic.

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Rather unusually, Kamen not only recorded the score over a single week (as opposed to a month), it was also recorded without synchronizing the music to the picture. By that I mean, Kamen did not have a visual of the film present during the recording process (very unusual). Kamen visualized the score as something that could be recorded and listened to as a single piece of concert music.

The score went on to win an Annie Award for Music in an Animated Feature Production on November 6th, 1999.

The interview is broken into three parts (hence the three links) and I hope you enjoy Kamen’s talk about creating the score for this adorable film.

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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