All posts under Speak Up!

The Cult of Jerry


I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in the U.S. hero worship often goes overboard. And in this country, “hero” is a very loose term. Why “celebrities” like Kim Kardashian and someone/thing called “The Situation” garner so much airtime and print is beyond me. (In the sheltered world of my cave, I actually have no idea who these people are, what they look like, or what their claim to fame is.) I would like to think that educated, intelligent adults wouldn’t get caught up in the mindless…

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John Barry: A Personal Reminiscence


Waking up on Monday to the news of John Barry’s passing was heartbreaking to say the least. Even though he had retired and hadn’t scored a film since 2001’s ENIGMA, his death has rocked the film music community over the last few days, with tributes and reminiscences pouring out all week long. And whether you prefer the wailing brass of the James Bond movies or the serene, lush strings of his later work, it seems everybody has a favorite Barry score and a favorite Barry cinematic memory. As with many…

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The Art of Noise


As I sit here listening to Film Score Monthly’s new LASSIE COME HOME: THE CANINE CINEMA COLLECTION, not surprisingly–or maybe surprisingly–barking interrupts the music. I say “surprisingly” because we usually don’t expect our CD releases, not even archival ones, to have sound effects on them. I remember the furor surrounding FSM’s release of Jerry Goldsmith’s THE SATAN BUG back in 2007. Fans were incensed that they were paying for a release that contained sound effects, even though producer Lukas Kendall was upfront about the use of the music-and-effects (M&E) track…

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How to “Predict” the Oscars


It’s less than a week away from the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations and two comments under my 77 Film Scores Eligible for Oscar post got me thinking. Rather than write long-winded comments, I thought I’d write a long-winded post instead. (Why can I expend so many more words on shallow awards trivia than other, potentially more meaningful subjects? Oy.) After nearly 35 years of obsessively following the Oscars, three things happen (at least they did to me): You learn a lot about film (editing, sound, art direction, etc.)…

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Readers Poll – Top 10 Film Scores of 2010


Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in this year’s readers survey. Over 200 people voted and over 1,600 votes were cast. While I expected certain scores to appear, it was interesting to watch the list form and morph over the voting period. Out of the 201 scores listed, 161 of them received at least one vote. While this list certainly doesn’t match mine (nor should it), there are a couple of overlaps, several scores that didn’t quite make my cut, and a couple that weren’t anywhere close. This…

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Top 10 Film Scores of 2010


Like many film music fans, I tend to lament the current state of film scoring. And then a year-end Top 10 list helps me refocus and appreciate the work that many composers are contributing to the art form. Sure, there’s still plenty of mediocrity and crap being written, often through no fault of the composer, but I had no trouble at all compiling a list of worthy scores for the year. You know it’s a strong list if I had to regrettably leave off a Rachel Portman score. Once again,…

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving


The phrase “The Gift That Keeps on Giving” was first trademarked in 1925 to promote “talking machines” and “talking machine records.” So it’s entirely appropriate that today’s holiday post focuses on the 21st century’s version of those. I’ve always considered books and music to be the best gifts, perhaps because it’s what I always preferred getting. And yet, because I’m an instant gratification kind of guy, I’m far too impatient to wait for a holiday to hold out on either of those items. Occasionally I’d allow my parents to “surprise” me…

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The Next Best Thing


Maybe it’s because I’ve been single for most of my adult life and lived in New York City for the last 17 years, but I’m very attuned to “the next best thing” attitude that pervades this city. Seemingly every person you meet in this city is on the lookout for “my next ex.” Never content with what they have or who they’re meeting at that very moment, potential suitors are constantly swerving their head from side to side and looking over their shoulder for something better. And in a city…

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Look for the Silver Lining


The Digital Future really kicked my ass yesterday. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you’ve already heard about the demise of my external hard drive. My entire music collection–film scores, pop albums, cast albums, classical…everything–was wiped out. Without a firm figure in front of me, I’d estimate that’s about 5,000 albums. A full quarter of my film scores and soundtracks are gone. Poof! On Wednesday night, I plugged in my hard drive to listen to some music on iTunes, where I had spent weeks and weeks uploading…

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The Lay of the Land


In April 2009, I began Film Score Click Track as a forum to share my love of film music from my small section of cyberspace. Over the last 20 months, your support has been overwhelming. Each and every comment and email has been appreciated, even when you foolishly disagree with me. Oscar Hammerstein said it best in The King and I: “It’s a very ancient saying/But a true and honest thought/That if you become a teacher/By your pupils you’ll be taught.” The relationship may be different, but the sentiment remains the same….

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