Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Old School

It's audio tape night! I have a tape player (along with an LP player) still hooked up to my stereo, and earlier today when I was writing my entry about The Empire Strikes Back I opened through two boxes' worth of tapes and started digging out stuff I haven't listened to in years, sometimes a decade or more. Tonight's tally:

  • Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra's rerecording of John Williams's The Empire Strikes Back. Poor thing is distorted like whoa at the start, but by the second track "Luke's First Crash," from the AT-AT battle, the tape had settled down and was listenable. One of the few places you can find the concert arrangements of "Han Solo and the Princess" (Empire and Jedi's love theme) and "The Asteroid Field," as opposed to the versions that match what's happening in the scenes they were composed for.

  • The score to Lethal Weapon performed by Michael Kamen, Eric Clapton, David Sanborn and a load of Los Angeles orchestra players. Thick '80s cheese at the start with the title song -- yes Lethal Weapon had a title song (by the band Honeymoon Suite, which was still playing three years ago) -- which I enjoyed in one way, but then there was the score proper which is much more my speed. I like the warmth and wit of lots of Kamen's music, even though I've kind of burned out on this film series.

  • Right after that? Kamen's score to Last Action Hero, where HE MAKES FUN OF HIS OWN LETHAL WEAPON MUSIC, this time with the guitar parts played not by Clapton but by Buckethead. And Kamen still makes it work as a fun score. Bonus: the track title "Leo The Fart." That track has tuba. Of course it does.

  • The tape version of the first four-song EP that the band Oingo Boingo ever issued, titled (snappily enough!) Oingo Boingo 4-Song EP. Less than 15 minutes, but that 15 minutes is "Only a Lad," "Violent Love" (ska-style cover of the Willie Dixon blues song), "Ain't This The Life" and "I'm So Bad," all immediately identifying how clever Danny Elfman and his fellow madmen already were.

  • A somewhat nicely aggressive* jazz album by a group called Highrize, which I only have because a guitarist in the band was my cousin Amy (a.k.a. Max)'s girlfriend in the late '90s. I like the recording, but I've sent an email to Max asking if, out of loyalty to her, I should melt the tape. *grins*

  • The soundtrack to Good Morning, Vietnam, with songs plus some of Robin Williams being ADD in front of a microphone. I still smile at the line "My name's Roosevelt E. Roosevelt...I'm stationed in Poon Tang." (A line I didn't get when I saw the film, but give me a break, it was 1987 and I was 14.) Also my first exposure to the Vogues song "Five O'Clock World," which I really really like.

    Soon? The music of dreams, which happens in my dreams sometimes. I can't be changing tapes in my sleep. (...or can I?)

    * Clearly I have no experience describing jazz music. I apologize. Also, the band Highrize is no relation to the Los Angeles band of the same name I found via Google.
  • Tags: dreams, music, star wars

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