Altered Soundtracks?

Discussion in 'Site Polls' started by rhett, Oct 9, 2004.

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How do you feel about changing a film's soundtrack?

Poll closed Nov 8, 2004.
  1. It makes old movies fresh, I have no problem with it.

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  2. If it helps get the film released on DVD, it's okay.

    7 vote(s)
    7.9%
  3. If the score isn't memorable, I don't mind.

    11 vote(s)
    12.4%
  4. I dislike it, but I will still buy the DVD.

    21 vote(s)
    23.6%
  5. Films should never be altered for any reason.

    49 vote(s)
    55.1%
  1. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    Isn't this what is holding Up the release of Wonder Years on DVD, too? While I would enjoy having that show on DVD, the music was very important to each episode, and those artists need to be paid for their contribution.
     
  2. I saw the re-issue of "Metropolis" with the pop/rock music score.
    I wish I could say that the music fit the narrative but it didn't.
    I found it distracting and disorienting.
     
  3. I believe WesReviews has confirmed that the Happy Birthday to Me soundtrack has indeed been rescored...
     
  4. WesReviews

    WesReviews Active Member

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    Yes. Got my review copy today.

    My review at DVDDrive-In.com will go more in depth, but the creepy, low-key piano and strings instrumental arrangement at the beginning has been replaced by...a fast-paced disco song. :(

    I've e-mailed Columbia, as I want to get their side of the story before completing my review. What I'm leaning toward, though...and is pure conjecture on my part...is that the wrong print was used. Perhaps a pre-release print with a temp score. None of the music is "new". Nothing modern at all. It's pretty much a "period" score. That still doesn't mean it fits, however.

    The standard "music rights" issue seems the most logical explanation, however both of the film's original composers (Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin) are both still credited on the disc. So, I'm truly puzzled. I hope Columbia replies.

    This is very disappointing, as I was really looking forward to this disc. Sometimes, one can ignore music changes, if they don't alter the feel of a movie (Return of the Living Dead). However, the changes I've noticed in Happy Birthday to Me create substantial differences in tone than what was intended by the director. Suffice to say, this is NOT the same film you've watched time and time again on VHS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2004
  5. Altered soundtracks is not about the greed of musicians or distributors.
    It's about the bottom line. While motion pictures are a great artform,
    they are primarily a business. For a film to warrant a release at all
    requires some marketing projections. What is the cost of releasing it
    vs. the profit potential? If the release costs exceed the latter
    the distributor will be operating at a loss which is unacceptable in any business. Sometimes either party gets too excessive with their demands (license rights, music rights etc.) so the film sits on a shelf or has to be re-scored. It's unfortunate for consumers but the nature of the industry.


    It's not uncommon for motion picture rights to be tied up for decades as
    the original "Rear Window" was due to a dispute with the writer's estate
    and Hitchcock's estate. There are still movies with never ending music
    rights disputes like Goldwyn's "Porgy and Bess". For many years "Anne
    Get Your Gun" has music rights problems but they were eventually resolved
    and the film was released on home video.
     
  6. WesReviews

    WesReviews Active Member

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    The more I examine the Happy Birthday to Me disc, the more I'm convinced...and this is just speculation on my part, mind you...that Columbia has used the wrong print. The music fits too well with the on-screen action. It takes time and money to edit music to a film, and I just don't see why Columbia would've went to all that trouble. They've not done it on past horror discs, to my knowledge. So, why would they have done it for this title? "Rights issues" is a logical conclusion for such changes, however, the film's original composers (Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin) are both still credited on the disc. The songs (yes, songs with lyrics, and not just generic instrumental pieces) which have been added are NOT credited in the end credits. This is something which could potentially spark lawsuits if the original artists of said songs were to hear about their inclusion on the disc, without their permission. Not a risk Columbia would knowingly take, I would think. So, the whole mix-up seems (at this point) to be completely un-intentional.

    Because of all this, the conclusion I've come to is that this WAS the score for this film at some point in its history. How it ended up on the DVD is anyone's guess. Perhaps it was the best looking print in Columbia's vault. Perhaps it was the only one. Who knows.

    Again, I've e-mailed Columbia for their side of the story, and will await their response before completing my review of the disc. I'll keep you guys posted.

    PS: If anyone knows how I could get in touch with either Andre Link or John Dunning, it would be much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2004
  7. SaviniFan

    SaviniFan I Have A Fetish

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    Boy, makes me wanna pick it up just incase a recall is done. I really like the movie too so that would be another reason, but my God, that cover!! :lol:
     
  8. Stige

    Stige Active Member

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    well lets see...........different music, ugly as shit cover, NO extras.........widescreen at least but I assume it is only 1:1,85. nope forget it not gonna buy. I have an excellent PAL tranfers VHS that I have transfered to dvdr. Guess that will have to do for the time being


    speaking of altered soundtracks. The POPULAR season 1 box set altered two of the songs which were used on TV broadcasts
     
  9. napalm68

    napalm68 Guest

    I was going to vote I don't mind if the old one wasn't that memorable, but then I remembered a very painful one in that category I still get nightmares about - the extended Night of the Living Dead with that laughable Vlad Felcher score.
     
  10. Wolf Man

    Wolf Man Guest

    I was going to mention the Night Of The Living Dead debacle, as well. The scene that stands out for me is when Barbara is in the car and the cemetery ghoul is trying to get her. The new soundtrack has none of the panic and urgency of the original score. When a soundtrack change damages the mood of a scene, as in that case, it makes me sick. But if the new music fits in seamlessly (and that's the key, since it has to be virtually unnoticable for it to be seamless), then it doesn't bother me at all. In the case of Happy Birthday To Me, which I've only seen once, about ten years ago, I'm not even going to know the difference (although on a subconscious level, it may affect the mood of the scenes and cause me to like or dislike parts that would have felt completely different with different music), but in the case of NOTLD, for example, which I've seen dozens of times, it's a huge deal.
     
  11. zombi3

    zombi3 Pure Evil

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    I voted "I dislike it, but I will still buy the DVD" because I bought Return of the Living Dead II, although the new score sounds like it belongs in a home-made SOV flick shot in the backwoods of New Jersey. The only time I think a film should be altered is when it actually benefits the dvd, such as color correction and remastering of pic & sound.
     
  12. Fumi

    Fumi Member

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    There are a few cases where I don't mind altering the movie.

    1) Adding a stereo soundtrack to a mono movie.

    2) Adding stuff back in that the censors took out.

    That's all I can think of. The music should never be replaced.
     
  13. zombiexfan

    zombiexfan Guest

    i cant belive they do this shit , why change what they have? return of the living dead 2 sucked.. even the director says so
     
  14. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I finally heard back from Columbia earlier. See this link below in the HBTM DVD thread for their full reply: http://www.horrordvds.com/vb3forum/showpost.php?p=270531&postcount=187
     

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