Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Collections: SCI-FI's GREATEST HITS    

Vol. 1 Final Frontiers  Eric Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pop’s Orchestra   edel 0044262ERE [70:13]

Crotchet (UK)

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Music from: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi; Star Trek; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Lost in Space (1965 and 1967 TV themes and film); Battleship Galactica; Space:1999; Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; Babylon 5; The Black Hole; Alien; The Abyss; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; Journey to the Centre of the Earth; Land of the Giants; Planet of the Apes; Time Tunnel; Fireball XL-5; Dr. Who; Stargate; Total Recall; Blade Runner; Tron; Strange Days; VR-5; Space Above and Beyond; Inside Space; Welcome to Paradox; Mission Genesis.


Vol. 2 The Dark Side  Eric Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pop’s Orchestra   edel 0044272ERE [72:11]

Crotchet (UK)

 Music from: The Outer Limits; The Twilight Zone; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dark Shadows; Night Gallery; Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Ripley's Believe it or Not; Creepshow; Tales from the Darkside; Tales from the Crypt; The Incredible Shrinking Man; Scanners; The Fly; Videodrome; A Clockwork Orange; The Omen; Halloween; Hellraiser; Suspira; Poltergeist; Dracula: The Series; Forever Knight; The Hunger; 12 Monkeys; The Prisoner; Nowhere Man; Friday 13th: The Series; Beyond Reality; The Odyssey; The Outer Limits; Dark City; Beetlejuice; Edward Scissorhands; Labrynth; Mystery Science Theatre 3000; The X-Files


Vol. 3: The Uninvited  Eric Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pop’s Orchestra   edel 0044282ERE [63:01]

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Music from: War of the Worlds (excerpts from: Orson Welles' historic radio broadcast); The day the Earth Stood Still; It Came from Outer Space; The Invaders; V: The Series; Mars Attacks; Independence Day; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial; Starman; Alien Nation (TV and film); The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; Predator; Jaws; The creature from the Black Lagoon; Them!; Tarantula; Jurassic Park; Gremlins; UFO; Killer Clowns From Outer Space; Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!


Vol. 4: Defenders of Justice  Eric Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pop’s Orchestra   edel 0044292ERE B[68:10]

Crotchet (UK)

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Music from: Astro Boy; Gigantor; Speed Racer; Thunderbirds; Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons; Captain Video and his Video Rangers; Tom Corbett, Space Cadet; Space Patrol; Underdog; Atom Ant; Batman (TV and film); Batman Returns; Batman: The Animated Series; Superman; Lois and Clark - The New Adventures of Superman; The Green Hornet; The Amazing Spider-man; Spider-Woman; Wonder Woman; The Flash; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; The Tick; X-Men; The Six Billion Dollar Man; The Bionic Woman; The Increible Hulk; Knight Rider; Max Headroom; The Terminator; Robocop; Robocop - The Series; Quantum Leap; Escape from New York; The Road Warrior; Mortal Kombat.

Rob Barnett looks at Volumes 1 and 3:-

Volumes 1 and 3 parallel the approach of Silva Screen's own cult TV/film collection (2 volumes: 2 discs in each). Silva re-recorded their material whereas in general Edel (who seem to be connected with satellite Sci-Fi Channel) have used original soundtracks. Vol. 1 has only 4 tracks and Vol. 3 only one track comprising re-recorded material and in each case the performance is a good aural approximation of the original. This brings bonuses and drawbacks.

The main drawback of the Edel approach is the occasionally 'stressed' sound quality. This is largely an advantage in capturing the original experience. While the tracks sound very good, one disappointed. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (vol. 1 [12]) sounded as if it had been recorded with a microphone held against a TV loudspeaker playing a rather worn video cassette. Advantages include a great feeling of authenticity and the original experience comes flooding back in a wave of nostalgia. The music featured is overwhelmingly from US TV and films but Vol. 3 has three tracks from British products including Doctor Who.

Volume 1 has Paul Sawtell's fine sea-spattered title music for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. John Williams' Lost in Space music (1967 version) is superbly characterful inventively catching the lightness of the show. Fireball XL5 by Barry Gray is wince-making now but the show did date from 35 years ago. Film music predominates with plenty of John Williams and a good selection from the commercial cinema sci-fi of the 1980s and 1990s.

Vol. 3 is notable for sizeable chunks from the original CBS broadcast of Orson Welles' invasion spoof The War of the Worlds. Along the way you also get music from CE3K (where would we be without John Williams?), Herrmann (just one sizeable track The Day the Earth Stood Still) and again a decent spread of music from the commercial cinema of recent years.

All credit to Edel for getting the necessary permissions to issue so much original material. Edel seem to be linked with the satellite Sci-Fi Channel and this may well have given them the necessary 'clout' to agree licences and waivers.

The notes (English only) for all four volumes are by Tim Brooks, clearly one of the leading authorities on prime-time TV show, are concerned rather with the shows than the music.

As a nostalgia 'fix' these collections of music-bytes (often quite brief) are handsome. Those new to sci-fi will also find this material a fine introduction. Film music fans will already have much of the music (and they are frankly not an essential addition to the music collectors shelves) but to hear so many tracks from the originals and in very decent sound is quite an experience. The packaging is gaudy but don't let that put you off if you are in the market for some time travelling of your own. Everyone will fin something enjoyable here. You will also find the abysmal rubbing shoulders with the best. For me the depths of the trash heap are represented by Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Now excuse me while I listen again to John Williams' 1967 theme from Lost in Space.


Rob Barnett

Ian Lace looks at Volumes 2 and 4:-

The Dark Skies collection which is Volume 2 is as variable as the rest. But stand-out tracks for me were: the two by Jerry Goldsmith – his demonic choral and orchestral piece, Ave Santini, from The Omen and the End Title and the poignant little girl, Caro Anne’s theme from Poltergeist; Danny Elfman’s clownish figures from Beetlejuice; and his OTT ghoulish theme for Tales from the Crypt; and Elfman’s Main Title music from his classic score for Edward Scissorhands ; Dario Argento and Goblin in the Satan-like Suspira; Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette as used in Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Gil Melle’s whistler theme for Kolchak: The Night Stalker; plus the tango-orientated music of Piazzolla for 12 Monkeys. I have to admit to a sneaking admiration for some of the older TV themes in Vol 4 – Defenders of Justice. Many of the early TV series themes are here with their unsophisticated vocals. In those days themes for such series as Astro Boy, Underdog (there’s no need to fear Underdog is here!), and Atom Ant (he’s rough and tough and bad guys yell enough when he’s up and at em Atom Ant!) made one cringe with embarrassment but now they tend to be bathed in some fond nostalgic glow – a case of distance certainly lending enchantment to the view. Tim Corbett, Space Cadet is a grand Sousa pastiche. All the best Batman, Superman themes are included together with the music for the more weird fantasies such as The Amazing Spider-Man, Wonder Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man. I will not be visiting some tracks again like The Tick, those mutant turtles or the Power Rangers but all in all this is a wonderful indulgence.
Vol 1 Rob Barnett Ian Lace
Vol 2 Ian Lace Rob Barnett
Vol 3 Rob Barnett Ian Lace
Vol 4 Ian Lace Rob Barnett
Nostalgia Rating: Rob Barnett and Ian Lace

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