Mar 5, 2010

Still More Prisoner Music Coming To CD!

Is six discs of Prisoner music not enough for you?  Then how about three more?  The always impressive spy music website Spy Bop Royale reports that a brand new 3-disc set of Prisoner music has been privately pressed in a limited edition of 1000, available exclusively through the Prisoner website The Unmutual.  So why should you get this set if you already have the three CDs of Prisoner music (the still available File #1, and the out-of-print File #2 and File #3) issued by Silva Screen (and maybe even the previous Silva releases as well) and the 3-disc set put out in 2008 by Network?  Because this new release consists mostly of completely different, previously unavailable cues! 

While the Network set features entirely original music composed for the series by Albert Elms, Robert Farnon, Wilfred Josephs and Ron Grainer and the Silva releases split their content between original music and library tracks (existing music selected for particular scenes by music editor Eric Mival from the Chappell Library), the new set focuses exclusively on the Chappell tracks.  Apparently, there is very little crossover between the three different soundtrack sets.  The Unmutual's new set comes packed, factory-sealed, in a DVD-style case (like Network's) and includes a 56-page booklet containing an episode-by-episode, scene-by-scene listing of all the music (library, original soundtrack and commercial tracks) used in the whole series as well as additional sleeve notes and a special introduction by Eric Mival.  Whew!  Sounds worth it for the booklet alone!  But don't forget: that's only the icing on the cake.  Between the three CDs, this release includes 100 tracks, many of them available for the first time on CD, totalling 174 minutes of music.  The entire track list can be found here.  The Unmutual is also already planning a "budget supplimentary CD" featuring the few library tracks omitted from this massive compilation as well as the best of the unused Chappell cues short-listed for inclusion in The Prisoner by Mival and original music editor Bob Dearberg.

So if you already own all those other CDs, I guess you have to ask yourself: do I really need every single piece of music used on The Prisoner?  For me, a few minutes' pondering reveals the obvious answer: um... yeah.  I do.  I just wish there were this many soundtrack releases for The Avengers!

The Prisoner: The Complete Chappell Recorded Music Library Cues is available exclusively from The Unmutual for £26.99 (about $40 as of March 5, 2009).

For a complete complete collection of Prisoner music, you might also want to check out Rupert Gregson-Williams' soundtrack CD for the 2009 remake miniseries as well.  The music and the production design (and Ian McKellen's performance) were the best things about that otherwise mediocre version.


Delmo said...

I wish there were this many soundtrack releases for The Saint!

Steve L said...

Got it a little over a week ago but haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.
The booklet is pretty cool though, with a 2-page intro by Eric Mival, a 4-page overview of the music in The Prisoner by Roger Langley, a 5-page overview of the project that was this release and a complete list of every cue used in every episode, listed by title and including a brief scene description, the composer's name and a catalogue number.
Pretty thorough stuff, indeed!

Tanner said...

Thanks for the info, Steve. Yeah, that booklet alone sounds like a valuable resource. When you get a chance to listen to the music, can you post a follow-up with your assessment of how much of this music overlaps with the Silva stuff and how much is totally new? It sounds like it's mostly new, but I'd like to know for sure.

I'm also curious how it plays. The Silva ones play better as CDs to listen to, and the Network one is more a great comprehensive collection of every track, with it's multiple takes, but not necessarily as good a LISTEN, start to finish. I'd imagine that the nature of this project would put it in the latter category as well (which isn't a bad thing; it just changes the way you hear the music), but I'd be curious to hear your opinion. Thanks!

Jason Whiton said...

great to hear about this release! i agree with you about the Network set being comprehensive, but not necessarily something you can listen to straight through. i never did pick up the Silva editions. is there much overlap to Network, or are they different cues and tracks?