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New Intrada Releases

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Days of Wine and Roses and Fire Birds


1990 was a threshold year for composer David Newman¡¯s career: Mr. Destiny, Ducktales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp and Meet the Applegates were all aesthetically formative scores. Fire Birds was another mile marker, being his first full-blooded action film. With only a few weeks to score the movie, Newman began drafting what were to be heavily synthesized cues. Far from a budget limitation, the choice of favoring synthesizers was a popular stylistic one and one fitting technology¡¯s importance in the film. Newman elected to write for hefty band of live brass players as well¡ªfor use in the ¡°rousing,¡± soldierly main theme, as well as for somber and reflective passages and combat material. The main theme, based on a very Americana, three-note leap, soars at sunrise with the Apaches over the ¡°Main Title,¡± and issues an exciting call to arms throughout the score. The main tenets of Newman¡¯s score outside the main theme are the plucky training sequences¡ªusing a pizzicato string effect, a gentle pop-flavored romance theme, an icy militaristic idea for the baddie, and the action set pieces. Everything is tied up triumphantly with the noble trumpet theme and a wave of electric guitar in the feel-good final scene.

For this release Intrada presents the complete score in crisp stereo from the original 2-track masters.

Fire Birds begins with a helicopter dogfight against a South American drug cartel, in which cartel baddie Eric Stoller (Bert Rhine) guns down Army pilot Jake Preston¡¯s (Nicolas Cage) comrades. The Army plots a retaliatory hit¡ª this time with their new, high-tech Apache gunships. Preston is assigned to air combat training to learn the Apache under commander Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones). In training, too, is Preston¡¯s former fianc¨¦e, Billie (Sean Young), who reignites his romantic pilot light. With both his eyes engaged and a sparkle back in Billie¡¯s, Preston takes the fight to the cartel and, with the aid of superior birds, blows them out of the sky.

track list

01. Main Title 6:04
02. First Flight 3:38
03. Reunion, Billy And Preston 1:55
04. Simulator 3:39
05. Laundry Mat 1:37
06. Good Morning 1:28
07. Copter Romance 2:43
08. Boxing 1:32
09. In The Bag 4:34
10. Periscope Montage 4:35
11. Corvette Drive 1:34
12. War Games 5:54
13. Flight To Camp 2:23
14. Brad And Preston 2:34
15. Gates Of Hell 11:18
16. Final Scene 2:10

Days of Wine and Roses opens with Henry Mancini's famous Academy Award-winning song melody playing on solo French horn, and from there Mancini creates a moving, emotionally rich orchestral score to accompany the descent of two alcoholics tragically intertwined in a downward spiral of despair and heartbreak. Mancini¡¯s subtle, understated score is a model of musical economy, with the song melody anchoring the score, whether in simple arrangements like guitar solo, a string elegy, or dissected and distorted, punctuated by Mancini¡¯s signature stinger chords when alcoholism nearly drowns its victims. Dark low strings and harmonic clusters never shy away from depicting the emptiness at the bottom of a bottle, but Mancini wisely steers clear of scoring the horrifying detox scenes, instead concentrating on the poignant dissolution of the relationship.

The trademark ¡°easy listening¡± Mancini sound can be found in the film¡¯s many jazz source cues. From tinkling piano riffs and gentle brush strokes playing on Kirsten¡¯s ¡°hi-fi¡± and the lounge piano of ¡°Cocktail Hour¡± to the elongated stride piano figures in ¡°No Guts¡± and his signature use of vibraphone, Mancini¡¯s refined orchestrations never overwhelm the drama, yet lend the film a contemporary period feel.

While Mancini made a common practice of re-recording albums of his film scores, he prepared no such album for Days of Wine and Roses. ¡°A problem arose from the rerecording of those scores,¡± he wrote in his autobiography. ¡°The albums were made up of the most melodic material from the films. A lot of the dramatic music¡ªwhich is what I really loved to do and really thought I had a feeling for¡ªwas left out.' Given the dominance of dramatic music in this film, the record label was not interested in releasing this particular Mancini soundtrack. Decades later, Intrada finally presents the premiere release of the soundtrack. Warner Bros. provided access to the complete mono session elements, vaulted in excellent condition on 1/4¡å full-track tape.
Days of Wine and Roses stars Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick as a young couple drowning in the liquored depths of alcoholism.

track list

The Album
01. Days of Wine and Roses (Main Title) 2:12
02. Days of Wine and Roses (guitar source, take 2) 1:49
03. Man Meets Girl 4:30
04. Hi-Fi II 2:24
05. Hi-Fi I 3:27
06. Gorgeous and Guilty 1:24
07. Kissed in the Greenhouse 1:07
08. Silly 2:18
09. Some Laughs 2:46
10. Off Scene Hi-Fi 1:40
11. They Fired Me 1:12
12. Vanilla, Part 1 2:13
13. Vanilla, Part 2 1:41
14. Crazy Smell 2:11
15. Get in the Tub, Part 1 1:04
16. Get in the Tub, Part 2 1:04
17. A Gone Mommy 0:47
18. No Guts 7:37
19. A Sad Pop 2:49
20. I Want to Come Home 6:58
The Album Total Time: 50:07

The Extras
21. Cocktail Hour 2:22
22. Navel Engagement (Turkish Combo) 2:55
23. Days of Wine and Roses (guitar source, take 1) 3:03
24. What Is This Thing Called Love (Cole Porter) 2:46
25. I Only Have Eyes for You (Harry Warren/Al Dubin) 2:27
26. September in the Rain (Harry Warren/Al Dubin) 1:10
27. Play Off for Trailer 0:18
The Extras Total Time: 14:58

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