There is certainly no argument about how good this score is, but do we really need another version or edition of it out on CD, in fact do we really need all these so called ltd editions or definitive releases of soundtracks ? Back in 1969 Beverly Hills records released the soundtrack to LANDRAIDERS on a long playing record, then a few years ago Prometheus did a release of the score with extra tracks on compact disc which I was happy with apart from a few little bits of distortion and echo here and there, but nonetheless it satisfied my thirst for this soundtrack to be available on the compact disc format. As a collector now for nearly 50 years, I am getting a little tired of record companies trying to cash in on releasing scores that supposedly boast extra tracks or improved sound quality and I have to say sadly that Digit Movies and at times labels such as BEAT and GDM/Hillside in Italy are guilty of this practise, ok I agree that it is good to have extra tracks at times, but this depends on just how many so called bonus tracks are being released and of course if they are in fact genuine extra un-released material and not computer enhanced or re-mixed versions of cues that were already available. Track number 6 on the digit release is one such case, ok it was not on either of the previous releases, but the musical elements present in the cue were but in shorter duration so how do we know that these elements have not been spliced together or mixed together, track 8 is also a little suspect in my eyes, it’s a slowed down version of another cue with segments of Luisa theme tacked onto the end, so again how do we know these were cues from the score. I suppose its an argument that I would never win and we have to trust Digit on this one, Many collectors have hinted that this latest edition of LANDRAIDERS has far superior sound quality to the original LP and also the Prometheus CD, but if they did not have the two previous releases how would they actually know ? On listening closer I would have to say that maybe the sound is improved but only marginally and one cue in particular track number 10, BRUCIATELLO VIVO (GLI INDIANI) which is a full working of the magnificent and powerful LANDRAIDERS theme sounds rather flat in places and also overblown and strained in fact on first couple of listens I checked my speakers in case they had a fault the cue also has distortion and even needs to be tweaked a little on the reverb the choir seem to be eating the microphones rather than standing back from them. Again I say this is not criticism of the wonderful music but of the production values which are meant well I am sure but fall a little short in the quality department. What I will say is if you love Italian western music and have not got this score in your collection then it is a must have CD for the great music upon it, if you have like myself been collecting for a while now and already own either the Prometheus CD or the original LP then spend your cash on something else. Of course this is a purely personal take on the release and is not in any way a slight upon Digit movies as the majority of their releases are like the veritable Phoenix rising from the ashes and dust of archives, many of them being a labour of love, but what I said at the start of this review still stands its not about squeezing the last bit of cash out of collectors for the sake of a few seconds or maybe a handful of minutes of extra music, its about releasing quality items that will please and delight collectors ensuring they will want to buy more, as for the extra music scenario, remember at times less is more.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
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