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iTunes Into Black Hole

John Barry’s long unavailable sci-fi score makes an online comeback

By Randall Larson     January 17, 2007


Black Hole Soundtrack
© Buena Vista

According to Randy Thornton (producer of numerous Disney film score and theme park releases), John Barry's terrific and long-unavailable soundtrack LP (and never before legitimately issued on CD) for Disney’s 1979 science fiction adventure, The Black Hole, will be included in the next batch of iTunes-only releases from Walt Disney Records coming on January 16th.

 
Thornton also provides some insight into the original digital recording and subsequent transfer for iTunes: 
 
"Now before someone cries foul, I will explain the status of “The Black Hole Soundtrack”. Though this was the first digitally recorded soundtrack, the digital technology of 1979 is not compatible with digital technology of today (or even 1982 when CDs were introduced). This soundtrack was recorded with 4bit resolution at 32kHz sampling, thus making a pure digital release not only impossible, but any attempt to upsample or convert them would result in a recording far worse than the analog conversion that was done at the time. The reason it has taken me so long to get this soundtrack re-released is that I wanted to make absolutely sure that there was no way I could use the original digital recordings. I also couldn’t include more of John Barry’s score than was originally released – as the album, as it stands, is all that was legally cleared for release. I did, however, hunt down the original analog transfer from 1979, digitally transferred and restored at 24/96 and re-created the album’s original content. I know some of you more ‘passionate’ will still be disappointed, but there is nothing more anyone could do. Still, even at the iTunes 128kbs compression, the album has never sounded better!"
 

-via www.magicmusic.net 

Cinescape’s Music News provides weekdaily news and views on film music, game music, progressive rock, and other notable musical genres, culled from a variety of sources.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
themovielord 1/17/2007 11:09:43 AM
Finally! I loved this movie and loved the score. Yeah today the movie is very cheezy but it still is fun. Thanks for the Itunes score Disney. Beats buying a record on ebay!
lochkray 1/17/2007 2:17:23 PM
I remember seeing this in the theater as a kid, and thinking it was great (Even had the action figures ordered through Shreddies Cereal) and then seeing it ten years later and being shocked at how awful it was - the aforementioned "cheezyness" being the main problem . However, I always loved the soundtrack. It was fantastic. Kind of a creepy/cool musical score. And I guess I'll also admit that the special effects were really good for 1979, and the Captain-Nemo-in-Space theme was a neat concept, but the movie, in terms of dialogue and characters, is a little bit painful to try and sit through.
HankScorpio 1/18/2007 2:06:17 AM
Sure, after I finally plunked down an exhorbitant amount on e-bay for the Mask records import! I feel this film would be ideal for a remake. It had some great original ideas, but suffered from hokey dialogue and sub par effects (visible wire work). But they'd need to retain Barry's beautiful score. Now, when does Disney plan to release James Horner's score for Something Wicked This Way Comes?
wrrlykam 1/18/2007 3:37:54 AM
Great news, I love John Barry's work. Is it available on the UK itune store me wonders . . . ?
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