Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Spartacus Post.

Varese Sarabande head honcho Robert Townson celebrated his 1000th release by tackling a score he and many others have been jonesing for for decades - Spartacus. An epic undertaking with an epic set to match; Alex North's makes-Gladiator-look-like-crap music not only gets four discs to itself (two with the complete score in mono, one with all the surviving stereo cues, and one with alternates and preliminary material), but it also includes a double-disc tribute album - made up entirely of versions of the love theme (probably the first ever film music tribute album devoted to one composition) - and a DVD of the likes of John Williams, Alexandre Desplat and Mark Isham singing the praises of North and his music. With the addition of a 170-page book (not a booklet, an actual book) on the score, on North and with a bit of Townson self-promotion (other labels have done their bit in bringing out Alex North treasures, like Intrada's release of his original music for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but they don't get mentioned) that is the only blip in this work of genius, it's thoroughly, utterly recommended.

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