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Product: Audio CD
Title: Tombstone (1993 Film)
Label: Intrada
Artist: Bruce Broughton
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Watch it for the Entertainment, Not the History


The story of Wyatt Earp is fairly well known. People have heard of the gunfight at the OK Corral. Doc Holliday is a name known from legend. All these elements and more are present. I have no idea how historically accurate their portrayals are and I don't care. What I do care about is that this was a fun movie.

Wyatt Earp and his brothers move to Tombstone to try and put their pasts behind them and cash in on the silver rush. While there, they get sucked back into the law enforcement business and try to clean up the town for decent folk. The problem is that the bad guys are really bad. As a result, the bad guy body count just keeps climbing until Wyatt triumphs. That's the story but it is not the "entertainment".

I like seeing the bad guys get their comeuppance as well as the next guy but what makes this movie work is a combination of the story and the characterizations and the acting and the cinematography. It's all good. Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday does an especially fine job but the others get kudos as well. The good guys are "good" but they do have their human problems as well. The bad guys are nothing but bad and, eventually, dead.

No one is going to earn academic credit for the history in this movie (I hope). That is beside the point. The purpose of this one is to see the good guys beat the bad guys and feel good about it. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Put your mind on hold and just sit back to enjoy it.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Return of the Jedi: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition)
Label: RCA
Artist: John Williams, London Symphony Orchestra
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Pretty good but Empire is still best


Some John Williams fans claim that of the three trilogy soundtracks, this is the weakest. Personally I strongly disagree. To start with, the music during the climatic fight between Skywalker and Vader is exceptional ('The dark side beckons') and matches the film sequence to perfection. Also, some critics claim there's too much action in CD2, but the way Williams has interwoven fast paced action cues and beautiful, sweeping themes is astounding. This is music for your every mood, and music that defined all film music that came after it.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Streets Of Fire: A Rock & Roll Fable (1984 Film)
Label: Mca
Artist: Ry Cooder, Jim Steinman, Dan Hartman
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
One of the best you've never heard of


The music on this CD is incredible. It boggles my mind that someone hasn't turned this into a Broadway musical yet (if it ever happens, you heard it here first). It would run for years! I just don't know who they'd find to match the power and range of Laurie Sergeant.
But back to the CD - The order of the tracks is not the same as the movie and the alternate version of "Countdown To Love" is somewhat lacking compared to the movie version. Also, "Deeper and Deeper" by the Fixx is good, but seems out of place. These minor quibbles aside, this atypical classic 80's rock soundtrack should be in every music lover's collection.
Jim Steniman, Ry Cooder, Tom Petty, Bob Seeger... the array of telent on this disc is outstanding. Most notable are the Jim Steniman compositions ("Nowhere Fast" and "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young") - pure GENIUS. If TIWIMTBY doesn't send chills up your spine, you're dead or ought to be.
Often overlooked are two numbers performed by the Blasters ("One Bad Stud" and "Blue Shadows"). These tunes HOT. "Sorcerer " (penned by Stevie Nicks) is a haunting lament that really suits the mood of the movie (as do mosst of the songs on the disc).
Fire, Inc. does an incredible job (who were these studio musicians and where are they now) and Dan Hartman's "I Can Dream About You" was a huge single that played on the radio for months during the mid 80's. It's a shame much of the CD got little air play.
Anyway, do yourself a favor, buy the CD if you don't own it. Buy the DVD too. Hearing the music is one thing, but hearing it in context is another. You'll love it!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Mahler: Symphony No.2
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
A superb recording of Mahler 2


I came to this version from the Solti version with the Chicago Symphony. The brass playing and singing was phenomenal, almost drawing attention to itself. The Blomstedt version is much more subtle, there are some beautifully delicate passages in the first three movements that are not as well delineated in the Chicago reading. Another drawback of the Chicago version was the use of an electronic organ at the end (which is ever so slightly out of tune).Blomstedt is not the first person one thinks of for Mahler, but he is within his means as an expert on Strauss and Bruckner. The San Francisco orchestra and chorus surpass themselves, and the final culmination with a real pipe organ (!) is quite overwhelming. The soloists may not be the finest on record (one thinks of Janet Baker and Arleen Auger with Rattle), but they make an admirable, if not distinctive contribution.I know San Francisco is planning another recording with Michael Tilson Thomas, which real die-hard Mahlerians should probably wait for, but this recording is superb testimony to what Blomstedt did during his tenure. The age of quality studio recordings with big American orchestras is fading away; this is a milestone recording in many ways.