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16th February 2000:

Here is my little thought about this year's Academy Award nominees for "Best Original Score":

So the committee decided to make it a single category award again huh? Well, it will make things clean and simple. Sometimes it is hard to categorize the scores. As usual, many scores that deserve to be nominated more are not nominated. I don't think that I have to give you any examples. There are probably a dozen of them floating in your mind right now. I thought John Williams' Star Wars is going to be nominated. His score is not nominated is probably because of the movie. Oh Well, at least he has Angela's Ashes. Funny enough, I have not heard any of the nominated scores. I have not heard a lot of positive words about Gabriel Yared's The Talented Mr. Ripley. But I am not surprised that it is nominated. Why? Because it is a Miramax film. Who won in the past few years in this category? Il Postino, Full Monty, and Shakespeare In Love. They are all related to Miramax film. So don't be surprised if Mr. Yared wins this one. As for Williams' Angela's Ashes, I have only heard positive words about it. So it deserves to be on the list. As for, Portman's The Cider House Rules and Newman's American Beauty, even though I have not heard of of the score, I could imagine what they sound like (I think have heard enough of their scores to judge that). I don't think that they deserve to win the award more than John Williams. As for Corigliano's The Red Violin, same as Angela's Ashes, I have only heard positive words about it. Since I have not heard the score or any of his scores, I could not judge whether Angela's Ashes or The Red Violin is better. From my stand point, they deserve to win the award equally. In addition, Williams, Portman, and Yared have won the award before already. Newman have been nominated a few times but have never won one. This is Corigliano's second time. His score to Altered States was nominated in 1980 and lost to, guess who, Michael Gore's The Fame, one of the most undeserving winners in the history in many people's opinion. So my conclusion is:

    I will pick (in order):
  1. John Williams or John Corigliano
  2. -------------
  3. Thomas Newman
  4. Rachel Portman
  5. Gabriel Yared
    The Academy will pick (in order):
  1. John Corigliano
  2. Gabriel Yared (if the movie dosen't win other awards, Yared will be No. 1)
  3. Thomas Newman
  4. John Williams
  5. Rachel Portman

21st January 2000:

If you are a regular visitor of this site, you probably know most review pages don't have track lists. However, that is not the case anymore after the winter break. I spent many days in front of the computer and finished typing up the track lists of more than 600 CDs. Although most of the them still don't have a review yet, the track lists should add a little of help. Since it is virtually impossible for me to write a full review for each old CD now, I will try to write a 50-100 word short review for most of them. Just like what I did long time ago.

Due to many reasons, it is very troublesome for me to maintain the Soundfiles of the Week section nowadays. As you can see, it has not been updated since April of last year. And I don't think that I will update it for a while. The soundfile column of the front page would be replaced by something else soon. As for the For Sales section, it will be replaced by a different section soon too.

11th July 1999:

Finally. After a quarter of a year, I finally put up some new reviews. If I don't slack off, there should be new reviews put up every week. Hopefully the Soundfiles section will be back on track next week. Without a direct connection to the internet is really a pain. About 70 more titles are added under the rating pages (by compoer/by title). Althougt no seperate review pages are created for them yet, the ratings can still give you a basic idea.

I have recieved many emails recently and ask me if they can access the old sound files. I am sorry but you can't. It is mainly due to the web space problem. If I have a LOT of web space, I would be more than happy to archive them like other pages do. Speaking of web space, after uploading all of the cover images that I have scanned recently, I find that I have exceeded the 5Mb web space that Tufts University provides me. Just the cover images and separate review pages are about 4Mb (500+ cover images and 400 review pages). I may have to move everything to www.reocities.com and use Tufts only as my soundfiles server.

After almost 3 years, I got the 100,000th hit. Thanks for all of your support in the past year. Keep your passion in film music growing!!

2nd June 1999:

You probably have noticed that this site has not been updated since the end of April. Right, the review for Star Wars: The Phantom Menance is not even on yet. You may wonder what is going on. The first two weeks of May was exam weeks for me. So I did not put much time in updating. For the last two weeks. I stayed at my friend's house and I didn't have easy access to internet. I just moved in my new apartment and I still have not unpacked everything. The Soundfiles section is not likely to be updated in the near future. Hopefully everything will be on track soon. I did get a lot of new stuffs in the past month. I hope I can share my opinion with you soon. Thanks for the support once again.

22nd December 1998:

Happy Holidays! I will be away and have a vacation in Florida. So there will be no new sound files until mid January when school starts again. Depending on the computer situation, I may not be able to put up new reviews during the period. So, see you again in 1999!

15th November 1998:

After two years, I finally changed the name of this website. When I first started writing this website, I had never thought of it would develop into this kind of format. At the beginning, the whole site had only 1 page! It was part of my personal homepage and was just intended to list all of the soundtracks I have. So I did not really think of a name for it and I simply called it "The Movie Soundtracks Page." I hope you like the new name. You write to me and tell me if you like the new name or not.

7th October 1998:

As some of you may have noticed. I am really catching up on the site in the pass month. I have put up 18 new reviews in the past 30 days. Some of you may have also noticed that I have been trying to write longer reviews. Be honest with you, I hate writing. Writing that much is probably the best I can do. Since this is the Halloween month, there are more horror scores reviews coming: Critters, The Dark Half, The Frighteners, Hellraiser, Leprechaun, Poltergiest, Ticks and Classic Scores from Hammer Horror. (That is if I write them all) Of course, I will write reviews other than horror scores since I don't want to scare you guys away. Hopefully I will keep the pace and write 30 more reviews this month. That is one new one each day! Also, I used a new counter and I found the old counter lost track of about 40 people each day.

Some of you may access my siteserved from Geocities. But I am having FTP problems lately and the site in Geocities is not updated as quick as the site served from Tufts University. So you may want to use this link for faster update if you use the Geocities site.

5th February 1998:

This entry is in respond to Filmtracks' theme of the month - Scores for the Consumer. I am definitely one of those soundtracks "savvy" that he is refering to. I totally agree with his point of view of used CD stores. I think at least 70% of my soundtracks are bought as used or clearence. The only bad thing about hunting rare CDs in used CD stores is that you have to check the stores regularly, say once a week. It is simply because you will never know what will pop up and someone may get it before you. There are at least ten good used CD stores in Boston and they all located in various places. It is such a pain to go to everyone regularly. Also, you will be dissapointed nine out of ten times (but you may find some 5 bucks regular soundtracks). Besides, the used seems to know the soundtracks market quite a bit now. I bought "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" for $16 in a regular used CD store few days ago. It was the most expensive used CD I have ever bought. The following table may give you some ideas:

My Soundtracks "Savvy" Table:
Soundtacks: Bought at: For: Estimated Starting Auction Bid
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen Used CD store in Boston $16 $45
Big Trouble in Little China HMV (clearence) in HK $5 $25
Blue Max (Legacy) Used CD store in Boston $2 $15
Bopha! Used CD store in HK $7 $15
Cocoon the Return fnac in France $20 $35
Eiger Sanction HMV (clearence) in HK $5 $20
The Fog HMV in HK $15 $30
Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Used CD store in HK $5 $20
Gorky Park Used CD store in HK $7 $20
Gremlins HMV in HK $10 $25
The Guns of Navarone Tower in Chicago $15 $25
How to Steal a Million HMV in HK $16 $25
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Used CD store in HK $8 $40
Inner Space HMV (clearence) in HK $5 $40
Iron Will (Clearence bin) in Boston $8 $20
Krull (Original Release) Used cd Store in Boston $8 $30
The Man in the Moon HMV (clearence) in Boston $4 $20
Midnight Run Used CD store in Boston $6 $40
Under Fire Used CD store in HK $4(5 years ago) $50
Where the River Runs Black HMV (clearence) in HK $5 $30
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Used CD store in HK $5 $40
Willow Used CD store in HK $10 $15
Wisdom HMV in HK $15 $25

14th January 1998:

Thank you for being patience for the last month. I was away in France for the past weeks. So, the soundfiles section, which is supposed to update every week, have not been updated since mid December. I did not get a lot of stuff during the vacation, but I did get some. I did, of course, see a lot of European soundtracks. However, the soundtracks prices in France is ridiculously high, about $23 a disc. By the way, here is a little "sad" story. I was flipping through the soundtracks section in "fnac" (a big CD store in France), to the most happiness of mine, I found Goldsmith's long out of print Lionheart Volume II. I did, of course, buy it right away. So I put it in my Discman as soon as I got the chance. Then, a few familiar notes starts playing. I said to myself, "I got a bad feeling about this" just like the way Han Solo does. I took the disc out and looked at the "beautiful" Varese Sarabande disc art. It is written S-t-a-r- - T-r-e-k. You must know how I felt at that moment. So, what I got was a Lionheart Vol.2 insert and a Star Trek TV series soundtrack......

Everything should be back on track this weekend. Also, possibly a review for VideoHound's Soundtracks Guide.

20th September 1997:

I will write some very brief reviews for most of the soundtracks that just have the star ratings. I will expend and revise them once I have much time.

13th September 1997:

- Yes! The re-release of Cocoon is in store NOW! This is probably the best news for soundtracks lovers in this month.
- Als0, John Williams' 1941 is re-released and in store NOW.
- Working Hard on Updaing the homepage...

29th August 1997:

This is the first entry to the diary. Hmmm... what should I write about. Okay, Let's summarize the experience that I have gained on collecting soundtracks during this summer.

This summer, I went back to Hong Kong and bought about 80 soundtracks (Since I have not updated the collections page, you guys cannot see all of the stuff that I have gotten yet.) Some of them are considered as so called "rare," "rarer," or out of print soundtracks. For example, Willow (Horner), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Williams), The Fog (Carpenter), River (Williams), Where the River Runs Black (Horner), Gorky Park (Horner), Wisdom (Elfman), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Silvetri).... Also there are some other rare soundtracks that I have seen but did not buy, including Article 99 (Elfman), Class Action (Horner), A View to Kill (Barry) and so on. The reason that I did not buy them is not because they are too expensive (each of them is about 15 US dollars) but there are plenty of them out there. Someone wrote me and said that I must be either extremely lucky or have unlimited funding on getting so many (regular and rare) soundtracks. I will say I did have some extreme luck. I got Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for 7 bucks, Where the River Runs Black for 5 bucks, Gorky Park for 7 bucks, Willow for another incredibly low price. (Now think of the prices for those regular soundtracks that I got) I find myself very lucky that my hometown is Hong Kong. Finding imports is not such a hard thing. But of course, most of those rare soundtracks are not USA press: Gorky Park (Japan Press), Willow (German Press, you guys probably know that there are tons of them out in Europe), Where the River Runs Black (Taiwan/Hong Kong Press), INDY (Japan Press, I think this is the only press.)

I personally think those Japan Releases do not worth that much money. Their original prices range from the lowet 1,700 to extrememly expensive 3,000 Japanese Yen, which is roughly about 17 to 30 US dollars. For example, the soundtrack to A View to Kill, its price is 1,700 Yen (It is one of those "budget" series in Japan and there are plenty of them in Japan.) So try to know a Japanese friend and have that person send you or bring you a copy, it will save you tons of money.

Also, for those out of print Verses Sarabande releases, they are only out of print in the US, there are many foreign record companies that manufacture VS's CDs (licensed, of course) and they are still making them, for example, Where the River Runs Black. Unless you have to get a US press (I don't think the sound quality has much different), then I have nothing to say. So the next time you buy an Expensive Collectibles Soundtrack, think tiwce if they really worth the price. The best way to get rare soundtracks in a cheap price is to check our USED CDs store a lot (because they can be poped up and gone the next day.) I think Boston, Chicago, and New York have many good Used CDs store. Again, Good Luck and have fun in your search.

Stuffs that posted here before August 1997:

Who are they?: (Info that you ought to know)

Most of the following info is compiled from "Listening To Movies" by Fred Karlin, Schirmer Books, New York 1994.
  • Name: Malcolm Arnold
    Born: Oct 21, 1921, Northampton, England
    Which to get first: The Bridge on the River Kwai
    Did you know:

  • Name: John Barry
    Born: Nov 3, 1933, York, England
    Which to get first: Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, and Dances With Wolves
    Did you know: The James Bond Main Theme is by him but not Monte Norman.

  • Name: Elmer Bernstein
    Born: Apr 4, 1922, New York, NY
    Which to get first: The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven
    Did you know:
    • He got his first assignment in 1950.
    • Victor Young was too sick to score the Ten Commandments and Berstein was asked to take the job.
    • He became President of the Composers and Lyrucusts Guilt of America.
    • At various periods in his career he has been known as the King of Jazz, the King of Western, and the King of Comedy.

  • Name: Bill Conti
    Born: Apr 13, 1942, Providence, R.I.
    Which to get first: Rocky, The Right Stuff
    Did you know:

  • Name: Danny Elfman
    Born: May 29, 1953, Los Angeles, CA
    Which to get first:Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands
    Did you know:
    • He spent a year in West Africa when he was 18.
    • His first film score is for the film "Forbidden Zone" (1978), an extremely low-budget film movie directed by his brother Richard.
    • Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) liked the score of "Forbidden Zone"
    • Tim Burton was a fan of Oingo Boingo and used to go to its concerts before he knew Danny Elfman. (You now know why he composed the score for Pee Wee's Big Adventure.)
    • "By the time I was 15, I could listen to movies and say, 'That's a Goldsmith score. that's a Knorngold score, that's an Alfred Newman score."
    • "By today's standard, To Kill a Mockingbird could not happen. A producer would step in and say, 'That's too busy! Where's the theme?' We've gotten so much more conservative. Action scores used to be brash - look at Korngold's greatest scores, Alfred Newman's wonderful stuff and my favorite, Max Steiner - and now they' ve become so nondescript."

  • Name: Michael Kamen
    Born: Apr 15, 1948, New York, NY
    Which to get first: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Three Musketeers
    Did you know:
    • He was an oboe player before he started his rock 'n' roll band.
    • He was the music director of David Bowie.
    • He worked with Pink Floyd and produced the film version of "The Wall."

  • Name: Marc Shaiman
    Born: Oct 22, 1959, Newark, NJ
    Which to get first: The Addams Family, City Slickers II, The American President
    Did you know:
    • He started as a vocal arranger for cabaret acts in New York.
    • He became the musical directior of Bette Midler at the age of 17.
    • He worked on"Saturday Night Life" for many years.
    • He met Billy Crystal in "Satuarday Night Life," and through him, he met Rob Reiner, the director of "When Harry Met Sally."

  • Name: Hans Zimmer
    Born: Sep 12, 1957, Frankfurt, Germany
    Which to get first: Crimson Tide, The Lion King
    Did you know:
    • He grew up in Germany and Switzerland, and finally England.
    • He started doing synthesizer music for commercial at first.

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