Of Spiders, Serpents, and Rainbows
March 19, 2021
Varèse Sarabande’s March CD Club Releases: Deluxe Editions of Jerry Goldsmith’s ALONG CAME A SPIDER and Brad Fiedel’s THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW
Varèse Sarabande Records has dropped its March 2021 CD Club Titles: ALONG CAME A SPIDER (The Deluxe Edition) by Jerry Goldsmith and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (The Deluxe Edition) by Brad Fiedel. These special deluxe edition titles are available today exclusively on VareseSarabande.com and internationally on Intl.VareseSarabande.com. The CD Club launched its official start in 1989 and has been a staple of the label ever since, relaunching classic titles from renowned film composers.
ALONG CAME A SPIDER: Limited Edition of 1500 Copies: One of Academy Award®-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith’s final film scores comes to the CD Club in a long-awaited Deluxe Edition: ALONG CAME A SPIDER (2001), which is Paramount Pictures’ second film adaptation of author James Patterson’s thriller novels. Morgan Freeman reprised his role as Alex Cross (from KISS THE GIRLS), teaming up with Monica Potter as a Secret Service agent in search of a U.S. Senator’s daughter, who is kidnapped by a twisted adversary. Goldsmith’s score pulses and twitches with uneasy throbs, lurching into orchestral action for moments of shock and violence, and nobly sets a powerful French horn theme (for the forces of good) against a brooding tapestry of darkness—all while the clock ticks away on a young victim’s life. Released as a 35-minute CD by Varèse Sarabande at the time of the film’s release, ALONG CAME A SPIDER is expanded for the Deluxe Edition to the complete 64-minute score, in film sequence. A bonus track of outtakes (including Goldsmith’s chit-chat on the scoring stage) is curated by Goldsmith’s longtime friend, recording engineer and album producer Bruce Botnick.
Goldsmith reteamed with New Zealand-born director Lee Tamahori, for whom he scored THE EDGE (1997), and provided a tense, taut score in his thriller wheelhouse. From his earliest days scoring television, to 1970s landmarks like CAPRICORN ONE and COMA, to the granddaddy of the 1990s sex thrillers (BASIC INSTINCT), no composer was as fluent or effective with the thriller genre as Goldsmith. By 2001, the composer had modernized and refined his suspense style to the point where there was not a single wasted note.
THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW: 2-CD Set Limited Edition of 1500 Copies: From the earliest days of the Varèse Sarabande CD catalog comes a Deluxe Edition of an oft-requested horror score by Brad Fiedel: THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988). The film is directed by horror icon Wes Craven, starring Bill Pullman as a doctor sent to Haiti to investigate a possible drug used in Haitian Vodou to create a real-world zombie. Filmed on location in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the film has been lauded for its authentic setting, grounded take on the Vodou/zombie myth, and Craven’s effective horror atmospherics—including a memorable and moody score by Brad Fiedel. For this film, Fiedel created hypnotic soundscapes from his keyboards, including wood and metallic percussion elements, synthesized hawk screams and choral samples. He perfectly evoked the Haitian setting and Vodou aesthetic while providing a disturbing blanket of doom and dread—but also a unique sense of almost uplifting melody and spirituality. This 2-CD set features a new program of Fiedel’s expanded score on disc one, restored from film mixes in the Universal Pictures vaults by Mike Matessino; and on disc two, the original 1988 Varèse Sarabande soundtrack album with a bonus selection of additional music by Nigerian drummer and recording artist Michael Babatunde Olatunji. Some of the Olatunji selections are heard in the film, while others were part of a rejected score. The album also features liner notes by Randall D. Larson, with new interview comments by Fiedel.
The mid to late 1980s was arguably Fiedel’s most prolific and influential period. Working from his home studio, the composer used cutting-edge synthesizers and samplers to create his own, highly personalized sonic atmospheres, with custom-made colors and a mature tone that helped distinguish some of the biggest hits of the period (THE TERMINATOR, FRIGHT NIGHT, THE BIG EASY, THE ACCUSED).