VideoHound’s Soundtracks: Music from the Movies, Broadway and Television, ed. by Didier C. Deutsch. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. 1998. $24.95. ISBN: 1-57859-025-6. 1,024pp. To order, call 1-800-776-6265, or try your local independent bookstore.
The text itself, much of it written by editor Deutsch, is in the standard ‘Hound mode — pithy capsule reviews of more than 2,000 currently available CDs, with numerous sidebars devoted to greats like Bernard Herrmann and Henry Mancini. Some readers may find the level of enthusiasm a little grating when applied to overblown crap like Camelot or the tired imperial theatrics of John Williams. And some of the omissions are a bit startling — how could Double Dragon make it and not the brilliant Liquid Sky? (Unless the latter is out of print, in which case apologies!) But such carping is like bitching about a paint chip on a Jackson Pollock painting. These guys — Deutsch and 10 collaborators — know their stuff and detail it with admirable thoroughness and energy. Critical opinion is there for those who want it, but devotees already familiar with the films will find more important the technical information, which includes release companies, year of issue, and a breakdown of song titles and times for every CD. Included is a sampler CD bundled in. (We look forward to the day when sampler DVDs can be included that can pack multiple complete scores into their vast storage space!) In sum, a uniquely valuable reference for the fan of filmmusic.
VideoHound’s Independent Film Guide, by Monica Sullivan. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. 1998. $24.95. ISBN: 1-57859-018-3. Trade paperback, 558pp. To order, call 1-800-776-6265, or try your local independent bookstore.
Besides the ever-present fabulously detailed indexes common in all VideoHound productions, the main lure of this book is in its documentation of many treasurable titles that sometimes barely make it past the film festival or midnight-movie circuits. VHS, Beta (!), and laser availability are all indicated, and sidebars on the likes of Paul Bartel, Jackie Chan, Gregory Walcott (the “Ah’m muzzled by army brass!” geek fromPlan 9 from Outer Space), et al. add mondo spice to the proceedings.