November 25, 2009:
"THIS IS APPROVED"
Well, dear readers, let me give thanks the day before Thanksgiving, because after yet another round of unnecessary drama regarding the Holy Grail release, at approximately two oíclock I received the three-word e-mail Iíve been praying for: This is approved. And so, weíre on track to announce next week and color me excited after weeks of being colored frustrated. I hope after all this it doesnít seem like an anti-climax, but Iíve said all along itís a Holy Grail for me and othersí mileage may vary. I cannot imagine a lover of film music who would not want this Ė itís by a great film composer at his peak and itís two scores on one CD (a seventy-eight minute running time), neither score ever having been released before. Both scores are surprisingly in stereo, sound amazing, and, for me, in a rather extraordinary year of Kritzerland releases, itís right at the top. That is not to denigrate any of our releases this year because in one way or another weíve done great stuff Ė but this is a dream CD for me personally as it involves a film I absolutely love, and I cannot stop playing our master Ė it moves me to tears every time I hear the opening track and I remain moved to tears for all of it. Itís the first time a Kritzerland limited edition will be 1500 copies rather than our standard 1000 and Iím hoping that the market hasnít been so glutted in the last three weeks that people can actually afford to get it. Iím praying itís a quick sellout because it was very pricey to do, but I hope itís the beginning of a nice, fruitful relationship with the studio that its licensed from. I know from here on in that the process of doing it will run much more smoothly as Iíll know in advance what hurdles I need to run and what things I need to do and not do. This glutting of the market by certain companies has been weighing heavily on my mind. Itís reached epic proportions in the last three months and is wildly out of control and it must stop or, as Iíve told other labels, they will kill it for everyone. There is one label especially that releases two titles, the two weeks later three at one time, then sometimes four at one time, and then youíve got two titles every two weeks from another label and our one every two weeks (if I can keep up that schedule). If everyone did one title every couple of weeks it would all be fine. But a form of gluttony and one-upsmanship has reared its ugly little head and it really needs to stop. Six months ago, we were selling out a 1000 copy soundtrack in one or two days, no matter what it was. Now itís taking two to four weeks Ė thatís not terrible, but itís happening to everyone because of this gluttony. Intrada, who announced two sought after Jerry Fielding titles two weeks ago would have sold out of them in three hours six months ago. Last I checked they still had them, and so did every online dealer. The last limited edition batch from Varese, which had several sought after titles including Escape From The Planet Of The Apes Ė still available from most retailers. That would not have been the case six months ago. I will keep asking other labels to take heed of my words, because if they donít stop what theyíre doing, as I said above, they will kill this for everyone, and that is not going to do anyone any good.
I went off on a tangent, didnít I? Just like that Ė a tangent. I spent the first three hours of the morning having a work session for the long musical Ė a lot of talking things out and putting cards on a bulletin board and there is, at long last, some radical changes being implemented, and they will all be very helpful. After I got the good news, I was really hungry and decided to celebrate by going to Hugoís, where I was joined by a friend who happened to call me and who happened to be in the neighborhood. I had my beloved mac and cheese, which was yummilicious, and I had a small Caesar with it. Iím still full from it even as I write these here notes. I then picked up three packages; all three were ones Iíve been expecting for quite some time, so that was good. I then did some work on the computer, had a long telephonic conversation, and then finally sat on my couch like so much fish, finally breathing easy because of three little words: This is approved.
Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Blazing Saddles, a film of Mel Brooks. I saw the film the day it opened in Westwood and I cannot tell you how fresh and outrageous and hilarious it was. There was one humungous laugh after another Ė weíd never seen gags like that in a movie before. And when the campfire scene began and the first cowboy let loose with what I believe was the first passing of gas in an American film, the audience chuckled in a shocked way, and then as each successive gas bomb sounded the laugh grew and grew until the audience was literally howling and screaming and when Slim Pickens came out of his tent and had his reaction the laugh doubled and then tripled Ė Iíd never heard anything like it. And it never let up. Watching it now, itís easy to forget how radical this film was, but not radical in the ugly, obnoxious way of, for example, a Sacha Baron Cohen film. As many envelopes were being pushed by Blazing Saddles, it was always done with great humor and, more importantly, affection and yes, even heart. That is thanks in large part to the great performance of Cleavon Little, who is just so winning that he takes the film to a whole other place, and the same goes for Gene Wilder. They ground the film and therefore no matter how crazy the film gets (and it gets pretty crazy) you stay with it. The transfer is very good Ė not the sharpest Blu-Ray I own, but the color is nice, itís very sharp and the sound is robust.
Well, why donít we all click on the Unseemly Button below because this section is approved.
Today, I have another three-hour work session from ten to one, and then I am done until next Monday, save for finishing liner notes (I got some breathing room because of the other project being approved), doing the blurb and preparing for next weekís Holy Grail release. Other than that, Iím resting, relaxing, playing, and doing whatever I please.
Tomorrow is, of course, Thanksgiving. I rarely get invited anywhere anymore, and Iíve spent the last couple of Thanksgivings on my own, but this time I got invited to spend Thanksgiving with Mr. Barry Pearl and his ever-loviní Cindy, and Iím very much looking forward to that.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, try to do a jog at some point, have a work session, eat something amusing, and do some errands and whatnot. Todayís topic of discussion: Itís Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, letís have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, and do remember: This is approved.