Before I begin, I would like to say this up front: I would not be the one undertaking this project, although if I could help out in any way, I will. I really don't have the skill or experience required to pull this off. I am simply throwing this out there to see if anybody would be willing to tackle this idea.
The idea is similiar to the Blade Runner - Complete Music Collection project, though not nearly as massive in scope. I have always been a fan of John Barry's work, and I feel that his score for Disney's The Black Hole is exceptional. Sadly, the only official release it has ever been given was back during its original release in 1979, on vinyl. Worst still, it was only a single LP release, as was often the case back then, and much of the score was missing. To this day, the music cannot be officially purchased outside of an LP, a bootleg CD, or on Itunes in 128kbs acc. For some back information, here is an official statement regarding the Itunes release last January, from the Disney Music Discussion Forum on MagicMusic.net:
"JAN 16 2007
1. The Black Hole Soundtrack - NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
As before, all masters have been transferred and restored at 24bit / 96kHz.
Now before someone cries foul, I will explain the status of “The Black Hole Soundtrack”. Though this was the first digitally recorded soundtrack, the digital technology of 1979 is not compatible with digital technology of today (or even 1982 when CD’s were introduced). This soundtrack was recorded with 4bit resolution at 32kHz sampling, thus making a pure digital release not only impossible, but any attempt to upsample or convert them would result in a recording far worse than the analog conversion that was done at the time. The reason it has taken me so long to get this soundtrack re-released is that I wanted to make absolutely sure that there was no way I could use the original digital recordings. I also couldn’t include more of John Barry’s score than was originally released – as the album, as it stands, is all that was legally cleared for release. I did, however, hunt down the original analog transfer from 1979, digitally transferred and restored at 24/96 and re-created the album’s original content. I know some of you more ‘passionate’ will still be disappointed, but there is nothing more anyone could do. Still, even at the iTunes 128kbs compression, the album has never sounded better!"
Also, this is a word from The Black Hole FAQ, which is outdated by several years, but still remains accurate in regards to this music:
Is there a soundtrack available for the film?
The only official release of John Barry's soundtrack for the film was the original LP, released in 1979 on Buena Vista Records (cat. #5008). It contains most of the music used in the film.
Here's the tracklist (with track times):
|Overture (2:27)||Durant Is Dead (2:31)|
|Main Title (1:46)||Start The Countdown (3:51)|
|The Door Opens (3:38)||Laser (2:15)|
|Zero Gravity (5:53)||Into The Hole (5:00)|
|Six Robots (1:59)||End Title (2:34)|
For some more information on the soundtrack we go to a post from Marc St. Stephen:
- The soundtrack to The Black Hole, by John Barry, was originally released on LP by Disney (Buena Vista Records). The LP contains just over 30 minutes of music and is of fair/poor sound quality. It has been out of print for quite a while now, but copies both sealed and unsealed are still floating around ...
Based on what I learned from Lucas Kendall (who publishes Film Score Monthly) Disney is sitting on the rights and master tapes to The Black Hole and will not reissue it on CD or allow anyone else to do so unless someone throws a great wad of money in their face and/or somehow proves to them beyond a shadow of a doubt that the re-release of The Black Hole will make tons of money for Disney.
There have been two major bootleg releases of the film's soundtrack. The first bootleg release was paired with the Barry's score for "The Last Valley" - both of which are presented in MONO on this CD. The second bootleg of the soundtrack was put out by an Italian bootleg label, Mask, in July 1999. They paired "The Black Hole" with Barry's soundtrack to "Howard The Duck," and includes as bonus tracks "Star Crash" and "You Only Live Twice." The quality of the Mask release is unknown at this time.
I have also seen some small runs of CD-R's mastered from vinyl copies of the album - naturally, quality varies with the expertise behind the mastering of the individual CD-R's. The same proviso also applies to the bootleg CD's, as it is incredibly unlikely the bootleggers would have access to anything better than vinyl copies of the score.
I got this idea after I stumbled onto an "extended" Black Hole soundtrack that somebody posted on a blog recently. It was basically just a rip of the LP, but the poster also included 10 tracks that he ripped straight off the DVD. He obviously applied a basic filter to remove the speech, but it left the sound effects intact, as well as some echo from the speech in the background. It was rather crude, but reminded me how much music wasn't included on the official releases. Just those 10 short tracks added up to about 14 minutes of music. I truly feel that this score is deserving of a full release, and since that is obviously not going to happen, I was hoping somebody here with more talent than I have would be willing to take this project on. It would most likely involve ripping the DVD audio, and applying advanced filtering to extract just the music, without sound effects and speech, as there is no other way to obtain the missing music. I have the 10 tracks of additional music that were posted, if that would help somebody with knowing what music needs to be done. Luckily, almost all of the unreleased music is contained in these 10 tracks. I also have a very nice rip of the LP in 320kbps mp3, which was cleaned up by somebody very nicely. I don't know if it would be better to get the officially released tracks from the LP or from Itunes. I realize that the Itunes release is compressed, but if the LP doesn't sound so great, which is worse?
So, does anybody think this is something to pursue? Again, the fact that there isn't too many tracks to do means it probably wouldn't be that big of a project, if it turned out that somebody could successfully remove the sound effects and speech. But that missing music is, in my opinion, hauntingly beautiful, and it is such a shame to see it disappear. If Disney had at least offered a music-only track on the DVD, it would have made this so much easier, but alas, they did not. I am curious what others think about this. Regardless of how anybody feels about the film itself, John Barry's score for the film deserves far better than a partial release to Itunes in 128kbs acc. Thanks for reading this very long post, and please voice your opinions, as I would really like to hear what people think about this.