Copyright thedigitalcinema.info SMB 8/8/2001

La La Land Records release

Review by Scott Michael Bosco

     Although all of these soundtracks have had various previous releases this is the first time all have been done in one box set.  Each have seen their day either released in a altered, or edited state, or even a limited edition entry.

Front of Box art.

     Having them all re-released in the Limited Edition Collection is a wonderful thing for any collector.  I would guess many would purchase it just to be completists.  That was my reaction upon first seeing the release info produced by LA LA LAND – especially since it also stated that each of the soundtrack were being “remastered”.  That’s not to say that the previous releases were bad – they weren’t.  But with constant improvements in technology one would think, and hope, each soundtrack would reflect those improvements.

     A friend of mine saw this release and instantly may a pre-order for me surprising me knowing of my past involvement with POTA (Planet of the Apes) going back to aiding MEGO toy company with releases, and being a consultant on the early home video release on Beta/VHS and DVD.

     My first reaction to the press release was a mixed bag of emotions; which I get into shortly.   After receiving the box set I was very much upset after evaluating it.  So much so I even contacted LA LA LAND by way of their sites internal contact – to which I never got a response.

Back of Box art.

THE GOOD

Each soundtrack is made available on it own CD – however, CONQUEST and BATTLE are packaged in the same jewel case.

PLANET OF THE APES -

has both a complete score as well as a re-issue of the original soundtrack released on LP.

BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES -

still has both soundtracks as on the previous (not out of print release) The complete score and the original LP release.  This is wonderful since there is a striking difference in the two soundtracks.  Some how one the of the cues, part of the score, “Nova Dies” has been restored without the distortion heard on the original CD release.

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES -

is the same as the previous release – but the cue “THE LABOR CONTINUES” which had a distortion in the previous release is gone.

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES -

has the complete score (in MONO) as well as a stereo mix.

BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES - is complete, as it was in the previous release.

There is a booklet in each of the jewel cases, for each CD.  The liner notes are wonderfully informative and enriched with great visuals.  Although they are informative there is much repetition in information, mostly on the first PLANET OF THE APES, and a re-stating of history on the films.  It’s as if each were written separately not as a whole.

Artwork for the cover of PLANET OF THE APES was first used as a Blu-ray cover - NOTE: Apes on bottom are from the TV series

ABOVE: The front and back of the booklet.

BOTTOM: The Blu-ray original use of the artworks

THE BAD

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES -

For some reason sound is terrible compared to the previous CD release.  It’s as if a high pass filter has been added muting the sonic clarity.  Highs are cut off giving the mix a subdued texture and suppressing not only the fidelity but the stereo separation.  This was one of the major reasons I contacted LA LA LAND – in hope it may have been a mistake and perhaps make them aware to see if a replacement could be made.

For fans the packaging is a true disappointment.  Although each booklet contained within each jewel case had excellent visuals some of them are not from the films.  In fact the cover of the box that contains each jewel case has a multi-ape visual not of the actors from the films, but of fans (from a group called APEMANIA). Pictures from the same fan group are also on each of the discs as well.  With so many wonderful publicity pictures originally made of the actual stars from the films it not only doesn’t make sense but is an insult to those who originated these characters.  It’s akin to doing a Marilyn Monroe box set release with a transvestite as Marilyn on the cover.  Why?!  They simply should have used the poster art by FOX used for the theatrical release of all the apes films when they played on one bill.  The GO APE artwork.

This artwork of these fans was first used on the Blu-ray Book release of the films.  In fact the cover of that release is repeated on the booklet of this CD Box set as well.

The quality of the covers of the individual jewel cases is questionable as well.  Poster designs, which are also used on the back of the Box Set differ from the ones used on the jewel cases; which are of lower quality.  To make things worse the cover for PLANET OF THE APES is merely an artwork originally made for a Blu-ray a release, and has characters from the PLANET OF THE APES TV Series on it!  Sloppy!

There is also a lament in the written material of the lost animated APES animated series score (which I have in MONO) that no one can seem to find – guess they didn’t know Doug Wildly the creator of the series.

The previous release by VERESE SARABANDE Limited to 300  is the one to get; better quality.

SUMMARY

For those who have missed the previous individual releases of these soundtracks this is still a way of getting them – but it is a bit sloppy, and not very well though out.  Then of course the poor quality on ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES makes me happy I got the original release – something I suggest a true collector should still try to get for the quality.

In terms of packaging it seems either someone who didn’t care, or know made decisions which greatly degrade this release and welcome it to a limited availability.

As a consultant for various releases I can say this, and need to put forth my disappointment and concern for the wrong people having a hand on products dealt with badly.