Shaydun Froyd

I haven’t been an active member of the film music fan community, either online or off, in quite some time, because for the most part I came to find that community mostly unpleasant, annoying, and generally filled with people I’d like to punch if I knew them in real life. I haven’t regretted this, but every so often — once a month, at most — I’ll drop by the FilmScoreMonthly message boards, just to see what’s new in film music, as in, new releases of hard-to-find music and the like.

I just dropped over yesterday, and I saw a thread therein that validated all of my negative opinions and gave me immense amusement as well.

It seems that Varese Sarabande (one of the biggest remaining labels in film music) indicated that an announcement was impending, regarding a new CD release of theirs. This is something record labels do a lot. They’ll say “On May 31 we’ll announce our Next Great Title!”, as a way of drumming up a bit of buzz. Well, the FSM folks — bless their hearts! — followed Varese’s bouncing ball and, with zero evidence to back them up in the slightest way, that Varese was about to release Alex North’s score to Spartacus.

Now, you have to understand something here: Spartacus is one of the last great Holy Grails of unreleased film music. There is an old CD of Spartacus out there, but it amounts to a miniscule portion of a long, epic score that has been for decades regarded as one of the finest scores ever written; and I think there are bootlegs floating around, but there has never been a release of the entire score in fine digital remastering. Spartacus really is a big deal to film music lovers, and its release would send that community into orgasm.

So the FSM thread goes on for page after page after page as people construct elaborate arguments for why the new release just has to be Spartacus. The logic is almost reminiscent of folks who pore through the Bible until they determine the exact date for Armageddon. Everybody is convinced it’s going to be Spartacus, except for one lone soul late in the thread who says, “Gee, do we even know that it’s going to be Spartacus?”

And guess what the release turns out to be?

An expanded edition of Michael Giacchino’s score to last year’s Star Trek.

So then some fans (not all) start bemoaning their crushing disappointment, with only a couple of persons pointing out, “Hey, nobody said you were getting Spartacus. You convinced yourself.” In among that, you get to see all kinds of folks saying things like “OK, Star Trek. Now I don’t have to spend $30!” Because that’s what often passes for interesting comment on these boards: someone announcing that they will, or will not, buy something.

One of many reasons I stopped hanging out with these folks. Who really cares who buys what???

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