Varèse Sarabande albums discography

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Varèse Sarabande is an American record label that is owned by Concord Music, which specializes in film scores and original cast recordings.

VC/VX series (1978)[edit]

Starting in 1978, Varèse Sarabande released both classical works and motion picture soundtracks on vinyl (LP) using the same label numbering series (VC or VX being the prefix). Some of these titles would later see a CD release in the 47000 series or later by the label or be reissued by other soundtrack labels including Intrada Records, Kritzerland Records, Citadel Records and more.[1][2]

STV and CTV series (1979–1987)[edit]

Beginning in 1979, Varèse Sarabande changed their TV and soundtracks to their own individual lettering prefix with the letters STV to separate them from their classical releases and avoid confusion. Many of these titles originally issued by the label have seen a CD release (refer to the 47000 series and the CD Club release lists below) by the label itself or through other labels over the last few decades which include Intrada Records, Citadel Records, Kritzerland Records and more.

The CD and LP counterparts were both made for most titles between 1984 and 1990, when LPs starting to be on the way out in favor of the new media-friendly format that would also hold more music unlike LPs which only run up to 45 minutes. Many of these titles were also available in cassette form, designated by CTV prefix unlike the CD and LP prefixes to distinguish the three formats. The label would make a deal with MCA Distributing in 1987 as part of a feverish raid by record companies to buy up other smaller, independent record labels thanks to the booming economy of that period when the stock market was high that also included labels like A&M Records, Island, and eventually, GRP Records in later years.[3] The label would completely thrive and grow to great lengths after the MCA deal and would enjoy a lot of success with the soundtracks and eventually Broadway divisions throughout the 1990s and well into 2020.

Georges Delerue's A Little Romance, would go on to win the 1979 Best Original Score at the 1980 Oscar ceremony thanks to a very aggressive campaign by the label and the advice of future producer Bruce Kimmel, in which LPs of the soundtracks were sent to the Academy voters that year earning them a unique honor in the process.

704/1000 digital LP series (1979–1988)[edit]

Starting in the late 1970s, the label wanted to distinguish its digital LP releases from their standard edition LPs featuring a unique codex starting with either 1000 or 704 for their later issues. Most of these applied to their earlier classical releases but the label then tried to focus on their digital soundtrack recordings which were becoming standard during the mid-1980s. This series did not last until mid-1988 when the label officially joined MCA to distribute and release their soundtracks and future Broadway, jazz and vocal albums.

Also amongst this series was the DBX Recording Technology Showcase Series,[12][13] which was the label's attempt in conjunction with the new technology of LPs played on a specialized no noise system making the music louder sonically with the dbx encoded LPs. Chalfont, Varèse's LP offshoot was amongst the group of record labels involved along with themselves personally. Their forte into this technology produced the album, Beyond the Sound Barrier: The Spectacular Sound of Digital DBX Discs, a compilation of digitally recorded tracks from the albums Digital Space by Morton Gould and Boy With Goldfish and Lazarus and His Beloved (Symphonic Suite from the Opera) by Lee Holdridge.

The soundtrack titles also corresponded in sequence to their CD releases also starting with the identical number or a different number than previously assigned. which were very scarce in production unlike the LPs which were more widely available. However, a few of these LPs did not have a CD counterpart and some were cancelled possibly due to the poor performances of the film theatrically. Examples of these are Bad Dreams and Dead Heat in which CD counterparts were announced and then cancelled just relegating them to LP and cassette releases only. Since these vinyl albums were not released with a suffix (i.e. STV, VSD, etc.) unlike the original classical releases (VCDM), VCDM has been added to avoid confusion between the 704 series CD as Varèse Sarabande Digital LP.

5200 LP series (1988–1991)[edit]

After the label completed its deal with MCA Distributing, they continued to produced LPs of their soundtracks despite the fact that sales of vinyl were plummeting due to the successful emergence of the CD format which allowed for a more sonic experience as well as putting on more music on a CD more so than LP that could only hold approximately 45 minutes and barely more.

The label reassigned the number of their LPs to try and match their CD counterparts under the prefix of VSD (Varèse Sarabande Disc). The LPs were simply assigned (VS and followed by the catalog number). All LPs featured the exact same artwork as the CDs as well as musical content. However, not all of the CD releases had an LP counterpart which was largely due to reissues from other record labels such as Arista Records, MCA, Sony and others which were not produced by the label. Their releases concentrated on everything they produced and released by them which included hit films such as Die Hard 2, Total Recall, Back to the Future Part III, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Ghost, which is one of the label's all-time best selling albums.

The final LPs produced by the label were in late 1991 when the label switched strictly to CDs and cassettes only. The thrilling action score, Ricochet composed by Academy Award nominee Alan Silvestri and featuring the hit title song by famed rapper Ice-T of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was the final LP release on the label.

47000 series (1983–1987)[edit]

Varèse Sarabande first began producing compact discs roughly around 1983, almost at the very beginning of the dawn of the compact disc which also included labels such as GRP Records, Telarc, Mobile Fidelity and Polydor. Their initial releases in this series are often held in high regard by collectors, especially those without a barcode which all discs were printed and produced in Japan by the Japan Victor Company (JVC).[14] These discs feature exceptional sound quality and in particular, the classical releases feature exceptional artwork which have made these titles extremely valuable.[15][16] The first few years saw their first run of CDs pressed in Japan for US market by JVC beginning with 47201 which is the best selling Star Wars Trilogy CD until 47275 with Peggy Sue Got Married and then the label switched over to Laser Video for its releases starting with Tai-Pan (VCD-47274) in late 1986 until its final distributed release for that company with No Way Out (VCD-47301) in 1987.[17] After that, the label's releases were exclusively pressed by JVC America.[18]

This series was supervised and started by Tom Null, who supervised the classical releases along with the soundtracks with co-producer Chris Kuchler and then Richard Kraft came on board around 1986 and co-ran the label with Null until the end of 1988 to ease the label's transition after they reached a deal with MCA Distributing in 1987 which didn't take full effect until mid-1988.[3] Null would remain with the label until 1993 where he would eventually reactivate Citadel Records, which was formerly a subsidiary of the label for a period of time reissued many of Varèse's LP and out of print Varèse CDs.[19] Under new producer Robert Townson, who had released three titles during this period which included his first ever release as producer, The Final Conflict in 1986 under his label, Masters Film Music from Canada along with Lionheart, a little-seen adventure film which was released by the label in two separate volumes of music in 1987. Townson would take over and oversee the label in early 1989 after Kraft's departure.

This series was notorious for many catalog number gaps especially during late 1986 and the entirety of 1987, which many speculate were titles that were released as LP and cassette during this period. One such title, King Kong Lives was actually produced by the label but acquired by MCA Records in late 1986 as the film was figured to be a big holiday release late that year and was released through them instead.[20] Some titles that were released theatrically during this period, did receive a CD counterpart to go along with the LP and cassette formats (i.e. Aliens, The Fly, Link, Enemy Mine, etc.) and others would either slated to be released as a CD and were cancelled would be reissued later on by the label through the Varèse Sarabande Club or in some cases as part of the regular catalog (i.e. Vamp, Firewalker, 52 Pick-Up,[21] F/X, etc.).

Townson with the help of Kraft and Null would go on to start a Limited Edition Club of mail order only releases that would finally come to fruition during the spring of 1989 after being promoted in late 1987 and throughout 1988 after long delays.[22] The club was intended for titles for new or older scores for past films that were released that did not receive a soundtrack release or a score album while the film was released theatrically and would later include many titles from the many gaps in their CD discography decades later. Townson's label, Masters Film Music, would get the first releases which included reissues which consisted of Obsession, Bernard Herrmann Concert Suites an elaborate four-disc reissue set of the original Decca LPs featuring stunning artwork and was a full-fledged production and Jerry Goldsmith Suites and Themes, the first live concert performance on CD by the famed Oscar winning composer which also featured equally stunning artwork as the other releases by the late Bob Peak. The official club titles started by Kraft and Null would soon be released not long after with Cherry 2000[23] by the late Basil Poledouris, which at one point was the most valuable soundtrack on the market, going for as much as $2500 at a hotly contested auction. Null would leave Varèse in 1993 and start his own label Citadel Records and reissued a lot of Varèse's older out-of-print soundtrack LPs, as well as some of the classical releases he released during his time with the label.

The Star Wars Trilogy, The Man from Snowy River, Halloween and Witness are amongst the label's all-time top ten best selling releases[24] from this period along with other titles such as The Emerald Forest, Escape from New York, Aliens, The Fly, The Right Stuff/North and South, Pee-wee's Big Adventure / Back to School, Starman and The Road Warrior. Many of these titles stayed in print for at least two decades or more and others quickly went out of print.

The very last title produced by the label for this run, The Serpent and the Rainbow (VCD-47362) was one of the rarest titles in this series due to its low print run of an estimated 400 copies. This title was probably caught under the label's transition with MCA Distributing and was barely released throughout the country. For this reason, this title was very valuable for a long period of time and was recently reissued as part of Varèse's Little Box of Horrors 12-CD collection in 2016 in an LP replica styled slipcase featuring the same artwork as the original CD. This also goes for the label's strange handling of reissues of Phantasm, Liquid Sky and Dawn of the Dead which also were supposed to be released during or after the MCA transition and received very limited runs and also became collectors items as a result of this.

70400 series (1988)[edit]

This batch of a dozen titles between the 47000 series and the new mainline series starting from 5200 to 7500 series which started right after this after Varèse's newly minted distribution deal with MCA (aka UNI later on Universal Music Group (UMG)) in late 1987 which the label finally instituted a barcode system which included this series of titles which had a limited press run of over 500 copies or more during the label's transition with MCA into their distribution cycle. This numbering system stems from their digital LP series of titles featuring a few soundtracks (i.e. Suspect) and also could be seen as 470 rearranged as 704. These titles featured specific lettering and package design not unlike the 47000 series and this lettering and package design would run until the first batch of the 5200 series, which would later reinstitute the font lettering they used during the 47000 series permanently until 1999.

This series features a few cancellations including one rumored title of Dead Heat by Ernest Troost and one confirmed but announced title, Bad Dreams[29] in which collectors were willing to pay top prices for until the label revealed and confirmed its cancellation when they finally released it on CD as part of their LP to CD Subscription Series that ran from June 2015 to May 2016.[30]

5200–7500 series (1988–2018)[edit]

When Varèse Sarabande began its partnership with MCA Distribution in 1988, the benefits of this deal were nationwide availability of Varèse Sarabande CDs, LPs and cassettes. The label adopted the MCA catalog numbering system with the prefix VSD (which stood for Varèse Sarabande Disc and VSC for Varèse Sarabande cassette) and a subsequent number to denote multiple-disc sets (VSD2, VSD3, etc.) or a video release (VSV) if any as that was required for all labels in the MCA distribution system. When the MCA and PolyGram families merged in 1999, which created Universal Music, the newly merged company used PolyGram's catalog-numbering system, which used the main six digits of the UPC barcode (numbers 5 through 10 in the standard 12-number UPC set) as the basis for the catalog number and since the original MCA numbering was already based on part of the UPC number (specifically digits 7 through 10), the number sequence was not changed. This run starting from VSD-5200 ended during the 7500 series as Concord Records assumed control of the company during the middle of 2018 and started a new numbering system as a result. Catalogue numbers without a title are usually assigned to a release that is not ready to be officially announced by the label. In some cases, older unassigned numbers are the result of a production delay, but usually it is because they have been canceled. For collectors, the curiosity of knowing what a number has been assigned to is part of the demand for a complete discography.

Also as Varèse Sarabande grew, it branched into other musical venues and imprints including Varèse Spotlight, which focused on original cast recordings;[31] Varèse Jazz,[32] which focused on jazz interpretations featuring the Trotter Trio and others; Varèse Vintage, which re-issued all genres of oldies;[33] Water Music, which specialized in electronica; Fuel 2000, which focused on popular music;[34] and Wildcat, which focused on rock recordings. All divisions share the same catalog numbering system, but only the Varèse Sarabande, Spotlight, and Vintage imprints share the same number sequence. There have also been some soundtracks released as digital download titles that are not currently on CD at the moment.

Colosseum Records, which is featured here as well on this listing, was the label's international division located in Nuremberg, Germany, which released all US soundtrack releases as well as European films that were able to release under their banner. Like the US versions of these soundtracks, the German pressings featured the same artwork, but instead of the black JVC design on the label side, they feature a silver label side with the JVC design in red. The artwork also featured "LC" which stood for a Colosseum version. The label released titles that were only available through imports that were not released here and many of those titles featured numbers to what were cancelled releases to movies here in the US. (i.e. John Carpenter's Greatest Hits VSD-5336 / Dutch VSD-5336 US, Evil Dead VSD-5362 / Rock-a-Doodle VSD-5362 US). They also released titles for US films that did not receive a US equivalent which included Dust Devil by Simon Boswell, The Evil Dead by Joseph LoDuca, Goodbye Bafana by Dario Marianelli and a few more. They also kept in print many of the out of print 47000 and 70400 series titles for a long period of time which included D.O.A., Poltergeist III, Cocoon: The Return, John Carpenter's The Fog, The Thief of Baghdad / The Jungle Book, and Lionheart: Volumes 1 & 2. The label would later close in 2015 and Varèse does not have a European distributor at the moment.[35]

Robert Townson, who produced his first title which was The Final Conflict aka Omen III under his Masters Film Music label in conjunction with the label in 1986, took over in early 1989 and oversaw the label's growth into one of the greatest soundtrack labels in the world with a yearly output of approximately 50 titles from newly released films, restorations and reissues from other labels which started with reissues of Sony LP titles (i.e. The Chase, The Lion in Winter, The Guns of Navarone, etc.) in 1989, then reissuing many titles from the MCA catalog (i.e. MacArthur, Ghost Story, Dracula, etc.) starting in 1990 which lasted until 2001 along with Arista Records (i.e. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Taxi Driver, The Fury, etc.), the Decca catalog (i.e. The Robe, Airport, Anastasia, etc.), Bay Cities in 1997 (i.e. 1941, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, etc.) and reissues from their LP catalog that appeared as regular releases (i.e. Lifeforce, The Manhattan Project, Videodrome, etc.) and as Soundtrack Club releases (i.e. F/X: The Deluxe Edition, Eye of the Needle, Last Embrace, Vamp, Silver Bullet, etc.). He also created a re-recording program which brought new audiences to older soundtrack recordings from composers who he had worked with personally on the label which included John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Alan Silvestri, Stu Phillips and James Horner (i.e. Midway, Body Heat, To Kill a Mockingbird, Patton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, etc.) as well as produce new and complete re-recording of scores by Golden Age composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman and Miklós Rózsa (i.e. Psycho, Vertigo, Sunset Boulevard, etc.). The first and, more importantly, his first re-recording of a film score was a historic event in that it was for Alex North's rejected score for Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey which the famed director completely threw out. Conducting the event was North's best friend and Oscar-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith with his favorite orchestra, the National Philharmonic of London with North's wife, Abby present during the recording. Before this event took place, no one outside of North or Goldsmith had heard this seemingly lost score until North's passing in late 1991 and this project came to light. His most important release was Spartacus by his favorite composer Alex North whom he was finally able to release his epic score (his personal all-time favorite) in 2010 to commemorate the film's 50th anniversary with an elaborate six-CD set. Coming in a close second and surprisingly one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time in 1990 was the Oscar winning film, Ghost, which featured a score by Oscar winner Maurice Jarre and more importantly, the hit song "Unchained Melody" sung by the Righteous Brothers which Alex North co-wrote and was featured in North's full orchestral composition in the film. The album sold over one million copies.[24] Townson left the label in late 2018 after Concord Music bought the label to concentrate on live concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Bruce Kimmel, who was asked to be a part of the label[36] when it started in 1978 which was intended to be solely for classical music and reissues of older Golden Age soundtracks that were really successful, released two soundtracks to films he had personally worked on The First Nudie Musical and Stages, joined the label in 1993 after a successful run at the then defunct Bay Cities soundtrack label and much like Robert Townson for soundtracks, he was given the full responsibility of the Broadway Musical, Spotlight and Jazz imprints of the label. These divisions were dedicated to releasing or reissuing soundtracks to musicals that were performing on and off Broadway, which was a huge success for the label throughout the 1990s as they dominated the marketplace with stellar releases with many being best sellers and featured favorable reviews. Kimmel also showcased performers from these shows on the Varèse Spotlight[31] banner which included the late Michelle Nicastro, Christiane Noll, Judy Kaye, Paige O'Hara, Mary Cleere Haran, Liz Callaway and many others. Kimmel also produced a few compilations dedicated to film music as well such as the Ennio Morricone jazz ensemble album Once Upon a Time in Cinema, Toonful and its sequel, Toonful Too dedicated to popular Disney songs performed by Nicastro, and also dedicated himself to jazz as well with the label's Varèse Jazz imprint that featured wonderful recordings by the Terry Trotter Trio producing albums inspired by movies, artists and Broadway shows by Stephen Sondheim. These include The Star Wars Album, The Michel Legrand Album, Follies, Passion... in Jazz and many others. He also produced two of accomplished jazz pianist Fred Hersch's albums for the label I Never Told You: Fred Hersch Plays the Music of Johnny Mandel and a popular collaboration between Hersch and jazz singer Janis Siegel entitled Slow Hot Wind. Sadly, his divisions were closed down by 2001 by the label as the company was no longer interested in producing or releasing Broadway or jazz releases at that point in time. He would leave to work with Fynsworth Alley, a label dedicated to Broadway and off-Broadway theater shows as well as vocals just as they had been doing at Varèse Sarabande in 2000, which ended abruptly in late 2001 as he and the label had completely different visions.[37] Kimmel would later form his own label, Kritzerland Records which is dedicated to movie soundtracks, musicals and some jazz albums in the late 2000s.[38]

The biggest curiosity of this series is the aborted release of the score album to that 1993 Bound By Honor which was originally titled Blood In Blood Out. This soundtrack which was publicly announced at the time of the films' release, and abruptly cancelled because of Disney's last-minute decision to change the films' title due to a test screening that led to violence along with the turmoil going on in Los Angeles at time. The label was about part way through the run (an unspecified number of these CDs were produced) when the change was made. Proving it would be too costly to reprint and produce another run of CDs under the films' new title, the CD was never officially released despite its announcements in the film, the film's advertising and subsequent video releases along with the song laden soundtrack album released by Hollywood Records at the same time. This was an officially produced album that was never released but an number of copies of it have surfaced around Hollywood insiders and throughout the soundtrack community and has been dubbed The Caine Mutiny of soundtrack CDs due to its rarity. This title has recently appeared on eBay as a counterfeit (bootleg) which features the same contents. However, the disc itself was not officially pressed by JVC America as the official Varese release and the inner ring features more silver in the center which is not on the original JVC pressing. The artwork is a color copy of the original with the exception of the lettering on the bottom in reference to the VSD-5396 catalog number which the font is incorrect on the booklet and it also omits liner notes by the films' writer Jimmy Santiago Baca and the films' director Taylor Hackford which is featured inside the booklet. The original release also featured a butterfly silver foiled holographic sticker on the jewel case like all Varese Sarabande titles as well as all Universal Music Group distributed titles during this period of time.[39][40]

[24] [55] [56] [39]

The New VSD Series (2018–present)[edit]

The label was acquired by Concord Music in 2018 and abandoned the PolyGram/Universal numbering system. A new series was started as a result of Concord's UPC prefix. The rest of the UPC does not necessarily match the catalogue number of the release, and all have the VSD prefix regardless of which format it was released on. All LP versions released have not been included and should be in a separate section. This list concentrates on the CD portion and not digital releases.

Varèse Sarabande CD Club (1989–1992)[edit]

In the aftermath of Varèse Sarabande's new association with the MCA Distribution Corp., the long advertised CD Club finally debuted in March 1989 as mail order exclusives after a series of production problems. Those who mailed contact information to the label, as advertised in many Varèse Sarabande CD inlay cards, received a yearly flyer announcing the limited edition discs. This first incarnation of the club ran from 1989 to 1992 and clearly took advantage of the MCA partnership as several of the titles came directly from their vault. This was also helped Varèse Sarabande to reissue scores from older films as well as release soundtracks to theatrical releases that were not successful or a soundtrack was unavailable at that time for release. They were also able to release particular titles from their own LP catalog that were not available as regular mainstream releases at that point in time for logistical reasons. All releases were hand numbered and limited to runs of 1000, 1200, 1500 or 2500 and sold for $19.98 each. The assigned catalog numbers correspond to the month and year of release with the volume number following the decimal. All first-generation club titles were produced by Robert Townson and Tom Null.[22]

In their mail order flyer, the original group of composers that were slated to appear in the original series of club releases included Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, James Horner, Bill Conti, Georges Delerue, Miklos Rosza, Elmer Bernstein and Basil Poledouris amongst others. The label did release soundtracks by these composers and sometimes, more than one at time. However, Conti's and Delerue's titles, without any definitive explanation, were never released at that time and it is assumed that the Conti title may possibly have been The Karate Kid[57][58] and the Delerue title may have been Joe Versus the Volcano.[59][60] Both titles were eventually released as part of the reactivated version of the club after 2001.

For a long time, Cherry 2000 was the most sought after title along with the withdrawn Blood In Blood Out cancelled release in which at an auction that took place in late 1997, two overzealous bidders got into a heated bidding war for this title at an auction with the winner winning the CD for the amount of $2500 which is still the most that a CD has ever gone for. This title has been reissued several times since that auction and greatly expanded.[61][62][63]

Two special budget releases appeared in 1992 for the final club year with the following two albums selling for the midline price of $10.98 apiece more as an experiment to see if titles from the club would sell at this price. These sold out instantly and were the last of this batch of the club ever to be featured at this price point. Later on Jagged Edge would be reissued as a part of the relaunched club under the Varèse Encore banner with new artwork and at the price of $15.98 which also sold out at the same 1000 copy run of its original release from 1992.

Varèse Sarabande CD Club (2001–present)[edit]

After an over nine-year hiatus, the Varèse Club officially returned after it was announced in 1998 by the label with no progress being made for almost three years until it was reactivated in November 2001, thanks to a change in re-use fee policies involving the American Federation of Musicians (AFM),[64] more cooperative studio licensing and the internet boom of the late 1990s that helped with sales for all the record labels. The reactivation was in light of Film Score Monthly's success in marketing limited edition scores from the archives of major studios that started with Twentieth Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and expanding to Warner Bros., Turner Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and more recently, Universal Pictures that has finally opened their vaults. Other labels such as Intrada Records, Percepto Records, Citadel Records and Prometheus Records also began their own limited edition series starting in 1999, which put Varèse in a very strong position to make good on their 1998 announcement.[22]

This time, the club would release titles at a quarterly interval with as many as four releases per batch and as low as one (i.e. Spartacus: Deluxe Edition, The List of Adrian Messenger). Their record for an announced batch is six titles which happened in December 2013. Unlike the original series, this version of the club also featured more box sets (i.e. Jerry Goldsmith at Fox, Bernard Herrmann at Fox, The Karate Kid, North and South, etc.), deluxe editions of previously released catalog titles greatly expanded from their commercial releases, live concert recordings that were featured in a CD/DVD hybrid (i.e. Alien: A Biomechanical Symphony, Fimucité Closing Night Gala) and a celebration set dedicated to the films of 1985 called At the Movies 1985 which came in a gatefold LP styled packaging featuring six CDs in LP reproduction slipcases. A new numbering system was devised consisting of the month then year followed by the limited edition number of copies.[22] The label has since reduced their output of club releases that had started with four then lowering it two or three titles at a time and three batches per year instead of four which they had done as recently as 2013.

This series also featured a popular staple to the club called the Encore Series, which were reissues of out-of-print catalog titles from the label's very beginning. This part of the club gave fans the opportunity to acquire these long out-of-print titles which also included some original Varèse Sarabande Club titles from the original series at the price of $15.98 with the run limited to 1000 copies only. Amongst the titles that were reissued they included Jagged Edge, Vibes, Eye of the Needle, The Boy Who Could Fly and the very last produced encore title, Raggedy Man by Jerry Goldsmith which was amongst the final releases by producer Robert Townson for the label.[65]

The first three releases of the reactivated club announced in November 2001 were Heartbeeps by John Williams (which was originally intended to be a part of the original club as part of the Masters Film Music Series), Project X by the late James Horner and a reissue of one of the LP catalog releases of Marie Ward [de] by Elmer Bernstein.[66]

The Limited Edition Series (2009–2018)[edit]

The Limited Edition Series was created in 2009 as an offshoot of the Varèse Sarabande CD Club with one major difference. The Limited Edition Series concentrates more on soundtrack titles for films that either have gone direct to digital, DVD or Blu-ray as well as some theatrical titles that received a very brief run, mini-series and television series such as Lost or Hemlock Grove. The majority of titles under this banner are limited to 1000 copies and look like the standard regular Varèse Sarabande mainstream releases with a small brown part containing the label's logo and white with their familiar lettering. Lost: The Last Episodes has the distinction of being the only title of more than 1000 copies produced with 5000 in this series. The label on occasion offered signed autographed booklets of these releases when available.[68]

The first releases in its debut were The Stoning of Soraya M. by John Debney and In the Electric Mist by Marco Beltrami in June 2009 and up to this point, Jim Henson's The StoryTeller by Rachel Portman is the final release under this banner at the moment.

LP to CD Series (2015–2016)[edit]

The LP to CD Subscription Series is another part of the label that was created and began in June 2015, which released titles from their past LP catalog that could be transferred from vinyl records to CDs for a fee of $10.00 per title per month plus $4.50 for shipping costs (automatically billed to a credit card) for 12 months finally ending in May 2016. This originally caused problems because many collectors did not want all of the titles that were being offered. The label then relented in the middle of the run and then offered the titles for sale individually for the same amount as the regular subscription. This started with Enola Gay by Maurice Jarre. Many chose to complete the run of twelve titles, not wanting to miss out on the titles being offered randomly and others chose to stop at some point.[69]

Each title was strictly limited for that particular month of release and would go out of print after that month passed. The label did not go back and reissue any the past titles that fans had missed. All the titles were announced randomly and not in the order of the number assigned to them. Each title was housed in reproduction LP jacket slipcases with all original artwork and lettering from their LP counterpart intact along with a disclaimer stating if the title came from a vinyl source in small print in which most cases were LP transfers because of missing master tapes in the Varèse Sarabande vaults. A few titles did come from master tapes that were available including Invitation au voyage.

The first title issued was April Fool's Day by Charles Bernstein (VLE-9200-02, June 2015) which came housed in a mini LP-style maroon carrying case with the Varèse Sarabande logo embossed in gold foil lettering and room to store all subsequent future LP to CD titles in the series. Magnificent Obsession was the final release of the subscription set released in May 2016. Fans wanted the series to go on, but the label did not want to continue it and there are no plans to bring it back.

The list reflects the assigned catalog number for each title and not the order in which the titles were released during the subscription.

This version of the list reflects the release month for each title that was sent randomly by the label and not the catalog number in which the titles were assigned for the subscription.

  • June 2015 April Fool's Day - Charles Bernstein
  • July 2015 Invitation au voyage - Gabriel Yared
  • August 2015 Let's Get Harry - Brad Fiedel
  • September 2015 Blind Date (1984) - Stanley Myers / John Kongos (songs)
  • October 2015 Enola Gay - Maurice Jarre
  • November 2015 Sister, Sister - Richard Einhorn
  • December 2015 The Whistle Blower - John Scott
  • January 2016 Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy - John Scott
  • February 2016 Bad Dreams - Jay Ferguson
  • March 2016 A Minor Miracle - Rick Patterson
  • April 2016 52 Pick-Up - Gary Chang
  • May 2016 Magnificent Obsession - Frank Skinner

[56] [70]

Masters Film Music (1986–1987, 1989–1992, 2002–2016)[edit]

This label imprint founded by Robert Townson in Canada with a record store and a few partners, first appeared with the original release of The Final Conflict[71] in 1986 after agreeing to a distribution deal after securing the rights to release the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith through Twentieth Century Fox. The sales of the album were an immediate success for both labels. Then the following year the soundtrack to Lionheart,[72] was released in two separate albums with the cooperation of the composer and forming a positive relationship with Goldsmith that would help Townson and the label move forward in its eventual success.

The label then became a full-fledged series of CDs when the club launched in 1989 and was also a part of the reactivated club in 2001 with the designation of the Special Release Series (SRS). These albums were licensed through A&M Canada and Decca International as Townson had secured the rights to reissue Goldsmith's The Boys From Brazil, Roy Budd's The Wild Geese, Goldsmith's live concert series with the London Philharmonia entitled Suites and Themes[73] and Bernard Herrmann's Obsession, which was one of his two final film scores before his untimely passing in 1975.[74] These were the first set of club CDs that were released and sold in unison with Varèse Sarabande CD Club releases. These, unlike the second generation of club volumes, did not change its numbering system when the club resumed production in 2001. This series also includes the first box set Varèse Sarabande ever produced Bernard Herrmann: The Concert Suites, which was an audiophile set of Decca re-recordings conducted by the composer[75] and two extremely short soundtracks at 20 minutes each in both Under the Volcano[76] which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1984 for its composer Alex North and Those Secrets by Oscar nominee Thomas Newman[77] dubbed as "mini-classics".

There were two confirmed cancellations of titles from the original set of releases which were Lilies of the Field and John Williams' Heartbeeps. No explanation to their cancellation has ever been stated, but Heartbeeps would be the first title to be released as part of the reactivated Varèse Sarabande Club in 2001 after three years of rumors and speculation that this title would be the one the label would reactivate the Soundtrack Club with after its announcement in 1998.[22]

Varèse 500 Series (2016–2017)[edit]

This was a very short-lived series that was unveiled in December 2016 which was similar to the Varèse Encore Series which was designed to reissue out-of-print titles from the commercial catalog from the beginning to the present. These featured new artwork and liner notes for each release which was limited to only 500 copies which is half the run of the Encore Series which was only 1000. Each disc was priced at $15.98 apiece and look similar to the standard releases with the distinct 500 prefix as part of the catalog number and a beautiful logo on the artwork featured.

The series looks to be dormant and unsuccessful as Concord has other plans for the label which include releasing new, older scores and expansions of their vast catalog.[78]


Andante Records (1982–1984)[edit]

This was an offshoot of the label created by Tom Null, which was meant to be dedicated towards classical releases during the early 1980s after the label had begun to be known for its very successful soundtrack releases. While it did concentrate on classical releases, it did attempt two soundtrack releases as a test which were the re-recordings of The Adventures of Robin Hood and Kings Row, both by Erich Wolfgang Korngold originally issued by the label on CD and LP. The prefix for the LPs started with AD and their CDs with ACD.

This label did not last long. It did try the newly minted CD format in 1984 with just a handful of releases and soon after was deactivated. A lot of the classical titles released on LP were then reissued as part of Varèse's 47000 CD series with the same contents and artwork.


Colossal Records (1989–1992)[edit]

This peculiar offshoot of Varèse Sarabande with a name inspired by their German counterpart, Colosseum Schallplatten, which was a short-lived (1989–1992) series that made available scores that were either vanity titles from television mini-series (i.e. Till We Meet Again, The Phantom of the Opera) or titles to lower-profile films (i.e. A Show of Force, Eve of Destruction). The lettering is similar to the regular Varèse Sarabande soundtrack releases with a major difference in both the logo and the spine which contained different colors (i.e. blue, green, purple, etc.) as well as the lettering as opposed to the regular Varèse Sarabande titles which had brown spines and white lettering as well as containing the catalog number (i.e. VSD-5200).[79] The titles on this subsidiary were paid for by the label itself and not by the composers as it had been rumored to have been which was confirmed by the label's executive producer Robert Townson when he was running the label.

The only title in this series, Bed and Breakfast looks like the standard Varèse Sarabande regular releases due to an error in the number sequence.

Digital Release Series (2003–present)[edit]

This section is dedicated to Varèse Sarabande titles that have been exclusively released as digital releases via various online websites including iTunes, Amazon and Tidal. Varèse first dabbled into this field in 2003 with their release of Trevor Jones' action score to the Alan Moore adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen[80] which met with a bad reception due to collectors wanting an actual physical CD and not a download. A similar situation occurred a year later with the score to the remake of Man on Fire[81] starring Oscar winner Denzel Washington, which was only released only as a digital release with nearly 80 minutes of music and later in the summer of 2004, a physical CD of that score was announced and released due to high demand. However, it was released as a condensed version with the digital release having more music.

In later years, the label released titles as digital only due to the soundtracks' running times or lack of commercial sales. These were often titles to smaller films in the independent market with some studio films being released only in this fashion as well as direct to video or straight Blu-ray or streamed movie titles or television series. Some titles such as The Limehouse Golem, Jasmine and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature have been the only titles thus far to be released as physical CD albeit in very limited quantities of up to 500 copies. A few titles, such as Erased, Drive Hard, Evidence and Imogene (Girl Most Likely) have appeared on Amazon as part of an on demand CDR series in conjunction with labels such as Sony Classical and WaterTower Music which have also appeared in this manner. Numbers in this series are totally random and do not go according to release date. They might also coincide with potential physical release numbers assigned from the main series (5200–7500) from announced releases that were later cancelled as physical CDs (e.g. Maggie, Jane Got a Gun, etc.).

The label's website also announces these digital only releases along with upcoming CDs and LPs in their upcoming releases.[82]

[82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87]

Vinyl (special editions and releases / reissues) (2013–present)[edit]

The label made a return to vinyl with reissues of some of their older albums on CD (Rudy, Star Wars Trilogy, Blade etc.) to capitalize on the current craze with the format. The label has reissued many titles as special editions in colored or unique vinyl along with new artwork in some cases to distinguish itself from their original LP issues or CDs. Many of these LPs were available through the website or through stores such as Barnes & Noble, Mondo and Fire Records as exclusives and many were released to promote Record Store Day. Many releases were limited to between 1000 and 3000 copies. Some titles are exclusive to the Varèse Sarabande website.

The cancelled albums (1987–present)[edit]

Like all record labels, Varèse has had their fair share of cancelled albums that were planned, announced to the public and for some reason, such as legal issues or failure at the box office, the recording is not published. There are other cases such as Elmer Bernstein's The Good Son and Brian Reitzell's 30 Days of Night in which the label announced a release only for another label to release it.

Many have what are considered "phantom" numbers during the early days of the label meaning that they were planned and given a catalog number and then be cancelled. Many of these "cancellations" are listed in the CD catalog throughout the 47000, 704, 5200, and 6000 series of releases as well as the Varèse Sarabande Club and Masters Film Music series. Many were announced at publications such as Film Score Monthly[88] and the Muze music database which provided information for CD releases in record stores. And eventually websites such as Amazon also offer the same information as part of their pre-orders.[89]

This list below corresponds to titles that were planned and announced by the label but were never fulfilled. Some pertain to legal publishing and copyright conflicts and others due to uncooperative studios, production companies and lost orchestral sketches, deteriorated, lost or misplaced recording session tapes. While the ones listed within the catalog do have an official number, others do not and will be labeled as VSDC-0000 (Varèse Sarabande disc cancellation) and year of announcement (1998, 2000, etc.).

  • SRS 2010 Lilies of the Field - Jerry Goldsmith (Planned, but cancelled. Reissued by Perseverance Records)
  • SRS 2012 Heartbeeps - John Williams (Planned, but cancelled – was the first title released for the reactivated club as well as being the first of the long-rumored titles announced in 1998 but released in 2001)
  • XCD-1001 Tiger Warsaw - Ernest Troost (Released on LP, planned for a CD release but cancelled)
  • VCD-47299 The Penitent - Alex North (Planned, assigned a catalog number and cancelled. Tapes are presumed lost)
  • VCD-70452 Two Moon Junction - Jonathan Elias (Released on LP and announced on CD but ultimately cancelled without explanation. Released in 1994 as VSD-5518)
  • VCD-70456 Bad Dreams - Jay Ferguson (Announced, assigned a catalog number and cancelled. Finally released as part of Varèse Sarabande's LP-to-CD Subscription Series)
  • VCD-70457 Dead Heat - Ernest Troost (Announced, assigned a catalog number and cancelled. Available on LP and cassette only)
  • VSD-5336 Dutch - Alan Silvestri / various artists (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled)
  • VSD-5362 Rock-a-Doodle - Robert Folk / T.J. Kuenster (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Released in Germany)
  • VSD-5387 Whispers in the Dark - Thomas Newman (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled)
  • VSD-5458 The Good Son - Elmer Bernstein (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Subsequently, released by Fox Movie Scores)
  • VSD-5474 Mother's Boys - George S. Clinton (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled)
  • VSD-5650 Time Life: Lost Civilizations - Joe Delia (Announced, assigned catalog number and then cancelled)
  • VSD-5745 Alaska - Reg Powell (Planned, assigned a catalog number and cancelled)
  • VSD-6016 Analyze This - Howard Shore / various artists (Announced, assigned catalog number and canceled)
  • VSD-6126 Wonder Boys - Christopher Young (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. A promo was produced and released for Oscar consideration)
  • VSD-6203 Legend: The Deluxe Edition - Jerry Goldsmith (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Reissued by Silva Screen Records in 2002)
  • VSD-6352 Dinotopia - Trevor Jones (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Released on CMP Records)
  • VSD-6751 Idlewild - John Debney (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. FYC promo exists)
  • VSD-6822 Lucky You - Christopher Young (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Composer promo featuring more music than planned for a regular public release was released soon after)
  • VSD-6858 30 Days of Night - Brian Reitzell (Announced, assigned a catalog number and cancelled. Released by Ipac Recordings in 2007)
  • VSD-6935 Righteous Kill - Edward Shearmur (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled)
  • VSD-7001 It's Complicated - Hans Zimmer & Heitor Pereira (Announced and immediately cancelled by Zimmer due to the brevity of the score. Released digitally through Back Lot Music)[54]
  • VSD-7035 The Special Relationship - Alexandre Desplat (Assigned a number, planned for release and cancelled. Released as part of the Limited Edition series. See above)
  • VSD-7323 The Newsroom - Thomas Newman / John Beal (Announced, assigned a catalog number and cancelled)
  • VSD-7344 Jane Got a Gun - Lisa Gerrard / Marcello De Francisci (Announced, assigned a catalog number and cancelled)
  • VSD-7360 Maggie - David Wingo (Digital download release, CD was planned but cancelled)
  • VSDC-1986 King Kong Lives - John Scott, the Graunke Symphony Orchestra (Planned as a 47000 title, the label made a deal with MCA Records to sell the release rights to them and the soundtrack was then released through them since MCA felt the movie would be a hit at the box office during Christmastime 1986. Richard Kraft and Tom Null are credited as executive producers on the album, which is the give away that the label produced this title first. MCA Records also planned this as a CD release but that never materialized due to the film's box office failure)[90]
  • VSDC-1997 The Relic - John Debney (Planned as a regular release as a late 5700 numbered title originally planned for a 1996 late summer release until the studio (Paramount Pictures) delayed the film until January 1997)
  • VSDC-1997/1998 The Great Escape - Elmer Bernstein (re-recording) the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Re-recording of score conducted by Bernstein which was recorded in 1997 and produced by Robert Townson which was eventually sold to RCA/Victor and released in 1999)[91]
  • VSDC-1997/1998 The Magnificent Seven - Elmer Bernstein (re-recording) the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Re-recording of famed score conducted by Bernstein which was recorded in 1997 and produced by Robert Townson which was eventually sold to RCA/Victor and released in 1999)[92]
  • VSDC-1998 The Die Hard Trilogy - Michael Kamen, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Planned compilation re-recording featuring suites from all three Die Hard films, was announced in 1998 and then subsequently cancelled soon after)
  • VSDC-1998 Franz Waxman: Legends of Hollywood: Volume Five - Franz Waxman, Richard Mills conductor. Queensland Orchestra (Announced in 1998 as another re-recording addition to their previously released four volumes of music for the legendary composer. Due to be recorded in late 1998, early 1999, this never materialized and nothing was heard of the project)
  • VSDC-1999 Bernard Herrmann at 20th Century Fox - Bernard Herrmann (Originally planned as a two-disc set of titles devoted to the Golden Age composer but this was cancelled and rethought as separate individual three-disc volumes featuring suites from various scores released during 1999 in this variation. In 2011, the label released a more comprehensive 14-disc limited edition box set featuring the material on the three volumes in complete form through the Varèse Club and was limited to 1000 copies)
  • VSDC-1999 Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox - Jerry Goldsmith (Originally planned as a two-disc set of titles devoted to the Oscar winning composer but this was cancelled. In 2004, the label released a more comprehensive six-disc limited edition box set the Varèse Club on Goldsmith's birthday (February 10, 2004) and was limited to 1500 copies that featured three discs of unreleased material in suites and almost complete scores due to the sources available at the time of release)
  • VSDC-1998 Godzilla - Akira Ifukube, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Planned re-recording to coincide with the release of the 1998 Sony film was cancelled due to legal rights with the Toho film company in retaining the material to re-record the music)
  • VSDC-2000 Highlander - Michael Kamen, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Planned re-recording of popular in-demand score under the baton of Kamen, was in the planning stages until it was put on hold due to the composer's failing health and never materialized)

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