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September 08 2008

Buffy score CD hits stores. The album consists of music by Christophe Beck from seasons 2-5 and is also available at Amazon MP3 and the (U.S.) iTunes Store — the latter of which adds two bonus tracks to the album version. European release date is September 15.

Aww man. Bonus tracks only on the iTunes release? AND one of which is the Willow and Oz theme? I guess two purchases are imminent now. :P
Hope this isn't too much of a "double post" =). After all, today *is* the release date.

Although I'm in Europe, I managed to buy it from the U.S. iTunes, and compare it to Beck's promotional CDs. Findings:

* It's much better mixed, leading to much clearer audio in pieces like "Sugar High".

* There are weird cuts (inaudible, if you haven't heard the promotional CDs):
- 10 seconds of the ending of "Remembering Jenny", which also has some piano notes added at the very end.
- a few seconds of quiet intro on "Sugar High"
- "Kralik's House" is completely recut
- "Magic Snow Music" cuts 45 seconds of intro until the oboe "solo" enters
- "Faith's End" cuts out almost a minute in the middle

I really see no reason for those cuts, since there's plenty of time left in terms of CD length. But whatever, the tracks still work.

* The tracks (thankfully) don't segue into one another, as they did on the promotional CDs (which made some of the tracks rather less shiny for random playback)

Lots of goodies in terms of the new stuff. I love "Spellbound" - even if it was mostly music-only in the episode, this brings so much more clarity to the arrangement.

"A Really Big Sandbox" (from that exact moment in Restless) has record noise, which is not a mistake, since records were used to give it its distinctive sound.

"Spaghetti" is, as expected, from the end of Giles' dream, facing the First Slayer.

However, "Body Paint" is not actually from Willow's dream, but rather the beginning of Giles' dream, hypnotizing Buffy and walking the graveyard fair. It uses the same theme as in Willow's dream, though, but with different instrumentation.

"Xander's Nightmare" is the bit playing over Xander's run through the connected sets of Buffy until the slayer rips his heart out.

"Sacrifice" is, as the title indicates, an alternate version, although I'm quite sure I've heard it before. The beginning is the same as on the "Once More With Feeling" soundtrack, but the climax is rewritten -- and less climaxy.

And seeing as there's plenty of material from the promotional CDs not to be found here, and a whole lot from season 4 that still hasn't been released at all, I guess we might expect/hope for a second CD at some point. =o)

[ edited by Serge on 2008-09-09 08:14 ]
@Rhodey: Two purchases here too. I'm not a fan of iTunes non-plus quality. =oP But can't buy from Amazon MP3. So I'll get the CD release too (which I would anyway).

Although I must say, "Willow and Oz" isn't really that distinctive to my ears. Never was in the series either. "Thanksgiving Brawl" is a fun piece of action music, though, although it has quite a few similarities to "Faith's End", but without quite as much "punch".
It was about time they relesed an album like this, cant wait to buy it. Im not so fond of the two version thingy though.
Hmmm, Amazon lists the album as being at least a dollar cheaper than on iTunes (not sure what the tax is on both, though iTunes seems to charge more than a buck extra just for using their services). It's also DRM-free, as well as a higher audio quality/bitrate (256kbps) than in iTunes (I think iTunes is only 128). However, iTunes does have those two extra tracks... Hmmm, I need help. Can anyone with better knowledge of both Amazon and iTunes music stores give some advice on how to handle this?
By the way, does anyone know if the actual, physical album has liner notes from Chris Beck? If it did, I might be more inclined to purchase a hard copy of the CD, rather than a digital download.
By the way, does anyone know if the actual, physical album has liner notes from Chris Beck?

I was wondering about that too and if there was an intro from Joss as well?

By the way, does anyone know if the actual, physical album has liner notes from Chris Beck?

I was wondering about that too and if there was an intro from Joss as well?
Simon | September 09, 08:57 CET

Maybe someone will post a review on Amazon, for those of us who are really broke patient, and have no great love for iTunes.
Amazon did ship my copy over the weekend, but it'll be at least another two weeks before it arrives.
I was JUST thinking I wanted something like this. Like, moments ago when I randomly woke up to 'Sacrifice'. Freaky!

And is there some reason 'Close Your Eyes' isn't on here, or is that being titled 'Massacre'?

And back to 'Sacrifice'; that piece of music has the power to make me get teary if I listen to it all the way through. Gorgeous, haunting piece of music.
Serge could the 'Sacrifice' theme be the one from Bargaining Pt 2? I was always sure that they tweaked that at the end.
@CarpeNoctem: I guess they didn't want to use previously (officially) released material, and left it out because it's on the Buffy soundtrack CD ("BtVS - The Album"). Or there were rights to clear with WB, since they released that one.

Evidence points to the former (not rereleasing stuff), since the version of "Sacrifice", as mentioned, is also an alternate version. If anyone can tell me where I've heard that version before, that'd be great =)

ETA: That might be it, Leaf, I'll check.

"Massacre" is the piece for the end of "Becoming Part 1", where Buffy fights with Angel while Drusilla and the gang are at the library. It does include the "Buffy/Angel" theme, though (as does "Moment of Happiness").

[ edited by Serge on 2008-09-09 11:36 ]
@Leaf: And yep, that's the one. "Sacrifice, alternate version" is heard at the end of Bargaining, Part 2 (as well as in the "previously" segment of Bargaining, Part 1). Totally forgot that scene (haven't seen much of season 6 for years).

[ edited by Serge on 2008-09-09 11:57 ]
I know it's not on the CD, but listen to "Love is Forever" from season two's "I Only Have Eyes For You" and tell me if anyone else agrees with me that piece sounds very similar to Beck's later work on "Hush" from season four. Is it just me?
How is the soundtrack at the above link different from this listing?
Hobnail - That soundtrack (from 1999) features mostly pop music from the first four seasons. The new soundtrack is a collection of Christophe Beck's score music.
Thanks Serge. I love that reworking of it, will be looking forward to the UK release (even if it is almost £20...).
Hmm I wonder if the European version will contains those bonus tracks or more.
I think I'm gonna buy the cd and then download the 2 bonuses off itunes.
kungfubear, I bought it from Amazon to save the $1. (I have nothing against iTunes or DRM, I would have bought it there if it was cheaper.) After hearing the samples of the iTunes bonus tracks I didn't feel a need to own them. Plus I figured if I decided to buy just 1 of them later, I'd still have paid $9.98 total, saving a cent over the iTunes album. =)

BTW, a 128kbps AAC (iTunes) sounds better than a 128kbps MP3. Not as good as a 256kbps MP3 (Amazon) surely, but maybe in the neighborhood of a 160kbps MP3.

ETA: Amazon claims they use variable encoding "aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second", but these tracks range from 196 to 245. (The Southland's album I bought there ranges from 206-265.)

[ edited by jam2 on 2008-09-09 15:39 ]
kungfubear Ok, I'm listening to "Love is Forever" now. I think I see what you're hearing. Or...hear what you're saying. Or...oh, cark it.

Yes, it does have some similar..."vibes" to "Hush." Not...whiny, exactly, but...very melancholy. Very string-heavy, I believe. Good catch.

Leaf, Serge "Sacrifice" is from "The Gift," is it used somewhere else, especially a couple years before it was written? Or am I very confused here?

Does anyone know if Wal-Mart will carry it?
ShadowQuest, Bargaining, not Becoming. It's the very next episode after The Gift. =)
Does anyone know if Wal-Mart will carry it?

Not sold in store according to their website.

jam2 Ahhh. Darn that Joss and his episode names!

That makes much more sense now. And...ooh! I don't have much from Season Six, so that's cool. I've got "Dawn's Ballet" and "Broom Dance/Grr Argh," even though Grr should go at the end - I don't know anything about editing so I can't just slice it off the end of "Broom Dance" and put it at the end of my play list. Besides, that ends with "Final Battle" from "Chosen" and the little falsetto grrargh wouldn't really fit there.

Simon Those pooh-heads! Now where am I gonna get it?? I don't have a CC or PayPal, so ordering from Amazon is out of the question. And we don't have a B&N or any other place up here I can order it from. Grrrrr! This is my not-happy face.
I can't wait to see if iTunes 8, hopefully released today, will bring DRM-free only music. But as Jam2 stated this album is currently only 128 ACC. :(
EDIT: Nope, iTunes 8 is not DRM-Free

ShadowQuest I can have Amazon send it to you, just e-mail me. (iphone at wilhelmwolf dot com) we can work out the details.

[ edited by Wilhelm on 2008-09-10 05:35 ]
Amazon will do anything to get your cash- as well as accepting direct debits from your bank account, they accept cheques and money orders. You basically place your order online and then post in your payment, which takes a little longer but is still an option if you don't 'do' CC's.
And I can't speak for other countries, but Downunder we can pick up temporary Visa cards from our local post office. You pay the value of the card ($50 or $100) and an additional few dollars surcharge, my teenage nephews use them online all the time.

Disclaimer- I am not, by the way, affiliated with Amazon, Visa, or Australia Post!
Thanks to all for the added info. Very helpful. I think I may just get the two bonus tracks from iTunes and then get the rest from Amazon. Still not entirely sure, but that's what I'm leaning towards. I already have half the album (in 320kbps!), from when they were on the promotional CDs. So, that's been a factor. I'm mostly happy for all the previously unavailable cues from "Restless" in season four, but I still wish that I had the piece from that episode when Joyce is talking to Xander in the hallway and asks, "Would you like to rest for a while?"

Because, well, I'm just greedy like that. :)
I thought you couldn't get iTunes bonus tracks unless you bought the entire album from them. Not true?
Nope, every song is sold individually. $.99
@Invisible: I thought so too - at least they used to be, but in this case, there's a "Buy Song" button next to the two bonus songs too. Very decent of them =)

And sorry for maybe adding confusion in the middle of things by changing my nickname from Serge to Kaneda -- wanted to do that for two years, and just found out that Whedonesque does allow you to (unlike 99% of other blogs and forums) =) Won't be changed again.
Now you just need someone called Tetsuo so you can shout back and forth ;).

(and thanks for the breakdown of the tracks, whatever your name is ;)
@Saje: Exactly =)

And you're welcome. Mainly wanted to shout out about the cuts, because the one in "Faith's End" really annoys me. =)
Today, I discovered that on you can download yet another web-exclusive bonus track from the episode “Restless” called “2 girls, 1 van”. So if anyone was interested… ;-) Any additional info about the track from people who heard it would be appreciated, since, unfortunately, I myself cannot buy it. :-(
It sounds great, but it is just a pity that there is so much other material that has still yet to be released. I have been rewatching early season 6 recently and there is one theme which I really like. I'm pretty sure it was playing in the scene where the gang are bidding farewell to Giles at the airport in Bargainning. It's subtle but moving.

And of course I'd love it if we could get a release of Anya singing "Mrs" in Selfless, especially because the only version we have is the one in the episode which cuts off abruptly before the song is finished. The same goes for "The Exposition Song" from Restless.
I bought the cd yesterday and I'm a bit dissapointed in that there are no liner notes/messages from Joss or Chris Beck about the songs. Compared to the Angel and OMWF albums, this Score album seemed kinda cheaply put together.
Hello everyone!
I'm a huge huge fan of the score from "Buffy" and I bought the CD of the score, but I can't buy the bonus tracks since I am not a US resident. What a shame! Could someone PLEAAAASE help me to have them? I would be very very grateful!!!!!!!!

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