Music by Richard Band

Intrada’s latest album featuring the music of composer Richard Band presents his previously unreleased score to the 1989 Empire sci-fi film Arena. Band felt the music needed a thematic and driving futuristic feel to it like The Running Man, Blade Runner and Logan’s Run. The music is at times strongly melodic, highly charged, rhythmically exciting and, at one point, even richly sensual. It’s complex and scored in a symphonic idiom, albeit realized electronically. It’s the score that inspired Band to completely redesign his studio to allow him to better incorporate electronics into his work.

Richard Band climbs into battle mode with sci-fi soundtrack premiere to Arena! Empire Pictures presents, Charles Band executive produces, Paul Manoogian directs, Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo write, Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Camp, Claudia Christian, Marc Alaimo, Shari Shattuck star. Planets far and wide send their best fighters to the Arena aboard a space station ruled by aliens. Enter Steve Armstrong and hopes for the human race. His main opponent: a fearsome extraterrestrial crime lord determined to see Armstrong dead. As composer Band exclaims: It’s the grudge match of the millennium! Moving from his orchestral work to his synthesizer period, Band scores the action using both Fairlight and Synclavier keyboards with Gary Chang as programmer.

Band creates a vivid futuristic world of alien combatants with music both thematic and exciting. Ideas for human hope and love have melody, material for the combat offers energetic rhythms, propulsive action. Band scores everything in a symphonic idiom, allowing for an array of accessible themes and motifs and a dazzling array of color. Highlighting everything are the final four sequences. Combined, they dish up a rewarding feast of intense action and heroics and climax with an optimistic finish. Band has always been comfortable writing for both orchestral and electronic music. He provides either genre with highly rewarding music featuring his own unique harmonic vocabulary. Arena is amongst the best of the latter.
Band included an array of synthesizers and electronic percussion in the stereo mix, and then added live percussion onto a third discrete channel. Working from the original ½” elements, Intrada mixed the separate percussion track into the center channel with the left and right synthesizer mixes and created a new composite two-track stereo mix of everything for the CD.

Far in the future, on a distant space station, the legendary Arena is where the best fighters from every planet come to vie for the championship. But for over half a century, no Earthling has been good enough to be a contender. Now, out of nowhere, comes an underdog: the great human hope: Steve Armstrong. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s strong … and the best anyone’s ever seen. He’s been training all his life for a shot at the big time, but now he’s up against some mighty big muscle: a ruthless extraterrestrial crime lord who’ll pull no punches to make sure he stops Steve dead. When Steve finally gets the chance to take on a bloodthirsty alien for the galactic championship, it’s the grudge match of the millennium!

The entire CD has been mastered from 1/2” stereo masters vaulted in pristine condition. Colorful graphic design by Kay Marshall and a brief note from composer Band complete the package. Richard Band, Gary Chang produce, Richard Band composes.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 361
Date: 1989
Time: 49:04
Tracks: 20


1. Main Title (3:34)
02. But Is He A Sportsman (1:40)
03. Horn Goes Berserk (1:59)
04. I Had This Dream (1:18)
05. It’s Only The Skull (0:53)
06. Who The Hell Is Fang (2:22)
07. Let’s Get The Hell Out Of Here (1:52)
08. I Want My Money Back (2:14)
09. I’ve Already Got A Job (1:08)
10. Steve Fights Sloth (1:43)
11. Nobody Tells Me What To Do (1:21)

12. A Token Of Our Appreciation (2:27)
13. You Lose Control Of Everything (0:26)
14. Meet Me At My Place Tonight (1:11)
15. You’re Not Falling For Him (3:20)
16. It’s Up To You, Quinn (1:26)
17. Fix The Handicapper (7:30)
18. I Don’t Have Any Strength Out Here (4:13)
19. Steve Wins (3:45)
20. As Long As There Are Steve Armstrongs (4:20)