I love aviation. I’ve always loved flying. I’ve always wanted to
do a movie about flying. And I would love to do it.

—  James Horner —

Complete James Horner soundtrack soars on 2-CD set! One of Horner’s most popular scores, one he was particularly fond of, lands with more than 20 minutes of previously unreleased score!

Just over a year ago the world lost maestro James Horner in a tragic accident. A year later we are still devastated by the loss, but resolved to continue to celebrate and preserve his musical legacy for generations to come.  As part of that mission, and to keep his music in the forefront of our thoughts, Intrada presents an expanded edition of one of his most beloved scores, the 1991 Hollywood Pictures film, The Rocketeer.   The score is particularly fitting because it embodies his passion for flying.  But few films were about flight, at their core, the way The Rocketeer is, and Horner seized the opportunity to pen a musical love letter to his muse.  He composed one of his most straightforwardly leitmotif-laden scores, with a main theme featuring two distinct personalities: one a calm, majestic melody, lovingly introduced over the film’s main titles; the other with a rocket pack strapped to it, ushered into service for action sequences. Horner wrote two other major leitmotifs: a pining, damsel-in-distress theme for Jenny, and a simple, slithering line for Neville Sinclair. The latter is a slice of uncomplicated menace, usually crawling upward on a solo woodwind or brass instrument. The former is a vintage love theme, oozing old Hollywood. Passion, wavering loyalties and danger are all cooked into Jenny’s theme, which Horner cleverly braids into the Rocketeer theme or Sinclair’s slimy motif as the story demands.

For this important new presentation of James Horner’s dynamic score for The Rocketeer (including over 20 minutes of music not previously released), Intrada was given access to the complete scoring sessions captured on Sony PCM 3348 format 48-channel digital tape and mixed by Shawn Murphy to digital two-track stereo. We feature the entire 82-minute film soundtrack on CD 1 and the first part of CD 2. Following that, we present the original 1991 CD with its remixed album versions and various differences. After creating their film mixes, Horner and Murphy created several special album remixes. The remixes often spotlighted instrumental colors in ways that were different from the film versions, depending on what Horner was most interested in focusing on between the two mediums. In addition, knowing an album was planned, he composed and recorded a fully developed version of the love theme specifically for the CD, slated simply as “Love Theme” in the sessions and titled “Jenny” on the album.

Walt Disney Pictures presents, Joe Johnston directs, Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Sorvino, Timothy Dalton star. 1938. Nazi’s on the rise. All-American pilot Cliff Secord finds jetpack, suddenly becomes crimefighting hero The Rocketeer. Jenny Blake is his sweetheart, Neville Sinclair his evil nemesis, Peevy his mentor. All become embroiled in rip-roaring heroics and dazzling derring-do. Flying high alongside them is incredibly rousing, tuneful James Horner score. Primary theme for Cliff’s aerial exploits and dashing rescues anchors the action, dark low brass motif for Sinclair provides edged contrast. Gorgeous love theme also has its say, especially in richly developed treatment Horner recorded especially for the album. Even a couple of big-band standards in fresh arrangements made by legendary Billy May (Horner was particularly fond of 30’s and 40’s-era swing music) appear in both picture and album. Orchestral spotlight goes to “The Flying Circus”, an exciting tour-de-force for orchestra. Trumpets get a sizzling workout! Supercharged action also rears with “South Seas Send Up” (titled “Jenny’s Rescue” on the 1991 album) plus lengthy action finale, “The Zeppelin”. New cues include important early sequences “The Gizmo”, “Finding The Rocket”. Other new highlights: “Testing The Rocket”, “The Laughing Bandit”, “Lothar Gets Wilmer”. CD 1 (and part of CD 2) features everything Horner recorded for the film, including all scoring cues intact and uncut plus both big-band arrangements. Horner was fond of his 1991 album presentation, featuring his favorite highlights, often with unique edits, special takes and album remixes.

Intrada happily keeps that album intact on CD 2. For this important presentation, Intrada was given access to the complete Sony 3348 format 48-track session masters vaulted by Disney in pristine condition and mixed to two-track digital stereo by Shawn Murphy. 20-page booklet with profuse color stills, text by Tim Greiving plus “flipper-style” cover designed by Joe Sikoryak adds touch of art-deco elegance to rewarding project. Fun tidbit: Horner was one of the very few composers who actually scored full end titles rather than leave them to music editors to “cut and paste” from existing cues. Typically he concluded them on exquisite, pianissimo chords for strings. The Rocketeer end credits instead climax in spectacular fashion with a resounding fortissimo coda for full orchestra. Bravo Maestro! John Neufeld, Elliot Kaplan, Billy May, Conrad Pope orchestrate, James Horner composes, conducts.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 357
Date: 1991
Time: 139:18

CD1 Original Film Soundtrack
01. Main Title (4:43)
02. The Gizmo (3:25)
03. Finding The Rocket (1:52)
04. Neville And Eddie (1:07)
05. Testing The Rocket (2:40)
06. Lothar Gets Wilmer (1:44)
07. The Helmet (0:45)
08. The Laughing Bandit (1:10)
09. Neville Eavesdrops (1:25)
10. The Flying Circus (6:35)
11. A Hero Is Born/Bye Bye Bigelow (2:51)
12. Begin The Beguine (3:44)
13. Jenny’s Rescue (3:52)
14. Love Theme* (5:10)
15. Cliff To The Club (0:49)
16. Cliff The Waiter (0:32)
17. When Your Lover Has Gone (3:28)
18. South Seas Send Up (3:43)
19. Neville Sinclair’s House (7:19)
20. Cliff Caught (1:38)
21. Rendezvous At Observatory (8:10)
CD1 Total Time: 67:23

CD2 Original Film Soundtrack (Continued)
01. The Zeppelin (7:56)
02. End Title/End Credits (6:30)
Total Time: 14:32
Total Soundtrack Time: 81:55

1991 Soundtrack Album
03. Main Title / Takeoff (4:43)
04. The Flying Circus (6:23)
05. Jenny* (5:10)
06. Begin The Beguine (3:44)
07. Neville Sinclair’s House (7:20)
08. Jenny’s Rescue (3:21)
09. Rendezvous At The Griffith Park Observatory (8:10)
10. When Your Lover Has Gone (3:28)
11. The Zeppelin (7:56)
12. Rocketeer To The Rescue/End Title (6:30)
Album Total Time: 57:16
CD2 Total Time: 71:55
*Not Featured in Film