Quartet Records and MGM present a 60th anniversary remastered 2-CD edition of one of the most famous western scores ever composed.
Directed by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carrol Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives, this epic western was based on the serialized magazine novel Ambush at Blanco Canyon by Donald Hamilton. The Academy-Award nominated score composed and conducted by Jerome Moross (The Valley of Gwangi, The War Lord, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Proud Rebel) is undoubtedly one of the most popular soundtracks ever released. It changed the landscape of western movie scores, veering the approach away from spare folk songs to a lavish, American-flavored orchestral sound—suggestive of the open-air music of Moross’ friend Aaron Copland.
A 30-minute selection with 12 tracks from The Big Country was released on LP in 1958 by United Artist Records in two versions: stereo and mono, although the “stereo” was electronically processed from mono tapes. This album was reissued many times on LP due the popularity of the score. In 1988, Silva Screen recorded an expanded selection in terrific stereo with Tony Bremner conducting The Philharmonia Orchestra. The 76-minute original score finally appeared in 1991 on a limited release from Screen Archives Entertainment that included the whole score (with some tracks not included in the final cut of the film) sourced from the composer’s personal tapes. La-La Land Records released the same selection in 2007, although that edition sold out and is selling for exorbitant prices on the secondary market.
The 60th anniversary of this masterpiece bring us the opportunity to revisit the score, fully restored and remastered by Chris Malone (in true mono sound, without any fake stereo image), fixing some imperfections inherent on all previous releases and making it sounds better than ever! On the second CD we have included both versions of the historic LP, the processed stereo and the mono, transferred from master tapes vaulted at MGM.
The package comes with a flipper-style, 24-page, full-color booklet including the two covers of the original album and detailed liner notes by Jeff Bond.