June 20, 2018

Spotify Update

I've created some more playlists on Spotify!

Here is what they, and what they're about:

The Joshua Tree (Complete Edition)
The album + its B-sides. Essentially, presents The Joshua Tree as a double-album.
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/3VDMzAMPok3LfxMKdLK1h6?si=ZMlEF3m2RD2IoD7WxX9hUw


U2: the Best Of (1980 - 2000)
The Best of 1980-1990 and The Best of 1990-2000 back-to-back, including B-Sides.
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/0BzPSCoOq1p3DsPwPY01m9?si=ECmLML2URzyyuX6xUxRdzw


It's Time To Let the Led Out
All deluxe edition bonus tracks, in order from the first album to the last labum.
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/55dyRkj2rhAgD6FPAxoDhk?si=8rgQEnpETJiPFbsG39lWzw


The Early Years: 1965-1972
All the content (that's on Spotify) from Pink Floyd's boxed set.
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/4Nq5HEkIV2ddKyYSK3WzqS?si=rkO93egYRZWtoDWmSWOzhA


Narnia: (TL, TW & TW) Complete Soundtrack
Both the soundtrack and 'inspired by' in one spot, collecting all released music for the film. (TL, TW & TW means The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.). I always have this in my winter listening rotation. 
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/2gJY03eHEfnyN0E4uc0899?si=ugDOOI57T_-6GavFr-kBRQ


Courage: The Best of The Tragically Hip (1987-2016)
All their singles in one spot. Year Favourites was great....but it wasn't every single, er, single from the band.
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/0KShYqrEP4eWujQPqpaulB?si=p4uMd_-2QC-xZoGrR_rMvg


The Story of Spartacus
All the soundtracks from the Starz series, that deal with Spartacus (no prequels)
Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/2m9hbatw6n5kp0h2kp4o8k789/playlist/6fEpcvSfZ5RI3cC8tTsPbX?si=b3-4gaK-RTuDVquujPhf9Q


June 17, 2018

Drinking: Tips and Advice

OK, I tend to cover a few comments throughout the course of this blog but wanted to do an overall post about....alcohol! Drinking!

Now I'm a responsible adult, and I indulge in moderation, but frequently, with 'over' indulgences occurring only a few times a year.

That being said, with 'drinking' as a hobby (boy that sounded wrong...) I picked up a few things I wish to share.

BEER

- kept it cold (or better yet, cool) as often as you can. Never stick it in the freezer
- store it vertically, especially if it's corked. If it's not corked and you need to lie it down, then stand it vertically twice the length of time it's been horizontal, just so it's not 'shaken' and everything settles
- keep an eye out on the freshness and best before dates.
- As stated before, keep it cool. That means fridge. don't set your fridge (if you have a dedicated beer fridge) too cold. If you can't store it in a fridge, keep it in the coldest spot you can.
- when storing it, keep it out of the sun.

RED WINE

- Never put it in the fridge
- if possible, kept it out the sun
- Never "fill" a wineglass up
...that's all I can think of in regards to the "nos" of wine

WHISKY

- store it vertically
- keep it out of the sun and heat as best as you can (why do you think whisky comes in a box?)
- keep it in the coldest spot (that;s nit the fridge) that you can)
- Do not keep whisky in the fridge
- if you use ice, don't use more than 2 cubes. 1 cube (the smaller the better) for Scotch


That's pretty much it!

I'm not assuming you don't know anything, but this post was designed for anyone 'getting into' drinking various alcohol, and wants to make sure they keep their investment (whether it's $10 or $1000) good and proper. Hey, if we have a question, someone on the internet has an answer.

Above all else - enjoy! Responsibly, of course...

The Legend of Zelda Wishlist


Without a doubt, Nintendo is hard at work, most likely in the very early stages of the next major Legend of Zelda game.

I doubt it'll be a "sequel" (or "prequel") to Breath of the Wild, but it'll still be a follow-up nonetheless. This post will examine what I would love to go into the next major Zelda title.

OPEN WORLD

One of the things I enjoyed about Breath of the Wild (as well as what I've played of the original title) is a large, vast world to explore. You could pretty much go anywhere you wanted, in (almost?) in order. I'd like to see what freedom return. However, I found Breath of the Wild to be too......empty. Sure there's shrines and towers scattered throughout, but I didn't get the sense that the world was populated. There was after all I think 5 main cities or settlements. In a giant game. That felt a bit....odd to me. I think Nintendo should find a balance of vast exploration mingled with more settlements and 'world' things, such as caves.

A great example of the type of open world approach I'd like to see would be something that we've seen in The Elder Scrolls series. 

This why having a powerful console would be beneficial to Nintendo - allowing them to do more with their games. It doesn't need to be 4K (though that would be nice).

NO GIMMICKS

One of the things I liked about Breath of the Wild was lack of a 'gimmick' or element of uniqueness. In past games, playing music was key to the game, as was turning into a wolf, sailing on a boat, or event travelling through time, or another dimension. For the next big game, I want none of that. Not that Nintendo handled it badly in the past or anything, but because I want a 'pure' / 'simple' Zelda game. I want Link to have the same 'form' (or age) through the entire game, and stay in Hyrule.

ART STYLE
I quite enjoyed the art design and look for some of the more recent titles in the series, such as Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild. I like the cel-shadedish look, and think it suits the Zelda series well. Also, this makes it possible to render large amounts of data, and big areas to seem bigger.

NO FORCED CONTROL METHODS

What I truly despised about Skyward Sword was the fact that the game was designed to use motion controls, thanks to being on the wii. Another thing that caused major annoyance on my part with Breath of the Wild was that some shrines force you to use gyroscopic controls to solve them. There's an option in-game to disable motion controls....yet, you need to move the controller around to solve some puzzle portions. UGH.

My ideal scenario would be this: motion controls of any kind would be 100% optional. If you want to use them go ahead. If not, that's fine. We should be able to use any controller in this new Zelda title, and not be forced in any way to use a specific type or control method.

MORE RUPEES AND FAIRIES

Another slight annoyance with Breath of the Wild was that you couldn't find rupees and fairies as easily as you could in previous titles. I would like to find fairies more frequently (not "often" but every once in a while would be great!) as well as rupees should be more commonplace. Of course, higher amounts, or higher single pieces being more elusive (green being the most common, silver or gold much more rare)

REVAMPED ITEM STYLE

OK, I get it: weapons break! I didn't mind the fact that weapons broke in Breath of the Wild - I just wish it was handled a little differently. For instance, I'm sure it's part of the nature of the game, but it'd be great to be able to BUY weapons, shields, and bows as easily as you could food, ingredients etc. You could even repair items that are 'badly damaged.' Or, perhaps you could make your own if you wanted to?

Also, in Breath of the Wild, I found much of the exploration was focused on climbing. Have a large open world (as stated above) but Link doesn't need to be able to climb everywhere. This would work for some items like the Hookshot coming back. Now, it doesn't need to be "oh you need to beat this dungeon to get this item in it." That I agree with. But have that type of item return. Also, as wide open as the world may be, perhaps a few barriers would be great. For instance if you're exploring a mountainous region, you may be barred for going further if there's a big gap. Or rocks in your way (bomb, enhanced strength, etc).

Also, bring back bottles! 

MAKE IT "CLASSIC" ZELDA

Please, make it a "Zelda" game, as well as in story mode.

I'd love to see Zelda, Ganon(dorf), Hyrule...all the classic staples. I'm not against ones that aren't, but for the next title a 'classic' (lore-wise in this sense) would be great. I'd also love to see caves, villages and dungeons return, as well as The Master Sword and the Triforce(s). Of course, the targeting system that's been a 3D Zelda staple since Ocarina of Time needs to return, as well.  

In terms of the story, I'd even be OK with a full, complete remake of the original game.

HAVE MULTIPLE METERS

I believe, like The Elder Scrolls, Link should have three meters:
Health / Hearts: hit points. Also have the 'pieces of heart' return
Stamina: allows you to run/sprint, climb, or perform powered attacks.
Magic: allows you to use magic        

HAVE MORE MUSIC

I'm not one of those that's complaining about "no music" in Breath of the Wild. I found the music and sound to be well done and quite atmospheric. However, the next game shouldn't focus solely on nature so much. Having a great 'overworld theme' like Hyrule Field (from either Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess) would be great, as would something akin to some of the overworld tracks from the Elder Scrolls series. I'd also like to hear familiar pieces as well. I was slightly disenheartened that Kakariko Village didn't have the familiar music. I even enjoyed the re-working of its theme in Twilight Princess.

In Breath of the Wild a few classic pieces came up such as the ranch theme at the stables, and in (and around) Hyrule Castle, which I found to be used quite well. 

In terms of how music should be used, I again point to The Elder Scrolls series.

CONCLUSION

I look forward to what Nintendo does next with Zelda, in regards to a main / core entry. I'd be fine with it not coming out on the Switch, as the game shouldn't be limited by a console's ability. Please note, I'm not saying that The Switch is 'limited', just that the next big title may be too grand for the Switch to handle, and may need to be released on something with more power. Heck, even Breath of the Wild had framerate drops, when docked. And it only reached 900p at the highest. 

I love the Zelda series, and enjoyed Breath of the Wild, however I'd like to see more traditional elements come into play the next go-around.   

June 11, 2018

Failed Franchises: Narnia


This is my first in a series of posts wherein I'll delve into what I like to call 'failed franchises'. This series is about films, or series of films, that have come to an unexpected end, or did not flat-out do well, in one sense or many. There's some slight bias, as this series of posts will cover some films that I personally hoped would do well, and get sequels.

It goes without saying, as you can see above, that I'll be starting with Narnia.

The first film, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, was released in December of 2005. It was quite successful in pretty much every sense in the word. From the first trailer (and just the way the film's logo was designed) you could tell that they were gearing up for a franchise. Disney and Walden Media obviously had hopes to adapt all seven books, in published order. Hence, why they began with the first Narnia book that was published.

Narnia is a series, although it's more 'episodic' in nature, and does not follow one giant plot (like The Lord of the Rings) or even to the degree of something like Harry Potter or Star Wars. The stories are almost standalone.......but not quite.

One thing I enjoyed the first film, was how the merchandising was handled. The same level of quality (or close to it) that went into The Lord of the Rings marketing and advertising also went into the first Narnia film: it wasn't just a 2-disc DVD, but it was nicely packaged. Things like that, for instance.

Next up was Prince Caspian...and here's where the trouble began. This isn't to say that Prince Caspian isn't a good book (or the rest of the Narnia series) but it seems to be the general opinion that The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the best one, or the most widely known. The problem with Prince Caspian wasn't the film itself. Sure there were a few minor changes, but take a look at the theatrical editions of The Lord of the Rings, especially The Two Towers. Some book purists were not satisfied with it, as they had been with the first film; as well as general movie audiences. No, the problem with Prince Caspian was WHEN it was released.

It was initially supposed to be released in December 2007. For some reason, Disney swapped its release date with another film called The Water Horse, which was slated for May 2008. That was a fatal move for Prince Caspian. And, for that, I blame both Disney and The Water Horse.

Moving Prince Caspian to may 2008 put it up against the likes of Speed Racer, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Oh, and a few weeks later - Hellboy II and The Dark Knight. What killed Prince Caspian's earnings was other films. People, as much as they may have liked the first Narnia film, flocked to see other movies instead, or first (dropping it's opening week / weekend numbers).

For some strange reason, Disney was surprised that Prince Caspian didn't do as well as the first, or as well as "expected." Here is where I'll interject - if you're doing a franchise of films, how each one does affects the likelihood of the next one getting made. This is why if The Water Horse came out in May, and failed, it wouldn't matter. Sure, it'll suck for the studio, those involved etc....but it's a standalone film. There aren't others in the series 'waiting' to get made; or dependent on its success.

Needless to say, Disney bailed, and 20th Century Fox took over. It sucked that Disney bailed, as they provided funding and distribution for the first two films. It was good that 20th Century Fox took over the franchise, as that meant we would get the next-published book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Dawn Treader was different from the first two films. This is due to another director taking over, new studio producers etc. But it didn't have too much of an impact on the aesthetics of the film: the Narnia stories were episodic, so each one being "different" somewhat works. Design and style (and title logos, etc) it meshes pretty with the first two films. Pretty good on that aspect, considering over the course of (at this point) three films, two studios were involved.

There were more changes to the film from the book than the first two combined. It still made for a decent movie, but not so much in the 'adaptation' department. Oh, and Spanish or not, I wish Caspian (played by Ben Barnes, now on Westworld) kept the same accent throughout the series (he appeared in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

Sadly, Voyage of the Dawn Treader did not do well at the box office, and thus, cemented Narnia's fate.

Slight dovetail here: I've always enjoyed the Narnia films. Maybe not as much as The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, but enough to see each one when they came out, buy the soundtrack CD, buy the DVDs when they came out...but I never got "hyped" for them. Again, this is isn't me saying "I didn't like them". I watched the first trailer for each film when they came out, saw the movies when they hit cinemas (but with Dawn Treader I went opening weekend, MAYBE opening night). I got the first film on DVD (2-disc DVD edition) for my birthday, and grabbed Prince Caspian when it was on sale within the first month of it coming out. With Dawn Treader, since the future of the franchise was up in the air, I pre-ordered the DVD. Nothing fancy - just the barest of releases. It was my intent that if they made all 7, I'd re-buy them all on blu-ray, or get the collection. Sadly, the franchise fizzled out.

[End of dove-tail] UNTIL......

The next book in the series (publishing order) is The Silver Chair. It's in pre-production! They're currently working on the script, and even have a director: Joe Johnston, who is most well-known for directing Jurassic Park 3 and Captain America. So these good signs! I'm looking forward to following the film's development as it happens (ie, the first poster, casting, trailer, etc.). So I'll "follow" the film but won't get "hyped" for it.

Given the fact that the film is still far from releasing, and given the Narnia's film history, one would debate if this franchise is classified as 'failed' if it's currently finding new life.

I hope that The Silver Chair does well enough for the rest of the books to get made: The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle. I also hope, that any future films have some degree of continuity and consistency. For starters, I hope that all the films have the same film logo. Throughout the years, the Star Wars logo has always had the same font. I'd be great to have Liam Neeson voice Aslan, where and when appropriate. Obviously, at this point Eustace will need to be recast. Getting Tilda Swinton for The Magician's Nephew would be awesome. For The Green Lady in The Silver Chair, I wouldn't say no to Swinton (as the same actress from the BBC production played both The White Witch and The Green Lady) though Eva Green, Kate Beckinsale or Cate Blanchette would be great choices as well (among others).I would love to have Bradley James (Arthur from Merlin) as Prince Rilian.

Possible directors I'd like to see helm a Narnia film would be: Christian Rivers (unless tied down to sequels of The Mortal Engines), Guilermo del Torro (with Doug Jones in a role - Puddleglum, perhaps....?) Alfsonso Cuaron, Jay Russell (he did The Water Horse....that'd be ironic), Robert Zemeckis, Duncan Jones, Wolfgang Petersen...and many others. I feel, with the names provided, if things work out in regards to studios, actors, budget, scripts etc that any of those names would be able to provide a great Narnia film.

Finally, some composers I'd love to hear score a Narnia film: James Newton Howard, Alexandre Desplat, Alan Silvestri, Vangelis, Thomas Newman, Clint Mansell, Trevor Morris, Daniel Hart, Ramin Djawadi, Bear McCreary....there's a whole bunch of talent out there.

As you can see, I admit to having a soft spot for the Narnia films. It's a franchise I've liked, and kept an eye out for, but is nowhere near being my favourite. While not perfect, or a "popular franchise" (in regards to the films, that is) they are still fantasy movies. It's also a series that I'd love to fully brought to screen. Hopefully The Silver Chair happens, and performs well enough to warrant the remaining books to be made, or if in a few years, the entire franchise is rebooted from scratch (I'd be in favour of the BBC (re) doing all the chronicles, or a series of films from Studio Ghibli or Studio Ponoc).

We'll see what the future holds, and how The Silver Chair goes. Hopefully, people will still care by that point.       

May 30, 2018

Speculation: Future "Lord of the Rings" LP Vinyl Releases



Please note: if there any plans to release these, please do not change them - I only guessing and speculating and providing feedback. I seek no credit nor monetary gain if my thoughts happen to be correct. 




With The Two Towers being released on vinyl at the end of July (and, most likely, The Return of the King sometime before 2019) I wanted to share some thoughts and musings about some other Lord of the Rings releases that could happen on the vinyl format.

It would also be neat if the original soundtrack releases made their way to vinyl.

The way that the vinyls for The Complete Recordings replicated the look and design of the original CDs, this could also be possible with the original soundtracks, should they arrive on vinyl.

Here's how I can see it looking:

- a vinyl boxed set featuring this design (front: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Agjd4kIBL.jpg . Back: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YWUcK4JxL.jpg  .

- the box would be a slipcase for the three soundtracks: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Each will also available on their own, as well.

- the vinyls will be black, 180g, and 'unlimited' (as in, not numbered or limited edition) and each soundtrack will be 2LPs, for a total of 6 LPs in the boxed set

- the cover artwork for the vinyls will be the same as the CD covers, depending on region (I say this, because the cover artwork was different for The Fellowship of the Ring, depending on country). The teaser images could also be used for the vinyl cover art: the Argonath poster for Fellowship, "The Two Towers" poster for The Two Towers, and Aragorn grasping Anduril by the hilt for The Return of the King.

- in the boxed set, as with the trilogy CD set, you'll get all the 'character cards' for all 3 soundtracks (perhaps make them vinyl-size appropriate?) Perhaps it could also be designed in such a way so that if anyone wants, they can use the cards as the 'cover' of the vinyl...?. A possible way to present them would be to have all the cards from all 3 soundtracks together in one 'book', exclusive to the boxed set. Another would be to have them in a sleeve, and all as separate prints.

- the booklets / liner notes reproduced and enlarged appropriate to the vinyl format.

As much as I love the complete recordings, and consider them the definitive editions of the soundtracks (like how the extended editions are the definitive editions of the films) I would not say 'no' to more Middle-earth music on vinyl.   

Long-Awaited Update

Hey all!

So I've finally got a chance to do a big update.

So much has happened over the past bit, I'll do my best to recall events.

First of all, everytime I wanted to do an update post, it seems I've had news of some kind to report on, usually Tolkien related.

I'll go back to April, and remember various things I wanted to address.

In April, I got my Fellowship of the Ring vinyl set. Also, as recently reported, I've also pre-ordered The Two Towers as soon as I saw it was up. I did that post within hours of my pre-order. I'm going to wait until I have all three before I open them and listen to them. From the unboxing videos I've seen on YouTube, as well as actually having the vinyl, It's quite awesome that the design aesthetic of the CD version was replicated. This also looks to be the case for The Two Towers, and most likely for The Return of the King as well (which will most likely be green.). One of my posts today (after this one) will be about me speculating on further Lord of the Rings or Hobbit releases on vinyl.

A few weeks later, I saw Infinity War. It was quite good, and the columination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. there will be other MCU films beyond Avengers 4 (which will end the giant arc and conflict with Thanos). I'm looking forward to more, as most of the MCU movies have been pretty good. The weakest, to me, would be Iron Man 2 and 3, possibly The Hulk, and Thor 2 was...decent.

I did a Tolkien recap, though I'm looking forward to a few upcoming releases: both the books from the exhibit in Oxford, as well as The Fall of Gondolin.

OttawaComicCon was pretty good, however I found the panels this year to be lacking (not the Q&A sessions - the panels). There wasn't any anime 101, intro to anime, etc...the guests were pretty decent, and I even asked a few questions: one to Karl Urban, and one to Doug Jones. I picked up a few goodies. I always set a specific budget each year. It's always fun to go: some years are better than others, but it really depends on what you're after and what you want to do at the con. Never go 'just for' one guest, though.

The May Long Weekend was pretty good - didn't get up to much but enjoyed the time off, weather....getting the BBQ and backyard summer-ready.

This past weekend, my lady's sister and her guy came visiting Canada from the US and stayed with us. He has never been to Canada, and enjoyed some of our cuisine (poutine (which, do his accent, he called "pootin" as opposed to poo-teen by pronounciation), maple bacon, a beaver tail, some Canadian craft beer, for starters. He also got to experience some Canadian culture. Mounties are not as in abundance one would think, and I believe that the moose should more associated with Canada than the beaver. We also hit up a few breweries: Dominion City, Stray Dog, and Beau's.

And that brings us to this week....so not too much going on, but wanted to share a few things here and there. 

May 23, 2018

Thoughts and Musing on Recent Tolkien News


While working on a draft or two for what I plan to write for my 'update post' (about me, primarily) there's been quite a few Tolkien announcements in a variety of fields, and medium. Considering this sort of a 'Tolkien re-cap' post, as well some speculation about various things on my end.

THE FALL OF GONDOLIN

The oldest piece of news which I'll address here is the surprise publication of The Fall of Gondolin! This came literally out of the blue. It will follow the same approach in structure and layout that Beren and Luthien did.

Christopher Tolkien has put the book together, and it'll be illustrated throughout by Alan Lee. It will be out in hardback, special edition (slipcased hardback) and ebook formats all on publication day.

My thoughts: at last we get separate books for all three of 'The Three Great Tales!' The others being The Children of Hurin and Beren Luthien.

Will The Fall of Gondolin be the final Middle-earth book, not counting future deluxe editions, anniversary editions, or illustrated editions of what's already out??

AMAZON LORD OF THE RINGS (or "Middle-earth") UPDATE

It's yet to be officially confirmed as everything's still quite early, but it appears that the forthcoming Amazon Middle-earth series (the first season, anyway...) will focus on a younger Aragorn. To brush up on the tale of Aragorn, check out this entry in Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth. Or, his page on Tolkiengateway.net. What I'll be doing to read up about everyone's favourite ranger, is check out Andrea P. Nicholl's book Aragorn. It's available as both paperback and ebook.

I'm quite looking forward to the Amazon series. Granted, it's still far ahead to form any kind of opinion. What I mean to say is, I'm looking forward to when the trailer launches, casting news, what the story for the show will be. Who will do the music? Will Peter Jackson be involved? (I'm not expecting him to be showrunner). Will there be merchandise exclusively available through Prime, or can anyone get the goodies?? So, I look forward to knowing more about this one.

THE HOBBIT FACSIMILE BOXED SET

Coming out in time for Hobbit Day 2018 is the special boxed set edition of The Hobbit facsimile by Harper Collins. If you're interested in this, be sure to get it from a source that sells the UK editions of the Tolkien books. As you may have seen my post earlier today, the contents (aside from the book itself) have been unveiled and we've gotten a small glimpse at them. I gotta say, I'm more interested in the extra content than I am the book itself. Not that I don't like The Hobbit or anything, but I'm referring to the package. I could care less about the original edition of the book, and am quite satisfied with Tolkien's 1951 revisions, as it ties into the great mythos of Middle-earth.

The extra goodies on the other hand are what I'm excited about. Now, I don't need another edition of the book known as The Hobbit, however in the box you get a special version of the map (moon-runes!), a CD of Tolkien reading from The Hobbit with extra readings on there (I'm expecting it to be somehow different than the Hobbit content found in the CD set called The Tolkien Audio Collection), a book about The Hobbit (which features extracts from Hammond + Scull's Tolkien Companion & Guide, as well as the expanded edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - which can be found on its own as well in a set called 'The Tolkien Treasury.' It will also feature some extra content about dragons....) Oh, and of course you get a facsimile edition of the first printing of the book.

My thoughts: as much as I love the Harper Collins Tolkien publications, some things in the past few years have rubbed me the wrong way. I'm talking about printers goofs, delayed publication dates, lack of stock near publication time....I get that printing books has its kinks and flaws sometimes, but their QA really needs work. Does type of thing only happen with their Tolkien titles? I mean, it's not like the company is brand new...they've been printing and publishing books for decades now - so why the hiccups with Tolkien related materials? In fact, this Hobbit boxed set is what the facsimile set sometime ago was supposed to be - but a few months before publication, Harper Collins decided to publish just the book instead of this elaborate set which is now just coming out. I remember that the product description has change don some retailers sites, as well their own I believe. Despite the occasional shortcomings here and there, they've done a bang up job in presenting Tolkien's works. 

THE TWO TOWERS ON VINYL LP & CD + BLU-RAY AUDIO

Last, but certainly not least, a few hours ago, The Two Towers soundtrack went up for pre-order on Amazon.com. It'll replicate the original CD+ DVD Audio release, which will feature blue as the colour, as well the vinyls themselves will be blue (making The Return of the King green). Just like with The Fellowship of the Ring, it'll also be re-issued on CD (and most likely digitally, as well: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Sptify...) with a blu-ray audio disc replacing the DVD-audio disc from the original set. The vinyl will be 5 LPs, and the CD set will be 4 discs (3 CDs, and the blu-ray disc).

If this pattern holds, then expect The Return of the King to come out Oct or Nov. The vinyl will likely be 6 LPs, and the the CD set could still sit at 4 discs. I say this because blu-ray discs can hold a lot more content than DVDs can. Due to the size of the score for The Return of the King, the original CD release had a double-sided DVD-Audio disc. Will the blu-ray disc have enough room for everything, or would it be a double-sided blu-ray audio disc, or two instead of one, making it a 5 disc set?Wwe will have to see.... But anyway!

Once The Return of the King is out on vinyl LP, I'm very curious of a few things:

- will these soundtracks be available on regular black vinyl, and not limited, for much less after?
- will they put out the theatrical / original (not 'complete') soundtracks on vinyl? If yes, and not too pricey, and if not too limited, I may grab those as well. I consider the complete recordings (the edition that's out on vinyl, CD + B-R A etc to be the 'definitive' editions, much how the extended editions are seen as likewise for the films themselves. But the more Middle-earth music I can get the better ;)). It could be individual releases, or a box set with all three soundtracks in it. I'm expecting 2 LPs per film, maybe...?
- will The Hobbit soundtracks be released on vinyl? [even if they aren't, that's OK. I would get them if yes] It would be neat to have all the Middle-earth movie soundtracks on vinyl
- depending on how things go with the Amazon series, I wonder if those soundtracks will also be available on vinyl....  

So that basically sums up my thoughts on the Tolkien stuff that's been happening lately. Great time to be a Tolkien fan!   

"The Two Towers" LP Vinyl & CD + blu-ray Audio Up For Pre-Order


The second Lord of the Rings soundtrack is making its debut on LP vinyl, and getting reissued on CD. There will be a blu-ray disc replacing the DVD from the original set.

As of now, Amazon.com is the only place to have pre-orders. The above image is from the initial CD set. With the vinyl release of The Fellowship of the Ring replicating the design and style from the CD set, it's safe to assume that this will likely be the case for The Two Towers.

Here is the pre-order link for the vinyl (which will be coloured blue, meaning that The Return of the King will be green). There will be 5 LPs : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D54LF9N/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1527109114&sr=1-1&refinements=p_32%3AHoward+Shore .

And here's the link for CD + blu-ray Audio. There will be 3CDs, and one blu-ray disc. set: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D515631/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1527109114&sr=1-2&refinements=p_32%3AHoward+Shore .

Both sets are set to arrive July 27. Expect it to arrive on digital formats, as well. I'll do another post once pictures etc are revealed. 

Here is the tracklisting for the vinyl release:

Side 1

  1. Glamdring
  2. Elven Rope
  3. Lost In Emyn Muil
  4. My Precious
  5. Uglúk's Warriors
  6. The Three Hunters

Side 2

  1. The Banishment of Éomer
  2. Night Camp
  3. The Plains Of Rohan
  4. Fangorn
  5. The Dead Marshes

Side 3

  1. "Wraiths On Wings"
  2. Gandalf the White
  3. The Dreams Of Trees
  4. The Heir of Númenor

Side 4

  1. Ent-draught
  2. Edoras
  3. The Court Of Meduseld
  4. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  5. The King's Decision

Side 5

  1. Exodus From Edoras
  2. The Forests Of Ithilien
  3. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)

Side 6

  1. The Wolves of Isengard
  2. Refuge At Helm's Deep
  3. The Voice Of Saruman
  4. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  5. The Story Foretold

Side 7

  1. Sons Of The Steward
  2. Rock And Pool
  3. Faramir's Good Council
  4. Aragorn's Return
  5. War Is Upon Us

Side 8

  1. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?"
  2. The Host Of The Eldar
  3. The Battle Of The Hornburg
  4. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall
  5. The Entmoot Decides

Side 9

  1. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  2. Master Peregrin's Plan
  3. The Last March of the Ents (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  4. The Nazgûl Attack
  5. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)

Side 10

  1. The Tales That Really Matter
  2. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)

And here is the tracklisting for the CD + blu-ray Audio set:

Disc: 1

  1. Glamdring
  2. Elven Rope
  3. Lost In Emyn Muil
  4. My Precious
  5. Uglúk's Warriors
  6. The Three Hunters
  7. The Banishment of Éomer
  8. Night Camp
  9. The Plains Of Rohan
  10. Fangorn
  11. The Dead Marshes
  12. "Wraiths On Wings"
  13. Gandalf the White
  14. The Dreams Of Trees
  15. The Heir of Númenor
  16. Ent-draught

Disc: 2

  1. Edoras
  2. The Court Of Meduseld
  3. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  4. The King's Decision
  5. Exodus From Edoras
  6. The Forests Of Ithilien
  7. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)
  8. The Wolves of Isengard
  9. Refuge At Helm's Deep
  10. The Voice Of Saruman
  11. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  12. The Story Foretold
  13. Sons Of The Steward
  14. Rock And Pool
  15. Faramir's Good Council

Disc: 3

  1. Aragorn's Return
  2. War Is Upon Us
  3. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?"
  4. The Host Of The Eldar
  5. The Battle Of The Hornburg
  6. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall
  7. The Entmoot Decides
  8. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  9. Master Peregrin's Plan
  10. The Last March of the Ents (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  11. The Nazgûl Attack
  12. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  13. The Tales That Really Matter
  14. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)

Disc: 4

  1. Glamdring (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  2. Glamdring (Dolby Stereo)
  3. Glamdring (Dolby Surround)
  4. Glamdring
  5. Elven Rope (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  6. Elven Rope (Dolby Stereo)
  7. Elven Rope (Dolby Surround)
  8. Elven Rope
  9. Lost In Emyn Muil (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  10. Lost In Emyn Muil (Dolby Stereo)
  11. Lost In Emyn Muil (Dolby Surround)
  12. Lost In Emyn Muil
  13. My Precious (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  14. My Precious (Dolby Stereo)
  15. My Precious (Dolby Surround)
  16. My Precious
  17. Uglúk's Warriors (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  18. Uglúk's Warriors (Dolby Stereo)
  19. Uglúk's Warriors (Dolby Surround)
  20. Uglúk's Warriors
  21. The Three Hunters (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  22. The Three Hunters (Dolby Stereo)
  23. The Three Hunters (Dolby Surround)
  24. The Three Hunters
  25. The Banishment of Éomer (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  26. The Banishment of Éomer (Dolby Stereo)
  27. The Banishment of Éomer (Dolby Surround)
  28. The Banishment of Éomer
  29. Night Camp (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  30. Night Camp (Dolby Stereo)
  31. Night Camp (Dolby Surround)
  32. Night Camp
  33. The Plains Of Rohan (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  34. The Plains Of Rohan (Dolby Stereo)
  35. The Plains Of Rohan (Dolby Surround)
  36. The Plains Of Rohan
  37. Fangorn (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  38. Fangorn (Dolby Stereo)
  39. Fangorn (Dolby Surround)
  40. Fangorn
  41. The Dead Marshes (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  42. The Dead Marshes (Dolby Stereo)
  43. The Dead Marshes (Dolby Surround)
  44. The Dead Marshes
  45. "Wraiths On Wings" (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  46. "Wraiths On Wings" (Dolby Stereo)
  47. "Wraiths On Wings" (Dolby Surround)
  48. "Wraiths On Wings"
  49. Gandalf the White (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  50. Gandalf the White (Dolby Stereo)
  51. Gandalf the White (Dolby Surround)
  52. Gandalf the White
  53. The Dreams Of Trees (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  54. The Dreams Of Trees (Dolby Stereo)
  55. The Dreams Of Trees (Dolby Surround)
  56. The Dreams of Trees
  57. The Heir of Númenor (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  58. The Heir of Númenor (Dolby Stereo)
  59. The Heir of Númenor (Dolby Surround)
  60. The Heir of Númenor
  61. Ent-draught (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  62. Ent-draught (Dolby Stereo)
  63. Ent-draught (Dolby Surround)
  64. Ent-draught
  65. Edoras (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  66. Edoras (Dolby Stereo)
  67. Edoras (Dolby Surround)
  68. Edoras
  69. The Court Of Meduseld
  70. The Court Of Meduseld (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  71. The Court Of Meduseld (Dolby Stereo)
  72. The Court Of Meduseld (Dolby Surround)
  73. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto) [Advanced Resolution Surround]
  74. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  75. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  76. Théoden King / "The Funeral of Théodred" (feat. Miranda Otto)
  77. The King's Decision (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  78. The King's Decision (Dolby Stereo)
  79. The King's Decision (Dolby Surround)
  80. The King's Decision
  81. Exodus From Edoras (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  82. Exodus From Edoras (Dolby Stereo)
  83. Exodus From Edoras (Dolby Surround)
  84. Exodus From Edoras
  85. The Forests Of Ithilien (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  86. The Forests Of Ithilien (Dolby Stereo)
  87. The Forests Of Ithilien (Dolby Surround)
  88. The Forests Of Ithilien
  89. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)
  90. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)
  91. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)
  92. One of the Dúnedain / "Evenstar" (feat. Isabel Bayrakdarian)
  93. The Wolves of Isengard (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  94. The Wolves of Isengard (Dolby Stereo)
  95. The Wolves of Isengard (Dolby Surround)
  96. The Wolves of Isengard
  97. Refuge At Helm's Deep (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  98. Refuge At Helm's Deep (Dolby Stereo)
  99. Refuge At Helm's Deep (Dolby Surround)
  100. Refuge At Helm's Deep
  101. The Voice Of Saruman (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  102. The Voice Of Saruman (Dolby Stereo)
  103. The Voice Of Saruman (Dolby Surround)
  104. The Voice Of Saruman
  105. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  106. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  107. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  108. Arwen's Fate / "The Grace of the Valar" (feat. Sheila Chandra)
  109. The Story Foretold (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  110. The Story Foretold (Dolby Stereo)
  111. The Story Foretold (Dolby Surround)
  112. The Story Foretold
  113. Sons Of The Steward (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  114. Sons Of The Steward (Dolby Stereo)
  115. Sons Of The Steward (Dolby Surround)
  116. Sons Of The Steward
  117. Rock And Pool (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  118. Rock And Pool (Dolby Stereo)
  119. Rock And Pool (Dolby Surround)
  120. Rock And Pool
  121. Faramir's Good Council (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  122. Faramir's Good Council (Dolby Stereo)
  123. Faramir's Good Council (Dolby Surround)
  124. Faramir's Good Council
  125. Aragorn's Return (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  126. Aragorn's Return (Dolby Stereo)
  127. Aragorn's Return (Dolby Surround)
  128. Aragorn's Return
  129. War Is Upon Us (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  130. War Is Upon Us (Dolby Stereo)
  131. War Is Upon Us (Dolby Surround)
  132. War Is Upon Us
  133. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?" (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  134. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?" (Dolby Stereo)
  135. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?" (Dolby Surround)
  136. "Where Is The Horse And The Rider?"
  137. The Host Of The Eldar (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  138. The Host Of The Eldar (Dolby Stereo)
  139. The Host Of The Eldar (Dolby Surround)
  140. The Host Of The Eldar
  141. The Battle Of The Hornburg (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  142. The Battle Of The Hornburg (Dolby Stereo)
  143. The Battle Of The Hornburg (Dolby Surround)
  144. The Battle Of The Hornburg
  145. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  146. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall (Dolby Stereo)
  147. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall (Dolby Surround)
  148. The Breach Of The Deeping Wall
  149. The Entmoot Decides (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  150. The Entmoot Decides (Dolby Stereo)
  151. The Entmoot Decides (Dolby Surround)
  152. The Entmoot Decides
  153. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  154. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  155. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  156. Retreat / "Haldir's Lament" (feat. Elizabeth Fraser)
  157. Master Peregrin's Plan (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  158. Master Peregrin's Plan (Dolby Stereo)
  159. Master Peregrin's Plan (Dolby Surround)
  160. Master Peregrin's Plan
  161. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  162. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  163. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  164. Théoden Rides Forth (feat. Ben Del Maestro)
  165. The Tales That Really Matter (Advanced Resolution Surround)
  166. The Tales That Really Matter (Dolby Stereo)
  167. The Tales That Really Matter (Dolby Surround)
  168. The Tales That Really Matter
  169. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)
  170. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)
  171. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)
  172. "Long Ways to Go Yet" / "Gollum's Song" (feat. Emiliana Torrini)