Varese Vs. Rhino…

In conclusion to the posts detailing the Superman Soundtrack library I present this fascinating pair of double disc releases from 1998 and 2000, respectively. These infinitely contrasting CD’s are notable for being the first full rehashes of John Williams original score since the 1978 soundtrack album, supplemented by previously unreleased material. Curiously, Varese Sarabande were there first, with a 20-track adaptation ably performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Emmy Award winning composer (SeaQuest DSV) John Debney. Simply but gracefully presented, the set makes up for any lack of WB involvement by utilizing hitherto unseen paintings for Superman: The Movie by Bob Peak for the cover and liner notes (2nd and 4th pics). This, plus the never-before-published music from The Helicopter Rescue (Disc 2, Track 1) quickly made the album a must-have and somewhat of a rarity today.
Not be outdone, two years later Warner Brothers Archive label Rhino would offer a humdinger of a package as a sparkling update/re-issue of the original John Williams material that re-addressed the balance by offering 35 tracks of remastered music mostly peppered with previously unreleased material.  Exquisitely packaged, with an holographic slipcase and colour liner-notes, this Michael Matessino-produced spectacular was considered definitive until the discovery of even better source material during research conducted for the upcoming Superman: The Movie Special Edition on DVD. It would be the best part of a decade before the reels discovered in Pinewood’s vaults would yield the ultimate box-set…