NEW EDITIONS OF 48 HRS. AND ANOTHER 48 HRS. INTRADA HITS HARD!
"He was way ahead of the curve on combining orchestral and electronic. His scores were very special that way," says Walter Hill in an exclusive interview for our book on James Horner currently in progress. "They used to divide these things up into very clear lines, and he broke a lot of those lines down, and broke the barriers. It gave him a very unique sound."
At first sight, these new editions could seem optional. Intrada had already proposed an edition of 48 Hrs. in 2011, presenting much of the music, and the four tracks of the Another 48 HRs. album released in 1990 did not necessarily give the desire to hear more, due to a lack of pause between two long action cues of seven and fives minutes.
But after listening, the conclusion is simple: Intrada can be proud of these new editions which allow to rediscover James Horner's work with a new look.
Finally, the biggest asset of this new edition of 48Hrs. is its exceptional sound quality. Paramount Pictures was able to recover the original stereo mixes and provide Intrada with high resolution transfers of each reel. As producer Douglass Fake explains in the booklet (these behind-the-scenes comments are always illuminating), these new reels allowed the center channel and brass playing to be properly balanced between left and right. The sound is stunningly clear!
02. Jack Leaves Elaine’s Apartment (1:09)
03. The Walden Hotel (3:29)
04. Aerobics (4:11)
05. Snippets/Heavy Traffic (3:10)
06. Subway Station (2:54)
07. Subway Chase (1:51)
08. Luther’s Bus (1:57)
09. The Alley (5:27)
10. (The Boys Are) Back In Town (The BusBoys) (2:35)
11. 48 HRS. (The BusBoys) (3:13)
12. Love Songs Are For Crazies (The BusBoys) (3:44)
13. New Shoes (The BusBoys) (3:32)
14. Main Title (Alternate) (5:12)
15. Subway Station (Alternate) (2:55)
16. Luther’s Bus (Alternate) (1:57)
17. Torchy’s Boogie (Ira Newborn) (2:54)
18. Saratoga Blues (Ralph Grierson) (2:30)
Another 48 Hrs.
The 1990 album featured 19 minutes and 46 seconds of James Horner's music divided into four tracks: "The Courthouse" (3:18), "Main Title from Another 48 Hrs." (4:11), "King Mei Shootout" (7:35) and "Birdcage Battle" (4:42). The new 2022 edition features a presentation with 27 additional minutes! In addition, there are 7 minutes spread over four bonus tracks, including the already known version of "The Courthouse", which is 90 seconds shorter than the alternative version included in the score presentation.
A question naturally arises: are these 27 minutes quality time?
For three decades it was possible to make a first opinion by listening to the unreleased tracks in the film, but comparing the film and the 2022 edition it turns out that the score was cut a lot due to big changes in the film before its release. The original version edited by Walter Hill was 145 minutes long. James Horner worked on a cut down to 120 minutes. But one week before the release of the film, Paramount removed another 25 minutes! In addition, at three points in the film, when Reggie regains consciousness after the bus accident, when Jack removes his belongings from his office and during the final shootout, pieces of the original 1982 score are used. So in addition to offering many tracks absent from the first album, the Intrada team, through this new edition, makes us discover a large amount of music completely unreleased because it was absent from the film.
It is sometimes shameful for some extended editions to offer little additional music and/or music that can be heard to in the movie or present on an isolated DVD track. This edition of Another 48Hrs. does not contain these flaws.
The tracks from the 1990 album are on the left column. The tracks from the new edition are presented in the center column. The tracks on the right are those in the film and their duration.
For example the track "Business At Barnstormer's Bar" is absent from the film, the track "Reggie Gets Out" is heard for 20 seconds in the film.
So if we add up the differences in length between the film and the 2022 album, the result is 18 minutes that do not appear in the film. The existence of these 18 minutes was therefore unsuspected!
– "Do You Know?" uses the same energetic formula as the hotel shootout in the first episode.
– Business At Barnstormer's Bar" and "Reggie Gets Out" are two atmospheric gems. Double bass pizzicati give rhythm to the first one. Struck wooden sticks and a bass guitar to the second. Various instruments follow one another on these rhythmic bases: steel drums, saxophone, EWI, bass, shakuhachi, xylophone…
– "Diner Ambush" first refers to the music of the surveillance scenes of the first film but ends on a stressful music (2:26) absent from the film which would have added a crazy violence to the scene where an armed thug approaches in Jack’s back.
– "Prison Bus Attack" is an exciting action piece beginning with the danger four-note motif on the saxophone. The shakuhachi comes in with every bullet fired, every window broken… It's a blast!
– "Computer Profile" and "Backwards Drive" offer a refreshing parenthesis on a rhythmic around steel drums, guitar, bass and electric piano.
– The deep colors (trombones, tuba, cellos and double bass) in the second part of "Phone Booth" announce the darker moments of Clear and Present Danger.
– The very short "Price Killing" is reminiscent of the most frightening moments of Aliens, with the shakuhachi added.
– The Courthouse" is lengthened by a whole minute at the beginning of the cue. This new version accentuates the feeling of acceleration and race against time.
– Both versions of "Dirty Cop" feature a new rhythmic pattern, which is repeated in "Cruising The Birdcage".
Generally speaking, the score, while reminiscent of the first opus, impresses with its more mature writing. James Horner extends the musical universe of the first film, he extends his palette with new sounds that were not present in 1982, he accentuates the moments of dissonance to better express the borderline character of Jack, obliged to go for broke and save his career as a police officer but also his and Reggie’s lives. The use of a string section also intensifies the drama, like the surges at the heart of "Prison Bus Attack", "The Courthouse" or the string section that underlies "Birdcage Battle". The sound quality does justice to the fidelity of the digital masters mixed by Shawn Murphy and mastered by Douglass Fake.
This unexpected edition of the complete score of Another 48 Hrs. is therefore a very pleasant discovery and highly recommended. The final cut of the film and the 1990 album did not do justice to the composer's remarkable work on his last film with Walter Hill. Thanks to Intrada, Another 48 Hrs. regains the place it should have had for 32 years in James Horner's canon and in our hearts: a singular and intense music.