80 kids rejoice! Sony Records is working with original composer Robert J. Walsh on a release of the musical scores for classic kid TV staples ‘G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero’, ‘Transformers’ (G1), ‘My Little Pony’ and ‘Jem & The Holograms’.
Walsh spoke to the Transformers fan page Allspark saying:
Certainly. I am working on the remastering now, and Hasbro and I are excited and looking forward to the releases of Transformers, G.I. Joe My Little Pony, series and movie, as well as Jem & the Holograms – starting around 1983 through 1988 or so. The original master tapes were in great condition, and I plan on remastering everything into 5.1 surround. We are not definite on this part yet, but may produce this in a boxed DVD set with newly filmed interviews of cast and crew and original artwork and some video footage. This is fairly large orchestra very well recorded with an MCI console in a European recording studio, and it’s sounding pretty spectacular so far. Sony Records will be releasing the albums.
Walsh says the project may be ready as soon as summer 2016.
The bonus DVD sounds very cool, but we’ll have to wait and see if it really happens. A soundtrack album of 80s cartoon scores is not something that Sony is probably expecting to be a Top Forty hit, so the investment may be too great. Even DVD releases of classic cartoons haven’t proven to be huge sellers, which is why production on them has seriously tapered off in recent years and releases have steadily been stripped down in terms of packaging and extras.
One sad thing that can be gleaned from Walsh’s description is that any music from ‘Jem’ that is included will likely just be the instrumental score, NOT the pop songs that were peppered through each episode. For one thing, those would probably fill more than one CD on their own.
For decades now, ‘Jem’ fans have been clamoring for a remastered release of these songs, which were comparable in quality to radio hits of the time. But according to those close to the show, including head writer Christy Marx and the speaking voice of Jem Samantha Newark, it doesn’t appear that anyone actually even knows where those master tapes are. The dialogue for ‘Jem’ was recorded in Hollywood, but the pop songs were recorded in New York, by a firm that also recorded a lot of commercial jingles. It seems that maintaining the ‘Jem’ master tapes wasn’t a priority, especially after the show was cancelled. They may have ended up callously tossed into a storage room somewhere never to be seen again. Without care, they may have even deteriorated beyond salvation.
Even so, this sounds like a fun release! Will you be picking it up when it’s released?