One of my favorite end-of-year assignments involves choosing the top 20 albums of “classic film music” released during the previous 12 months. This year’s task seemed harder than ever, because several labels gave us truly remarkable discs — some of them expanded classics, some previously unreleased scores, some of them reissues of very rare LPs. I enjoyed all of these, from the music of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith to that of Aaron Copland and Vince Guaraldi and many more. The list spilled well over the 20 slots, so I added an “honorable mention” paragraph to sneak in a few more titles.
An unparalleled reference source and much, much more, Sound and Vision offers a detailed history of movie music on record and compact disc; up-to-date biographical sketches of composers throughout movie history; and annotated listings of the best-selling, award-winning or otherwise noteworthy soundtracks of the past and present — original film scores as well as movie musicals and song-compilation scores. It even provides a comprehensive index so that can instantly know if the music you’re looking for is commercially available.
From Leonard Maltin’s foreword: “There are few chroniclers of the film music scene as astute and accurate as Jon Burlingame, and this book is a valuable gift to anyone who’s just getting hooked on soundtracks.”
A few reviews:
“Anyone with even a passing interest in film music should have this book.” — Randy Newman
“Burlingame’s taste is impeccable, and film score fans exploring the range of the hobby will find the book a perfect checklist for what they should seek out. Sound and Vision puts their obsession in a cultural and commercial context they probably rarely consider.” — Jeff Bond, Film Score Monthly
“A fun and informative look at scores on disc… a perceptive and reasonable examination of trends and trendsetters, with a clear-headed business consciousness that should give readers a renewed understanding of the politics of the recording industry.” — Randall Larson, Soundtrack!
“Smart, comprehensive and fun to read.” — Daniel Schweiger, Venice magazine
“Sound and Vision is an absolutely indispensable reference book, with a fascinating history of soundtracks and a remarkably comprehensive listing of composers and their work.” — Fred Karlin, composer and author of Listening to Movies
“In an era in which books about film music are proliferating at a rapid rate, it is Jon Burlingame who speaks with the most clear and authoritative voice. He is a researcher willing to check the facts at the source. He speaks with great love for the art of composing music for film and is a kind and knowledgeable critic of the state of the art.” — Elmer Bernstein
“Jon Burlingame has approached this book with devotion and wide-ranging knowledge…. Every serious film buff should welcome Sound and Vision with genuine enthusiasm — Rudy Behlmer, author of Memo From David O. Selznick
“Burlingame has wisely chosen to chronicle those soundtracks that, by virtue of their quality, importance or popularity, should be made known to film music’s ever-increasing audience. His informative history of movie soundtrack recordings is alone worth the purchase price.” — Clifford McCarty, author of Film Composers in America