Thursday, July 19, 2012

Spokane harbours Highlander soundtrack?

Spokane was another destination my wife and I had in mind before the summer was out, so we rounded up the little guy, packed the van for a week’s trip, and headed out to the border crossing at Yahk, BC.

There were two used record stores that I found in Spokane that yielded some additions to my collection: 4000 Holes and Recorded Memories. Here’s what I picked up at each:

4000 Holes

An 8-track of The Game from 1980. An 8-track from the 1980s? I thought those things became relics before the end of the ’70s? Apparently not since “…in the U.S., eight-track cartridges were phased out of retail stores by late 1982” (Wikipedia). Hmm, I wonder if that means Greatest Hits, Flash Gordon, and Hot Space are also floating around in 8-track land as well.

With Bob’s help — the owner of Holes — I found a picture disc of Jazz. This was a nice surprise as my collection of picture discs is limited to At the Beeb and an old Heavy Pettin’ record I found years ago.

And the best find at this record store was a picture disc of what appears to be a genuine Highlander soundtrack, not a repackaging of A Kind of Magic but an official film soundtrack that features only those Queen songs that appear in the movie (although the Highlander Theme track on Side 2 is probably a Michael Kamen composition).

This physical artifact would seem to contradict what is on Wikipedia about the AKOM and Highlander projects:

“The album [AKOM] enjoys the status of an unofficial soundtrack for the 1986 film ‘Highlander’ (for which no official soundtrack album was ever released). The title, ‘A Kind of Magic,’ may have come from one of the lines Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) says to describe his immortality. Six out of nine songs on the album appeared in the film, although in different versions. The three songs that did not appear in ’Highlander’ are ‘Pain Is So Close to Pleasure,’ ‘Friends Will Be Friends’ and ‘One Vision’ (which was featured a year earlier in the film ‘Iron Eagle’). Conversely, a recording of ‘Theme from New York, New York’ made specifically for a scene in ‘Highlander’ does not appear on ‘A Kind of Magic,’ and in fact has never been released in album form to date [emphasis added by PB]. According to a statement by Brian May on the ‘Greatest Video Hits 2’ DVD (2003), at least at that point, he had the intention to work on a proper ‘Highlander’ soundtrack in the future. In one scene, a snippet of ‘Hammer to Fall’ plays on a radio, a song from the previously released ‘The Works’ album.”

Recorded Memories

A few blocks east of 4000 Holes is another well-stocked record store, Recorded Memories. Here, I picked up these items from Richard, the owner.

While not a rare item by any means, this 1998 Queen calendar was one I didn’t have so I snagged it. The Queen crest is an interesting treatment as I’ve never seen the astrology symbols, crown, and Q being arranged in a manner like this before. I wonder if it was specific to this calendar or if other 1998 merchandise reflected this crest design as well.

Richard also dug out this shrink-wrapped 45 of Keep Yourself Alive that was a limited release for the band’s 40th Anniversary celebrations:

Again, not a rarity as such, but an item I didn’t have.

I guess with all of these new vinyl additions to my collection, I should consider buying a USB turntable. Maybe I could listen to that version of New York, New York on the Highlander picture disc and confirm whether it’s merely the edited clip from the film or a full-length song that everyone has been asking for since 1986.

Postscript (January 2, 2013) — I had a listen to New York, New York off of the Highlander record this past weekend and it’s the same truncated clip of the song that appears in the movie. Damn it.


  1. Hi! I'm a Queenie in Spokane and would love to meet up with you if you ever get out this way again. We have fairly slim pickings - I have all of the above vinyl - but it's always fun to find someone who enjoys the thrill of the chase as much as I do. Bob Gallagher at 4-Thou and I have crossed paths many, many times over the years; the guy at Recorded Memories rarely has much of anything. Miss the days of Little Nell's and Amber's!

  2. Hi, A. Thanks for the comment. Not sure when/if we'll get out to Spokane again but I'll certainly keep it in mind. Likewise, if you're passing through Calgary, feel free to drop me a line. If you do make it to Calgary, be sure to check out Recordland. They've got the largest selection vinyl/CDs/cassettes/8-tracks in western Canada.