Author Topic: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...  (Read 2994 times)

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Offline Drew72

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 11:41:33 AM »
Very well. You told us what you felt. The point of this thread has been achieved. We've explained the likely business reasons why they're doing what they're doing. I don't particularly see a point to debating or speculating about something that's extremely unlikely to happen, especially after the board game thread.

Ok, no train off the rails here. 

Not really sure how this is much different than a thread asking "Which games would you like to see played more often?"  We've all got a right to express what direction we'd like to see the show take (or not take).  If someone states they'd like to see Plinko played more often, and then someone else says it's already played enough, and here are the financial reasons why... I don't think that's a reason to end the entire discussion about frequency of games.

EDIT:
And just a friendly reminder, the original post ends with "Any favorites out there you'd like to see used again or remixed for the current show?"  Not "Let's debate the financial repercussions of using old music cues".
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:46:07 AM by Drew72 »
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Offline CBSpromoman

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 12:03:20 PM »
And I'm not at all a fan of the remixed versions of the old cues they're using--if anything they sound worse than the originals.

Agreed! Remixes are not necessarily better.

But almost none of the newer music I've heard have any kind of real sound or melody at all...they're mostly just rhythm beds with no personality at all. Most of us like the old cues because they actually had some personality.
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Offline Drew72

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 12:24:37 PM »
Great point Promoman!  When I watch old episodes I find myself humming along with the prize music.  New episodes, not so much, because there's no real melody anymore.
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Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 01:07:50 PM »
Not really sure how this is much different than a thread asking "Which games would you like to see played more often?"  We've all got a right to express what direction we'd like to see the show take (or not take).  If someone states they'd like to see Plinko played more often, and then someone else says it's already played enough, and here are the financial reasons why... I don't think that's a reason to end the entire discussion about frequency of games.

Try starting a thread with that very question. Every time something like that happens, Poster A says they want Their Game played more often...Poster B says they can't play Their Game more often because it's tougher to force a win or a loss and is therefore potentially budget-busting...Poster A retorts that they're just expressing their opinion and they have a right to it.

(Edit: what Briguy said.)

Or it could turn into another Board Game thread. "I want this to happen, and I'm just going to keep pushing the notion no matter how improbable or unrealistic it is."

EDIT:
And just a friendly reminder, the original post ends with "Any favorites out there you'd like to see used again or remixed for the current show?"  Not "Let's debate the financial repercussions of using old music cues".

And just a friendly reminder, you don't get to open a can of worms like this and then complain about what you get. Especially when there are (likely) actual business considerations behind why what you want isn't happening.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 01:18:05 PM by ThomHuge »

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 01:08:56 PM »
But almost none of the newer music I've heard have any kind of real sound or melody at all...they're mostly just rhythm beds with no personality at all. Most of us like the old cues because they actually had some personality.

This is what makes them so cheap...they sound like almost no effort went into making them. It's possible we're just hearing the underscores to more complete themes, but still.

Offline LarryC

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 01:26:57 PM »
Abandoning the classic music cues has, for me, been the biggest-ever blow to the show except Drew replacing Bob as host. 

There's a reason the classic cues endured for decades:  They WORK.  The melodies, the harmonies, and the sheer catchiness of most of them were hard to beat.  They paired beautifully with Johnny's (later Rod's) voiceovers, too -- the cadence & flow just felt "right."

The newer cues simply don't work to create any sort of atmosphere or show tone.  Period.

I would argue that other shows suffered similar declines when they got away from the original music:

STAR TREK -- Music for the original series was wonderful, and good enough for a complete CD soundtrack release a few years ago.  None of the subsequent Star Trek series had music remotely as good.  Boring & bland instead of melodic & memorable.

LOST IN SPACE -- Same.  The original series was propelled by a slew of exciting music (OK, they got lucky by hiring some guy named John Williams, but still ...)  The new Netflix series?  Bet you can't hum much of its music.

FAMILY FEUD -- Why isn't the current series using any of the '70s cue variations, or redux versions of them?  Really boring to use just the main theme over & over again throughout each episode.

Music can make or break a show.  In the case of current TPIR, it's not exactly making it.

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2019, 01:54:04 PM »
There's a reason the classic cues endured for decades:  They WORK.  The melodies, the harmonies, and the sheer catchiness of most of them were hard to beat.  They paired beautifully with Johnny's (later Rod's) voiceovers, too -- the cadence & flow just felt "right."

All of those are perfectly valid creative reasons. Valid, but creativity always takes a back seat to business concerns.

The newer cues simply don't work to create any sort of atmosphere or show tone.  Period.

You're right, they don't, but I suspect that's part of why they're using them. Aside from the fact that they're probably cheaper, something bland and toneless would be more likely to slip past most viewers--there as "audio wallpaper," but not noticeable enough to spark and objection from anyone. It smacks of a marketing decision to make the show appeal to the broadest base possible.

STAR TREK -- Music for the original series was wonderful, and good enough for a complete CD soundtrack release a few years ago.  None of the subsequent Star Trek series had music remotely as good.  Boring & bland instead of melodic & memorable.

Fred Steiner and Alexander Courage composed music that was appropriate for the era. It was cheesy, it was low-cost (TOS had a notoriously low budget, and it got worse in seasons two and three), and it fit the not-too-serious tone of the show.

When TNG came along, initially Ron Jones composed music in similar vein to the classic composers...which didn't sit well with the higher-ups at Paramount, which is why Ron Jones was out after season three. His composing style is a lot better suited to cartoons (his Ducktales music is perfect) than live-action. Some of his work from TNG was good, and a lot of his season one stuff fit the tone, but from season two on when TNG came into its own his music was too much and it was distracting. He refused to tone it down despite repeated talkings-to by his bosses (including some purportedly raw arguments with Rick Berman), and so we have the tonal shift to the more subtle music in the later seasons.

TNG is widely regarded as coming into its own in its third season, and arguably it just got better as a show from then on. And I for one love the more subtle music that came from folks like Dennis McCarthy and Jay Chattaway; even David Bell's more atmospheric stuff was appropriate for the more lighthearted episodes.

LOST IN SPACE -- Same.  The original series was propelled by a slew of exciting music (OK, they got lucky by hiring some guy named John Williams, but still ...)  The new Netflix series?  Bet you can't hum much of its music.

If you listen to any sci-fi composers discuss their work, you'll hear them all say the same thing: they only really get to shine during selected moments, like establishing shots or during scene changes. The rest of the time their job is to support the action onscreen, not distract from it by being too over-the-top. I have the OST for the new Netflix series, and even though I admittedly couldn't hum any of the cues without repeated listens, I did really enjoy the show itself. I shouldn't be so engrossed in the music that I can't pay attention to what I'm watching, so to me that means Christopher Lennertz did his job.

FAMILY FEUD -- Why isn't the current series using any of the '70s cue variations, or redux versions of them?  Really boring to use just the main theme over & over again throughout each episode.

Simple--they're doing it because it's cheap. Using one cue (and not even in its entirety at that) can't be costing them a lot of money. Feud is syndicated so I could see the producers wanting to pinch pennies anytime they can. (I've said it before, with the bland daytime set the show even looks cheap to me. The lack of musical variety strikes me as just one more symptom of the problem.)

Music can make or break a show.  In the case of current TPIR, it's not exactly making it.

Except...it's not exactly breaking it either. They're clearly looking to walk the line between being tonal and atmospheric like they used to be, and giving their show an appeal to the widest possible audience. They're doing the latter by removing elements that might be seen as, among other things, "too dated." I think we can see the same thing by the refurbishments they're giving the games--they're making them more period-appropriate for 2019, while still preserving the original function.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 01:58:59 PM by ThomHuge »

Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2019, 02:12:06 PM »
Abandoning the classic music cues has, for me, been the biggest-ever blow to the show except Drew replacing Bob as host. 

I would argue that other shows suffered similar declines when they got away from the original music:

Music can make or break a show.  In the case of current TPIR, it's not exactly making it.

Might I add--this is part of why I think "it would be nice" threads need to take a hiatus. These statements are more about hyperbole than fact. "The biggest-ever blow"..."similar declines when they got away from the original music"..."music can make or break a show...it's not exactly making TPiR." Not one of these statements appears particularly well thought-out; yes I get that it's LarryC's opinion and he's entitled to it, but a lot of this reads like "I dislike it so it's by definition terrible."

Particularly in Star Trek's case...the fact that the prime franchise continued under the same composers from 1990 all the way to 2005 serves as a pretty good indicator that they were doing something right with the less-pronounced music. I don't think you'll find many facts to support the argument that the franchise was in decline, at least not until Enterprise in 2001. (And at that point, ironically, one of the biggest complaints actually WAS the theme song...emphasis on "song".)

The theme was part of the attempted solution to a problem they'd had for years, namely the feeling that the franchise had largely run its course, and at that point they were trying to breathe new life into it any way they could. It seems like it's generally accepted that Enterprise was ultimately a failure, and the theme song was definitely a negative factor, but to date I've never really hard complaints about the episodic scores.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 02:16:29 PM by ThomHuge »

Offline garffreak

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2019, 08:35:01 PM »
Worth noting, we're the only ones that even have a term or concept for "classic cues."

The original music is, what I would call, "substantial." It holds character and an (mostly) unique identity for the show.  It's an audible logo.  That said, a poorly remixed classic cue--in my opinion--is better than stock music.  Which should the producers prefer using: a piece of music unique and identifiable as theirs, or stock music that could be heard two minutes later during a carpet cleaning commercial. 

And yes, there have been commercials that used the same Killer Tracks music as Price, maybe even during the show (or at least on CBS).  It was slightly confusing the first time I heard it.
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Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2019, 08:59:15 PM »
The original music is, what I would call, "substantial." It holds character and an (mostly) unique identity for the show.  It's an audible logo.

That was what always impressed me so much about the old suites by Edd Kalehoff; there always seemed to be a ton of music, but it all fit together really well. "Audible logo" is a terrific term for it.

That said, a poorly remixed classic cue--in my opinion--is better than stock music.  Which should the producers prefer using: a piece of music unique and identifiable as theirs, or stock music that could be heard two minutes later during a carpet cleaning commercial.

This is debatable, ultimately because it all depends on what makes a remix "poor." If the remixed cue is too loud, arguably that's got more to do with sound levels than with the music itself--but if it's a grating piece with an uneven melody and competes too much with the vocals above it (basically turning into a choice between "turn it up so people can hear it and drown out George" or "balance for George and make the cue basically unhearable on TV"), it's arguably better to use library music. Again, arguably, the main theme and Walking--which are re-orchestrated but functionally unchanged from the Barker version--can provide the show its musical identity. It's what I'd be listening for if I was channel surfing and happened across the show.

Personally, if I were in charge of music and I had to make that choice, this is what it would come down to, irrespective of the cost involved, and assuming there was some overriding business reason why I couldn't use the actual original cues: "I can use this remix of a classic cue that sounds like an attempt to re-imagine the old music for the new era, but doesn't really sound all that good to me...or I can use library music that's a little more subtle. If I use the bad cue, I'm catering to classic fans, but I'm also taking a chance that someone passing my show for a few seconds while channel surfing won't tune out again because what they hear is grating to them. If I use the library cue, it's more generic, less likely to offend, and at least probably won't turn off a casual channel-surfer. It might not pander to the oldschool fans, but it shouldn't alienate them either."

Offline therealcu2010

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2019, 10:03:38 PM »
Honestly, as much as the classic cues are timeless pieces of music that defined the show for many years, they don't really fit in anymore. Those cues were an integral part of Bob Barker's The Price is Right... which ended twelve years ago.

I watched a bunch of Season 36 episodes on Youtube over the summer, and going back to them over a decade later, they're actually really difficult to watch. Sure, the show still felt like the classic era more than it does now, but it was just that... it felt like Drew Carey was hosting Bob Barker's show. It was super awkward, and Drew looked like he just didn't belong. If they had continued in that direction, the show wouldn't have remained relevant.

Fortunately this is no longer the case. This is Drew Carey's show now. Drew Carey's show has a different feel than Bob Barker's. Things that were done years ago don't work anymore.

That being said, the issue I have with most of the new cues is that they're stock production music the show bought, probably cheaply, to use as prize cues. The old cues, meanwhile, were composed for the show, with each composition having specific uses- for example, Beanstalker and Big Banana were car cues, Rye Bred was typically used for Clock Game, Starcrossed for multiprize games, particularly Credit Card, among others. Nowadays they just shove cues wherever, and many of them don't really fit.

The show would have been far better off- and still would be- hiring someone to compose entirely new cues solely for the show. Let the show continue to develop its own identity. Make the music an iconic part of the show again, and make the cues become recognizable as Price is Right music.
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Offline Briguy

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2019, 04:26:10 PM »
This is Drew Carey's show now. Drew Carey's show has a different feel than Bob Barker's. Things that were done years ago don't work anymore.

This really could apply to a thread a couple of weeks ago about game show elements that some members said they miss about game shows, with some of the comments being more or less minor changes to TPiR pricing games that don't really affect gameplay (e.g., use of symbols, photos, etc., in lieu or numbers representing an incorrect price in Cover Up).

Point: My take on discussions like these is that there seems to be a segment of G-R's membership board that -- at least in my opinion -- seem to think TPiR is a sacred format and that the WWBD ("What Would Bob Do") school of thought is the only way to produce and execute their favorite game show.

In essence, the replacement of classic cues with the newer cues -- nondescript or whatever you want to call them -- does again become (for fans of the classic cues) the TV Trope "They changed it, now it sucks!"

(Sorry if that's off the cuff and rambly, but those are just some thoughts off the top of my head in response to therealcu2010.)

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Offline Drew72

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2019, 04:57:36 PM »
Drew has hosted for over 10 years now and I think most have adjusted to the fact Bob Barker is not at the helm anymore.  I've embraced the Carey era and actually like some of the changes made.  My point is that the older cues with melodies added something to the show that seems to be missing now, and that's too bad. 

It's not the 1980s anymore, but there's nothing wrong with throwing in some retro music here and there for nostalgia.  I think that's why many of the game shows that exist today are using the same theme song melodies they did in the 70s and 80s even though the hosts and set designs have changed over the years.
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Offline ThomHuge

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2019, 05:32:46 PM »
My point is that the older cues with melodies added something to the show that seems to be missing now, and that's too bad. 

No one disagrees with the fundaments of your point--older cues with melodies did add something to the show that's missing now. It's missing because the people who make the show don't see it as worthwhile to have anymore.

It's not the 1980s anymore, but there's nothing wrong with throwing in some retro music here and there for nostalgia.  I think that's why many of the game shows that exist today are using the same theme song melodies they did in the 70s and 80s even though the hosts and set designs have changed over the years.

It's not the 1980s anymore, so there's no sense in trying to pretend that it is. And you keep trying to compare theme songs to in-show music, which is not the same thing. Shows from the 80s are using their classic themes to draw in fans of those old shows--something Whammy in particular failed at with their music, which to this day sounds to me like it was bought from a stock library and didn't in any way remind me of the 1980s show. For that matter it wasn't terribly memorable, and it was only after I forced myself to listen to it repeatedly that I could finally remember the tune.

Establishing the main musical identity for a show isn't the same thing as the music you hear during the show itself. What people really pay attention to is the main theme. Everything else takes a backseat to that. Everything else.

I'm tired of trying to tiptoe around this in hopes that you'll realize it yourself, so I'm just going to say it: what you keep trying to push as "nostalgia" is what could easily be called "out of date" by others. I think folks here that say no one really pays attention to the music are mostly correct--but the people I've heard mention the older music in real life call it "quaint" and "dated." No one will say that about the music they have now. It decreases the likelihood that someone will hear what sounds to them like an outdated piece of music, decide the show's not "with it" enough, and tune out.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 05:38:56 PM by ThomHuge »

Offline SteveGavazzi

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Re: How about bringing back some of the older music cues...
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2019, 07:23:29 PM »
I'm just gonna throw an idea out here:  Has anyone tried actually playing the old cues during a newer show?

'Cause I do it on a regular basis (and yes, I know that's ridiculous, so let's just skip that part of the discussion), and it honestly doesn't sound out of place at all.
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