Thursday, June 20, 2013

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: The Track List For Télé 80's Upgraded Gadget CD

Yep, you read that right. Télé 80's Christophe Renuad has graciously allowed me to share with you - for the first time anywhere - the planned track list for their upcoming "Inspecteur Gadget" CD, scheduled for release on September 30! Télé 80 announced in March that the new CD would have 30 tracks, but up until now, the actual track list has been kept a secret. We'll get to that list in a moment - but first, I'll just give a brief update on what's been happening with this CD since I last reported on it. (Have patience, you'll be seeing the tracks in no time. ;) Just to be clear, while Télé 80 provided the images seen here, all viewpoints and theories reflected in this post are entirely my own.

As you might have noticed in my news column to the right, this promised, upgraded soundtrack CD has been going through quite a few changes and delays since Télé 80 first announced it back in July  of 2012. At the time, it was scheduled for November of that year, then pushed back slightly to January 2013. Long before we reached January, however, Télé 80's distributon company XIII Bis suddenly went bankrupt, postponing all scheduled CDs indefinitely. Surpricingly, though, these problems led to some happy, unexpected changes. Télé 80 found a new production company (Balthazar Music) and a new production team, and at the same time became an independent label - all of this resulting in increased budgets and production values for their CDs, now targeted more towards collectors. Money is being spent on remastering the music, and cover art and labels look much better than on the old XIII Bis releases. Case in point: The revised cover for the upcoming "Inspecteur Gadget" CD, revealed on Facebook back in March, is in my eyes a vast improvement over the first cover draft. (Notice the tagline "Versions originales remasterisées", which is used on all the new Télé 80 CDs to separate them from the earlier XIII Bis products.)


The new and improved Gadget cover is utilizing illustrations from IDP Home Video's French DVD edition of the series (three box sets released in 2004-2005). I think this is a smart choice: The IDP DVD covers are very well drawn (much better than any of the old LP covers), with faithful, on-model renditions of the characters. Plus, using these illustration elements means that Télé 80 can compose their designs with a lot of freedom, moving around characters and backgrounds to get suitable motives for the CD format.

But enough technical stuff - let's move on to what everybody wants to see. Here it is... the exclusive sneak peek of the track list, as well as the inside part of the CD booklet!

Close-up of the track list (click to enlarge)

The full inside part of the CD booklet (click to enlarge!)

As promised, 30 tracks - and they're all original Levy/Saban pieces as far as I can tell. Everything from the French and Australian LPs is combined at last, and we also get some additional theme song versions. For those who might be more familiar with the English-language titles for these tracks, below is the track list with English titles and explanations added by me. (Note: I decided to use the Australian record as reference for some of the English titles here, as they sounded better than the English titles seen on the French LP.)

1. Inspecteur Gadget / Inspector Gadget [French vocals]. 2:38
2. La chanson de Finot / Brain the dog - The song [French vocals]. 2:02
3. Le thème de Sophie / Penny's Theme [French vocals]. 2:31
4. Gadget sur Mars / Gadget on Mars. 1:30
5. Le fantôme / Ghosts. 1:55
6. Musée de l’art fou / Mad Art Museum. 2:09
7. Gadget au Japon / Gadget in Japan. 2:07
8.  L’usine de chocolats / Chocolate Factory. 2:02
9. Rodéo / Rodeo. 1:38
10. Thème du Docteur Gang / Mad's Theme. 2:14
11. Héros dans la jungle africaine / Heroes in African Jungle. 1:52
12. Gadget chez les Incas / Gadget with the Incas. 0:58
13. Fais gaffe / Look Out. 1:36
14. Gadget en difficulté / Gadget in Trouble. 1:14
15. Désert d’Arabie / Arabian Desert. 1:17
16. Gadget le sophistiqué / Sophisticated Gadget. 1:37
17. Thème du train / Train Machine. 1:57
18. Le royaume / Kingdom. 2:03
19. La course de voitures / Car Race. 1:15
20. Les pharaons / Pharaohs. 1:33
21. Le thème de Finot* / Brain The Dog. 1:10
22. Gadget en Italie* / Italian Gadget. 1:05
23. Thème du Docteur Gang (reprise)* / Mad's Theme [alternate version]. 2:12
24. Thème d’ouverture (Instrumental) / Opening theme [instrumental U.S. opening]. 1:15
25. Le thème de Sophie (Instrumental) / Penny's Theme. 2:29
26. Inspecteur Gadget (Version TV) / Inspector Gadget [French opening theme]. 1:13
27. Inspector Gadget (Opening TV) [U.S. opening theme]. 1:15
28. Inspector Gadget (Ending TV)* / Gadget Closing [U.S. end credits theme]. 0:42
29. Inspecteur Gadget (Générique du film) [?]. 2:27
30. Inspector Gadget Theme* [extended U.S. theme song]. 2:50

22 of the tracks (1-20, 24 and 25) represent the content of Saban Records' original French LP edition: Three theme songs with French vocals, 16 pieces of background music and three instrumental themes. However... fans already familiar with the French LP should probably be particularly interested in the additional music from ABC Records' Australian edition: Tracks 21, 22, 23, 28 and 30, which I've marked with *. "Le théme de Finot" (Brain The Dog) is an instrumental background music theme for Brain, while "Gadget en Italie" (Italian Gadget) is another piece of background music used towards the end of season 2. Both of these are great and especially "Brain The Dog" makes the soundtrack feel more complete, as the French LP didn't include any instrumental themes for Brain. (Note, by the way, that these two tracks have been given new French titles for this CD based on the English-language titles, as they were never released in French by Saban.)

Then we have "Thème du Docteur Gang" (Mad's Theme), which is an interesting chapter in itself. You'll notice that this composition is included twice on the CD, first as track 10, then as track 23 as a "reprise". This is because the French and Australian LPs actually included two different arrangements of this theme. It's the same composition, but orchestrated slightly differently throughout (in addition to the most obvious difference: M.A.D. Cat is meowing in the French soundtrack version, but not in the Australian soundtrack version). It's a curious question why Shuki Levy chose to re-arrange this theme for the 1986 Australian LP, considering it had already been released on the 1983 French LP... but I'm guessing he just did it for his own enjoyment. Whatever the reasons, I love the fact that two versions of this theme exist, and that both versions will soon be available on one CD. (I don't know for certain if track 23 on the CD is the Australian version, but I'm guessing it is since the chronology during the first 20 tracks sticks relatively closely to the French LP).

Tracks 28 and 30 are two of Shuki Levy's original American theme song variants - the latter an extended version of the U.S. theme song, and the former a soundtrack version (in stereo!) of the U.S. end credits theme. These tracks have their natural place on a collector's edition of the soundtrack.

Even better, though, this CD also gives us one English-language theme that was not included on any of the earlier soundtrack albums: Track 27, "Inspector Gadget (Opening TV)". This is the original, American opening theme, to many the most iconic version of Shuki Levy's famous theme song; definitely iconic to anyone who grew up with the English-language version of the series. It's wonderful to see it included. I don't know any technical details, but my hope is that Télé 80 has gotten hold of the stereo version of this theme song, i. e. the version Shuki Levy has up on his official web site. The thing is, there have been a few American CD compilations featuring this song in the past - for instance Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 - 70's & 80's and Toon Tunes - Funny Bone Favorites - but as far as I know, those CDs have always used a mono version of the theme. The version on Levy's site, though, is in stereo, and I assume that's how the theme song was originally recorded. (The stereo/mono difference is easy to notice if you listen to the song through a headset.)

In addition to all that, we get two French bonus tracks which I hadn't seen coming; tracks 26 and 29 to be precise. "Inspecteur Gadget (Version TV)" is the TV version of the French theme song, sourced from (I believe) the storybook record "La Malédiction Du Roi Toutankharton". (Arguably, the end credits theme "Inspecteur Gadget (Fin)" could also have been included from this record -- but having listened to both themes, I will say that the "Fin" theme admittedly sounds almost completely similar to the middle part of "Inspecteur Gadget (Version TV)". Still, as a diehard fan I wouldn't mind getting the "Fin" theme on the CD as well.)

Track 29, "Inspecteur Gadget (Générique du film)", is actually a bit of a mystery to me. At first, I was wondering if it was a French-dubbed version of the Disney movie theme song, but I'm currently speculating that it might be the A-side of this Saban single: "Inspecteur Gadget - Bande originale du film et de la série télévisée". This was a single released in France in 1987, concurrently with a theatrical cartoon feature titled "Les dossiers secrets de l'inspecteur Gadget", which consisted of several season 2 episodes edited together. I had thought that the "Bande originale du film..." single included the same version of the "Inspecteur Gadget" song as earlier French vinyls, but the Discogs listing notes that 'a different (unknown) singer' performs the theme song here, describing the voice as "...closer of "Daffy Duck" (nasal voice)". So, provided that this information is true, it sounds like the French 1987 theatrical feature had an alternative version of the French theme song, which was also released on the 1987 Saban single. Most interesting!... I'm very curious if the "Générique du film" track on the CD turns out to be this theme song. :)

Anything else? Visually speaking, I think the interior booklet is nicely designed, just like the cover. The one gripe I have with the interior motive is seeing Capeman in there. I realize it's a matter of personal taste, of course... Capeman WAS part of the original series (the second season, anyway)... and he's even in one of the episodes where the track "Gadget en Italie" (Italian Gadget) is played. (Still, he's such an awful character! At least I'm glad he doesn't get to stand next to Gadget, Penny and Brain.)
   Otherwise, there are a few (very minor) track title inconsistencies when compared to the French LP: "La course de voitures" was originally titled "La course de voiture", "La chanson de Finot" was originally titled "La chanson de Fino", and "Thème du Docteur Gang" was originally titled "Thème du Dr Gang". As I said, very minor, and it's the kind stuff that only the most nit-picky fans will notice. Still, this is a collector's edition, so maybe those titles could be revised for 100% accuracy with the original LP.

In any case, I'm looking forward to this CD. If the sound quality lives up to the track list, this will be the best and most complete edition of Shuki Levy's Inspector Gadget soundtrack to date! It will of course not contain the 100% complete soundtrack - Saban's master tapes remain officially lost for all the background music that was never released on vinyl - but for the first time, all the score music that survives from various releases over the years will be gathered on one attractive CD. If you're still considering whether or not to buy this, have a look at the classily designed disc label as well. The vinyl design is a great touch.


Oh, that's right: Now that Télé 80 has gone independent, their new Balthazar Music releases are limited to smaller pressings of about 500 copies per CD. So if you plan to get this soundtrack, it might be a good idea to mark your calendar right away for September 30... which, I might add, will be perfect timing for Gadget's 30th anniversary this fall.

Big thanks to Télé 80 for letting me present these news!

22 comments:

  1. I've heard a couple second-season tracks with an Italian sort of flavor ... one is a bit demure and slow-paced, and the other is more up-tempo and sounds like a synthesized harpsichord. Does "Italian Gadget" refer to the latter?

    It's a tangential comment, but Levy really made the main theme work for him, so to speak -- look at how many cues are some variant of the melody, including a number that are themed for a specific country or locale (such as the one written for the Ireland episode). Few cartoons have such a sophisticated soundtrack, in diversity and quality of composition.

    Suppose more of the tracks were to be unearthed (in usable quality). I'd be interested to know whether Renaud would consider following up this disc with additional CD releases, if the above scenario were to 'occur.'

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    1. The "uptempo", "synthesized harpsichord" composition you're describing does sound like "Italian Gadget". If you want to make sure we're talking about the same track, check out the season 2 episode "Gadget Meets the Clan" (ep 84). The track that starts playing at about 08:45, with the G.G.G. clan looking at Gadget from inside their car, is "Italian Gadget". (It was also used in "Gadget's Roma" and "Gadget and the Red Rose".)

      I agree that Levy made fantastic use of the theme song melody, and that the soundtrack is very, very rich and diverse... and almost always catchy. :) Several hours of background music were probably produced, considering all the location-specific compositions and the inredible amount of variations on the main theme, as you mention.

      I'm not sure, actually, if Télé 80 has the rights to release more Gadget CDs after this one. I might be wrong, but I believe the rights to Gadget is a holdover from their deal with Saban from last year, because their first Gadget CD from May 2012 only contained 12 tracks (they wanted to wait with releasing everything until they could get the music in better quality). Also, when I asked them on Facebook a few weeks ago if they would consider doing a remastered "Ulysses 31" CD with all the Levy/Saban music for that series, they replied that they unfortunately couldn't, since the rights to Saban's catalogue have changed and are now with a company called ZAG TOON (www.zagtoon.com). That's why I suspect that Télé 80 might only have the rights to do this one, upcoming CD with Gadget, considering they don't have the rights to the rest of Saban's music catalogue anymore. (Of course, the best place to ask about this is probably on Télé 80's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Tele80).)

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    2. Curious, by the way... in which episodes can that other Italian-flavored composition you were talking about be heard (the "demure and slow-paced" one)?

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  2. As for "Italian Gadget," yes, that's the one I was thinking of. So that one's included, is it? That was one of the better tracks from the second season.

    The other one I referred to can be found in multiple episodes, including in "...Red Rose," when Claw phones Les Renowned, and in "...The Clan," when Gadget is given the pineapple bomb. In hindsight, I suppose it doesn't have quite the Italian feel to it that the first cue does, but I didn't have a good description for it at the time.

    Maybe this is an ignorant question, but does anyone from Télé 80 (such as whoever updates their Facebook page) speak English?

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    1. Yeah, I think "Italian Gadget" is one of the better season 2 compositions myself. :) I still remember it pretty clearly from the first time I watched "Gadget Meets the Clan", which is the episode where I felt it was best put to use (probably because it's one of the few season 2 episodes which I like). Anyway, it seems that Shuki Levy might have liked this piece himself, too, as this and "Brain The Dog" are the only background music tracks which were unique to the 1986 Australian LP (i. e. had not already been released on the 1983 French LP). And it was probably a given that one of Brain's themes would be included on the Australian edition, considering that the first three tracks on it were "Inspector Gadget Theme", "Brain The Dog" and "Penny's Theme". So "Italian Gadget" was the only new piece of background music on the Australian edition which wasn't a character-based theme... hinting that Levy and/or Saban (probably Levy) liked it enough to get it included.

      Ah, right, I know which composition you meant now! Yeah, I don't specifically connect this piece with something Italian-sounding, though I'm not sure exactly how to describe it myself either. I do associate it with something specific, though: Episodes 84-86, centered around the "Old Bad Guys and Gals Retirement Home". If I remember correctly, the piece is only used in those episodes, so I'm guessing it was composed specifically for the 'retired villians' theme.

      Yes, Télé 80 has at least replied to me in English many times on Facebook (I would have had a hard time communicating with them otherwise). It varies a little whether or not they reply, though. If I were you, I'd try writing to them in English and see what happens.

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  3. VERY interesting...
    The instrumental "Brain the Dog" theme looks a bit interesting... I am willing to bet it may have been one of the music tracks used on the show based on his theme. There were a few; the one I remember the most is the one often used around the end of episodes, such as during the safety tip segments of "Gadget Goes West" and "Launch Time."
    I think "Train Machine" was also a second-season composition. I don't remember hearing it in any first-season episodes.

    IIRC, there seemed to be two sets of music on the show. The first set was music written for the pilot episode (both the Jesse White and Gary Owens versions have a small amount of their own exclusive music, but not by much.) The second set was music written for the first season once it was greenlit and entered production. In most cases, both sets were combined, but there were some episodes that seemed to only rely on the second set of music. Episodes I know that were like this are "All That Glitters," "Art Museum," "M.A.D. Trap," "Basic Training," "Sleeping Gas," "Gadget Goes West," "Launch Time," "The Coo-Coo Clock Caper," "A Clear Case" and "Eye of the Dragon." (Four of these episodes also had Don Francks as Dr. Claw, the others had Welker but without the reverb effect. Some of the sound effects were also in a bit lower-quality.) They did have a tendency to repeat some of the same cues over and over compared to the other episodes.
    Then a third set came out with the third season, but with only a few music cues I believe. The second season combined all three sets whenever possible.
    The only track I know aside from the American Inspector Gadget themes from the first set showing up here is "Gadget in Trouble." The other cues I believe come from the second set (then again, I didn't hear the "Arabian Desert"/"Pharaoh" cues on them, but they never did an episode in such a location!)

    Too bad there are two versions of Penny's theme that are probably lost in a vault somewhere that I like; one has kind of a piano backing throughout along with French horn and flute leads, often when Penny is just snooping around, or talking with Brain. The second was a more fast-paced one with more synthesizers, often when Penny was wrapping things up (two good places to find it are near the end of "Gone Went the Wind" and "A Bad Altitude.")

    I am also somewhat annoyed by the inclusion of Corporal Capeman on the insert, as I never really liked him either. He's very similar to that Simpsons episode that made fun of that very convention by adding Poochie! I can tell adding Capeman was most likely a shameless attempt to boost low ratings.
    *Roy, the mysterious "cool" teen from that Simpsons episode, walks in saying "Yo yo! How's it hanging, everybody?" *

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    1. Like I said, "Brain The Dog" IS one of the background music themes for Brain, so obviously it's heard in the show. I'm not sure, though, if the background music compositions for each character were "based on" the specially arranged character themes from the soundtrack albums, as you say. Personally, I'm thinking it might actually have been the other way around... that Levy first composed the background music themes for the characters, the themes we hear in the TV series; and then later on, when Saban decided to do a French soundtrack album, he arranged soundtrack-exclusive versions of "Penny's Theme" (both instrumental and with French vocals), "Brain the dog - The song" (French vocals) and "Mad's Theme" (instrumental). This order of production makes more sense to me, especially when considering that a) several of the specially arranged themes had lyrics and b) Saban already had a habit of creating specially arranged character themes directly for their soundtrack albums (it had happened before with the French LP releases of Ulysses 31 and The Mysterious Cities of Gold).

      And actually, I'm positive that "Train Machine" was composed for the first season. Think about it: It was released on the French LP in 1983, long before the second season was even considered (http://www.discogs.com/Shuki-Levy-Ha%C3%AFm-Saban-Inspecteur-Gadget-Bande-Originale-De-La-S%C3%A9rie-TV-FR3/release/1220987). I must admit that I can't remember it from any season 1 episodes myself at the moment, but as long as the French LP came out in 1983 - which it did according to every source I know - then "Train Machine" was definitely composed for season 1. (Maybe it just ended up not being used in any season 1 episodes for some reason?)

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    2. It is likely "Train Machine" was an unused Season 1 cue. I am guessing it may have also been meant for some silly scene (as it has synthesized belch-like sounds in it.)

      Of course, the second season was also known for its strange music editing, having foreign-based pieces showing up in the wrong situations. I remember they seemed rather fond of using that "European festival" music from "The Coo-Coo Clock Caper," "Dutch Treat" and "Prince of the Gypsies" a lot in the second season, and I also remember them using "Gadget with the Incas" at one point in "The Capeman Cometh," and the Irish-themed cue from "Luck of the Irish" also showed up in "Tyrannosaurus Gadget."

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  4. Hi, I love the Inspector Gadget soundtrack, so catchy and rhythmic always made ​​her unique and fun rhythm and contribute much to the chapter, I would love that in this cd incorporate some of the most used songs in the series, especially this. ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmqLGoYynzg
    (appears in chapter 19:12 minutes)


    I hope you finally get much of the soundtrack for Gadget with some of their songs most used in Series Chapters

    greetings!!

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    1. That is one of my favorite music cues from the show too, but as I said, they are probably locked up in a vault somewhere that no one can find. If they could be unearthed, that'd be awesome!

      Here's a project I did where I edited together one of my other favorite music cues from the series not in the soundtrack: this one was used a LOT in the first season...
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsI-aFJLmws

      I may try and do it with a few other cues too.

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    2. wow! I love the work you have done to get this song in the series! I love this music is one of my favorites along with the above I mentioned.
      Could not you do the same with the previous one?, Would be a good gift and I'd appreciate it a great thing! :)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmqLGoYynzg


      is a great job you've done, it's a shame, is not available to the whole soundtrack but it gives me more pain than the author Shuky Levy not have it, I think I should upload his previous works and share it with her ​​fans in a website like soundcloud


      I await your responses!

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  5. yes!! I think this piece here surely ------ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU85snr_T4Y (19:09 minutes) the must have someone, and even some producer of a chapter or even SkukyLevy or Haim saban, is one of the most used pieces in the series, and one that I like!, I wish we could all find bits between different chapters in which this music sounds to make the complete song, it would be great!

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  6. Can anyone vouch for the quality of Tele 80 as a label? I've never heard of them and it looks like they only have a Facebook page. Is there any more about them on the internet (a search didn't pull up anything) or any other way to connect with them (I'm not on Facebook).

    I'd like to know more about them before I get excited about this :)

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    1. I describe in detail in this post why I think there's reason to be excited for this CD. Some of Télé 80's releases from last year had very bad sound quality, but that's their previous distributor, XIII Bis Records, didn't want to spend any money on remastering the music. Whereas Télé 80's recent releases seem to be a big step up in quality: remastered music and much more attractive cover art. You can hear previews of their two most recent CDs (released this May) here - http://www.generikids.fr/#/tele-80-marie-dauphin/ - and here: http://www.generikids.fr/#/tele-80-mini-star/ Hopefully, the Gadget CD will sound as good as or better than this.

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    2. I caught that part and anticipate remastered sound as you've described it. Thank you. What I'm more curious about is the label itself and its reputation. I've never heard of them and, not being on Facebook, am curious as to where it will be available (if not from them direct) and how I can contact them if I have a question or problem.

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    3. All the Télé 80 CDs are available from Amazon.fr (which of course ships internationally), as well as from some other French web stores like FNAC. I really don't know of any way to contact Télé 80 except through Facebook. As for what I know of their reputation, I summed that up in my previous comment. Like I said, their two most recent CDs seem to be of much better quality than the XIII Bis releases from last year.

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  7. Hello! Does anyone know which website you can buy the cd, by wire transfer or other payment other than paypal or credit card?

    I do not run without this cd

    I hope you can help me

    thank you very much!

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    1. Wire transfer? That's really not a very common way of paying in web shops... Don't you have the possibility to use Paypal or credit card?

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  8. Could I ask, does anyone know what this CD is all about: http://www.discogs.com/Inspector-Gadget-Grabacion-Original-Exito-En-TV/release/4269295 I presume this is just a crude bootleg? I mean aside from the main theme and "Doctor Gang", other track titles (when translated) include stuff like "Love Is So Easy", "Paco The Centipede" and "Jolly Jumper" which I have never heard of before. Is this simply a case of someone renaming the tracks from the Australian release? :) Lee James

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    1. Hi again. The edition you're linking to is not a CD, but an LP, and it's actually not a bootleg at all. It has no connection to the Australian releases, either, even though the cover art has some interesting similarities (in my eyes, the Spanish cover looks a lot better than the Australian one).

      In any case, this is in fact an officially licenced Inspector Gadget LP, put out by a small Spanish company named Horus. It's a very odd edition. The entire A-side of it is related to Inspector Gadget, but only two of the tracks are by Levy and Saban: Track 1, which is a Spanish-dubbed version of the theme song (an edited together mix of the opening theme and the end credits theme, with full-blown Spanish lyrics accompanying the English words "Go, Gadget, Go" and "Inspector Gadget") and Track 6, an instrumental theme version (in reality an extended, edited mix of the opening theme). The remixing and re-editing is pretty clumsy and obviously done by whoever put together the Spanish LP, rather than by Levy/Saban. As for the other tracks on the LP's A-side... as I said, they are related to Gadget, but made specially for the Spanish release by some local musicians. Most of these tracks have the Gadget characters singing about themselves or each other... it's quite absurd. Here's one song with Penny singing about her friend Brain, or in Spanish, "Mi amigo Sultan"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2pnqCUp1rQ (I have to admit it's somewhat catchy.)

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  9. Hi, i was just wondering if the music from the middle part of doubled agent is on the soundtrack please. Sorry i don't know the name of the piece but in the episode it's when gadget leaves the farm and the agents go after him.

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    1. This music, right? Unfortunately, no... it wasn't included on any of the original soundtrack releases from the 80s, and as such, can't be found on Télé 80's CD either. I wish it was because this is actually one of my personal favorites from the entire soundtrack. :) I could listen to this piece all day. Another episode I remember it particularly well from is "Funny Money", both in the opening scene in the cafeteria and throughout the first half of the ep.

      I'll still recommend the Télé 80 CD for the music it does include, though. If you want to know exactly which pieces are on it, I'd recommend to pre-listen to the tracks at Generikids.fr. You can find the link in the column to the right, under "Remastered Soundtrack CD With 30 Tracks Out Now" (where the link to my full review is also listed).

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