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King Kong Lives
Album Cover Art
1987 Victor
1997 Bootleg
Album 2 Cover Art
2012 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
John Scott

Performed by:
The Graunke Symphony Orchestra
Labels Icon
Victor (Japan)

Bootleg (Ape Records)
(July, 1997)

Intrada Records
(October 1st, 2012)
Availability Icon
The 1987 CD album was released commercially in Japan. The "Ape Records" bootleg, advertised initially as a promotional release, was available through soundtrack specialty outlets in 1997 for about $40. The 2012 Intrada re-issue was technically unlimited in quantity but only available as demand warranted new copies to be produced.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on any album if you desire some of John Scott's best career adventure material, but especially on the 1997 bootleg if you seek a sampling of this superior music from several of his notable scores.

Avoid it... if you have no interest in engaging and massive orchestral action music, or if you're stuck on John Barry's score for the 1976 predecessor in the franchise and can't live without its themes.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/17/97, REVISED 10/15/12
King Kong Lives: (John Scott) Ten years after our favorite Kong was machine-gunned off the top of the World Trade Center in the 1976 Dino De Laurentiis production of King Kong, a sequel was released under the notion that the beast survived the fall and had been hidden by the government during the following decade. The 1986 production of King Kong Lives was another De Laurentiis venture, opening with the final scene of the 1976 film and featuring much of the same crew. Director John Guillermin would return for King Kong Lives, only to see the cheesy film end a long career that had included better memories like The Towering Inferno. The script is really what sunk this sequel, with its laughable premise and ridiculous fallacies of logic, rendering the film completely pointless. Kong and a lady ape escape long enough to fornicate and yield a baby Kong just as the military finally does get the best of belligerent daddy, setting up another possible sequel. The actors seemed to realize that they were involved in a hopelessly boring production, given their completely uninspired performances of television-worthy dialogue. The film does have the notable attraction of a brief partial nudity shot of actress Linda Hamilton, as fans everywhere eventually re-discovered. One member of the original crew who would not return was composer John Barry, despite the director's continued insistence that the score feature tragic romance music rather than straight bombast for some of its action scenes. Guillermin turned to veteran composer John Scott, whose career varied greatly between television, documentaries, and feature films from the early 1960's through the 2000's. Even though he continued composing well into the digital era, he'll probably be forever known for scoring countless Jacques Cousteau documentaries in the 1980's, the mass of which somewhat degrades the more unique highlights in his feature work. His large-scale action scores, especially those in the 1980's, can't be dismissed, however, and King Kong Lives was one such triumph that far eclipsed the film in quality. In fact, Scott's work for King Kong Lives is so magnificent in scope that it adds another laughable aspect to a film that was already trying all too hard to take itself seriously. In many regards, it's a more sincere, grandiose, and enjoyable alternative to Barry's music for the prior film.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.28 Stars
***** 59 5 Stars
**** 72 4 Stars
*** 51 3 Stars
** 34 2 Stars
* 41 1 Stars
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Leto - November 17, 2006, at 5:33 a.m.
1 comment  (2220 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1987 Victor Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 47:10
• 1. Prelude (2:02)
• 2. King Kong Lives/Main Titles (2:34)
• 3. Discovery of Lady Kong (1:25)
• 4. Back to Life (2:12)
• 5. Kong Meets Lady Kong (4:02)
• 6. Honeymoon Ridge (2:21)
• 7. Footbridge Incident (0:34)
• 8. Night Camp (2:49)
• 9. Lady Kong Gets Gassed (4:16)
• 10. Leap Into the Rapids (2:35)
• 11. Alligator Swamp (2:32)
• 12. Chaos in a Small Town (2:32)
• 13. Revenge of the Hunters (3:33)
• 14. Kong Rescues His Lady (2:37)
• 15. Kong's Final Battle (1:15)
• 16. Birth of Baby Kong/Death of Kong (6:08)
• 17. Return to Borneo/End Credits (4:31)
1997 Ape Records Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 72:30
2012 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 47:03

Notes Icon
The inserts of the 1997 and 2012 albums include a note from John Scott about the score (written for the LP release). The 2012 Intrada album also includes basic information about the film and score, but no significant analysis.
Copyright © 1997-2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from King Kong Lives are Copyright © 1987, 1997, 2012, Victor (Japan), Bootleg (Ape Records), Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/17/97 and last updated 10/15/12.
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