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Stay Tuned
  • Composed by Bruce Broughton
  • Intrada / 2011 / 52:01

A slapstick comedy directed by Peter Hyams, Stay Tuned sees a married couple arguing over his obsession with the tv being transported into the tv, through various shows.  The film was the third Hyams-directed one in a row scored by Bruce Broughton, after The Presidio and Narrow Margin.  Broughton’s music is generally fairly serious action/adventure material, some times so melodramatic you know it’s a comedy, but mostly played very straight.  Sadly, it doesn’t make for a very engaging album.  I think I once remember a film composer (perhaps it was Broughton) saying about Hyams that he refused to allow them to write individual cues that spanned more than the length of a single scene in the film, making it difficult to write music that wasn’t bitty.  I don’t know if that was the case here, but this music is bitty.

The 52-minute score is made up of 27 separately-indexed tracks on the CD, but almost all of those are made up of two or more even shorter cues.  Of those, almost all are variations on the same main theme.  It’s quite a decent main theme, but as you can imagine, after hearing it for the hundredth time in half an hour it becomes more than a little wearing.  Track 22 is called “Turn it Off!” – I’m afraid most listeners will have shouted that long before reaching that point.  In fact, just after that, the actual dramatic score finishes and there are four suites of music Broughton wrote for all the “shows within a show”.  These are again bitty in nature, but by far the best thing about the album.  This is music which is brilliantly composed to do a certain job within the film – it is not music that was ever meant to be heard outside of it.  **

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