I’m not immune to Wonder Woman mania. But as much as I enjoyed the movie, my summer of Wonder Woman centered around a brand new 3-CD release of music from the classic 1970’s TV show. I loved the release so much, I asked Film Score Monthly magazine if they’d be interested in an interview with the set’s producer (and my friend) Neil S. Bulk.
The piece was published in the June 2017 issue (subscription required to read the full article). Here are a couple of excerpts.
In the role of journalist, I know I should be strictly impartial, but I’ll admit right up front that I can’t stop listening to the music from the classic television series Wonder Woman. There’s just something about La-La Land Records’ recent 3-CD set that hits everything I love about soundtracks—catchy riffs, clever rhythms and a heavy dose of nostalgia.
I recently spoke to producer Neil S. Bulk about putting together the collection and discovered another good reason for me to love the set: There was one track that Bulk included with specifically me in mind!
Neil Shurley: How did you get involved with this project?
Neil S. Bulk: This was just a La-La Land assignment. I’d been watching the show. I hadn’t watched it in many years—I grew up with the reruns—but it sort of faded away for a while and I rediscovered it on MeTV. And so I was watching it, and as I was watching it, I was sort of paying attention to the music. I think I started watching on MeTV when it was on season three, and I thought—because you just sort of file things in the back of your mind—“Oh, this is Angela Morley. Oh, there’s a blaster beam. If this ever happens, I’d love to be part of it.” So when they asked me, I said, great, and then I sort of knew in what direction I wanted to go. Their initial want list, which I agreed with, was that it would be three CDs, a disc per season. And then we started searching Warner Bros. and discovering that we couldn’t find much from season one. We scoured the entire inventory and turned up nothing, just the pilot, which we couldn’t even find right away. I was going through the inventory and went, “Oh, wait a minute—what are these nine reels right here?” We called them in and it was the pilot score, so we did find that. And that’s how it all started.
NS: But you couldn’t ever find anything else from season one.
NSB: No, we couldn’t.
NS: Does it feel like there’s a lot missing, that there was a lot of good stuff you were hoping to get to while you were watching?
NSB: It’s been a while now, I’d have to look back at my notes for that. It would have been nice to have some of the World War II stuff on there, because it’s an important part, but we do have the pilot, which was critical.
NS: What are some of the sections that you like the best?
NSB: There was no way I was going to do a Wonder Woman soundtrack album and not include “Skateboard Chase.” That is just such a fun moment and such a terrific cue. This was supposed to be out in October, and things happen, but my goal was to have this thing ready for October and I was just working on it, working on it, working on it. I can remember it was a Saturday in July and I had to work, and my wife was in the room. I just opened up Pro Tools, looked at the wave forms, and I pointed and went, “That’s ‘Skateboard Chase,’ right there.” I hadn’t worked on it, I hadn’t listened to it, but I could just point at it and just go, “There it is, right there.”
NSB: I joked with my wife—and you’ll appreciate this—I said that you could really tell this was an album that I produced, because I devoted an entire track to the blaster beam. And you were at the forefront of my mind when I was working on this. I thought, “Well, Neil’s going to appreciate this. I don’t know if anyone else is going to appreciate a cue called ‘Nauseation Alley,’ but I think Neil will because we grew up with the blaster beam.” When I was growing up, and I’m sure it was the same with you, we heard this terrific sound on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II and The Black Hole, but we had no idea what this thing was, and it’s only in the last few years that we’ve really started to figure out what the blaster beam was. So I was watching this Wonder Woman episode and I went, “Oh! The beam’s in that!” So I pulled the tapes and sure enough, it was, and there was a whole track. I was like, “Well, I have to include that.”
NS: That is fantastic. I love the beam so much.
NSB: It’s even in the opening track, “Lots of Night Music,” and that was a specific overlay. It was recorded separately and then overlayed into the episode, so I was like, “Gotta put the beam in right there.” René Auberjonois is in that episode and it’s about a science-fiction convention. Robbie the Robot’s in it, there’s Logan’s Run cosplay in it, there’s Star Wars cosplay in it. Check out “Spaced Out” [Season 3, episode 14].