Dragon's Domain Records


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Dragon’s Domain Records, to be distributed through, presents THE DAVID SPEAR COLLECTION, VOLUME 2 , featuring music composed by David Spear for two projects from his filmography. This album collects music from MORTUARY ACADEMY and KISS DADDY GOODYBYE, two films from the composer’s filmography.

Released in 1981, KISS DADDY GOODBYE, written and directed by Patrick Regan, starring Fabian, Marilyn Burns, Will Rand, Nell Regan, Patrick Regan III, Jon Cedar, Marvin Miller and Chester Grimes, tells the story of two children with psychic powers who use them to avenge the death of their father, who is murdered by a biker gang.

Producers Alain Silver and Patrick Regan were happy with Spears’ work on KISS DADDY GOODBYE and would hire him again for THE CREATURE WASN’T NICE and MORTUARY ACADEMY. Due to budgetary constraints, Silver and Regan requested Spear compose an all-electronic score for the film. Spear used this as an opportunity to explore using the Prophet 10 synthesizer, which was the primary instrument used to produce the music.

Released in 1988, MORTUARY ACADEMY, directed by Michael Schroeder, written by Paul Bartel, starring Richard Kennedy, Christopher Atkins, Perry Lang, Bruce Wagner, James Daughton, Megan Blake, Donna Speir, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov and Anthony James, is a comedy in the style of POLICE ACADEMY and PORKY’S, and tells the story of the Grimm brothers, who stand to inherit a mortuary if they can get themselves focused enough to pass their mortuary exams. Unfortunately for them, the current owners (Bartel and Woronov) are not in a hurry to leave any time soon and go out of their way to plot to fail the brothers however good they do in mortuary academy.

Spear composed the music for MORTUARY ACADEMY for a small orchestra, which he conducted in Vancouver, British Columbia. Given the subject material, the score is a delightful frolic through a myriad of styles that heighten the comedic foundation for each scene by playing each romp with a degree of sincerity. One of the primary themes was inspired by “Funeral March of a Marionette” by Charles Gounod (track 7, “Paul and Linda”), which was famously used as the main theme for the television show ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Fleshing out Spear’s score are sexy sax-fueled stripper teases, lush romantic strings with harp, quotes of other famous tunes including Brahms’ “Lullaby,” punchlines highlighted with accordion, funky 80s beat-synth cues and an infectious love theme.

David Spear began his career orchestrating many film scores for Elmer Bernstein including AIRPLANE, ANIMAL HOUSE, HEAVY METAL and GHOSTBUSTERS. After his Broadway debut as Music Director of MERLIN, THE MAGICAL MUSICAL, Spear wrote scores for three Academy Award nominated films: RAINBOW WAR, BALLET ROBOTIQUE, and THE COURAGE TO CARE. He composed the music for the Emmy Award winning National Geographic documentary, SURVIVING EVEREST. One of his first major scores was for the 1981 vampire thriller FEAR NO EVIL, composed in collaboration with the film’s writer/director Frank LaLoggia. He led the Indianapolis Symphony for the 2008 premiere of THE LANGSTON HUGHES PROJECT featuring Ice-T and the Ron McCurdy Quartet. A dedicated educator, Spear served as faculty at Berklee College of Music (1991-1995), USC Thornton School of Music (1995-2006), NYU (2009-2013), and at Portland State as 2017 Artist-in-Residence. His work in academia and industry thrives on decades of creative collaboration with many notable artists, directors and scholars.

Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DAVID SPEAR COLLECTION, VOLUME 2, featuring music composed by David Spear for MORTUARY ACADEMY and KISS DADDY GOODBYE for the very first time on compact disc. The music has been mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland and the liner notes have been written by author and composer Brian Satterwhite, with the participation of the composer.

THE DAVID SPEAR COLLECTION, VOLUME 2 is a limited edition release of 500 units. Composer David Spear will sign the first 50 copies of THE DAVID SPEAR COLLECTION, VOLUME 2 sold through the website.

1. Dreams of Success (2:31)
2. Paul and Mary / Introductions / Mouth to Mouth (3:42)
3. Get The Picture / Evil Plans / Max and Valerie (2:13)
4. Linda and Paul Morgue Love Theme (2:20)
5. Hunting for Bodies (3:24)
6. Date Night (1:39)
7. Paul and Linda (2:06)
8. Expelled and Morgue Lust (3:30)
9. Decomposition (2:51)
10. I Can Do It (1:33)
11. Beach Love (1:35)
12. Dead End (1:28)
13. Kiss Daddy Goodbye Main Title (2:51)
14. The Bikers and Dad’s Death (2:36)
15. Dad Driving (1:32)
16. Nighttime Terror (2:52)
17. Zombie Dad (3:43)
18. More Death (3:46)
19. The Bikers Return and Sheriff to the Rescue (3:33)
20. The Big Bike Chase and The End (1:50)
Total Time: 52:26



Dragon’s Domain 713
20 tracks - 52:26

Following up on their issue from last year, Dragon’s Domain releases a second volume of music by David Spear (a prominent collaborator of Elmer Bernstein’s), with the new playlist exploring a couple of his horror scores from the 1980s.

B-movie writer-director Paul Bartel co-wrote Mortuary Academy (1988), a sort of Police Academy parody focusing on morticians at a school run by a closet necrophiliac. Spear’s music dabbles in plenty of weirdness for the onscreen insanity, from the sax-y noir of “Dreams of Success” to heavy helpings of ’80s rock gestures, plus clever string and bassoon moments of comedic mystery. The brief score is highlighted by a strong love theme.

Mortuary Academy is coupled with 1981’s Kiss Daddy Goodbye, a low-budget horror film starring Fabian (of one name only). The story sees two psychic children out to avenge the death of their father who was killed by a biker gang. This one is an all-electronic score rendered a Prophet 10 synthesizer. The themes here are sometimes reminiscent of Elmer Bernstein’s ondes Martenot melodies, while the material overall is along the lines of the pop stylings of the time.

This release further highlights a worthy, lesser-known composer. The album is a limited edition of 500 units, but also available digitally. Samples can be heard at the label’s website. —Steven A. Kennedy

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