Soundtrack from The Punisher Comes to Super Audio CD

The Soundtrack from The Punisher has been released as a 5.1 Surround Sound Super Audio CD. This new SACD release comes from Perseverance Records, a small record label based in Burbank, California that is dedicated to issuing movie soundtracks in CD – and now SACD disc formats.

The Punisher first caught the attention of the public as a Marvel Comic Super Hero in 1974, appearing in the same issue of the Marvel Comics as a Spider Man adventure. The movie version of The Punisher starred Dolph Lundgren as the title character Frank Castle, who becomes a vigilante superhero known as “The Punisher” to avenge the death of his family. Louis Gossett Jr. co-stars in the movie as Police Lieutenant Jake Berkowitz, the detective who discovers that Castle and The Punisher are in fact the same person.

Searching for Master Tapes and High Quality Audio
The movie was originally released in 1989 internationally in movie theaters except for the U.S. market where it was a direct to video release. It has received a bit of a cult following over the years According to the album liner notes, fans of the movie were hoping for a higher quality audio edition of the soundtrack than what was found on the DVD edition of The Punisher, hence the plan to bring it to CD and later Super Audio CD. In the case of The Punisher, label owner Robin Esterhammer has been working for many years to track down the master tapes to the soundtrack and issue them.

Album Tracks
1. Main Title
2. Follow Dino
3. Welcome Home Dino
4. Dino Bites The Dust
5. Praying For A Flashback
6. Perfect Frank
7. Harbor Shoot Em Up
8. Punisher M.D.
9. Tanake Meets Franco
10. Tanaka and The Punisher
11. Suffer The Children
12. Path to Tanaka
13. Chopin
14. Party Pooping Punisher
15. The Pier
16. The Funhouse
17. Funhouse Shootout
18. Pretty Poison
19. Harbor Aftermath
20. The Mission
21. Armored Car
22. Choose Your Weapon
23. Bulletproof Bus
24. Mini Nightmare
25. Class Dismissed
26. Wake Up
27. Pain In The Neck (Tanaka’s Last Stand)
28. Goodbye Castle
29. Punisher Signature
30. End Title
31. Planet of Love

Interview with Composer Dennis Dreith and Director Mark Goldblatt (SACD Stereo & CD Audio tracks)
32. Getting The Job
33. Spotting
34. Scoring Scenes
35. Orchestration
36. Scoring Session
37. Editing Musically
38. Soundtrack/Distribution
39. Sign-Off

Ultimate 5.1 Hybrid SACD Edition?
The cover of The Punisher SACD notes that it features music composed, orchestrated and conducted by Dennis Dreith and that the disc is the “Ultimate 5.1 Hybrid SACD Edition” of the soundtrack. I would note that while the sound quality of the SACD is good, the liner notes reveal what a listen to the SACD will also tell you – it is apparently a 5.1 Surround Sound disc made from a 2 Channel master tape. So while the addition of ambience to the music does generate a 5.1 mix of sorts, this isn’t quite like an album made from muti-track master tapes.

Also worth noting, the Stereo SACD and CD Audio tracks on the disc also feature a special interview with composer Dennis Dreith and Director Mark Goldblatt about the music on the soundtrack album. If you’re really into how the movie music was scored, you will find this album bonus of interest.

Fans of The Punisher can pick up this Super Audio CD edition of the soundtrack direct from Perseverance Records at their web site under the page entitled PRD006S.html. The disc itself is actually labeled as being on the Tarantula Records label with a different catalog number – TARAN001.

Also worth noting is that despite listings on some music store web sites that the Dennis Dreith score to the movie “Gag” is available as a Super Audio CD release as well, the folks at Perseverance Records tell us that is not the case. For now, The Punisher is their only Super Audio CD release.