[The following Reviews & Airwolf Fan Feedback
were originally published on DISQUS during 2014]
Dan Rendell25th June, 2014
As one of the original Wolf Pack who ordered the original Airwolf Themes 2CD back in the day, pre-internet, sending off my cheque to Northern Ireland, I wasn't totally sure what I'd receive back. Having seen a lot of fan creations from various fandoms, my expectations were not high. The promises were for something quite outstanding, and this is what I got... and more! Totally blown away with the production values, truly a fan-inspired project that became so much more.
A testament to the fact that with sweat, determination and dedication, you can create a product that easily rivals and bests other television soundtracks on the market. The design of the jewel case alone was a work of art! Here we are again, years down the road. With a powerful enough legacy, a World Record, more refined technology, even more carefully honed skills, and a new collaborator.
So many sequels fail to capture the power of the original. This bucks that trend. Airwolf™ is 30-years-old this year, and we now have DVDs and Blu-Rays if we want to re-live those high-flying adventures with String and Dom in control. But, it was the driving, electronic music that was one of the strengths of this show, setting it apart, breaking ground, and allowing talented musicians a blank canvas, with a whole new technology open to them.
Mark listened to his audience and has selected a top notch playlist of themes, expanded from the original. Mark and Jan have done the fans a huge favour, giving a carefully tailored album of much requested, complete, episodic tunes from the show, too often buried under action, sfx and dialogue, and of course incomplete. If Universal had released a OST for the show in the 80's, it probably wouldn't have been such a obvious labour of love as what we are getting here now.
I sold my original Airwolf Themes 2CD because the market value was ridiculously (but justifiably) high. It was too good an investment opportunity not to cash out. I do somewhat regret it now, but I do regularly listen still on mp3. Airwolf Extended Themes 2CD will not be leaving me for a long time yet. Thank you for this gift. Airwolf thanks you.
Robert M. Cassidy6th April, 2014
At last, the eagerly awaited sequel to the original Airwolf Themes 2CD set! This looks like it will be one of only a handful of merchandise/events released to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the series but even so, this one is a real treat and when it arrived, I felt like I did in the late '90s when I had just become a fan of the show!
With the original Airwolf Themes, Mark Cairns displayed a dedication, talent, and attention to detail which were truly astounding. Recreating episodic themes which are largely buried under dialogue and sound effects is not an easy task, but Mark managed to do it to a level of accuracy which most Airwolf fans had only dreamed about. Not only that, but he also brought us four tracks conducted by Sylvester Levay himself, and produced a glorious accompanying booklet, and put all of this together professionally in a beautiful package. The bar had well and truly been set, so it's perhaps fitting that it should be Mark who would then raise it!
Mark has once again done a sterling piece of work in recreating a whopping 20 episodic themes from throughout the series' first three seasons, many of which have been on the 'wish-list' of countless Airwolf fans for a very long time! In this release are some of the more memorable episodic themes, such as those from And They Are Us, Mind Of The Machine and Airwolf II, as well as some great renditions of orchestral pieces like the music playing in Hawke's Cabin at the end of Echoes from the Past and of course the legendary Eagle's Cello Theme. We even get the Song of the Revolution from Proof Through the Night... Dom was humming a Communist song and you may well be too after listening to the track! Overall there's a nice variety both in track selection and performance, and Mark for the second time has done a first-rate job.
Then we come to the other disc (which is actually Disc 1), which even in a by the fans, for the fans release is most definitely for the true fans. A cynic, someone who doesn't really like the show or hasn't even seen it before (sadly, these people do exist!) would possibly label this disc as being simply 22 versions of the same tune. But fans of the series know that three years of airtime produced many, many variations on a Main Theme... there's synth versus orchestral, there are ascending and descending bridges, lots of little nuances and everyone has their favourite. For the monumental task of trying to please everybody, Mark delegated the Main Themes side of things to talented long-time Airwolf fan, Jan Michal Szulew, and it seems his trust was well founded. Jan is no stranger to producing Airwolf music, having done so in a fan capacity even as far back as the 90s, and he has done some fantastic work here, covering both the TV and 'Movie' versions of the Pilot episode, the slow version of the theme heard in 'One Way Express' as Hawke thinks things through during a short flight in Airwolf (a personal favourite theme of mine!) as well as various aerials, trailer and credits music from Seasons 1-3. I can honestly say I don't think there is a single stone left unturned on this disc, but with one of Jan's own mixes on the CD too, I'm sure we'll see some more work from him down the road and I'm certain we'll all be looking forward to it.
The packaging on this release is beautifully done, with a booklet containing several previously unreleased photos and an interview with composer Udi Harpaz, making this a must-have addition to any Airwolf merchandise collection. As an added bonus, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the CD comes with pack of Collector's Cards, showcasing the new range of Airwolf paintings by artist Roger Shore now available as posters through Airwolf Themes; as the proud owner of two older posters featuring Roger's work, it was lovely to see that particular project resurrected.
In closing I would like to thank Mark and Jan for their hard work and dedication in bringing us this particular labour of love which I only wish my great-grandfather Francis could have listened to - he used to refer to Airwolf (in his strong Irish accent) as The best show on the television and would occasionally sit the 18-month-old me on his knee when watching it. I'm very proud to have supported the project, as I am proud to have been an Airwolf fan for so many years. And if any of you reading this are still trying to make your minds up... you don't want to miss out and eventually have to pay inflated prices on eBay, trust me, this is well worth it. Or as Colonel Vidor would have put it: "This is where you get your moneys worth, sweetheart... with interest!"
Bob "The Wraith" Goodwin2nd April, 2014
Most people won't believe this, but I only ever listened to 1 teaser (before this albums release); I was never keen on the original 1999 Airwolf Themes, it had 2~3 tracks I loved, the rest I had mixed feelings so I avoided the teasers. As a composer myself I know full well I could NEVER of come close to even the first album. Playing for a muso is easy, but re-creating, mixing & arranging takes sheer skill.
Talent is not enough in this game for such a project, you need talent and skill and as a composer I never ever had enough to step up to the plate, even though many told me I should... and I can honestly say even if I had stepped up... I'd of never accomplished what these guys have; there is no chance in hell I could of done anything even close to this and any muso can play good music, it comes from the heart. What they have done takes so much more.
With only 1 teaser in my mind along with the original 1990s release I was really dubious about this project, thats why I avoided the teasers; I mean, truth be told, I was really looking forward to Jans disc more than anything, and I can tell you now, since Ive had this album, Marks work is played more.
Jan did a great job, but with all my Airwolf video edits the main theme gets old fast, hearing it over and over while youre editing stuff for hours on end. For me its the episodic music that always stuck in my head, especially Mind of the Machine, Moffetts Ghost; yeah, granted the Main Theme is EPIC, but sometimes its the ones you barely hear that you want more of, right?
Those who know me know full well what I think of Airwolf... how i feel about Airwolf and I can honestly say... this album... is perfect... it will be noted in history as: THE BEST AIRWOLF ALBUM EVER MADE!
I don't even think the original 1980s people involved could of done this in such exact detail today.
Thank You Mark & Jan... it's truly EPIC guys!
Shariq Jaffrey8th April, 2014
Stellar, Sensational, Invigorating, Phenomenal!
Those are some of the words that come to my mind to describe this little gem, were I asked to put it succinctly. Once you listen to it, you would not be able to tell at all that this a fan recreation, one of extraordinary measure. I must confess I had fears about this album, especially knowing that this was a recreation and not the original work of Sylvester Levay and Udi Harpaz.
After the release of teasers, those fears were dispelled, but not completely. Perhaps I was still dubious about the overall quality of the product which I would be receiving, even though I loved the teasers. I am thrilled and excited to say that this is the definitive release of the Airwolf soundtrack, online fan recreations aside, this outshines them all even though those other renditions are enjoyable in their own right.
The quality of music is simply mind boggling, the level of detail if you listen closely; it shatters all expectations and rises above them. Jan and Mark have equally created something marvelous here. I can imagine how hard it must have been to re-compose this music. I dont pretend to be a musician, not even of amateurish calibre, but I do play for fun occasionally. I too have indulged myself and tried to compose the Airwolf battle theme, and it is a real challenge to say the least constructing music of any kind is.
Synchronizing or arranging each layer and instrument, finding the right tune, it is all painstakingly difficult. Add to that having to listen to the same theme again and again while trying to perfect it, can possibly lead to errors or some oversight. Fret not, there are none here, this baby is perfect.
No second thoughts. If you enjoy Airwolf or just its music, buy it now.
Also, do yourself a favor and listen to it on your home theater system... on high volume. Please dont hold Jan or Mark responsible if your walls start crumbling.
Davey Jones5th April, 2014
Wow, okay. I just finished listening to this the whole way through. Although I enjoyed greatly the first [Airwolf Themes] CD set from 1999, honestly there are only a few tracks that were ever in regular rotation for me. The synths weren't close enough to the original recordings, and the mastering level was overall quite low. and while Sly's bonus CD was a treat especially for the cello solo again, the close fidelity to what I heard and remembered on the show just wasn't there. It was incredible to have Mind of the Machine in Sly's 1st Season Medley, but it was soooo different from the original recording.
For this new release... MY GOD. I'm astounded. Beside myself. I've been waiting five long years with Jan's Main Themes EP on repeat, waiting, reading the Airwolf Blog updates, listening to each new teaser as they were slowly unveiled. It was worth it.
I will say that this is absolutely as close to the original recordings as we are ever going to get. I dare any listener to select a handful of standouts Airwolf II, And They Are Us, Mind Of The Machine, Proof Through The Night, the Pilot Orchestral Suite and tell me this is not exactly what you hear when you're watching the show on disc.
Since we've all been listening to Jan's work on the Main Themes EP for several years now, frankly, Disc 1 had fewer surprises for me here. I knew his style, his mastery of the equipment, and so on. but what REALLY has impressed me is Mark's Disc 2. HOLY HOLY. Is this the SAME GUY that made that album back in 1999? Are you kidding me?
Airwolf II is NOTE FOR NOTE perfection. Mind Of The Machine is GLORIOUS. I don't know how he did all this (just guessing five years of hard work) but I am more than BLOWN AWAY. Thank you Mark and thank you Jan for what you have given us Airwolf fans all over the world.
I find it incredibly difficult to pick favorites, but I'll list a few per season that gave me absolute SHIVERS:
Original CBS Airwolf Seasons 1~3 music covered.
- Airwolf Main Theme PILOT Kafir Palace Raid + Red Star Rest Run
- Airwolf Main Theme PILOT Orchestral Theme
- Airwolf Main Theme PILOT Closing Theme
- Airwolf Main Theme Season 1 Slow Main Theme
- SWEET BRITCHES Epilogue
- Airwolf Main Theme Season 2 FALLEN ANGEL / HX 1
- Airwolf Main Theme Season 2 + 3 Generic Closing Theme (extended)
- SEVERANCE PAY
- THE HORN OF PLENTY
- AIRWOLF II
- Airwolf Main Theme PILOT, Season 3 Journey to Red Star [MOVIE] / EAGLES Aerial Theme (extended)
- HALF-PINT Le Vans Theme
- HAWKES RUN
SEASON 1 Personal Recommendations:
SEASON 2 Personal Recommendations:
SEASON 3 Personal Recommendations:
Daniel Storm27th March, 2014
Just got mine today. In a word... AWESOME!
I'm all about 80s nostalgia. I have 2 Knight Rider [OST] soundtracks from Don Peake and they dont match the experience of this set. The Knight Rider tracks are literally the original recordings from the show and as such, are kinda jumpy as they are cut for their respective episodes. As has been stated elsewhere, they are also quite repetitive at times.
What has been done here with Airwolf Extended Themes, takes the listener to another level.
I see it like the special extended versions of some songs from the 70s and 80s, like the composers decided to do a jam session of some of their favorite work from Airwolf. I love the blending of different episodes and how the soundtrack has the room to really play out, without being constrained to cues like some of my other soundtracks. Hats off to Jan and Mark, and everyone else involved in this production. Fantastic job!
Jeremy Dickson4th April, 2014
Well, it's finally here! As the proud owner of a copy of the original Airwolf Themes set and the Main Themes EP, this has been well worth the wait.
I have been waiting for this since it was first announced all those many years ago.
Thank you Mark and your entire team, for sticking it out when it got difficult, only to bring us yet another masterpiece in the Airwolf world.
As a huge fan of the show and you alike, I would like to give you my deepest thanks for doing this for us out of the kindness of your hearts. I appreciate it and you all more than words can say. My best wishes to all of you and your families. Best regards, Jeremy.
Jaemoon Choi28th April, 2014
Finally, I received my CD on April 23rd. It took about 19 days but it was worth waiting long.
I'm very satisfied with those amazing soundtracks which make me recall my nice memories about Airwolf in the 80s; especially track No.21 Airwolf Main Theme - Season 2 + 3 Generic Closing (regular length). Airwolf always flies in my mind with this...
Once again, thank you for your great job, Jan and Mark! From The Greatest Airwolf Fan in Korea. :-)
William Jeffery19th April, 2014
The eagerly awaited sequel to Airwolf Themes has finally arrived, and what a sequel soundtrack, Mark could have very easily pushed the sequel soundtrack out after releasing the first album but he took his time putting together the soundtrack and building up the philosophy that as an Airwolf fan himself what would he want in a soundtrack and what would excite him about a soundtrack from Airwolf.
From the moment it was announced Airwolf Extended Themes was a go, the Airwolf community was a light with joy and eager excitement to have it in their hands but Mark being the perfectionist that he is wanted to deliver a sequel soundtrack that is worthy of the fans hard earned cash.
Never loosing sight of the Airwolf Themes foundations of what Mark built to deliver a product that gives fans exactly what we have all dreamed of having, an Airwolf soundtrack! Airwolf Extended Themes delivers that beautifully.
I like many of you has been eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel soundtrack and without question was well worth the wait. Airwolf Extended Themes does what others has failed to do and that is very respectfully deliver a sequel that not only respects the original album but amplifies the awesome factor on every level.
While I will always love Airwolf Themes and it sits proudly in my collection, Airwolf Extended Themes delivers an amazing and breathtaking sequel soundtrack that is flawless from start to finish.
You can see Mark looked at his original album constructively and looked at what he could deliver to the fans that could be worthy of their time and money. Yet again Mark amazes us with this flawless soundtrack sequel to our high flying world of Airwolf.
What Mark and Jan have created here is nothing short of remarkable in that their flawless arrangements are flawlessly arranged, their dedication and never compromising on the product to deliver a perfect soundtrack has paid off in spades as Airwolf Extended Themes is perfect. All nice new artwork finishes the product off nicely and an interview with Udi also gives a wealth of insight into Udi's work on the show during the third season of Airwolf.
Loads of awesome pics and superb artwork on the CDs themselves all give the soundtrack that high quality finish that actually puts other soundtracks in the shops to shame!.
You get the same as last time, a 2CD set jammed packed of flawless Airwolf Extended Themes music. Mark and Jan have delivered amazing work and have re-created every note, every sound flawlessly. Every time I listen to a track I can know exactly where in the episode it came from.
From start to finish Airwolf Extended Themes is perfect, the artwork is incredible in glorious detail with high quality finish, brilliant interview with Udi connects the dots from Sylvester Levay time on the show with his interview on the original Airwolf Themes 2CD album to now having Udi's story being told of his time working on Airwolf's third season.
Every track is beautifully done and flawless and the sound quality of the actual mastering is delicious. I have many soundtracks in my collection and I can say that Airwolf Extended Themes is flawless, its the perfect soundtrack to Airwolf. It symbolises the very essence of the show in every way that fans connect with.
So once you get the soundtrack, stick it on, crank up the volume and transport yourself into the high flying world of Airwolf, then enjoy a feast of beautiful and powerful scores and themes that we fans have dreamed of having on an officially licensed soundtrack.
Hats off to both Mark and Jan for sticking by their principals and releasing this when they were ready and delivering a sequel soundtrack that is simply out of this world. Its flawless from start to finish!
Claus Jahn Svinding5th April, 2014
So I've finally got the chance to pick up my copy of the new soundtrack and have been listening to it all day long now and I must say: "WHAT A GREAT JOB" Jan & Mark have done.
The fact that you guys manage to make these recordings sound a lot like the original recordings in show makes it even better. I've always liked the Season 3 theme and damn, hearing it for the first time in this stunning quality, is so damn nice.
My favorite track I think is the Airwolf Main Theme PILOT, Season 3 Journey to Red Star [MOVIE] / EAGLES Aerial Theme (extended)... version which is AWESOME.
I've been cranking up the volume on this soundtrack so damn bad and I can't seem stop to listening LOL; maybe because its the fact that we never had any music so close to the original recording. Don't get me wrong, the first 2CD album Airwolf Themes was great, but THIS beats it.
This soundtrack is clearly a MUST HAVE for every Airwolf fan; don't miss out on this chance to hear the music in pristine quality and maybe geek out a bit.
GREAT JOB to Mark & Jan ;-)
Paul Higginson4th April, 2014
Very, very impressed with the Airwolf Extended Themes 2 disc set! I was just expecting 2CDs, not a fantastic inlay booklet as well! So much passion has gone into making this, and it really shows in the quality of the music.
30 years on and Airwolf still lives through this music. I will be listening to this for a very long time!
Andy Corneillie10th April, 2014
I have been waiting for this soundtrack ever since I recorded the episodes as a child in the 80s to play the tunes over and over again til my audio cassette was ruined.
Listening to Airwolf Extended Themes takes me back to that time. This soundtrack is simply amazing!!! Jan & Mark have done an outstanding job!
As a long time fan of the show, thank you for doing so! It's hard to tell if there are differences between this recreation and the original versions or not. I think they're spot on! Plus with the 2CD set you also get a very nicely designed booklet with lots of information about the show and tons of beautiful pictures of the cast, crew & the Lady herself. I was also very happy to find the extra artwork as a special collector's edition.
This Airwolf Extended Themes 2CD set is a must buy for every Airwolf fan out there! Jan & Mark, thank you!
Flemming Srvin2nd April, 2014
I picked up my copy and rushed home to listen to the music. The 2CD has been in the making for a long time and the wait for the CD to arrive at the Post Office felt even longer. But patience is a virtue and I can assure that it has been worth every single second of waiting.
The music is beautiful and the many renditions of Airwolf all sounds truly awesome. I purchased this edition mainly for the Airwolf Main Themes themselves but the many episodic themes that doesn't contain are equally wonderfully played.
Over the past many years I have listened to a variety of mixed quality MP3 versions of the Airwolf theme. Mark J. Cairns' first Airwolf Themes release was a dream come true. But one theme was always missing... the orchestral variation of the theme used in the Pilot movie when Hawke is chasing Dr. Moffet. It is also used one of the first episodes (if not THE first episode?) Daddy's Gone A Huntn. This particular variation I only ever had in a poor quality MP3 version... until now. It's part of Airwolf Extended Themes. And it's another dream come true for me.
If you are a fan of Airwolf, especially the music, don't miss out on this double CD full of superb quality Airwolf and episodic themes.
A most excellent job Mark J. Cairns and Jan Michal Szulew. I would rate this a 5 out of 5.