Sunday, August 5, 2012

Télé 80's Second Inspector Gadget CD Is Coming

On July 12, some rather interesting news appeared on Télé 80's Facebook page. I've had no time to blog about this before now, but better late than never (especially as this will not be released until November):

Yep, the second "Inspecteur Gadget" CD is on its way... and it gives the impression of being a bit more special than Télé 80's first lackluster edition. The Facebook post that announced this "Edition Speciale" CD has since been inexplicably deleted, but thanks to Google Cache, I can still share it with you:

The above screen grab is a cached version of the Facebook site from July 18. When the post was deleted (on July 22 or 23, I think), it had gotten even more comments... some of them asking if one could still make suggestions for the contents of the "Special Edition" CD. Télé 80 responded with an enthusiastic yes, but then deleted the entire thread. Talk about mixed signals to the customers. This is not the first time I've seen Télé 80 delete threads from their Facebook site, and I'm still not sure why they do it.

Anyhow, let's look at the facts revealed so far. Here's the written message in French (posted here for reference, as the original Facebook post no longer exists):
...and here, with the usual aid of Google Translate and my flickering with the translation options, is what I can make out of it in English:

So, to sum up: In November, Télé 80 will release a special "30th anniversary edition" CD of the Inspector Gadget music by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban. This CD will include 26 original tracks as well as 1 new remix called "Gadget Dance Mix". (Unless this remix is by Shuki Levy himself, I couldn't be less interested in that part.) Presumably, the audio will be in good quality and free of vinyl scratches this time around... as Télé 80 promised much better sound quality when Volume 2 was first announced months ago. Télé 80 also mentions that the Gadget CD they released with bad sound quality in May might become a collector's item, as only 500 copies have been sold around the world at this point, and they intend to destroy the rest. Good riddance, I say. (Though I must admit that a small part of the completist in me would like to get that CD now, seeing as it is the first CD release ever of the show's original background music. Damn my collector's instincts!)

The "new" cover art looks pretty awful (awful enough for people to complain about it in disbelief at the Planete Jeunesse forums)... ironically enough because, once again, Télé 80 reproduces the art from a vintage LP cover, in this case the cover of the 1986 Australian LP "Inspector Gadget - The Music". Still, this is slightly reassuring from one perspective. The Australian record (as regular readers know by now) contains a few tracks that were not included on the 1983 French LP... and I had expressed hope earlier that Télé 80 would look at the Australian LP for their second "Inspecteur Gadget" CD, and get the unique tracks on that edition included. (I even sent them a few e-mails about this, but never got a reply.) The cover image certainly indicates that Télé 80 are at least aware of the Australian record... and the fact that this new CD includes 26 original tracks makes it very likely that some of those tracks have been collected from "Inspector Gadget - The Music" (the French LP contained 22 tracks).

Original cover source: ABC Records' Australian LP Soundtrack, 1986

I find it interesting, by the way, that Télé 80 mentions getting hold of many missing track titles "...thanks to your help and to Shuki Levy". I can understand "your help", as I'm pretty sure a number of fans have helped Télé 80 out with getting good LP copies to rip the music from. But Shuki Levy himself? Does this mean Levy personally helped Télé 80 out with good-quality copies of the original LPs, or with master tapes of his original compositions? I would guess the former, because 26 tracks are no more than what you'd get by simply combining the contents of the French and Australian soundtrack LPs.

In fact, 26 tracks are less than what you'd get if you include every single, unique track from each of those editions... and that worries me a bit. I've calculated that if Télé 80 collects everything that has ever been released of original Gadget music by Shuki Levy, they would end up with 28 tracks! Which leads me to wonder if something is being left out. Let's take a quick look at the tracks that Télé 80 could in theory release, collected from various soundtrack editions and compilations of TV themes:

The French 1983 LP - 22 Tracks
1. Inspecteur Gadget (Inspector Gadget, French vocals). 2:37
2. Le thème de Sophie (Penny's theme, French vocals). 2:30
3. La chanson de Fino (Brain the Dog - the song, French vocals). 2:00
4. Gadget sur Mars (Gadget on Mars). 1:30
5. Le fantôme (Ghost). 1:56
6. Musée de l'art fou (Mad art in Museum). 2:05.
7. Gadget au Japon (Gadget in Japan). 2:02.
8. L'usine de chocolats (Chocolate factory). 2:00.
9. Rodéo (Rodeo). 1:30.
10. Thème du Dr Gang (Mad's theme). 2:12
11. Héros dans la jungle Africaine (Heroes in African jungle). 1:50
12. Gadget chez les Incas (Gadget with the Incas). 1:00
13. Fais gaffe (Look Out). 1:34
14. Gadget en difficulté (Gadget in trouble). 1:11
15. Désert d'Arabie (Arabian desert). 1:15
16. Gadget le sophistiqué (Sophisticated Gadget). 1:40
17. Thème du train (Train Machine). 1:55
18. Le royaume (Kingdom). 2:00
19. La course de voiture (Car race). 1:12
20. Les pharaons (Pharaohs). 1:30
21. Le thème de Sophie (Instrumental) (Penny's Theme). 2:30
22. Thème d'ouverture (Instrumental) (Opening theme). 1:12
The Australian 1986 LP - 5 Unique Tracks (16 in total, but many overlapping with the French LP)
23. Inspector Gadget Theme (US theme song, extended version. Also released on the Australian compilation CD 30 Years of Funtastic TV Toons, 1990). 2:50
24. Brain The Dog (background music track; instrumental theme for Brain). 1:08
25. Mad's Theme (misspelled Max's theme on the back cover, this is an alternate version of  "Mad's theme", orchestrated slightly differently from the version on the French LP). 2:12
26. Italian Gadget (background music track). 1:03
27. Gadget Closing (US end credits theme). 0:41
The Original US Opening Theme, which has circulated on various CD compilations of television themes ever since the 1980s, and is no doubt very easy to find:
28. Inspector Gadget Theme (Opening, US version). 1:12

In other words: If the upcoming CD really contains 26 original tracks, it would seem that Télé 80 is leaving out 2 tracks that could have been included.... and this being a French release, it would not surprice me if these 2 leftovers prove to be American themes. I could easily picture the "Gadget Closing" theme and one of the US themes (either the Opening Theme or the extended "Inspector Gadget Theme") being taken out, as these American theme songs do sound slightly similar to one another. Still, all three of these themes are also different from one another - and all of them are unique, vintage compositions by Shuki Levy. For that reason alone, they deserve inclusion on an official soundtrack CD... especially if that CD wants to live up to the subtitle "Edition Speciale".

But maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here. As Télé 80 mentioned in a Facebook comment, the contents of the CD can still be changed and revised. For all I know, that might be why they suddenly deleted the thread announcing this news... maybe they felt that it was too early to give detailed information, considering these details might change before the release. Whatever the case, I truly hope they will include all of the US themes - or more to the point, all the compositions that have been released from Shuki Levy's original score. It would only serve to make the CD more attractive for fans around the world.


  1. I'm looking forward to this cd, as well as other plans this company might have. Unfortunately music from shows like Jayce and the wheeled warriors or M.a.s.k. might never happen.

    I do think you should still get the first volume, it's a collectable! 500 copies is not a lot worldwide and it's still cheap. I'm surprised this cd didn't do better. Considering the people asking about it everywhere, you should expect it to be more of a hit. Perhaps it had something to do with the cheap looking presentation and that it was, kind of, hard to order internationally. that it had less music then was available online ofcourse.

    I've made a thread on about this, promoting this cd, as well as your blog;


    1. Yeah, from what I know, Jayce and M.A.S.K. never had any vintage releases with background music, or did they? I guess that might be the main problem, as most of Saban's master tapes for their 80s cartoons seem to be lost, and the soundtracks that are getting released are mainly extracted from LP editions.

      I know, the first Gadget CD IS a collectible... making it pretty tempting. ;) I just wish it didn't have such low-quality sound. It feels kinda wrong to spend money on it when a) Télé 80 did such a lousy job with it and b) an improved edition is coming out. Still, maybe I'll give it a chance. Is there any cover art on the back, by the way? Or a booklet with info or anything? (Just curious about how much I might be missing if I don't buy it.)

      Anyway, thanks very much for the mention on filmscoremonthly! It's a huge compliment to me that you find my blog worth promoting! :)

  2. Yes, that's probably the reason the background music will never be released, although....I have a dozen MASK files here that are ripped from the show. No dialogue, some sound effects. They sound alright. A professional soundtrack producer might do miracles with them, although it would probably cost a lot of time and effort.

    Well, it's only 5 euros and still a nice Gadget collectable. There is no back cover art, just the titles with a small picture of the front cover art. The 4 page booklet only has the track titles and an ad for more Tele 80 cd's. So....I guess it's not the best looking collectable perhaps:)

    You're welcome, your blog is very detailed and has worthwhile information that I have yet to find anywhere else, a real asset to the internet. I hope more Gadget fans will find you:)

    1. Oooh, are these M.A.S.K. files available for download anywhere? I must admit to not being a fan of MASK,having never seen the show... but if the background music is scored by Levy and Saban (like the theme song), then I'm very much interested:)

      " A professional soundtrack producer might do miracles with them, although it would probably cost a lot of time and effort."

      Come to think of it, a professional soundtrack publisher might do even MORE. I'm not sure if you've heard about this before, but pretty much all of these old cartoon series actually exist in completely dialogue-free versions... the versions which are distributed internationally when the shows are dubbed to other languages. When collector's edition CDs for Ulysses 31 and The Mysterious Cities of Gold were released in the late 90s/early 2000s, the publishers (a French company called AniMusik) extracted a lot of music from these dialogue-free versions of the episodes, in order to get more of Shuki Levy's compositions included. Those bonus tracks were in mono, of course, and some of them had sound effects, but generally, they sounded very good. It would be just fantastic if this could be done for the upcoming Gadget CD, to actually give us some music that's never before been released... though I doubt it will happen. But the Gadget episodes do exist without dialogue, it can be done!

      Hmmm... yeahhh, can't say the CD sounds more tempting from your description;) Just one more question, what does the CD itself look like? Any sort of artwork on the disc?

      Thanks again for the compliments! :) I do try my best to post interesting stuff, so hearing such positive feedback is certainly an encouragement to continue posting at least now and then:) (And if it brings more Gadget fans together, even better!)

  3. The MAsk music sounds a lot like Gadget, Masters of the universe etc. They are not online though, you should send me an e-mail. The adress is on the website

    I didn't know about this dialogue free versions of the tv shows, but it does make a lot of sense. I never realised that was the way they produced them. It does explain why so many fanmade score versions are available. In fact, I used to make them myself from Transformers episodes, but they weren't as good as some of the others sound.

    Believe it or not, there is artwork on the Gadget disc! It's the same drawing as is on the front and back cover ofcourse:). Get it while you still can!

    1. I'll definitely send you an e-mail shortly! :)

      Until fairly recently, it never occurred to me that there were dialogue-free versions of the shows either. I just happened to read on some site that this was how they got bonus music for the CD editions of Ulysses 31 and Cities of Gold, and suddenly it all made sense (especially as I had downloaded those CDs on beforehand and was wondering why some tracks contained SFX). And yeah, from a time- and money-saving perspective, I guess it's very logical that they produce TV cartoons that way.

      I'm not sure to which degree it explains "why so many fanmade score versions are available", though. Generally, these dialogue-free versions of the cartoons have never been available to fans who might use them for such a purpose. I think they're mostly just available to TV networks and dubbing companies, at least officially. One notable exception to this rule is "The Real Ghostbusters" TV series: When Time Life released the complete series to DVD, they actually included bonus audio tracks without dialogue for a handful of episodes, because they knew fans wanted to hear the music. I wish such care for the fans happened more often:)

      Wow, there actually IS artwork on the disc, and it looks just as good as the cover? How can I resist buying this masterpiece of music publishing?? :P

  4. Dear Nick and Mesterius

    I've been following the Saban & Levy work from more than 10 years ago!

    Together with a friend we have been colleting and restoring many of the spanish (or latinamerican) versions of the Saban releases.

    We have a huge research about it, even we get in contact with Warner Chappell in order to find the vault. We actually have access to the Warner Chappel catalog where all the Saban /Levy work is listed on it.
    The problem is that even Warner-Chappell have the rights and catalogue of all the scores & BGM's, they have sort their vaults in order to know (where in the world) are the masters itself.

    We have the australian LP and we are going to make a transfer & restoration of it.
    I will like to get in contact with both of your (Nick, i think i've already sent you an email some time ago, even you where in my msn messenger list but you won't appear again)

    I think people like you (both) and us can make "something" to provide GOOD QUALITY releases for many anime/cartoon from the 80's.

    We have even tried to get in contact with mr Christophe Renaud in order to provide more information and material (better than the one circulating in internet) but no answer yet.

    I would like to show you some part of our work:

    - Audio restorarion from LP's: The following videos are related to AUDIO restorarion (the images used on this videos aren't part of our restoration, they are just youtube videos, but AUDIO is from our LP restoration work)

    All the following audios are part of the SABAN/LEVY spanish works:

    - Video restoration: this is the second restoration work that we do, based on old anime/cartoon videos and bring them to a better quality. Some of them wer alerady release in dvd but anyway its quality wasn't good enough and we tried to improve it and to show what really was broadcasted during the 80's in latin america.

    Hope you can reply me back in order to get in contact and really put some hands of a proper work for the albums that deserve to re-birth in a high quality version.

    Finally, a big question that we have had from a long time, can you recognize what album is the following excerpt??

    Thanks in advance for your kindle reply and hope we can get in contact soon!


    1. Hi there! I'm really, really sorry for having taken so long to answer here! I forgot to reply to your comment right after you wrote it, and for the past few months, I almost haven't had any time for the blog at all! (A broken down computer and intense studies being the primary reasons for that.)

      Your research and restoration of the Saban/Levy soundtracks sounds like a great project. I didn't know that Warner Chappell controlled rights to the Saban catalogue... or do they?. From what I've heard, Saban still controls rights to its music for 80s cartoon series. But maybe you're talking specifically about the Spanish-language releases of Saben/Levy music?

      I have to admit that in parts of your comment, I don't quite understand what you mean. You say that "The problem is that even Warner-Chappell have the rights and catalogue of all the scores & BGM's, they have sort their vaults in order to know (where in the world) are the masters itself"... so does that mean that Warner Chappell doesn't know where the master tapes are? (From what I've heard earlier, Saban doesn't know, either.)

      I have the Australian LP myself, and I've ripped it, but I think that personally, I'll wait a little bit with releasing it anywhere until we know if Télé 80 will release another, improved Gadget CD. Télé 80 did promise a new Gadget CD to make up for the awful release from May 2012, but the distribution company they had for their CDs went bankrupt, so they've been trying to find a new one for the past four months. Anyway, they finally did mention the other day on their Facebook page that a new distributor had been found, so hopefully, the upgraded Inspecteur Gadget CD is still part of their schedule. Because I have a feeling that this new CD would also include the unique music from the Australian LP in good quality (or at least that's what I'm hoping).

      Your video restoration looks pretty impressive, especially that high-quality version of the Robotech intro! How do you go about restoring the video and audio?

      As for the other question, not sure exactly how I could assist you in getting all these music albums restored. I do have a few Gadget albums in my collection, but that's about it... and I know next to nothing about audio restoration. (Not sure if I have any time for it, either.)

      And sorry, I'm not registered on 4shared, so I can't download that mysterious Saban track. But if it's the same mysterious Saban track which was once posted in a Shuki Levy thread on the ffshrine forums, then I've heard it and do not recognize it at all. How do you even know it's by Saban?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hello Mesterius,

      My apologies but I couldn't reply before.

      Let me try to answer your doubts one by one:

      - Warner-Chappell is the owner of a big part of the Saba/Levy catalogue. They have in their database hundreds of bgm/cue/songs under the Saban/Levy names. I was able to search inside that database to try to find the spanish tracks but there is no information there about them.. or maybe it is, but under "english" titles. I can't assure that.
      Even more, when we are able to get in contact with Warner-Chappel people they couldn't figure out where the master tracks are physically.
      We are asumming the Warner/Chappell SPANISH tracks copyright based on the EMI/Intersong catalogue sale done in 1985. But there is a very remote possibility that MAYBE the "spanish" tracks weren't sold at that time which means Disney might have the copyright
      o "might be the copyright holders"...

      - My friend and I would like to do "something" in order to contribute with the SPANISH tracks with the albums (LP) that we own. As you could check we try to do our best by restoring those albums with the best possible quality. The problem is that we need to get in contact with someone from Saban or maybe another entity to discuss about this project and really do a professional work and a professional release. Of course based in our restoration knowledge we will be more than happy to work in other soundtracks that haven't been released in digital (and good quality) format, i.e, italian / french / english saban sountracks.

      - About the 4shared track is the same "unknown" saban track that I uploaded before in the ffshrine forum. We know that is a saban track but we don't know from what cartoon/serie/anime it is. We get a sample track with maybe 10 or 15 different tracks (excerpts) and that "unknown" one came from that sample. It was given to my friend from the owner of a saban collection webpage with a nickname like "gedeon33" or something like that.

      There is a way to get in contact with you by gmail chat or skype or msn.. please try to let me know it so we can discuss about this and more directly.

      Take care!


  5. In celebration of composer Shuki Levy why don't Tele 80 release a best of compilation of Shuki Levy's greatest cartoon themes? From Inspector Gadget to Heathcliff, Punky Brewster, Rainbow Brite, COPS and Maxies World. Now that would be truly amazing!