Even before the musical episode first aired, Joss was hoping to release
a CD of its soundtrack, but it was never going to be easy, as he wrote on
the official message board, 31 October 2001:
"We're definitely going to put one out, but it may take a while
cuz of contract bull$@&%, MAN it's been a nightmare trying to set
that up...I'm hoping to have a place at [BuffyUPN.com] for people to
log on and click if they're interested in buying it."
At about the same time, co-executive producer Marti Noxon told Zap2it.com:
"It was going to be Joss putting it out on Mutant Enemy. Now it
looks like it's going to be (20th Century) Fox putting it out, and that
means it's going to take forever. That's too bad."
However, it was Rounder
Records head John Virant who finally picked it up for an initial
pressing of 100,000 units. Together with Joss's newly created Mutant
Enemy Music, the disc finally became a reality almost a year after
the musical first aired. "This is the first album for Mutant Enemy
Records, my first soundtrack and my first musical" said Joss in the
press release, "I couldn't be more
excited about it. It represents the hardest work I've ever done.... I'm
proud of this work. I'm glad people will get a chance to hear it"
On September 24th 2002, the Original Cast Recording of "Once
More, With Feeling" was released to the world, coinciding with
the season seven premiere of the TV series. It's worth noting that the
soundtrack was Amazon.com's
highest musical seller on the day of it's release.
Excerpts from Joss Whedon's liner notes
(You'll need to buy the CD to read all the funny bits...)
possible the word vacation has a different meaning
for other people, but in my tribe it means chance to work
really hard on something else. So when I took my first real
vacation since Buffy started...I figured it would be fun to write
later, I returned to L.A. with a demo CD of 34 minutes of music,
my hubris replaced by craven terror. Who was I kidding? How could
I hide? Why didnt I learn to play the damn piano?
my extraordinary cast, I had Chris Beck and Jesse Tobias working
night and day to make me sound like a pro. Chris had already won
an Emmy for scoring Buffy (check out his orchestral tracks at
the end), and Jesse had played guitar for Alanis Morrisette and
the Red Hot Chili something-or-others and was Musical Director/guitarist
for Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton.... They were opposite
extremes, and exactly what I needed for a show that was going
to mix old-school musical orchestration with serious pop/rock.
together tracks that made the whole mush sound coherent, and then
we brought in the cast. Some kicking and screaming and,
you betchya, crying but all singing their hearts out, and
most of them I strongly suspect having fun. And
they blew me away.
was suddenly filled with visions of greatness: the musical would
be a phenomenon! "Under Your Spell" would
go straight to the top of the charts! Videos! Soundtrack album!
Emmys Emmys Emmys!
one dream that mattered most came true.... A soundtrack. Of My
Musical. It took a year (and the tireless and occasionally devious
efforts of Chris Buchanan) to get it out, but now I have a real
soundtrack album of my musical. With endless, pompous liner notes,
just like the real thing. This makes it real. It makes it forever.