Released 10 years ago this December, Disney’s Tron: Legacy still feels ahead of its time. Less mainstream action blockbuster and more elevated video art instillation, it was a movie full of mood and atmosphere, precision cut for the most visual and emotional oomph. And a big reason why it works so well, why it has that elemental power, is Daft Punk’s incredible score. French electronic musicians/robots Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter brought so much to the world of Tron Legacy, with an instantly classic score that combined traditional orchestration with the electronic sophistication that has made them a global phenomenon. (It was also key to their musical evolution; it’s hard to imagine them making the Grammy-winning masterpiece Random Access Memories without having first done the Tron score.) And now, just in time for the tenth anniversary, Mondo is teaming up with Walt Disney Records to release a new version of the score on vinyl. And it’s a doozy.
“When we go to visit the offices at Disney Music once a year, and every time we go the team is very, very lovely and they go, ‘So what’s your dream list?’” Mo Shafeek, Creative Director, Music at Austin-based Mondo told me. “Tron was always on that list, particularly for my partner Spencer. He’s a huge Daft Punk fan and a huge fan of that score. We would always throw things out. Like for me it was Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And we got to do that. Once we did that it was like, ‘Tron Legacy please!’”
While the company will be mobilizing to celebrate the anniversary later this year, Mo and the team at Mondo benefitted from being there early. “We asked at the right time. We started this back in January. We were just asking about it for years and this time it came together organically. And now we get to be in on the anniversary.”
Eagle-eyed fans will notice that the track listing (below) features many of the tracks that were, at the time of the initial album’s release, only available as retailer-specific bonus tracks (I believe that “Sea of Simulation” was a Nokia exclusive, which is a very from-2010 aside). Shafeek explained that the original vinyl album had a different sequence than the digital releases and included many of those bonus tracks. For Mondo’s new edition, they went back to the source. “Ours is a direct repressing of what was released on the original vinyl album, which did feature a full collection of bonus tracks,” Shafeek said. Sadly the holy grail of Tron Legacy bonus tracks, their collaboration with Jay-Z called “Computerized,” which was meant to play over the closing credits, didn’t make the cut.
Of course, much of the Mondo difference comes in the truly jaw-dropping artwork, this time done by British illustrator Matt Taylor (no relation). “For Mondo Records, a lot of time, we just pretend we can do whatever we want and dial it back based on the response to things,” Shafeek said. When they got the call that, yes, they were allowed to put out the record, Taylor just happened to be in the Mondo offices. A huge fan of the score, he volunteered to do the artwork. “We didn’t tell him anything else and he said, ‘Here’s my idea.’ And we said, ‘Cool this has drawing of every member of the cast, I hope that’s okay.’ We crossed our feelings and sent that concept over.” Shafeek and the team at Mondo held their breath for weeks, worried about the cumbersome nature of likeness rights and certain stars who can absolutely not be illustrated. “Then we got an email back saying, ‘Everyone says yes and Jeff Bridges wants a copy.’”
The artwork features a slip case that has an arcade machine turned on in Flynn’s Arcade. When you pull it out, you see the glorious cover with all of the characters from the film. (The inner gatefold is the robots themselves, in their sleek white Tron Legacy costumes.) The back cover of the slipcase is a moment from the movie that Taylor was “obsessed” with – when young Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) swipes dust away from a disused keyboard. “The back cover has this spot-varnish where the dust has been wiped away, and the keyboard is glowing and it has the track-list, like the weird retro-future tech,” Shafeek said. “It had this whole story from the packaging perspective, where it’s a computer screen and you open it up and it’s this whole entire universe.” How perfectly Tron-y is that?
Find all the details below; the soundtrack will go on sale this Wednesday at Noon CT / 10AM PT on the official Mondo site.
Vinyl Edition Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music by Daft Punk
Artwork by Matt Taylor
Pressed on 2x 180 Gram Colored Vinyl
Mondo, in partnership with Walt Disney Records, is proud to present the 10th anniversary pressing of Daft Punk’s incredible soundtrack to the film TRON: LEGACY. Featuring all new artwork by Matt Taylor, housed in a spot-varnished die-cut O-Card, and pressed on 2x 180 gram colored vinyl.
- The Grid
- The Son of Flynn
- The Game Has Changed
- Adagio for TRON
- End of Line
- Solar Sailer
- Disc Wars
- Flynn Lives
- TRON Legacy (End Titles)
SIDE 02 – BONUS CONTENT
- Sea of Simulation
- Encom Part 2
- Encom Part 1
- Round One
- Sunrise Prelude