Big Blue Debate : Conti vs. Serra

There is a debate going on between afficionados of the movie The Big Blue. However, before I can describe the debate, a little background info is required. The Big Blue is or was a French movie and when released in Europe, was met with great critical approval. It was considered an avant garde art house movie and enjoyed a successful theater run in Europe. The excellent soundtrack was written by Eric Serra.

When the movie was released in the United States, approximately 30 minutes of the film had been edited out and Serra’s soundtrack inexplicably replaced by a score by Bill Conti. The people who had heard the original soundtrack thought it was vastly superior to Conti’s version. But some people really love the Conti version as that is what they heard when they first saw the movie. The debate is over which soundtrack is best.

Living in the United States, I saw the edited version of the movie with the Conti soundtrack. I loved the movie and I especially loved the song played during the opening credits. I loved it so much that, as a teenager, I spent my hard earned money from lifeguarding on a copy of the soundtrack. This is, of course, before the days when you could listen to CDs at the music store before you bought them. When I got the soundtrack home, it was the Eric Serra soundtrack and did not have the song that I purchased it for!!! I was very irritated. The soundtrack is good but just didn’t have that one really great song I wanted.

Of course, I also didn’t realize that there were two different soundtracks. I just figured they didn’t release that one song from the soundtrack. That happens often enough and these days they solve that by releasing albums like “More Music from Braveheart” which will have the rest of the music that didn’t fit on the first soundtrack.

Now fast forward to 2004. I now own the Director’s Cut Edition of the Big Blue with all of the original footage restored to the film. But STILL I do not have the Conti song. I know of only two places that it exists. One, it exists on the U.S. release of the movie on VHS videotape and is out there somewhere in some video rental store that still stocks videotapes… And, two, it exists on this bootleg CD called “Screen Themes 2” which, because its a bootleg, can’t be purchased anywhere. Aaaargggh!!!

So I am on a quest to find one or the other so I can listen to this song again. I haven’t even heard the song since 1990? so I can barely remember what it was. Maybe I’m imagining this whole thing and it was always the Serra soundtrack and I’m delusional. But I’ll never know until I get a hold of one or the other. Any help would be greatly appreciated!