The videogame soundtrack that first opened a door to the Grammy Awards™, defined new production standards for game music, set sales records and eventually led to an Academy Award™, is being commercially released worldwide by Universal Music Group Recordings, Inc.
The classic soundtrack from Sierra's Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire, composed and produced by multiple award-winner Chance Thomas, will be available March 6, 2007 for free preview and commercial download on iTunes, Liquid Audio, Napster, MusicNet, Listen/Rhapsody and Sony Connect. MP3 excerpts of the soundtrack can also be sampled at: www.HUGEsound.com.
It was the music from Quest for Glory V that first turned the heads of Recording Academy leaders in 1997 and began the process of bringing game music into the Grammy Awards™. The soundtrack's film-score sensibilities and high production standards demonstrated a maturing approach to game music that placed it on par with film and television soundtracks. "I still remember sitting in NARAS' offices for the first time, watching Academy VP Diane Theriot place the Quest for Glory V soundtrack in her CD player and push the play button," says Thomas. "I was so nervous. Quest was my opening move to get game music into the Grammy Awards. So when she started smiling and nodding her head at me, I knew the orchestra had done the trick. She said, 'I'm very impressed,' and got the ball rolling that very day." Grammy™ eligibility was extended to game music for the first time, and ultimately three new categories were added for it's inclusion.
Today the modern film orchestra is ubiquitous in dramatic game scoring. But 10 years ago, the live symphonic tracks in Quest for Glory V were ground-breaking. They were among the very first orchestral recordings for any American-made game, and the first ever for game-maker Sierra. Said Craig Alexander, Sierra's general manager at the time, "Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire features a full orchestra, classical guitar, gothic harp, layered vocals, even a handful of exotic instruments, all played by the finest studio musicians. It cost us a bundle, but every reviewer out there is raving about the music. I wish I could get that much bang for the buck out of all aspects of production." (Grammy Magazine, Getting In The Game, Spring Issue 1999)
The Quest for Glory V soundtrack literally led to an Oscar™. The soundtrack CD caught the attention of Ken Ralston, then president of Sony Pictures Imageworks, during pre-production for his animated short film, The ChubbChubbs. Said Ralston, "That led me to pursue Chance Thomas for our first animated short... His scores are ingenious, evocative and have a sophisticated filmic sound." Chance delivered a comic, foreboding original score for The ChubbChubbs that won Best of Show at the International Aurora Awards™ in music scoring. The film went on to dominate short film festivals and awards, eventually taking home an Oscar™ at the 75th Annual Academy Awards™. This was the first time a game music composer had scored an Oscar™ winning film of any kind.
Music from Quest for Glory V was performed live at the world's first game music concert held outside Japan. The historic symphonic concert at the 2003 European GC conference featured the "Overture" from Quest for Glory V's soundtrack, a five-minute exposition of the game's main themes. Maestro Andy Brick conducted the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in its performance at the renowned Gewandhaus Concert Hall in Leipzig, Germany.
With a CD release in the late 1990's selling more than 50,000 units, Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire was the most commercially successful game soundtrack of its day. It remains among the best selling American game soundtracks of all time.