It’s a Stone groove

Helmer's film music set for Hip-O discs

No conspiracies were unmasked during the making of this album.

Hip-O Records and director Oliver Stone have teamed to deliver “The Oliver Stone Connection,” a two-CD set featuring the diverse musical world the high-profile helmer has tapped to help tell his stories.

The set — which also boasts in-depth interview segments with Stone, including his views on music and the movies — will be launched with an intense marketing campaign targeted to both filmgoers and music lovers.

It will simultaneously bow domestically and internationally, signaling a unique support for the disc from Hip-O execs and the label’s Universal Music Group parent.

The Stone set, which preems Aug. 28, follows the lead of Hip-O’s first album in the label’s “Connection” series, which taps top directors who are widely known for making music integral to their films.

Last year Hip-O bowed the “Tarantino Connection,” which boasted tracks from several Quentin Tarantino pics.

Prepared with the active participation of the Oscar-winning Stone, the new collection covers music that spans his career including “Salvador,” “The Doors,” “Platoon,” “Wall Street,” “Natural Born Killers” and “U-Turn.”

“I think of the music as integral to the movie,” said Stone. “If there is any poetry in the movie, it will exist in the music.”

Among the many tracks are the Doors classic “The End,” Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Burn,” and Peter Gabriel and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing “Taboo.”

Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” from “Platoon” and Don McLean’s classic “American Pie” also appears.

The collection also features film scores by such composers as John Williams, George Delerue and Ennio Morricone.

The director comments on topics such as those labeled “Sex, Movies & Music,” “On Music and Score” and “On Choosing Composers,” and offers observations on why he used specific songs and artists.

“All my composers have been special individuals,” said Stone. “For some reason, I have been very lucky — all of them dignified people. John Williams is a dream to work with, the easiest man to say change something if I have a problem with it. Ennio Morricone is the total opposite — acerbic, angry, and yet at the same time has a great understanding.”

He notes that on “JFK,” Williams was “very taken by John Kennedy and his meaning and wrote the score on the basis of reading the screenplay.” He put “all his heart and soul into it,” recalled Stone.

“You can also go wrong, which Ennio Morricone did on ‘U-Turn,’ ” observed Stone. “And I say that out of love and friendship. Ennio’s flaw, if any, was as an Italian he read an English screenplay and he decided what it was and then wrote his music. Problem is, he doesn’t even consult the director. Out of that clash-ing of wills came a very strong score for ‘U-Turn,’ (which) is one of the great scores and I think it will be remembered.”

Stone said his intense use of music in film stems from early in his career when “at film school we were always ripping off public domain, we were always using songs for film shorts. We were not able to afford compositions, so we used pre-existing music.”

Bruce Resnikoff, exec veep and G.M. of Universal Music Group special projects and chief of Hip-O Records, credits Stone for helping to create a top-drawer compilation.

“Music from such acts as the Doors, Nine Inch Nails and (Van) Morrison rarely appear on compilations,” said Resnikoff. “Much to the credit of Oliver, he used his clout and relationships to help us get the best music, which made this set a standout. He wanted to make sure that the music reflected his name, and I believe this album does that.”

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