Joel McNeely worked as a composer on television for a number of years including a long stint on the series "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles". It was for one of these episodes that he won an Emmy. The episode was called "Young Indiana Jones and the Scandal of 1920" and featured the composer George Gershwin, allowing McNeely to demonstrate his flair for Jazz with his adaptations of Gershwin's music. Some of the later "Young Indiana Jones" stories were straight to video feature-length productions, which McNeely also scored. He has also scored a significant number of Disney animation videos "Return to Never Land", "The Jungle Book 2", "Mulan 2", various "Tinkerbell" features, and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" which saw a theatrical release.
McNeely has since scored a number of feature films, such as "Terminal Velocity" and "The Avengers" (if you don't mind seeing a movie with such poor reviews). He is also building a reputation for conducting and promoting classic film scores of other composers in particular he has specialised in the work of Bernard Herrmann, having conducted many of his classic film scores. In these recording projects he has worked with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (or RSNO), two orchestras who have also been associated with film music recordings for a number of years. McNeely also conducted a concert of music by Herrmann at London's Barbican Centre in March 2006, including music from Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver.
Although A Million Ways to Die in the West has had something of a luke warm reception even from fans of Seth MacFarlane and his own unique brand of humour, the film score by Joel McNeely is excellent. The music plays largely as a traditional old-fashioned Western score, referencing composers such as Elmer Bernstein to great effect.
See recordings conducted by McNeely of Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo, Farenheit 451, Psycho, Citizen Kane, and the unused Torn Curtain, as well as John Barry's Out of Africa. With the RSNO, he has produced the Batman Trilogy CD (with music by Danny Elfman and Elliot Goldenthal) and also "Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire". This started life as a Stars Wars book, which then became a Video Game. The music from the video game was then expanded into this CD which also features adapted versions of the familiar themes composed by John Williams for the movies.
There are also some CDs of music from the TV series "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", each generally including episodes scored by McNeely and episodes by Laurence Rosenthal:
Here are some CD covers signed by Joel McNeely. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to show his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.