The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Released by Perseverance Records, 2005
14 Tracks, with a running time of 39:49 min.
Composed by Basil Kirchin
One of the earliest movies that I remember where I loved a piece of music from it, was the opening organ music that Dr. Phibes is playing in the beginning of this film, The War March of the Priests. What a way to open a film! I even recorded it off my video tape onto cassette so I could listen to it by itself! Maybe it was the way Price was ‘playing’ the organ, with arms flying about, but it always struck me as a powerful piece of music, and is a found memory from my youth.
Now, the score for this movie is not filled gothic sounds or creepy atmosphere that I usually like my scores to sound like. It is more of a jazz or big band music for the score, since it is what the character of Phibes loves. So there is a lot of elegant ballroom waltzes and such. The rest of the score has a familiar theme to it, with plenty of strings being used, that while not overtly scary, there is a slight darker feel to them, as well as a bit of sadness in there, especially in Track 7, The Dr. Phibes’ Theme.
Perservence Records has done another great job with this release. While the material is from a few different sources, they have done a fine job digitally mastering them here. And I couldn’t thank them enough for creating this score for the countless Phibes’ fans out here.