Soundtrack Review: Firestarter

 

Firestarter CD

Firestarter
Released by Varèse Sarabande Records, 2017
11 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 42 min.
Music by Tangerine Dream

Not sure if my introduction to the work of Tangerine Dream was from Risky Business soundtrack. Later one, it was the score they did for Near Dark that really blew me away. But no matter which one you might have heard first, once you did, it was very easy to get hooked on their style and sound. And this score for Firestarter that they did back in 1984 is no different.

The music they came up with for this film is not a horror score at all, but one that is very…almost dreamy, if you will. Although track # 2, The Run, almost sounds like something an ’80s nightclub show, the main part of the score is slow and moody, working its way in the background, weaving its way into your brain.

While it is very recognizable that it is a Tangerine Dream score, I do have to say it’s not one of my favorites.

This was release as part of the Stephen King Collection from Varèse Sarabande Records.

Stephen King CD Collection!

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If you’re a fan of Stephen King and love soundtracks, then you are probably going to love this bit of news. Varèse Sarabande Records has announced an 8-CD set that has the soundtracks for four of King’s films. They are:

Dreamcatcher (2003) – Composer James Newton Howard’s score on 2-CDs
Firestarter (1984) – Tangerine Dream
The Stand (1994) – Composer W.G. Snuffy Walden’s score on 2-CDs
The Shining (1997) – Composer Nicholas Pike’s score on 3-CDs

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Soundtrack Review: Christine

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Christine
Released by Varèse Sarabande
18 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 34 min.
Original Music by John Carpenter in Association with Alan Howarth

 

Another classic soundtrack from Carpenter and Howarth. I don’t know how Carpenter continued to do it all those years ago, coming up with a score that was so simple and never over-the-top or intricate, but almost made them damn effective. And the score for Christine is no different.

Using just a keyboard, they once again create such an eerie score, building tension and atmosphere that some couldn’t do with a full orchestra. Even on a track like #5 Discovery, it is slow with on a few notes but is still able to make in impact, not to mention what it adds to the actual film. When you get to tracks like Moochie’s Death, we get a lot of suspense through the beating pulse along with a little melody in the background, with a few stingers here and there. Highly effective.

At the end of this month, Varèse Sarabande is releasing this on vinyl, with brand new art from Gary Pullin.

Soundtrack Review: Penny Dreadful Season 2 & 3

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Penny Dreadful: Seasons 2 & 3 Release by Varèse Sarabande, 2016.
Season 2: 25 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 71 min.
Season 3: 23 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 71 min.
Music Composed by Abel Korzienowski

Classic.

Just like the series, the music by Korzienowski is classical, elegant, beautiful at time, as well as terrifying as well. A perfect example of his is track 4 from Season 2, entitled Poison. It starts out with a quiet and relaxing piece of strings, but before too long, the emotion starts to turn darker, sad at first but then a gloom breaking through, completely changing the feeling of the piece. Just beautiful. That really is the beauty of what Korzienowski can do, and is well on display here in these two volumes.

Another element that is used here that I just love is the vocals. Not sure if it would be called chanting or just plain vocals, such as in Track # 12, Dolls Have Hearts, but they give us a unique sound but also distinct feeling that falls over you. I also love that besides the vocal aspect of it, a lot of strings are used, which is probably one of my favorite instrument group. It can bring so much depth and emotion to your ears. Granted, like in the opening track of Season 3, The Master, the strings are accompanied by some thundering horns that give it a more ominous feel to it, but this is still surrounded by the strings. Just love it.

If you are a fan of the series, then you will be a fan of these soundtracks. But honestly, even if you’ve never seen a single episode, but love classical music, with more of a sinister theme to it, then I think you will really enjoy these. Whether you just have it on in the background, or want to enhance some game you’re playing, this will help lure those victims in.

Varèse Sarabande Soundtrack Box Set

2hjb_littleboxofhorrors-1Looking for the ultimate gift for a friend that is a horror soundtrack nut? Then look no further. This Friday, Varèse Sarabande will be releasing a special 12-CD limited edition box set featuring some titles that are rare, out-of-print, or never released on CD before, all inside a special black retro-styled carrying case. There will only be 1500 of these made, so if you’re interested, read on to get more information.

Here’s a listing of what titles are inside this:

Deadly Friend by Charles Bernstein
Dracula 2000 by Marco Beltrami
The Fly by Howard Shore
The Hidden by Michael Convertino
Maniac by Jay Chattaway
The Mephisto Waltz / The Other by Jerry Goldsmith
Mimic: Deluxe Edition by Marco Beltrami
A Nightmare on Elm Street by Charles Bernstein
Pumpkinhead by Richard Stone
Scream: Deluxe Edition by Marco Beltrami
The Serpent And The Rainbow by Brad Fiedel
The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Bob Cobert

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Nightmare on Elm Street Soundtrack Box Set Coming!

NightmareboxsetFans of the Nightmare on Elm Street series are probably going to want to pay attention to this. Varèse Sarabande will be releasing an incredible 8-CD box set next month that will feature not only the original scores for the first 8 films in the series, but there will be close to 3 hours of bonus tracks, which puts this release at over 8 hours of nightmarish music! Yes, the price is a bit steep at $99.98, but if you really consider what you’re getting, that isn’t a bad deal at all, considering some scores run you $15 to $20 each. Here you’re getting 8 scores with tons of bonus tracks. So well worth the investment.

The composers represented here in the box set are Charles Bernstein (Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street), Christopher Young (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), Angelo Badalamenti (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Craig Safan (A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master), Jay Ferguson (A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child), Brian May (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare), J. Peter Robinson (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare), and Graeme Revell (Freddy Vs. Jason)

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