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Soundtrack Releases for April
by Stu Connolly

A good horror movie needs a good soundtrack. What would Psycho be without the 'eek eeks' or Halloween without the haunting tones, or I Still Prefer To Forget What You Did Last Summer without Jennifer Love Hewitt on karaoke duties? Pretty hollow. Horror music is a pretty complex thing says composer Christopher Young who apart from Tales From The Crypt and that horror-ible film Virtuosity, also pitched-in on the feel good flick Urban Legend.

"The wonderful thing about horror movie music," explains Young. "Is that it can be as aggressively dramatic as you want it to be, there are no restrictions. In URBAN LEGEND I stayed away from the comic passages: I was the straight man."

Horror music, as the mentioned films show, is also pretty timeless. "I didn't have to acknowledge the music that the college kids were listening to in Urban Legend; they're just the pawns in a greater design. The score was going to bring a sense of mystery and power that only an orchestra is capable of delivering."

The only problem is that Young's spooky score doesn't translate well on the take-home soundtrack out through BMG. His theme sounds great in the cinema with its screeching and ominous build and operatics on a knife-edge but at home is likely to scare the shit out you. The piece known as 'Sex Advice With An Axe' is excellent chase scene music full of peaks and troughs - you can almost see a barely clad girl pulling her leg up a ladder just before the knife slices.

On the soundtrack, Young's score is joined by the grunge sounds of Annette Durchame and Ruth Ruth (for the 'kids are at college' scene), reflective ballads from Junkster and Juliana Hatfield (for the 'oh-my-god all my friends are dead scene') and Ohio Players' excellent singalong funkster 'Rollercoaster' (for the party scene where people go missing). Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?


At the other end of the spectrum, Disney have recently re-released all their cartoon soundtracks at the sub $20 price. This includes LION KING, TOY STORY and ALADDIN as well as the Special Edition of the LITLLE MERMAID which features young Alana De Roma (Amy) getting busy on her version of Ariel's "Part Of Your World."


Also recently released is Jerry Goldsmith's latest turnout for the Star Trek franchise with "INSURRECTION" (Festival). Goldsmith took over from James Horner and hasn't really looked back with the First Contact and the theme from Voyager. Goldsmith is no spring turkey with soundtracks - The Omen, Basic Instinct and Planet of the Apes - and renowned for combining the futurism of his subject matter with the ancient grandness of the orchestra.


Also orchestral, but poles apart is CINEMA CAFE (Silver Sound): a tour of European themes with a brassy sounding Polish Orchestra. Despite the caution that comes with these kinds of releases - a K-tel type caution - this compilation sounds sweet over a late breakfast of eggs, coffee and toast. Very cafe with the sounds from Jean De Florette, Last Tango In Paris, The Double Life Of Veronique and much more.


One CD that won't find cafe rotation is THE WATERBOY (Hollywood Records) which seems to be aimed more for long distance truckers. It features such swinging beer and pretzel tunes as The Doors "Peacefrong", Lenny Kravitz's "Always On The Run" and John Mellencamp's "Small Town". Add Creedence Clearwater Revival, Allman Brothers and good time get down of Earth Wind & Fire's "Lets Groove" and you have enough ammunition to make any football team weep.


Except Irvine Welsh's team - they'd probably need something stronger, and a chaser at that. The soundtrack for THE ACID HOUSE (EMI) is definitely a winner for those who nabbed Trainspotting, er one and two, with all sorts of British sounds, from the hard edged breakbeats of Chemical Bros, loopy fun of Bentley Rhythm Ace, dubbed electronica of Death In Vegas and Dimitri From Paris' loopy lounge. Add that to indie sounds from Oasis, Beth Orton and Primal Scream's instrumental "Insect Royalty", token 70s lizard stuff from T-Rex with "Hot Love" and you get something which is very alternative, if you know what I mean.

---Stu Connolly

link directly to this feature at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=11
originally posted: 05/07/99 09:22:54
last updated: 05/19/99 02:19:57
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