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Electronic - Released February 5, 2021 | Sacred Bones Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 20, 2017 | Sacred Bones Records

If you like John Carpenter as a director, you’ll like him as a composer! The horror and action films expert belongs in fact to these directors that compose the music of their own movies, like Charlie Chaplin or Clint Eastwood. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 is a somewhat peculiar compilation in that he has recorded again for the occasion his most famous themes. In order to do this, Carpenter surrounded himself with collaborators he had worked with on his two solo albums (Lost Themes and Lost Themes II): Daniel Davies (the son of Dave Davies from the Kinks!) and Cody Carpenter (his son). The compilation opens with In The Mouth Of Madness, whose guitar riff is now performed by Daniel Davies (in the 1994 soundtrack, it was performed by his father). The track reminisces of the atmosphere from Metallica’s Enter Sandman, whose lyrics evoke childhood nightmares. This is one of the director’s favorite songs, which is not surprising as his most famous movie (Halloween) tells the story of a serial killer obsessed with the crime he committed as a child. The captivating and minimalist theme of the latter movie has of course a place of honor in this anthology, in an interpretation rather close to the original. You’ll also find many other pieces taken from Carpenter 70s/80s era, in particular the disturbing and melancholic piano from The Fog or the heavy synthesizers from Assault on Precinct 13. But sometimes John Carpenter takes his composer hat off, and he had the good idea to include The Thing, when this soundtrack was composed by the Italian maestro Ennio Morricone. This rather complete overview of Carpenter’s musical and cinematographic career shows both his love of synthesizers (which he uses as much for repetitive melodies as for distressing ambience tracks), but also of a rather heavy rock not devoid of lyricism. © NM/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released April 15, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Soundtracks - Released October 16, 2012 | Silva Screen Records

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An effectively eerie underscore, one of Carpenter's better efforts that relies more on the use of a ghostly piano line than on his usual throbbing synthesizer lines. Well worth acquiring for a soundtrack collection. © Steven McDonald /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2015 | Sacred Bones Records

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Soundtracks - Released October 15, 1988 | AHI

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 17, 1989 | Varese Sarabande

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Electronic - Released October 27, 2020 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 31, 2014 | Sacred Bones Records

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Soundtracks - Released October 4, 2005 | Silva Screen Records

John Carpenter is a rarity among film directors in that he is also a composer who writes the musical scores for his movies as well. Carpenter's 1981 film Escape From New York was a kind of genre hybrid, a science-fiction crime thriller with suggestions of a spaghetti western thrown in. Set in a near future when Manhattan has been converted into a no-man's-land prison, the movie needed an appropriately futuristic soundtrack, and Carpenter came up with a score for synthesizer that he played with his sound designer Alan Howarth. Despite the instrumentation, however, the composer retained a style familiar from such earlier works as Halloween. He favored simple, repetitive keyboard figures, generally two per sequence, set in a fast-slow counterpoint. The Escape From New York score had a few changes of pace, notably a borrowing from Debussy and an ersatz Broadway show tune, "Everyone's Coming to New York" ("Shoot a cop with a gun/The Big Apple is plenty of fun"), but most of the music sounded like earlier Carpenter scores, similarly creating a tense, ominous tone much of the time. The high-tech sound was sometimes at odds with the bombed-out sets in the film, but it helped maintained a tense mood in a movie that sometimes threatened to become comical because it was so stylized. Two decades later, when the soundtrack was reissued on an expanded CD, the synth sound was no longer futuristic but very much of its early-'80s time. Howarth, who had constructed the original 37-minute LP, re-edited and retitled the previously released material and came up with an additional 20 minutes' worth of cues and excerpts from the film's arch dialogue. There was music from two cut scenes and an unused closing-credit theme, all of it in a consistent style with the previously heard material. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1995 | Varese Sarabande

Soundtracks can be very difficult to assess when they aren't various-artists compilations, especially when one considers that the music is written specifically to create a mood for a visual scene. In that sense, it seems that the music should be assessed in relation to the film; however, the film's visuals do not accompany the CD. This music on this CD was designed to accompany a horror film, and so this particular soundtrack is full of atmospheric sounds created, for the most part, on synthesizers. The real treat for the listener is when Dave Davies is allowed to spotlight his brilliant guitar playing. Davies is a very talented guitarist, and this is especially demonstrated on tracks such as "The Funeral" and "The Fair," both heartbreakingly beautiful with incredible melodies. John Carpenter is a surprisingly good keyboardist and creates some very interesting sounds and melodies. The album is instrumental, with the exception of a "reading" from Mark Hamill which is not only pointless, but out of place on this CD. The songs tend to blend into each other, with few differences. Although there are some strong highlights, this particular CD would be of interest primarily to Kinks/Davies collectors. © Aaron Badgley /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released June 17, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released July 22, 2011 | Hollywood Records

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Soundtracks - Released October 31, 2007 | Halloween Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2001 | Varese Sarabande

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Soundtracks - Released October 31, 1981 | Halloween Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released August 22, 2017 | Sacred Bones Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 4, 2020 | Varese Sarabande

Soundtracks can be very difficult to assess when they aren't various-artists compilations, especially when one considers that the music is written specifically to create a mood for a visual scene. In that sense, it seems that the music should be assessed in relation to the film; however, the film's visuals do not accompany the CD. This music on this CD was designed to accompany a horror film, and so this particular soundtrack is full of atmospheric sounds created, for the most part, on synthesizers. The real treat for the listener is when Dave Davies is allowed to spotlight his brilliant guitar playing. Davies is a very talented guitarist, and this is especially demonstrated on tracks such as "The Funeral" and "The Fair," both heartbreakingly beautiful with incredible melodies. John Carpenter is a surprisingly good keyboardist and creates some very interesting sounds and melodies. The album is instrumental, with the exception of a "reading" from Mark Hamill which is not only pointless, but out of place on this CD. The songs tend to blend into each other, with few differences. Although there are some strong highlights, this particular CD would be of interest primarily to Kinks/Davies collectors. © Aaron Badgley /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | Sacred Bones Records