Horrorific Vinyl: 2016’s Horror OSTs

Over the past few years vinyl has been making and come back, helping the record industry mend some of the damage it started doing to itself back in the 80s, when it shortsightedly encouraged (forced = bonus CD tracks!) record buyers to switch over to the cheaper to produce Compact Disc, never foreseeing the possibility that, in only a few years, all these converts would have the technology to make their own CDs in their living rooms, thereby drastically devaluing the CD as a product. Unsurprisingly, now they want you to buy records again, and, apparently, this year vinyl has managed to outsell digital downlaods.

Consequently, with the increase in vinyls sales, a lot of record companies are now reissuing classic cult-horror/genre soundtracks on the format. Here are a few of my picks from this year.

fright-night

“Fright Night – Original Soundtrack – Vinyl – In 1985, writer-director Tom Holland’s “Fright Night” debuted in multiplex cinemas around the world. The film gained a massive cult following and has gone on to become one of the most cherished vampire films of all time. Taking cues from Hammer Films, the work of director William Castle and horror icon Vincent Price. The decision to create a soundtrack that includes New Wave hit makers alongside Brad Fiedel’s synth score adds spectacular creepiness to the overall vibe of the film. Night Fever Music is proud to release the long out-of-print yet beloved soundtrack to the 1985 horror classic “Fright Night.” Remastered from the original master tapes and pressed on heavy 180 Gram Blue/White Evil Fog-Colored Vinyl.-Limited edition 180 gram blue and white evil fog colored audiophile vinyl LP pressing.”

Tom Holland’s Fright Night is a bona fide classic, one of my all time favourite 80’s movie (fuck the remake – glossy piece of shit!). The soundtrack is by the immensely talented composer Brad Fiedel who also provided the soundtrack to Jeff Lieberman’s excellent in-the-woods slasher Just Before Dawn and …

the-terminator

“The Terminator is a cult 80’s action movie that needs no introduction. Directed by Oscar-winning maverick James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), The Terminator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Conan the Barbarian) as the unstoppable Terminator, a ruthless killer sent to the past by machines in the future to kill a young woman (Linda Hamilton) who will one day give birth to humanity’s last hope. Released in 1984, The Terminator was a landmark film that spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise with numerous sequels and spin offs, and cemented Schwarzenegger’s place as a Hollywood action legend. The score to The Terminator, composed by Brad Fiedel (Fright Night, True Lies), is as striking as the title character. Punctuated with erratic electronic jolts and rapid fire drums giving the impression of pursuit or gunfire, Fiedel’s work has been used in each subsequent Terminator film and has spent many years out of print. Now available once again and re-mastered from the original tapes for the 21st century, the iconic themes and synth-heavy score has finally been mixed and sequenced the way the composer intended the album to be heard. This soundtrack will transport you back in time to the terrifying streets of Los Angeles on one bloodsoaked 80s night.”

Fiedel again, here now with probably his most iconic score. The guy had gift for creating memorable themes, too bad he retired after working on Johnny Mnemonic.

warriors

“Waxwork Records is excited to announce their long awaited release of THE WARRIORS. This deluxe double LP is three years in the making and features the re-mastered 1979 original soundtrack, in addition to, the vinyl debut of the complete film score by Barry DeVorzon.”

manhatten-baby

Manhattan Baby, an exorcist rip-off from 1982, is not one Lucio Fulci’s better efforts. But while I don’t recommend the film, I’ll always recommend giving a score by Fabio Frizzi a listen.

the-chuch

“Emerson’s tracks here take on a much darker element than usual, they are very gothic and super brooding . Goblin’s tracks offer and slightly more bombastic feel than say something like Suspiria which totally fits in with the style of the movie, which is one of the last great unsung Italian movies worth your time. Includes two previously unreleased tracks.”

The Church has its fans but I’m not one them. Again, like Manhattan Baby, the score, by the late great Keith Emerson and Goblin,is the best thing about this film, in my opinion.

ninth-gate

“Making its debut on vinyl, Wojciech Kilar’s haunting soundtrack to Polanski’s disturbing film The Ninth Gate(1999) features at its core the vocals of Korean born soprano, Sumi Jo. Kilar established himself as a horrorscore composer with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and his work here on Polanski’s film achieves a creeping sense of menace worthy of Polanski’s dark tale of Satanic worship.”

Great film, amazing score, particularly the theme, Vocalise, sung by Sumi Jo. A student of Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Philip Glass, among many others), Wojciech Kilar was an amazing composer of soundtracks and classical concert hall work. I love every note this guy ever commited to stave.

conquest

Now this is a Lucio Fulci film I recommend wholeheartedly. The gorefather’s one and only foray into sword n’ sorcery is strange but compelling. And the synth score by Goblin main-man, Claudio Simonetti, is wonderful.

stranger-things

“The spellbinding, synth-heavy soundtrack to Netflix’s 1980s-set smash hit horror ‘Stranger Things’ is being released on LP and CD through Invada Records, in all territories excluding North and South America. With its pillowy synth-pads and rich textures, the soundtrack to volume 2 seamlessly wanders through the 80s world of ‘Stranger Things’, breeding an unthreatening serenity with a gentle shift toward a darker mood. Floating between sweeter moments which temporarily blossom amidst the danger and decay, volume 2 is the second part of the Stranger Things score, reaching climactic highs as the series comes to an end. This soundtrack is instantly reminiscent of works by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), Tangerine Dream and Vangelis (Blade Runner), whilst also delving into the ambience of Aphex Twin and more modern composers such as Cliff Martinez (Drive, Solaris). The vinyl for Volume 2 will be pressed on clear coloured vinyl, with a red blob on disc 1 and black blob on disc 2, and will be housed in a thick 425 gram heavyweight gatefold sleeve. A printed insert will be included which will feature additional artwork and credits. The CD format will be presented as a digi-pack CD.”

As most can probably tell, from looking at these picks, I like old-school synth music, and I’m glad its making a comeback, as exemplified by the success of this show and its soundtrack. It’s too soon to say definitively where this show ranks, but Stranger Things deinitely places high among my favourite shows of all time, right alongside Twin PeaksMillennium, and Eerie Indiana.

paganini-horror

“Paganini Horror is the second release on SUB OST, the soundtrack focused sub label of Subsound Records. For the first time ever on vinyl, this is the original soundtrack of Dario Argento protégé Luigi Cozzi’s movie, composed and arranged by electronic composer and wizard Vince Tempera in 1989. Sinister like the sounds of a violin, this is a classic Italian horror score finally available on 2LP in a limited edition colored vinyl or black wax. Includes original artwork by E. Sciotti.”

This soundtrack is pure 80s’ gold, but, you know, I’ve actually never seen the movie. I’ve got to correct that.