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Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score [Soundtrack]

Psycho (Related Recordings), Bernard Herrmann, Joel McNeely, Royal Scottish National OrchestraAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Price: $13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 40 Songs, 2013 $9.49  
Audio CD, Soundtrack, 1997 $13.99  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prelude 1:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The City 2:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Marion 1:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Marion And Sam 1:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Temptation 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Flight 1:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Patrol Car 1:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Car Lot 1:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Package 1:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Rainstorm 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Hotel Room 2:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Window 1:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Parlor 1:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Madhouse 1:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Peephole 3:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Bathroom 1:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Murder 1:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Body0:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Office 1:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Curtain 1:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Water 1:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. The Car0:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen23. Cleanup 2:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen24. The Swamp 2:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen25. The Search0:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen26. The Shadow0:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen27. Phone Booth0:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen28. The Porch 1:04$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen29. The Stairs 2:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen30. The Knife0:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen31. The Search [B] 1:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen32. The First Floor 2:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen33. Cabin 10 1:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen34. Cabin 1 1:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen35. The Hill 1:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen36. The Bedroom 1:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen37. The Toys 1:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen38. The Cellar 1:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen39. Discovery0:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen40. Finale 1:32$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score + Psycho II (Expanded Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Price for both: $33.98

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: June 16, 1960
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B000001502
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Much has been made of composer Bernard Herrmann's choice to use only razor-sharp, slashing strings for his score to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. And heaven knows it works like a dream (or a nightmare), the music feeling as edgy and colorless as the noir-ish black-and-white photography. But as noticeably effective as the knife-screeching violins are in the famous shower scene (followed by those deadly blows from the basses and cellos), they work just as powerfully--though perhaps not as noticeably--all throughout the picture. Herrmann evokes dread and tension with just a few notes, or captures Janet Leigh's flighty panic in pizzicato as she hits the fateful road to the Bates Motel after impulsively stealing a large sum of money from her employer. --Jim Emerson

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Free Of The Fruit Cellar July 27, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First of all, for all of those who have complained about preferring the "original soundtrack" recording
-- forget about it! Was never made - never will be.

(Update: I stand corrected.
Amazon now has available the cues allegedly taken from the film's masterprint.
I cannot vouch for its quality, but for those who remain devoted to that version this is good news).

The 1975 Unicorn-Kanchana recording, conducted by Bernard Herrmann (the 1989 cd is a VERY difficult import to acquire - please refer to my other Amazon review for a comparison), had been the definitive version of the entire soundtrack -- until this 1997 recording.

Much as I respect many of Danny Elfman's original scores - particularly Dolores Claiborne, Black Beauty, Mars Attacks and even the amusing MIB II prelude - his treatment of Herrmann's masterpiece is only a nice try.
For whatever reasons, in keeping with Gus Van Sant's approach, he occasionally adds an embellishment that maybe works - or maybe does not. I find Elfman's version to be much too forced, and rushed, without the required authenticity - again, in line with too much of Van Sant's remake.

With all that out of the way, and after considerable time spent comparing the recording Herrmann finally had the
opportunity to make shortly before he died, (which I have been listening to regularly for over 25 years) against McNeely's version - which I have been avoiding for a few years - my advice:

This is now the definitive version and will likely remain so for decades.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herrmann's Famous Score Complete on CD November 22, 2004
Format:Audio CD
My favorite classic movie scores are Leonard Bernstein's for ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), Alfred Newman's for THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (1959) - and Bernard Herrmann's for PSYCHO (1960). Herrmann composed his all-strings, "black-and-white" score at around the same time he wrote the hauntingly beautiful music for such memorable episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE as "Walking Distance" and "The Lonely." The parts of the extensive PSYCHO score that stayed with me most after seeing the movie for the first time were the "flight" theme (when Marion Crane, after having embezzled money, is fleeing in her car from the police); the "temptation" theme (heard as the camera focuses on the stolen money lying on Marion's bed); and, of course, the squealing violins of the two famous murders: Marion's (in the shower) and Detective Arbogast's (on the stairs). All of that music - and in fact, the entire movie score - is captured vividly in this 1996 recording by Joel Mc Neeley and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The recorded sound is spacious, the strings lush in the almost-Romantic "Marion" and "Marion and Sam" themes. So great is the PSYCHO score that it fully deserved this complete, modern recording. Let's hope that Mc Neeley and his orchestra record Herrmann's TWILIGHT ZONE themes, too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definative April 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Spectacular re-recording of what remains one of the most recognizable and imitated film scores of all time. As usual with McNeely and the RSNO, the performance is both electrifying and exact, and the recording is spot on. Herrmann felt that Hitchcock's black-and-white film needed an equally black-and-white score, so he removed the "color" from the orchestra by limiting his writing strictly to the string section. What he accomplished was amazing in its ability to manipulate one's primal emotions, with or without the film. From the panic-stricken opening titles, through the long passages of drawn-out suspense, to the famous murder "stings," few other scores have done so much to build and shape the overall mood and movement of a movie. This completed Herrmann's trilogy of masterpieces for Hitchcock films, the prior ones being 'Vertigo' and 'North by Northwest.' If the former was his most darkly romantic, and the latter his most light-hearted and adventurous, then this one is easily the bleakest and most relentlessly single-minded. Yet it holds up splendidly as a stand-alone piece of work, brought to life once again under McNeely's direction. I'm not usually a fan of re-recordings, but he and the RSNO seem to get Herrmann's work just right time and again. A must-own if you love film music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ..Close, but no cheese sandwich January 22, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I have mixed feelings towards this umpteenth recording of Bernard Herrmann's chilling score for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". I congratulate Joel McNeely for use tempi closer to those of the original soundtrack, but I still feel that there is something lacking, particularly in the Prelude. It does sound muffled and a little "timid", lacking the jarring ferocity of the original soundtrack. That is probably my biggest "beef" about this recording. And I have yet to hear a re-recording of the notorious "murder" music that is as effective as it was in the film. Maybe it was the placement of the microphones, maybe it was in the post-recording, giving it that almost distorted sound, (which was innocently mistaken by late writer Ivan Butler as sounding like "distorted screaming bird-cries", which, actually, it does!), but in the several re-recordings of the score, do sound like very high-placed strokes on violins, and almost always played too slow. But enough kvetching. This is probably the best re-recording of the score I have heard so far, and for that I congratulate Joel McNeely and Varese Sarabande. Now, how about a digitally remastered recording of the ORIGINAL soundtrack?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic soundtrack!
Bernard Herman is one of the greatest composers of movie music of all time and the Psycho soundtrack one of his very best.
Published 3 months ago by G. Willison
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn good for not being the original recording
The original musical score for Psycho (1960) has never been released to the public (why????). That score is iconic not only in horror movie history, but movie history as well. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joker
5.0 out of 5 stars PHYSCO
Published 12 months ago by A NOBLES
4.0 out of 5 stars Psycho Music Score
It would be great if we could hear the reel to reel tapes containing Bernard Herrmann's Psycho(1960) music score. This CD is the next best thing. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jorge A. Zarco
5.0 out of 5 stars There Will Never Be A Better Release
Okay, I've read some belly-aching reviews about this not being the exact ORIGINAL score. Look the condition of the exact ORIGINAL score is either very poor or out of print. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jeremy
Published on July 20, 2011 by Carl Lafong
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Music
The all strings orchestra is just wonderful for listening to while driving. Don't let thoughts of a scary movie prevent you from enjoying the music.
Published on December 1, 2010 by J. H.
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Boy's Best Friend Is His Mother." "They'll See. Why He Wouldn't...
Bernard Herrmann's score for "Psycho" is downright chilling, especially "The Murder," "The Knife" & "Discovery. Read more
Published on October 30, 2010 by HAMLET
4.0 out of 5 stars The Violins
This CD of "Psycho" is a marvelous documentation of the movie with one exception: The Shower Scene. On the disc it is labeled "The Murder" (track 17). Listen to those violins. Read more
Published on May 18, 2009 by Peter N. Breitman
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Orchestra!
What can I say that has not already been said about this CD? Just amazing and second to none!
Published on March 23, 2009 by Peter Overend
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