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Themes From Classic Science Fiction, Fantasy And Horror Films Soundtrack

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, February 2, 1993
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Mole People: Treacherous Trek - Hans J. Salter
  2. The Creature From The Black Lagoon: The Monster Attacks - Hans J. Salter
  3. This Island Earth: A. Main Title/B. Shooting Stars - Herman Stein
  4. The Incredible Shrinking Man: Main Theme - Fred Carling/Ed Lawrence
  5. It Came From Outer Space: Visitors From Space - Herman Stein
  6. The Creature Walks Among Us: Stalking The Creature - Henry Mancini
  7. The House Of Frankenstein: Main Title - Hans J. Salter/Paul Dessau
  8. The Horror Of Dracula: A. Main Title/B. Dracula's Feast Of Blood - James Bernard
  9. Tarantula: Main Title - Henry Mancini
  10. The Son Of Dracula: Main Title - Hans J. Salter
  11. The Revenge Of The Creature: Main Title - Herman Stein
  12. The Deadly Mantis: Winged Death - William Lava


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0000014T9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,381 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Nothing underscores the tempo and mood of a movie like good soundtrack music. In this CD, the listener is treated to a wonderful mix of genre music from Science Fiction and Horror films. Orchestra conductor Dick James makes the most out of instrument placement, musical arrangement and stereo separation.
If there is a downside, it can only be the absence of a theremin in "This Island Earth" and "It Came From Outer Space." Jacob opts for a jazz organ as an adequate substitute.
The only other problem is the occasional squeaky chair noises the musicians make. But this tends to give the music a "live" sound rather than studio perfection.
All in all, this is a wonderful collection that would accompany late night science fiction or horror reading perfectly.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great disc for demonstrating that Henry Mancini might have come to have a very different public image if Blake Edwards had not happened along! Hardly anyone knows that he began on Universal horror films.

These tracks are not from original soundtrack recordings, but the performances by Dick Jacobs's Orchestra are spirited and competent and sound great - very 1950s. There isn't much available, actually, which IS 1950s horror or sci-fi, so this is a welcome collection just in that regard. Where else would one find anything from THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, for example? The sound quality is immediate and dry in the way of pop records of the time, so don't expect to hear anything at all here similar to the huge, lush, Romantic recordings done by Charles Gerhardt beginning in the 1970s.

Although all of the selections are enjoyable, my favorites are the Salter and the Stein CREATURE excerpts (Salter's ascending 3-note motive for the "gill-man" is particularly memorable), the ferocious Dracula theme from James Bernard's HORROR OF DRACULA (first Hammer Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing Dracula film) and William Lava's title for THE DEADLY MANTIS. In fact, if it were not for this disc, I probably would never have realized that Lava had done the MANTIS score, because it is only the name of Joseph Gershensen, the musical director, which appeared in the film's opening credits.

This CD has a very short running time - less than 29 minutes. That upset me at first - enough, in fact, that I wrote to Varese Sarabande to complain, but I've since changed my mind. The time is short because 1) the original LP was short as was typical during the 1950s and 60s, and 2) for this re-release, Varese has excised sound effects which opened and/or closed the musical selections. Those that remain are not, in my opinion, obtrusive.
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Format: Audio CD
While the high fidelity of modern Hans Zimmer scores or the like aren't here in range, these wonderful themes, usually done on the cheap, sound as sinister as they were when we were kids. Knowing that some exceptionally talented composers worked their youthful magic here makes them all the better. I've had this CD in my collection for a few years, and when I need that little drive down fantasy lane, nothing does the job like some sci fi, horror soundtrack to spice up a mundane drive.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Haven't heard this since I was a kid. These themes echo the originals and are performed with attention to their thrilling qualities. They may not be the original soundtrack recordings, but they have a verisimilitude which explores some of the audacity of classic horror. So often modern recordings approach horror themes melodiously to their detriment. These performances sound like their trying to freak you out, happily.
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Format: Audio CD
This collection of Universal horror and sci-fi themes was disappointing when it was first issued on Decca in the early 1960s and has only been improved slightly with this more recent release in that the stupid comedy introductions to each track, and the sound effects have been removed. But the tempo on most every track has been slowed down to accommodate the lack of rehearsal that the small orchestra had and the result is a listless performance. You would be better served buying The Monster Music of Hans J. Salter & Frank Skinner on the Marco Polo label and the two volumes of Monstrous Movie Music and Creature From the Black Lagoon from Monstrous Movie Music. Those recordings are superior by far.
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