Dune: Original Soundtrack Recording
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For many science fiction purists, the notion of a big studio film adapatation of Frank Herbert's classic Dune was about as palatable as a David Lynch film being scored by Toto. Well, surprise! Midway between The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet, Lynch somehow got shanghaied into this unholy mess of a multi-hour, savagely re-edited epic, and Toto, early-'80s kings of AOR and bane of many a rock critic's existence, inexplicably were hired to write and produce the Dune score. Even more surprising, the band pulls off nothing less than a minor miracle and a true cinematic rarity--a true "rock" score (as opposed to a collection of songs) that rivals many a symphonic composer for range and emotional impact. --Jerry McCulley
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This is meant as a compliment: Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is missing more than a few marbles, (He'd have to get a wheelbarrow load to reach zero!) Leto is practically a saint, in the good sense of the word, while Paul's mother and her teacher are manipulative.... women. (This last is a grand understatement!) Paul? He's a male messiah in a female dominated religion. His family has been slaughtered by the Harkonnens and he's been abandoned to a fate most people would not wish on their enemies. Paul ends being manipulated by his environment, his teachers, and the Fremen. By force of training and circumstance, he drinks a derivative of the spice brewed up by some horrid method from Arrakis' sand worms in order to fully realize his remarkable powers. (One wonders if he will end up looking like the monstrosities the spaceship pilots become upon long ingestion of melange, the famous `spice' of Arrakis. Yuck! They end up looking like gigantic grubs!) Is it any wonder that the music has to reflect many different points of view? And Toto has done a fantastic job. I've listened to this music many times, and have never grown tired of it.
Eno's Prophecy theme is deceptive; at first, it just sounds beautiful. On repeated listenings? It grows in emotional power that gives it a life far beyond the environs of the movie. Harkonnen's `theme' is a maniacal Baroque nightmare. The rest? When Paul drinks the Water of Life, one can feel how close his sanity and soul come to slipping away from him. The Final Dream? A climax to an emotionally savaged life. This music brings visions to my mind up and beyond Dune's plot and characters... and this is one of the highest compliments I can pay to any score, for any purpose. This score is so varied, I can't describe it with any all-encompassing phrase. Rock and Roll? A few pieces are reminiscent of Toto's normal work. Symphonic power? You bet. Space Music? Outer and inner.
Do I highly recommend this soundtrack? From Mount Everest!
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