Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Essential John Carpenter Film Music Collection (on Hoopla)

The Essential John Carpenter Film Music Collection
by John Carpenter [Hoopla digital streaming service]

Film director John Carpenter is considered to be one of the modern masters of horror or dark suspense films. In addition to writing and directing most of his own works, Carpenter has also created the music for many of his films…though not all of them. This 18-track music collection features some of the signature themes from several of Carpenter’s best known film soundtracks, including: Escape From New York, Halloween, Starman, Big Trouble in Little China, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween II, The Thing, Dark Star, They Live, Prince of Darkness and Village of the Damned. Of these, only two films have scores attributed solely to other artists — Starman (Jack Nitzsche), and The Thing (Ennio Morricone). On all others, Carpenter is the sole composer or a co-composer.

Carpenter’s soundtrack music is heavy on electronics, and emphasizes rock and roll. But, he can also craft a creepy track now and then. For me, one of the most memorable things about Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York and They Live is the highly atmospheric score and background songs. And Morricone’s score to The Thing is masterful as well, contributing to the claustrophobic and xenophobic tone of that incredibly frightening film. If you’re like me, and you like reliving your movie-going experience after the fact with soundtrack music, you’ll enjoy this collection of Carpenter tracks — initially a single-disc CD, but currently available from the libraries only as a downloadable resource from our Hoopla streaming service. It’s not quite as fun as listening to a full soundtrack to any of these films, but this is a fine sampler to put you in the mood for the full films or full soundtracks.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try viewing the various films attributed to John Carpenter as the writer/director.] [ official John Carpenter web site — including sound files ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you downloaded and/or listened this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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