Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Burn, Baby, Burn

Prog rock legend and former Yes-man Rick Wakeman startled a lot of people when he scored The Burning, a berserk 1981 slasher film most notable for its often-censored Tom Savini gore effects and early appearances by actors like Holly Hunter, Jason Alexander and Fisher Stevens. (Trivia note: it was also the first official Miramax release.) The electronic score is pretty wild and a far cry from the Halloween knock-off you might expect; there's even a narrated track relating the spooky backstory of Cropsy, the disfigured gardener running amuck with a pair of gardening shears.

However, Wakeman had already dabbled a bit in the soundtrack arena six years earlier with Lisztomania, arguably the wildest Ken Russell movie ever. In this amped-up successor to Tommy, Roger Daltrey stars as the popular composer whose bedroom conquests and long-running feud with Richard Wagner turn into opulent setpieces involving vampirism, a fascist Frankenstein monster stomping around with a machine gun, Ringo Starr as the Pope, and an organ-powered rocketship filled with scantily-clad women. Your average biopic this ain't. The soundtrack adapts several famous Liszt themes and climaxes with the rousing "Peace at Last," presented here in both its album and extended movie versions. Russell and Wakeman later reteamed in the mid-'80s for another classically-influenced score, Crimes of Passion, which is far more readily available.

The Burning
1. Campfire Story
2. The Burning
3. The Fire
4. Doin' It
5. Devil's Creek Breakdown
6. The Chase
7. Shear Terror
8. Theme From The Burning
9. The Chase Continues (Po's Plane)
10. Variations On The Fire
11. Shear Terror And More

1. Rienzi (Chopsticks Fantasia)
2. Love's Dream
3. Dante Period
4. Orpheus Song
5. Hell
6. Hibernation
7. Excelsior Song
8. Master Race
9. Rape, Pillage & Clap
10. Funerailles
11. Free Song
12. Peace At Last
13. Peace At Last (Movie Version)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at that... I'm reading blogs for about 4 months now and finally have found my way to yours...

You definitely need to make a little more advertisement ! It's a shame that a site with such great music is not listed as No. 1 on the "link page" of other sites.

I'm collecting soundtrack music for about 35 years now and have more or less everything one can think of, however, there were a handful of scores which found the way to my collection thanks to your fine blog.

As some similiar blogs are closing right in these days, please continue your very fine work ! It's much appreciated.

I like especially your wide range of taste. Looks like you got a huuuuge collection yourself.

Thanks again,

and best greetings from Germany,



1:36 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Fondly recall seeing THE BURNING at the Super 130 Drive-In on a double bill (I believe) with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and CUT AND RUN. Didn't Wakeman do the score for a STEPFATHER-like flick called SCARED TO DEATH about a girl who thought her mom's boyfriend was a serial killer?

1:58 PM  
Blogger 7 Black Notes said...

Thanks very much, Jordan; if there's anything you've been looking for, please let me know.

Hi, Dan. You saw The Burning with Cut and Run? God, those were the days. The movie you're thinking of is Michael Winner's Scream for Help, which has a very Wakeman-esque score by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. That one's going to be posted here very soon as well, so keep your eyes peeled.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous OST Fan said...

Love the horror soundtracks! Keep up the excellent work!

4:26 PM  
Anonymous chrfistian licorice said...

holy cow..the burning?!?!???

I think this waas one of the first (if not the first) soundtrack albums i ever bought, on the Varese Saranbande label (forgive the spelling errors there)...not sure if i liked it, but i am about to have a great time remembering in just a few moments...thanks so mujch for this...

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Jon Walters said...

The Burning soundtrack is a mind-warped hoot. Lisztomania remains to this day my favorite Russell film, a film that would never be made today...can you imagine a studio backing that? I have the vinyl and now it's so nice to have it on my laptop.

11:04 PM  
Blogger attax said...

Hi 7note,
thanks again for these two great releases :) like always first class.
Thanks for your work man it's much appreciated :)

Are you Jordan Jurtschak from Duesseldorf ? :) yeye world is small

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Rick Wakeman double bill!
I may need to get out more but discovering this site has made my year.

Thank you very,Very much.


1:00 AM  
Blogger xmnr0x23 said...

Nice blog, and different selection from what we usually see. I'll be lurking :)

1:23 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

SCREAM FOR HELP... that was it! I knew it was one of those three word titles. We actually had a copy of the soundtrack LP at my college radio station and one of my buddies used to insist on playing tracks from it whenever he'd sit in on my show.

And yes, we had a GREAT drive-in near us for several years. Sometimes stuff would play under its actual title and sometimes they'd retitle stuff for the ads and then cut the title screen out of the print so you'd have to guess what it actually was. One of my favorite nights was a late season October night. My buddy and I were watching the last of a triple bill and realized when it started that it was NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES/HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD. They ended up switching the reels, though, so the middle of the film was completely out of sequence. We wandered back to the projection shed and the guy laughed saying that they'd been showing it that way for several days and nobody had noticed so he didn't bother fixing it.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found the site. I'm just listening to THE BURNING. A great score to a not so great movie. Savini's FX and the music were the best thing about it. How about the MANIAC soundtrack. That would make a nice early 80's slasher double-bill.


6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grabbed one of them. thank you!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cara, muito obrigado !!! Estou procurando este cd há muito tempo e simplismente não encontro!!! De repente, tá lá ele pra baixar... foi fantástico... obrigado mesmo... continue assim... um grande abraço. Marcos, Interior de São Paulo, Brasil.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I'm quite familiar with the schizophrenia of Lisztomania, The Burning has been on my "want to see" list for quite some time (I can't believe it's not on DVD yet). Now that I've heard this totally whacked out score, it makes me wanna see it more! Who knew that Banjos, electric guitars and synths could exist side by side in the same score? Thanks for these -- and all the other great albums!

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't listened to Lisztomania when I posted yesterday... Been a while since I've seen the film, and I'd forgotten how surreal the music was. The harmonies in "Orpheus Song" couldn't get any more '70s! Much appreciated! Was this rip from vinyl or CD?! The sound quality's pretty pristine!

And on an unrelated note (shameless self-promotion), I've got a bunch of obscure and sought-after soundtracks up on my blog:

10:40 AM  
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8:15 PM  

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