Thursday, 13 June 2013

Dawn Of The Dead - Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack

"Attention all shoppers..."

Generally speaking I don’t listen to soundtrack albums, preferring to experience a piece of film music accompanied by the images. However, I will make an exception for this incredible album compiled by two Dawn of the Dead obsessives who managed to track down just about every bit of music heard in the theatrical cut of the film and crucially present it here sans dialogue. Quite an achievement considering the bulk of Dawn of the Dead’s soundtrack was made up of tracks culled from various hard to find library music albums on the De Wolfe label. The music Goblin composed for the film has always been available – a Goblin-only soundtrack LP was issued soon after the film’s original release in 1978, and later debuted on CD in 1987. In 2004 Trunk Records took on the challenge of rescuing Dawn of the Dead’s lost library soundtrack, gathering together an impressive 39mins of music heard in the film, and released it as Unreleased Soundtrack Music from George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. In his liner notes for the album, label head-honcho Jonny Trunk wrote “Fans of the film in America have spent years trying to track all these originals down. It will take you years possibly, so don't bother.” Sound advice considering most of the albums Romero sourced the music from had long faded into obscurity, never pressed for CD. Even the Trunk album was incomplete, missing out on two of my favorites pieces of music, the track with the African drumming and chanting, used for the gun shop sequence in the film, and the weird phased version of the polka number The Gonk, heard when Steven emerges from the lift as a zombie.

Thankfully, these tracks and other elusive numbers have been located, and included in the unofficial double-CD Dawn Of The Dead - Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack which includes the library music and the film's selection of Goblin tracks. Even more remarkable is how fresh the library cuts sound, expertly scrubbed of the snap, crackle and pop of the original LPs and sequenced in the order heard in the film. This is an absolute essential addition to your Dawn of the Dead collection so I’d recommend you grab this right away. Rather than claim this labor of love for my own, I’ll direct you to where I found it, at the excellent Inferno Music Vault which offers some incredible soundtracks for your listening pleasure. Well worth spending some time there combing through the archives.

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