August 04, 2009

PSYCHO (1960) - original music still not on CD

PSYCHO - the music

The mother of all horror soundtracks is still not available on CD

I think this music is in my blood. My mother told me that she went to see Psycho at the cinema when it was first in London. She was pregnant at the time... Yes dear readers, I experienced my first horror movie... WHILE I WAS STILL IN THE WOMB! (Shrieking violins...)

I just want a Psycho soundtrack CD. I listen to a lot of soundtracks, including horror, but I can usually tell if it's a re-recording. That is, what's on the CD isn't what was used in the film. This is quite common with older films where the tapes have been lost and a modern orchestra re-records the music. Fair enough. But I know that the elements for Psycho are still out there. Second-best maybe all that's possible for lesser known soundtracks, but c'mon. It's Psycho. It's a movie classic, not just a horror classic.

The best horror movie soundtrack ever made? That's a matter of taste. But what's the most influential horror movie soundtrack? I'd say we're talking Jaws, Alien and Psycho. The music that's most likely to be plundered for inspiration and temp tracks. While Jaws has had a digitally remastered CD re-issue, the Bernard Hermann Psycho soundtrack has never officially been on CD.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of soundtracks that have 'paid homage' to the Psycho score are out on CD. Including Danny Elfman's recreation of the score, recorded for Gus Van Sant's shot-by-shot remake in 1998.

The Herrmann CD sounds lush, but it's a re-recorded version (artwork above). But just compare the tempo of the first track, the title music, you'll notice that it's considerably slower. It sounds urgent, but not frantic. It's definitely not the recording used in the film. There are several other CDs out there (like the artwork at the top), but none are the original.

It has been available, sort of, included as a music-only track on the huge laserdisc boxset, unfortunately on an analogue track. So at least the elements still exist. But what about a digitally remastered release? Sometime?

If I'm wrong about any of this, and there has been a CD out somewhere, please let me know. My main source of information here is Soundtrack Collector who list the only truly original CD as a bootleg. I'm guessing that it was made from the laserdisc, which was a very hissy analogue source. And it's a bootleg. So it doesn't count.

1 comment:

  1. I agree I want this soundtrack too. It's already been released as an LP but not CD. WTF??