Carl is on hand with his recommendations of the best soundtracks to listen to whilst in lockdown
To help beat the coronavirus blues, for the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome soundtracks to listen to during the COVID-19 lockdown. Whether its lesser-known gems, Oscar-winning classics or just celebrating the best composers – we’ll be here to give you our top picks during this difficult time.
Ghostbusters | by Elmer Bernstein
When the original ‘Ghostbusters‘ film opened all the way back in 1984, the obligatory soundtrack wasn’t far behind. Featuring all the songs from the movie including the number one track of the same name by Ray Parker Jr and ‘Cleanin’ Up The Town‘ by the Bus Boys amongst others, there was little space to have some of Elmer Bernstein‘s enjoyable score on the album. They did manage to add two instrumental tracks of his score to the album but they were added as an afterthought in essence. The soundtrack album went on to sell millions of copies and is considered one of the better soundtracks to own. But are you aware that Bernstein’s complete score was also available? No? I’m not surprised. You see, it had an extremely low key and extremely limited release. However, it WAS available. I found a copy of it on a soundtrack selling website (I shan’t reveal which) and although it was incredibly expensive, I just had to have it. I ended up giving the CD to my brother Phil in the end as he was and still is, a Ghostbusters nut.
Last year, for its 35th anniversary, the entire score was re-released on CD once again but this time, the release was bigger and the CD was available from all good high street retailers (and some rubbish ones too) where it was displayed front and centre. Repaying the compliment, Phil bought me a copy of the score to add to my collection and I’m glad he did. The original score is a fantastic blend of lively, upbeat music combined with the dramatic and slightly frightening. And there are no songs to be found anywhere on the disc. And that is completely brilliant to a soundtrack and score collector. Here we have the score as was written and created. Where in the film, a song took the place of the Bernstein’s motifs, here we get to hear the music he wrote and created for the film.
My only problem with the score re-release compared to the original version is the fact that the first release of the score was in chronological order whereas the 35th-anniversary re-release most certainly isn’t. It is in the correct order in places but some tracks are moved about on the disc and the score doesn’t flow as well as it should. However, it is a joy to own the score and it isn’t too hard if you intend to listen to it on an iPod to change the order of the score in a playlist and have it run in the correct running order. And it is worth every penny to own such a classic score for yourself. It is lovely to sit back with your earbuds in, close your eyes and enjoy every note that Bernstein created for the comedic movie. Again, you can visualise the film in your mind’s eye as you follow every piece of music and find yourself laughing in places as the memories of where the music fits in the film and the comedy that accompanies it make their way into your mind.
The score is available to buy either on disc or as a download from the music retailer of your choice and I highly recommend grabbing a copy. Have it in your music library as a possible playlist alongside the original soundtrack album or, if you decided to grab them too (Ok, we did), make a mega playlist with the original soundtrack, the score from the 1984 film, the soundtrack to the 1989 sequel and the soundtrack and the score from the 2016 reboot. And if you have it, throw in the music from ‘The Real Ghostbusters‘ animated show. It would make for an enjoyable experience. But they must all keep in mind the debt they owe to Elmer Bernstein and his incredible and original score for their success. Turn off the lights, lay back on the couch, put on the score and allow yourself to be transported back to 1984 New York and a rendezvous with the guys who are ready to believe you!
Stay safe and look after each other.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great soundtracks our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!