Watch Queen's unreleased promotional video for the Flash Gordon theme (1980)

Flash Gordon (1985) is a fantastic and camptastic film thanks in no small part to Queen's wonderful soundtrack. Above is Queen's unreleased promotional video for "Flash." Stick around 'til the end for a Klytus cameo.

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Ki ki ki, ma ma ma

In honor of today, please enjoy Harry Manfedini's "Overlay of Evil/Main Title" from the score to Friday the 13th (1980). And as a bonus, here is the evolution of Jason Vorhees's handsome mug:

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Listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's minimalist cover of David Bowie's "Life on Mars?"

This lovely cover was heard in the seventh episode of the new Watchmen TV show, titled "An Almost Religious Awe." The track will appear on Reznor and Ross's album "Watchmen: Vol. 3 (Music from the HBO Series)" due out December 16.

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Brian Eno, Roger Eno, and Daniel Lanois discuss the recording of "Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks"

In this new 14-minute mini-doc from Noisey, Brian Eno, his music-therapist brother Roger, and producer/musician Daniel Lanois, discuss their 1983 writing and recording of Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, their soundtrack for the Al Reinert film, For All Mankind. They also talk about the newly remastered Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition and the 11 additional tracks they created for it.

There is some wonderful stuff in here, like Eno revealing that the country music influences on the record were inspired by him learning that many Apollo astronauts took country with them on their missions. He loved the idea of space frontiersmen carrying the music of an older frontier and decided to try creating a cosmic, psychedelic version of country. He and Roger also talk about how they tried to assume the character of the astronauts as they composed, for example, imagining being Mike Collins staying behind in the command module, and translating that feeling of isolation and awe into music.

There is also a touching moment when Roger chokes up talking about when Armstrong set foot on the moon, and how it seemed that, in a moment, humanity itself had jumped into a different mode, a more hopeful future, and how we now seem to have lost that leap. And that hope.

In case you've forgotten how glorious Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks actually is, here's the remastered version of "An Ending (Ascent)." In the Noisey documentary, Eno reveals that this final version of the track is actually the original piece he was working on played backwards. Read the rest

"Strarcrossed," the hot disco track from the Price is Right (1976)

Come on down and, more to the point, get on down to this full version of "Starcrossed," one of the many disco jams from Score Productions used as a musical cue on The Price is Right starting in 1976.

Also, I hadn't realized before that Crystal Waters' 2001 cover of Score Productions' "Come on Down," aka the main Price is Right theme, hit number one on Billboard's Dance Club Songs Chart! I much prefer the original lyric-less version. Both are below.

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Stranger Things 3 trailer improved with cheery old-timey music

The Stranger Things 3 trailer with a delightful original score by Michael Hearst of "Songs for Ice Cream Trucks" fame.

"Survive, pack up your synths! Hearst, crank up the calliope!"

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Watch The Breeders and Melkbelly cover John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme

At Asbury Park's The Stone Pony last week, alt.rock icons The Breeders and Chicago noise pop band Melkbelly covered John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme. According to Kim Deal, the band was inspired by a recent viewing of the new Halloween film and worked out the tune at soundcheck. Read the rest

Watch Thom Yorke play one of his stunning Suspiria songs on piano

Thom Yorke plays "Unmade" on the grand piano for BBC Radio 6 Music. The double-LP Suspiria soundtrack was released today and it's a stunner. Oh yeah, the movie is out today too.

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"Tubular Bells" live in 1973

Mike Oldfield performs Tubular Bells live on the BBC in 1973. The first release on Richard Branson's new Virgin Records, Tubular Bells became a huge success after film director William Friedkin cast off the Lalo Schifrin score for his new film The Exorcist and went with "Tubular Bells (Part One)" instead. At the time, Oldfield said he didn't want to see the film because it was too scary.

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Deconstructing the synth score of Blade Runner (1982)

Justin Delay breaks down and recreates the otherworldly 1980s synth sounds of Vangelis's stunning score for the original Blade Runner.

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La-La Land Records: movie and TV soundtracks for the absolutely obsessed

I just came across this amazing company, La-La Land Records, that releases soundtracks of movies and TV shows.

But they don't just release ordinary soundtracks, like their score to the new movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle. They also produce obsessively researched and mind-bogglingly complete soundtracks for older properties.

For example, they offer a 3-CD set for the Henry Mancini soundtrack to the 1965 movie The Great Race, which must have a running time longer than the movie itself.

But it's on televisions series that they really shine. The Star Trek: The Original Series soundtrack is a 15-CD monster that will set you back $224.98. The complete DVD set for the series (which includes music and dialog and moving pictures) only costs $39. The La-La Land soundtrack set is beautifully packaged, and includes such tracks as "Zap the Space Ship" and "Mudd's Farewell/Back in Orbit"

If you love the incidental music from the TV show Lost In Space, you are really in luck. Their 12-CD set contains over 14 hours of musical interludes like "A Running Start / Never Fear / Zeno's Plan", and includes a 104-page booklet.

This stuff is not for me; I couldn't even make it through the end of one of those sample tracks. But I'm strangely glad this stuff exists. Some might call this music entertainment detritus, but others clearly love it, and for them and for posterity, it's been expertly curated, cataloged and archived. Read the rest

John Carpenter's new music video (and vinyl release) for the "Christine" movie theme

Along with directing such classic films as Escape from New York, Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, John Carpenter also composed the soundtracks. For those who want a survey of Carpenter's synth stylings, I recommend the new compilation from Sacred Bones Records, titled "John Carpenter Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998." The celebrate the release, Carpenter created this music video for the theme from Christine (1983), in which a woman summons an Uber and the demonic driverless 1958 Plymouth Fury shows up. Just kidding about the Uber part.

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Vinyl reissue of David Bowie and Trevor Jones's Labyrinth soundtrack

David Bowie and Trevor Jones's soundtrack to Jim Henson's fantastical film Labyrinth, starring Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, will be reissued on vinyl next month for the first time since its release in 1986. (These days an original pressing goes for around $75-$100.) To complement Trevor Jones's synthesizer/orchestra score, Bowie wrote five original songs for Labyrinth, including Underground, As The World Falls Down, and the classic Magic Dance.

With Magic Dance, "the song for Jareth and the baby, sung by them and the goblins in the castle throne room - I had problems,” Bowie said at the time. “The baby I used in the recording studios couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put more than two gurgles together, so I ended up doing the baby-gurgle chorus myself! It’s an up-tempo song, and visually exciting.”

Labyrinth LP (Amazon)

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Hans Zimmer performs "Inception" live at Coachella

By all accounts, German soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer's performance at Coachella last night was magnificent. Here he leads his talented orchestra in a rousing, tension-inducing Inception medley.

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Great electronic soundtrack for award winning short documentary film "Little Potato"

My friend Robyn Miller (co-creator of the Myst series of computer games) is an accomplished musician. His soundtrack for the award winning short documentary film "Little Potato," is available on iTunes, and you can listen to a few tracks above.

From IndieWire:

Premiering at this year’s SXSW festival, “Little Potato” centers around the Seattle-based artist Wes Hurley and the obstacles he faced as a gay man growing up in Russia. Including an interview with his mother, “Little Potato” focuses on a mother and son wanting to find a better life for themselves outside the confines of an oppressive Russian regime.

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Mad Max Trilogy soundtrack on vinyl

With track titles such as "Max Decides On Vengeance" and "Max Enters the Compound," the first two Mad Max soundtracks embody the movies' stark and ironic dystopia. Disc 3, of course, has "We Don't Need Another Hero." I have embedded the instrumental version here as a taster of the forthcoming vinyl set, with Brian May, Maurice Jarre and Tina together at last.

For the first time ever, the original Mad Max trilogy of soundtracks have been combined into a stellar deluxe package designed by Marvel comic artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Blade). The outside three panels consist of all new original artwork while the inner panels display minis of the original jackets and the tracklisting. The color of the vinyl is Gray, Sand and Black respectively in keeping with the central colors of the new art panels. No more than 2000 units will be made and the trilogy will not be duplicated in another package.

It's up for preorders at $70 and will ship in April. I wonder: why doesn't it include Mad Max 4?

Mad Max Trilogy [3 LP] Soundtrack [Amazon] Read the rest

Ominous music in shark videos makes people more negative about the fish

A new study suggests that the ominous background music often heard in shark documentaries correlates with viewers' fearful and negative opinions of sharks. (For the source of this musical cliche, see the 1975 trailer for Jaws above.) From the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers paper in the scientific journal PLOS One:

Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content.

"The Effect of Background Music in Shark Documentaries on Viewers' Perceptions of Sharks" (PLOS One via Dangerous Minds)

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