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- Escape From New York by John Carpenter
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This is an exciting release for me on so many levels. I still remember videotaping ‘Escape From New York’ off the TV when I was in my early teens and being blown away by the crazed dystopian romp which John Carpenter put together. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and much of the stuff which I thought was good at the time is now embarrassing even on a nostalgic level, but the creative output of Carpenter in his prime continues to astonish me as I learn more and my tastes mature and develop.
Not only was he a master writer and director, but the soundtracks he composed and recorded for these films were timelessly brilliant and are massively influential even today, with the likes of Zombi, Egyptology, Kosmonaut, Jonas Munk, Survive et al all doing their own updates on his glacial kraut-disco pure synth spaciousness. There’s nothing like the real thing, though, and Carpenter’s soundtracks are rarely reissued on vinyl, so this LP of the ‘Escape From New York’ soundtrack, in a head-scratchingly short run of 500, with six bonus tracks which weren’t included in the original film or soundtrack, has had all of us here at Norman Towers on the edge of our seats in anticipation of its arrival.
Well today it’s here, and it sounds great! Just putting the needle on that groove and hearing the distinctive main theme from the film in all its synthy glory sent a rush through me which I very much look forward to getting home and reliving again and again. There’s an almost West Side Story-esque knees-up at the end of the first side called ‘Everyone’s Coming To New York’ which disrupts the flow a little bit as an album, but that’s the nature of soundtracks, isn’t it. Business Lady and I are kinda disappointed that the sleeve art and poster aren’t from the original promo material but that’s a tiny gripe when the record in question is such a definitive document of one of the finest film soundtracks ever. Yes, ever. 6 out of 5.
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