It's getting to the point where it feels like every other LP in the Norman stockroom is some sort of John Carpenter reissue - surely a testament to the enduring appeal of the work of the legendary film director/composer. 1981’s ‘Halloween II’ saw Carpenter linking up with Alan Haworth to rehash the music of the hugely successful first ‘Halloween’ film for its follow-up. You know the drill by now - spooky synths, ominous bass, off-kilter melodies that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, that sort of hting. This new Death Waltz edition (when is a John Carpenter release not the death Waltz edition these days?) contains new artwork by John Mann.
Vinyl LP £28.99 DW7R
180g orange coloured vinyl LP on Death Waltz. Artwork by Paul Mann.
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- Coloured vinyl
- Only 2 copies left
Vinyl LP £17.49 DW007
LP + poster on Death Waltz.
This has got to be one of the most exciting developments in the unfolding Death Waltz saga so far - reissues of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s scores to his excellent Halloween sequels. Sadly no sign yet of a new pressing of the first Halloween but I’m quietly crossing my fingers that will materialise eventually. Anyway, I eagerly lapped up the recent ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘Prince of Darkness’ reissues and I’m just as delighted to finally have a listen to these ones.
‘II’ very much continues on from the original Halloween score in terms of style and themes, perhaps a little bolder and punchier but it’s pure Carpenter and the melodic refrain of the main theme makes several chilling appearances, clearly intended to tie the films together as companion pieces. It closes with the oft-sampled doo-wop of ‘Mr. Sandman’ by the Chordettes which gains a new level of creepiness in this context (much like the incongruously upbeat ‘Everyone’s Coming To New York’ in the EFNY OST or the ‘Halloween Montage’ of ‘III’).As for ‘III’, we’re in different territory altogether with the malevolent technology themes of the film being mirrored in an ominous synth-techno dronescape with partially obscured fluttering modular touches, violent cosmic stabs and patient, bass pulses. This one is considered by many to be one of the great underrated jewels in Carpenter’s glittering career and it’s immediately easy to hear why. It’s a pulsating, gliding, stuttering synth-dread masterwork. Both these records are essential.
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