- LP £20.99
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- OWS01 / Deluxe tip-on gatefold LP w/ obi strip on One Way Static. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Wes Craven's 1972 cult shocker. Random choice of vinyl colour, you'll get white, pink or black!
- Tape £7.99
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- OWS01CSD / Ltd tape on One Way Static. Edition of 400 copies - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Wes Craven's 1972 cult shocker
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 29 October 2013
Here’s the latest product of the current horror soundtrack reissue boom; a deluxe reissue of the score to Wes Craven’s grisly classic ‘The Last House On The Left’, unusually written and performed by the film’s star and the man performing a large portion of the on-screen violence, the late David Alexander Hess.
It’s an enthralling and varied collection, with elements of hippie-ish folk, hillbilly bluegrass, ‘60s beat pop, haunting synth experimentalism and also a sense of humour which is both welcome and unsettling within its original bleak context. Stripped of that context much of this record is surprisingly upbeat, there’s touches of ragtime on tracks like piano singalong ‘Mari’s Birthday Surprise’, but then it’s followed by some raw minimal analogue synth darkness that’ll set your teeth on edge, then there’s a beautiful Simon & Garfunkel-ish ballad.
Despite being all over the place stylistically, it’s an engrossing and mystifying glimpse into the inner light and shade of the man who continues to terrify audiences everywhere with his performance as the calculating psychopath Krug, with the delicate, imaginative and joyful sounds often at odds with the horrors unfolding onscreen. One Way Static and Light In The Attic have teamed up to put together a really beautiful gatefold package in a thick card sleeve with an obi strip and an inner sleeve with colour photos and various people’s reminiscences about Hess. It’s aged well, a genuinely unusual and entertaining record, and given the iconic status of the film it’s a must for all you horror soundtrack collectors.
9/10 Phil Ball Customer review, 7th September 2015
More often than not I buy records blind (or is that deaf?) Especially from the record labels I've come to love and trust. Ones such as One Way Static, Deathwaltz, Waxwork and Milan to name a few. Also, a lot of the soundtracks I buy I haven't seen the film for, even big genre titles such as The Last House On The Left. Although it's on my list I just haven't got there yet.
The record opens with a rather stark dialogue of "piss your pants" and I immediately set myself up for the brutal soundtrack before me. The first piece of music proper with its haunting creaking and shimmering drums confirms this record will be a spine tingler.
Imagine my surprise when that music finishes and is replaced by the absolutely sublime Wait For The Rain. A folk song that sounds like a summer's day walking through a meadow of wild flowers and birds chirping in the background. The record suddenly feels like it's from a film about romance, free love and Woodstock.
As the album continues it twists and turns in all kinds of directions and from bluesy guitar to circus spoon tapping and then onto some kazoo action, this is definitely a fun soundtrack to listen to and apart from the sinister sounds of the drums creeping back in every now and then it feels a mile away from any horror film I've seen.
Side B starts of a little less of a relaxing whimsical affair with rapid acoustic drums and a real sense of tension looming with the heavy bass drums sounding like a heartbeat about to explode. Before long as are back into folk territory with gentle flutes and acoustic guitars soothing the mood although this is now only a brief interlude before the music starts to take a darker feel and more akin with the unsettling nature of horror soundtracks.
As the musical pieces become shorter the sense of unease deepens and you never really get to relax into any one particular mood. As soon as you thinks its getting darker it liven up again. Side B is definitely a much more challenging listening experience, when compared to the first side which could be listened to at anytime.
The presentation from One Way Static (OWS) is excellent. It comes in a nice gatefold sleeve with extensive liner notes to give more insight into the record and David Hess as a person. The artwork is kept to photography but this works due to its grainy film style. OWS released a couple of versions of the disk. The one I have is the black vinyl which is a decent press although side A of the record does have some volume issues in the mix, I'm not sure if this is a pressing issue or with the masters themselves. It is most noticeable when listening through headphones but is easily forgivable.
Overall The Last House On The Left is a great listen and shows a real talent in David Hess to pull off such a variety of styles on the soundtrack. It has definitely made me want to watch the film to see how it all fits together and with the recent passing of Wes Craven maybe that should be sooner rather than later.
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- The Last House on The Left by David Alexander Hess
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