Eric Serrs’s soundtrack to Luc Besson’s film about everyone’s favourite assassin is a blend of looming electronics, powerful orchestration and delicate flourishes of acoustic guitar and solo violins. Providing a rich backing to the mix of tension and innocence portrayed in the film. First time on vinyl, ever.
- Double LP £42.99
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- WW021 / 180g “Upper East Side Splatter” - beige with black splatter coloured vinyl 2LP. Heavyweight old-style tip-on gatefold sleeve with soft touch coating
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- Léon: The Professional by Eric Serra
10/10 Phil Ball Customer review, 4th October 2016
If you don’t know the film, I doubt you would get many clues from the music by itself. Opening with middle eastern sounds Hans Zimmer would be proud of before flitting between an industrial mechanical sound and light wistful piano and violins. A romantic comedy for Terminators perhaps? About three quarters of the way through the music turns decidedly French. I’m not talking full on Amelie or Serge Gainsbourg, more little accordion flavoured. Maybe the films setting moves to Paris?, or maybe this is just Eric Serra’s way of remembering his mother land.
The music itself is all fantastic it has to be said. I put it on when it arrived through the post and I literally played it 4 times more during the course of the day, albeit with varying degrees of attention. It is dramatic without being fatiguing, it maintains a good pace throughout and when the music styles change it feels organic and fluid. Even side D of the album (the last five tracks) where the drama reaches climatic levels, there is enough substance to the music to keep your attention.
Watching the film, it is interesting how the music comes together. The different tones and styles make sense. The quiet string arrangements play throughout the calm apartment block, especially as Leon goes about his mundane house chores. The industrial elements cut through this calm as tension gathers and scenes change from serene to violent. Especially poignant when Gary Oldman himself says “I like this little calm moments before the storm” and the shit hits the fan both visually and sonically. Testament to a good film composer.
As well as the ebb and flow of classical and industrial sounds there are also so effective uses of vocal soundtracks in film. I’m happy these didn't make the vinyl release, but Bjork’s ‘Venus as a boy’ is a perfect fit for a post sniper training session.
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