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Soundtrack Review

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Dead Ringers
The Complete Original Score Remastered


Composer: Howard Shore
Performed by: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Howe Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 14 October 2014

Howe Records is releasing three expanded collector’s edition soundtracks celebrating the 35th anniversary of the collaboration between celebrated filmmaker David Cronenberg and Academy Award®-winning composer Howard Shore with the release of collector’s edition soundtracks for Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and Crash. The three previously out-of-print albums each contains significant bonus material that has never before been released on CD...

Ah, Howard Shore's rich and beautifully melancholic score for Dead Ringers is finally released in its full glory. I originally bought and played this to death on its original release, although the score I had was released by Silva Screen Records and wasn't a complete score - it was The Films of David Cronenberg and included highlights from Scanners, The Brood, with the lion's share of the album (11 tracks, totalling 27 min, 32 sec) being Dead Ringers.

What impressed me, back then, about Shore's score for Dead Ringers, was just how emotionally sad, yet at the same time how beautiful the main themes were. I thought that this was the "official score" at the time, but listening to this new remastered edition, I'm not so sure. The two are almost identical, but the main theme now appears to have a synth background track that plays simple, unobtrusive chords. For me, that aged the score somewhat (all though to be honest I doubt many people will notice it as it's so subtle and can only really be picked up if you're listening through headphones).

This remastered release contains 17 tracks (42 min, 21 sec) and for me it's like discovering an entirely new album.

It's beautiful, and sad; eerie, yet comforting. I'd argue that this is still Shore's greatest work to date. The chances are you won't already own this score, as it was so hard to get hold of originally, and now sells, second hand, on Amazon for over £50.

This album should be in every self respecting soundtrack buff's collection.


Darren Rea

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