Please Read This First!

The out-of-print albums that I post here are available for free! For many years, I used Megaupload to store my shares, but with their recent demise, I have switched to using MediaFire instead. If one of the shares is unavailable, please leave a comment requesting it and I'll re-upload it as soon as I can. If you have any problems, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Les Baxter - The Dunwich Horror (1970)

Update 09/24/2009: It has come to my attention that La-La Land Records has officially remastered and reissued this soundtrack, including nearly 22m of additional music! It's been released as a limited edition of 1200 units. The sound quality is noticeably improved and they have less than 50 left, so go over there and support this effort by buying it! Due to its official availability, I've removed my share!

I first discovered the wonderful world of full album music blogs a couple of years ago while visiting one of my favorite "weird and wild cinema" review sites Mondo Digital. There was a new link there to a full album music blog that they had started called 7 Black Notes (a clever reference to Lucio Fulci). That site linked to other sites, causing a chain reaction that has resulted in the continual discovery of much interesting out-of-print music from many genres. It was there that I discovered ScoreBaby's blog ScoreBaby Annex. Unfortunately, like many great music blogs, ScoreBaby Annex is gone and 7 Black Notes is inactive. For what it's worth, 7 Black Notes provided the initial inspiration to start Psychotic Leisure Music.

One of my first obscure soundtrack discoveries is still my favorite. ScoreBaby Annex posted a clean LP rip of the psychedelic mood masterpiece that is Les Baxter's score to The Dunwich Horror. The film stars Sandra Dee and Dean Stockwell and, like most H.P. Lovecraft adaptations for the screen, is a loose take on the original story, but is still creepy cheesy fun. The score, however, is absolutely sublime. Exotica aficionados undoubtedly recognize Les Baxter, but may not realize that throughout the 50s and into the 70s, Baxter also composed numerous soundtrack scores. If you're a fan of Lovecraft or are interested in learning more, the complete text of The Dunwich Horror and several other Lovecraft stories can be found online at DagonBytes.com's The Works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Check out the theatrical trailer for The Dunwich Horror:



About a year ago, Nightchillers Rare Music posted a rip of a bootleg soundtrack for The Dunwich Horror. While the original LP soundtrack contains tracks that are suites of several cues edited together, the bootleg release is a straight collection of individual cues. The sound quality is not as good and not every cue from the original LP soundtrack is there, but, excitingly, there are several unreleased cues included! I went through the collection, painstakingly comparing the bootleg cues to the original LP soundtrack suites. I removed the duplicates and ended up with 13 additional unreleased cues. I've sequenced this soundtrack compilation with the original LP soundtrack first (11 tracks, 30:53) followed by the additional unreleased cues (13 tracks, 15:59). The blogmaster at Nightchillers Rare Music has given me his blessing to use his rip and has also promised to reupload the full version of the original bootleg for those interested.

Les Baxter - The Dunwich Horror (1970)
Original LP Soundtrack:
1. Dunwich (2:33)
2. Sacrifice of the Virgin (1:53)
3. Black Mass (2:48)
4. Sensual Hallucination (2:21)
5. Strange Sleep (1) (2:25)
6. Cult Party (3:48)
7. Necronomicon (1:58)
8. Reincarnation (5:13)
9. Devil Cult (1:32)
10. Strange Sleep (2) (4:35)
11. Devil's Witchcraft (1:47)
Additional Unreleased Cues from Bootleg Soundtrack:
12. Making Tea / Disabling the Car (1:18)
13. The Crystal (1:54)
14. Car Won't Start / Guest Room (2:04)
15. Nightmare Orgy (0:42)
16. Wilbur and the Dream (1:28)
17. Doc and Liz (0:33)
18. Feeling Dizzy / To Bed (1:49)
19. Up the Hill (1:21)
20. The Devil's Hopyard (1:14)
21. The Ritual Begins (1:28)
22. Wilbur Returns (0:47)
23. Nurse Cora's Death (0:47)
24. Alternate End Title (0:34)

23 comments:

Lucky said...

hi, kevin!

thanks for giving me the possibility to hear another facet of baxter's vast oeuvre. i'm a big fan of his early work, "the founding of exotica", so to say, whether it's with Dr. Samuel Hoffman, with Yma Sumac or his own masterpieces of the 50s. This, however, sounds like nothing more than a score job for a cheap flick - in my opinion, of course. It totally lacks the subtlety of Baxter's arranging skills, it sounds like a very cheap B-movie score - flat and boring. Well, tastes are different, isn't it? ;)

kevin, i had a somewhat similar start in blogging - i got in love with bloggin in early 2006, when blogs like "these records are bent!", "xtaybays world", "rockovergraceland" or "realm of x" posted the entire output of rca victor's 'stereo action series'. in june i started a blog myself - and got in contact with you through esquivel and the three sun which you posted.

enuff nostalgia!

cheers, lucky

Kevin Sartori said...

It's funny how people perceive things differently! For me, it's his Exotica output that leaves me a bit cold! 'Course, it's hard to overestimate nostalgia. I saw this movie when I was young and always loved it. I find the score to be mysterious and spacey-sounding. Honestly, one of my favorite soundtrack scores.

Then again, I'm pretty easy to please...

Lucky said...

kevin, if you have such a relation to this movie, it's logical you like the score, isn't it? nostalgia is a pretty great thing, in my opinion - it's something from the belly, the gut, and it almost entirely leaves the intellectual brain aside, which is great sometimes.

the more i read about a certain kind of music, the less i can simply enjoy and feel it. therefore - if i hear something which i totally adore, i don't want to know too much about it... but with researching and preparing posts in blogland, so much info is streaming into my poor little brain... :-S

so: ---> baxter's exotica leaves you a bit cold, ha? i assume you heard his records "african jazz", "jungle jazz", "the sacred idol" or his 1st masterpiece "le sacre du sauvage / ritual of the savage". i can live without those ... but it would be tough! ;)

cheers!!!

Kevin Sartori said...

Maybe the mistake I've made with the exotica Baxter is context. All I have of that period is The Exotic Moods of Les Baxter, which is a 40 track mish-mash of material from 1947-1960. That collection isn't arranged in any logical kind of way, so in my mind that material "all sounds the same." I should really try to listen to Les Baxter's exotica an album at a time, in order. I know that listening to The Three Suns and Esquivel this way has been educational to me and improved my appreciation of it. It has for most bands I like, in fact. Context is everything and I'm willing to admit that I probably haven't given Les Baxter's music from this period a fair shake.

It's funny how differently we think! I feel that if I don't educate myself about music I merely "like," then I feel like I can't possibly truly "understand" it. Which is, of course, totally ridiculous, but being aware of that on the surface and internalizing it are two different things!

Later,
K

Lucky said...

Hi, Kevin.

I'm still up and reading your comment, and it's already a quarter to three in the morning. Just been watching Anton Corbijn's movie "Control" about Ian Curtis, a very sad story, and your comment seems somewhat bitter, too - but maybe I'm seeing everything under that light right now...

Now - context is important, of course. If you think of all those stupid Esquivel compilations which don't make any sense at all, you know how it is. Baxter had some vision, as far as I understand him. He made money with pop singles (and soundtracks, I guess); but his heart belonged to those albums he made in the 50's, I think - though I doubt that he would tag them as "Exotica" - it was just term to sell stuff, just like Rock'n'Roll. I have the 2-CD compilation you mentioned, and with that it all started for me. I liked certain songs, others left me cold. And on some blogs I found the albums, which were structured from beginning to end, kind of concept albums - much more than any of Esquivel or The Three Sounds (which doesn't mean they are better - they are just more "composed").

Sun Ra was a fan of Les Baxter, did you know that? And listening to early Ra records proves why - they also have this eery strange moods, otherworldly feeling - and that's what I like. Of course he used great soloists in his bands, but the big quality was his ability to arrange like no-one else (Esquivel was a fantastic arranger, too - but on another planet!).

Well - when I said I don't want to know anything about music I like, it was more like wishful thinking. I WISH I didn't know certain things, because it gets in my way while I try to FEEL the music, get into it, without using my head. But I'm curious like anybody else about certain aspects, love to read interviews, biographies, insight articles... all that crap! ;)

Now - feel like going to bed now, tomorrow's just another day! ;)

Talk to you soon - it's really a joy!

Lucky

Kevin Sartori said...

Nah, it's the movie. I like to think that I'm an optimist, but in reality, I'm pretty split. As far as my comment goes, I was trying to convey the upbeat idea that my impressions of Baxter's music from that period could easily be all wrong.

For me, that's not negative! In fact, I'm excited that there could be something there that I didn't catch before. Before, I said that context is everything. So is timing. Wait, can more than one thing be "everything"? ;-)

I find that as time goes by, my tastes change. It's pretty rare for me to stop liking something I used to love, but I've definitely come to appreciate things that I didn't understand before. Hell, I still listen to Men at Work fairly regularly! Hey, don't laugh!

Which Baxter "exotica" (I think I'm with you in thinking that labels suck but are sort of necessary) do you think I should start out with?

By the way, I've enjoyed many of your past blogs and I'm blown away by the sheer variety of music you have an interest in. These days, it's pretty unusual for me to come across a full album music blog loaded with music I'm completely unaware of. That used to happen when I visited your past blogs and still does with your current one, Infinity in Sound. My music collection is in the area of 1200 albums. I can only imagine the size of yours!

Lemoncat,, said...

some brilliant cheesy films from around that time and this is great..thanx for this ace share :)

Steve Engler said...

I'm a big Les Baxter fan, and although I don't like this as well as his 50's material, I think it's pretty worthwhile. It sounds like Les is most likely giving the film's director the moods he wanted to match the story. I think it is better than Moog Rock because it conveys stronger emotions, otherwise the music seems comparable to that album. Kevin, for you, I would recommend the Kaleidoscope album because it is a widely varied album and shows more facets of Baxter's style in one LP.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Can anyone explain to me where I am supposed to type the password? The link-protector window has no password box when I call it up and neither does megaupload. Perhaps it's being blocked somehow. It's a complete mystery to me!

Kevin Sartori said...

I've just updated my Please Read This First post at the top of the page to make it more clear on what you need to do. Let me know if this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin

Thanks for your help. The name's Chris btw.

I followed your instructions, but when I double clicked the .rar file nothing happened (iTunes appeared but with no prompt).

I usually open .rar files by dragging them into an UnRarX folder on my desktop. Anything different I should be doing?

Chris

Kevin Sartori said...

I'm not sure what to say, Chris. Save that RAR file someplace and then use UnRarX to open the archive. It should prompt you for a password. I have no experience with Mac, so I can't help much more than that...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for trying, Kevin. I'll give it one last shot this evening. Chris

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin

I figured it out. Just in case you or anyone else reading this is interested...

I dropped the .rar file into UnRarX, at which point it downloaded in corrupted form as before. I then selected a button to the far right of the UnRarX window marked "Extract". This enabled a field in which I could enter the password and -- bingo.

I'm now swinging to the sensuous sounds of Esquivel.

Thanks again - for the music this time as well as your help :)

Chris

The Gosub Routine said...

hi there Kevin!

I read a comment oin a blog somewhere where you said you had TFUL 282's 'Lovelyville LP.

Is it the CD version with the extra tracks?

And last but not least, i don't suppose you might find the time to put it up, as that really would be lovely.

I do have it on vinyl, but to hear it with the extra tracks on CD would be nice.

Cheers,

Baz.

Troy Sterling Nies said...

First off - your blog is fantastic! Aside from being a composer for film, theatre and concert hall myself - I'm a huge fan of the Les baxter/Martin Denny era as well as many others. Thank you for making this incredibly hard to locate score available. It may be of interest to you that I composed the music for H.P. Lovecraft Society's DARK ADVENTURE RADIO THEATRE: THE DUNWICH HORROR as well as their black & white silent film, THE CALL OF CTHULHU among other HPLHS projects. All of the above can be found at www.cthulhulives.org and examples of music can be heard there or at my website and blog: www.troysterling.com and www.troysterling.blogspot.com. Sorry for the shameless plug, but a cross link to the blogs would be excellent. Again, thank you and I look forward to reading the rest of your blog! I also have quite an extensive collection of rare and strange vinyl - I could send on a list to you if you'd like... best regards,
Troy Sterling Nies

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on this album and I'm loving it! Great blog, thanks!

Anonymous said...

You, sir, are an absolute God! I adore the music in this film, and didn't know there was a soundtrack.

I can't thank you enough for the upload.

P.S. Link Protector won't cooperate with Opera, but is fine in Netscape.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for posting this link. I really appreciate it.

R

Kwintpod said...

Thanks a bunch, man!

Lekterine said...

Thank you very much!!

K Radish said...

Thank you so much for posting this bootleg! I've managed to snag one of those CDs from 2009, and I can't wait to hear it.

This film is close to my heart for unknown reasons. Some of the drumming seems to tingle my soul, or maybe it's because Wilbur Whately seduces ladies with a silver tea service (in this version).

A wonderful film, a fantastic soundtrack, and I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loves it!

Justin Marshall said...

please re upload!