Song of the Day: Carry On Wayward Son (by Kansas)


Kansas

If there was ever a song that’s become synonymous with a TV series (and there’s been a lot of them) then I would say that the latest “Song of the Day” would be at the top of this particular mountain. This particular song became the signature song of the series. I am talking about that classic song from 70’s progressive rock group Kansas, “Carry On Wayward Song”.

The song was released as part of the band’s Leftoverture full-length album. The single for the song was released around 1976 and became one of the band’s biggest hits. “Carry On Wayward Son” is just one of those songs which instantly hooks you and won’t let go. From the acapella intro followed up by a prolonged progressive section that leads up to vocals accompanied by some subtle percussions and keyboards.

Then there’s lead guitarist and founding member Kerry Livgren starting, bridging then ending the song with guitar solos that were all different from each other. One usually will see two solos, but three in and in three different instances tend to be the exception to the rule.

In the long run this song will stick to your mind once it catches a hold of you and you’ll be happy to sing-along whenever it comes on. For Supernatural fans this song has become an anthem for their favorite show and definitely will send Wincest fans of the two brothers in the show into a-twitter.

Carry On Wayward Son

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

(guitar solo)

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
I was soaring ever higher
But I flew too high
Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a madman
I hear the voices when I’m dreaming
I can hear them say

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

(guitar solo)

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man
It surely means that I don’t know
On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about I’m like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune
But I hear the voices say

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life’s no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you

Carry on my wayward son
There’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

(guitar solo)

Great Guitar Solos Series

Song of the Day: Bohemian Rhapsody (by Queen)


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Who hasn’t heard and sung with Queen’s most iconic song ever. I know I can’t think of anyone that I know of.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” has become a staple of many best ever rock lists. It’s a song that’s been paid homage, imitated, parodied and copied by so many artists both music, tv, film and video games. This song has become synonymous with that most epic of all rock shows: arena rock. It’s an amalgamation of rock power ballad that bridges over to rock opera then into straight hard rock before circling back to a gradual softening of a coda.

One would think that all that wouldn’t mesh very well together, but with Freddie Mercury (arguably one of the greatest rock frontman) on vocals (who also wrote the lyrics), Brian May on lead guitar, John Deacon on bass and Roger Taylor on drums the song ends up not just great, but a gamechanger in how hard rock and heavy metal would be seen since it’s release.

Every hard rock and metal band worth their name would attempt to have their very own “Bohemian Rhapsody” to different degrees of success (I’ve always thought that the power metal bands like Blind Guardian have become successors in this endeavor). The song has become so ingrained in the general public’s pop DNA that just hearing a snippet of the song sans lyrics and people probably would know what song it was they just overheard.

Oh, it also has a killer guitar solo by Brian May which occurs after the ballad section and acts as a bridge into the operatic section of the track.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody – I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo – (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all

(guitar solo)

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning – very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro – magnifico

But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go – will you let me go
Bismillah! No – we will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let me go
Will not let you go – let me go (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go – ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no –
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me
for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby – can’t do this to me baby
Just gotta get out – just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters – nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows…

Great Guitar Solos Series

Song of the Day: Comfortably Numb (by Pink Floyd)


pink floyd

David Gilmour.

That name seems to come up quite often when the subject of best guitar solos come up. His guitar work on Pink Floyd’s single “Comfortably Numb” might not be the technical wonder of a John Petrucci guitar solo or the blues throwback to the blues greats like Duane Allman, but his two guitar solos in this song has been hailed by many as the greatest guitar solos.

Such a thing has always been subjective. What one might call the best ever might be seen as just good, but not great. The same cannot be said about Gilmour’s guitar solos (the midpoint and the outro solos in the song) on “Comfortably Numb”. There’s soul in this man’s playing. I say playing since shredding would seem such an uncouth term to describe his two solos.

Pink Floyd rightfully earns their place amongst the elite of the elite on the rock gods pantheon, but I wouldn’t be out of line by saying that David Gilmour had such a huge hand in making sure they got and stayed there.

Comfortably Numb

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?
Come on, Come on, Come on, now,
I hear you’re feeling down.
Well, I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.
I’ll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
When I was a child I had a FEVER My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb.
(guitar solo)
I have become comfortably numb.

O.K.
Just a little pin prick.
There’ll be no more aaaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working, good.
That’ll keep you going through the show
Come on it’s time to go.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb.

(guitar solo)

Great Guitar Solos Series

Song of the Day: Stairway to Heaven (by Led Zeppelin)


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The latest in the Song of the Day for the greatest guitar solo series is the power rock ballad of power ballads. Straight from their untitled fourth album, Stairway to Heaven is a mixture of acoustic-folk music and anthemic hard rock. The fact that this power ballads of all power ballads have stood the test of time, ridicule and countless covers (both serious and comedic) says much about the power that Led Zeppelin had over rock music. Even 30 years since they broke up the band still influences musicians to this day.

Stairway to Heaven to me best exemplifies the gradual shift of the band from a down and dirty blues-based hard rock band to the proto-metal/progressive rock which would dominate the band’s sound from the mid-70’s until the band’s break-up after the untimely death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. The song puts to light Jimmy Page’s growing attraction for the esoteric as the song’s lyrics conjures up images of the fairy folk of the Welsh countryside. The acoustic guitar arpeggios which begins the song soothingly brings the listener in. Each section brings in more of the modern to the Renaissance-like intro. This build-up reaches a crescendo at the mid 5-minute mark when Jimmy Page begins a guitar solo which finally leads to a climactic hard rock finish to the song.

The song was the most requested and played track over the radio and became a staple of the band’s sets on their many tours during the 70’s. Like any piece of artistic work extremely popular with the masses the song reached such a popularity that a backlash just as extreme followed as the band broke up in 1980. The fact that this backlash didn’t diminish the song’s appeal to future generations of fans and to the legions before them shows just how important this song has become to rock music history.

While other epic power ballads have come and gone since Stairway to Heaven they will never supplant Led Zeppelin’s epic mystical anthem of fairy folk, magical lands with progressive hard rock. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven was first and to many will always be First and The One.

Stairway to Heaven

There’s a lady whose sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there, she knows if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.

Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
’Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there is a songbird who sings:
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

Theres a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who standing looking.

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, really makes me wonder.

And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow,
Don’t be alarmed now,
Its just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by but in the long run
Theres still time to change the road you’re on.

And it makes me wonder.
Ooooooh…

Your head is humming and it won’t go,
In case you don’t know:
The pipers calling you to join him.

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,
And did you know:
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

(guitar solo)

And as we wind on down the road,
Our shadows taller than our soul,
There walks a lady we all know.
Who shines white light and wants to show…
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard the tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all, yeah, to be a rock and not to roll.

And she’s buying a stairway… to heaven.

Great Guitar Solos Series

Ten Years #48: Opeth


Decade of last.fm scrobbling countdown:
48. Opeth (640 plays)
Top track (26 plays): The Devil’s Orchard, from Heritage (2011)

When I saw Opeth was coming up next, I got pretty excited about what the top track would be. Would my really oldschool Opeth credentials shine with a song like The Twilight is My Robe or Advent topping the charts, or could nothing hope to match Demon of the Fall? A Heritage track was the last thing I ever expected. It’s easy to forget, in the onslaught of relatively poor reviews, how much I actually enjoyed that album when it came out. Oh, it wasn’t love at first listen, but for me it was a breath of fresh air after years of diminishing faith in Akerfeldt’s song-writing ability. Opeth was one of the first metal bands I ever listened to, and, nostalgia aside, I really do think their first three albums were by far their best. A void, beginning subtly with Still Life and expanding more drastically after Blackwater Park, had grown between my personal tastes and the direction Akerfeldt was steering the band. This coupled with what I perceived as an overinflated ego to completely erode my interest in the band for a long time. Ghost Reveries and Watershed only managed four and three listens respectively before I yawned and moved on.

I am not much of a progressive rock fan, but with Heritage I did start to feel like Akerfeldt was coming back to earth and keeping it real again. I don’t know about his whole “I’m done with metal” mentality; it seems to me like he’s exactly where he needs to be to start composing the sort of metal I can enjoy again. But even if prog rock is all that’s going to appear under the Opeth moniker for a long time to come, his decision to tone things down has successfully resurrected my interest. The Devil’s Orchard is my most played Opeth song because these charts do not begin until 2003; a few years earlier and the statistics would reflect something quite different. But suffice to say I do think this is the best Opeth album since Blackwater Park.

I’ll leave you with a classic Opeth track of the sort that made these guys, for a pre-last.fm period of four years or so, my favorite band in the world:

VGM Entry 65: Follin in the 90s


VGM Entry 65: Follin on the SNES
(Thanks to Tish at FFShrine for the banner)

The average quality of Tim Follin’s compositions seemed to progressively decline with every new improvement to technology. A sort of daredevil musician accustomed to breaking barriers and pushing boundaries, I think the relative freedom of SNES composition forced him to find new forms of inspiration. Sometimes the muses moved him, and quite often they did not. When it did click for him, he showcased the same level of creative aptitude he’d been stirring up the gaming music world with since 1985.

Plok (developed by Software Creations, first published by Tradewest, 1993) was an instance in which Follin most certainly did rise to the challenge. For a goofy little game, here was a simultaneously ridiculous and wonderful score.

Tim and Geoff collaborated on this one, as they had often times before (I may well have falsely credited Tim with Geoff’s work on occasion), and it all came together exceptionally well in this instance. The track beginning at 1:48, “Venge Thicket”, especially exhibits precisely the sort of upbeat prog rock for which Tim excels, with a definite Ghouls’n Ghosts vibe. The track at 5:00, “Cotton Island”, does a delightful job of busting out in trademark over-the-top Follin style while remaining entirely within the corny and fun setting of the game it represents. “Akrillic“, not featured in the above compilation, is more of a smooth, relaxing jazz-prog ride that far exceeds the game for which it was written.

Plok was not the first great Super Nintendo soundtrack by the Follin brothers. Tim and Geoff also collaborated for Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge, another Software Creations development, published by LJN in 1992. It was, as it turns out, the only Follin game I actually owned as a kid, and its music was the leading cause in my purchasing it after playing a rental. Tim has supposedly cited Guns N’ Roses as a musical influence, but it’s only on the Arcade’s Revenge title theme that you can clearly hear it.

The whole rock and roll approach to composition was not a one-time go for the Follin brothers, though it was fairly foreign to their pre-SNES games. They would employ a much heavier rock influence throughout most of their SNES catalogue, most obviously on Rock n’ Roll Racing (Interplay, 1993). But it didn’t always work. Arcade’s Revenge was more the exception than the rule. In any case, it was not strictly rock, and the music of the Gambit stages in particular exhibit a wide variety of electronic beats intermixed with rock and prog.

The music to the Spider-Man stages was perhaps the most memorable of the game for me, and not merely because they were the only ones I could consistantly beat. It’s definitely the most diverse song in the game, intermingling prog and classical with some funk and jazz in a subdued sort of way that matched the cool vibe of the opening level, where you infiltrate a high security facility with a smoggy night sky as your backdrop. It made an otherwise tedious game well worth playing. . . . With a Game Genie.

The Follin brothers were mostly committed to the SNES throughout the 1990s, but at least one incursion was made into the world of the Genesis/Mega Drive. To the best of my knowledge Tim is responsible for the title screen music to Time Trax, and he probably wrote it in 1993 or 1994. Its extension from the Arcade’s Revenge sound should be fairly apparent. Unfortunately neither the game itself nor any other songs from it are available. Malibu Games released a SNES version with an entirely different score in 1994, but the Mega Drive version was dropped prior to publishing.

VGM Entry 52: Tim Follin’s Legacy


VGM Entry 52: Tim Follin’s Legacy
(Thanks to Tish at FFShrine for the banner)

The end of the NES era did not mark the end of the NES. Games would continue to appear on the system all the way up to February 1994, with Wario’s Woods (Nintendo) constituting the final licensed game for the system. Neil Baldwin was not the only classic chiptune artist to find refuge in the persistence of outdated systems. The underdog hero of my video game music series, Tim Follin, rode the third generation of gaming out to its end as well.

What’s more, the late transition of C64 chiptune artists to the NES brought out all kinds of amazing features on the system that were never realized during the system’s heyday. I did Tim Follin a terrible disservice by skipping over Silver Surfer (Arcadia Systems, 1990) for the Nintendo and Magic Johnson’s Basketball (Arcadia Systems, 1990) for the Commodore 64, having not really discovered either until it was too late to include them, but it’s not too late to touch on his 1991 masterpieces.

Treasure Master (American Softworks, December 1991) initially picks up right where Pictionary left off, and in this game you can really experience the climax of Follin’s NES pursuit, wherein groovy jam tracks took the place of progressive rock as a focal point. Just as Follin’s Commodore 64 works made a clean break from his original ZX Spectrum style, his NES compositions matured into a sound all of their own.

It’s not that prog elements were a thing of the past; Follin’s quintessential sound persists across every platform, and Treasure Master has its fair share. But on no two systems did he ever sound quite the same. He was ever and always a musician to place the system at the heart of the composition. It’s something I was criticizing other musicians for failing to do long before he was ever on my radar, and soundtracks like Treasure Master are vibrant proof of just how significant this sort of compositional mindset could be. This is the antithesis of Nobuo Uematsu’s eternally reinterpritable works; it is inconceivable in any other medium.

I don’t recall whether I actually made the observation before or simply thought it to myself, but I am inclined to believe that a lot of chiptune musicians struggled and faded away in the fourth generation because the lack of severe restrictions forced them to completely redefine their vision of what video game music should be. They were fundamentally musicians first and composers second, and the SNES, with its bountiful possibilities, simply could not function as an instrument. It was a means to an end, not an end itself, and that requires a whole different assortment of talents. Tim Follin struggled on the SNES, perhaps for the first time in his career. It’s no small triumph that he (and his brother Geoff, who likely contributed far more to the ‘Follin sound’ than I give him credit for) did ultimately overcome the challenge with Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge and Plok, which I will get to soon enough.

The majority of Tim Follin’s SNES works leave something to be desired however, and with the extraordinary exception of Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (Sega, 2000) for the Dreamcast, he would never really thrive as a video game composer again after the mid-90s. Suffice to say Tim Follin’s real glory days ended in 1991.

At least he went out with a bang. Gauntlet III (US Gold, 1991) was to be his final Commodore 64 title. Composed in collaboration with Geoff, it carried on in the spirit of Ghouls’n Ghosts.

A history of the development of Follin’s sound would make for an interesting mini-series all of its own. There’s certainly no linear progression to it, and I couldn’t pretend to establish one without ignoring quite a few games which defy conformity. (Even the suggestion that his NES soundtracks were inseparable from the system he wrote them for was a minor stretch if we consider similarities between Pictionary and Magic Johnson’s Basketball.) But the title theme to Gauntlet III most certainly follows from “Level 5” in Ghouls’n Ghosts, and trace signs of this thematic approach can, I think, be heard in the in-game theme from Black Lamp (Firebird, 1988) and the title theme from ChesterField: Challenge to Dark Gor (Vic Tokai, 1988). I make the observation to establish that this sound was emerging prior to Follin’s direct interaction with the original Ghouls’n Ghosts score by Tamayo Kawamoto. His outstanding cover of Level 2 aside, the C64 port shares little in common with the arcade music.

At any rate, that was only the title screen. Gauntlet III was one of those rare exceptions to the Commodore 64 rule of putting your best effort on the loader. To that credit goes the character select screen.

Was Tim Follin’s final C64 composition also his best? It’s definitely a contender. Gauntlet III lacked the quantity delivered in Ghouls’n Ghosts–I gather the actual gameplay was silent, though I’ve not been able to confirm this–but the quality is impeccable.

Tim Follin spent 1989 through 1991 breaking every mold and defying every standard ever set for what may well be considered the finest system in the history of video game music, and in so doing made his name inseparable from the final pages of the Commodore 64 legacy. Having simultaneously done the same thing for the Nintendo, and having single-handedly defined the ZX Spectrum as a system capable of a unique sound independent from both powerhouse competitors, he may well be rightly regarded as the most accomplished musician of the third generation era.

It’s a shame his time with the Amiga 500 was so brief. Underwhelming in comparison to the Ghouls’n Ghosts port, Tim and Geoff’s Amiga Gauntlet III music suffers merely from a lack of sound quality. I have been unable to find any copy of this song that delivers with the depth and clarity of Ghouls’n Ghosts, but I suspect this is more a consequence of a low bit rate in its modern conversion than a flaw in its original form. The bagpipes do seem to clash with the rest of the song from 1:40 on, but I’d rather not pass judgement until I’ve heard a higher quality recording. In any case, Follin was showing no signs of relenting on the Commodore Amiga, and it was surely decisions beyond his control at Software Creations that ultimately tied him into a Super Nintendo track from 1992 on.

Song of the Day: In The Air Tonight (by Phil Collins)


The latest “song of the day” arrives courtesy of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice. I speak of one of the best rock songs of the 1980’s: Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”.

Phil Collins was already a major star as part of the progressive rock band Genesis. In the early 80’s he finally went out on his own and began a second successful career as a solo artist. His 1981 debut solo album, Face Value, would release it’s first single with what would turn out to be one of the 80’s iconic rock songs with “In The Air Tonight”. The song was originally recorded in 1979, but it was until Collins went solo did it see the light of day and once it made it to the mass public it instantly became a major hit. This song would end up Collins’ biggest hit ever and would be covered by rock bands and sampled by rappers in the decades to come.

Some of the younger generation would recognize this song because of a hilarious scene in the 2009 comedy The Hangover involving Mike Tyson and one of the most famous basslines in rock history. It’s a shame that it would be that scene people would remember since this song is more than just a punchline in a comedy. This song has become an integral part of my growing up during the 80’s and I still listen to it intently decades later…and yes I, too, consider that bassline to start the final chorus as the go-ahead to air drum the sequence in the privacy of my own room or car.

The one cover of this song I like just as much as the original is the hard rock cover done by the band Nonpoint for Michael Mann’s Miami Vice.

In The Air Tonight

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand
I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am
Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies

And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well I remember, I remember, don’t worry, how could I ever forget
It’s the first time, the last time we ever met
But I know the reason why you keep your silence UP, oh no you don’t fool me
Well the hurt doesn’t show, but the pain still grows
It’s no stranger to you and me

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh lord, oh lord, oh lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord, oh lord

I can feel it in the air tonight, oh lord, oh lord, oh lord, oh lord
And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord, oh lord, oh lord
And I can feel it in the air tonight, Oh Lord…
I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life, Oh Lord, Oh Lord

Song of the Day: Tubular Bells (by Mike Oldfield)


I remember being very young and getting the chills and scares whenever I heard the opening notes to the fifth entry to the week-long horror-themed “Song of the Day” feature for the site. Even now into my third decade I still get a bit of the willies whenever this song comes on TV, cable or I happen to click on the video on YouTube. The song I’m speaking of is the opening theme to William Friendkin’s horror masterpiece, The Exorcist.

The theme was composed by English musician Mike Oldfield in 1973. “Tubular Bells” is actually an epic piece of progressive rock music which is actually split into two parts. It’s the first part which was chosen and slightly reworked by Oldfield himself to become the opening theme to The Exorcist. This particular theme has become one of the most iconic film themes in cinema history. I’m not just talking about in the horror genre but in all of film.

A person who has never seen Friedkin’s masterpiece about a young girl possessed by the Devil and the ritual which happens soon after will know the theme once they hear it. The theme is literally played on the same name musical intruments. While the original has a more baroque sound with some synth manipulation added to the overall tone, the one used for the film definitely has a more progressive/synth rock to its tempo and tone.

In the end, this chosen theme for the day will be continue to scare and terrify old and new audiences of The Exorcist. Just looking at the video above with just the fog-shrouded Georgetown brownstone in the foreground and Father Merrin just standing there looking up at the home then having the theme playing would make even the most God-less person want to start praying for their eternal soul.

Song of the Day: L’alba Dei Morti Viventi (by Goblin)


Halloween is less than a week away and for the next few days there’ll be more song of the day choices and this time around it will all be centered on horror. To start things off I chose the theme from George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead which was composed by the Italian prog-rock band Goblin.

The theme’s titled “L’alba Dei Morti Viventi” and it definitely creates a dissonant tone which just creeps along and makes one feel more than just a bit uncomfortable. Goblin used a lot of their electronic music background to make this such a signature and iconic horror theme. Anyone who has seen the original Dawn of the Dead will automatically recognize this theme and the feeling it brings up. A feeling of dread and of creeping horror which perfectly describes the zombies from Romero’s grand opus.

Horror fans everywhere have Italian horror maestro Dario Argento for having gotten Goblin to create the score for Romero’s film (Argento was one of the key producers for the film and even re-cut it for the European market). Goblin had already worked with Argento on previous films with their best early work with the filmmaker being the score for Profondo Rosso (known as Deep Red in the US and English market). But no matter how many other Italian horror scores the band has made since Dawn of the Dead (and the ones after have been great in their own right) it will be their score for that film which will indelibly link the band in film music history.

PS: as an added bonus below is the band’s theme for Argento’s Profondo Rosso.