Artist: "Gareth Williams and Nick Watson"
Album: "The Essential John Carpenter Film Music Collection"
Label: Silva Screen Records
Review: I've always been a huge fan of John Carpenter's amazing body of work. As far as I'm concerned, he ruled the silver screen between the mid seventies and late eighties. The man could simply do no wrong. One of the things that always impressed me about him was his complete control over most of his projects. He didn't just direct his movies, he wrote them and created some truly memorable soundtracks as well. Of course, everybody remembers his classic "Halloween" theme song, but most of his other films had music that was just as good, if not better. He was a master of minimalism and his music only helped to heighten the ultra-eerie mood in many of his films.
Being such a big fan of his music, you could imagine my excitement when I found "The Essential John Carpenter Film Music Collection" CD in the used section of my local music store. I was shocked that anybody would want to part with such an item and was more than happy to pay the 6 bux for it. Who wouldn't want to have a sampling of his finest tunes on one CD, including the themes for They Live, Prince of Darkness and Big Trouble In Little China?
When I got home, however, I quickly learned why somebody would want to part with it. You see, this is NOT a collection of the original film music by John Carpenter, it's somebody else (primarily Gareth Williams) performing his music. And wouldn't you know it... nowhere on the outer packaging of the CD does it mention this vital fact. The music itself sounds way off too... gone is Carpenter's trademark minimalism and in its place is cheap synths and orchestration that simply sound wrong.
You can't go wrong with John Carpenter's music, but you can clearly go wrong with somebody else performing it. It's disappointing enough as it is buying this album used and finding out that it wasn't the original film score versions of each song... I can't imagine how pissed off some people would be if they paid full price for it. I can understand somebody wanting to pay tribute to John Carpenter, but to not make it obvious to the consumer that it is a tribute album is just plain shitty. If you're into the music of John Carpenter like I am, do yourself a favor and track down his original works, because this album is nothing more than a cheap knock-off with blatantly deceptive packaging.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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