Artist: "Gareth Williams and Nick Watson"
Album: "The Essential John Carpenter Film Music Collection"
Genre: Soundtracks
Label: Silva Screen Records

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 9/7/2008

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.

Overall rating: Half
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Sep 8th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Unfortunately, many of those albums exist everywhere like a cancer. I remember when there was a deal in local stores involving buying any iem and getting a CD with the music from a popular local band for a very low price. Many fell for it and many where shocked to find out covers by another bastard. Sad stories indeed.
skank pronger
Sep 8th, 2008, 04:40 PM
I really want the opening theme to Halloween III on CD. That's right, I said III.
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 8th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Absolutely. Halloween III is some of his best music!
Forum Virgin
Sep 8th, 2008, 11:56 PM
That reminds me of my own disappointment when I found what seemed like a great deal at Half-Price books: a combined soundtrack of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane AND The Magnificent Ambersons (by the inimitable Bernard Herrmann). Of course, when I finally played the damn thing I learned to my utter horror that it wasn't the musical soundtrack, but rather just the audio of the film in general, with the dialogue and everything. Stupid Half-Price books....
Sep 9th, 2008, 02:28 AM
I too endorse the soundtrack of Halloween III. Season of the witch, baby.
skank pronger
Sep 9th, 2008, 06:11 PM
I have just acquired the H3 soundtrack. I had quite a time getting it. You wouldn't believe how I did it, heh heh.
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:59 AM
Originally Posted by Aries View Post
...I had quite a time getting it. You wouldn't believe how I did it, heh heh.
I see what you did there.
1.21 Gigawatts!!!
Sep 10th, 2008, 09:13 AM
I think what makes the Halloween 3 “Silver Shamrock” song so catchy is that it goes to the tune of “London Bridge”.
ima betch
Sep 14th, 2008, 10:23 AM

halloween music

I just made sheet music for halloween but but the one where he's hiding and waiting to attack i just dont know how to post it