John Carpenter is a rarity among film directors in that he is also a composer who writes the musical scores for his movies as well. Carpenter's 1981 film Escape From New York was a kind of genre hybrid, a science-fiction crime thriller with suggestions of a spaghetti western thrown in. Set in a near future when Manhattan has been converted into a no-man's-land prison, the movie needed an appropriately futuristic soundtrack, and Carpenter came up with a score for synthesizer that he played with his sound designer Alan Howarth. Despite the instrumentation, however, the composer retained a style familiar from such earlier works as Halloween. He favored simple, repetitive keyboard figures, generally two per sequence, set in a fast-slow counterpoint. The Escape From New York score had a few changes of pace, notably a borrowing from Debussy and an ersatz Broadway show tune, "Everyone's Coming to New York" ("Shoot a cop with a gun/The Big Apple is plenty of fun"), but most of the music sounded like earlier Carpenter scores, similarly creating a tense, ominous tone much of the time.
John Carpenter is a legend. As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images, and their timelessness was evident as Carpenter performed them live in a string of internationally sold-out concert dates in 2016. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies.
John Carpenter s 1980 follow-up film to his smash hit Halloween featured ghost sailors terrorizing a Californian coastal community as a dense fog descends on their homes. The multi-talented filmmaker not only directed and wrote his films but also created his own unique brand of atmospheric synthesiser scores. This updated version of Silva Screen s long deleted and sought after 2000 reissue brings together not just the original album which featured 20 minutes of newly released music but a second 20 track disc of the entire score, drawn from the original tapes, remastered by long-time Carpenter collaborator Alan Howarth.
The soundtrack features music composed & performed by John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK) in association with Alan Howarth (THE LOST EMPIRE, HEADLESS) for the 1981 cult horror sequel directed by Rick Rosenthal, written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Lance Guest, Nancy Stephens, Pamela Shoop, Tawny Moyer, Leo Rossi and legendary stuntman Dick Warlock as The Shape. The film's score is a variation of John Carpenter s compositions for the first HALLOWEEN, particularly the main theme's familiar piano melody played in a 5/4 time rhythm. This time, the score was performed on synthesizer organs rather than on piano. For this special 30th Anniversary Edition of HALLOWEEN II, the original 1981 album presentation is included, newly remastered. In addition, a special suite of seven tracks has been prepared, consisting of the entire film score sequenced in chronological order and including previously unreleased music. In addition, Alan Howarth has contributed exclusive notes for the booklet.
Although this hit soundtrack was recorded with cheap '70s synthesizers, the simple scores composed by John Carpenter are acclaimed masterpieces. Carpenter sets the mood for his horrific movie with such tracks as "The Shape Stalks," "Laurie's Theme," and, of course, his main theme, which consists of the beating out of a 5-4 rhythm. A definite first pick for those interested, this soundtrack even bests most scary music albums.