††† One of the premier collections of horror-related library music that surfaced in the past decade. And it took forever for me to finally get this thing in stock, as it apparently went out of print for a period of time. It seems that this killer disc was just recently repressed though, another crucial vintage horror score that we nabbed from UK label Trunk (who also brought us that amazing Psychomania soundtrack that also just got repressed and featured on this week's list): Unreleased Soundtrack Music From George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead is a comprehensive collection of music that makes up the other score to Romero's iconic 1978 splatter-epic, which is universally considered to be one of the greatest films of apocalyptic zombie carnage ever made.
††† When most folks think of the music for Dawn Of The Dead, it's the pounding prog-funk score that Italy's Goblin produced for the film that we tend to think of first. But just as synonymous with the film as Goblin's action-funk is the track "The Gonk", that weird piece of marching music that is featured over some of the film's key sequences, and which any fan of the film would recognize immediately. That and other tracks on the film's score were pieces of incidental stock library music that came from the highly regarded British production music company Music De Wolfe, but amazingly this music had never been collected together in one place until Trunk put this together a few years ago. While it's not entirely complete (there are a few incidental stock music tracks that were so short, a few seconds if that, that their inclusion on the disc didn't make much sense), all of the significant library music that appeared in the film is gathered here, and if you're the sort who has worn out your old Thorn/Emi copy of Dawn of The Dead from countless late-night re-watches, this disc is a goddamn nostalgia bomb: the iconic "Gonk" from British composer Herbert Chappell opens the collection, of course, and is followed by everything from the chillingly beautiful orchestral ambience of Paul Lemel's "Cosmogony Part 1" and Even De Tissot's dread-filled "Sinestre" to the country-fried pop of "Cause I'm A Man", performed by De Wolfe house band The Electric Banana's (which was in fact the stock music instrumental alter-ego of legendary UK garage rockers The Pretty Things).
††† Some of this stuff is wonderfully eerie, like the mix of morbid drones, jazzy keys and icy horror electronics that appear on Simon Park's tracks, and Jack Trombey (aka Jan Stoeckart)'s brilliant jazz-tinged orchestral pieces likewise stand out in this collection, oozing a mix of gothic atmosphere and action-oriented energy. Brief cues from British Moog pioneer Derek Scott appear alongside the delicate beauty of French composer Pierre Arvay's minimalist modern classical piece "Desert De Glace", and "Dank Earth" from Don Harper (which is unfortunately listed incorrectly as "Dark Earth" and attributed to Trombey) remains another highlight with its unsettling mix of metallic dissonance, booming tympani and nightmarish organ music. It's a fantastic collection that hardcore splatter-soundtrack aficionados will want to add to their collection, even with the discrepancy in the credit for that track. Definitely a great addition to the library of any collector of obscure horror film music with its wild mix of spooky chamber pieces, proggy organ arrangements, weird Radiophonic-style electronic music, and jazzy instrumentals, rounded out by liner notes from label boss Johnny Trunk and vinyl collector Joel Martin that sheds light on the extensive process of assembling and releasing this creepy collection.