I’ve been listening to a LOT of John Carpenter lately.
John Carpenter is a legendary director with an impressive resume of sci-fi and horror flicks from the 1970s through the 1990s. Films like Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, Escape From New York, The Thing and others have been pretty influential movies, if not box office smashes, and Carpenter’s visual style and attitude is unique. There are more than a few of these films which I love to death. Carpenter flicks are filled with badass heroes and heroines, brutal action, and an overwhelming atmosphere. Adding to the vibe of these movies are the soundtracks, which Carpenter usually handles himself, giving his films fitting and memorable scores. I’m particularly partial to the soundtrack of Assault on Precinct 13, with its stark, synth-heavy main theme that’s iconic in its simplicity and evocative mood (plus being pretty influential for electronic music and hip-hop). Even though he doesn’t consider himself a musician, Carpenter has built a pretty solid musical legacy for his scores and original works, and his recently released Anthology (Movie Themes 1974-1998) has been on steady repeat for me over the last few days.
Basically Carpenter’s most famous movie themes lovingly redone by him and his band, Anthology is an absolutely fantastic record. The man is a wonder with the synthesizer, and his songs are mysterious, ominous, dramatic, and endlessly engaging. Remember when I was talking about synthwave and mentioned how that style of music was hearkening back to a romanticized version of the 1980s that was ultra cool and filled with mystique? Well, Carpenter was definitely one of the musicmakers from the era that modern artists are striving to emulate.
Tonight’s post is the main theme to Christine, Carpenter’s 1983 horror about a malevolent ’58 Plymouth Fury. Damn, is this listen ever dope, opening with those subtle, ominous keyboards which soon give way to an energized, dangerous, almost runaway-like tune. This one absolutely goes.