MICHAEL BODDICKER – “THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION” soundtrack (1984)
Here’s the score to one of my favorite films as a child. I believe that this score remains officially unreleased.
The film is one of the better “cult” sci-fi items of the ’80s, highly imagnative and considerably unique — qualities which, of course, doomed the film to an initial poor reaction, both commercially and critically. Peter Weller is just great in the title role, playing one of the most understated action heroes I can possibly think of (in a good way), with the exception of Bronson and Steven Seagal — and the supporting cast, which includes Christopher Lloyd, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum and a truly insane John Lithgow (going even farther over the top than in “Raising Cain”, if that’s humanly possible), is just as awesome.
The soundtrack is also as understated as Weller’s performance — lots of great shimmery synths, with a little extra dose of sound design elements as well. Wikipedia sez:
The film’s music coordinator and sound designer Bones Howe worked with musician Michael Boddicker, who wrote and performed the score, on the theme music and sound effects. Howe selected the source music for the club scene and put together a special arrangement of “Since I Don’t Have You” that Buckaroo sings to Penny Priddy. Weller, an accomplished musician, played the guitar, trumpet, did his own vocals, and learned to mime piano playing. Howe and the filmmakers decided not to go with a rock music score and opted for an electronic one instead. He wanted to “integrate music and sound effects so that everything would merge on the soundtrack with no distinction between music and sound”. Boddicker was Howe’s first choice for composer. They had worked together on the soundtrack for “Get Crazy”. Boddicker had just won a Grammy for his song, “Imagination”, on the “Flashdance” soundtrack. In addition to composing the score, he also produced alien sound effects while Alan Howarth was hired to create the sounds of the 8th Dimension.
The end credits theme is possibly the coolest piece of American film music from its decade. Controversial statement, I know, but for me, it rings true. Well, it’s actually neck-and-neck with Carpenter’s main theme for “Escape From New York”, but who’s counting —