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, site 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 –

Michael Boddicker – “Te Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension” soundtrack (ZIP file)

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904 Responses to BUCKAROO BANZAI

  1. Maury says:

    I’ll have to agree with your controversial statement. End Credits is amazing. Thanks for this.

  2. Emerson says:

    The characters were inspired by Doc Savage and his 5 assistants, so it’s not as wholly original as all that. Still, I’m glad you like it.

  3. Jude says:

    The end credits are, of course, legendary. For the uninitiated:


    For me, it’s right up there with Tangerine Dream’s “Love On A Real Train”

  4. charlie says:

    the end credits are the icing on the cake of an awesome movie. thanks for posting the soundtrack.

  5. Silent 3 says:

    John Lithgow IS amazing, playing the “Evil Genius” to the hilt. I love the hunched-in-the-doorway backwards glare he gives when he escapes from the Loony Bin. And also, notice the very fine Mussolini impression he gives when standing on the balcony addressing the mob below.

  6. JMB says:

    I wish a full official soundtrack album would be published someday. Until then I still wish someone owning an actual copy of the bootlegs would share them in lossless quality,

    Still, sharing it in MP3 is already wonderful! Thank you very much.

  7. Ian Zamboni says:

    You can find it around on Soulseek in FLAC, but I am dubious of whether a lossless copy of a bootleg, probably a generation or two old already, is worth it.

  8. Ian Zamboni says:

    Haha, this got DMCA TAKEDOWN’d from my blog. I have no idea why anyone would care about posting a bootleg of a score to an obscure flop of a cult film.