HOWARD SHORE – 3 David Cronenberg soundtracks (1975-81)

Just as the music of Goblin (found elsewhere on ECR here) is the glue that holds together the rather patchy films of Dario Argento, cost so does the music of Howard Shore sometimes — not always, but sometimes, whenever the film is spotty or weak — hold together the films of David Cronenberg.

Cronenberg was never short on ideas, but half the time, he was short on execution. This can be partially attributed to the films’ low-budget nature — but objectively, Cronenberg, especially in the ’70s, was not the greatest in terms of pacing, visuals, dialogue, directing actors, etc.

Don’t get me wrong — I love his body of work fiercely, except for the last few (for me, it all stops after “eXiztenZ”.) But — every now and again, you gotta step back from the works you love and look at them from a different point of view.

Here’s three of Shore’s terrific scores: “Shivers” (1975), “The Brood” (1979) and “Scanners” (1981). Also, don’t forget about the audio tracks to Cronenberg’s early films, “Stereo” (1969) and “Crimes of the Future” (1970), found here.

Howard Shore – “Shivers” soundtrack (ZIP file)
Howard Shore – “The Brood” soundtrack (ZIP file)
Howard Shore – “Scanners” soundtrack (ZIP file)

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605 Responses to HOWARD SHORE

  1. Patrick says:

    Oh man. How can you not love “History of Violence”? It’s so good!

  2. jonder says:

    Shore’s soundtrack to Cronenberg’s “Crash” is great too. It sounds like Glenn Branca, or early Sonic Youth.

  3. dan says:

    I went on a big Howard Shore jag last year when I was putting together a reel to test the waters for scoring work in the Austin indie scene.

    He really is unique among a lot of modern film composers in that his scores take huge risks to be stylistically tied to the material as opposed to his name, which has resulted in an astonishingly diverse body of work. Glad you featured “Scanners” with top honors since it’s the most interesting, fearless thing he’s done, in my opinion — not to mention a graceful marriage of scoring and sound-design that is more organic than that put forth by others who’ve worked to blend the two, like, say Carpenter and Howarth.

    And “Crash,” IS great, jonder — totally agree. In addition to the comparisons you make, that one also reminds me of Eno/Fripp if Fripp could resist the urge to do that speedy ascending pentatonic lick he always throws in and just remain in the mood generated by the synth and guitar-loop bed.

  4. Roger_Camden says:

    “not the greatest in terms of pacing, visuals, dialogue, directing actors, etc.”

    I just inhaled some lukewarm coffee

    but I agree

    he’s gotten better

    but is no longer doing body horror, it seems

  5. smoggo says:

    i thought “history of violence” was good.

  6. Anajonda says:

    History of Violence was awesome, and so was Eastern Promises, but I admit that I miss alot of his classic stuff. When I was a kid, Scanners was my favourite horror flick, in fact. The only one that disappointed me was Videodrome. It was paced waaaaaayyyyyyyy too slowly, and the fact that Cronenberg didn’t have an ending written when they started shooting shows in the finished product.