This week I have been mostly listening to . . .

All tracks on the first cd are by Hammer legend James Bernard who liked to incorporate the syllables of the movie title into his soundtracks, so the main theme to Dracula went Daaaa . . . Duh . . . Dahhh and the theme to Taste The Blood Of Dracula went Daaa . . . Daaa . . . well, you get the idea. This first cd includes soundtrack excerpts from five Dracula titles, Frankenstein Created Woman, The Devil Rides Out and Kiss Of The Vampire.

Best of the bunch are probably Dracula, Taste The Blood Of Dracula and The Devil Rides Out (renamed The Devil’s Bride in the US because the distributor was worried that people would think it was a western).

The second cd is by Bernard and a variety of others. It has tracks from One Million Years B.C., Hands Of The Ripper and She amongst others. I’d have liked more of the Quatermass II soundtrack, and The Abominable Snowman – only the one minute thirty second main theme is present.

It should be noted that these aren’t the original recordings (some of which are available but becoming hard to track down on cd) but new recordings by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. For the most part they do a fine job and these new versions are almost indistinguishable from the originals. The Romance: The Young Lovers theme from Taste The Blood Of Dracula does sound quite different though and is not a patch on the original.

But that one small gripe aside, this is a great and readily available selection of Hammer’s best soundtracks and well worth a listen.



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