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Dracula
(1979)
Album Cover Art
1990 Varèse
2018 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Herbert Spencer

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra
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LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(February 20th, 1990)

Varèse Sarabande
(October 22nd, 2018)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1990 album was a regular U.S. release, but it went completely out of print as of 2000. The 2018 album is a "Deluxe Edition," part of the Varèse CD Club, limited to 5,000 copies and available initially for $30 through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you love the tragic and melodramatic portions of John Williams' scores from the early 1980's, for Dracula extends this morbidly heavy material to explosive proportions.

Avoid it... if you prefer your Williams scores to abound with extensive thematic subtleties, a trait not as evident in this score by construct and in part because of lingering issues with muted sound quality.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,418
WRITTEN 8/14/09, REVISED 11/29/18
Williams
Williams
Dracula: (John Williams) Countless variations on Bram Stoker's classic vampire tale have existed through the years, but none had attempted to take such a sensual, romantic view of it until John Badham's 1979 version starring Frank Langella as the bare-chested, womanizing title character and Sir Laurence Olivier as his nemesis, Van Helsing. A fair amount of sex appeal and graphic violence punctuated this unusual adaptation, and Dracula was criticized heavily by loyalists of the concept for sharing more in common with the stage variation of the story (from which Langella came) than Stoker's original vision. The film was mocked by such viewers, driving the mainstream away from what was otherwise a decent production. The director of Dracula was thrilled to have signed the top blockbuster composer of the era, John Williams, to stir the dead with a rousing performance from the London Symphony Orchestra. Williams confessed at the time that he had never viewed a single vampire-related film in his life, and Badham considered this fact to be a great virtue given the new direction he was attempting to take with the lore. What he desired of Williams was a score that underlined the romantic tilt of the production, pointing to Gothic grandeur rather than an exposition of dissonant horror bombast. Williams, given his own tendency to embrace the same general notion, obliged with a score that is among the most melodramatic of any to accompany a Dracula film. It's a work built upon harmonic deviancy that is morbidly conceived and forcefully performed. It sounds far less like a horror score and instead plays as though it belongs in the fantasy drama genre. Many of its progressions, counterpoint techniques, rhythmic devices, and instrumental choices reflect Williams' forthcoming approach to The Empire Strikes Back, with several sections indistinguishable from the more famous score's latter half. All of Williams' fan-favorite techniques are paraded in this score, from the chopping, turbulent bass string rhythms to pulsating mid-range brass and resounding crescendos of pounding timpani that culminate in a massive gong strike.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
160 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.27 Stars
***** 38 5 Stars
**** 38 4 Stars
*** 36 3 Stars
** 26 2 Stars
* 22 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - April 1, 2012, at 3:46 a.m.
1 comment  (1007 views)
I know that theme!
JBlough - August 25, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.
1 comment  (1595 views)
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1990 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 36:33
• 1. Main Title & Storm Sequence (5:08)
• 2. The Night Visitor (2:12)
• 3. To Scarborough (2:42)
• 4. The Abduction of Lucy (3:34)
• 5. Night Journeys (5:12)
• 6. The Love Scene (2:04)
• 7. Meeting in the Cave (3:29)
• 8. The Bat Attack (2:46)
• 9. For Mina (2:15)
• 10. Dracula's Death (2:57)
• 11. End Titles (3:58)
2018 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 108:52

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1990 album includes multiple notes about the score and film, though the reproduction of the LP notes by the director are practially illegible on the CD due to tiny size. The 2018 CD Club album contains two booklets, one in the jewel case and the other in the exterior cardboard sleeve; both of these booklets contain notes, and the larger one also includes information about the release.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Dracula are Copyright © 1990, 2018, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/14/09 and last updated 11/29/18.
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