KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Shore, Howard – “Fly, The (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – [Varese Sarabande]

whngr   8/4/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

An ominous foray into madness and decrepitude in symphonic splendor.

Pensive strings and sparse percussion portray suspenseful and ominous tones, discovery turns to delirium, intrigue becomes horrifying discovery. Short tracks that will grow on you like a labium. David Cronenberg would employ Howard Shore as his primary conductor (excluding only The Dead Zone) and would soon become a film industry mainstay (The Silence Of The Lambs, Ed Wood, The Game, et al), being both prolific, popular, and recognizable as composer, conductor, and orchestrator in myriad popular culture vena. But try not to hold that against him as this film represents the first in his long and storied (if mostly mainstream) career after leaving Saturday Night Live as Music Director, when he was perhaps at his most ambitious. In essence, this is the shit he cut his teeth on.

A hauntingly beautiful accompaniment to Cronenberg’s (Crash, Naked Lunch, et al) teratologic study of the classic 1958  American b-movie starring Vincent Price (of course) with a narrative that strongly parallels Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” (though for what it’s worth this miserable volunteer prefers the sequel, “Return Of The Fly” […you guinea pig!]). The score of this 1986 re-imagining represents an epically strange cautionary tale delivered convincingly with unnerving conviction by Jeff Goldblum (Seth Brundle).

The vinyl this release is on is “fog colored” according to Discogs, who tend to be fairly meticulous about their accuracy, but to the fading eyes of this miserable volunteer it looks like an old Coke bottle color but whatever name it goes by one might note that it adds a somewhat spooky challenge to cueing. Thirty-three and a third baby… in your bed.

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