John William’s Dracula

jwdraculaWell, as if that expanded Alien 3 soundtrack wasn’t enough to boggle the mind- Varese Sarabande have announced a deluxe edition of John William’s Dracula score, a soundtrack album widely considered impossible as the masters had been thought lost for decades. I suppose the discovery of how it eventually came to pass will be revealed shortly – producer Mike Matessino, whose hands and ears have been behind most if not all the expansions of John Williams score over the past several years, has always been quite candid about the work behind these releases. But what a surprise this is.

Dracula dates from 1979, just when Williams was at his creative peak. Star Wars, Close Encounters, Superman and The Fury were just behind him, and The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders were just ahead. TESB is my very favourite Williams score and its wonderful when listening to material I’m not familiar with, like his score for  The Fury, and hearing hints of Empire’s beating heart in the melodies and orchestrations. Dracula is not a score I am particularly familiar with, so like with 1941 and The Fury, I am looking forward to it as if it were a new Williams score.

Another Christmas treat, as was La La Land’s Close Encounters expansion last year. Mind, a bittersweet one- inevitably as the boutique labels work their way through John William’s filmscores with these expansions and remasters, there won’t be all that many remaining. Each of these projects are special, particularly these from my favourite period of his work.

Mind, I have noticed Varese seem to have applied a little bit of judicious digital paint/editing on the racier aspects of the original poster art that they have used for the cover. Sign of the times, no doubt, but quite ridiculous.

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