RELEASE
1978
LABEL
Small Planet

Album Review

The late Louis Barron and his then-wife Bebe created a unique score for the 1956 MGM film Forbidden Planet. Made up entirely of electronic tonalities generated by cybernetic circuits feeding back (many in their "death throes"), the music for the movie was as unearthly as anything ever heard in a Hollywood soundtrack up to that time (and for many years after as well), and captured perfectly the film's futuristic extraterrestrial setting and action. Despite their "unnatural" textures, the oscillations, pulses, beeps, wails, and electronic shrieks that make up this soundtrack are, indeed, very musical: they have distinctive patterns that evolve, shift, and change as the circuits creating them go through their "life cycles"; they interweave with each other; and they also occasionally match the action in the scenes to which they are attached. The latter element may tempt one to accuse the Barrons of having "Mickey Moused" the soundtrack, to use a derisive term indicating music that slavishly mimicks action, but in this case they can be forgiven, allowing for the unearthly setting of the movie and the need to envelop the viewer. Additionally, the Barrons were not members of the proper union to allow them to officially "score" a major studio film, and were credited with "tonalities" rather than music, which gave them considerably more freedom. Officially, they were creating a special film environment, not a film score, and succeeded so well that their work stands favorably on its own as a soundtrack. The GNP Crescendo CD release allows one to avoid the problems of noisy vinyl pressings that afflicted the original Planet Records (later changed to Small Planet Records) LP issue from the late '70s.
Bruce Eder, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Main Titles (Overture)
  2. Deceleration
  3. Once Around Altair
  4. The Landing
  5. Flurry of Dust-A Robot Approaches
  6. A Shangri-La in the Desert/Garden With a Cuddly Tiger
  7. Graveyard-A Night With Two Moons
  8. "Robby, Make Me a Gown."
  9. An Invisible Monster Approaches
  10. Robby Arranges Flowers, Zaps Monkey
  11. Love at the Swimming Hole
  12. Morbius' Study
  13. Ancient Krell Music
  14. The Mind Booster/Creation of Matter
  15. Krell Shuttle Ride and Power Station
  16. Giant Footprints in the Sand
  17. "Nothing Like This Claw Found in Nature! "
  18. Robby, the Cook, and 60 Gallons of Booze
  19. Battle With the Invisible Monster
  20. Come Back to Earth with Me
  21. The Monster Pursues/Morbius Is Overcome
  22. The Homecoming
  23. Overture (Reprise)