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 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   BasilFSM   (Member)


Composed and Conducted by LES BAXTER
INTRADA Special Collection Volume 159

Les Baxter was well known for writing in a diverse set of styles. And while probably most famous for his classic lounge music albums, his work on the AIP Edgar Allen Poe films is probably equally famous. Few of Baxter's original session tapes survive from this period. “We went in a hurry, monaurally recording directly to the soundtrack,” Baxter recalled in 1981, “and nobody really thought of or took much interest in running off a quarter-inch protection. Neither did anyone think of preserving the original tapes for any sort of purpose. As soon as the film was recorded and the music tracks dubbed in, then they were erased or dumped into the garbage can." A true tragedy, which until now seemed to have also applied to his most famous AIP/Poe effort -- the 1960 adaptation of the Poe tale House of Usher (alternatively known as The Fall of the House of Usher).

Nonetheless, a music editor's cut of the music surfaced, in pristine, mono sound quality. While the sources presented the music as assembled in the film, with some volume adjustments to allow for dialogue (many of which were removed during the restoration for this album), it is none the worse for wear and presents a glorious listen to this classic score. The score features an elegantly multifaceted theme that binds the film together, and the score squeezes every possible bit of the Gothic scale, haunted hallway suspense, macabre terror, and melodramatic romance out of the horror genre. The most overtly ghostly presence on the score belongs to the vibrato wailings of an adult chorus—the cursed spirits of the Usher dead. “[James Nicholson] gave me absolute carte blanche,” Baxter fondly reflected. “I had an old castle, and Vincent Price with a strange disease where he hears things from the dungeon and is sensitive beyond belief to touch and sound...What more could I ask for? It was a composer’s dream...Usher was very sensitive for a horror film...The music was very much on the sensual side—in some scenes, almost to the point of passionate.”

This release is limited to 1200 units.

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 159
Retail Price: $19.99
For track listing and sound samples, please visit

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   marcgothic   (Member)

Oh so ordered!!!! Time to throw the boot away. Includes the overture too that was used in theatres in 1960. Wonderful release!!!!!!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Ordered. Cannot believe.

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:00 PM   
 By:   BasilFSM   (Member)

I'm not normally a fan of golden age 50s scores, but Les Baxter is really grabbing at me here. Ordered!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:04 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

OH. You mean it's not a CD by this guy?

Well, I guess it must be BETTER then!


 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   Kolchak   (Member)

So glad to see this title get a release! I hope there's more to come from Baxter!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   Jameson281   (Member)

I hope there's more to come from Baxter!

There is.

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:29 PM   
 By:   Kolchak   (Member)

I hope there's more to come from Baxter!

There is.


 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:55 PM   
 By:   Jerry Horne   (Member)

Ordered - I think this will go quick perhaps?

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 5:57 PM   
 By:   Robert0320   (Member)


 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   Holly   (Member)

Awesome possum!

Monday has been uncharacteristically good for me...this is the icing on the cake!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 7:15 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Ordered, first Baxter that grabbed my attention!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   JB Fan   (Member)

Never saw a film. Moreover, to my shame, never heard Les Baxter music frown .
But when I woke up early in the morning and have heard only fragments from 7 tracks, I have understood that I SHOULD order it immediately. Once again I find myself thinking that despite the fact that Golden Age sometimes sound the same, I still love its powerful and expressive sound. Thank you, Intrada - I discovered a new composer with you!

ps Besides, I've always loved horror/thriller films and Edgar Allan Poe's books wink

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

Hors d'oeuvred!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Les Baxter is hardly "golden age," not in terms of chronology nor stylistic approach. In fact, his Capitol exotica albums were a huge influence on 1960s film scores.

Those metallic guideposts are so useless.

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Mine, mine, mine, mine!

Did I mention...MINE!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 8:26 PM   
 By:   Landstander   (Member)

Just so everyone is aware: it's pronounced Ursher. Emphasis on the 'R' sound.

...oh wait...

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I KNEW IT WAS THIS ONE! I heard that only one of Baxter's Poe scores survived as a boot, and I figured that since it was "a classy horror score" there was one Poe film with the title that exemplified "classy". ORDERED!!!!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 9:47 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

I hope there's more to come from Baxter!

There is.

Film music or exotica?
Did Taylor dig up "Pit and Pendulum"?

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2011 - 9:51 PM   
 By:   Doc Loch   (Member)

So that statement that appeared at the end of the original release prints of the film that said the soundtrack was available was right after all. It just took 51 years (and a different label) to get around to releasing it.

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