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King Kong (1976)
Music by John Barry
King Kong King Kong
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $15.95
Limited #: N/A
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: May 2005
Catalog #: Vol. 8, No. 8
# of Discs: 1

King Kong is one of Hollywood's most legendary creations, from the groundbreaking 1933 original to the highly anticipated Peter Jackson remake. In 1976 producer Dino De Laurentiis struck box-office gold with his own incarnation of the story, starring Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, and a colossal forty-foot model of Kong. The film was a massive production with ambitious special effects.

Scoring the remake of one of the most famous films in Hollywood history was one of the few composers with the clout and talent to forge ahead with his own style: John Barry. The original's Max Steiner had practically invented the film score genre with the project, yet Barry was known for a completely different approach—eschewing "Mickey Mousing" in favor of melody, mood and large-scale symphonic structures.

De Laurentiis had sought out Barry for the composer's romantic touch, and Barry responded by making the centerpiece of his score a gorgeous love theme that evoked the "beauty and the beast" angle of the story rather than the widescale destruction—although Barry's James Bond experience helped in casting the tragedy, menace and suspense with symphonic grandeur. The score produced one of Barry's loveliest themes and is one of his signature works of the '70s, completely different from the Steiner score but with an avid following all its own.

This premiere CD of the 1976 King Kong features the original Reprise Records program of the soundtrack, running 42:30. Although collectors may have acquired a CD of this title on the "Mask" label, that album was an unauthorized edition believed to be mastered from an LP—FSM's release is the first official CD mastered from the original 1/4" stereo album tapes.

King Kong (1976) is an example of a soundtrack where the album rights are held by a different corporate family than that which distributed the film itself; therefore, we are unable to expand or remix the music beyond the original LP edition. We are offering the CD at a lower price ($16.95) as a result, and have made every effort to ensure the best-possible sound. This is, at last, the first authorized CD of one of John Barry's best-known works.

Liner notes are by Barry experts Geoff Leonard, Pete Walker and Stephen Woolston.

John Barry Scores on FSM
About the Composer

John Barry (1933-2011) is a five-time Oscar winner and one of the most successful and beloved composers ever to write for the movies. His career encompasses everything from the James Bond films to Hollywood epics like Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. His style is marked foremost by melody but also by a thoughtful economy of gesture that has always added a great sense of style and scope to his projects.FSM has released on CD as many of his scores as possible, from intimate dramas like Petulia to the classic Born Free, the 1976 King Kong and the obscure 1968 gem Deadfall. IMDB

Comments (43):Log in or register to post your own comments
It's time to make sacrifice to the King. Ordered.

Good choice.

Enjoy!!

Thankyou, Peter. I've delayed buying this because I have the original LP from years ago, complete with the John Berkey poster print of Kong bursting through the barrier gates. The trouble is that in addition to not being able to play vinyl, very tragically a deep gouge was made right across side two while applying anti-static fluid in prep for recording onto cassette tape. I still recall that moment with a cringe of horror. I look forward to hearing FSM's crystal clear version.

Odd score. Good Love theme, one of John Barry's best. But then there's goofy tracks like "Kong Hits the Big Apple". Almost as though he knew what a stinkburger this movie really was. It's entertaining if nothing else. So enjoy it.

Odd score. Good Love theme, one of John Barry's best. But then there's goofy tracks like "Kong Hits the Big Apple". Almost as though he knew what a stinkburger this movie really was. It's entertaining if nothing else. So enjoy it.[/endquote]

Yeah, ha ha. It's like the dedication in Towering Inferno, only cheap as only Petrox know how to do. Twang, twang twang . . . luv it.

Thankyou, Peter. I've delayed buying this because I have the original LP from years ago, complete with the John Berkey poster print of Kong bursting through the barrier gates. The trouble is that in addition to not being able to play vinyl, very tragically a deep gouge was made right across side two while applying anti-static fluid in prep for recording onto cassette tape. I still recall that moment with a cringe of horror. I look forward to hearing FSM's crystal clear version.[/endquote]

I feel for you regarding that LP accident. But this story has a happy ending. :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvUjldHxiXo[/youtube]

It's odd to admit but this is my favortie Barry score.

I have the original LP from years ago, complete with the John Berkey poster print of Kong bursting through the barrier gates.[/endquote]

If you noticed on ALL the production paintings, Kong's head was IDENTICAL with the same expression, same jaw open, only flipped in some instances. The artists must have been pushed for time.

Odd score. Good Love theme, one of John Barry's best. But then there's goofy tracks like "Kong Hits the Big Apple". Almost as though he knew what a stinkburger this movie really was. It's entertaining if nothing else. So enjoy it.[/endquote]

"Kong Hits the Big Apple" is one of the coolest tracks on that album - love the second half of it especially!

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