It is always fascinating how film scores helped shape modern music. Through the years many rock musicians paid tribute to film composers. Here’s a little sample:


1) Django – Italian version (L. Bacalov) performed by Joe Preston

Bassist to such cult acts of Doom metal as Sunn O)), The Melvins and Earth, Joe Preston (a decade before Quentin Tarantino)  paid homage to Luis Bacalov’s opening song to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 classic using the Italian version which wasn’t retain in the final cut of the film but made it on releases of the score. Preston (under the name The Thrones) is a one man band, his bass activating the midi equipment surrounding him.


2) Cape Fear (B. Herrmann) performed by Fantomas

The Supergroup Fantomas (made of members of Mr. Bungle, Slayer, and The Melvins) released an album of film music covers titled Director’s Cut. This is their rendition of Bernard Herrmann’s music to British 1960 cult classic Cape Fear as well as Martin Scorsese’s remake who used Herrman’s music recorded under Elmer Bernstein’s supervision for his own version of J. L. Thompson’s film.


3) Rosemary’s Baby (K. Komeda) performed Live by Fantomas

Another Cover by Fantomas. It is amusing to hear singer Mike Patton doing the Lullaby that was originally performed by Mia Farrow. The music is by Polish great Krzysztof Komeda who was director Roman Polanski’s main man when it came to scoring his films until the composer’s Death in 1969.


4) James Bond Theme (M. Norman, J. Barry) performed by Naked City

Does this theme needs an introduction?  Originally composed by Monty Norman for Dr No but completely re-arranged at the producers instance by John Barry it launched an eternal debate about who’s the real compose of the song… This is a version from John Zorn’s supergroup, Naked City, from their eponym first album


5) Midnight Cowboy  (J. Barry) Performed by COWS
American noize-Rockers COWS offer an interesting version of Barry’s iconic theme to John Schlesinger Best picture award winner at the 1969 Oscars.


6) The Man With The Golden Arm (E. Bernstein) Performed by Barry Adamson

Super bassist (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and composer Barry Adamson covers Elmer Bernstein music for this Frank Sinatra vehicle. This is from the same sessions of Adamson’s superb album Moss Side Story which was used as background music in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.


7) Exorcist II: The Heretic (E. Morricone) performed by Snakefinger

Long time collaborator of San Fransisco avant Garde legends The Residents, late guitarist Snakefinger offers his reading of Ennio Morricone’s music to the 1977 follow up to the original Exorcist. This comes from The Residents own label, Ralph Records.

** NOTE: the Link says Magic and Ecstacy but the track title should be Pazuzu


8) A Fistful of Dollars (E. Morricone) by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

Frisco’s experimental Rock band Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 were quite an act, especially live. They assembled and performed «highlights» from Morricone’s classic and it is pretty awesome (though the sound of this 7 inch version is not).

NOTE : Start the piece at 2:10 since it is the B side of a 7 inch that is recorded here.


9) Halloween (J. Carpenter) Performed Live by Secret Chiefs 3

When they begun, Secret Chief 3 were basically Mr Bungle without Mike Patton (they had a few changes since). They are a group of highly talented musician and they give Carpenter’s theme their very own treatment…


10) Halloween (J. Carpenter) Performed by MX-80 Sound

Another bunch of sympathetic weirdos from The Residents’ own Ralph Records label giving their specific treatment to John Carpenter’s Theme.


11) Bonus

The Omen – Ave Santini (J. Goldsmith) Performed by Fantomas

There was no Jerry Goldsmith on the list, so… another (Heavy) cover by Fantomas from their album director’s Cut. The theme that won Goldsmith his only Oscar in 1976. He also Earned a nomination in the Best song category for this, Ave Santini (Hail Satan), a rare nomination for a song written in Latin.