for Cinetalk.net

As one of numerous highlights to their current 40th Anniversary celebration, once more the Varese Sarabande label came out big with a Deluxe Edition of John Williams’ score to John Badham’s 1979 take on Dracula.

It was a period during which Williams was completely rewriting the book of popular and iconic film music becoming the extended grunt of a terrifying white shark, the voice of a giant UFO or the anthem of a flying super hero as well as for a galaxy not so far away after all. Johnny and his soon to be familiar London symphony mob were already all over the place.

At the time of its original LP release, on MCA, the Dracula soundtrack included only 36 minutes of music assembled by Williams. The same sequences were used for the 1990 CD release (Varese VSD-5250).

After years of praying, digging and slaying our Varese friends, working again with mixing whiz Mike Matessino, came up, for this 2-CD resurrection from the grave, with 72 minutes, including cuts that didn’t make it into the final cut. Knowing that we are demanding aficionados they added on CD 2, with improved sound, John Williams original bite with the 1979 36 minutes program he chose at the time. As usual the whole beautiful package also comes with extensive and insightful liner notes.

With Dracula – The Deluxe Editon, we obtain a pristine display of a great score with the composer’s signature of effortless shifts between spectacular, tragic, suspenseful and romantic music. While the original cut went for much appreciated highlights we gain several new measures of bewitch depths.

Enough to hypnotize a vampire and make him forget about sunrise…

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