Soundtrack Information

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Perseverance Records (PRD 003)

Year Released: 1978 / 2003

Format: CD

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Track Listing

1. Main Title 4:16
2. Angel Of Death 1:31
3. Love Theme 2:54
4. The Discovery 2:00
5. Rescue 2:59
6. Infiltration (Suite) 4:32
7. Flight 5:06
8. On The Streets 2:33
9. Run And Hide 2:40
10. Escape To Darkness 3:08
11. Amazing Grace 2:10
12. The Reckoning 5:32
13. Interview Part 1 - Getting Hired/The Crew 8:54
14. Interview Part 2 - Technology 2:38
15. Interview Part 3 - Spotting 4:23
16. Interview Part 4 - Musical Preparation 2:43
17. Interview Part 5 - Improvisation 3:45
18. Interview Part 6 - Sound Effects 4:05
19. Interview Part 7 - Final Thoughts 5:53
20. Shout 0:17
  Total Album Time: 71:59

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Review: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

by Rafael Ruiz March 3, 2005
3 / 5 Stars

In the 1978 film adaptation of Jack Finney' novel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, (the second of many) the story has been transplanted to San Francisco. Cold War paranoia has been transferred to a post-Watergate paranoia, where a hectic urban jungle and self-help movements hide a subtle cultural assimilation. Jazz musician Denny Zeitlin was enlisted by writer/director Philip Kaufman to write his first (and only) film score that shifted from jazzy melodies to a fully atonal ensemble of synthesizer tones and creaks with dissonant percussive clanging.

Zeitlin used a just released "Prophet" (10 voice digital-analog synthesizer) poly-phonic synthesizer, allowing one to control analog sounds digitally. Sounds which I thought were just part of the film's sound design by the legendary Ben Burtt were actually "music" composed by Zeitlin. Like all synthesizer music, it is dated by the technology of the time but the result is very creepy. The melodic elements rely mainly on the piano and a trumpet ("Love Theme"), but when the creepiness starts to set in, creepy strings and atonal horn blasts set in to create a constant state of unease ("Flight"). The highlight is the creepy use of "Amazing Grace". Though the bagpipes are performed in a solemn, sober fashion, the context in the film is downright scary.

This 25th anniversary release is packed with bonus materials.  Also included is a six-track, thirty minute interview with Zeitlin. It is an in-depth exanimation of the score's history with Zeitlin being absolutely candid about the process and he gives ample credit to his collaborators, since he was new to the process at the time. It is a fascinating extra. Zeitlin converses in a rather relaxed styling, even branching into discussions about
influences, other composers and psychiatry (of all things). The last track is (appropriately) the inhuman scream of the pod people, which I now know contains the sound of a squealing pig mixed backwards.

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