The Day Of The Locust Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Day Of The Locust by John Barry.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 98.8
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 29.8
Album Excellence: 87.7%
The Day of the Locust is a 1975 American thriller film directed by John Schlesinger and starring Donald Sutherland, Karen Black & Burgess Meredith. It is based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Nathanael West. Life’s flotsam and jetsam turn up at late 1930’s Hollywoodland’s door, once more, in this insightful tale of wannabes and desperadoes. Tod Hackett, artist, has inspirations to become noticed until he meets Faye Greener, blonde bombshell, and is immediately smitten. She has other ideas. She has Homer Simpson, victim, in her sights and cruelty and loneliness takes new meaning as all three are slowly sucked into the Hollywood system of sycophants, diggers and parasites, sucking the life from others as the life, and soul, is slowly sucked from them. The score is composed by John Barry.
In 2010, Intrada released this on CD (I think for the first time). There was only 31 minutes of music and only around 20 minutes of score. Now Intrada has released a much expanded version with 78 minutes of music and 34 minutes of score plus 14 minutes of alternative cues. I don’t think I have heard this one before and I’m hoping for something special by Barry, something in the vein of Cotton Club maybe. The score opens with the main theme aptly called ‘Theme From The Day Of The Locust’ and it’s a very sweet classic sounding jazz tune. It fits the 30s where the movie is placed. It’s not a memorable theme outright, but it’s a very hummable theme and it’s really sweet, like an old-fashioned love theme. ‘The Story Teller’ is more of the same, very sweet and very John Barry sounding despite the fact that there’s a layer of the 30s on top.
The score has more to offer than John Barry’s exquisite knack for romance. Take the circus inspired cue ‘The Flying Carpet’ for example. It’s fun and it does sound like some of it came from his earlier James Bond scores. Some Americana heroics in ‘Waterloo Sketches’ and some fun rumba in ‘Rowdy Rumba’. And as the score goes on, the main theme is really starting to grow on me. This might be an ear worm after all. This turned out to be a special score as I had hoped. True, Barry is in classic Barry mode more than once, but there are a lot of of “off beat” cues as well with good music that fits the 30s era. As such, this is not a very surprising score, but there’s one cue called ‘The Day Of The Locust’ which is the longest cue on the score that has very different qualities than anything else on the score. It’s a truly creepy horror cue, and I didn’t expect that. It’s a good one, but I suggest you skip it for a better listening experience. This is a score that I will find a lot of enjoyment with now as well as in the future.
1. Theme From The Day Of The Locust
2. The Story Teller
3. The Flying Carpet
4. A Picture Of Love
5. Waterloo Sketches
6. No Love Have I
7. Rowdy Rumba
8. Soft Shoe Salesman
9. The Garden Of The Locust / Lovers In The Valley
10. Fire And Passion
11. A Natural Clown / The Death Of A Clown
12. The Hungry Tart
13. Fashion and Fantasy
14. Pictures From The Past
15. Unexpected Reunion
16. Lonely Lover
18. Theme From The Day Of The Locust / Finale