Various Artists - Fright Night(OST) [Perseverance Records - 2016]Here we have a long-over due & much needed CD reissue of this soundtrack for one of the most classy, campy, & great horror films of the 1980ís Fright Night. The disc takes in just the original released soundtrack album, and not the films score. Featured here are the ten tracks( all but one written for the film), and these take in a good Ďní catchy blend of 80ís rock, New wave, and moody pop.
Fright Night appeared in 1985, and was really a breath of fresh air to both Vampire cinema & wider 80ís horror cinema, as it blended together thrills & chills, with a campy & fun edge. The film told of seventeen-year-old Charley Brewster, who has a swarve 80ís cardigan & scarf wearing vampire move into the house next door to him. No one believes him so he goes to get help from Ageing horror film actor & late night TV presenter Peter Vincent( played wonderfully by Roddy McDowall). The film managed to blend perfectly atmosphere, some fairly intense horror elements, and a playful/ fun vibe- never becoming too flippant in itís comedic elements, and always remembering itís still a horror film at heart.
I actually first saw the film back in 1986/1987 on VHS as a early teen(that dates me!), and both the film (and itís soundtrack) had such a impact on me, that I went out a picked-up the vinyl of the soundtrack( which is sadly long lost). The soundtrack perfectly pervades the feeling of fun camp-ness, with a slight moody & horror led edge.
The album opens with the film title track by long running US Rock band turned more new wave & pop bound project The J. Geils Band. Itís anthemic yet atmospheric number with a chorus that brings together spiralling organ groovy sinister-ness, & layered slight doo woop meets new wave vocals. With verses that blend slapping beats, slinky bass-lines, and male back ohhs & ahhs.
Over the next ten tracks we move from fist-pump yet cheesy light metal chuggers. Through to more moody & slightly Goth tinged Bill Idol like song craft. Onto 80ís glam rock stompers. Though to synth pulsing & beat snapping female led light rock & new wave blends. Onto a moody & piano lined male led ballard, that kicks in with the more dramatic & soaring rock chorus. And beyond.
As mentioned early on all the tracks (par one) where written for the film- so as a album it really mangers to stand on itís own, instead of a collection of tracks. With a really feeling of story arc of the film, yet due to the quality, variation & flow of the tracks it works well as a stand alone album too, and a great little collection of mid 80ís song craft.
The release comes with an eight page inlay booklet, and is a eight page book- this takes in a new three page write up about the album & its tracks. As well as one or two variations on the films poster artwork. Itís not the most extensive booklet, but the new write-up interesting enough.
In conclusion Fright Night stands as one of the more varied, memorable, and classy song based horror film soundtracks of the 1980ís. And major kudos must go Perseverance Records for reissuing this in CD form. If youíre a long term fan of the film youíll know you need this already, and even if you never seen the film, but enjoy moody yet memorable 1980ís rock, pop, new-wave, or light metal youíll have a hell of a time with this!Roger Batty