Giorgio Moroder/Klaus Doldinger - The Neverending Story(OST) [SFE/Cherry Red Records - 2017]Hereís a long overdue reissue of the soundtracks for one of the biggest family fantasy films of the 1980ís The Neverending Story. The score is a mix of synth pop, atmospheric & moody synth/ guitar scaping, and more formal orchestral scoring.
The reissue appears on SFE, which is one of the sub-labels of Cherry Red. And it comes in the form of CD- with packaging that takes replica mini slip sleeve, and a fold-out six-page color inlay sleeve. This reissue offers up the original scores fifteen tracks, but you also get the addition of six bonus tracks- which take in various versions/ mixes.
The films most known track is itís title track/ opening track, which brought together Giorgio Moroder & Limahl. Moroder is a Italian musician & producer who innovated both electro-disco & electronica in the 70's/80's. And Limahl had been one of the singers in early 80ís UK synth-pop/ boy band Kajagoogoo. The tracks a pleasing & rising blend of bright pulsing synth work, electro sitar twanging, occasional guitar work and tight electro beats. All topped off with a blend of Limahlís rising & swooping vocals, and the soulful backing vocals of Beth Anderson. Itís a great slice of bright-yet-dramatic synth pop and opens the whole soundtrack on a very pleasing & tuneful note.
After this we move into five more tracks from Moroder-these are all instrumental, and each shows a skillful & atmospheric mix of layers of synth craft, electro-percussion, and subtle electric guitar. We go from the tight pulsing synth, beats & guitar marching epic-ness of "Ivory Tower". Onto more the more building & melancholic sentimental air of "Ruined Landscape"- which opens with a mellow blend of sadly harmonic keys & pared backbeats- before the guitar comes in at first blues bound, then more simmering in itís emotional electric soloing. To the laid-back ethnic ambient-meets moody guitar sailing vibe of "Sleepy Dragon".
The albums remaining ten tracks are composed & arranged by Klaus Doldinger, and are much more formal examples of orchestrated soundtracking. Doldinger is a German soundtrack composer & saxophonist- his other soundtrack work been mainly within the German market for both film & TV score taking in the score for 1981ís Das Boot, 1975ís To The Bitter End, and TV crime drama The Old Fox. The cues move from flighty & epic, to more pared back & pan pipe edged sentimental. Onto the jaunting & grand, though to the more bombastic & dark. I guess youíd say itís a fairly standard soundtrack for a fantasy film, though thatís not meant as a criticism- Doldinger has a good ear for melody, building atmosphere, and epicness. Itís just not anything you wouldnít expect.
The CD is topped off with the bonus tracks, and these open with a 12inch version of "Ivory Tower", which adds more of a more pronounced churning & rapidly ticking beat to original tracks marching vibe. Then we get four alternative mixes of the title track- these take in a 12inch mix, a dance, dub, and rusty (!) mix of the track. And the release is topped off with the French version of the title track, which seems to get rid of Limahl and replace him with two female singers, singing the song in French.
The release is topped off with six page fold out inlay- this is in full color, and takes in a three-page write-ups about the film, selection of film artwork, and single cover reproduction. On the whole, this is a nicely presented reissue of this 1984 soundtrack, and will certainly be of interest to fans of Moroder, or more formal & grand film scoring.Roger Batty