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Soundtrack Review

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Fear and Desire
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Gerald Fried
Label: Caldera Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 January 2021

Caldera Records present Gerald Fried’s music for Stanley Kubrick’s films Fear and Desire and Day of the Fight. Gerald Fried and Stanley Kubrick became friends as teenagers. They first collaborate professionally in 1951, when Kubrick needed music for his short film, Day of the Fight, a tightly focused 12-minute documentary featuring boxer Walter Cartier. Then in 1952 Kubrick started to develop his first feature film, Fear and Desire, a drama he saw as a poetic allegory about a man lost in a hostile world...

Bless dear old Caldera Records. You always know a release by them is never going to be a dull affair. Fans of Stanley Kubrick and composer Gerald Fried are in for a treat... other soundtrack fans may be a little nonplussed.

The original material that Caldera has to work with here is not overly well maintained. I may be wrong, but it sounds like it might be a mono recording - considering the age of the movie, and its low budget, this wouldn't be a huge surprise. However, the recording sounds flat when compared to more modern productions. But that niggle soon fades when you listen to the intricacy of Fried's work.

I couldn't help wonder if John Williams had been partly inspired by this a little. There's a very noticeable similarity between 'Mac's Departure' and some of the themes on Tatooine in 1977's A New Hope.

I found it a very interesting listen and Fried's work is more meticulous and impressive than either production deserved. It's a curiosity for me, albeit a beautiful one at that.


Darren Rea

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