John Carpenter Announces “Anthology II (Movie Themes 1976-1988)” due October 6th via Sacred Bones & Shares Album Opener “Chariots of Pumpkins”

August 23, 2023


Announces ‘Anthology II (Movie Themes 1976-1988)’
Out October 6th on Sacred Bones

John Carpenter announces the release of a new collection, ‘Anthology II (Movie Themes 1976-1988)’, set for release on October 6th via Sacred Bones.
By now everyone should know, John Carpenter is not only a celebrated filmmaker but also a musical maestro whose soundtracks have become synonymous with the genres of horror, suspense, and science fiction. His innate talent for composition and his deep understanding of how music can elevate storytelling have left an indelible mark on the world of cinema, and a haunting presence in people’s record collections.
‘Anthology II’ continues the celebration of his compositional genius via an excellently sequenced collection of some of his most iconic pieces of music from his extensive filmography, all newly recorded with his musical collaborators Daniel Davies and Cody Carpenter.
Along with the announcement comes the album opener “Chariots of Pumpkins” from Halloween III, a track that perfectly captures the eerie essence of the cult classic film with its pulsating synths and haunting melodies, engulfing the listener in a sense of unease and anticipation. The accompanying visualiser was made by Adam Fuchs and Chris Bilheimer.
Speaking on the track, Carpenter comments: “This piece was made for someone else’s movie, the Tommy Lee Wallace directed Halloween III. I don’t remember what his specific direction for me was for the main titles, but I wanted to reflect a kind of science fiction feel. The sound has been updated and it was fun to redo this song. The three of us using modern and updated sounds and production has influenced the overall feel of the song.”

 Fierce, unpredictable, inquistive and unsettling, the perfect Carpenter creation.

After “Chariots of Pumpkins”, the listener is thrust into “69th St. Bridge” from Escape From New York, a dynamic track that encapsulates the futuristic and gritty nature of the film and the intensity and urgency of the protagonist’s mission via the use of throbbing bass lines, driving rhythms, and electronic textures. A sense of adventure and excitement follows with “The Alley (War)” from Big Trouble in Little China, a track that combines Eastern-inspired motifs with rock and synth elements. The track evokes fantasy and humor, a purposeful emotion that carries on to “Wake Up” from They Live with its driving rhythm, rock riffs and overarching rebellious energy.
Carpenter’s ability to create tension through minimalist and repetitive musical motifs is a famous trademark of his that is evident in tracks such as “Julie’s Dead” from Assault on Precinct 13 and “The Shape Enters Laurie’s Room” from Halloween II – with the former displaying a more sparse yet effective instrumentation and the latter some ominous dissonant synths to create that much needed tension and fear for the iconic villain’s approach. The record lays on the intensity with tracks like “Love at a Distance” from Prince of Darkness, with its haunting choral arrangements and ambient textures that reflect the film’s supernatural and apocalyptic themes, and “The Shape Stalks Again” from Halloween II, a relentless and suspenseful track with stabbing and repetitive synths that fittingly accompany the relentless pursuit of Michael Myers.
The record has a more isolating tone as it skulks through ambient leaning tracks such as “Fuchs” and “To Mac’s Shack” from The Thing, and “Walk to the Lighthouse” from The Fog, all of which display a slower tempo, foreboding undertones and an ethereal atmosphere that feels like a distant whisper. All of which has been cautiously laid in preparation to the grand finale. The iconic and instantly recognizable “Laurie’s Theme” from the original Halloween. Its simple yet menacing piano melody which has become synonymous with the horror genre, concludes the album by striking fear into the hearts of listeners.

Worth a special mention is that the three tracks from The Thing are lost cues, previously unreleased and now re-recorded. The Thing marks one of the rare occasions that John Carpenter stepped away from scoring duties and entrusted the task to another composer, the legendary Ennio Morricone. However, Carpenter felt that the film could benefit by the inclusion of additional music and took the initiative to record multiple synth driven cues in his renowned scoring style and edit them into the film.

Everything has been cautiously laid in preparation for the grand finale – the iconic and instantly recognizable ”Laurie’s Theme” from the original Halloween. Its simple yet menacing piano melody which has become synonymous with the horror genre, concludes the album by striking fear into the hearts of listeners.
These tracks represent just a fraction of John Carpenter’s impressive musical repertoire. His ability to capture the essence of his films through evocative melodies, atmospheric soundscapes, and innovative use of synths has solidified his status as one of the most influential composers in the history of cinema. With each haunting note and pulsating beat, his soundtracks continue to resonate with audiences, forever etching his name in the annals of film music history.

‘Anthology II (Movie Themes 1976-1988)’ track list:
Side A
Chariots of Pumpkins (Halloween III)
69th St. Bridge (Escape From New York)
The Alley (War) (Big Trouble in Little China)
Wake Up (They Live)
Julie’s Dead (Assault on Precinct 13)
The Shape Enters Laurie’s Room (Halloween II)
Season of the Witch (Halloween III)
Side B
Love at a Distance (Prince of Darkness)
The Shape Stalks Again (Halloween II)
Burn it (The Thing)
Fuchs (The Thing)
To Mac’s Shack (The Thing)
Walk to the Lighthouse (The Fog)
Laurie’s Theme (Halloween)
Pressing variant info:
Sacred Bones exclusive “They Live” blue and white splatter LP
Sacred Bones Society “Big Trouble” blue and red LP
Sacred Bones exclusive Anthology I & Anthology II LP boxset 
Rough Trade exclusive “The Fog” green galaxy LP
Brooklyn Vegan exclusive “Escape” yellow and clear LP
Shout exclusive “Prince of Darkness” yellow, blue and white twister LP 
“The Thing” blue LP
Black LP

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