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Psycho II (1983)
Terrific and Every bit as good as Hermann!
by a soundtrack collector
(December 4, 2004)
What a choice to do the score to the sequel of one of the most famous classics ever made! Psycho is still a legend from legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and the score to this classic by Bernard Hermann stands on it's own forever more. The score to Psycho II while not being noted at it's release, is every bit as intriguing as it's proceeder.
After a botched attempt at scoring the movie using Hermann's score backward(!), the Psycho II producers sought after a great composer who could delicate an intricate theme to go with the film's psychological premise. Who better to score such an achievement than Jerry Goldsmith, who won on oscar for his work in the 1976 shocker "The Omen." Thus, a wonderful and intriguing new score was developed!
"Psycho II" score is nothing short of fantastic, as it flows aesthetically(as only Goldsmith scores can do!) There is no way to sum up how great it is with just a paragraph so I will sum it up this way:
1) The Murder-Re-enactment of footage from the first film for this film's prologue. Footage from the first film is shown to set up the second, and the scene which is used is...isn't it obvious! The classic Hermann shrieking violins will never cease to sound out!
2) Main Title-this is a beautiful echoing suite of the theme that starts with a mind blowing gust of shrieking violins much like Hermann's score to the original, but goes into the film's theme of innocence and beauty hid by a bad name, and tarnished memories. This follows the credits as the Bates mansion is shown being aged over the years.
3) Don't Take Me-This song is a very creepy variation on the theme and the "Norman Theme" which is played every time the character thinks he is beginning to go crazy again. Electric woodwind pierces the harmonous strings and bass trombones. In the film, this music is played when Norman and the leading lady are hiding in a room from someone else who is in the house(a killer.)
4) Mother's Room-Much like the previous track, this music is played with the "Norman Theme" as he is painting the Bates Motel in hopes of reopening and starting up business. He looks up to the mansion and thinks he sees his mother, investigates, and is trapped in the attic! Great Goldsmith trademark here.
5) "It's Not Your Mother!"- One of my favorite cues. This is actually the terror finale track, in which Norman's illness is coming full circle and answers are being revealed, as the body count ups and the livestock downs. Starting at a slow, creepy low key, the song grows as the scene tenses up. Without this music the movie would not have near enough power as it does. Finally, at the peak of the scene, the music roughs and toughs as the characters battle it out. Trombones and Horns interplay with high strung strings and woodwind. Synthsizers accompany the shrill masterpiece for the final minute or so.
6) New Furniture-Breathaking rendition of the main title has strings and piano interplaying with bells and a harp. The theme of innocence and tarnished memories flows wonderfully as Norman and the leading lady search the house for clues to assure Norman he is not going crazy.
7) The Cellar-Uncomfortably appropriate orchestral track which is played as the supporting characters are up to no good, and, as is always the story, no good characters get no good treatment!
8) Blood Bath-Chilling track which electric strings accompany a piano and orchestral strings, following at first slow, then tense, irrevocable beats. The scene the song is used in is creepy as well, as blood from a hidden body starts to appear in the sinks, bathtubs and toilets of the Bates mansion.
9) End Title-Beautiful track to sum the film up. Much like the main title only well extended to show closure for the film's premise. Both Norman Theme and Tarnished Memories Theme are played here.
Over all, the score is terrific and never lets up! A full orchestral companion to those(like me) who dig this stuff! Soundtrack collectors will not be disappointed by this masterpiece score that, strange as it seems, has never gotten the recognition which it deserves.
I love this score!
The order the songs appear in the movie are as follows:
Track order: 1, 2, 6, 4, 8, 3, 7, 5, 9.
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