Limited editon of 500 copies on Turquoise vinyl, Poppydisc 2011 reissue.
The soundtrack for Forbidden Planet (1956) is today recognized as the first entirely electronic score for a film. Eerie and sinister, the soundtrack was unlike anything that audiences had heard before. Music historians have often noted how groundbreaking the soundtrack was in the development of electronic music.
On the album sleeve notes of the Forbidden Planet soundtrack, Louis and Bebe explain:
We design and construct electronic circuits which function electronically in a manner remarkably similar to the way that lower life-forms function psychologically. [. . .]. In scoring Forbidden Planet – as in all of our work – we created individual cybernetics circuits for particular themes and leit motifs, rather than using standard sound generators. Actually, each circuit has a characteristic activity pattern as well as a “voice”. [. . .]. We were delighted to hear people tell us that the tonalities in Forbidden Planet remind them of what their dreams sound like.
The producers of the film had originally wanted to hire Harry Partch to do the music score. The Barrons were brought in to do only about twenty minutes of sound effects. After the producers heard the initial sample score, the Barrons were assigned an hour and ten minutes of the rest of the film. The studio wanted to move the couple to Hollywood where most of the film scores were produced at the time. But the couple would not budge, and took the work back to their New York studio.
The music and the sound effects stunned the audience. During the preview of the movie when the sounds of the spaceship landing on Altair IV filled the theater, the audience broke out in spontaneous applause. Later, the Barrons turned over their stunning audio creation to GNP Crescendo records for distribution. GNP had previously demonstrated its expertise in producing and marketing science fiction film soundtracks and executive album producer Neil Norman had proclaimed the film (and the soundtrack) his favorites.
Not everyone was happy with the score. Louis and Bebe did not belong to the Musicians’ Union. The original screen credit for the film, which was supposed to read “Electronic Music by Louis and Bebe Barron”, was changed at the last moment by a contract lawyer from the American Federation of Musicians. In order to not upset the union, the association with the word music had to be removed. The Barrons were credited with “Electronic Tonalities”. Because of their non-membership in the union, the film was not considered for an Oscar in the soundtrack, or special effects category.
- A01Main Titles - Overture2:20
- A03Once Around Altair1:09
- A04The Landing0:40
- A05Flurry Of Dust - A Robot Approaches1:09
- A06A Shangri-La In The Desert / Garden With Cuddly Tiger1:32
- A07Graveyard - A Night With Two Moons1:15
- A08"Robby, Make Me A Gown"1:16
- A09An Invisible Monster Approaches0:46
- A10Robby Arranges Flowers, Zaps Monkey1:17
- A11Love At The Swimming Hole3:11
- A12Morbius' Study0:37
- A13Ancient Krell Music1:47
- A14The Mind Booster - Creation Of Matter0:56
- B01Krell Shuttle Ride And Power Station2:31
- B02Giant Footprints In The Sand0:45
- B03"Nothing Like This Claw Found In Nature!"1:23
- B04Robby, The Cook, And 60 Gallons Of Booze0:56
- B05Battle With Invisible Monster2:50
- B06"Come Back To Earth With Me"1:17
- B07The Monster Pursues - Morbius Is Overcome5:45
- B08The Homecoming1:56
- B09Overture Reprise2:13