elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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I thought it was time to do something a bit different here at DM. In the past I have generally tried to deliver an eclectic selection of albums, with the countdown to Halloween being the exception to that rule. Many of you have expressed your approval of the eclectic nature of this blog in the past, so I hope that you won't mind a temporary break from tradition. I thought it would be interesting to introduce the occasional "monthly theme" for the blog, and I have decided to kick things off by announcing "Sci-Fi September".
While I'm a big fan of science fiction in general, I plan to focus on posting soundtracks to classic sci-fi films, although I will be posting some more contemporary material also. I may even throw in a few sci-fi surprises that are completely unrelated to music too. I would like to start by sharing a bootleg soundtrack to the classic science-fiction movie, "Earth vs the Spider". "Earth vs. The Spider" was released in 1958, and it follows the same generic plot of many monster movies from this era: A monster is discovered on the outskirts of town by a pair of teenagers, who then promptly warn the town sheriff and other townspeople of the imminent danger, only to have the sheriff doubt them until it's too late. The director of the movie, Bert I. Gordon, shamelessly ripped off a number of more successful films during his directing career, with Earth vs the Spider being an obvious ripoff of the more commercially successful "Tarantula", which was released three years prior. There aren't many redeeming qualities to be found in the film, other than its unintended comedic value. The acting was atrocious, the screenplay terrible, and the plot holes are numerous, and yet somehow this movie remains one of Gordon's more enjoyable films. On a positive note, while the special effects are primitive by today's standards, they have held up well compared to similar films. Gordon deserves credit for making the decision to transpose the spider on to the screen, rather than create a ridiculous looking giant prop spider.
As with many other soundtracks to movies that achieved cult status for being so bad, the quality of this soundtrack far exceeds the movie it accompanied, and is easily the best thing about the film. The score was composed by Albert Glasser, a prolific composer of B-Movie scores. From the 1940's on to the 1960's, Glasser composed scores for approximately 200 films, 300 television shows, and 450 radio shows. Now that's what I call prolific! The film was featured on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (Episode 611: Last of the Wild Horses), in which the character Dr. Forrester exclaims "Albert Glasser: the man who holds you down and pummels you with music". That statement couldn't be more accurate, as Glasser was well known for delivering scores that were like an avalanche of heavy brass and savage percussion arrangements. In my opinion Earth vs. the Spider was easily one of his best scores. Not only did Glasser relentlessly pummel the listener with the usual brass and percussion, but he also included an instrument that has become synonymous with classic sci-fi movies, the theramin. This score contains some of the best theramin music that I have ever heard. In fact, I would say that it almost surpasses Bernard Herrmann's score for "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and easily crushes the boring theramin compositions of Clara Rockmore in my opinion.
I was unable to find a proper tracklist for this release. An official soundtrack was released, which contains only 12 tracks, but this is a bootleg release of the complete score, containing cues that aren't on the official release. I do know that this was put together by someone named "filmpac" if that helps. Perhaps someone will come along and help us clear up this issue. I feel as if I should also point out the reason the movie poster above displays the title as "The Spider", which isn't a mistake on my part. In order to capitalize on the success of "The Fly", which was released earlier that year, the title was changed to "The Spider" on all promotional material for the film. I'm out of time for now, but I hope you enjoy this classic sci-fi score, and those that will follow it in the near future.
Year of Release: 1958 Label: N/A (Bootleg Release) Genres: Soundtrack/Score, Science-Fiction Bitrate: 320kbps