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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In 1927 Fritz Lang delivered what would be one of the most influential and controversial science-fiction movies of all time, Metropolis. Metropolis is a futuristic urban dystopia, and the film makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism. In my opinion it was easily the most innovative film from the silent era for a number of different reasons. Although silent films don't have a large audience today, Metropolis remains as one of the few films that is still able to stun people with it's futuristic appearance and effects, and it would remain many decades before it would be equaled in this department.
The set utilized large models for the city's architecture and infrastucture, inspired by contemporary Modernism and Art Deco. The futuristic mega-city of Metropolis consists of soaring skyscrapers, linked by sky-bridges that criss-cross the skies between them, which dominate the sprawling skyline. Traffic jams crowd the streets below, while flying machines soar through the skies above. All of these scenes are startlingly similiar to those that might be found in a modern day city such as Tokyo or New York. There is also a female robot, which also looks shockingly modern. and directly influenced the design of Star War's famous droid C3PO.
The film would eventually become a major source of controversy. Fritz Lang collaborated with his wife, Thea von Harbou, while writing the screenplay for Metropolis. In 1932 the couple were divorced after von Harbou announced her decision to join the Nazi party to Lang. The film became increasingly notorious while the Third Reich was in power, as it was a source of fascination and inspiration within the Nazi party. Joseph Goebbells was particularly influenced by the film's message, and in 1928 he delivered a speech that was obviously inspired by the film: "The political bourgeoisie is about to leave the stage of history. In its place advance the oppressed producers of the head and hand, the forces of Labour, to begin their historical mission".
Unfortunately nearly 80 years would pass before the film would be seen in it's entirety after it first premiered in Berlin in 1927. The film was heavily edited in order to meet the preferred 90 minute mark generally preferred by American theatres at that time. The original premier cut eventually disappeared and a quarter of the film was long believed to be lost forever. After 75 years a restoration was comissioned, which increased the running time to 124 minutes, and restored the original story line using stills and intertitles to substitute for the missing footage. In 2008 a copy of the original film was discovered in the Musuem of Cinema Archive, enabling 25 more minutes of lost footage to be added to 2001 reconstruction, thus finally filling in most of the gaps after nearly 81 years.
Unfortunately the score would share the same fate as the film, with several decades having passed before it was eventually re-recorded. Gottfried Huppertz composed the score, intended to be performed by large orchestras in a pit, located in front of the screen. The score included many elements inspired by the music of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, plus some mild modernism for the city of the workers and the use of the popular Dies Irae for some apocalyptic imagery. The score was rerecorded for the DVD released in 2002, with Berndt Heller conducting the 65 piece Rundfunksinfonieorchester Saarbrücken orchestra. It was the first release of the reasonably reconstructed movie accompanied by the music that was originally intended for it. The score I'm making available for you to download was ripped from the DVD released by Kino in 2003. The score was never offically released, making this rip the first recording of the original score to ever be released since 1927.
I hope that you enjoy this collection of music, not only for the music itself, but as a piece of cinematic history that no sci-fi fan, vintage cinema lover or soundtrack/score collector should be without. Please let me know what you think of the score, and if you haven't watched the film, please give it a shot and let me know what you thought. I would recommend watching the restored Kino DVD, as the restoration looks absolutely amazing. I have included a trailer for the DVD release below the download link for the score. The film itself now falls under public domain; however, the restored versions are protected by copyright. You can find an unrestored version on http://archive.org, although I would recommend hunting down the restored Kino version in order to fully appreciate how well the film has held up over the years. Enjoy!
Year Composed: 1927 Year of Release: 2003 Label: N/A (Bootleg Audio Rip from DVD) | DVD released by Kino Genre: Classical, Soundtrack/Score Bitrate: 320kbps
Track List - Disc 1: 01. The Metropolis Theme 0:00:49 02. Prelude / Shift Change 0:02:45 03. The Workers City 0:00:30 04. The Club of the Sons 0:00:32 05. The Eternal Gardens 0:05:25 06. The Moloch Machine 0:03:38 07. (to the) New Tower of Babel 0:04:22 08. Dialogue With the Father 0:03:16 09. Suspicious Plans 0:03:41 10. Freder Engages Josaphat 0:02:34 11. Freder Meest Georgy 0:03:12 12. Rotwang, the Inventor 0:02:44 13. The Machine Man 0:05:44 14. Maria's Sermon 0:05:06 15. Hired Hands for Wages 0:00:47 16. BABEL 0:01:02 17. The Power's Answer 0:03:45 18. Joh Intervenes 0:02:52 19. Rotwang Persecutes Maria 0:03:34
Tracklist - Disc 2: 01. Freder in the Cathedral 0:02:39 02. Freder Goes to Josaphat's Home 0:00:29 03. Rotwang Hassles Maria 0:02:31 04. The Transformation 0:05:39 05. Freder's Collapse 0:04:22 06. The Dance of the Whore of Babylon 0:01:56 07. Death Descends Upon the City 0:01:04 08. Josaphat's Report for Freder 0:00:58 09. The Report, Continued 0:01:12 10. The Report, Conclusion 0:01:09 11. A Call for Rebellion 0:05:02 12. The Storming of the Heart Machine 0:03:46 13. Destroying the Heart Machine 0:04:58 14. The Doom of the Worker's City 0:03:15 15. Saving the Children 0:03:50 16. Witch Hunt 0:05:39 17. A Stake in front of the Cathedral 0:02:39 18. Rotwang Chases Maria 0:02:43 19. Rotwang's End 0:02:17 20. Finale 0:02:38 21. End Credits 0:01:06