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Psycho
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed by:
Bernard Herrmann

Adapted and Produced by:
Danny Elfman
Steve Bartek

Conducted by:
Pete Anthony
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Virgin Records America
(June 8th, 1999)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but out of print and difficult to find.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek the most authentic re-recording of Bernard Herrmann's classic score available, one that best matches the tempos and ambience of the original.

Avoid it... if you prefer embellishments in interpretation when hearing fresh performances of older works, including a substantial beefing up of the ensemble's force and the addition of reverb, neither of which exists here.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,567
WRITTEN 11/27/09
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Elfman
Elfman
Psycho (1998): (Bernard Herrmann/Danny Elfman/Steve Bartek) Few remakes have attempted to copy their inspiration as completely as the 1998 Gus Van Sant version of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho. Ironically, what few changes there are in both the plot and the technical aspects of remake ruin any chances of success for the copycat. It's odd to ponder a production meticulously planned out of love for the original version and how it can, in the process of trying way too hard to emulate that original, miserably fail. Van Sant alters the plotline to account for different societal conditions and the lack of censorship, most notably adding much more nudity and making the masturbation scene almost comically explicit. In the technical realm, the film is given a color landscape and a stereo soundscape, along with slight alterations to focus and other photographic attributes that sometimes diminish the imitation. Most devastating to Van Sant's retelling of Psycho was the horrific assignment of nearly everyone involved in the cast. There is nothing about Vince Vaughn's performance that can even approach the nervous energy conveyed by Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. That lack of that intangible tension, not only in the acting but in the entirety of the production, was the most frequently cited failure by critics, most of whom disregarded Van Sant's efforts as a misguided waste of time. Not surprisingly, one of the areas that the director sought to recreate note for note was Bernard Herrmann's skittish, uncomfortable score, best known for its shrieking killing motif associated with Bates' mother. Conveniently, Van Sant enjoyed a working collaboration with composer Danny Elfman at the time (the composer earned his first Oscar nomination for Van Sant's Good Will Hunting the previous year). Elfman had long been fascinated with Herrmann's career and was therefore a good candidate to re-record the score to match the slightly different synchronization points in the remake. It wasn't the first time a classic Herrmann work had been re-recorded for a 1990's film; the 1991 version of Cape Fear was adapted by Elmer Bernstein far more liberally than Elfman's "interpretation," however. In fact, "regurgitation" is a better work than "interpretation" to describe Elfman's work for Psycho. So loyal is Elfman (and cohort Steve Bartek) to Herrmann's original intent that he succeeded better than anyone else at re-recording the work. Many had done so before, including a notable performance conducted by Joel McNeely, but none was as faithful to the tempo or ambience of the original.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
153 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.93 Stars
***** 30 5 Stars
**** 25 4 Stars
*** 35 3 Stars
** 31 2 Stars
* 32 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Not really neccesary when you already own the Varese re-recording.
Richard Kleiner - September 6, 2010, at 3:21 p.m.
1 comment  (1007 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 31:22
• 1. Intro/Logos (0:43)
• 2. Prelude (1:54)
• 3. The City (1:35)
• 4. Marion and Sam (1:21)
• 5. Temptation (1:49)
• 6. The Rainstorm (2:54)
• 7. The Peephole (3:07)
• 8. The Murder (1:07)
• 9. The Clean Up (1:40)
• 10. The Car (0:37)
• 11. The Swamp (1:44)
• 12. The Curtain (1:03)
• 13. The Search (0:32)
• 14. The Stairs (2:17)
• 15. The Knife (0:24)
• 16. The 1st Floor (1:55)
• 17. The Search B (1:31)
• 18. The Hill (0:52)
• 19. The Bedroom (1:06)
• 20. The Cellar Pt. 1 (1:09)
• 21. The Discovery (0:39)
• 22. The Finale (1:23)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert is very badly designed, with overlapping text including the following note by Danny Elfman:

    "Herrmann was my idol. The chance to adapt his work and hear it performed live was thrilling. My goal was to bring freshness to the score without straying from the impulses of the original and to record it with the energy that I believe Mr. Herrmann intended. It was really a once in a lifetime experience."

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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Psycho are Copyright © 1999, Virgin Records America and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/27/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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