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Section Header
Scream/Scream 2
1998 Varèse

2011 Varèse

Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
Marco Beltrami

Co-Orchestrated by:
Pete Anthony
Bill Boston
Kevin Manthei

Labels and Dates:
Varèse Sarabande
(Scream/Scream 2)
(July 14th, 1998)

Varèse Sarabande
(May, 2011)

Also See:
Scream 3
Scream 4

Audio Clips:
1998 Album:

Scream: 3. Trouble in Woodsboro (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

Scream: 6. NC-17 (0:27):
WMA (179K)  MP3 (224K)
Real Audio (158K)

Scream 2: 14. Sundown Search (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Scream 2: It's Over, Sid (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

The 1998 album with both scores is a regular U.S. release. The 2011 product featuring Scream only ("The Deluxe Edition") is limited to 2,000 copies and available for $20 through soundtrack specialty outlets.


Scream/Scream 2
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Buy it... on the 1998 album if you want just a small (but surprisingly adequate) taste of the most memorable cues from the first two scores in the Scream franchise.

Avoid it... on any of the albums for these two scores if you expect the stock suspense and horror material from Scream to compete favorably with its contemporaries or, more specifically, if you seek any of the Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer music heard in Scream 2.

Scream/Scream 2: (Marco Beltrami) During the resurgence of slashing teenie horror flicks in the 1990's, few franchises fared better than the one born from Scream. The concept by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson took the infamous ghost-masked killer on a rampage in the suburban town of Woodsboro, leading most of its primary characters to the grave while elevating the cult status of its surviving lead played by Neve Campbell. The success of the 1996 original was its convoluted character mysteries, causing young audiences to see the film several times in the theatres and thus making a monstrous financial success out of a movie that cost practically nothing to produce. Also of intrigue in the franchise is its characters' recognition of the horror movie genre in context, an angle notable at first but largely lost upon the concept by its wayward, belated fourth entry in 2011. Despite the genre's dominance at the box office in the 90's, these kinds of films are not the kindest to budding composers who are often left in the B-rate horror world to see their careers die and rot. But the Scream franchise was an exception for the rising talent of Marco Beltrami, these scores becoming an early calling card for the composer, and within ten years, he would contribute music for blockbuster franchises in the ranks of The Terminator and Die Hard. While the original Scream score didn't create a significant jolt in the film music world (songs, as usual, carried the day commercially), the messy circumstances surrounding Scream 2 gave his music a cult status much like that of the films. By Scream 3 at the end of the decade, Beltrami had survived countless rumors of his replacement by finishing the original trilogy of scores with perhaps the best rounded of the three. In general, his contribution to these films successively improved until Scream 4, which curiously reverted back to the generally non-descript personality of the original entry (and is perhaps even worse). His style for the original two Scream scores plucked ideas from many different places, including the works of Elliot Goldenthal, Ennio Morricone, Christopher Young, Eric Serra, and Hans Zimmer. Most of these influences made themselves more evident in Scream 2, a soundtrack with a much broader personality. On album, these first two scores were provided together on a short album in 1998, hence this review of both together. In 2011, Varèse Sarabande finally followed up their previous product with an expanded treatment of Scream alone. Both scores and their albums will be covered below.

Despite the allure of its primary theme, the original Scream was a rather conventional entry in its era, a basic effort by Beltrami to take a tiny budget and produce a partially synthetic, partially orchestral score with less than 50 performers. In terms of technique, he combined the slashing standards established by Young with the contemporary synthetic styles of Serra and occasional touches of orchestral complexity from Goldenthal and spaghetti Western mannerisms from Morricone. For the most part, Scream is stocked with over an hour of music that doesn't really make great use of any of these elements; the suspense and horror material is based upon standard dissonant atmospheres and series of shrieking stingers that seem frightfully generic in retrospect. The memorable themes in the score involve those for Sidney, the Neve Campbell character, and the town of Woodsboro. Beltrami intentionally left the iconic villain without a motif to accentuate questions about his identity. The famous, haunting solo female vocals for Sidney's theme are indeed the voice of the franchise, presenting the scores' most beautiful and tortured moments. In Scream, however, this idea is not as frequently utilized as you might expect, leaving many of the better developed renditions for the sequels. You hear most of the original performances on the short 1998 Varèse album, including the end credits version with some dissonance and electronic distortion in "Sidney's Lament" and a fuller, more palatable rock-rhythmed performance in "NC-17" (later titled "Sidney Wants It" on the 2011 album). The latter album also includes a fleeting solo vocal performance foreshadowing Scream 2 in "Sid's House." The most engaging and creative cue in Scream is "Trouble in Woodsboro," in which Beltrami unleashes the ruckus of a wild rock and slightly Western-based rhythm with synthetic wails, various chain-rattling sound effects, and a synthetic choir for the ultimate in eerie sound. Why Beltrami chose to abandon this oddly effective and memorable combination of Serra and Morricone in the rest of the score is a curious question and a disappointment. Outside of these highlights in Scream, the remainder is surprisingly anonymous. On the 1998 album, the two short snippets of outward horror material are irrelevant, but on the 2011 expanded product, the listening experience is challenging to tolerate. Only in the two lengthiest killing sequences, "The Cue From Hell" at the beginning and "They're Crazy" at the end, does Beltrami utilize percussion and string techniques that begin to rival Young's applications in the genre. The rest finally yields a solid narrative for the score on album, but not by any means a pleasant one.

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One of the interesting aspects of Scream 2 is just how muddy its soundtrack situation became for the hastily assembled 1997 sequel. This time, Beltrami's contributions was partially supplemented or replaced by the music of Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer, despite his intelligent continuation of the best portions of Scream and a larger ensemble. In Scream 2, Beltrami pulls more ideas from Goldenthal's sophisticated palette as the franchise became more robust in its orchestral prowess. The lovely theme for Sidney returns, though it is largely confined to the "It's Over, Sid" cue on the 1998 album, the most harmonic presentation of the theme from either of the first two scores. While Beltrami maintained this theme and certain motifs throughout all four of his scores for the franchise, the ideas for the Deputy Dewey character are perhaps the most recognizable from Scream 2, as well as the most maligned. Building out of the style in "Trouble in Woodsboro," the spaghetti Western holdover from the days of Morricone's dusty classics are in full force in Scream 2, and their bass and guitar antics culminate in some synthetic whistling in "Dewpoint and Stabbed" and a powerful rendition in "Sundown Search." The opening moments of "Deputy for a Friend" would be reprised at the outset of the victorious performance of Sid's theme at the end of Scream 3. For Beltrami enthusiasts, this material has the added perk of serving as a foreshadowing of his superior venture into the spaghetti Western genre for 3:10 to Yuma more than a decade later. Unfortunately for Beltrami, the most memorable music from Scream 2 wasn't actually his. Elfman composed a frenzied, choral-enhanced three minutes called "Cassandra Aria" for the film, a piece still unreleased on CD many years later. And much of the music for Dewey was supplanted in Scream 2 by Duane Eddy's guitar performances for Hans Zimmer's Broken Arrow, a replacement generally considered effective in the film but rather unnecessary when considering that Beltrami's take on that sound is similar and likely could have been just as suitable. Overall, the 1998 Varèse album contains only 12 minutes from Scream and 17 minutes from Scream 2, one of the label's more controversial capitulations to the fees of the musicians' unions. Without Elfman's track, the album has always been dissatisfying, and compared to the 30 minutes eventually available from the label for Scream 3, this duo album is only barely adequate. The 2011 Scream-only product from Varèse is limited to 2,000 copies and is a chore to attempt to appreciate at an hour in length. A solid 75-minute album of the best music from all four scores in the franchise, including the Elfman cue, is the best but unlikely solution. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for Scream: **
    Music as Written for Scream 2: ***
    Music as Heard on the 1998 and 2011 Albums: **
    Overall: **

Bias Check:For Marco Beltrami reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.73 (in 22 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.79 (in 15,925 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings (1998 Varèse Album): Total Time: 29:58


• 1. Sidney's Lament (1:37)
• 2. Altered Ego (2:47)
• 3. Trouble in Woodsboro (1:49)
• 4. A Cruel World (1:53)
• 5. Chasing Sidney (1:27)
• 6. NC-17 (3:03)
Scream 2:

• 7. Stage Fright Requiem (2:07)
• 8. Love Turns Sour (4:44)
• 9. Cici Creepies (1:13)
• 10. Deputy for a Friend (2:17)
• 11. Hollow Parting (1:47)
• 12. Dewpoint/Stabbed (2:15)
• 13. Hairtrigger Lunatic (1:11)
• 14. Sundown Search (0:50)
• 15. It's Over, Sid (0:46)

 Track Listings (2011 Varèse Album): Total Time: 63:28


• 1. Dimension Logo (0:19)
• 2. The Cue From Hell (10:32)
• 3. Trouble in Woodsboro (1:57)
• 4. Sid's House (1:12)
• 5. Red Herring (2:17)
• 6. Killer Calls Sidney (2:57)
• 7. Chasing Sidney (1:29)
• 8. Cell Phone (1:01)
• 9. Backdoor Gail (0:49)
• 10. Schoolyard 2 (1:16)
• 11. Sid's Doubt (1:27)
• 12. Bathroom (3:03)
• 13. Mr. Himbry Gets It (2:15)

• 14. Sheriff and Dewey (1:25)
• 15. Tatum's Torture (3:02)
• 16. Sidney Wants It (3:11)
• 17. Dewey and Gail (1:56)
• 18. Off to See Himbry (0:47)
• 19. Killer Stabs Billy (2:49)
• 20. Randy Almost Gets It* (2:37)
• 21. Gail Crashes the Van (1:48)
• 22. They're Crazy (9:49)
• 23. Sid Stabs Billy (4:26)
• 24. Billy's Back (1:15)
• 25. End Credits (1:45)

* composed by Christophe Beck

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert of the 1998 album includes no extra information about the scores or films. The 2011 album features notes about both Scream and its score.

  All artwork and sound clips from Scream/Scream 2 are Copyright © 1998, 2011, Varèse Sarabande (Scream/Scream 2), Varèse Sarabande (Scream). The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/21/98 and last updated 6/22/11. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1998-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.