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The 'Burbs
Album Cover Art
1992 Varèse
2007 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony

Albums Produced by:
Robert Townson
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The 1992 album was the 10th of Varèse Sarabande's original Club titles, VCL 9102.10. It was limited to 1,500 numbered copies, and after selling out from the label, the rare album sold for hundreds of dollars. The 2007 album is a "Deluxe Edition" of 3,000 unnumbered copies as part of Varèse's second Club series. That album quickly sold out as well, though the extra copies in existence have helped keep both albums more reasonably priced on the secondary market.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you want to hear the very best that Jerry Goldsmith's comedy-writing talents had to offer.

Avoid it... if the search for and price of either of the score's strong but limited and sold out albums is not worth hearing a composer poke fun at himself and nearly every musical genre in the book.
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WRITTEN 8/2/97, REVISED 7/13/09
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Filmtracks has no record of commercial ordering options for this title. However, you can search for this title at online soundtrack specialty outlets.
The 'Burbs: (Jerry Goldsmith) If a person were to rank the quality of director Joe Dante's satirical comedy films, the pair of Gremlins entries would likely top the list. At the other end of the spectrum is The 'Burbs. While the film struck the right set of chords for a handful of critics, it was otherwise lambasted for simply being "not funny" and the project fell into the pits of obscurity quickly. Taking jabs at nearly every element of American suburbia, the film follows the at-home vacation of Tom Hanks' character and his reactions to the absurd neighborhood in which he lives. Caricatures of the general types of people you find in real life, the personalities and dwellings of the neighbors in The 'Burbs are themselves the punch-line. All sorts of eccentricities are on display, as are the battles between neighbors, both real and imaginary. Dana Olsen's screenplay is a puzzle that's not really meant to be understood or solved, relying on the viewer's ability to underanalyze the film in order to enjoy its pithy discourse. While reviews of the film pounded on that script and the movie as a whole when it debuted in 1988, even mainstream writers recognized that composer Jerry Goldsmith's score was one of (if not the only) bright spot for the picture. Goldsmith and Dante had already collaborated on five films at that point, beginning with Dante's supervision of much of Twilight Zone: The Movie and including the immensely popular Gremlins. While their projects in between Gremlins and The 'Burbs had been of a more serious, action-oriented kind, the comedy fire had already been started. The 'Burbs kindled that fire into a roaring blaze, setting a standard so high that even Goldsmith would have a difficult time reprising it in his subsequent works for Dante (from Gremlins 2 a few years later through Looney Tunes: Back in Action in 2003). The success of Goldsmith's score resides in the fact that composer didn't even try to approach the project with serious intent. The people on screen are all ridiculous stereotypes, so instead of attempting to straighten them out with dramatic musical representations, Goldsmith went in the opposite direction; he made them even more ridiculous. Every single moment in his score for The 'Burbs is a satire of some kind, even resorting to sensitivity during scenes that usually demand suspense.

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Average: 4.02 Stars
***** 556 5 Stars
**** 151 4 Stars
*** 109 3 Stars
** 93 2 Stars
* 80 1 Stars
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"My Name is Nobody"
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1992 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 31:04
• 1. Main Title (2:23)
• 2. Welcome to Mayfield Pl. (2:20)
• 3. New Neighbors (2:06)
• 4. Klopek House (2:02)
• 5. Storytelling (3:20)
• 6. Neighborhood Watch (2:01)
• 7. A Nightmare in the 'Burbs (2:30)
• 8. Brownies? (0:47)
• 9. The Assault (2:36)
• 10. Ray Peterson, Neighbor from Hell (1:43)
• 11. Runaway Ambulance (2:24)
• 12. Vacation's End (2:12)
• 13. End Titles (4:10)
2007 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 61:41

Notes Icon
The insert of the 1992 album includes detailed information by Kevin Mulhill about the score or film. The insert of the 2007 album includes the following note from Varèse producer Robert Townson:

    "Universal Pictures released The 'Burbs in February of 1989. No soundtrack album was forthcoming. A mere three years later (although it seemed like a lot longer at the time) the score was rescued in the Varèse Sarabande CD Club. Well, thirty minutes of it was, at any rate. But Jerry Goldsmith's exceptionally inventive and inspired score for The 'Burbs had a lot more to offer. As of 2007, the Musician Union rules have changed in this neighborhood. Though a straight re-issue of our original CD would go against the Club's intent, an expansion of this order (over twice the amount of music) in this new era of soundtrack releases, seemed to warrant a special exception. This expanded edition also returns to Jerry Goldsmith's original track titles, where our previous release featured titles by yours truly. Now over an hour long, this Deluxe Edition of The 'Burbs gives a new generation the chance to discover a comedy classic. It gives those who've been to this neighborhood before the opportunity to revisit the Peterson house, now with a new coat of paint, some new landscaping and a roomy extension that has been added. Hinkley Hills has been refurbished and is all set to weather the next decade or two. It's a great place to raise a family!"

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The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 The 'Burbs are Copyright © 1992, 2007, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/2/97 and last updated 7/13/09.
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