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Something Wicked This Way Comes
Album Cover Art
1998 Bootleg
2003 Bootleg
Album 2 Cover Art
2009 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
2011 Universal
Album 4 Cover Art
2015 Intrada
Album 5 Cover Art
Replacement Score Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Replacement Score Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

Replacement Score Co-Produced by:
Simon Rhodes

Rejected Score Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Georges Delerue
Labels Icon
Dark Records
(Bootleg, Horner)

Bootleg (Delerue)

Intrada Records
(April 30th, 2009)

Universal Music
(Delerue, France)
(November 1st, 2011)

Intrada Records
(December 7th, 2015)
Availability Icon
The bootlegs of both Horner and Delerue's scores were widely circulated on the secondary market throughout the 2000's. Delerue's original recording was the last to be released in full, though suites of that material existed for years on foreign compilations. The 2011 Universal Music album from France, titled "Partitions Inedites/Unused Scores," is the first limited entry in the label's "Ecoutez le Cinema!" series, though its 3,000 copies were retailed internationally for an initial price of only $15. More commonly representing Delerue's score is his own arrangement of material he conducted as part of the "London Sessions" late in his life.

As for the full Intrada releases of both scores, the 2009 album of Horner's score, retailing for $20, was limited to 3,000 copies and sold out after a few years. The 2015 Delerue album was limited to an unknown quantity and also retailed initially for $20. Both albums were offered primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on Intrada Records' 2009 release of James Horner's competent replacement score if you desire the adequately whimsical, often unconventional choral and symphonic blend heard in the film.

Avoid it... on that album if you seek the better primary theme for the boys in the film, in which case Georges Delerue's otherwise darker rejected score will more effectively appeal to your romantic sensibilities, especially as heard on the composer's 1989 re-recording of 12 minutes from this work.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/25/09, REVISED 4/13/16
Something Wicked This Way Comes: (Georges Delerue/James Horner) It had long been the dream of author Ray Bradbury to work with Walt Disney in the production of a film and, separately, adapt the story of Something Wicked This Way Comes that had so long eluded the big screen. At the outset of the 1980's, Bradbury got both wishes fulfilled at once, though like the townspeople of his fantasy tale, the granting of these desires came with undesired side effects. When Disney picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury offered a screenplay that told of redemption and dark magic, a story of a mysterious carnival of evil that rolls into an American town one October night and thrills the people of the area in more ways than they could have imagined. The master of the carnival, "Mr. Dark," along with his shady associates, can sense the deepest fears and regrets of others, and his attempts to work his wicked magic on two young boys give an embattled but ultimately redeemed father played by Jason Robards the chance to shake his own demons while resisting the forces of evil that tempt him. Director Jack Clayton's film was perhaps destined for post-production problems, for Bradbury's story was a tricky balance between the traits of wholesome youth in a 1920's Americana setting and the always uneasy and sometimes terrifying malice of the carnival's atmosphere. The production did indeed experience significant alterations after principal photography was finished, partly due to a nervous studio after at least one poor test screening, and its debut was delayed a year. As is so typically the case in such studio panics, the composer of the film is among those to be summarily dismissed, and this is unfortunately what happened to European romance master Georges Delerue. When Disney's own choice for the assignment, Jerry Goldsmith, was unavailable on short notice because of his work on Twilight Zone: The Movie, Clayton actively sought services of the young James Horner, who had just recently wowed audiences with his emergence for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Despite an extremely busy year for Horner, he agreed to give Disney the score that the studio believed was a better fit for the post-production rearrangements that changed the flow and, to a lesser extent, the demeanor of Something Wicked This Way Comes. Perhaps one irony in the post-production mayhem involving this film was the eventual realization that the music by Delerue and Horner wasn't too terribly dissimilar in terms of instrumentation and tone.

The two scores for Something Wicked This Way Comes both earn significant respect from the collectors of their composers, and, at the end of the day, either soundtrack would have sufficed for the picture. For Delerue, this score would join the later Platoon as two of his highest profile efforts of the 1980's, despite (or perhaps in part because of) the fact that both were undeservedly rejected. In both the composer and the studio's defense, however, the primary reported reason why Delerue's music was removed here was because of the extensive special effects and other alterations to the finished cut, requiring fresh recordings. The composer was devastated by his removal from the project because it came at a time when he was eager to move part-time to Los Angeles and tackle Hollywood productions on a regular basis. He was also close friends with Clayton. For enthusiasts of Delerue's music, an even greater irony revealed itself when Disney considered his work for the film to be too dark, a descriptor completely at odds with the composer's usual methodology. Indeed, the romance writer's music for Something Wicked This Way Comes remains as one of his most mysterious works, with short bursts of fright quite unusual for him. An eerie atmosphere prevails in his score, floated by disembodied female chorus and an increased amount of dissonant lines of counterpoint to his primary ideas. His main theme for the film is, however, vintage Delerue, led by absolutely gorgeous solo flute in trademark fashion. This theme of both innocence and wonderment is heard in several places throughout his work, including the mesmerizing and hypnotizing gypsy scene involving the town barber, but the end credits cue allows the remainder of the ensemble to join the flute and string accompaniment for a fluid conclusion of the idea that is as attractive as the composer's most hearty drama themes. Outside of these statements of the standard Delerue theme, the score loses the same flighty spirit, with the carnival offered a five-note motif (sometimes extended to a sixth note) that ominously broods in the bass region. This theme is first heard immediately in the opening bars of Delerue's score, menacing in its bass brass and pipe organ deliberation as the title is scrawled and the train approaches. The idea stubbornly dies out after the conclusion of the climactic confrontation at the magical, age-altering carousel, a faint echo on solemn trombones that still shows no regret in its tone. The use of atonal female vocals, sometimes shrill in their application, creates a generally forbidding ambience. The explosive brass rhythms of the final confrontation are a side of Delerue not often heard.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.05 Stars
***** 35 5 Stars
**** 45 4 Stars
*** 41 3 Stars
** 36 2 Stars
* 34 1 Stars
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FVSR Reviews Something Wicked This Way Comes
Brendan Cochran - August 10, 2015, at 5:38 p.m.
1 comment  (569 views)
The London Sessions
Captain Future - December 29, 2011, at 2:14 a.m.
1 comment  (1093 views)
Atrocious?   Expand >>
mastadge - December 28, 2011, at 7:28 p.m.
3 comments  (1829 views)
Newest: December 29, 2011, at 5:33 a.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1998 Horner Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:48
• 1. Main Title/A Rare Day For The Boys (6:44)
• 2. Green Town, Illinois (3:26)
• 3. The Soul's Midnight (2:11)
• 4. Something Wicked This Way Comes (2:30)
• 5. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival (3:12)
• 6. Discovering the Carousel (0:43)
• 7. The Carnival After Dark (4:46)
• 8. Cooger's Challenge (1:22)
• 9. The Dust Witch (6:27)
• 10. Mr. Dark (4:12)
• 11. The Library (4:32)
• 12. H is for "Hidden" (0:44)
• 13. The Storm Approaches (2:17)
• 14. Happy Memories/End Title (2:42)
2003 Delerue Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 69:19
2009 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:02
2011 Universal Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 65:23
2015 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 73:34

Notes Icon
The bootlegs contain no uniform packaging. The inserts of the 2009 and 2015 Intrada albums include information about the score and film. That of the 2011 Universal product includes detailed information about the circumstances of the rejection of both of the scores included, presented in French and English. Sufficient information about the crews on the latter product (for the recording and the album) is lacking.
Copyright © 2009-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
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 Something Wicked This Way Comes are Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2015, Dark Records (Bootleg, Horner), Bootleg (Delerue), Intrada Records (Horner), Universal Music (Delerue, France), Intrada Records (Delerue) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/25/09 and last updated 4/13/16.
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