Well, yep, the Magical Review Tour™ is back and rolling, and this time it's the soundtrack to nothing more than the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's dystopian masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange
, based on a an ownage novel by Anthony Burgess. The novel incorporates a special kind of breed of slang known as Nadsat, created by Burgess.
The slang consists of school boy talk, russian and slavic syllables all jambled together, which would make your average sentence about the recession something like this; "During the recession, I and my starry grandfather did not get to viddy many sinnies, what with the corporate dook on our backs at all razzes. At the raz it did not matter, as I could spend my raz with like my droogs at the jolly ol' moloko bar. So it did not peet as much as you would think, oh my bratties."
________________________________________________________Spoiler warning! Plot and/or ending details follow!
The movie is about the character Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his exploits in a world where violence is the only sort of entertainment around. And rape. And milk. And Ludwig van Beethoven
. After one extreme spot of nastiness involving a plastic sculpture of a penis, Alex is arrested and becomes the test subject for a new cure for crime, in exchange for early release from prison. However, this cure, known as the "Ludovico Treatment", a sort of aversion therapy, not only conditions him against acts of sex and violence, but also against Beethovens "Symphony No. 9 (Scherzo)
", which proves to be disastrous later on in the films. Once released, he is confronted with "evils" from his past, but ultimately receives his "absolution".Spoilers end here.
Err, so I'll get on with the actual review of the actual album I am actually speaking about here then shall I? A Clockwork Orange
is an eclectic mix of electronic synthesizer music, courtesy of Wendy Carlos
(a.k.a. the Artist Formerly Known as Walter Carlos), classical music and pop. Needless to say, while this sounds like a clusterf*ck on paper, it comes out reeeeeeeal good and can really get one into the classical groove man. Let's get on with this.
. Wendy Carlos
"Title Music from A Clockwork Orange
The opener is a real chillfest, especially considering the first thing you see in the film is the psychotic face of Malcolm MacDowell sitting in the good ol' milk bar with his droogs. The synthesizer really gets to show off what it can here, as it is as atmospheric as they come. Or at least something like that.
The theme is a classic, no doubt about that. And damn me if it ain't parts of the hymn "Dies Irae" in it (which would later also be featured in another Kubrick film, The Shining
). So top notch stuff to get in the mood for a strange soundtrack.
________________________________________________________02. Gioacchino Rossini
- "The Thieving Magpie (abridged)
The theme segues into an abridged recording of Gioacchino Rossini
's classic "The Thieving Magpie" (or "La gazza ladra" to you elitist operatics out there) and we all know this one right? Playful string lining going through this entire piece, which is catchy and great. And it all builds to the crescendo or whatever the term is. You know what I mean. It's a great song for beating people up...err, yeah! Seriously, flawless musicianship 'ere.
________________________________________________________03. Wendy Carlos
- "Theme from A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana)
The next one is basically just the theme with performed in a more "Beethoven" ish style. I prefer the original theme, but hey. Nothing hugely special about this...although it's not "bad" as such.
________________________________________________________04. Ludwig van Beethoven
- "Ninth Symphony, Second Movement (abridged)
Next up is an excerpt from Ludwig Van's masterpiece, the Ninth Symphony. We all know how god-awesome this piece of fierce classical musicianship is, so out of the spirit of good taste in music and fear of looking like a mental midget, it gets a...10/10
________________________________________________________05. Ludwig van Beethoven
- "March From a Clockwork Orange (Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement) (abridged)
Up next is yet another re-vamp of the Clockwork Orange theme, this time in a chintzy march. This is the fourth movement, which I believe is also known as the Ode to Joy or something, and we all know that from somewhere. Needless to say, it's a joyous romp to say the least. This I believe is really Carlos on the synthesizer and Rachel Elkind
singing in a weird electronic voice, but it's tagged as Ludwig Van for some reason. Meh. It's good enough though, although it's probably the one I listen to the least, due to its cheesiness. And not cheesy in a good, like the Cheez Doodles™ I ate yesterday.8/10
. Gioacchino Rossini
- "William Tell Overture (abridged)
Next is the theme to the Lone Ranger
TV series, and we all know this song from somewhere. You know, it's the fanfare that's always played in some funny british sketch. In the film, it's juxtaposed to Alex's consensual (nice one Alex!) sex with underage women, in really really fast playback speed. It's sort of hilarious and enraging at the same time, seeing as how that guy gets more action than me. He's a fictional character, goddamnit!9/10
. Sir Edward Elgar
- "Pomp and Circumstance March No. I
Another song we all know from somewhere, especially to us wrestling fans - it's "Macho Man" (I say that because I am required to; "Steroid Man" is more correct. I'd even settle for "Has-Been Man"!) Randy Savage's entrance theme. And of course all you Ivy League graduates know all about this. A march unmatched. Although I miss the intro from Savage's theme, you've gotta love it for its outro.9/10
________________________________________________________08. Sir Edward Elgar
- "Pomp and Circumstance March No. IV (abridged)
Next is the lesser known fourth march. I actually prefer this, as it is pretty much cooler. You can just imagine the Ivory Tower of Oxford or something eh? It's really the album's Dark Horse, if you will. Majestic to the max.9/10
________________________________________________________09. Wendy Carlos
- "Timesteps (excerpt)
Following the fourth march is Carlos' original composition "Timesteps
", or at least an excerpt from it. Man, this is really like an early prototype for video game music - parts of it sounds exactly like a battle theme for some mech game. It's a strange atmospheric trip through synthesizer land, impressive each time. Although the full version is preferable, this still kicks a considerable modicum of ass.10/10
________________________________________________________10. Terry Tucker
"Overture to the Sun
Next up is some new blood - Terry Tucker
composition "Overture to the Sun". Used in the scene where an annoying british person tries to annoy Alex the best he can - the treatment of course, disabling Alex from giving that punk ass bitch what he deserves. It's a catchy, medieval-ish tune, although quite simplistic. And it's a bit repetitive, but hey, still works.8/10
________________________________________________________11. Erika Eigen
"I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper
Next up is the cheesiest song I've ever heard on a soundtrack, not to mention the most anachronistic song. A strange song with a banjo accompaniment sung by some random chick. It's so inane and so weird it's good. I just like it. That's all. 9/10
________________________________________________________12. Gioacchino Rossini
- "William Tell Overture (abridged)
Another section of the William Tell Overture by Rossini, this features the heavy melancholy strings, almost comically sad. A theme perfectly used in two instances in the film; first when Alex arrives in prison, that descending violin "riff" exemplifying the hopelessness of Alex's situation, and again when he's turned away by his own mum and dad. It's hard to believe that this is part of the same composition as the fanfare, but there it is.9/10
________________________________________________________13. Ludwig van Beethoven
- "Suicide Scherzo (Ninth Symphony, Second Movement) (abridged)
Then we have a synthesizer version of exactly the same version of the Ninth Symphony mentioned before. While it does little to expand upon that recording of the song, it's still bad-ass to hear it performed with synthesizers. It's really a testament to how good Carlos was on the synth. It's no better or worse than the orchestral one, but I don't like sort-of duplicate tracks on my albums, so it gets a bit of a lower score. Sorry there ol' chap/girl/thing.9/10
________________________________________________________14. Ludwig van Beethoven
- "Fourth Symphony, Fourth Movement (abridged)
Our penultimate track here is an abridged version of what I believe is the finale of finales from the Fourth Symphony. It kicks a certain amount of ass indeed, and is one of those classic endings to a song. I'm not a big fan of choir in my classical though - go instrumental or go home.9/10
________________________________________________________15. Ludwig van Beethoven
- "Singin' in the Rain
Our jouirney through Eclecticland ends with Gene Kelly
's classic shownumber "Singin' in the Rain", disturbingly used in the film sung by Alex during a "surprise visit" to an elderly writer and his milf wife. You can probably guess the consequences of this visit from earlier statements about said psychotic main character, but there it is. It's lovably cheesy and will always remain that way. Its a classic nostalgia piece from the golden age of Hollywood and will forever remain that.9/10
Overall, like the film, it's a goddamn piece of ownage if there ever was one. The eclectic mix is executed rather well, and although it's a bit aways from perfect, it still mananges to be an extremely badass listening experience. And that's all for your humble narrator this time, oh my brothers and only blog-readers.9.6