Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Goblin Collection 1975-1989

Let me begin by saying that, for an Italian band named Goblin known for doing horror movie soundtracks, this music is surprisingly unscary. But then again, I suppose it takes a lot to scare someone who listens to Throbbing Gristle on a regular basis. I do not wish to imply, however, that Goblin is not a good band. On the contrary, they are generally excellent.

This compilation spans more than a dozen film and TV scores the band wrote and performed, and while some of the later stuff is forgettable (the love theme from St. Helen is horrid), there is a lot to enjoy here. Early scores like Profundo Rosso, Suspiria, and La Via Della Droga showcase Goblin at the height of their powers. The musicianship is top notch and there is some real creativity absent from the vast majority of film music.

Stylistically, this disc is extremely varied. The scores range from vaguely creepy syth-fests to hard rock, to psychedelic, to funky jazz. The band pulls each of these diverse styles off with aplomb. The melodies are fun and engaging, and the short running time of most of these cues keeps the listener from becoming bored.

Unfortunately, the fact that most of this music was written in the seventies shows pretty plainly, and some of these scores now sound pretty dated, but they are enjoyable nevertheless and Goblin is an important enough band that most serious music lovers will want to have a compilation such as this in their collection.

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