Vinyl Vlog 388

Vinyl Vlog 388

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Tuesday, 02 July 2019
COLUMN

They Live – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack LP
by John Carpenter

There was a time where I regretted being a late bloomer for pop culture. It seemed like whenever I discovered a movie series, or writer, or band, or TV show that had been revered at one point or another I would beat myself up for not knowing about it sooner. Chalk it up to having high standards. But as I get older I’m starting to cherish those moments when I get blown away by something 10 or 20 years after the fact.

That certainly was the case with They Live. I was never a goofy horror fanatic but I’m aware of the fandom to some degree. But having finally watched They Live I’m just surprised at how it’s chock full of elements I look for in a good movie: low budget, a message, good performances, and heart. And that’s certainly something They Live has in spades. It’s a subversive movie, class-conscious, that’s just a hell of a lot of fun to watch. No wonder Shepard Fairey has incorporated it in some of his art. And it might be hard nowadays to think of Roddy Piper as being a potential action leading man, but when you see his charisma on screen it makes perfect sense.

But of course here we’re interested in the soundtrack for They Live and it’s probably as original and charismatic as the movie itself. It has that 80s synthesizer feel that’s so often copied nowadays in throwback horror movies, but in this setting it actually fits the semi-dystopian style. It’s also got quite the spaghetti-western sound to it, which is a no-brainer when you think about it. Everything about They Live screams “Urban Western.” A rebel loner comes drifting into town, gets caught up in its strange and mysterious ways, and has to rise up to the occasion. Through it all, there’s that sinister lurking bass line that sets the perfect tone each time.

Of course we can expect Mondo to bring this release to the next level. The vinyl soundtrack comes in multiple colored vinyl (Annihilation of Consciousness or Formaldehyde Face) on a heavy vinyl pressing in a gatefold sleeve. But the artwork is what really stands out here, with a polarized sunglasses cover that unveils the subliminal messages within. Few soundtracks match the look and style of the movie as well as this one.

You should know by now that you’re getting nothing but quality and fun from a Mondo soundtrack release and They Live is another high bar they’ve set for the medium.

Get it straight from Mondo Tees.

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