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My favorite soundtracks - Forbidden Planet (1956)

simon james

It's easy to forget just how pioneering this soundtrack was at the time.  The use of electronic sound and music within films was relatively unheard of, and Forbidden Planet's soundtrack was the first to be comprised solely of electronic sounds, most of which could be quite challenging to general listeners heard in isolation.  Of course similar electronic experimentation was going on at this time, but none that reached the audiences of a major motion picture from MGM.  The richness and range of sounds that Louis and Bebe Barron conjured from their basic analogue oscillators is inspiring and perfectly complimented the strange futuristic world visited in the films story.  There was a bitter twist to the story though as movie execs downgraded the Barrons' credit to 'Electronic Tonalities' which they believe robbed them of an Oscar nomination.

Buy the album here.

Listen to this brilliant BBC radio documentary about the soundtrack and the Barrons, by Ken Hollings.