Spinema Issue 53: Mondo’s EYES WIDE SHUT LP

The enigmatic score for Kubrick’s final film gets an alluring vinyl release

Image courtesy of Mondo

Lend an ear to SPINEMA: a column exploring all movie music, music related to movies, and movies related to music. Be they film scores on vinyl, documentaries on legendary musicians, or albums of original songs by horror directors, all shall be reviewed here. Batten down your headphones, because shit’s about to sound cinematic.

The final film from auteur Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut is a complex and stylish thriller. A provocative and moody exploration of sex, fidelity, power, and marriage. Themes made all the more interesting with the leads being played by then-real life couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.Cool and detached in tone, enigmatic and at times unsettling, aspects reflected in the impressive score from composers Dominic Harlan and Jocelyn Park, which thanks to Mondo comes to vinyl for the first time in this specially packaged release.

The Package

The artwork comes from Alan Hynes, who previously worked on the excellent Mondo vinyl release for They Live. You can see more of his work here. The package is fully approved by the Kubrick Estate, as well as Cruise and Kidman, both who have their likeness used in the artwork. The outer jacket is die cut, functioning like a frame to house the two sleeves inside, each adored by a mask, fashioned after the two leads. The inside houses some visual nods to the other more twisted visages seen at the film’s masked ball.

The score is split across two x 180g colored vinyl records, mastered exclusively for vinyl.

The Music

Like some previous Kubrick films, the score works together some existing tracks (impeccably chosen contributions from artists such as Chris Isaak, Brad Mehldau, and The Oscar Peterson Trio), with some new classical pieces, here from composers Dominic Harlan and Jocelyn Pook.

Experimental and at times ethereal. Calmer, provocative melodies, eventually punctuated by discordant shifts that meet the sense of paranoia that creeps in as the psychological aspects of the film heighten. Naval Officer, where the couple dip into contemplations of infidelity deftly showcase this. Masked Ball, takes it up another notch with the working in of religious incantations. An but alluring facet that adds intrigue and discomfort to accompany the infiltration of the masked society. Throughout, the score is tied to the characters and the moments of the film, informed by them, enhancing them. A memorable, stylish work that here gets a package to match both the score and Kubrick’s final feature.

Track List

  1. Musica Ricercata, II (Mesto, Rigido E Cerimoniale) (Dominic Harlan)
  2. Waltz 2 From Jazz Suite (Royal Concertogebouw Orchestra)
  3. Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing (Chris Isaak)
  4. When I Fall In Love (Victor Silvester Orchestra)
  5. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (The Oscar Peterson Trio)
  6. Naval Officer (Jocelyn Pook)
  7. The Dream (Jocelyn Pook)
  8. Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook)
  9. Migrations (Jocelyn Pook and the Jocelyn Pook Ensemble with Manickam)
  10. If I Had You (Roy Gerson)
  11. Strangers In The Night (Peter Hughes Orchestra)
  12. Blame It On My Youth (Brad Mehldau)
  13. Grey Clouds (Dominic Harlan)
  14. Musica Ricercata II (Mesto, Rigido E Cerimoniale) (Dominic Harlan)

Mondo’s Eyes Wide Shut vinyl LP is available for pre-order here

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