01 May 2008

Roar!

Of interest to film music lovers like myself: iTunes now has available for download the complete “suite” from Cloverfield by composer Michael Giacchino (who hit a homerun with his score for The Incredibles). If you’ve seen the film, you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute—Cloverfield doesn’t have any music, only that stuff playing at the party in the opening scenes.” You are almost correct: the end titles have an original orchestral piece, and for those of you wise enough to stay through the end credits, this was a jaw-dropping great homage to classic giant monster music. It consists of strident but minor-key military march and howling wordless female vocal, and makes for a hodge-podge of Max Steiner (King Kong), Henry Mancini (numerous ‘50s B-science-fiction movies), Bernard Herrmann (The Day the Earth Stood Still, the classic Ray Harryhausen movies), and most notably Akira Ifukube—maestro of Japanese monster classics. I think of it as the score to the “Other Cloverfield,” the more traditional 1950s and ‘60s big monster popcorn flick that didn’t opt for the post-modern YouTube approach to the story. It was a brilliant stroke to put this alternative view of the film via music over the end credits.

Until now, this piece—entitled “Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)”—wasn’t available commercially. The tie-in album from Cloverfield only contained the party music mix. Now you can get “Roar!” from iTunes in its full, un-cut glory—twelve thundering minutes of it! An it only costs a $1.99. For the past two days I’ve blared this nonstop, reveling in the old-fashioned style of film music that we don’t hear enough today. I’m hyped now to see what Giacchino will do with the upcoming Star Trek (not that anybody could ever replace the deceased Jerry Goldsmith).