Phantom of the Paradise [Original Soundtrack Recording]

Phantom of the Paradise [Original Soundtrack Recording]

by Paul WilliamsPaul Williams


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This curio is the soundtrack to a 1974 Brian DePalma film that mixed horror film theatrics and rock opera bombast as it told the story of a disfigured composer who dons a mask and returns to haunt the evil record tycoon responsible for his troubles. The resulting film didn't catch on with audiences during its initial release but went on to enjoy a long life in repertory theaters as a midnight movie. A major part of the film's attraction for its fans is the clever song score penned by Paul Williams (who also plays the film's record mogul villain, Swan). Phantom of the Paradise was very critical of pop music and its star-making machinery, so Williams supported this aim by writing a catchy set of songs that lampoon rock clichés as their catchy melodies effectively re-created the feel of different rock subgenres. For instance, "Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye" creates a convincing doo wop feel as it sends up the "death songs" that were popular during the early days of rock, while "Upholstery" creates a note-perfect replica of the Beach Boys style as it skewers the lyrical clichés of surf and drag rock. Also noteworthy in this area are "Somebody Super Like You" and "Life at Last," which layer on the guitar-driven fireworks of glam rock as they send up the excesses of theatrical rockers like Alice Cooper and David Bowie. However, parody isn't the only thing on Phantom of the Paradise: there are also some lovely, straightforward ballads that are utilized during the film's more dramatic scenes. Good examples of this include "Special to Me," a lovely organ-driven tune with a rich, heartfelt vocal from Jessica Harper, and "Phantom's Theme (Beauty and the Beast)," a tragic piano ballad that chronicles the inner turmoil of the title character. The only song that doesn't really work is the full band version of "Faust," whose glossy production lacks the impact of the voice-and-piano version elsewhere on the album. Despite this minor flaw, Phantom of the Paradise works both as a catchy song soundtrack and an effective satire of rock music.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/16/1998
Label: Universal Import
UPC: 0075026983125
catalogNumber: 2698312
Rank: 6491

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Williams   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ray Kennedy   Vocals,Track Performer
Jeffrey Comanor   Vocals,Track Performer
Undead   Track Performer
Kerry Chater   Background Vocals
Tom Bahler   Background Vocals
Max Bennett   Bass
Craig Doerge   Piano
David Garland   Piano
Jim Haas   Background Vocals
Jim Hughart   Bass
Jon Joyce   Background Vocals
Mike Melvoin   Piano
Art Munson   Guitar
Jerry Whitman   Background Vocals
Gary Mallaber   Drums
Bill Finley   Vocals
Archie Hahn   Vocals,Track Performer
Jessica Harper   Vocals,Track Performer
Harold Oblong   Vocals,Track Performer
Leland Sklar   Bass
Dave Garland   Piano
Beach Bums   Track Performer
Juicy Fruits   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Tommy Vicari   Engineer,Remixing
Paul Williams   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Roland Young   Art Direction
Anthony Goldschmidt   Illustrations
Edward Pressman   Producer
John Alvin   Illustrations
Brian DePalma   Director

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