July 17, 2017

20,000 Vinyl LPs 97: George Romero's Day of the Dead

George Romero's Day of the Dead soundtrack 
vinyl LP, front cover
photo by Styrous®

George Romero died yesterday. He was an American-Canadian filmmaker and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead and notably continuing on with Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. His other works contributed include The Crazies, Creepshow, Martin, Monkey Shines, and The Dark Half.        

George Romero's Day of the Dead soundtrack
vinyl LP, back cover
photo by Styrous®

Romero was born in the New York City borough of The Bronx, on February 4, 1940. With nine friends, Romero formed Image Ten Productions in the late 1960s, and produced Night of the Living Dead (1968). Directed by Romero and co-written with John A. Russo, the movie became a cult classic and a defining moment for modern horror cinema. I will never forget seeing this film for the first time. Brrrr . . . . .   

“Night of the Living Dead,” made for about $100,000, was released when racial tensions were high in the United States. Mr. Romero had not intended to address that climate in the film, but with Duane Jones, a black man, as the lead, it was impossible to ignore the connection, Mr. Romero told NPR in a 2014 interview.    

“We never thought of it being a racial piece at all, never,” he said. “But because the character was played by an African-American, you almost don’t notice anything else. We didn’t realize that. Duane did.” 

Romero once told NPR's Arun Rath in an interview (link below), "I have a soft spot in my heart for the zombies." He added that in his work, it's "usually the humans that are the worst."    

George Romero's Day of the Dead soundtrack
vinyl LP label, side 1
photo by Styrous®

Among the inspiration for Romero's filmmaking, as told to Robert K. Elder in an interview for The Film That Changed My Life, was the 1951 British film, The Tales of Hoffmann.       
"It was the filmmaking, the fantasy, the fact that it was a fantasy and it had a few frightening, sort of bizarre things in it. It was everything. It was really a movie for me, and it gave me an early appreciation for the power of visual media—the fact that you could experiment with it. He was doing all his tricks in-camera, and they were sort of obvious. That made me feel that, gee, maybe I could figure this medium out. It was transparent, but it worked".           

George Romero's Day of the Dead soundtrack
vinyl LP label, side 2
photo by Styrous®

On the morning of July 16, 2017, Romero, age 77, died in his sleep following a "brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer", according to a statement by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. Romero died while listening to the score of one of his favorite films, The Quiet Man.        


Side 1:

A1 - The Dead Walk     4:50
A2 - Escape Invasion     3:51
A3 - If Tomorrow Comes     3:55
A4 - Break Down     3:47
A5 - The World Inside Your Eyes     3:36

Side 2:

B - The Dead Suite     19:23

Companies, etc.

    Recorded At – Jeree Studios
    Recorded At – Studio Sound Recorders
    Mixed At – Studio Sound Recorders


    Bass – John Harrison (6), Tommy Bellin
    Composed By – Jim Blazer (tracks: A1 to A5), John Harrison (6), Sputzy Sparacino (tracks: A1 to A5), Talmadge Pearsall* (tracks: A5)
    Guitar – Grant Geissman, Sputzy Sparacino (tracks: A1 to A5)
    Keyboards – Talmadge Pearsall*
    Keyboards [Dx7 Chroma] – Jim Blazer, John Harrison (6)
    Keyboards [Emulator] – Carl Wurtz
    Keyboards [Fairlight] – Frank Falotica, Ray Falotica
    Keyboards [Korg T-3, Kurzweil, Prophet] – John Harrison (6)
    Lead Guitar – Buddy Hall
    Mixed By – Bill Smith (tracks: B)
    Music By – John Harrison (6) (tracks: B), Modern Man (tracks: A1 to A5)
    Percussion – Michael Fisher
    Percussion [Simmons] – Gary Wallo, Ricky Granati
    Producer – John Harrison (6) (tracks: B), John Sutton (2) (tracks: B), Tom Cossie (tracks: A1 to A5)
    Recorded By – Bill Smith (tracks: B), Don Garvin (tracks: A1 to A5), Rex Burk (tracks: A1 to A5)
    Vocals – Delilah (3) (tracks: A1 to A5), Sputzy Sparacino (tracks: A1 to A5)


Side A Recorded at Jeree Studios.
Side B Recorded & Mixed at Studio Sound Recorders.
John Harrison (6) ‎– George A. Romero's Day Of The Dead (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Label: Saturn Records (4) ‎– SR LP 1701
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1985
Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul, Pop, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack

Net links:      
New York Times obit         
LA Times obit       
NPR obit                
Variety obit                
NPR interview ~ 
      Secret Behind Romero's Scary Zombies: 'I Made Them The Neighbors'    
Eric Spitznagel ~ "Who Says Zombies Eat Brains?"      
The Telegraph ~ Why I don't like The Walking Dead             
AV Club interview              
YouTube links:      
Day of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1985)   
          Zombie Corral             
          Choke On 'Em            
Styrous® ~ Monday, July 17, 2017                   

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