Big Terror Movie Themes is a 1976 British album by Geoff Love and His Orchestra, featuring a collection of ‘cover’ versions of horror, thriller and disaster film music.
Love produced several film theme collections in the 1970s, often to cash in on a big hit – others included Big Suspense Movie Themes, Big Bond Movie Themes and Star Wars and Other Space Themes. These collections were widely ridiculed by soundtrack enthusiasts, but their cheap price – they were released on EMI’s budget label Music for Pleasure – and widespread availability through shops like Woolworth meant that they were big sellers, and for many people, they provided an affordable entry into the world of soundtrack collecting.
Big Terror Movie Themes appeared in the wake of Jaws – hence the large shark that dominates the cover, and despite the sleeve notes by Nigel Hunter that talk at length about the joy of horror movies, the actual content is decidedly horror-lite. Apart from Jaws, Psycho and The Exorcist, the album is filled with the music from thrillers – The Eiger Sanction, Death Wish, The Executioner, Three Days of the Condor – and disaster films – Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, Airport 75, The Towering Inferno – with token science fiction movie Rollerball also added to the mix.
As with many of his albums, Love’s interpretation of these themes ranged from being reasonable facsimiles through to rather bizarre revamps. His take on Tubular Bells, for instance, turns Mike Oldfield’s minimalist theme from The Exorcist into a full-blooded swinging lounge number.
While time once seemed to have confined these albums to the dustbin of history, retro culture and the 1990s easy listening revival saw them unearthed and released on CD. The vinyl copies are now rather prized, if only for the cover art by British film poster legend Tom Chantrell.
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David Flint, MOVIES & MANIA
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