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Serial number
VCL 0805 1041

Artwork copyright (c) 2005 The Kindred Limited Partnership; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



Entertaining horror score


The last of the second-generation of the Newman dynasty to come to the fore of film composing (after his older cousin Randy and younger brother Thomas), David Newman was already an accomplished and prolific studio musician and conductor by the time he wrote his first scores in 1986.  His third, in 1987, was for The Kindred, a rather low-budget (though it does star Rod Steiger) horror movie directed by Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter.  He had instantly made a name for himself with his mature compositional style which was as boistrous and varied then as it is now (though then, of course, he scored movies other than unfunny comedies - it's frustratingly difficult to remember when he did that with any great frequency).  The album was released by Varese Sarabande on LP - obviously they were as eager to promote talented newcomers then as they are now!  18 years later, the score makes its debut on CD through the same company's CD Club in one of their 1,000-copy repressings (and it sold out within a few hours).  It's a mixed bag which sees Newman coming up with a creative mixture of synths and a full orchestra, utilising both aspects very well.  The disc actually begins with the short "Lullaby", featuring wordless female vocals, before going into the synth-dominated main title.  The action really begins with "Epilogue" (positioned, curiously, towards the beginning of the album) with some dramatic, almost Herrmannesque brass writing highlighted by a strong, crisp recording.

"Transformation" continues the dramatic theme with more of that style of writing, this time with some dissonant textures added in.  It's excellent, impressive material which sounds like it should come from a much classier, higher-profile movie (so some things never change in Newman's career).  The brief "Harry's Van" mixes the synths and orchestra pretty well and is an effective enough track, though it's cheesy stuff.  There are definite echoes of Poltergeist in "Harry's Creatures" (and indeed a debt seems to be owed to Jerry Goldsmith elsewhere; Newman and Goldsmith went on to become great friends).  "Melissa's Jars" features another strident, menacing action passage and is another impressive piece.

This is hardly going to go down as a great score, but it's a very enjoyable one, with Newman displaying an assured technique while still retaining a slightly raw air, which produces a fun album (which progresses impressively on a musical level as it goes along, broadly speaking become more and more expansive as it goes).  The liner notes are interesting but disappointingly short, featuring a brief interview with the composer; only 1,000 people were able to get their hands on this album, but I'm sure a lot of those will be selling it on Ebay in the coming times, and Newman's fans should most certainly try to get their hands on a copy.


  1. Lullaby (:46)
  2. Main Title (3:18)
  3. Hart Attack (3:04)
  4. John Goes Home (1:21)
  5. Epilogue (4:48)
  6. Transformation (4:52)
  7. John's Revelation (2:38)
  8. Harry's Van (:51)
  9. Harry's Creatures (1:27)
  10. Amanda and John (1:15)
  11. Hart Escapes (:40)
  12. La Mort du Chien (:45)
  13. Melissa's Jars (3:29)
  14. Amanda Dies (1:13)
  15. Nell's Death (1:39)
  16. Lab Reveal (:40)
  17. Melissa and Dr Lloyd (:38)
  18. Lullaby (:46)
  19. End Title (2:34)