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The Neverending Story OST
Released in 1984 The Neverending Story was a West German produced movie mixing live action with the use of puppetry to deliver a children's tale that also contained appeal for the "grown ups". Even all these years later the movie splits critical opinion, although those thoughts may not be quite as 'divided' as the soundtrack that accompanied the visuals.
Originally scored in full by German composer Klaus Doldinger (who is also known for his time in the jazz outfit Passport and for scoring the classic German war film, Das Boot), for the UK and US editions a number of pieces by electro-musician Georgio Moroder (who was known at the time for producing Donna Summer's disco hits) were added. A chance meeting between the electro-composer and ex-Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl would lead to the singer being the voice of the single from the album. However, with the frontman's faltering solo career underway, it wasn't even a sure thing that the title track to the OST would be an automatic choice for a single. But with the decision taken, the song quickly became a hit, reaching #4 in the UK charts and #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately for the singer, who teamed up with Moroder for his second solo album, it would prove to be a flash in the pan success, but with it still a recognisable radio staple to this day, partly thanks to the film's continuing cult success, it's hardly a poor legacy to leave.
Moroder also contributed a further four pieces to the movie, "Ivory Tower" possibly being the best known of the quartet - at least to UK Formula 1 fans, as it would feature on the race highlights as legendary commentator Murray Walker would reveal the grid positions for the latest race. Interestingly that version, the one on the original soundtrack and therefore the one on this reissue, never actually featured in the film, an orchestral version that has never been officially released, used instead. The recording here however is a stone cold electro-classic and for fans of that music, so are the other three.
The rest of the album was made up of Doldinger's contributions, the more obviously filmic feel of "Fantasia", "Arteju Meets Falkor" and "Happy Flight" all excellent pieces of unashamedly 80s inspired movie music. Strangely, for all that this chopping and changing should make this OST a disjointed affair, it actually improves the experience, the pop introduction making way for thematically linked electro fare that still feels relevant to the more straight ahead original score.
Six bonus tracks appear on this reissue, with four 12" mixes of the Limahl/Moroder hit taking up the bulk. Even as a big fan of that song, the novelty wears thin pretty quick, but for completists, it's all here. A 12" version of "Ivory Tower" adds a little more intrigue to the shorter original, while the final extra cut is the French language version of, you guessed it, "The Neverending Story", under the guise "L'Histoire Sans Fin". Which is fun, if you like that sort of thing.
An underrated movie, with an underrated soundtrack, for those who have a soft spot for the film, this will be a nostalgia filled pleasure. However fans of Moroder, or 80s movie scores in general will also find much to enjoy.
1. THE NEVERENDING STORY
2. SWAMPS OF SADNESS
3. IVORY TOWER
4. RUINED LANDSCAPE
5. SLEEPY DRAGON
6. BASTIAN'S HAPPY FLIGHT
8. ATREJU'S QUEST
9. THEME OF SADNESS
10. ATREJU MEETS FALKOR
11. MIRRORGATE / SOUTHERN ORACLE
14. THE AURYN
15. HAPPY FLIGHT
16. IVORY TOWER (12" VERSION)
17. THE NEVERENDING STORY (12" MIX)
18. THE NEVERENDING STORY (12'' DANCE MIX)
19. THE NEVERENDING STORY (12" DUB MIX)
20. THE NEVERENDING STORY (RUSTY 7" MIX)
21. L' HISTOIRE SANS FIN (FRENCH LANGUAGE VERSION OF 'THE NEVERENDING STORY')
Added: September 23rd 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Neverending Story at Cherry Red
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