Goblin
March 09, 2021 01:30PM
I love these guys. Their scores for Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso and Suspiria are so memorable that I can’t imagine those films without them. They were obviously influenced by Mike Oldfield’s classic Tubular Bells, but they took that influence in a much more Gothic direction. There are also elements of Return to Forever and Emerson*, Lake & Palmer in those compositions—if, say, Dr. Anton Phibes were sitting in with one, or both, of those supergroups. John Simon, in his hilariously blistering 1977 review of Suspiria, complained that Goblin’s soundtrack “seems to be scored for electronically amplified kitchen utensils, loud enough to qualify as a foreground score,” while Danny Peary lamented several years later in his Guide for the Film Fanatic that “one begins to suspect that the unseen murderer walking about is an avant-garde rock musician.” In fact, Argento actually blasted early versions of the score on the Suspiria set for maximum tension.

That soundtrack, with its eerie use of African drums and bouzouki, is Goblin’s masterpiece, but the band also provided strong scores for George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead / Zombi, Argento’s Tenebre, and Antonio Bido’s Solamente Nero. (The great Stelvio Cipriani actually composed the music for this 1978 giallo, but Goblin performed it con brio.) They are certainly the masters of electronically amplified kitchen utensils music. Their brief 2000 reformation and reunion with Argento for the latter’s Sleepless soundtrack was an unexpected delight. Who are the Goblin fans on this forum, and which of their scores are your favorites?

*Keith Emerson, speak of the devil, later composed the score for my favorite Argento film, Inferno.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2021 01:34PM by Middle C.
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 02:17PM
I saw Goblin back in 2013 (the band helpfully showed scenes from the movies each piece came from for those who were unfamiliar with them - like myself). Afterwards, I learned that there are multiple versions of the band floating around. I think the version I saw was all original members except Claudio Simonetti. The crowd seemed to be made up of mostly metalheads (there is a large intersection of horror and metal fans) to see a band that can be best described as a prog rock band.

As for favorites, I've always been partial to Roller.
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 02:35PM
I saw a version with mostly original members (I think both keyboardists and the guitarist) do the score to Suspiria live along with the film at Housecore Horrorfest, a combined horror movie/metal (mostly) festival held in Austin for a couple of years. That was an incredible experience. The band sometimes drowned out the dialogue, but considering that visuals, rather than words, are Argento's strength, that seemed appropriate.

I saw them again later at the same festival a couple of years later in San Antonio, but can't remember which film they were doing. Might have been Suspiria again. It wasn't as memorable as the first time. The only other score of theirs I know is Dawn of the Dead.

(Full disclosure: I've never been able to stand any Argento film other than Suspiria.)

The only one of their albums I've heard is the self-titled debut of Goblin Rebirth, which had the original Goblin rhythm section, but not any of the keyboardists or guitarists. It's amazing to me how many versions of the band there have been (are?). I'd love to get my hands on a nicely curated best-of.
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zoo
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 02:46PM
Michael Toland Wrote:
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> (Full disclosure: I've never been able to stand any Argento film other than Suspiria.)
>

Have you watched any of his pre-Suspiria films (Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Cat O' Nine Tails, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Deep Red/Profondo Rosso)? Those are all typical giallo, no horror or supernatural elements. Though if Suspiria is what you like best from what you have seen, you might not dig the ones I mentioned. IMO, those early films of his are his best. Goes downhill after Tenebre for sure.
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Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 03:51PM
I would like to see Bird. The only other "classic" giallo I've seen is Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace, which I enjoyed. Is Bird comparable?

Looking at a list of Argento's films, I realize the only other one I've seen is Mother of Tears, which I found not only borderline incompetent, but also needlessly sadistic, even for Eurohorror. I can tolerate it in Suspiria because the whole thing is structured like a nightmare - wild, vivid, strange, non-linear, hallucinatory. MOT just felt sloppy, misogynistic and like it was straining to be shocking. But that's just me.
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 04:15PM
Bird is comparable to the Bava film, as well as to Psycho. It's essentially Argento's adaptation of Fredric Brown's novel The Screaming Mimi, which was previously filmed in 1958 by Gerd Oswald. Bird contains the "I-saw-something-odd-but-can't-remember-what-it-was" plot device later used in Profondo Rosso.

Mother of Tears is a mess, all right, but an interesting one. I was frankly stunned when Argento decided--after several decades--to complete his Three Mothers trilogy. At any rate, I prefer Mother to The Card Player and his version of The Phantom of the Opera.
zoo
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 04:17PM
Michael, yes....Bird With the Crystal Plumage (and the others I mentioned) are more in the Blood and Black Lace vein than Suspiria. They also differ from later Argento films from the '80s onward (Tenebre included) that are overly gory and sexual.
zoo
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 02:42PM
The Suspiria soundtrack is pretty amazing. And though I have recently viewed Profondo Rosso and Tenebre, I don't remember at any point thinking, "Oh, wow, this is one kicking soundtrack." But now that you've mentioned it, I want to go back and check them out. Otherwise, I'm not familiar with any of their non-soundtrack music.
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 02:59PM
The Tenebre theme, with its vocoderized pauras, and the same film's "Flashing" are great pieces of New Wave electronica, and would have been perfect for one of Rusty Egan's New Romantic DJ sessions back in the day.
Re: Goblin
March 09, 2021 04:08PM
"Bird With the Crystal Plumage": not Goblin, but an influential creepy Morricone score.
zoo
Re: Goblin
March 11, 2021 12:00PM
Middle C Wrote:
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> ...but the band also provided strong scores for...Antonio Bido’s Solamente Nero. (The great Stelvio Cipriani actually composed the music for this 1978 giallo, but Goblin performed it con brio.)

I watched this one last night (international title: The Bloodstained Shadow). In addition to being a very solid giallo (similar feel to The House of the Laughing Windows, which shared the lead actor with Bloodstained Shadow), the music really stood out. It was truly unsettling and greatly added to the atmosphere of the movie.
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