SOUNDTRACK

Assistant director John Harrison, who had scored Romero’s Creepshow two years earlier was once again entrusted to create the score. He set up his synthesizers and a piano in a downstairs room in a Laurel office while the film was being edited. In just eight weeks it was done, accenting all the tension with combinations of tropical melodies and driving beats. He even threw in a musical reference to Dawn's polka Muzak in the scene where Logan turns the light out on the Beef Treats zombie. "Creating a score is similar to the vision a director must have" John told Fangoria. "The music for films should be invisible. If you sit in a theatre listening to the music and not watching the movie, then the score has failed."


Side One, recorded at Jeree Studios with Don Garvin and Rex Burk and produced by Tom Cossie, opens with that familiar headline "The Dead Walk". Created after the film as album filler, some of John Harrison's melodies from his "Dead Suite" (which is actual music from the movie) is performed on a different synthesizer with a very robotic dance beat. These kind of songs were recurring in horror at the time (i.e. Friday the 13th Pt. 3 Theme). Performed by Modern Man - actually Jim Blazer (on a DX7 Chroma) and Harrison. Harrison’s guitar driven "Escape Invasion" was actually used in the scene where Steel is being pursued by zombies near the end. It fades out a little too fast though on the record. "If Tomorrow Comes" is an unused track that sounds like "The World Inside Your Eyes"; Sputzy Sparacino's vocal over light synthesizer with additional vocal by Delilah. Music by Sparacino, Blazer and Harrison. "Breakdown" is the powerful synth piece that begins in the scene after Miller is killed and Miguel is about to lose a forearm. "The World Inside Your Eyes" is the Sputzy/Delilah ballad used at the end of the film. In the final film, the song begins on the second verse. The Caribbean-flavored opening is reminiscent of Art of Noise's "Moments in Love" from around the same time. Music by Harrison, Harrison and Talmadge Pearsall on keys.

Sputz Man

Side Two, comprised of nearly twenty-minute "The Dead Suite" was composed and performed by John Harrison, recorded and mixed by Bill Smith at Studio Sound Recorders and produced by John Sutton and John Harrison. It includes much of the actual music in sequence it was heard in the film. Here you can relive the suspense of the first five minutes of the film-minus the sound effect from the wall of arms and the title stinger.

Left out is the capture sequence which was mainly spaced keys; it segues over that into the section used when Sarah enters the operating theatre. The "shock" moments in that scene and every scene after is not included as it jumps to the part where Sarah goes with Billy to the Ritz. Bub's music is not included afterwards either; the 'let's kick John around' music is not here but it is represented in a part of "Escape Invasion". The compound invasion music fades up and an extra bass beat was added in the parts leading to the actual elevator descension into the base by the living dead with a dynamic surge recalling Alan Parsons' 1982 "Sirius." Bub's discovery of the gun is intact though the section leading to Torrez's death is not. The next part is actually "Escape Invasion" so it goes to Rhodes' final moments with Bub. The feast background music is also gone from this recording.

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Saturn Records released the Day of the Dead score on LP (SR-LP-1701) and cassette (SR-CAS-1701) in conjunction with the theatrical release. A 7" single (A-2107-45) of "The World Inside Your Eyes" b/w "The Dead Walk" was issued as a limited edition to Fangoria readers. The packaging license on all of these was limited to use of the poster art. No pictures were permitted.

 However, the only other official pressing was the Japanese Polydor LP (28MM-0489) and cassette (28CM-0489). This release not only had superior packaging (a photo in the center of a black background of Sarah and the wall of arm nightmare scene, with color stills on the back), it included a lyric sleeve! Before it was licensed to CD there were scores of bootlegged copies made from crackling records. Beware of these: a Polish version from Kraton Records (from an LP source) and an US-made (opening with "Dead Suite") from a cassette dub.

Released Feb. 20, 2002, Numenorean Music’s licensed, digitally remastered CD (NMCD001) contains a different order: Dead Suite, Breakdown, Escape Invasion, The Dead Walk, If Tomorrow Comes, The World Inside Your Eyes.

The bonus tracks are more like ‘bogus’ tracks, thrown on the disc by Taurus Entertainment, no doubt hoping no fans would notice their true origins. Sound effects (zombie groans, machine gun fire, running and other foley sound) are annoyingly intact. "Deadly Beginnings" repeats the first 7 and a half minutes of Day (essentially almost half of the "Dead Suite"). This was done presumably to incorporate the title stinger. "Diner of the Living Dead" bypasses all the music leading up to when Sarah and Miguel jump on the golf cart and head out to the corral. Instead it picks up where the first captives are about to be collared , "Dead Calm" actually works as an instrumental track more than the others. It is the music heard when Sarah and McDermott discover the head of the soldier Johnson in the laboratory; this continues to the part where they spot Logan leaving the cold storage with a bucket. "Bub’s 9th" is simply the scene where Bub is listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode To Joy) on his headphones – complete with moans and tape player buttons clicking. The 21-minute "Dead End" which starts with the sound of the gunshot killing Fisher and continues to the very ending with an instrumental track of "The World Inside Your Eyes" is another bore for even hardcore fans who have owned any of the Japanese versions. Another rip-off is the fact that these tracks are directly from the butchered edits so the music breaks up during gory scenes and all the soldier death background music is removed. Much of the "Dead Suite" and all of "Escape Invasion" is repeated. Numbered copies limited to 3000, with a 12-page booklet reprinting the press kit synopsis, and liner notes by Romero and Harrison. Not one picture of Harrison made the insert! The disc was dedicated to Richard Liberty – who never even owned nor cared for the score (personal correspondence, 1993). The back CD case design was my design actually and I remember showing the licensers this image that I made from Photoshop. I was not given due credit.

Here are the lyrics to the two songs with vocals.