Friday, February 19, 2010

Soundtrack: Phantom Of The Paradise


Three years before Suzy Bannion's enrollment at Mater Suspiriorum's Tanz Akademie in Freiburg, Jessica Harper endured a more terrifying menace than occult witchcraft... being mauled by Paul Williams.

I first saw Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise at an afternoon matinee in 1976. I was eight years old. Sitting in the dark, watching The Undead strut and slice their way through Somebody Super Like You, was an intense and overwhelming experience for me. It was my first exposure to the power and energy of rock, and I loved it so much that my folks bought me the LP soon after. Hour after hour I'd sit alone in my room, endlessly playing that record on my crappy little plastic turntable. Sadly, that album ended up as landfill in the early '80s when I became embarrassed to have it seen amongst my newly amassed collection of punk and hardcore. Ah, the follies of youth.

I rediscovered Phantom about ten years ago and it's a pretty special movie for me now. There's a lot to like about it, from the lavish production design (set dressing courtesy of a pre-Carrie Sissy Spacek) to Jessica Harper's coolly charismatic singing as Phoenix, and of course, the Phantom's awesome costume and chrome teeth.

So, here's the final release from the now defunct Death Records, Phantom Of The Paradise. Just don't be surprised if you find a piece of Winslow Leach's face pressed into the vinyl. Hit the dead bird.



8 comments:

abdul alhazred said...

I just saw this for the first time recently - it's WILD! Thanks, I'm gonna have to give this one whirl.

Aylmer said...

It is my pleasure Oh Mad Arab.

shargraves said...

awesome - I saw this as a kid too - and STILL think it's dePalma's best film! ha ha

Nice site - I will check here often, as we have very similar tastes

Aylmer said...

Thanks shargraves. Yeah, it's his best, just beating out Dressed To Kill, Carrie and Sisters.

Spooky Pie said...

So I trapsed over here after your comment in my blog and am enjoying the stay;

Furthermore, OH MY GOD PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES IN THE WORLD. I needed that out of my system.

Aylmer said...

Ah Spooky Pie, unfortunately, if you're like me you'll never get Phantom out of your system. greatest rock-opera ever written. Sublimely beautiful songs, especially Harper's.

Will Towles said...

Dude, thank you! This is one of my favorite movies. I can't wait to listen to this gem.

Aylmer said...

Quite possibly De Palma's best. I'm a fan of your awesome artwork too, so cool to have you stop by!