Ghost Rider (soundtrack) by Kyle Eastwood & Michael Stevens

 

 

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Ghost Rider by Christopher Young


Ghost Rider

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Ghost Rider (Soundtrack) by Christopher Young

Ghost Rider
Composed by Christopher Young
Varèse Sarabande Records

Rating: 6/10

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Listen to this soundclip of Ghost RiderGhost Rider (438 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Ghost RiderA Thing for Karen Carpenter (354 kb)


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Soundtrack Review

“CHRISTOPHER YOUNG has composed one of the most unique scores of the year, and his ears deserve to burn a little for the effort.”

Blazing New Trails
Review by Cap Stewart


Collisions at intersections are never a pretty sight. Malfunctioning lights, bad weather, driver error—whatever the cause of the accident, the results aren’t pleasant. Passenger cars simply weren’t designed to be bumper cars.

Some might say the same thing about certain musical genres. For example, western and horror elements don’t readily come to mind as being inherently compatible. Neither would a rock band and a gothic choir be considered the best combination.

In the case of the movie GHOST RIDER, however, director Mark Steven Johnson and composer CHRISTOPHER YOUNG thought otherwise. Indeed, the musical approach to the film is quite unique. The combination of western, horror, gothic choir, and rock elements is largely successful—almost good enough to be called a beautiful collision.

I’ll admit, GHOST RIDER is a CD that had to grow on me. It took several listens to acclimate myself to the score’s sound. The industrial elements are still my least favorite aspect of the music. They include a drum set (played by the drummer from White Zombie), a double bass drum kit, and guitars (played by two guitarists from Nine Inch Nails). There are times that the industrial sound—especially when it involves the double bass going wild—makes one’s head feel like it will burst into flames. Maybe that isn’t an accident. Whatever the case, the sound fits the character of motorcyclist Johnny Blaze quite well, and it somehow avoids derailing the rest of the album.

Quiet moments on the CD are few and far between. This is a loud score with a sizeable orchestra (with well over a hundred members). Young definitely put his ensemble to work—especially the choir members and the musicians in the brass and string sections. I don’t know if they got paid overtime for their effort, but they deserve it.

There are two major themes that come into play. The first is the Ghost Rider theme, which is present in some form or fashion in practically every track. It’s a good, strong theme, never growing old during the fifty-eight-minute running time. The second major theme, used much more sparingly, is the love theme. Played softly on guitar, it provides a sweet and intimate atmosphere, giving the listener a few chances to catch his breath in the middle of all the musical bombast.

I’m reminded of a saying that goes something like this: if your ears are burning, someone must be talking about you. If that saying is true, you might think a burning—or, in this case, flaming—head would mean the whole world is talking about you. Well, GHOST RIDER isn’t that good of a film. The music, however, is a different story. CHRISTOPHER YOUNG has composed one of the most unique scores of the year, and his ears deserve to burn a little for the effort.

Rating: 6/10

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Track Listing and Ratings

Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Ghost Rider 3:16  ****
2 Blackheart Beat 3:06  ***
3 Artistry in Death 4:13  **
4 A Thing for Karen Carpenter 2:01  ***
5 Cemetery Dance 5:31  **
6 More Sinister than Popcorn 5:40  ***
7 No Way to Wisdom 2:15  ***
8 Chain Chariot 6:18  ***
9 Santa Sardonicus 3:36  **
10 Penance Stare 5:26  ***
11 San Venganza 3:22  ***
12 Blood Signature 2:08  ***
13 Serenade to a Daredevil's Devil 1:53  ***
14 Nebuchadnezzar Phase 5:52  ****
15 The West Was Built on Legends 3:59  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 58 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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