I believe many horror fans know something about the “Dark Shadows” universe, to some degree, or at least heard of the name ‘Barnabas,‘ now there’s conventions solely dedicated to this one topic and others have their fan clubs, however for the rest it varies, it’s the same concept among the slasher fans, team Freddy, Jason, or Michael. There’s just something about the haunting cue found in the original score, very captivating, although this time I’m covering the 2012 soundtrack (not the score), more precisely, directed by Tim Burton and his re-teaming with composer Danny Elfman. A bit of a recap, Burton’s movie is more comedic than horror, placed firmly in the 1970s and taking cues, characters, and storyline from the 1960 ABC soap opera, which surround a family with supernatural elements and unholy creatures.
It came from WaterTower Music, a subdivision of Sony Music, with 11-tracks, noting a few songs from the movie are missing, actually five of them including the close-out track, a sad omittance. However, before dwelling on what missing let’s focus on the actual music contained, which is a good selection of classic songs from that era, some songs truly capture the gothic feel presented on the screen. This always is key for filmmakers as the music must fit the scene or transitioning, if it’s not proper, then that affects the mood and reaction for the audience and herein the listeners. For those who saw the film, whether enjoyed or despised it, the songs memorable recreate scenes from the movie.
“Dark Shadows” Soundtrack Track-listing:
Nights In White Satin – The Moody Blues
Dark Shadows – Prologue – Danny Elfman
I’m Sick Of You – Iggy Pop
Season Of The Witch – Donovan
Top Of The World – The Carpenters
You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
Bang A Gong (Get It On) – T. Rex
No More Mr. Nice Guy – Alice Cooper
Ballad Of Dwight Fry – Alice Cooper
The End? – Danny Elfman
The Joker – Johnny Depp (spoken word version)
While the movie likely not to live-up to Burton classic standard the soundtrack, clearly does, those who either grew up during this era will recall the songs, or those who watched any cinema from the 80s likely remembers a few of them too. One of the most commonly used and fantastic songs “Nights In White Satin” by The Moody Blues, is a haunting love and lost piece, and with it rekindling which leads off the album and rightful so setting goth-filled tone. The songs have been in other horror films such as Halloween II ; Broken Hearts , and a lengthy list.
Another clear standout is Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch” which originally released in 1966, and started out from some folk music, with on riff sticking, from building onto for seven hours, it was mesmerizing; later adopted for the sole song of George Romero’s Season of the Witch .
It has two classic tracks from the legendary Alice Cooper, which nineth is “Ballad Of Dwight Fry” from his Love it to Death  album, that’s actually praise of famed actor Dwight Frye (the ‘e’ was dropped to avoid any legal issues) he was often the insane character in Universal Horror movies, and for his outstanding performance of Renfield in Dracula .
Excluding the final track by Jonny Deep is “The End? (Uncut),” Elfman, delivers an extremely wonderful moving piece complete with motif from his score and other minor effects, a hint of haunting children’s choir vocals, simply incredible.
As for what is missing from the soundtrack, first notably is The Killers excellent cover of the Raspberries “Go All The Way” which is a close song of the actual film, here though is the full list.
Theme from “A Summer Place” (1959 movie) – Percy Faith
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Crocodile Rock – Elton John
Superfly – Curtis Mayfield
Go All The Way – The Killers
Solely basing this review from the soundtrack music, that tallies 44-minutes and it’s worth the investment. It delivers a solid collection of 1970s songs drifting easily between the genres of rock, perhaps a little psychedelic which was commonplace then, the experimentation exceeded past the chemical and explored further in the music, creating for some tracks a dream-state exploration; while other songs generate fond memories and whisk the listener away from all worries.
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5