BERNARD HERRMANN Psycho (Original Film Score) (From Laser Disc) (1960)
BERNARD HERRMANN Psycho: Bernard Herrmann’s Complete Music (1975/1989)
JOEL McNEELY Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture Score (1997)
The Ultimate Anxiety-Ridden Soundtrack Score
Three versions of Bernard Herrmann’s essential soundtrack score to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The first is the original score, culled from a late-90s laser disc that featured all of the film’s music via an isolated, music-only track, making it the best available version of the original Hitchcock movie score. Herrmann himself re-recorded the music in 1975, conducting the National Philharmonic for a 1989 CD release that, curiously, is the weakest of the three here. As you can tell by the player’s three takes of the opening credits music, “Prelude,” the Hermann-conducted remake is slower and less intense than his own original. The third (and newest) is by Joel McNeely and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The cover art claims it’s the “first complete recording,” but Herrmann’s obscure 1975 recording actually preceded it. McNeely’s version is faithful, and has a fuller sound, richer timbre and stereo separation, making it technically superior. But those accustomed to the 52 year-old original film version may find the sonic upgrade disorienting. We didn’t bother with a track list (approx 40), since they’re each ever-so-slightly different. We’ve got more Herrmann in the archives, including The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Outer Space Suite, part of the 4CD Twilight Zone – 40th Anniversary Collection. Click the covers to find these 3 Psycho‘s at Amazon. Watch the legendary shower scene below, featuring Herrmann’s inspired “screaming” strings. Read more about Hitch’s well-disguised, censor-defying, full-on breasts shot on our Friday Night movie (HERE).