Publisher: Anthology Editions
Notes: 332 pages, 422 images, paperback with gatefold cover. 8 inches x 10.5 inches.
About the publication: In the heyday of low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers who needed a soundtrack for their commercial entertainments could reach for a selection of library music: LPs of stock recordings whose contents fit any mood required. Though at the time, the use of such records was mostly a cost-cutting maneuver for productions that couldn’t afford to hire their own composer, the industry soon took on its own life: library publishers became major financial successes, and much of the work they released was truly extraordinary. In fact, many of these anonymous or pseudonymous scores-on-demand were crafted by some of the greatest musical minds of the late 20th century—expert musicians and innovative composers who reveled in the freedoms offered, paradoxically, by this most corporate of fields.
Unusual Sounds is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce. Featuring original art by Robert Beatty and an introduction by George A. Romero—whose use of library music in Night of the Living Dead changed film history—Unusual Sounds is mandatory reading for anyone interested in this enigmatic field and its hidden but pervasive cultural influence. *via Anthology Editions
Why it’s worth your time: Do your thoughts often consume your film or television watching experience with the tantalizing mystery of how and wherefrom a soundtrack became? Perhaps the score was born of stock recordings. Perhaps you found this intriguing and wished to jump into the obscure and little-known world of library music, but had little luck finding the information you sought. Well, look no further, here you have all that you could ever wish for. Become the cooler version of the film buff you thought yourself to be with this excellent supplement. Or, uh, just enjoy the excellent album art which fills the pages.