cover art for Day of the Locust

Day of the Locust

1975

LP: London PS-912

  1. The Storyteller/Garden of the Locust (2:52)
  2. The Flying Carpet (1:47)
  3. A Picture of Love (3:01)
  4. Soft Shoe Salesman (2:38)
  5. Fire and Passion (2:14)
  6. Fashion and Fantasy (1:16)
  7. The Day of the Locust (4:20)
  8. Theme from "The Day of the Locust" Finale (1:35)

The Movie

Quite a rollercoaster of a movie for me. I started out fully expecting to hate it. I thought it was another idealistic young man is destroyed by the phoniness and decadence that is Hollywood. I thought it was going to be depressing, seedy and ugly. But I was surprised to find touches of humor in it, and warmth, and characters that I actually understood--or at least came close to understanding. And I grew up in LA (though not in that era), and I remember the old spanish architecture that was cool when it was new and now just looks like a relic, and brown lawns and the soft swishing of sprinklers, palm trees and cactus and oleanders and all the evergreens that thrive in a sky so bright and white you don't think you can see a shadow anywhere.

They lost me at the end. Since this isn't exactly Star Wars and everyone's seen it, I won't spoil it. But for awhile, when I realized the movie was in many ways an earlier version of Barton Fink, I was with it. But the ending went nuts and lost me. The movie may have been better received with a better ending. Well--maybe not. It was a strange movie all the way through.


The Music

I complain below that the LP is only partially Barry's music mixed in with period music. Now that I've seen the movie--there doesn't seem to be that much incidental music anyway. I generally don't care for much period music being used in movies--I think it's overdone and the songs often poorly chosen. I'm mixed on this one--"Isn't It Romantic" worked well in the movie. And the incidental music worked well, particularly the end music. And there doesn't seem to be that much elsewhere. Sometimes less is more and sometimes less is just less. In this case, it worked. Too bad the rest of the film wasn't as solid as the score.


Release Notes

The LP came out along with the movie and (like the film) was promptly forgotten. It never got a CD release. As noted on the track listing, only about half the album is Barry's anyway. The rest is given over to period songs--because where else are you going to find songs like "Jeepers Creepers" or "Isn't It Romantic?" (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)