Dominic Frontiere

The Outer Limits [Original 1963 TV Soundtrack]

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Thirty years after the original television series The Outer Limits went on the air, this 65-minute CD of the original music tracks from three of the episodes, composed by Dominic Frontiere, finally appeared. To say that this CD is a landmark would be an understatement; put as simply as possible, Frontiere's scoring for the first season of The Outer Limits was the best music ever written for television, and it rivals much of the best film music ever composed. And the glorious part of this CD, which is assembled from his music for three shows, "Nightmare," "The Hundred Days of the Dragon," and, most importantly, "The Man Who Was Never Born," is that it all holds up as music. There are moments that are obvious cinematic "stings," but the principal material is as dense and profound and lyrical as anything in the output of Bernard Herrmann et al.; indeed, parts of the score for "The Man Who Was Never Born" would have been worthy of Gustav Mahler, although in spirit some of what's here is closer to Jerry Goldsmith and other modern film composers, in the use of oscillators and primitive synthesizers in addition to the very impressively played standard orchestral instruments. Nothing in the scoring of "Nightmare" or "The Hundred Days of the Dragon" is as affecting or haunting as the flute melody associated with Noelle in "The Man Who Was Never Born," but these are both very solid bodies of music, the latter in particular an impressive and compelling body of modern orientalism. The tape restoration on these three-decade old recordings, which were never intended to be heard as free-standing music, is extraordinary. It may not have the range of, say, state-of-the-art Deutsche Grammophon recordings of the same period, but the sound is clean and reveals musical details that weren't apparent in the process of observing the program itself. One important bonus for serious fans is the first-ever release of Frontiere's uncut original main title theme from the pilot episode of the series. Ten minutes or so of this disc is given over to familiar audio effects and signatures from the series.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
feat: Vic Perrin
2 1:23
3 0:32
4 0:27
5 0:11
6 7:02
7 0:46
8 0:42
9 12:37
10 1:07
11 5:30
12 0:41
13 1:57
14 0:28
15 0:26
16 1:57
17 1:25
18 4:04
19 0:09
20 5:16
21 0:15
22 1:02
23 1:24
24 2:13
25 1:52
26 0:27
27 1:15
28 0:39
29 1:04
30 0:07
31 0:32
32 0:17
33 1:13
34 0:44
35 0:18
36 1:08
37 1:33
feat: Vic Perrin
blue highlight denotes track pick