Oct/2018

In 1986, legendary filmmaker John Carpenter gave us his fantasy, Chinese themed western ‘Big Trouble In Little China‘. It was one of the many collaborations with him and Kurt Russell in which they made some of the coolest motion pictures to ever grace the big screen. It wasn’t a big, huge success back in 1986, but over the years it is one of the most popular and best cult films amongst movie fans. With that, Carpenter and his friend Alan Howarth composed and produced a fantastic soundtrack for the film, which consists of Carpenter’s famous synth score mixed with rock n roll music.

It was not the norm for a film heavily set in Chinese culture, but it worked perfectly. The original soundtrack was released back in 1986 on Enigma Records, but in 1999 it was re-released with more tracks and songs. In 2018 though, Mondo got the rights to this amazing film and has released yet again an ultimate edition with cool artwork in this limited edition vinyl soundtrack.

THE PACKAGING


Big Trouble in Little China‘ from Mondo comes with two 180g LPs that have a translucent blood red coloring with yellow markings. It looks amazing when spinning on the turntable for sure. These two LPs are housed in a sturdy gatefold cardboard sleeve with amazing artwork from Phantom City Creative on the front, back, and inside of the sleeves. The artwork is an homage to the original movie poster that features all of the main characters in their classic poses.

The back side of the case reveals the tracklisting and the inside gatefold is a great piece of art of the evil Lopan with his glowing electric eyes. I can’t get enough of this artwork, it’s that good. Each LP comes in a black sleeve too. There is also a paper insert about the production of the record with big artwork of Egg Foo Yong Tours. This is a simple piece of printer paper and not high quality, but still none the less cool. I would have rather had liner notes with Alan and John. The catalog number is MOND-124.

THE MUSIC


So the music is very eclectic for the type of genre or mix of genres that ‘Big Trouble in Little China‘ is. The main song on the album is called ‘Big Trouble in Little China‘, which is performed by The Coupe de Villes, which consist of Carpenter, Nick Castle (the guy who played Mike Myers in Halloween) and Tommy Lee Wallace (a guy who has acted and collaborated with Carpenter on a number of films). This song is the foundation for the rest of the instrumental soundtrack score, which is nothing short of amazing.

We all know that John Carpenter loves to use that synthesizer, which has made its comeback in horror movies as of recent. The lyrics are related to what happens in the film with some fun and quirky deliveries to the chorus. It’s a mix of synth and guitars that are almost hypnotic and has Chinese themes to it. Instead of a ton of classical string instruments, we have rock guitar sounds that bring it to a modern era, specifically the 1980s, which is nostalgic and fun. It’s a memorable song for sure and you’ll catch yourself singing it long after you hear it. The rest of the soundtrack is a big mix of loud guitar chords, riffs along with an eerie and almost western-like synth score. It’s fast-paced again with Eastern themes throughout along with that Western quality.

The original soundtrack only has 9 tracks on the album, but this new Mondo release has 20, which has more of the smaller musical cues from the film, including the final goodbye in the Chinese restaurant and some of the escape scenes. It’s one of those soundtracks you’d want to play a game of chess too and even put on when you have guests over, as it will cause a fun conversation.

THE SETLIST


Side A
01. Prologue (2:15)
02. Pork Chop Express (Main Title) (4:01)
03. Abduction At Airport (4:17)
04. The Alley (Procession) (1:12)
05. The Alley (War) (2:31)
06. The Storms (2:42)
07. Tenement / White Tiger (3:49)

Side B
08. Here Come The Storms (4:15)
09. Wing Kong Exchange (4:40)
10. Lo Pan’s Domain / Looking For A Girl (3:16)
11. Friends Of Yours? / Escape Iron Basis (7:18)
12. Escape From Wing Kong (5:38)

Side C
13. Hide! (4:35)
14. Call The Police (7:32)
15. Dragon Eyes (1:12)
16. Into The Spirit Path (7:05)

Side D
17. The Great Arcade (Mini Rock Opera) (7:53)
18. The Final Escape (Lo Pan’s Demise / Getaway) (7:02)
19. Goodbye Jack (3:14)
20. Big Trouble In Little China (End Credits – Album Version) (3:22)
Performed by The Coupe De Villes

THE ULTIMATE WORD


Big Trouble in Little China‘ is one of the all-time greatest cult films that is still important and relevant today. The same thing goes for its soundtrack as Carpenter was ahead of his own time with creating such a unique score that kept the Chinese music at its core but added in rock guitars and his famous synth sound to bring this energetic, yet haunting and action packed sound. There’s nothing else like it. The artwork is wall worthy and the colored records look beautiful on the turntable. Mondo did a great job with this 20 track album and release.

PURCHASE THE ALBUM FROM MONDO HERE!

Written by: Bryan Kluger

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