It’s been great having a spree of new John Carpenter albums over the last decade; we might also acknowledge that roughly half of them were tied to projects few wanted, appreciable garnishes on undercooked (or outright-frozen) meals. Alongside David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy and (I also forgot about this until looking it up) a Firestarter remake there’s been three rock-solid Lost Themes albums and the particularly wonderful Anthology, which reimagined his most iconic scores (Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13) and those we’d kindly slot in the “otherwise” column (much as I love Vampires).
Before returning to the director’s chair / couch this month with an episode of his Peacock series Suburban Screams, Carpenter has released Anthology II (Movie Themes 1976-1988), which spans everything from his, rough estimate, 976th interpretation of “Laurie’s Theme” to a faithful, booming take on Halloween III‘s vastly underrated theme, and for obsessives there’s special pleasure in him covering Ennio Morricone’s contributions to The Thing. (Maybe I already listened to a YouTube video of someone playing the standalone vinyl release that arrived a few years back but who’s counting.) Were this not a major work per se, let’s note Anthology II‘s rare case: a legacy artist revisiting their work without playing the hits.
Stream it below: