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Keith Emerson: At The Movies (Reissue)

Lights! Camera! Portentous keyboards!

A remastered edition of the three-CD compilation of Emerson’s work on film soundtracks (originally released in 2005), this also serves as a compendium of most of his solo work in the first half of the 80s.

After ELP’s split he kept busy with some prestige scores: 1980’s Inferno, the Dario Argento chiller and 1981’s Nighthawks, for a Sylvester Stallone-Rutger Hauer thriller, established him as a viable atmosphere-provider. The Argento score was harshly compared to Goblin’s grand follies on Suspiria, and the ultra-violent Stallone film wasn’t a big hit, yet Emerson’s efforts were a compelling mix of cod-religious pomp and glacial shudders. His disco cover of Spencer Davis Group’s I’m A Man, with Emerson managing functional vocals, is a love-hate moment. 1986’s Murderock was an Italian ‘giallo’ film bizarrely turned into a musical at the eleventh hour because of Flashdance’s popularity. Also included are_ Best Revenge_, Harmagedon, another Italian horror, La Chiesa, then a gap until 2004’s dodgy Japanese offering Godzilla: Final Wars. Film music’s often compromised by studio committees, but Nighthawks and Inferno have real identity. CR

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.