REVIEW: DUNE OST (1984) / COMPOSER: TOTO / PUBLISHER: MUSIC ON VINYL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
One might ask if it's necessary to put out a 180-gram reissue of the Dune soundtrack, given that it's readily available in most second-hand shops. Not necessarily, but Music on Vinyl's done quite a nice job with this reissue of Toto's score for the David Lynch film.
The score's notable for several things: it's Toto's only film score – surprising, given that it turned out so well, the “Prophecy Theme” is done by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, coming off the previous year's excellent Apollo, and – arguably – it's a better album than film.
It's reaching, epic and surprising to anyone who's most familiar with Toto from their yacht rock hit, “Africa.” Dune manages to be both epic and subtle at once. It gets a little soft-rock in portions, especially the “Main Title” theme, which could easily score your next trip to the dentist's office, but when the group locks in with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, it's a majestic piece of work.
It's on those tracks where the symphony and Toto pair up that you can hear the quality of this reissue. Something like “Paul Kills Feyd” has crisp, clear strings paired with low-toned hand drums, and it's so clean, it's frightening. The dialogue excerpts sound wonderful, and the Eno / Lanois cut – despite the subtle sounds with which they're working – loses nothing, and allows for a wonderfully rounded listening experience.
Visually, it's lacking. The cover artwork looks like it was scanned from something, rather than utilizing any original artwork. The text is clear and crisp, but every image on the front and back of the jacket has the halftone frighteningly apparent. Were they any bigger, it'd be a Roy Lichtenstein print.
Honestly, I'd suggest buying this and sticking inside a clean copy of the original cover, if you can track down a cheap copy. The audio's as good as Dune is ever going to sound, but you might be a bit embarrassed to have anyone look closely at it.