John Carpenter is back.
He doesn’t have a new movie, but he does have a new album, which might be just as exciting. “Anthology II: Movie Themes 1976 – 1988,” is a follow-up to his 2017 album “Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998” and was once again recorded with his constant musical collaborators, son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies.
They take classic moments from his earlier scores and rearrange them with modern instrumentation and additional flourishes. It is out on Oct. 6 from Sacred Bones.
But what makes “Anthology II” particularly thrilling is that it contains three unreleased tracks from “The Thing” that were recorded by Carpenter before he hired Ennio Morricone to work on the movie. There are still a bunch of Carpenter cues in the finished version of “The Thing,” with Morricone using some of his unreleased music from the 1982 film (recently named the second-greatest movie of that decade by IndieWire) for Quentin Tarantino’s “Thing”-inspired “The Hateful Eight.”
Elsewhere on the album there are tracks from “Prince of Darkness,” “Escape from New York,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” “They Live” and “Assault on Precinct 13.” (The “Christine” erasure is somewhat unforgivable, but we will soldier on). There are also, of course, tracks from various “Halloween” movies and as part of the announcement, Carpenter and Sacred Bones have shared the new version of “Chariots of Pumpkins” from the much-maligned but actually quite amazing “Halloween III: Season of the Witch.” You can listen below:
Carpenter hasn’t directed a movie since 2010’s “The Ward” but he has been consistently making music. In 2015 he released his first standalone album “Lost Themes” (composed with Cody and Davies) and followed it up in 2016 with another album, “Lost Themes II.” In 2018 Carpenter did the music for David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” reboot and subsequently scored 2021’s “Halloween Kills” and 2022’s “Halloween Ends.” He also released “Lost Themes III” in 2021 and wrote the music for 2022’s “Firestarter.”
Additionally, Carpenter, Cody and Davies have toured extensively, playing music from the movies as clips play behind them. It’s unclear if they will tour behind “Anthology II,” but considering how massive the concerts have become, it seems like a (spooky) possibility.
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