Molten Wax

If you want a definitive, if peculiar, assortment of musical Kubrickiana, try the Dr. Strangelove omnibus CD, which includes at least one selection from each of the director's features except for Eyes Wide Shut. There are the aforementioned pieces from 2001, Alex North's overture to Spartacus, Handel's "Sarabande" from Barry Lyndon, Wendy and Walter Carlos' electronic version of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from A Clockwork Orange, Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind's brooding theme from The Shining, Abigail Mead's themes from Full Metal Jacket and the Bob Harris love theme from Lolita.

Most interesting for Kubrick buffs is a suite of music written by journeyman composer Gerald Fried for the director's early movies. There are passages from The Killing and Paths of Glory, the score for the memorable fight in the mannequin warehouse in Killer's Kiss, and some surprisingly heartfelt, compelling music from Kubrick's little-seen first feature, Fear and Desire, and his debut short, Day of the Fight. My favorite cut, however, is "The Bomb Run" from Dr. Strangelove, a driving arrangement of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" by Laurie Johnson that shows Kubrick's musical sense at its best -- a splendid mix of irony, terror and exhilaration.

Be forewarned, this isn't an album of soundtrack cuts. The selections are played, competently enough, by the City of Prague Philharmonic, with a few exceptions: The Ray Noble Band, with vocalist Al Bowlly, performs "Midnight, the Stars and You" from The Shining, the Trashmen perform "Surfin' Bird" from Full Metal Jacket, and the album closes with Vera Lynn's rendition, ominous in the context of Dr. Strangelove, of "We'll Meet Again." -- M.V. Moorhead

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