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Elmer Bernstein's Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Score (Sony Classical) Audio CD Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Jun. 8, 2019 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Music

Sony Classical just released Elmer Bernstein's Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Score. Want to know more about it? Read on to be enlightened...

If you're a long-time visitor to Spook Central, you may be thinking to yourself, "Wait, wasn't Elmer Bernstein's Ghostbusters score released on CD once before?" That is correct. Thirteen years ago, in 2006, Varese Sarabande put out a limited release via their online store, which was quickly sold out. Because that CD was limited to 3,000 copies, and was never sold elsewhere, many fans who wanted a copy were out of luck, and at the mercy of aftermarket resellers. Now, Sony has come to the rescue with a new release that has a wide distribution and should be available online and offline where ever CDs are sold. The score of Ghostbusters is also being released digitally and on vinyl for the first time ever, though you'll have to wait a month for the vinyl.

I'll get right down to the meat and potatoes: the music. Here is the track list, as shown on the back cover:


As stated in the liner booklet: "Tracks 20, 24, 25 (introduction) and 34 were previously unreleased. Tracks 14, 15, 24, 32-34 were not used in the film."

Now, if you read over the names on that track list, it's pretty obvious that the cues are not in movie order. As I listened to it, I noticed that track 10 "Attack" is from when Dana is attacked in her chair, which Sony put in between the music from the fridge scene ("Fridge and Sign") and the music from when she first visits the Ghostbusters ("Client"). Later on the album, Tracks 25-27 are from the Sedgewick scenes, but are placed very late on the album around the music from just before they go to the apartment building for the finale. This mis-arranged order actually ruined my enjoyment of the album because it made it impossible to follow the movie along in my mind.

Curious about the order Sony chose, which could have been the order the music was recorded in, I decided to ask my PR contact at Sony Music about it. I was told that "Peter Bernstein (Elmer's son) actually decided the order based on creating the best listening experience." Okay, so that's that. Not the order I would have chosen, but it is what is it. If you have a player capable of setting a playlist of 37 tracks, you could always program a sequence that is different than what Peter chose. Feel free to post your suggested order in the comments below.

As for the music itself, it sounds FANTASTIC!!! There are absolutely no quality issues at all. It's quite rich and clear, and makes excellent use of the stereo space between my headphones. Here are a couple of small samples so you can hear it for yourself.

14. We Got One (30-Second Sample)

20. Steel Drum (30-Second Sample)

Some of you will definitely want to know how it compares to the Varese Sarabande release, or even the older Lincoln promotional/bootleg release. Well, in short, each CD has cues that are not on the others. Kyle Lightner pointed me to this spreadsheet someone made that compares all three releases, and it should answer any questions you have. In short, if you want the most complete collection of Bernstein's score, you need all three albums.

Moving on, let's take a quick look at the packaging. The first thing you see is the album cover, which features the original No Ghost logo. That should please everyone who doesn't like the "one and two fingered" ghost on the new 4K/Blu-ray release of both films. However, it looks a little too similar to the cover of the original soundtrack album. If someone isn't looking too carefully, they could easily buy the wrong one. (Not that you could go wrong with either, but if you're here at Spook Central, you probably already own the soundtrack album.)


Inside the liner booklet is a nice two-page essay by Elmer's son, Peter Bernstein, that he wrote this year. It's not exactly the kind of thing you'll learn loads of new information from, but it's a nice little bonus to have. Following that are several pages of photos from the movie. For the most part, they're fantastic photos, though a few of them are of the altered variety.


Near the back of the booklet is a two-page list of all of the musicians who performed on the album, who are credited together as "The Hollywood Studio Symphony" on the last page. I was actually surprised to see that every single one of the individual musicians was credited, grouped by the instruments they played. I'm sure that each and every one of them, and their families, are thrilled to finally see their well-deserved credit in print.

Finally, Sony Classical didn't give us a plain old disc. No, they printed that nice "hands in" group shot on the face of the disc. Very nice!


So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about Elmer Bernstein's Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Score, which is available now on Audio CD and Digital MP3. The 2-Disc Vinyl is set for release on July 19th.

Now, Sony, let's talk about Randy Edelman's Ghostbusters II score...

(This item was provided by Sony Music for review on this site.)


Comment from: Dave13 [Visitor]  

Hello! I'm David from Italy and I'm a ghosthead since I was a little child! I want to tell you that your site is fantastic and has enriched me with many answers to the questions I had for years!
I would like to know, if possible, your opinion on the exact order of the tracks...



Jun. 13, 2019 @ 08:48
Comment from: [Member]

Hi David.

Thanks for all of the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

As for the corrected order, you can either refer to the spreadsheet mentioned in the article, or Christopher Robert Adams created an 'unofficial fixed fan order' playlist on Spotify, though without the app, you can only see the first 30 tracks. Thanks to David for helping to grab the last 7 tracks, so below is the full playlist. The numbers in parenthesis are the original track numbers.

01. (01) Ghostbusters Theme
02. (02) Library
03. (03) Venkman
04. (04) Hello
05. (06) Get Her!
06. (07) Plan
07. (09) Fridge and Sign
08. (11) Client
09. (12) Dana's Apartment
10. (13) Same Problem
11. (14) We Got One
12. (25) Halls
13. (26) Ballroom
14. (27) Trap
15. (15) Zuul Part 1
16. (16) Meeting 1
17. (17) I Respect You
18. (19) Zuul Part 2
19. (05) The Best One in Your Row
20. (10) Attack
21. (18) Who Brought the Dog
22. (20) Steel Drum
23. (22) News
24. (23) Judgment Day
25. (24) Mistake
26. (21) Cross Rip
27. (28) Meeting 2
28. (29) Earthquake
29. (32) Let's Go
30. (30) Stairwell
31. (31) Gozer
32. (33) We're Going To Save The World
33. (34) Mr. Stay Puft
34. (35) Final Battle
35. (36) Finish
36. (08) Dana's Theme
37. (37) Zuul (Album Version)

Here are Christopher Robert Adams' notes on the playlist as posted on the Spook Central Facebook page: "You can't mess with the official playlist of course BUT you can copy/paste all the tracks into your own playlist which is what I did. Then I used the spreadsheet from your article and followed the cue order in the far left column to rearrange it in mine since it seemed to be how they appeared in the film. It sounds about right to me. I just wasn't sure where to put Zuul 1 and Zuul 2 so I kind of guessed there. I haven't sat through the film and really listened to it in awhile hence why I posted here."

-- Paul

Jun. 13, 2019 @ 15:13
Comment from: Dave13 [Visitor]  

Lacks the piece of the orchestra at the Sedgewick and the violin piece at The Tavern on the green! Or I'm wrong, Paul??

P.S. The only modify I should do on the order of the tracks is that "Dana's theme" I should insert between "Plan" and "Fridge and sign". While Zool (album version) should be good at the end because it's a kind of "bonus track" for me... What do you think about it, Paul?

Many greetings


Jun. 14, 2019 @ 19:50
Comment from: [Member]

That sounds good to me, David. Also, thanks for grabbing the last 7 tracks for the revised playlist order. - Paul

Jun. 14, 2019 @ 22:01
Comment from: Dave13 [Visitor]  

Dear Paul, listening more accurate I would move "Zuul part 2" between "Steel drum" and "News" , may sounds better for me! ;) :)



Jun. 16, 2019 @ 05:35
Comment from: zidders [Visitor]  

This is Chris (the fellow who made the alt score playlist). Just wanted to say thanks for all the help getting the song orders right. I really appreciate Spook Central and everyone who's helped out with the community over the years. I'm proud to be a Ghosthead!

Jun. 16, 2019 @ 22:25
Comment from: Dave13 [Visitor]  

Chris, you're the one first who helped us!
So many thanks to you!! ;) ;)
I only fix something here and there, in my opinion :D Crazy Ghosthead me too!!

Many greetings and sorry if I speak not well, I'm not english ;)

Jun. 17, 2019 @ 10:15
Comment from: Simon Dragnes [Visitor]  

I tried to tie all the pieces together from all 3 versions as good as i could, and this is my version of the tracklisting:
01. Ghostbusters theme (2019)
02. Library & title (2006)
03. Venkman (2019)
04. Walk (2006)
05. Hello (2019)
06. Get her! (2019)
07. Plan (2019)
08. Taken (2006)
09. Fridge (2006)
10. Sign (2006)
11. Client (2019)
12. The apartment (2019)
13. Same problem (2019)
14. Dana's theme (2019)
15. We got one! (2006)
16. Halls (2019)
17. ''Searching'' (hard work) (1998)
18. ''Hotel music'' (hard work) (1998)
19. Trap (2006)
20. Zuul, part 1 (2019)
21. Meeting (2019)
22. I Respect You (2019)
23. The best one in your row / Cross rip(2019)
24. Attack (2019)
25. Who brought the dog / Dogs (2019)
26. Somebody let me in (1998)
27. Date (2006)
28. Zuul, part 2 (2019)
29. Dana's room / News (2019)
30. Steel drum (2019)
31. Judgment day (2019)
32. The protection grid (2006)
33. Mistake (2019)
34. Cross Rip / Ghosts! (2019)
35. The gatekeeper (2019)
36. Earthquake (2019)
37. Let's go / Ghostbusters! (2019)
38. Stairwell (2019)
39. Gozer (2019)
40. Marshmellow terror (2019)
41. Mr. Stay Puft (2019)
42. The big marshmallow (1998)
43. Final battle (2019)
44. Finish (2019)
45. End credits (2006)
46. Zuul [album version](2019)
47. We got one [alternative] (2006)

Jun. 25, 2019 @ 02:47

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