To mark the film’s 35th anniversary, Sony has reissued “Ghostbusters: Original Motion Picture Score,” featuring music by Oscar-winning composer Elmer Bernstein (“The Magnificent Seven,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Age of Innocence”). The anniversary edition, which includes four previously unreleased tracks, was newly mixed and remastered from the score’s original multi-tracks. The package features new artwork and commentary from Bernstein’s son, Peter.
“As one of the original orchestrators on ‘Ghostbusters,’ it has been very satisfying and also very moving to work on this soundtrack release 35 years down the road,” said Peter Bernstein, who will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a live-to-picture production July 21 at Ravinia. “It is a great movie with great music, and we had a whole lot of fun creating it.”
With a star-studded cast, “Ghostbusters” follows four men on a mission to save the world. Fired from university research jobs, Venkman, Stantz and Spengler set up shop as “Ghostbusters,” and, together, they attempt to rid Manhattan of bizarre apparitions. But even the spirit exterminators are severely tested when Dana Barrett and her nerdy neighbor Louis Tully become possessed by demons living in their building. Soon every spirit in the city is on the loose, and the heroes face a supreme challenge at a rooftop demonic shrine.
In a career that spanned five decades, Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004) composed more than 150 original movie scores and nearly 80 for television, creating some of the most recognizable and memorable themes in Hollywood history: the driving jazz of “The Man With the Golden Arm” (1956), the rousing Western anthem of “The Magnificent Seven” (1961), the lyrical and quietly moving music of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) and the jaunty march of “The Great Escape” (1963). His impact is still felt, and his presence still missed, by moviemakers and moviegoers alike.
His career took a surprising turn in 1978, after a call from son Peter’s old school chum, director John Landis. Then 27, Landis asked Bernstein to score his raucous college comedy “Animal House” starring John Belushi. “Landis said, ‘Well I have an idea. How about you do a score that has nothing to do with comedy?'”
Almost overnight, Bernstein became Hollywood’s go-to composer for comedy movies, and for the next decade, he was largely typecast in that role. “Airplane!” followed in 1980, then over the next four years came the “Saturday Night Live” alumni movies, “The Blues Brothers” (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd), “Stripes” (Bill Murray) and “Ghostbusters” (Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray). For the comedy “Trading Places” (1983), starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, Landis talked Bernstein into crafting a classical score based on Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro, which went on to receive an Oscar nomination for best adapted score.
A few years later, Bernstein had reinvented himself yet again, with scores for a series of films produced or directed by Martin Scorsese. Bernstein’s final film score was “Far From Heaven,” for which he received the last of his 14 Academy Award nominations.
“Ghostbusters” track listing:
The Best One in Your Row
Fridge and Sign
We Got One
Zuul Part 1
I Respect You
Who Brought the Dog
Zuul Part 2
We’re Going to Save the World
Mr. Stay Puft
Zuul (Album Version)