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Blue Light Special: Bernard Herrmann

Richard C. Walls, Spin, September 1990

YOU MAY not know the name but you know Bernard Herrmann's work, or at least some of it. Everybody knows some of it. What most people know is the music for Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), the famous "black-and-white" score, strings, only, furiously pumping, groaning, shrieking — aggressively erotic music which, after being satirically used by SCTV, ripped off by a dozen hack slasher-scorers, and sampled by the Beastie Boys, still deliciously raises the hackles. Herrmann's score was the perfect aural complement to that nasty little masterpiece, wherein sex and violence burst to the surface in evil confluence and effectively announced the end to the bluff and hearty and deeply repressed 50s.

Total word count of piece: 1088


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