RSD2020: Album Review: Dune Soundtrack

Out on August 29th for Record Store Day is a new pressing of Toto’s score for the 1984 fantasy science fiction film, Dune, the epic tales of a time – 10191 to be exact, when the planet Arrakis – home to the most valuable substance in the universe, melange, has caused the Harkonnens to violently sieze back power from its rightful ruler, Duke Leto Areides. His son Paul (Kyle McLachlan) lead the natives in a battle to control the planet, and its most valuable assets.

It’s been reissued before, when Music On Vinyl put it out, but obviously the market is still there for this edition for Record Store Day, and Hellcat have done a nice job of it, with the pressing appearing on ‘Spice’ orange Vinyl and a 24×24 full colour poster.

Apart from Prophesy theme, with its slow moving icy synth lines and warm underbelly lapping against eachother, which features Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, it’s all Toto’s work, and they did a good job of things for what turned out to be their only score.

Although there’s no real Africa / Rosanna moments on there – why would there be, in much of the score you can hear the bands ideas and (dare I say it) groove being extended and pulled in different directions. Yes it’s very 80s sounding, those analogue synths and clean guitars almost smelling of shoulder pads at times, particularly Desert Theme and album closer Take My Hand (you know that’s going to be the case just from the title, right?), but with wispy electronics and introspective composition – along with speech from the film itself, there’s enough elsewhere, even on the short episodic tracks, to really enjoy, particularly when the Vienna Symphony add their considerable weight to the tracks, and these subtle electronic soundscapes suddenly have a depth and feeling that is totally gratifying.

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