Soundtrack music was different in the ’70s and ’80s. Gory Italian horror movies, sleazy crime flicks and other assorted low-budget (so-called) “grindhouse” trash films didn’t have the money to license the pop songs of the day.
Instead, they paid musicians to create original soundtracks, and a lot of them are amazing to listen to even today. That’s the focus of a 9-hour playlist we can’t stop listening to called “Horror and Grindhouse Sleaze”.
The playlists creator, James DeLay, describes it as a compilation of “dirty synths, sleazy detectives, filthy 42nd Street stings, Italian giallo, thriller and gorefest selections.” Count us in.
The art of constructing frightening, tense (and very often sleazy) sound worlds is pretty hard. Yet there are producers out there who have developed reputations for this niche, like Italian “giallo” horror movie soundtrack masters Goblin or even more well-known names like John Carpenter. As you’ll find on the list, even German kosmische heavyweights Tangerine Dream were pretty prolific in this niche.
Some of the tracks are eerie establishing-shot synth vignettes while others provide a perfect sonic backdrop for creepy grindhouse bar scenes (or just, you know, working on spreadsheets in Excel). Listen to the playlist in full above.