My close friend Dr. Penis has recently posted a blog about the 1996 "3 Films By Jess Franco" CD release, it's original 1969 source LPs and the subsequent re-releases under the "Vampyros Lesbos" title. Unfortunately the complete version of the CD featuring all of the music has been out of circulation for many years now. But if you check out the article over at his Purple Zombie DJ blog you can download it there for free! This psyche-pop music composed and released on 2 LPs in Germany circa 1969 by Manfred Hübler and Siegfried Schwab was a surprise indie hit when re-released on LP and CD in 1996 and pretty much then jump-started the entire Euro-trash soundtrack / pop / lounge music craze! I myself remember being given a cassette of this back then by my buddy Joe Johnson (creator of the ahead-of-it's-time way-cool fanzine "3:AM"). At first listen I didn't really know how to take it. It had rock elements but wasn't really rock. There was a psychedelic / experimental side to it but then it had a pop sound as well. After 2 or 3 listenings I was hooked! It became one of my fave soundtracks ever and I never get tired of listening to it. I remember tracking down fuzzy looking VHS bootlegs of the 3 Jess Franco German movies that the music was used for ("She Killed in Ecstasy", "Vampyros Lesbos" and "The Devil Came From Akasava"). None of these movies were subtitled and despite my lack of understanding most of the German dialogue I probably watched those tapes 10 times each! A big part of the appeal was finally seeing / hearing how the music was used in each film. Franco was always pretty progressive when it came to sometimes mixing in modern music with his movie scores. Somehow using these prog-ish and at the time modern sounds worked for those movies and set a whole new flavor to the way Euro-exploitation movies sounded. Franco had already used music by Manfred Mann in his "Venus In Furs" (aka "Paroxismus", 1970) and would go on to direct "Killer Barbys" (1996), a gothic horror flick featuring music by and starring the titular Spanish garage punkers of the same name, as well as "Tender Flesh" (1997) which featured music by the heavily under rated Spanish rock band Sexy Sadie. Not to mention "Vampire Blues" which was scored by my band The Ubangis. "Vampire Blues", like "Vampyros Lesbos", was another lesbian re-telling of the Dracula story. Only Jess Franco could have come up with the idea of telling these kinds of stories using rock music as a sonic backdrop!
If you have any interest in movie soundtracks, psychedelia, strange pop music, Jess Franco or Euro-trash films then the original complete "3 Films by Jess Franco" CD is required listening folks! GO GET IT NOW while you can!
The Purple Zombie DJ blog is at http://purplezombiedj.blogspot.com/
The "3 Films by Jess Franco" ("Vampyros Lesbos") article is at http://purplezombiedj.blogspot.com/2009/02/3-films-by-jess-franco-vampyros-lesbos.html