• Film: Dune
  • Soundtrack composer: Toto
  • Original year of release: 1984
  • Number of tracks: 17
  • Soundtrack duration: 41 mins 37 secs
  • Tracks with vocals/distracting aspects: 2 Tracks (3 mins 11 secs) (Tracks 1 & 6)
  • Film score duration (with distracting tracks removed): 38 mins 26 secs
  • Suggested suitable book genres: Sci-Fi, Dark Sci-Fi, Paranormal Horror
DLS Summary:
Firstly, if you’re looking for a sci-fi style soundtrack to read to, then this is a pretty darn good choice. That said, if you’re after a soundtrack to block out commuter noise whilst you read, then it’s not great for that (unless you have tidy ANC). Furthermore, if you’re using the soundtrack purely for reading to, then you’ll probably want to skip (or remove if in digital format) the two vocal/distracting tracks. Otherwise, as I said, it’s a decent soundtrack that’s great for accompanying sci-fi or creeping paranormal books etc.

As a soundtrack for general background music, this is also one of the better ones out there. It’s got plenty going on in it, and the opening prologue really sets the scene for the overall feel of the music. For fans of the book and/or original film, this is a great way to enjoy the vibe of the story whilst being able to get on with other stuff.

Interestingly the soundtrack was written and recorded by US rock band Toto (accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Volksoper Choir) and was the only film score to come from the band.

DLS Review:
The soundtrack starts off with an opening Prologue with a female narrator telling us the setting for the ‘Dune’ story, and the importance of ‘Spice’ and how it’s harvested on the planet of Arrakis. For those using the soundtrack to read with, this opening prologue is less than 2-minutes long and so can be skipped without losing too much of the soundtrack.

From here we have dramatic, Danny Elfman type of strings and percussion vibe, which culminates in a wonderful 80’s sci-fi soundtrack vibe. There’s a lot of similarities with Elfman’s ‘Planet Of The Apes’ (2001) soundtrack, delivering spats of strange and alien-like music which accompanies overarching score.

From here the soundtrack moves on to deliver a relatively atmospheric and altogether less-urgent backing piece that you’ll find is ideal for reading to. There’s slow and carefully considered strings and subtle, natural sounding keyboards which are used to provide an unassuming background accompaniment for the film.

Track six – ‘The Floating Fat Man (The Baron)’ – throws in a short vocal extract from the film, before leaping into an urgent organ piece which might also be a tad too overbearing for reading to. This track is however less than a minute-and-a-half, so again easy to skip without chipping too much into the soundtrack.

After this we have some more atmospheric and slower-paced backing music, not great for masking a noisy commute with but damn good for reading with. Track eight picks up the pace a little, with some percussion thrown into the mix, a handful of solid strings and wind instruments, along with a peppering of female choir vocals (no words just atmospheric notes to accompany the music) which again add to the score and doesn’t disrupt it at all from a reading perspective.

Following this we’re back into a subtler and more quietly atmospheric backing score. That is until Track Ten steps in to insert a bit of energy into the mix with the ‘Dune (Desert Theme)’ which unleashes electric guitars, drums and keyboards, to provide a general 80s vibe that might be a little challenging to read to unless you’re totally engrossed in your book, but it is a darn good slice of instrumental 80s prog rock nonetheless!

From here on we’re back into the quieter, more reserved backing soundtrack that’s again, ideal for reading to. For the remainder of the soundtrack, it does to-and-fro with picking up its pace and urgency. Nonetheless, with the last third or so of the soundtrack we have nothing short of a quality backing score that works perfectly for a reader.

As a soundtrack for reading to:

The soundtrack as a whole:

© DLS Reviews

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