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The Satan Bug: Archival Edition (1965)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
The Satan Bug: Archival Edition The Satan Bug: Archival Edition
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: May 2007
Catalog #: Vol. 10, No. 6
# of Discs: 1


The Satan Bug (1965) is one of the first science fiction scores in Jerry Goldsmith's career, the predecessor of such landmarks as Planet of the Apes, The Illustrated Man, The Mephisto Waltz, Capricorn One and Alien.

It is also a recording long thought to be lost, and that is in some ways still true—please see below.

The Satan Bug was a "techno-thriller" (as it would be called today) about a top-secret virus—capable of ending all life on earth—stolen from a secret government installation in the Southwest U.S. George Maharis plays the government agent assigned to retrieve it, with Richard Basehart, Ed Asner, Anne Francis and Dana Andrews among the supporting cast. Based on a book by Ian Stuart (a pseudonym for Alistair MacLean) and directed by John Sturges, the film features hidden identities, cloak-and-dagger intrigue, and chases galore.

Jerry Goldsmith's score to The Satan Bug was an important stepping stone, featuring snaking, snarling atonality and avant garde suspense as a kind of bridge from his television work (such as on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) to feature classics like Planet of the Apes. Goldsmith wrote for an orchestra devoid of high strings—only cellis and bass—with a battery of brass, percussion, woodwinds and two early synthesizers, the Hammond Solovox and Novachord. Utilizing 12-tone serial techniques, Goldsmith concocted an eerie, malevolent sound world of astringent action and seething creepiness.

The master tapes to The Satan Bug were thought to be long destroyed (along with most of United Artists' original soundtracks), but two reels turned up miraculously in the collection of Bob Burns, a beloved industry figure who has archived countless movie props and artifacts. The two units of the 1/2" three-track stereo masters—recorded on the Samuel Goldwyn scoring stage in terrific sound quality—represent around 40% of the score, though none of the large-scale action cues. The only other source for the Satan Bug recording is a monaural music-and-effects track which was isolated on a 1996 laserdisc of the film.

Because, in our opinion, all Jerry Goldsmith music is worth preserving, this premiere "archival edition" of The Satan Bug combines the music-only tapes with the music-and-effects source (newly retransferred) for a chronological presentation of the complete score. (Fortunately, the main and end titles are free of sound effects, as they appear that way in the film.)

By sound effects, please note, we mean sound effects: car noises, helicopters, gunshots, doors slamming, grunts and groans, air conditioners, monkey chirps, is not pretty. But it is all that there is.

The surviving music-only sections total 30:34, and our original intention was to release this material only. We then decided to add the music-and-effects cues as a bonus. It simply happened to work out that the music-and-effects cues "cleaned up" better than we had hoped (due in large part to the transparent way Goldsmith wrote the music), and that the cues were best presented chronologically. The CD liner notes (by Jeff Bond) provide programming instructions for making a music-only sequence.

Whether you buy this CD or not, please understand exactly what it contains, and why we chose to release it. For us, it's a Jerry Goldsmith masterpiece from the sterling '60s and we are delighted to present it.

Jerry Goldsmith Scores on FSM
About the Composer

What to say about Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004), the reason so many of us are soundtrack collectors in the first place? The Los Angeles native knew early on he wanted to write music for the movies, had an extensive training in television in the 1950s (starting at CBS), and went on to an unparalleled career in the movies—capable of brilliance in every genre, and beloved by his peers and fans. FSM has released as many of his scores as we could get our hands on, from classic TV work like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to famous features (Patton) and obscure gems like The Illustrated Man and 100 Rifles...heck, make that all of them. Jerry, we love you and miss you! IMDB

Comments (45):Log in or register to post your own comments
Really enjoying this more and more with repeated listening that the sound FX are no distraction at all. Glad this could be made available at long last in this format!

There's one error in theCD liner notes which says that in the film all of Harold Gould's scenes as Dr. Osterer were cut. In fact, Gould does appear in the opening sequence when John Anderson as the security chief arrives at the base, and Gould who is just leaving, tells Anderson he needs to talk to him and Anderson says he'll go to his house tomorrow.

Really enjoying this more and more with repeated listening that the sound FX are no distraction at all. Glad this could be made available at long last in this format!


Same feeling about this score. The Main Title is fabulous. You can recognize arrangements from THE PRIZE and THE MAN FROM UNCLE pilot.

What the C.D. inlay notes failed to mention was one of the keyboards used in the score was a Hammond Solovox modified with an Echoplex by electronic music pioneer Paul Beaver. Goldsmith mentions this in an interview in the February 1985 issue of KEYBOARD magazine. I should know. I gave a copy of the two part interview to The Margaret Herrick Library.

This CD just gets better and better with every spin, sound effects and all, and call me crazy, but I'm getting a heavy LOST vibe from some of these tracks. Mayhap Giacchino's a fan as well.

This is definitely one of my favorite early Goldsmith scores. The main title is amazing and so is the rest of the score as it makes for a very cohesive listen. I still need to get the FSM archival edition, I've only had the isolated laserdisc track so far (which also has fx and is in mono).

By the way, I own a R2 dvd of this (english audio) with a cover that almost makes it seem like a Tom Clancy movie :D

"The Satan Bug" has been released as a made-on-demand DVD as part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection.

Looking forward to seeing this in an anamorphic 16:9 transfer at long last.

I actually think it's kind of amusing that a thread about THE SATAN BUG should have this particular URL (specifically the "threadID" bit). :)

Is the DVD available to order now? Not at Amazon I notice.

"The Satan Bug" has been released as a made-on-demand DVD as part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection.


Way ahead of its time!

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Jerry (Jerrald) Goldsmith

Margaret Aue-Van Wyck, Justin DiTullio, Marie Fera, Anne Goodman (Karam), Armand Kaproff, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Edgar Lustgarten, David Pratt, Emmet Sargeant, Harold Schneier, Frederick R. Seykora, Eleanor Slatkin

Milton Kestenbaum, Abraham Luboff, Peter A. Mercurio, Keith "Red" Mitchell, Meyer (Mike) Rubin, Ray Siegel

Arthur Gleghorn, Ronald Langinger (aka Ronny Lang), Ted Nash, Martin Ruderman

William Criss, Bert Gassman, Arnold Koblentz, Gordon Pope

Merritt Buxbaum, Dominick Fera, Mitchell Lurie, John Neufeld

Don Christlieb, Fowler A. Friedlander, Norman H. Herzberg, Jack Marsh

French Horn:
Vincent N. DeRosa, William A. Hinshaw, Herman Lebow, Richard E. Perissi

John Clyman, Robert Divall, Emanuel "Manny" Klein

Richard Noel, Lloyd E. Ulyate, Seymour "Cy" Zeldin

Ray Siegel

Artie Kane, Leonard Stack

Paul Beaver

Dorothy S. Remsen

Eddie Aparicio, Jack Costanzo

Hubert "Hugh" Anderson, Frank J. Flynn, Sheldon "Shelly" Manne, Emil Radocchia (Richards), Louis Singer

Arthur Morton

Orchestra Manager:
Sam Freed, Jr., Robert Helfer

Charles F. Adams, Michael Andersen, Lloyd Basham, Howard W. Drew, Percival Goldenson, Barrett O'Hara, Paul Sprosty

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