Section 4: Music (CDs, LPs, Cassettes, Scores)
Cover for Gottfried Huppertz's original score to the film Metropolis. Published by UFA in 1927.
The 'silent', expressionist nature of Fritz Lang's Metropolis naturally lends itself to enhancement by musical accompaniment. This has occurred in numerous forms since Gottried Huppertz first penned a piano / small orchestra-based score for the film during 1926, ready for its Berlin premiere. This score was published by UFA at the beginning of 1927 and copies were supplied to relevant cinemas. It apparently accompanied a version of the film run at the fast speed of 28 frames per second (remembering that the film was originally shot at 16 fps). An altered, shortened score was also printed in the United States to accompany the Channing Pollock version of Metropolis, as released in March 1927. Since that time various personal musical interpretations of the film have appeared, especially with the advent of the film's release on video from the late 1970s. As early as 1927 a ballad - City of Dreams - was composed by William Helmore and published in London, inspired by the film.
One of the most competent - and successful - adaptations of music to Fritz Lang's film is Georgio Moroder's sountrack for the 1984 restoration and and colourised edition. It featured a number of contemporary pop songs and modern electronic music specifically written to enhance the visuals. Apart from this, all manner of musical accompaniment is to be found on the various video releases of Metropolis, ranging from 1930s jazzified piano, through modern freeform, to full orchestral backing.
Metropolis continues to be popular with musicians as a backdrop to live performance, with artists such as the Alloy Orchestra, the Club Foot Orchestra and individual musicians promoting the filmic/aural experience. Further to this, various images and motifs from the film have appeared in music videos by artists such as Queen and Madonna. In 1989 a multimillion dollar musical based on Metropolis was mounted on the London stage, and in 1997 a radio play adaptation was issued on cassette. The following bibliography lists musical items associated in some was with Metropolis since its final editng in 1926.
Aaberg, Philip, 'Metropolis - score for piano', 19 April 1999. Go to www.philipaaberg.com and select 'Projects' for details of the Metropolis score, its creation, and live performance at Great Falls, Montana.
Alloy Orchestra, /Metropolis', CD. Quote: "The Alloy Orchestra was co-founded in 1992 by composer Caleb Sampson (synthesizers) and percussionist Ken Winokur. Terry Donahue, on percussion and accordion, rounds out the trio. A futuristic vision of the modern city, Metropolis launched the Alloy Orchestra's career as accompanists of silent films. The film is a sci-fi fantasy: oppressed workers toil in an underground factory while their rulers frolic in luxury. A mad scientist attempts to stifle a workers' rebellion by turning their saintly leader into a robot. A cataclysmic ride through decadent discotheques and an exploding city follows, all aurally accompanied by Alloy's drums, gongs, chimes and melody." See Bentley College for a report on a performance during 1998.
Alloy Orchestra, 'Silents', CD. Compilation of excerpts from soundtracks composed for silent films such as Metropolis and The Lost World.
Bellotte, Pete, and Moroder, Georgio, Cage of Freedom - Lyrics , 1998. Lyrics to the song 'Cage of Freedom' from the Georgio Moroder version of Metropolis. Sung in the film by Jon Anderson of the rock band Yes. Released as a single in the UK.
Bertetto, Paulo, Fritz Lang - Metropolis [Opere], Lindau, Torino, 1990, 222p. Opera score.
Club Foot Orchestra, Metropolis, Heyday Records, 1998. Link to sale site for the CD of the Club Foot Orchestra's Metropolis score.
DeCosta, Richard, Metropolis, web site with MP3 music files, including 'Metropolis - Main Titles', 'Stealing Maria's Soul' and 'Rotwang's Dwelling.' A work in progress. October 1999.
Froese, Edgar, 'Metropolis' (Inspired by Fritz Lang's movie), Ages, CD, length: 11 mins. 12 sec. Froese was a member of the band Tangerine Dream.
Haddaway, 'Life' (music video). Haddaway's video for his song Life features Metropolis motifs.
Helmore, William, 'City of Dreams', Ballad, Francis, Day & Hunter, Ltd., London, 1927. Words and music by William Helmore. Inspired by the Ufa film Metropolis.
Huppertz, Gottfried (1887-1937), Metropolis Musik zum gleichnamigen Ufa-Film. Op. 29, Universum-Film, Berlin, 1927, 159p. Musical score, original in Staatsbibliothek, Berlin (D B) For piano. This is the original musical score for the film as first premiered at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo, Berlin, on 10 January 1927.
Kraftwerk, 'Metropolis and the Robots', in The Man Machine, LP, 1978.
---, Robotronik Ubermensch, CD, 1990s. Remixed version of original tracks from the 1970s, including 'Metropolis - Fritz Lang Mix'.
Madonna, Express Yourself (Music Video), 1989. Incorporates motifs from Metropolis.
Markes, Martin, [Prof. Martin] Marks gives Metropolis new life with musical score. Reproduced from The Tech, MIT, 115(19), 21 April 1995, 7. Notice of a presentation of the film accompanied by a new score by Prof. Marks.
Matalon, Martin, 'Music for Metropolis', Filmmuseum Munich, 1995. Matalon wrote music for the 1995 restoration of Metropolis by the Munich Filmmuseum. The CD version is available from IRCAM - Metropolis web site, Institute of Research and Coordination in Acoustics / Music, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris.
Mercury, Freddie, 'Love Kill's', 7" and 12" singles (4.27 and extended dance mixes 5.21), backed with the instrumental 'Rotwang's Dance.' The A-side 'Love Kill's' was recorded by Freddie Mercury, Georgio Moroder and Mack in 1983 and released September 1984. The 'B' side 'Rotwang's Dance' is only available on this single.
Metropolis Experience, Oslow, Norway. Notice of live music presentation utilising Metropolis as a backdrop. DJs - Barabass & Theory, Percussion - Sisu. 1999.
Metropolis musical, London cast double LP and double/single CDs, 1989. For further information see also Metropolis - The Musical page at Rev. Quinn's Metropolis web site.
Sauer, Silvia, Ernst Seitz and Colin Dunwoodie, Metropolis Projekt, Germany, 1995-8. See Aitam Bar-Sargi's Metropolis Reconstruction web site for a description of this live musical event - a 3-piece accompaniement to the Georgio Moroder version of the film. The group has toured the world with this show between 1995-8.
Moravioff, Galeshka, Metropolis, CD, Films Sans Frontieres, Paris, 1998. Original music created at the time of the restoration of Metropolis in February 1995, by Films Sans Frontieres and the FilmMuseum of Munich. Music composed and interpreted by Galeshka Moravioff, based on Gottfried Huppertz's original score. Recorded in September and October 1994 at the Temple Studio, Paris. Copy available from Films Sans Frontiers web site.
Cover of the CD edition of the Metropolis soundtrack, 1984.
Moroder, Georgio, 'Metropolis' (soundtrack), LP and CD, CBS Records, 1984. Track listing as follows: 1. Love Kills (Freddie Mercury) 2. Here's My Heart (Pat Banatar) 3. Cage Of Freedom (Jon Anderson) 4. Blood From A Stone (Cycle V) 5. The Legend Of Babel (Giorgio Moroder) 6. Here She Comes (Bonnie Tyler) 7. Destruction (Loverboy) 8. On Your Own (Billy Squier) 9. What's Going On (Adam Ant) 10.Machines (Giorgio Moroder). Promo and test pressing were also issued. Additional tracks also available as B-sides, e.g. 'Rotwang's Dance' on B-side of Freddie Mecury's 'Love Kills'.
Queen, Radio Ga Ga (Single / Music Video), 1984. See Radio Ga Ga web site. A Metropolis theme was adopted for the music video. Mpeg version of the clip available from Aitam Bar-Sagi's Metropolis Reconstruction web site.
Schaaf, Dan, Metropolis - Music for US Premiere. Music performed by Dan Schaaf Electronic Ensemble. Composed by Dan Schaaf. To be performed at Vickers Theatre. Real audio sample available at web page, plus CD.
Tapani Suomela and Friends, 'Metropolis', 6 minutes 38 seconds, piano, Finland, 1999. MP3 file avialable via web site.
Third Ear Radio Theatre, Metropolis, Ziggurat Productions, Topanga, California, 1995. Sound recording, 2 audio cassettes, stereo. Full cast production with original music sound effects and sonic soundscape imagery performed by Third Ear Radio Theatre. Produced, engineered, sound effects, and original music by Bob E. Flick; produced, directed, and sound effects by Perry Jacob. Introduction by Forrest Ackerman.
Trioglyzerin, Metropolis (1927) Live, German, 1998. Information regarding the German musical trio Trioglyzerin and their live performances of a Metropolis score.
Vine, Carl, Descent (Metropolis: the workers' view): a symphonic poem, Faber Music, London, 1997, 47p. Miniature score, for orchestra and film projection, 11 minutes.
Young Composers Collective, 'Metropolis', CD.Last updated: 30 January 2011.