John Carpenter ‎– Assault On Precinct 13 (The Original Motion Picture Score)

Record Makers ‎– Rec-12
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All photographs: © CKK Corporation
Mastered at Translab, Paris/France


It is interesting (but not surprising) that the soundtrack for ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is only 26 minutes long. In my own defense, it was all the time I could afford in the recording studio. I had to compose and perform a few mood pieces that I could use again and again through the movie. This was 1976 - the days of ultra-low-budget movie-making. The entire cost of Assault was $100,000. You can imagine how much we spent on the score.

Before recording ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13's music, I thought of Bernard Hermann and his ability to achieve maximum impact from minimum means. As I recall, I had about 3 days to complete the score. I remember having great difficulty with a quiet piano sequence to be played over the death of Nancy Loomis' character Julie. The main title theme was relatively easy after we established the beat. Ice Cube told me 25 years later that the beat always comes first.

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is a truly minimalist score. I never imagined that anyone anywhere at any time would listen to the music on its own away from the images and narrative. I'm grateful for this CD. I hope you enjoy it.

John Carpenter

Distributed by Chronowax
℗ & © 1977 CCK Corporation under exclusive license to Record Makers
© Sony TV music publishing, ltd.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 3 700078 409060
  • Rights Society: BEL BIEM


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November 13, 2015
edited 2 months ago
After wondering if there were a missing entry for a rare & long forgotten minor 1970's release, it dawned on me that this is pretty much where the king of horror & accidental king of minimal dark synth theme's (alongside Alan Howarth) began that journey; Even the following now cult classic 'Halloween' didn't get a western score release until several years after it's screening, as their wasn't yet an audience for listening to the music, independent from the images & unfolding stories for which it were created. Even JC himself, it would seem, had not imagined the music would be viewed in it's own right, or as an individual source of pleasure.

For someone playing with a tiny budget, making background music for a low budget film, this soundtrack & all that followed shows an unspoken, humble & quiet talent that manages to bring emotions to the boil, while seemingly barely doing anything at all. Listening back on it now brings a tear to the eye, nostalgia never sounded so sinister- sweet...



December 21, 2004
edited over 14 years ago

Thank God for the re-release of this soundtrack. Given a good pressing on heavyweight vinyl too. Its astonishing to think this music was recorded thirty years ago.

Its easy to see how artists like John Carpenter would have influenced early Techno and Electro pioneers with music as futuristic sounding as 'Assault On Precinct 13', released in the mid-seventies.