We all know that special feeling. That very special feeling when you know that absolutely nothing can go wrong and you are in total control or all surrounding situations. The feeling of incredible whimsy and no doubt that you are going in the perfect direction. Alex DeLarge experienced this feeling in 1972’s “A Clockwork Orange", a Stanley Kubrick film based on a book by Anthony Burgess. If you have never seen/heard of this story, I’ll do a quick rundown. Alex had a group of “droogs" who he would commit insane crimes with in their own little “future Britain". It was almost as if they had their own little gang. Beating up the homeless one night, raping women the next was how they did it. Sometimes they’d perform the old “in-out" and “ultra-violence" all in one evening. Alex has it made, he has all the sex he wants and never goes to school due to a supposed frequent pain in the “gulliver". But nothing describes what makes Alex happy until you mention Ludwig van Beethoven. He would fall asleep the “the ninth" every night when violence took place. After some more fun and leadership questioning, a robbery goes wrong and Alex’s “droogs" betray him and leave him for the police to handle. It’s a shame that during the robbery Alex had to get someone quiet by killing them with a 7 foot tall porcelain dildo. As evil as Alex is, he tries to get out of the police station though means of begging, but it’s no use.
Alex finds himself in a correctional facility playing the “good boy". He attends all the church meets, and he volunteers for the preacher constantly. The preacher also finds Alex reading the Bible a lot, so he gets his good side. There comes a time some odd years while Alex is serving his sentence that a new form of operation is out that can wipe negativity out of your system. Murderers could be transformed into Mr. Rogers type people. By the way, it also gets you out of prison immediately. Alex jumps at the opportunity, but in the end it ends up practically getting himself killed. He does the procedure, but in the end, everyone he tries to get help from practically gives him the finger because of his past. His parents disown him, his old droogs try to kill him, and he even stumbles into one of the husbands of a woman he raped. Alex is also unable to listen to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, because he feels nauseous when he hears it (it was part of the treatment). After attempting suicide while being locked in a room with “the ninth" playing, he turns up in the hospital and this is where we leave our hero as his cure diminishes.
This soundtrack can, in a way, leave you with the feel of whimsy that Alex was experiencing (minus the murders). It’s something so beautiful that you need to experience to understand the feeling, but I will do my best to describe it. Some of the best songs on this album are performed in a orchestra (see Beethoven’s tracks) while the others are ambient and come straight from some of the most memorable moments from the movie. For example, the first track will give you the perfect image of Alex and his droogs at the “Korova Milk Bar". While “Singin’ In The Rain" will bring back the grizzly images of rape and chaos. These tracks will make you feel (at least aurally) as if you were standing in the movie.
My favorite track on this album is definitely Suicide Scherzo (short for “Ninth Symphony, 2nd Movement"), which is the moment at which Alex is going absolutely bonkers from the torture of listening to Ludwig van. It begins slowly and immediately picks up and turns into one of the most epic things I’ve ever heard. Another really fun one is the William Tell Overture which Im sure you’ve heard before. It’s full of insanity and it sounds like it was sped up for the movie’s sake. As you sloosh around in the beauty of this soundtrack, you’ll find yourself begging for it to end, just so you can start it up again. Every track on this album is absolutely brilliant, and none deserve to be skipped. But you may only enjoy this if you enjoy classical music. The quality of this album is also surprisingly good. The songs all sound like they’re a few years old, when they may be 50. From the Beethoven tracks to the theme music, it all sounds crisp and clean. I also thought it was funny that the quality of the movie was so good considering it was a ’72 indie movie.
All in all, this soundtrack is real horrorshow. It is dynamic on several different levels, and can put either the brightest or the darkest imagery from the film in your gulliver. If you love this movie, then there is no reason not to love this soundtrack. It is the perfect music for a perfect movie. If you have not seen this movie, go get it now. But if you’re under 18, watch it alone due to its brutality.
I’m out my little droogies.