Badlands Soundtrack

By March 17, 2009Blog, Snippets

My friend Mickey sent me a great percussion piece featuring marimba today, after our discussions re. film soundtracks. I haven’t included that here, just details on the soundtrack to Badlands, one of my favourite films, and soundtracks, ever – and the original inspiration for exploring the marimba / xylophone for film music.

From Robert J. Thomas’s DVD review, some soundtrack details for Badlands (1973):

“Musica Poetica”*
by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman

“Trois Morceaux en forme de Poire”
by Erik Satie

Theme “Migration”
by James Taylor

Written by H. Barnes, H. Cornelius, D. John
Performed by Nat “King” Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records

Written by M. Baker, B. Smith, S. Robinson
Performed by Mickey and Sylvia

*Some tracks are on “The Best Of Carl Orff”, BMG 75605 51357 2, 1999:

..Carmina Burana – highlights – about half the 1 hour long masterpiece.
..Schulwerk (School work) – excerpts (collaboration with Gunild Keetman)
…. Rundadinella
…. Guten Morgen, Spielmann (Gunild Keetman)
…. Der Wind, der weht
…. * Gassenhauer (Gunild Keetman)
…. Wer da bauet an der Strassen
…. Malaguena (Gunild Keetman)
…. C’est le mai
…. Carillon
…. Sommerkanon
…. Lügenmärchen
…. Stücke auf Ostinato (Gunild Keetman)
…. Schlaf, Kindleinm schlaf
…. * Passion
…. Tanzstück (Gunild Keetman)

Edit: Apparently the film’s composer, George Aliceson Tipton, composed more original music for the film than is usually acknowledged (thanks to Adrian below for pointing this out). He can be found discussing this in Rosy-Fingered Dawn a 2002 documentary on Malick’s films (which I’ll now try to track down).


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  • Elle says:

    Thank for this. Badlands is simply one of the greatest movies ever made. In my books, it is the greatest.

    This is the first place that I’ve found that lists the whole soundtrack. Suprised the soundtrack is no avaliable to buy. I would buy it for sure.

    Thanks again.

  • Megan says:

    Hi Elle – do you know what track was used for the theme of the film? The opening music & theme tune?

  • Adrian says:

    This is terrific, but it is far from a FULL soundtrack listing – pity the poor composer, George Aliceson Tipton, who not only arranged many of the pieces sourced, but also composed other pieces in order to blend the entire musical track into an organic whole ! His contribution to the greatness of the film is huge. There is a rare Italian doco on Malick (the great man doesn’t appear himself!) in which Tipton is interviewed in his music studio, and he discusses the work he did on the film. He holds up his score for a piece that fans of the film often mistakenly attribute to Carl Orff !! (as did the David Chesworth Ensemble when it released its lovely ‘Badlands Suite’ on CD. When I asked Chesworth where he got the sheet music for the pieces he said there was none, he just transcribed the tunes from the film itself).

  • Jon says:

    Was the music of Musica poetica composed for children as part of the Orf Schulwerk system and then used in Badlands or was it actually created for Badlands?

  • Lesley says:

    Wow! I have been looking for this soundtrack for years, on and off I look for details, without much luck! So thank you so much, I missed the article you sourced. Very happy . It is one of the best soundtracks ever.

  • Hi! I’ve been searching high and low for the Satie piece from Badlands. For the film it had a very unusual orchestration, whereas you can only find the piano version for sale.

    Do you happen to know where I can get a mp3/wav/aiff/whatever version of the Badlands version of this great piece?


  • Linda says:

    Best soundtrack ever. I, too, have been looking for the soundtrack for years with no luck. The original music by the composer George Tipton which is the unifying musical theme throughout the whole movie is what I am talking about. For me, it is the best dance music ever and I love it. Why can’t I buy it? Anyone?

  • michael says:

    does anyone know where to get the film version of the erik satie song?

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