Frank Black of Pixies fame has been part of so many projects that it’s hard to keep track, but it’s tough to forget this one. In 2008, Black’s persona Black Francis wrote music for the 1920 silent film The Golem, and now fans who missed out on the collector’s edition of the album earlier this year are privy to The Golem Rock Album, a collection of the film’s more rocking songs to be released November 16.
The story of The Golem is pretty impressive. In 1920, the silent, black and white film (also known in it’s German form, Der Golem) was the last of a series of three films by director Paul Wegener and was released in 1920.
The film sat silent for 88 years, until the San Francisco International Film Festival requested Black Francis score the film and play it live at their festival in April 2008. The show, at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, sold out, but to date remains the only live performance of the album.
Earlier this year, 500 copies of a two-disc edition of the album were sold exclusively through Black Francis’ website. However, November 16th will see the release of The Golem Rock Album, a one-hour “rock opera” derived from the original two-disc album. To accompany the album, the DVD with the complete score (both housed in eco-friendly packaging) will be available on Black Francis’ website and on Amazon.com.
A press release describes The Golem‘s plot as follows:
Set in the 16th century, The Golem: How He Came Into The World tells the story of the persecution of the Jews of Prague. The town’s Rabbi (Rabbi Loew), foreseeing these events, constructs a giant “Golem” out of clay in order to protect his people. Mayhem ensues when the creature rebels and begins to destroy the ghetto. The highly expressionistic imagery seen in the film was captured by legendary cinematographer Karl Freund, who went on to do the classic Metropolis in 1927.
The tracklist for The Golem Rock Album is as follows:
1. Miriam and Florian theme (version 2)
3. Bad News
4. The Flower Song
5. (Oh How I Wish I Could) Stay
6. The Word
8. The Obedient Servant
9. The Maharal
10. Little Stars Theme
11. Miriam and Florian
12. The Conjuring
13. Meet Me at the Ghetto Gates
15. Custom All the Way
16. You’re Gonna Pay
17. The Word (reprise)
18. The Maharal (reprise)