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El Topo Soundtrack

[front cover of El Topo soundtrack]

Following up on the previous Holy Mountain soundtrack post by Brakhage, I humbly present the entire Douglas 6 reissued vinyl soundtrack to Alexandro Jodorowsky’s motion picture, El Topo (aka The Mole), often referred to as “the first midnight movie”. Based on brief online searching, it appears neither the original Apple label release nor the Douglas 6 release are on CD yet but supposedly, according to this trailer there will finally be an official (hopefully North American NTSC) release of El Topo on DVD as well as Holy Mountain and Fando and Lis, so it would logically follow that the soundtracks for both could be released on CD. One can hope anyway. Here are the liner notes transcribed:

MUSIC OF EL TOPO
Composed by Alexandro Jodorowsky
SHADES OF JOY
Arranged and conducted by Martin Fierro

[photo of Martin Fierro]

EL TOPO blew my mind like it’s blown everyone else’s. But being Mexican I felt especially close to it, felt a very complete connection with it. So I think there’s a real organic relationship between what we’ve done with the music on our record and what the music is essentially about. The music, like the rest of the film, is very spiritual — Alexandro’s a very far out cat. What we’ve done with the music sort of takes up where Alexandro left off. In terms of styles and forms we take in many things that have been happening in music since the soundtrack was made, and that makes the music on the record more related to what’s happening on the street and in the society now.

The cats in Shades Of Joy, they’re all ”˜bad’ cats, with different backgrounds and experiences. And we can play a lot of different trips, from Rock to Jazz to Latin to Hillbilly to Country and Western. We got everything into the music — all the things we’re able to do. You see, all the tunes in EL TOPO portray a mood and have so many emotions to explore and develop. There is frustration and pain and love in them. There are pensive moments and happy moments. I took the songs and shaped them the way I saw fit. I think we succeeded in complementing Alexandro very well.

Martin Fierro

[photo of Alexandro Jodorowsky]

I believe that the only end of all human activity — whether it be politics, art, science, etc. — is to find enlightenment, to reach enlightenment. I ask of a film what most North Americans as of psychedelic drugs. The difference being that when one creates a psychedelic film, he need not create a film that shows the visions of a person who has taken a pill; rather, he needs to manufacture the pill

I think there are multiple influences in El Topo — I have them all: the influence of all the books I’ve read and all the films I’ve seen, of all the winds that have blown against my skin, of all the stars that have exploded during my lifetime, of each manifestation of the now manifested, of each flea that’s shit on me. Especially a flea I met in 1955. It shit on me in such an incredible way, that it changed my life. I’m sure that flea’s in my film

Alexandro Jodorowsky

[back cover of El Topo soundtrack]

ON LISTENING TO MARTIN FIERRO’S MUSIC FOR EL TOPO

I was a seed
Watching itself grow on a tree
Knowing
I was the tree,
But feeling
Apart from it.

Earth and water
Came together
With my energy
And the fruits and branches
Were larger far beyond
What I had ever thought.

I sat there
Watching myself grow.

I wanted to leap up out of
The depths of the earth
And drop into the heart of the fruit
Be the future seed, one of them,
Not be the origin.

Alexandro Jodorowsky

Side 1

  1. The Desert is a Circle
  2. Man of Seven Years
  3. Flute in a Quarry
  4. Together

Side 2

  1. El Topo’s Dream
  2. Slowest & Saddest Waltz
  3. Freakout #1

Produced by: Alan Douglas — Doris Dynamite

Eddie Adams, Ken Balzell, Hadley Caliman, Jack Dorsey, Martin Fierro, Luis Gasca, Jackie King, Jerry Love, Mel Martin, Frank Morin, Ivory Smylie, Roger ”˜Jellyroll’ Troy, Howard Wales, Peter Walsh, Jymm Young

All selections composed by Alexandro Jodorowsky except Freakout #1,

By Martin Fierro, published by Editions Douglas Music / BMI.

Label: Douglas 6

8 Comments so far
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Thanks for posting these tracks, and for transcribing those trippy liner notes. First link is broken, however. Figured it out by comparing it to the others. Currently, it’s pointing to…

/wp-admin/01_El_Topo_The_Desert_is_a_Circle.mp3

…but should really be:

/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/01_El_Topo_The_Desert_is_a_Circle.mp3

Keep up the great work. This is my favorite (well, my only) pop culture anthropological artifact site.

I’ve fixed the link. Thanks for letting us know.

you will probably never even read this but i just wanted to say thank you for posting this otherwise i would not have known about this record and found it. i just found it in amoeba sf. i was fingering through most of the vinyl thinking it was very unlikely and when i had come back around i found it, very lonely, sitting on top to the vinyl i was looking through. Jodorowsky was starring right at me. thank you so much. i don’t have a record player yet but for now i’m just content starring at it.

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