Using a small orchestra and an electric guitar with it's fuzzbox on overdrive, the soundtrack is a uniquely sixties' sound for the far future. Suitably menacing for the attack of the deadly dolls, depressing enough for the walk through the Labryinth (bummer!), and elated for Pygar's newfound ability to fly. Most of the excitement for the fight in the sky and the climax in Sogo comes from the music - Barbarella would be lost without it.
Besides the celebrated, and much covered, opening song ("Barbarella Psychedella") and the closing number 'An Angel Is Love', several songs crop up during the story, even though they're not source music. Only 'Smoke (Viper Vapour)' and 'The Sex Machine' can actually be heard by the characters. Mind you, Barbarella is humming her own theme tune in Pygar's nest, so she must have it playing in her spaceship!
The additional songs, also performed by Bob Crewe and The Glitterhouse, are heard over Barbarella's ride with Mark Hand ('Love, Love Love Brings Me Down'), and a vocal version of 'I Love All The Love In You' - the tune heard when Barbarella meets Pygar.
Besides a remastering of the original soundtrack, there is a previously unheard alternate version of the main theme (track 23), a very different arrangement, but using the same orchestra. It's an instrumental, as opposed to the song used under opening titles. Perhaps this version was intended to be released as a single.
This new release also reinstates the full version of the opening title song (track 1), now 90 seconds longer. The original vinyl soundtrack (and the 2002 CD) used a slightly different arrangement which starts more abruptly and jumps jarringly into the song. While I much prefer this version, I must say that it doesn't sound quite as 'bright' as the original album.
The new CD also correctly breaks up the tracks as they were on the original vinyl. The 2002 CD track running times didn't correspond to the listed durations, and therefore some of the music wasn't under the right track titles. It might have been just my copy, but the 2002 CD also had a four second chunk missing from 'Pygar's Persecution'. This has now been corrected.
In addition to the soundtrack are three original radio adverts. The five cover versions by The Young Lovers that were on the 2002 CD aren't included, but aren't really essential.
Barbarella CD - samples and ordering information from Harkit Records.