Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music, by David Hollander (Anthology Editions), is a deep dive into a musical universe that has, until now, been accessible only to producers and record collectors; a celebration of this strange industry and an examination of its unique place at the nexus of art and commerce.
Featuring original art by Robert Beatty and an introduction by George A. Romero—whose use of library music in Night of the Living Dead changed film history— Unusual Sounds is mandatory reading for anyone interested in this enigmatic field and its hidden but pervasive cultural influence.
In the heyday of B-movies, low-budget television and scrappy genre filmmaking, producers looking for a soundtrack reached for library music: royalty-free LPs of stock recordings for any mood. Initially regarded as an inexpensive alternative to traditional film scores, library labels became treasure troves for record collectors, and much of the work became recognized as extraordinary. Unusual Sounds is a journey into this hidden musical universe from writer and filmmaker David Hollander. The book features histories, interviews, and extraordinary visuals from the field’s most celebrated creators.