Review: La La Land Records’ Friday The 13th Part 2 Ultimate Cut Soundtrack Is An Audio Treat With Surprises

Harry Manfredini’s score for Friday The 13th Part 2 has always been one of the most distinguishable among the films in the franchise. Whereas the successors to the first franchise sequel, Part 3 and The Final Chapter, would largely use cues and tracks from previous films, mainly the original 1980 film, a lot of Part 2 brings new sounds to the burgeoning franchise. What’s interesting is that most of the unique music created for the adventures of sackhead Jason Voorhees is never reused in subsequent sequels, and that is why the complete soundtrack for Friday The 13th Part 2 is it’s own self contained masterpiece.

Up until 2012, the only official soundtrack releases for the films of the franchise were comprised of Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday, Jason X, Freddy vs Jason, and a compilation vinyl and CD release of certain music from the first three films. There had never been proper individual releases of the Paramount era films, so La La Land Records set out to create that very first release of these films proper, and did so with an awesome six film audio box set that included soundtracks for the original 1980 film through to the 1986 film Jason Lives. The set was limited to 1300 units and sold out within 24 hours. Fans were hungry for an official release of music from the earlier films and La La Land delivered. Eventually, individual soundtrack releases were offered and even music from Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Tales Manhattan have been released. So why did it take so long to get these soundtracks released? There was no known source material to create the soundtrack from!

What changed everything is the 2009 DVD Special Edition releases of the Paramount Era films. The new 5.1 audio mix on those films allowed La La Land Records to pull the necessary audio components to craft the individual film soundtracks, without requiring the source tapes created by Harry Manfredini decades earlier. On January 13, 2012, fans were treated to an excellent compilation of audio fun to be cherished forever.

The soundtrack game changed even further when La La Land Records tracked down the original 16 inch audio master tapes in the vaults of Paramount a few years ago which led to the discovery of vast amounts of never before hear audio cues from Friday The 13th 1980 and Part 2. Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Cut soundtrack was released in December 2021 with resounding success presenting a perfect audio experience showcasing crisp and clear sounds that make the listener feel like they are hearing the music for the first time. That brings us to very recent release of Friday The 13th Part 2: The Ultimate Cut.

The first sequel in the franchise is in fact adored by most all of the fans of the franchise. Widely revered as the best sequel, in fact, for many, the film introduces Jason Voorhees as the new killer and presents new  opportunities to expand on the back story as well as the audio barrage on filmgoers. Harry Manfredini’s new cues and themes are perfectly fit for this film and the story of a lost and vengeful man child running around Crystal Lake. Although I do not hold Friday The 13th Part 2 as in high regard as other fans, there is no mistake the sounds of this film are one of the main stars.

The work done by Jerry Lambert and James Nelson to remaster and mix the new Ultimate Cut release is astonishing. As with the previous Ultimate Cut release of the 1980 film, I found myself in awe, hearing sounds and instruments I know I have never been able to pick out even while watching the film more than one hundred times. There are pronounced and enhanced instrument sounds that really make this soundtrack pop. The first track (The Dream) is one my favorites as it really showcases the eerie and uptempo sounds. 

I have to point out the one track that is something of a surprise and that is Jenny Gets Followed (Yes, Ginny is referenced as Jenny). As pointed out in the liner notes by Brian Satterwhite:

The music does not appear in the film because the scene itself was cut prior to release. According to film notes hand-scribbled on Manfredini’s manuscript, the music enters after Ginny beats Paul (John Furey) in chess

The scene then follows Ginny on the hike to her cabin where she continuously looks around, sensing someone is watching her. She starts running and eventually bumps into other counselors in training headed the opposite direction. The scene itself seems to be short and doesn’t add much to the film, which is why it may have been excised, but this never before heard track is a nice little treat as it is another discovered cut scene.

The are some really great additions to this release also that include Manfredini’s rock and roll source music for the bar scene in the film, music for the film dissolves, and even Jeff’s harmonica medley. There is so much to point out on individual tracks, I could write numerous paragraphs, but needless to say, there is a lot of audio treasures to behold in this release. Even the most subtle of sounds is enhanced for this soundtrack. 

I highly recommend getting this release from La La Land Records as it not only represents the best audio you may ever hear from Friday The 13th Part 2, but it brings a real historical aspect along with it whereas you must read the liner notes to appreciate the work that went into bringing Harry Manfredini’s master work to the fans with the utmost care and professionalism.

Buy the soundtrack at La La Land Records today!

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