B-Sides: Norman Bates’ Scream of Love
With A&E’s “Bates Motel” premiering Monday evening, now is a perfect time for Norman Bates to make his one and only B-Sides appearance. What? You didn’t know a Psycho movie spawned a pop song and MTV music video? “Scream of Love” was the Psycho III theme song. Sorry, Norman; can’t blame mother for this one.
For more than a quarter century Carter Burwell has been composing film scores. Over 80 movies boast his musical contributions; you’ve heard his work in such films as The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even several of the Twilight films. Early in his career Burwell composed the score for the Anthony Perkins directed Psycho III. The soundtrack produced a couple original songs, mostly heard in the background coming from a jukebox. Universal, however, wanted something with more pop to it in order to promote Psycho III on MTV. One soundtrack song got remixed into this pop song, released as a single that became a minor hit with the dance club set and spawned a very Eighties music video. Never mind the fact that this MTV-ified version of the song that became known as “Scream of Love” was never even heard in the film.
Someone for posterity’s sake had their VCR set to record the night Anthony Perkins DJ’d for MTV to unveil “Scream of Love”. What would Alfred Hitchcock have said if he ever saw Anthony Perkins on MTV introducing a music video in which he goes into full Norman Bates mode terrorizing a woman (I believe that is pre-“Baywatch” babe Shawn Weatherly) set to the tune of a jazzy pop song entitled “Scream of Love”? He probably would have said something along the lines of, "What do you mean 'a third Psycho'?"
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