Van Dyke Parks

Super Chief: Music For The Silverscreen

Image of Van Dyke Parks - Super Chief: Music For The Silverscreen
Record Label
Bella Union

About this item

‘Super Chief: Music For The Silver Screen’ is an ‘orchestral fantasy’ inspired by a rail journey Van Dyke embarked upon across the United States in 1955.

Originally made available for the first time on a very limited vinyl pressing in 2013. Now re-pressed, following an almost immediate sell out of the original pressing.

In Van Dyke Parks’ own words: “I’ve made an orchestral fantasy illustrating my first trip across the USA by rail, in 1955. This Suite is drawn from over a score of years, and as many films, now re-recorded from my archives as a film-music composer. […] In editing, I was surprised to discover my penchant for folk themes, reframed in orchestral settings. (There are countless quotes from the 19th century ‘The American Century’). […] The lingo of such traditional American music reveals my obsession, however unconscious, for rustic old saws that can still cut the wood. Yep, it’s Americana. All made in the great 48. […] Celtic examples abound: ‘The Water Is Wide’, ‘Old Joe Clark’, ‘The Forked Deer’, ‘Saint Anne’s Reel’, ‘I Ride An Old Paint’, etc. With these references, a dash of lowchurch hymns (‘Goin’ Home’) and an occasional Aboriginal motif, all embedded in this novel and singular Ode to that passing American scene... so long ago, yet about a handshake away. […] It can come in handy as a backdrop to a romantic interlude in candle-lit dinner conversation over a fine linen-count. (I’ve tried this at home.) Perhaps for a head-set in a subway tunnel, or as a car-tune in a smooth segue from the surrounding road-rage on a daily commute.”


The Super Chief
Go West Young Man
To The Dining Car
Bar Talk
Joan Crawford
Last Call
Into The Gloaming
The Crack Of Dawn
Flat As The Platte
Old Joe Clark
The Water Is Wide
I Ride An Old Paint
Iron Horse
Teepee Motel
By Campground
Forgotten Not Gone
The Continental Divide
Just Yonder
Virgin Territory
A Spanish Kitchen
Bolero Torero
The Road Runner And Rattler
Crossing The Colorado
A Date With Valentino
A Short Chat With Miss Crawford
The Joshua Tree
Chateau Marmont

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