Obscure Grooves #14: Music from the Nonexistent Film "Manhole"

In 1973, Grace Slick recorded her first solo album, a soundtrack to the movie Manhole.  Unfortunately, the movie itself was never made, but the resulting soundtrack was released on its own.  Not surprisingly, the album wasn't particularly successful, and it was soon forgotten.  God only knows what this movie was actually going to be about (I'd appreciate it if anyone could shed some light on this).

That being said, the music for this soundtrack ended up being completely brilliant, and deserves another listen.  That's where Retrospace comes in. Here's the 12 minute title track for a movie that never was...

"Theme from The Movie Manhole" by Grace Slick


I can't help but wonder if there were any other soundtracks created for movies that never were.  I know Pete Townsend had conceived of a movie called Lifehouse, and wrote a number of tracks for it, but it never materialized.  I used to think Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds fell into this category, but it turns out its corresponding movie La VallĂ©e was actually released.

The Elder (by Kiss) always struck me as a soundtrack rather than just a concept album, but my understanding is that it was recorded as something more akin to Floyd's The Wall rather than a movie soundtrack.  At any rate, I can't think of any other examples of soundtracks for nonesistent movies (a quick Google search proved fruitless).  I'd be interested to learn of other examples.


  1. I know of two other such soundtracks, both from Blaxploitation films that were never made. Shorty the Pimp recorded by Don Julian and Brotherman by the Final Solution. Both are worth searching out.

  2. The Belgian band, Univers Zero, cultivated a very dark sound especially on their first two records. Particularly, their second record (Heresie) has that sorta music-in-search-of-a-nightmarish-horror-film sound.

  3. Garth Brooks composed music for a film about a rock singer named Chris Gaines, which was (I think) to star Garth, but it never got made, although the soundtrack album was released

  4. There were two British jazz bands who, almost at the same time in the early 90s, created soundtrack albums for movies that never existed.

    The James Taylor Quartet (not the "You've Got A Friend" crooner) put out an album in 1993 called The Moneyspyder which sounds like the soundtrack to a missing 60's crime thriller. Here's an excellent sample which shows just how well they've captured the period sound of 60s thriller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4qhQm7tpaA&feature=related

    The second album was from Corduroy and called "High Havoc", again trying to capture a 60s movie vibe, but from a nonexistant sexy caper movie like "Arabesque" or "Charade". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2jDt5yiyQY

  5. "After the Goldrush" was partially based on an unproduced screenplay:


  6. As far as I can tell, this album is essentially as far as the movie project got (the album was an underground success, though it never broke two digits on the Billboard charts).

    Don't go looking too hard for the movie, unless you're an aficionado of gay porn, where the term is reasonably popular.

  7. The JAMS (aka: The Timelords, aka: The KLF, aka: 2K, aka: K Foundation, etc) had their biggest success with their album The White Room, which was supposed to be a soundtrack for a movie of the same name. They shot a lot of footage, and edited it together into something, but it was never officially released. I'm not sure it was actually finished either. You can watch what exists of it on Youtube.

    Within more traditional movie making circles I'd bet this happens all the time. I think with mediocre composers they just stock pile stuff until a contract comes along and then they package some stuff up and sell it, sometimes more than once. I remember one hearing "The Death of Optimus Prime" (from Transformers: The Movie 1986) as background music in some exploitive "news" show about some sort of royal scandal. If the move never gets made...well, the music is still there, maybe it will be used for something else. All that "stock music" used in Ed Wood movies has to come from somewhere, right?

  8. The Klaus Schultz soundtrack for the canceled Jodorowski version of Dune. Arthur Brown sings on it.

    It is called "Dune"