Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a wild ride through science fiction, horror, and musical extravaganza, has captivated audiences for decades. But beyond the flamboyant costumes and catchy tunes lies a question: who wrote the music that fuels this cult classic?

While the film is based on the stage musical “The Rocky Horror Show,” with music, book, and lyrics by Richard O’Brien, the credit for the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack goes to two key figures:

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Richard O’Brien:

The mastermind behind the entire Rocky Horror phenomenon, O’Brien composed the original music for the stage show. Tracks like “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” “Sweet Transvestite,” and “The Time Warp” all sprang from his creative vision.

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Richard Hartley:

This talented English composer and arranger took O’Brien’s stage tunes and transformed them for the silver screen. Hartley’s arrangements added a new layer of polish and theatricality to the music, making it perfect for the film’s larger-than-life setting.

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack also features a few additional elements:

Studio Musicians:

A skilled group of session musicians brought the music to life in the recording studio. Their performance added a professional touch and helped capture the energy of the songs.

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The film boasts a stellar cast, including Tim Curry (Dr. Frank-N-Furter), Susan Sarandon (Janet Weiss), and Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors). These actors brought their vocal talents to the table, delivering iconic performances of the show’s signature songs.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic film released in 1975, but its roots trace back to the stage. The stage play premiered in 1973 at the Theater Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Its quirky blend of science fiction, horror, and rock music quickly gained a devoted following.

The film adaptation, directed by Jim Sharman, retained the essence of the stage production. It hit the silver screen in 1975, captivating audiences with its outrageous characters, catchy tunes, and unconventional storyline.

Song TitleWriter (Uncredited)Performed By
Science Fiction/Double FeatureRichard O’BrienRichard O’Brien
Dammit JanetRichard O’BrienBarry Bostwick & Susan Sarandon
Over At The Frankenstein PlaceRichard O’BrienBarry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, & Richard O’Brien
Time WarpRichard O’BrienRichard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, & Charles Gray
Sweet TransvestiteRichard O’BrienTim Curry, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, & Nell Campbell
The Sword of DamoclesRichard O’BrienTrevor White
I Can Make You A ManRichard O’BrienTim Curry
Hot Patootie – Bless My SoulRichard O’BrienMeat Loaf
I Can Make You a Man (Reprise)Richard O’BrienTim Curry & Susan Sarandon
Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch MeRichard O’BrienSusan Sarandon, Nell Campbell, Patricia Quinn, Tim Curry, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, & Trevor White
EddieRichard O’BrienJonathan Adams, Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Nell Campbell, Charles Gray, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Trevor White, & Richard O’Brien
Planet, Schmanet, JanetRichard O’BrienTim Curry, Jonathan Adams, Barry Bostwick, & Susan Sarandon
Rose Tint My WorldRichard O’BrienNell Campbell, Trevor White, Barry Bostwick, & Susan Sarandon
Fanfare/Don’t Dream ItRichard O’BrienTim Curry, Jonathan Adams, Barry Bostwick, & Susan Sarandon
Wild And Untamed ThingRichard O’BrienTim Curry & Richard O’Brien
I’m Going HomeRichard O’BrienTim Curry
Super HeroesRichard O’BrienBarry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, & Charles Gray
Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise)Richard O’BrienRichard O’Brien
Happy BirthdayMildred J. Hill & Patty S. Hill (Not Credited)Cast (likely)
Although not credited on the soundtrack, Richard O’Brien wrote all the songs (except “Happy Birthday”) and deserves recognition for his creative contribution.

The Soundtrack: A Glam Rock Extravaganza

The 1975 soundtrack album for The Rocky Horror Picture Show remains an enduring masterpiece. Released by Ode Records, it features a mix of genres, including glam rock, pop rock, and rock and roll.

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The album’s standout tracks include the mesmerizing “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, which opens the film and sets the tone for the following wild ride.

Chart Success and Legacy

Despite initial challenges, the album found renewed interest after its release. Co-founder of Jem Records, Marty Scott, secured licensing agreements that allowed the album to be imported to the United States.

The soundtrack reached No. 49 on the Billboard 200 in 1978 and achieved Gold certification by the RIAA in 1981.

Who Wrote the Music for Rocky Horror Picture Show?

William Ruhlmann of AllMusic hailed it as the “definitive version of the [Rocky Horror] score”.

Notably, the original release omitted a few songs from the film, including Rocky’s “The Sword of Damocles” and Frank-N-Furter’s “Planet, Schmanet, Janet”. These were later restored for the 25th-anniversary edition.

Richard O’Brien’s creative genius, combined with the musical talents of Richard Hartley, gave birth to a soundtrack that defies convention and continues to thrill audiences across generations.

So, next time you do the Time Warp, remember the man behind the madness: Richard O’Brien!

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