Days of our Lives
Musical Score By: Ken Corday and D. Brent Nelson
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of our Lives.” Everyone in the world knows this famous introduction to the NBC daytime soap opera which first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965. Ten years later, the show was expanded to an hour, much to the delight of fans. Days of our Lives has remained a favorite of soap opera fans everywhere over the years, garnering numerous Emmy Awards and nominations and a multitude of Soap Opera Digest and People’s Choice Awards.
Having never watched the show myself, I am told that it is much like any other soap opera I watched in my youth, but with a twist. Days of our Lives’ diverse cast and storylines are the key and feature such interesting events as demonic possession, serial killings, baby switching, amnesia and the ever-classic love triangle.
Used to punctuate specific moments by adding a modicum of drama to an already dramatic scene, soap opera soundtracks are often the butt of several jokes. We often joke about what our lives would be like with a musical underscore. But the reality of soap opera scores is that each bit of music is painstakingly composed and choreographed to match each scene.
The music of Days of our Lives, created by Executive Producer Ken Corday and composer D. Brent Nelson, is used not just as background filler for each storyline. It is used to enhance each scene, accentuating the emotion and dramatic events of the storyline.
Recently, La-La Land Records released a 2CD compilation of music from the Days of our Lives television series. Compiled by Corday and Nelson, creating a soundtrack of such proportions was a daunting task. It had been ten years since the duo had put together a collection of score from the show and as D. Brent Nelson states, “Being the prolific composers that Ken and I are, we found ourselves faced with 3500 pieces of music to choose from.” They decided to tackle this daunting task by creating a different theme for each disc.
No Days of our Lives collection would be complete without the opening theme and Disc One begins with just that. This is followed by melodic musical choices which denote the more positive side of the town of Salem. Anyone who has ever watched soap operas will be able to guess just what is going on in this 28-track CD. Emotional family moments, romance, sadness - all are denoted by gentle pianos, smooth orchestral melodies and loving guitars.
There is no denying that Disc Two represents the darker side of Salem. The action and adventure, deviousness and danger - all are represented via the use of electric guitars, synthesizers and reverberating notes. At 33 tracks in length, this CD is decidedly dark and fast-paced.
Believe it or not, I enjoyed the first CD more than the second. I’m a sucker for a pretty melody. The acoustic guitar and melodic piano based scores are right up my alley. I was rather surprised at how elaborately beautiful some of these tracks truly are. The second CD was perfect for the action and intrigue of the scenes they represent, but I much more preferred the lighter pieces as such things of beauty rather than the racier tracks.
Fans of Days of our Lives will love this compilation. I can picture many of them listening to the CDs and trying to guess which scene the music was created for, perhaps reconstructing the scene in their mind’s eye while listening to the music. With over sixty tracks of music and a booklet containing words from the composers and the album sequencer as well as a multitude of photos from the show, at just over $20.00US, the Days of our Lives Soundtrack is more than a bargain. This will make a great gift for any Days of our Lives fanatic and a nice addition to any music lover’s collection.