It’s no secret that WarGames is my all time favourite film. It’s my ‘comfort film’, and I’ve easily seen it more than any other film. Unfortunately, however, there isn’t much merchandise for it. There was no movie storybook that I can see, there was no sticker album, no action figures etc. As far as I knew, there was basically just the movie, the novelisation and one video game for the Colecovision that I know of. But I’ve never really hunted in earnest. Until now. I did find a random little WarGames cinema calendar card from Portugal which was quite cool, but the real excitement last week was when I found this WarGames soundtrack on vinyl. For some reason I hadn’t even thought about looking for the soundtrack.

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack for WarGames, written by Arthur B Rubinstein, so I was eager to listen to the LP. I wasn’t disappointed. One of the things I really like about the album is that it contains several bits of dialogue from the film, some of it specifically edited for this soundtrack, in-between each of the musical tracks. I’m no expert in movie soundtracks but I haven’t seen that done a lot.

Shout-out to Ubuntu Vinyls who has put this full soundtrack on YouTube. You can check it out here –

Let’s go through the tracks one by one.

WarGames – The main theme.
Classic. Love it. Military with a real sense of urgency.
Video Fever – Great song. One of my favourite parts of the film when we first meet David in the arcade. I believe this is the one song that is a legit song and not just score by Arthur B Rubinstein.
The Game Begins – The first piece of music here is possibly my favourite track from the whole score. It’s the piece of music used when he first starts hacking on his computer and changing the school grades etc. It’s got a real feel of excitement and power, which is one of the reasons I fell in love with the movie, seeing David have all that power as a kid just by sitting behind a keyboard. There are actually a few mini scores in this ‘track’. One is based around WOPR I’m pretty sure and the instrumental version of ‘History Lesson’ appears here too. That’s a great piece which appears in the film when he is walking round the library and searching through micro-fiche (something that every good film needs) looking for info about Falken.
It Could Be War – Nice montage of most of the recognisable NORAD motifs from the film. You do get a sense of urgency from all these scores. It really addd a huge amount to the film I think.
David’s Concern – Don’t really recognise this one. I’ll keep an ear out for it next time I watch the film (which will probably be quite soon).
NORAD – Some really great bits in this one which are very recognisable from the film. The film is littered with great little scores and motifs.

Edge of the World – Always liked this track but never heard the vocal version before! Very cool.
Confidence is High – I recognise a lot of the bits from NORAD in this track. All very atmospheric.
History Lesson – This is the one when he’s going back to the library loads, from much earlier in the film. They had the instrumental version earlier on Side One in the correct place, as part of ‘The Game Begins’, but this is the full version with vocals. I guess they just had to put this vocal version somewhere. It’s very strange to hear vocals on the track for the first time!
Launch Detection – Some recognisable bits, but not the best track for listening to on its own.
Winner None – This is the bit that works really well in the film, when they are seeing all the missile trajectory arcs flying through the air and Joshua is learning, while it’s also trying to crack the launch codes. Also works well on the soundtrack album on its own.
Edge of the World – This is the instrumental version of Edge of the World that we know from the film. Great track.

According to Wikipedia, Intrada Records issued an expanded release of the soundtrack in 2008 with the complete score, with expanded horn sections and without the film dialogue. In 2018, Quartet Records issued a 35th anniversary expanded 2-CD edition containing the score as presented in the film, and this 1983 Polydor album on disc 2.

So now that’s something else I can collect. I’m going to look for these other two soundtracks now!