Zhadnost: The People’s Party Soundtrack, David Govett / Joe McDermott / Weston Phelan / George Sanger, 1995
Zhadnost: The People’s Party is one of those games that could have only emerged in the mid-90s – that heady time when CD-ROM technology in games was still fairly new and developers were trying to figure out what do with it. Often enough, the extra storage space would simply be filled up with a redbook audio soundtrack (The Terminator). Other developers discovered their cinematic ambitions and turned their games into wannabe-movies and full motion video bonanzas. More or less, Zhadnost: The People’s Party follows that second approach, but it uses FMVs to realise its vision of a whacko communist game show whose contestants compete for their freedom after having been kidnapped by the totalitarian nation of Bizarrnia. Yes, they don’t make them like they used to.
It’s not the sort of game that you would expect to generate a great soundtrack. Praise be to George Sanger and his collaborators David Govett, Joe McDermott and Weston Phelan that the Zhadnost: The People’s Party soundtrack turned out to be such an unexpected delight (and actually received an album release as Surf.com). Their solution to the problem of how you’d score a communist game show certainly defies expectations: surf rock. Sanger’s love of the genre had already made itself known on The 11th Hour, if only during brief interludes. Sanger’s introduction to surf rock came through his high school music mentor, a guitarist of 1960s band The Astronauts. For Sanger, Zhadnost was an opportunity to finally score an entire soundtrack as an homage to surf rock.