CD Review: THE SALAMANDER soundtrack

THE SALAMANDER soundtrack | ©2013 Prometheus Records

An entertaining, obscure 1981 political thriller that stands as one of the nuttier pictures that Jerry Goldsmith scored is now just as remarkable for becoming one of the best, and boisterously re-performed soundtracks that the legendary composer has gotten. That’s thanks to the always-excellent triple-threat of album producer James Fitzpatrick, conductor Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, who follow up their recent take on Goldsmith’s HOUR OF THE GUN with an album that will completely blow fans away. This musical masterwork accompanied Franco Nero as a hapless Italian police whose investigation into a series of …Read On »

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CD Review: SHOCK TREATMENT soundtrack

SHOCK TREATMENT soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Jerry Goldsmith had a particular talent for playing characters in the process of losing their minds, drawing on the dark, string musings of such avant garde composers as Bela Bartok to pioneer his own Hollywood sound for psychosis. Using a chamber approach of devilish fiddles and strings for the TWILIGHT ZONE episode “The Invaders,” the composer further plumbed a snapping mind with the waltzing sexual symbolism that haunted his Oscar-nominated FREUD to the eerie, conspiratorial tones of assuming a new identity in SECONDS. But when it comes to the pure, batshit enjoyment of a breakdown, then 1966s SHOCK TREATMENT gets …Read On »

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CD Review: GLADIATOR soundtrack

GLADIATOR soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Jerry Goldsmith was arguably the greatest composer to hit Hollywood. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of producing delightful cheese as much as he was a true masterworks. Case in point is his score for 1992’s GLADIATOR, an inner city boxing melodrama long forgotten in the wake of the Russell Crowe picture whose stakes were life and death. In this case, it was a TKO for Goldsmith when ROADHOUSE director Rowdy Herrington kicked his score to the curb in favor of Brad Fiedel, a composer whose electronic abilities were likely more “with it” than the veteran musical fighter. Yet …Read On »

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CD Review: HOOSIERS soundtrack

HOOSIERS soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

Jerry Goldsmith was always pushing the musical boundaries of every genre he scored, sometimes applying seemingly anachronistic approaches where only a symphony would seem right. Perhaps no movie is a bigger case in points, or passes for that matter, then 1986’s HOOSIERS, in which Goldsmith applied the kind of synthesizers he’d most often used for sci-fi to the holy Midwestern sport of basketball. Along with Vangelis’ Oscar winning “Chariots of Fire,” Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated work here would help change the game of scoring sports movies, creating a soundtrack as venerated as his similarly, boldly stylistic work on PLANET OF THE APES …Read On »

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CD Review: THE SHADOW soundtrack

THE SHADOW soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

First heard on the radio in 1930, The Shadow set the tone for the archetypical playboy-cum-superhero, a man of leisure whose real nighttime activity was trading in his tuxedo for an ominous crime-fighting outfit, one that struck fear into the hearts of common thugs and super villains alike. Though The Shadow found popularity every medium from to the airwaves and comic books, it somehow took about sixty-three years for handsome Lamont Cranston and his ugly alter ego to make their big screen debuts. And like such wonderfully entertaining retro box office busts of the time as THE ROCKETEER and THE …Read On »

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CD Review: STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE soundtrack (limited edition)

STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE soundtrack | ©2012 Paramount

In the blaze of Holy Grail soundtrack releases that just might finally represent the glorious supernova of physical CD’s, it’s easy to start taking one treasure after the other for granted. But when a title of truly momentous proportions is unearthed, it’s not only time to give thanks and bask at what might be the last best time in history to buy movie scores, but to also marvel at the power of music itself beyond trying to pick up the seemingly unceasing cascade of “bottle caps” – as Jerry Goldsmith liked to call the rewards of the insatiable collector mindset. …Read On »

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CD review: MOON 44 soundtrack

MOON 44 soundtrack | ©2012 Buysoundtrax Records

It’s not easy being in the shadow of a man who made history, whether in world events or the creative arts. It’s even bolder to follow in that father’s footsteps, knowing that it’s nearly impossible to scale the same heights, no matter how talented you might be. So props can certainly be giving to the recently departed Joel Goldsmith for choosing his father Jerry’s profession, especially the son didn’t achieve the kind of bigger budgeted projects his work warranted. Yet that never stopped Joel from particularly excelling in the genre with such scores as THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS, WATCHERS, …Read On »

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CD Review: THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY

THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY soundtrack | ©2011 Intrada Records

One of the most rollickingly enjoyable crime movies of any age is Michael Crichton’s 1978 historical heist flick THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY which had dapper Sean Connery, Donald Sutherland and a particularly bodice-cous Lesley Anne-Warren ripping off the Crimean War gold from said speeding train. The fourth accomplice who truly helps them get away with the crime of the Victorian century is composer Jerry Goldsmith, delivering what arguably stands as his most elegantly stylish, and fun score of all time. With a score that sounds as much as a locomotive as melodically possible, the thematically driven Goldsmith varies his main …Read On »

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CD Review: GREMLINS soundtrack

GREMLINS soundtrack | ©2011 Film Score Monthly

If you were among the generation that saw one great genre film after the other in the early ’80’s, perhaps no signature theme signaled these pictures’ often seditious spin on kid-friendly formulas than the sweet whistling of Gizmo and the cackling, rambunctious jazz rag of what would pop out of that furry little fella if you fed him after midnight. It’s taken nearly three decades for those little devils’ music to fully metamorphose, but at long last, Jerry Goldsmith’s full score to GREMLINS is finally here to create hilariously menacing havoc. While Goldsmith was famed for scoring the far more …Read On »

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CD Review: EXPLORERS soundtrack

EXPLORERS soundtrack | © 2011 Intrada

In a legendary career filled with long-standing relationships with such directors as Franklin J. Schaffner (PLANET OF THE APES) David Anspaugh (RUDY) and Curtis Hanson (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL), perhaps no filmmaker brought out the child-like glee of Jerry Goldsmith’s music like Joe Dante- even if some of the nine pictures they’d do together exhibited a deliciously twisted streak of black humor when it came to putting youths in peril from GREMLINS or SMALL SOLDIERS. Yet there’d be nothing but innocence in 1985’s EXPLORERS, Dante’s guileless movie in which a bunch of youths (including River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke) build a spaceship …Read On »

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