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 or PATTON.
For a composer steeped in traditional orchestral techniques, Jerry Goldsmith was likely the biggest gearhead among his peers, his experimentations in electronic music reaching its peak in the mid-80s with all-synth scores like CRIMINAL LAW, RENT-A-COP and RUNAWAY. Yet, Goldsmith realized that sheer computerized sound might have been a bit much for a movie set in 1954 Indiana, a place with the kind of rural setting he’d so beautifully played in scores like THE HOMECOMING and A GIRL NAMED SCHOONER. Even more incredibly, Goldsmith had never scored a sports movie before. The composer’s solution was to evenly split both approaches, with strings and horn taking up the essence of Americana nobility. The use of hard-hitting rhythms that usually propelled the incredible feats of Rambo or Supergirl was truly inspired in capturing the energy of HOOSIERS‘ real-life superheroes, creating a breathlessly energetic pop-drive that perfectly matched the tempo of the players and the rapid-fire bounce of a basketball (which Goldsmith sampled), music that becomes an Appalachian hoedown at its most inspired for “The Pivot.” But not even the best music technology (if wonderfully dated now) would work if it didn’t have a great theme. And Goldsmith’s was a humdinger, capturing the rousing power of sports to transform the human spirit from loser to winner, especially in his music for “The Finals,” in which Goldsmith makes play after thematic play, keeping the music in a continuous state of ever-varying flight for fifteen minutes of pure, soaring exhilaration.
Intrada makes a full-court, complete spread with Goldsmith’s classic score, which has never sounded more glorious than with this new mix. As patriotic as any military score he composed, or bucolic as any heartland family his melody gave hope to, (with Goldsmith’s even more moving, orchestral RUDY yet to come for the pigskin), HOOSIERS showed a off newfangled, inspirational sound that was no small player in making the film ranks as one of the greatest sports movie ever made- as well as one of the composer’s best populist works to boot.
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Article: CD Review of HOOSIERS soundtrack