CD Reviews Jerry Goldsmith


After the successful release of Bruce Broughton’s THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE late last year, Ford A. Thaxton and Luc Van de Ven have teamed up again for the second installment in their occasional series of scores released through the newly-founded Prometheus CD Club – Jerry Goldsmith’s BREAKOUT, a limited edition of only 2500 copies. Released … Continue reading Breakout

Extreme Prejudice

After hearing and seeing the beautiful album for ISLANDS IN THE STREAM. it is not surprising that both Jerry Goldsmith and Carolco Pictures would seek out Doug Fake to produce the album for the new, action-packed Walter Hill film EXTREME PREJUDICE. Like his previous score HOOSIERS, this one incorporates a masterful blend of orchestra and … Continue reading Extreme Prejudice

First Blood

Action films in the 1980s were all about one thing: brawn. With mega FIRST BLOOD stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone vying for top spot, muscles were considered before minds, toughness before thought. One of the most successful series of films of this ilk were the “Rambo” movies that began in 1982 with FIRST BLOOD, … Continue reading First Blood

High Velocity

Although not this composer’s umpteenth masterpiece, HIGH VELOCITY is a welcome addition to the 85-piece Goldsmith collection. In fact, every new release of an early score enables us to gain a better insight into Goldsmith’s trends, tricks and styles. This will eventually allow a general overview of an oeuvre which is definitely a unified whole, … Continue reading High Velocity

Hollow Man

Throughout cinema history, the story of the invisible man has been invented and re-invented by each subsequent generation. From James Whale’s 1933 classic with Claude Rains in the title role, to the popular 1970s TV series starring David McCallum, man’s fascination with making himself diaphanous has made for compelling viewing. In HOLLOW MAN, director Paul … Continue reading Hollow Man


These days every Jerry Goldsmith score seems at least a minor miracle. So many once reliable composers have declined, and so many more have been squeezed out thanks to the growing popularity of the pop and synthesizer score. Yet Goldsmith achieved his first popularity in such an atmosphere, and is at the peak of his … Continue reading Innerspace


The sudden bumper crop of Goldsmith scores – CRIMINAL LAW, LEVIATHAN, WARLOCK, STAR TREK V – is, if not approaching his best work, at least indicative of trends characteristic of the master throughout his long career. None of the assignments he chose are likely to win him more prestige than he already has; indeed, looking … Continue reading Leviathan


A true artist’s inspiration never dries up. MULAN is exciting proof of Jerry Goldsrnith’s unparalleled craftsmanship, in spite of his busy schedule and a recent tendency to score somewhat mediocre films. After a slick-and-safe outing into Herculean antiquity, Disney returns to its penchant for creating timeless animation movies. And so does Goldsmith, trading in previous … Continue reading Mulan

Police Story

Buried beneath such landmark works as QB VII, PAPILLON, CHINATOWN and THE WIND AND THE LION, all of which were written around the same time, are a number of Jerry Goldsmith scores that most people will have never heard of, let alone heard. POLICE STORY is one such score; rescued from obscurity by the Prometheus … Continue reading Police Story

Rio Conchos

Continuing in their trend of notable and well—packaged Jerry Goldsmith film music, Intrada presents, for the first time (in an excellent new recording conducted by the composer) Goldsmith’s fine western score, RIO CONCHOS. Helming the London Symphony Orchestra for the first tine, Goldsmith revitalizes his landmark 1964 score with the full resources of the large … Continue reading Rio Conchos

Rio Lobo

Goldsmith’s western scores are usually markedly different from those of the genre’s other two most-used composers of the late 1960s and early 70s, Elmer Bernstein and Ennio Morricone. Bernstein’s always emphasize the locale and are usually as sweeping and timeless as the vistas they portray; Morricone’s are semi-comedic, and often full of incredibly lyrical and … Continue reading Rio Lobo

Small Soldiers

When analyzing fruitful partnerships, one must recognize the work of Jerry Goldsmith and Joe Dante. After a fun trip through the TWILIGHT ZONE, a battle against GREMLINS, and a crazy look at life in THE BURBS, Dante and Goldsmith explore the world of living, killer toys in SMALL SOLDIERS. With this collaboration, these two masters … Continue reading Small Soldiers

Star Trek: Insurrection

Jerry Goldsmith returns to STAR TREK with this ninth feature film, once more lending the musical voice that defined much of this series. From the eclectic bombast of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE which introduced his sweepingly grand main theme, through the energetic STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER to the grand eloquence of FIRST … Continue reading Star Trek: Insurrection

The 13th Warrior

In my opinion, the last two sword and sorcery movies to have truly great scores were Basil Poledouris’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN in 1981 and James Homer’s KRULL in 1983 – the enduring legacy of a genre which, in recent years, has virtually died out in Hollywood. Although there is not very much sorcery in THE … Continue reading The 13th Warrior

The Challenge

For many years, THE CHALLENGE has been one of the most sought- after Goldsmith scores, having never been released as a commercial album in the years following its initial opening in 1982. An oriental action-adventure directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Scott Glenn and Toshiro Mifune, THE CHALLENGE is a tale of honor, violence and … Continue reading The Challenge

The Edge

At age 68, Jerry Goldsmith is as industrious as ever. Contributing heavily to Varese’s recent classic series, he has been re-recording some of Alex North’s neglected work as well as a couple of his own efforts. And in a spare moment he is touring the world with his classic themes. This crazy schedule is bound … Continue reading The Edge

The Mephisto Waltz / The Other

I have been waiting for 25 years to hear Goldsmith’s wondrous music for the haunting thriller, THE OTHER, to resound out of my home speakers, and its most welcome arrival has not disappointed me. Among the latest in Varese Sarabande’s series of Jerry Goldsmith recordings, this CD pairs the original soundtracks to two thrillers from … Continue reading The Mephisto Waltz / The Other

The Omen

There is a saying that brilliant work is ninety percent perspiration and only ten percent inspiration. When a composer gets a great idea, though, it can be the other way around. Very few composers have had an inspiration of such gravity that it defined or transformed a whole film music genre. John Barry did it … Continue reading The Omen

The Omen III: The Final Conflict

THE FINAL CONFLICT sees a shift in Jerry Goldsmith’s approach to the OMEN trilogy. After a somewhat cheesy sounding mixture of the OMEN themes for the equally cheesy sequel DAMIEN – OMEN II, it seems that Goldsmith didn’t want to simply re-hash the same old ‘Ave Satani’ motifs for a third time. Using more wordless … Continue reading The Omen III: The Final Conflict

Total Recall

TOTAL RECALL is a total disappointment, an uninspired cacophony from start to finish that exposes Goldsmith to be at the lowest ebb of his creative abilities; unoriginal, uninventive, and for much of its playing time simply tired, this effort would seem to confirm the suspicion that Jerry Goldsmith has been drowned in the same swamp … Continue reading Total Recall

U.S. Marshals

It has been pointed out repeatedly that Jerry Goldsmith’s genius is being wasted on less-than-average action-related movies these days. U.S. MARSHALS is a sorry case in point. Director Stuart Baird’s rehash of THE FUGITIVE is a complete disaster: neither he nor the screenwriters have grasped the essence of the Harrison Ford actioner: that the action … Continue reading U.S. Marshals

Under Fire

This tale of American journalists in Nicaragua during the overthrow of the Somoza regime contains possibly the best Latin film score since Alex North’s VIVA ZAPATA. The opener, “Bajo Fuego” (“Under Fire”) is fiery indeed, dominated, as is much of the score, by guitar (beautifully played by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny). His exciting interpretations, supplemented … Continue reading Under Fire