Spring 2005 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Marc Bridle
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Extreme Prejudice  
Music composed by Jerry Goldsmith
  Available on La-La Land Records (LLLCD 1028)
Running Time: 64:12
Amazon UK   Amazon US

I couldn't help but approach this score with a certain amount of melancholy. I bought the original soundtrack on vinyl back in 1987 when it first came out and in those days (before life left me jaded!) everything that Jerry Goldsmith released was a must-have event. Now, in 2005, as I come to terms with the passing of the great man, listening to this expanded release of a score that once graced my old record player many times, I realise more than ever what a potent force nostalgia can be. Often I have wondered at reviewers waxing lyrical about some overtly melodramatic, syrupy Golden age or Silver age score. But of course music can conjure many emotions in all of us and the haunted past can sometimes elicit the most powerful of feelings.

Allowing for all of this, I still find pleasure in Jerry's music here, given the fact that it is so very typical of his work from this period with the increasingly dated electronic embellishments and his penchant for bassy drum pads and discoesque effects. But here's where perhaps the nostalgia kicks in, because I found myself really enjoying the quaint synthesizer effects on tracks like the seven minute plus 'Cash' and the atmospheric build-up of 'Arrivals/Main Title'. The percussive drive, the melodic thematic material, the shifts in pace, the undeniable professionalism, all of the Goldsmith trademarks are in evidence. As for the new stuff included on this release it's all solid enough material. 'The Bank (Pts 1, 2 & 3)' is effective and oddly enough, sounds almost like something John Carpenter might have produced, although 'Fighting and Dying' is no more than synth drones and pings and becomes quickly tiresome. Other cues like the brief 'Next Time' and 'Positions' merely add a layer of depth to the overall score.

I guess if you already have the original version you probably don't really need this expanded release, but if you are just discovering Mr Goldsmith or working your way through his considerable body of work, this would be well worth picking up. Extreme Prejudice may not be Jerry's finest hour but it does have a good deal of charm. And by all accounts that's something the man himself also possessed in spades. God rest your soul Mr Jerry Goldsmith.

Mark Hockley

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