February 2006 Film Music CD Reviews

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

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Laserblast  
Music composed by Richard Band and Joel Goldsmith
  Available on BSX Records (BSXCD 8807)
Running Time: 46:12
Amazon US

Laserblast (1978) was one of the first low budget B grade Sci-Fi films to exploit the new wave of sci-fi popularity spawned by the fortuitous success of George Lucas's Star Wars film a year earlier. The film’s plot focuses on an alien being pursued by two other aliens who eventually catch up and kill it. The dead alien accidentally leaves a laser weapon which in turn is discovered by a young boy who is already ostracized socially and later begins to use the weapon for revenge on his antagonists.

The film score was the swan song for composers Richard Band and Joel Goldsmith (Jerry's son), and a test for their budding talents. Like the protagonist in the film the composers were themselves very young. There is nothing groundbreaking in the music, however its pure kitsch actually compliments the film (that has since achieved near-cult status since its television re-runs).

There is a great deal of pre-MIDI synthesizer samplings over electronic instruments in a pretence orchestral palette. The composers even manage to render a quite charming ragtime-like motif despite limited resources including time - the project was obviously being rushed and apparently only completed in the nick of time. There is also a great deal of source music composed both by Richard Band & Joel Goldsmith since the film budget didn’t allow and licensing of exiting songs at that time.

From a historical point of view, the music of Laserblast is probably most interesting to fans of the film. Though this is an example of the seminal efforts of two composers, their future works would be of a substantially higher quality. For those with an affection for the film though, this is an effective piece of work organically moulded to the film in an unforgettable way such that the composers describe this as being “Third Dimensional Music” for a “Two Dimensional Film”

The CD is nicely packaged with liner notes by Randall D. Larson and colour pictures taken directly off the TV screen as well as production stills. Get this limited edition of 1000 produced CDs only if you are a cult fan of the film or the composers: otherwise pass it over.

Amer Zahid

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