November 1999 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Richard GIBBS First Kid   OST Composed and conducted by the composer.  PROMOTIONAL RGCD01 (39:30)

About Promotional CDs


First Kid belongs to the endless string of Kids/Comedy movies created by Walt Disney studios and destined to sink into oblivion. This one is about the strengthening of the relationship between the First Kid (son of the President of the USA) and his bodyguard, through a variety of comic, and not only so, situations. Sounds familiar?

For this particular movie Disney hired Richard Gibbs, a composer of about 30 scores for movies and TV shows, relatively unknown to a majority of film score enthusiasts.

The score fires off with a light-hearted and enjoyable march in the Main Title, played by initially by a flute over snare drums, until the full orchestra takes over for a full thematic development. A sparse use of a whistle is made to emphasise the comic nature of the movie. Actually this light/comic mood characterises the music almost throughout the score. The Snake Chat fires off with a soft theme played by a flute, with an occasional appearance of gentle bells, and a small underlying ensemble of strings.

Sammy the Snake and The First Fight are the first true action tracks in the CD and they are really good, although too short! Sammy the Snake is actually a cartoonish rendition main title march, while The First Fight uses a more traditional action music approach with an addition of synths, and layers of beat and brass.

Friendship and Puppy love provide a sentimental quality to the score, efficiently using flute, piano, bells and synths accompanied by the orchestra, to build a romantic mood, never becoming too emotional though, always maintaining the light nature of the score. Explosive donuts just repeats the short action cue heard in First Fight.

From track 9 onwards, the score receives a boost. In the Mall/Woods Goes Berserk is the longest cue on the disk and contains several enjoyable moments, especially the second half. Taking the Bullet is the highlight cue of the score, a great action track that, by utilizing the well-known Goldsmithian action style and orchestration, elaborately builds a sense of suspense, anticipation. The CD concludes to the march introduced in the Main Title.

In overall, this score left me with mixed feelings. Essentially, it is a comic militaristic score. In parts, it becomes exciting but in others it touches dangerously the category of filler music. The soft themes are good but unoriginal as well as the action themes that seem greatly influenced by the music of Jerry Goldsmith (which is in a way a blessing in disguise). The good use of the orchestra, spiced up with synths, and the adequate orchestration manage for the most of the part to compensate for the poor originality.

Considering the hand at task though, Gibbs seems to have performed quite well.

The CD quality is good, but nothing exceptional. The booklet contains text from

the director David Evans and Richard Gibbs, explaining how anxious and eager

they were to make that movie. Oh, well... Whether you will enjoy this score depends on your mood at that moment.


Kostas Anagnostou

We were recently sent a number of PROMOTIONAL soundtrack music CDs to review:-

Promotional Albums offer lesser celebrated film composers the opportunity to bring their work (often of good quality but unsung [if you will forgive the pun]) to the attention of prospective producers who might be interested in contracting them for film scoring assignments. Another market opportunity is for short films, trailers, commercials, and other theatre and TV projects where producers with limited budgets might be interested in buying material "off the shelf." Lastly, film music buffs who have admired the scores but hitherto have never had an opportunity of acquiring the music now have an opportunity of buying scores they have admired. For instance anybody who liked Hummie Mann's music for Mel Brook's farce, Dracula, Dead and Loving It (with Leslie Nielsen) can now buy it from specialist sellers such as

P.O. Box 500
Linden, VA 22642-0500
PH: (540) 635-2575
FAX: (540) 635-8554

Specializes in soundtracks, and carries some of those scores you just won't find anywhere else.


12072 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92840-2815
Voice: (714) 636-8700
Toll free: (800) 997-2434
Fax: (714) 636-8585


Kostas Anagnostou

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