The Jerry Goldsmith Collection: Vol. 1: The Rarities

Composed By: Jerry Goldsnmith

Re-Imagined By: Various Artists

Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Jerry Goldsmith was an American composer whose works for film and television span five decades.  Over the course of his life, Goldsmith received eighteen Academy Award nominations for his musical scores.  Some of his most recognizable compositions appear in films and television series like The Twilight Zone, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, The Omen, Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, First Blood, Gremlins, Poltergeist, The 13th Warrior, Along Came A Spider and more.  On June 5, 2012, BuySoundtrax Records released The Jerry Goldsmith Collection: Volume 1: The Rarities featuring artists renditions of rarely heard original recordings and Goldsmith classics.

            The twenty-three track album features Jerry Goldsmith music re-imagined by the Dominik Hauser, John Beal, Chaz Grossman, Mark Northam, Gregg Nestor, Chuck Cirino and Joohyun Park.  The album opens with the trailer music from Judge Dredd, a futuristic action film starring Sylvester Stallone.  Produced, arranged and performed by John Beal, the music is dramatic, featuring heavy percussion and fast paced strings.  The composition is quite enjoyable and all too short - it was composed for a teaser trailer.  Interestingly enough, although he composed this piece, Goldsmith never actually composed the music for the film itself.  This is followed by a complete score suite of Seven Days in May, a political thriller starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster.  Heavy on percussion, particularly snare drum rolls, this composition all but screams military intrigue.

            The rest of the album is divided by categories and themes: Film Noir Suite, featuring music from Chinatown, The Detective, Shamus and Two Days in the Valley;  Thrillers, featuring music from The List of Adrian Messenger, Sebastian, The Vanishing and The Sum of All Fears; Lost Love, featuring music from Patch of Blue, The Sand Pebbles, Players and Papillon; The Way West, featuring music from Westerns like Rio Lobo, Rio Conchos and Brotherhood of the Gun; and Flights of Fantasy, featuring music from films dealing with the paranormal like Poltergeist, The Omen, Psycho 2 and more.

            The album features quite a diverse and interesting collection of re-imagined Goldsmith music.  And while I agree with the liner notes of music journalist Jon Burlingame when he states that great music has always been subject to re-interpretation, I can't say that re-interpretations are always acceptable.  While I enjoyed a great deal of this soundtrack, I'm not enthused with the re-interpretations of some of Goldsmith's classics like Carol Ann's Theme from Poltergeist or the Main Theme of Psycho 2

            That being said, the rest of the album features music that I never heard prior to this experience.  Thus, I had no actual basis of comparison and could take the re-interpreted music found on The Jerry Goldsmith Collection: Volume 1: The Rarities at face value.  Without comparing the music to something I'd previously heard, I can honestly say that this album is quite a unique and enjoyable collection of music featuring a number of styles and a diversity of musical instruments.  Featuring over an hour and fifteen minutes of music, at $8.99US, this album is definitely a steal and well-worth taking a listen to.


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