Composed By: Tangerine Dream
Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The fantasy film Legend features Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness, a demon who seeks to plunge the world into eternal darkness by destroying the last of the unicorns, guardians of the light. He is thwarted by a forest boy called Jack (Tom Cruise) and a young princess named Lili (Mia Sara). Unfortunately, for her efforts in saving the unicorns, Princess Lili finds herself captured by the Lord of Darkness who decides to make her his bride. Can Jack save Lili and the unicorns from this evil entity and thus save the world from eternal darkness?
The soundtrack of the European release of Ridley Scott's Legend was created by composer Jerry Goldsmith. For the United States release, the German group known as Tangerine Dream was approached to re-imagine the score. Tangerine Dream, then comprised of Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke and Johannes Schmelling, was known for having started the new age music genre and for their electronic sound. They had recently made their transition to film scoring, creating the musical scores of popular films such as Risky Business, Sorcerer, Firestarter and The Thief. Years later, BuySoundtrax Records would approach composer Brandon Verrett with the idea to rearrange one track of the album that would eventually metamorphosize into recreating the whole album.
While the original soundtrack featured synths and electric guitars, Verrett "decided that a more orchestral approach would likely solicit a visceral and appeasing response from listeners both familiar and unfamiliar with the original score. With that I also decided to utilize living, breathing instrumentalists. So, on this album you will find violin, erhu, piano, guitar, voice, cello and a few other instruments coupled with synthetic textures all carefully molded to bring the album alive." The re-imagined musical score keeps the themes of the original score by Tangerine Dream, but adds a unique quality to the sound that creates a more fantasy-like score. The sound is more ethereal in nature, keeping with the theme of the film and the fantastical nature of its characters. Harps and electronic reverb add to the fantasy nature while horns, percussion and electric guitars mark the action scenes in which Jack must prove his worthiness against the Lord of Darkness.
My only complaint are the songs featured on the album. The lyrics just don't quite mesh with the music...no, it's more like the lyrics were translated from a different language and don't always make for harmonic unity with the music. Some lyrics lose something in translation and this is what I'm reminded of every time I listen to the album.
This newly reconstructed version of the Legend Soundtrack is more than suited for the film and would actually enhance the movie experience were it to be re-released with this soundtrack instead of the original. Listening to the beauty of the Legend score as re-imagined by Brandon Verrett would prove to be an enjoyable experience for fans of the film or those who may never have seen the movie. The album was made available in a 1500-unit limited edition CD on May 21, 2012 and in digital format on June 12, 2012. The Legend Soundtrack features a beautifully composed musical score that is well-worth checking out.