The Outsiders

Musical Score By: Carmine Coppola

Songs By: Stevie Wonder and Bill Hughes

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In 1983, a film adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel, The Outsiders, hit the theaters.  Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1965, the novel centers on the Greasers, a gang made up of low-income working class teenagers.  C. Thomas Howell stars as Ponyboy Curtis, the youngest member of the Curtis family.  Although Ponyboy looks up to his hardworking brothers (portrayed by Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe), his brothers are bent on Ponyboy staying clean and getting an education so that he can go further in life.  Unfortunately, being from the wrong side of the tracks gets Ponyboy and his friend in trouble with the Socs, a gang of wealthy teens.  When Ponyboy's friend Johnny (Ralph Macchio) kills a Soc to save Ponyboy's life, the two find themselves on the run.  Eventually, Ponyboy learns that his brothers have been right all along.

                In 2013, thirty years after the film's initial release, Silva Screen Records released a re-mastered and more complete version of the original soundtrack of The Outsiders.  The album features never before released music from the film, including Stevie Wonder's ballad based on a line from the film entitled Stay Gold.

                The musical score of The Outsiders was created by Carmine Coppola, father of the film's director, Francis Ford Coppola.  Beginning his career as a flautist, Carmine Coppola studied at Julliard before attending the Manhattan School of Music.  In 1940, he performed with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, but left in 1951 to pursue a career as a composer.  He created the musical scores for a number of well-known films, including The Godfather Trilogy, The Black Stallion, Apocalypse Now, Tucker: The Man and His Dream and more.

                The score created for the film is a mainly orchestral affair, featuring an old movie style, almost as if Coppola had wanted to replicate the type of music one would hear in a movie theater in the mid-60s.  The best examples of this style are in the first musical track, Fate, featuring a great deal of drama with the hammering of piano keys accompanied by a string theme and Cherry Says Goodbye featuring a heart-fluttering piano, accompanied by strings and woodwinds depicting a young man in love.  Snippets of the main theme found in Stay Gold can be heard in later tracks.

                The music found on this re-mastered version of The Outsiders Soundtrack brought back memories for me - I saw the movie a number of times after reading the book when I was a kid (yeah, I'm dating myself somewhat here).  I especially enjoyed the addition of Stay Gold to the album and think that true fans of the film will appreciate finally owning the song based on a key element in the film and the novel. 

                This 30th year celebration of the music of The Outsiders will make any fan of the film quite happy.  Silva Screen Records' boast of this being the most complete version is on the money and even features Incidental Music as well as different versions of Rumble and Stay Gold.  Listening to The Outsiders Soundtrack was definitely and enjoyable walk down Memory Lane.


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