Soundtracks, Soundtracks, Soundtracks: Tribute to Jerry Goldsmith

There are many things that make a movie what it is. It all starts with a story (according to what every How-To book on screenwriting tells us), there is the director and his crew, there are the actors, who bust their asses to bring a vision to life. Then comes the wonderful world of post-production. What is one result of that? The music. Soundtracks enhance the movie going experience. They can make us cry, they can pump us up, they can make us remember the 80's. Whether it be a musical band or a composer, soundtracks help our favorite movies stay etched in our mind forever.

Jerry Goldsmith, born February 10, 1929, built a career composing for films and television that lasted six decades. He has collaborated with some of the industry’s best directors including Howard Hawks, Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg. He most frequently collaborated with director Franklin J. Shaffner on films like Planet of the Apes. He has been nominated for many awards including 17 Academy nominations, in which he won for his work on The Omen. We pay tribute to the man today thanks to his stellar work on Paul Verhoeven’s classic Total Recall. Jerry Goldsmith, we salute you.


Does Jerry Goldsmith have himself unlimited access to my mind? Because if I were having nightmares about Satan’s snot nosed little brat then ‘Ave Satani’ is exactly the piece of my music that would course its way through my consciousness. The piece captures the doom and gloom of who this kid is inevitably going to turn out to be beautifully. The Latin lyrics repeated in the track, "Sanguis bibimus, corpus edimus, tolle corpus Satani” translate to "We drink the blood, we eat the flesh, raise the body of Satan”. So what I think Goldsmith was going for here was something that would be powerful and uplifting, that would give the viewer a sense of hope. Job well done Jerry. Purchase the soundtrack here


This wonderful piece of horror from Ridley Scott made love to our eyes, our minds, and yes…our ears. For Alien, Goldsmith created a perfectly dark, ominous, foreboding companion piece to an equally dark and foreboding film. Why it wasn’t nominated for Best Original Score, it being just as deserving as Goldsmith’s worthy work for Poltergeist is lost on me. The film did get some love by at least being nominated by the AFI for their 25 greatest film scores list, Goldsmith’s scores for Chinatown and Planet of the Apes actually made the cut. SIDE NOTE: the films end credits contain snippets of Goldsmith’s original score for Freud. Purchase the soundtrack here


I didn’t grow up as a trekkie, especially of the original series/films, a bit before my time folks. But I didn’t have to be a fan of the original film (which I wasn’t) to appreciate how iconic this score really is. My folks were fans of the first few films and I was able to admire the music in passing. It was the adventurous soundtracks that captured my imagination as a kid, and Goldsmith’s work on Star Trek definitely fit that mold. The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award but didn’t get the win; in fact the only award Goldsmith has ever grabbed was thanks to the aforementioned The Omen. Purchase the soundtrack here


I thought a bit out of the box for this entry, but it’s the kid in me that loves the soundtracks to Disney films that just had to include this gem. The track I’ve selected to feature is actually a work of genuine brilliance if you ask me; you know those scenes in movies that contain music that let you know shit just got real? Yep, that’s what we have here. Mulan as a whole is Disney’s last true 2D animated classic, a job well done by the filmmakers and Goldsmith. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score but was defeated by Shakespeare in Love. Purchase the soundtrack here


PG-13 horror that actually scared the piss out of me, thanks to Poltergeist no filmmaker can ever say that you can’t make PG-13 horror work and make it frightening. And yes folks, the terror was enhanced courtesy of the man of the hour Jerry Goldsmith. If possible, dare I say the soundtrack was a bit more unsettling than the film itself. Goldsmith exercised some range for this bad boy though, by also composing tracks like ‘Carol Anne’s Theme’, which capture the calm before the storm. Like so many Goldsmith scores, the soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to John Williams work for E.T. Okay, that one I can let slide. Purchase the soundtrack here

Extra Tidbit: Any Jerry Goldsmith gems I'm leaving out folks? Let me know what your favorites are. Also, if you have ideas for a theme for this column you'd like to see, give me a holler at [email protected]
Source: JoBlo
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