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 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 6:11 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

In my opinion is just a superb, beautiful and brilliantly wonderful score by the Master.

Just listen and enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB13vOk6ZCA


In the words of the immortal James Horner, Goldsmith nailed it!

He gave us so many great new Themes full of delicate beauty, passion and terror.

What a terrific score!


Thanks for all the releases of this score and those who brought them to us and to Bruce for the new Kritzerlander!

They really don't make them like they used to. It's so freeking true.

 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 7:00 PM   
 By:   danbeck   (Member)

I saw the film in VHS and was comletely mad about finding the score. I remember searching for it a lot, after already having the LPs from Poltergeist III and Poltergeist (purchased in that order).
At that time I considered II my favourite score from the series, lots of themes, rithmic action and omenesque choir!

I found a sealed german LP at a local Brazilian store and remember it was very, very expensive. I had to save for weeks before purchasing it. I was woried about the short number of tracks, but was sure the choral theme would be there, as it played three times in the picture! I also thought that the short number of tracks, which had some short / not specific names, should mean that the score was organized as suites ( "Suspect" only had two tracks).

I remember when I first played the albun, the sound was great (it was a sealed copy and I couldnt hear any pops or clicks that were not uncomom on my purchases of used Soundtrack lps at the time).

The first track was beautifull, but when the music continued into the cave section I realized that it would not be a case of suites and became more woried about the short number of tracks... Then came the second track and it was the beautiful grandma Jess theme. Then came The Smoke, and I was surprised to realize that that track came from a section already near the end of the movie, none of the previous ghost attacks music were included so far and only two tracks to go on side B...

I though, "ok, side B will include the vomit creature section and the finale will have the choral theme! - they saved the best for last..." Then one of my biggest disapointments with an album began... The Worm was ok, building and building until, when the "good part" would begin ... it abruptly ended! Then reaching out started and... no chorus but a completely different music not used in the film in the place were the chorus was used in the film! (I was not very familiar with the concept of tracking at that time)

After the initial shock I still liked the album for what it included, but I considered the omissions as some of the worst selection of material for a soundtrack album ever (at that time I never expected an album to be complete, but I expected it to include the main highlights, most memorable music from the movie, and the choice to include The Smoke and the initial part of The Worm instead of some action material, Vomit Creature and the choral theme just felt wrong). Later I "upgraded" that album with the Intrada cd with the same material.

Years latter when I heard about the Intrada expanded release I was very hapy, even it not being complete the highlights were finally there!

I was happy again with the Varese for the two additional tracks, but sad that it was not complete neither included the film versions of Wild Braces and Vomit Creature, as I though a 4th release would never happen.... It seemed like a lost oportunity from Varese to release the complete thing (like what happened with The Omen I and III)

Now it has happened! And I'm haply purchasing it for the 5th time...

Nowadays I prefer the original Poltergeist score much more than this second, mostly because of the electronics in II versus the orchestral power of the first.

But the complete Poltergeist II score, with the short missing pieces and the film versions of the tracks I wanted is really a dream comming true!

Thanks again Bruce!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   rickO   (Member)

Great thread. It should always be about the music, not about the stupid flame wars.

I am unashamedly obsessed with this score. Goldsmith's music in this particular movie, the first one and his Trek scores, are what got me into Goldsmith.

I agree that the original LP was a very frustrating listen. I couldn't believe that the choral cue (They're Back, aka It's No Use) was left off. This was as bad as The Hunt being left off Planet of the Apes!

What impresses me the most about this score is the choral material. It's similar to The Omen trilogy in many ways. What gets under my skin isn't so much the chanting and singing. It's the whispering. The muttering. It's almost like Goldsmith's choir was put there to literally comment on the screen action. Unwell gossiping. At the end of The Power the choir literally mutters "Carol Anne!". The sticky moaning in Wild Braces. The painful howls in The Smoke. Scary stuff.

Another unique element is the power motif. It's a strong, American anthem that would be right at home in an Aaron Copland ballet or maybe even a Star Trek film. It's a-typical music for a horror film. The juxtaposition with the horror material is daring, but it works.

One criticism of Goldsmith is leaving out The Light theme from part one. It would have made a nice appearance, especially at the end of II. But it seemed as if he replaced it with the new Grandma Jess theme.

-Rick O.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   rickO   (Member)

double post

 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 7:45 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

That gentle melody for Grandma Jess is one of Goldsmith's loveliest. I'm so looking forward to hearing the complete score.

 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 7:36 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


I remember when I first played the albun, the sound was great (it was a sealed copy and I couldnt hear any pops or clicks that were not uncomom on my purchases of used Soundtrack lps at the time).

The first track was beautifull, but when the music continued into the cave section I realized that it would not be a case of suites and became more woried about the short number of tracks... Then came the second track and it was the beautiful grandma Jess theme. Then came The Smoke, and I was surprised to realize that that track came from a section already near the end of the movie, none of the previous ghost attacks music were included so far and only two tracks to go on side B...

I though, "ok, side B will include the vomit creature section and the finale will have the choral theme! - they saved the best for last..." Then one of my biggest disapointments with an album began... The Worm was ok, building and building until, when the "good part" would begin ... it abruptly ended! Then reaching out started and... no chorus but a completely different music not used in the film in the place were the chorus was used in the film! (I was not very familiar with the concept of tracking at that time)


I had the same reaction to the first album release and also to the finale track, which I was so used to the "God is in his holy temple" chants when Steve and Robbie enter 'the other side', hearing the slower paced original music Goldsmith wrote for that part it was a bit of a letdown. I'm sure had they been able to execute that whole sequence better (the whole finale feels very rushed and hence the Omen'esque chants fit it better), the original music Goldsmith wrote would have been perfect. Once I got the Intrada expanded CD I made an edit to mimic the tracked film version finale, but it never felt really convincing because of the sudden change in tempo and abrupt transitions.

For me the music of Poltergeist II is exemplary; Taylor's theme opening the picture immediately sets the tone and I like the way Goldsmith builds it up with different players falling in to juxtapose it, it really gets a nice workout from the offset with a beautiful brass statement before we head to Cuesta Verde (4:25 in The Power), I absolutely adore the Cuesta Verde theme appearing at the start of the movie as Taylor drives up to the dig site and later again in when the Freelings return there to confront Kane.

Kane's stomach turning synth organ sound is just downright eerie and it's given quite a workout against the rest of the themes throughout the score. Diane's vision in 'the smoke' with the unsettling choir is a great highlight apart from the "God is in his holy temple" action cue chanting. What's also interesting about this score is that Goldsmith and the filmmakers used a hymn not for good, but for evil for reverend Kane, and he didn't change any of the wording like he did on the omen, just made it more ominous sounding; Kane sings it in its entirety while strolling up to the house:

God is in his holy temple;

Earthly thoughts be silent now.
While with reverence we assemble.

And before his presence bow.
He is with us now and ever.

When we call upon his name.
Aiding every good endeavor,

Guiding every upward aim.

I'm sure it was written for Kane's character to quote and Goldsmith seized it to represent Kane which was very clever!

So with the bad guy being an evil reverend, the alternative/indian beliefs of Taylor get the mystical, good guy workout via Taylor's theme leading Goldsmith into writing a different spiritual mode than the previous Poltergeist score which leaned more towards that Catholic/God sound to represent the good side. Then there's also grandma Jess' theme as a guide for the family & Diane and Carol Anne's theme still representing innocence. It's just great how many themes there are in this score and the way they are used is very operatic, you could almost retell the story via the music. Especially the way the themes compete in the Worm is like evil (Kane's theme) trying to lure innocence (Carol Anne's theme) with Grandma Jess' theme as bait. I've seldom heard so many amazing themes bouncing off from one another as in this score.

 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

The score is quite good, specially when one considers how lame the movie is!

 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I've given it a few tries over the years but always found the synth Goldsmith used distracted from the score. Though I will admit the first score took a long time to grow on me as well since I only watched the movie for the first time when FSM released their expanded edition.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 12:32 PM   
 By:   lonzoe1   (Member)


I had the same reaction to the first album release and also to the finale track, which I was so used to the "God is in his holy temple" chants when Steve and Robbie enter 'the other side', hearing the slower paced original music Goldsmith wrote for that part it was a bit of a letdown. I'm sure had they been able to execute that whole sequence better (the whole finale feels very rushed and hence the Omen'esque chants fit it better), the original music Goldsmith wrote would have been perfect. Once I got the Intrada expanded CD I made an edit to mimic the tracked film version finale, but it never felt really convincing because of the sudden change in tempo and abrupt transitions.

For me the music of Poltergeist II is exemplary; Taylor's theme opening the picture immediately sets the tone and I like the way Goldsmith builds it up with different players falling in to juxtapose it, it really gets a nice workout from the offset with a beautiful brass statement before we head to Cuesta Verde (4:25 in The Power), I absolutely adore the Cuesta Verde theme appearing at the start of the movie as Taylor drives up to the dig site and later again in when the Freelings return there to confront Kane.

Kane's stomach turning synth organ sound is just downright eerie and it's given quite a workout against the rest of the themes throughout the score. Diane's vision in 'the smoke' with the unsettling choir is a great highlight apart from the "God is in his holy temple" action cue chanting. What's also interesting about this score is that Goldsmith and the filmmakers used a hymn not for good, but for evil for reverend Kane, and he didn't change any of the wording like he did on the omen, just made it more ominous sounding; Kane sings it in its entirety while strolling up to the house:

God is in his holy temple;

Earthly thoughts be silent now.
While with reverence we assemble.

And before his presence bow.
He is with us now and ever.

When we call upon his name.
Aiding every good endeavor,

Guiding every upward aim.

I'm sure it was written for Kane's character to quote and Goldsmith seized it to represent Kane which was very clever!

So with the bad guy being an evil reverend, the alternative/indian beliefs of Taylor get the mystical, good guy workout via Taylor's theme leading Goldsmith into writing a different spiritual mode than the previous Poltergeist score which leaned more towards that Catholic/God sound to represent the good side. Then there's also grandma Jess' theme as a guide for the family & Diane and Carol Anne's theme still representing innocence. It's just great how many themes there are in this score and the way they are used is very operatic, you could almost retell the story via the music. Especially the way the themes compete in the Worm is like evil (Kane's theme) trying to lure innocence (Carol Anne's theme) with Grandma Jess' theme as bait. I've seldom heard so many amazing themes bouncing off from one another as in this score.


I'm a fan of this score as well. I remember hunting for this score when it aired on AMC a few years ago on "MonsterFest". Shortly after I was able to obtain a copy of the Varese Deluxe Edition, which I still enjoy. But I agree with everything you mentioned about this brilliant score. I enjoy both of Goldsmith's Poltergeist scores equally. Both scores have something the other one doesn't, imo.

About the part I quoted in bold. I enjoyed Goldsmith's use of the Cuesta Verde theme in this score very much. It's very haunting and even more melancholic than it was in the first score. which makes sense when you see the aftermath of Cuesta Verde post Poltergeist. I think Goldsmith captures the feeling of Cuesta Verde being forbidden for the Freelings (or anyone for that matter) to return to, but they have to go back and face their fear in order for them to defeat Kane and be left alone.

Also the Cuesta Verde theme was dialed out in the film when the Freelings drove back there. Doesn't make sense why they decided to that .It was a very nice parallel to the first film when they left Cuesta Verde with the CV theme playing.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 12:47 PM   
 By:   rickO   (Member)

This is one of those times that the electronics seem fairly balanced with the acoustics. They don't quite overwhelm and grate. There are parts of LEGEND that feel inappropriate, such as the goblin motif. GREMLINS had similar colors with the sound of wailing cats. To my ears, THE OTHER SIDE doesn't draw too much attention to itself. But the choir sure does! The whispering stuff is apt but the choir chanting the hymn is a bit unwieldy. Don't get me wrong, I love it but I think Goldsmith would have been able to come up with something better. I get the feeling that the director or producer wanted him to repeat THE OMEN against the composer's wishes.

As for re-occuring themes, my favorite is the one heard in "It's No Use" aka "They're Back." It's not immediately recognizable but it's there!

-Rick O.

 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 1:34 PM   
 By:   Ross1972   (Member)

Haven't seen the film in a while, but isn't the choir chant heard in the braces scene?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   rickO   (Member)

Haven't seen the film in a while, but isn't the choir chant heard in the braces scene?

The chant theme is there but not the choir itself. It's mostly the trombones taking over the line.

-Rick O.

 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


About the part I quoted in bold. I enjoyed Goldsmith's use of the Cuesta Verde theme in this score very much. It's very haunting and even more melancholic than it was in the first score. which makes sense when you see the aftermath of Cuesta Verde post Poltergeist. I think Goldsmith captures the feeling of Cuesta Verde being forbidden for the Freelings (or anyone for that matter) to return to, but they have to go back and face their fear in order for them to defeat Kane and be left alone.

Also the Cuesta Verde theme was dialed out in the film when the Freelings drove back there. Doesn't make sense why they decided to that .It was a very nice parallel to the first film when they left Cuesta Verde with the CV theme playing.


Here is the rejected cue put back into the movie, I guess there just was too much music already in the last reel that they decided to leave it out. But musically like you said it a nice parallel and 'home coming' of sorts.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   MikeyKW   (Member)

Have been a fan of Goldsmith since I picked up Poltergeist on LP back in 1982. Even at age 13, I was pretty heavily into soundtrack collecting. I was put off his Poltergeist 2 score since it was tied to a disappointing film (as many sequels were in the mid-late 80's) and the syths took away (for me at least) far more than they added. Looking back at the score today, it's a very good effort that still falls short of the original while still being surprisingly innovative. There aren't many scores today as creative, complex, as emotional as Goldsmith when he was on his game.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   lonzoe1   (Member)

Here is the rejected cue put back into the movie, I guess there just was too much music already in the last reel that they decided to leave it out. But musically like you said it a nice parallel and 'home coming' of sorts.



Yeah that's probably the reason. I always found it hilarious that after all the damage that car went through in both movies. That by the end of the movie Taylor was still able to get it to start and drive so he can take off with it.

 
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