Just a quick note to acknowledge that seven years ago today, we lost Jerry Goldsmith.
In memorium, I wrote a post about seven of my favorite Goldsmith albums. I tried to concentrate on overall listening experience, on albums that I like to play in their entirety rather than needle dropping onto just the main titles (cough cough 100 Rifles cough cough).
And in other news, I still use phrases like "needle dropping."
Here are three of my absolute favorites.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It all began here. I'd certainly been exposed to Jerry's music before I first saw this film, but it was with this release that Jerry took his honored place in my personal pantheon. Somehow, more than 30 years later, I still find myself listening to this score, never growing tired of it, always finding new ways for it to linger in my thoughts, to speak to my experiences. More than just music, it's a way of life. And I could listen to this version of his Main Title theme OVER and OVER and OVER again without EVER growing weary of it. The theme has been watered down and overexposed over the years, but here it remains an amazing, stirring, exhilarating ride. Every time.
Islands in the Stream. Contemplative Goldsmith at its finest. Another CD that creates a journey of its own. I've never seen the film, probably never will. But the music pulses and flows, like the ocean itself, like the shape of our lives. It's filled with delightful details hidden inside a tone-poem of nostalgia. I can imagine an evening staring at the surf, at sunset, listening to this, and feeling the world wash away. Shamefully, I still don't have the Film Score Monthly release.
Planet of the Apes. Mixing bowls, ahoy! This is sheer brilliance. inventive, exciting, strangely moving, this score just reeks of genius. And I love listening to it, the whole thing. I'm not especially a fan of atonalism, I like me a good melody. But this score walks the edge and stays right on the line, never drifting too far either way, perfectly balancing familiarity and craziness. It captures the loneliness and otherworldliness Charlton Heston's character experiences in the film and creates a listening experience that truly transports the listener. At least when that listener is me. And I never felt that way about the original LP. I always felt ripped off when I'd listen to the LP, because it was always glaringly missing The Hunt. And the Escape from the Planet of the Apes suite included on this CD is icing on the cake.
You can see my four other picks over at my almost-never-updated Cult of Jerry blog.
Meanwhile, what are YOUR favorite Goldsmith albums? What scores do you prefer to hear in their entirety?