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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?

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Comments (7):Log in or register to post your own comments
It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long. I remember clearly where I was when I first heard the news. I am so thankful I took advantage of the opportunity to see Goldsmith at Carnegie Hall the year before (I think) where he conducted the New York Filmharmonic Orchestra in a performance of some of his best scores. It was by far the most amazing concert I've ever seen. What made it even more special was sitting directly behind Jerry's wife and family. I really miss going to the movies and hearing a new Goldsmith score.

I can remember reading the news that day - sitting in sad silence for a few moments, then conecting with a few friends over the e-waves and talking together about the music of his we all loved and shared.

Sad day.

My personal favorites, in terms of listening experiences, are Patton, Under Fire, Logan's Run, Capricorn One, and The Boys From Brazil, although Planet Of The Apes is a great soundtrack too. Your article inspired me to write about Goldsmith on my film score blog, along with why I chose these scores as my favorites (their memorable themes playing a huge part in my enjoyment).

http://thehollywoodsound.blogspot.com/2011/07/remembering-jerry-goldsmith.html

I remember that day so well. I posted something here during that time period.

7 years.

Though he is gone physically, his music will be a part of our lives forever. Throughout the years I have expressed how much I love his music. Since that awful day 7 years ago, we have seen so many expanded releases of his past scores... I do hope this continues on.

To his family and friends... to his fans... Jerry will always be with us.

In addition to Star Trek and Planet of the Apes which you've already described better than I ever could...

First Blood: Taut and thrilling as any score can be, I just can't imagine this film without this music. As much as I loved the LP, I love the complete even more. When the film came out I remember for years going to record stores hoping they would have it before I finally happened across it.

Capricorn One: Another one where the LP and the complete are both amazing listens. This may be the score that caused me to finally start seeking out scores composed by Goldsmith. The Main Title and Breakout say it all.

Sand Pebbles: As beautiful as a score ever gets, I far prefer the deluxe edition to the LP and look forward to the day a complete comes out (that includes the LP's version of the overture of course). The extended sea battle is sensational, I still get chills from "Death of a Thousand Cuts," and "Repel Boarders" is one of Goldsmith's best cues.

Twilight's Last Gleaming: The music so takes me back to moments in the film. "Tanks" is a tour de force and there's nothing like Nuclear Nightmare separate from the dialogue and sirens of the film. There's so many mixed feelings in this score. Sadness, regret, dignity, pride.

Poltergeist: I love listening to this one. The orchestrations are so rich and full you feel like you're swept away in a cyclone of passion and emotion, one minute beautiful, the next horrific. And the beauty of "The Light."

The Swarm: The complete for me is far superior to the LP version which I was never that fond of. Although some of the more sentimental music doesn't do it for me, I put up with it to get to the action and military stuff. It's interesting that the military passages share common characterists with Twilight's Last Gleaming which also features Richard Widmark as a General.

Alien: As terrific as the album was in its day, I love listening to the complete score -- both what was in the film and what was not. It's a treasure chest of riches, moody and sullen, anguished and frightening, and sometimes even at piece. I could listen to the Landing again and again all day.



Sand Pebbles: As beautiful as a score ever gets, I far prefer the deluxe edition to the LP and look forward to the day a complete comes out (that includes the LP's version of the overture of course). The extended sea battle is sensational, I still get chills from "Death of a Thousand Cuts," and "Repel Boarders" is one of Goldsmith's best cues.




The Varese Deluxe edition does indeed include the LP's version of the overture. That said the disc is not the complete version of this masterpiece.

JG albums that I can listen to in their entirety without getting tired? Not very many, I'm afraid, but here they are:

LEGEND (a tone poem not of this world; in both versions, the old 45 min "Upart" I grew up with, and the 75 min Silva)
PLANET OF THE APES (JG accomplishes to make even the atonal stuff sound melodic!)
POLTERGEIST II (strangely enough, I find Part II more listenable as a whole, with a stellar mystic main theme)
TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE (concert-hall-perfect in every sense)
GREMLINS (**cough, cough**...sooo cute and melodic, mischievous, heartfelt, all at the same time; when will it ever come out...uhm...)
THE OMEN / DAMIEN / THE FINAL CONFLICT (I just love that evil touch throughout, both theme- and instrument-wise)

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