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 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 2:17 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Down the pub the other night, a chum said that he found a lot of the 'lush strings, high romance' style scoring of the 70s and 80s, by certain composers (namely Lee Holdridge and Basil Poledouris) to be quite comical now, due to Elmer Bernstein parodying that sound in his comedy scores of the same period.
Which led me to dig out and play a few of those 'lushies', like THE BLUE LAGOON, RETURN TO THE BLUE LAGOON, FAREWELL TO THE KING & LONESOME DOVE.
And as I was listening, I realised (not for the first time) how similar in style his themes are structured to that John Barry style (this isn't news, I know, and Poledouris has often cited Barry as a favourite and inspiration. We even bumped into him, outside the Royal Albert Hall before that big John Barry concert, and he was just as excited as us to hear him in action).
So, do John Barry fans also have an affinity to BP's music in particular?

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 2:51 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I do, but ironically not so much Farewell From The King, which is often cited as his most John Barry like score.

I like Poledouris in his own natural voice.

Conan The Barbarian is probably my favourite of his.


 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 2:55 AM   
 By:   brucepatterson   (Member)

For me, yes very much!

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 3:40 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Anyone with good taste will like them both.

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 4:37 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I had a similar thought, Kev. Not so much the "if you like JB, do you like BP?", but rather how I can't really get into those lush-sounding '80s scores now, not in the way I used to. Perhaps it is just old age and cynicism, but I can see that Elmer Bernstein's "serious" approach to '80s comedies might indeed have affected how I perceive that sound nowadays. I'll give you an example - the last time I listened to Poledouris' THE BLUE LAGOON, I had this image in my head of a young, muscular Christopher Atkins, long hair down his back as he stares out to sea. Then as he turns around, it cuts to a close-up - and it's Leslie Nielsen in a wig.

A bit off-topic, sorry, but while I'm on about Bernstein, I recall a scene in FAR FROM HEAVEN where Dennis Quaid is caught about to launch into a steamy homosexual embrace with... whoever, then his wife (?) walks in and Bernstein accentuates her "shock-horror" reaction in a way that didn't so much remind me of the films of Douglas Sirk, but instead the NAKED GUN series. In a way, Bernstein seemed to have been the unwitting victim of his own genius there. But perhaps that is for another discussion.

To answer your question though, I suppose that there is a bit of an overlap between Barry and Poledouris, but my favourite scores by John Barry are not much like my favourite scores by Basil Poledouris - which is kind of like Stephen's example.

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

FAREWELL TO THE KING and BLUE LAGOON are both over-the-top melodramas though, and the score largely covers what is already visually obvious on the screen. I’d say DANCES WITH WOLVES is slightly smarter but still has moments that feel a bit cloying. Interestingly, all of these are movies about white people in the “natives” land, which lends itself to pretty ridiculous scenarios when played straight.

But I think generally lush scores can overdo things when they match what is on screen, and romance in particular is something that I don’t think needs much scoring at all, or if it does, smaller gestures that don’t overpower what’s onscreen work better.

“Adventure” is also easy to overdo and something the 80s and 90s were really guilty of with so many copycats of John Williams. Themes that say “we’re having fun” when that’s very obvious onscreen quickly become laughable.

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   bladerunner76   (Member)

Basil’s score for For Love of the Game is one of my favorites

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

Yes,but not totally. I did not care for SWITCHBACK. I know... you're going to say it's your favorite. Fine ! Different opinions are always welcomed here.

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

For Love Of The Game, Blue Lagoon, Lonesome Dove, and Farewell To The King are all excellent scores and have a certain Barry-like quality but they don't sound exactly like Barry. Basil had his own voice and it's pretty clear in all of these.

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 11:39 AM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

If anyone is interested, Basil himself was a fan of John Barry.

Ford A. Thaxton

 Posted:   Oct 15, 2021 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   William R.   (Member)

FAREWELL TO THE KING has some "Barryisms," but is still very much a Poledouris score, particularly with its use of gamelan sounds - Barry generally avoided non-Western instruments. I'd be curious to hear what Poledouris would have done with DANCES WITH WOLVES. Barry's score is wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing about it, but I'd have to imagine Poledouris would have also written an all-time classic, had he not been busy with godawful FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER. Gotta give Basil credit for staying loyal to Millius though I guess

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