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Saturday, December 17, 2005

CD REVIEW - Coma/Westworld/The Carey Treatment

Coma/Westworld/The Carey Treatment
Music by Jerry Goldsmith/Fred Karlin/Roy Budd
Film Score Monthly Vol.8 No.16
Disc 1 - 29 Tracks 74:49 mins Disc 2 - 23 Tracks 72:04 mins

Perhaps this double-disc collection should be subtitled "Music from the films of Michael Crichton, as he directed two and wrote one of the films here represented.
Disc One features the premiere release of Roy Budd's score for the 1972 thriller, which starred James Coburn. Budd has been well represented on disc in rcent years, it's just a shame it couldn't have happened while the much-missed pianist and composer was still with us. Carey features a typically catchy melody, given an upbeat poppy treatment in the Main and End titles, with Courtship, a more laid-back romantic treatment of the theme, featuring Budd at the piano. A further romantic treatment is given in Interlude, which ends in some brassy chase music. The rest of the cues are a mix of suspense and action, with a number of source cues, most featuring Budd's piano playing.
The other score featured on the first disc is for 1973's Westworld, which Fred Karlin scored with a mixture of source cues and some futuristic sounds, largely produced in his own studio. Much of the soruce is of the country & western variety, but there is also medieval music, depending on which "world" we are visting. The latter cues are mostly tense, futuristic chase music.
Disc Two commences with a number of bonus tracks from all three films represented, mostly source cues, with Budd again demonstrating his prowess at the piano and some beat-driven disco music from Coma, but also a dance band arrangement of the theme from The Prize.
The score that headlines the disc is that of Jerry Goldsmith for 1978's Coma,
unusual for its lack of brass within the orchestra. Goldsmith instead goes for an expanded string section, woodwinds and percussion. It's not an easy score to listen to, being mostly of the tense, suspenseful and disturbing nature, but it perfectly fit the dark nature of the film. There are definite echoes of Bernard Herrmann in the score, and similarities to other Goldsmith scores of the time, especially Alien. As something of a brief respite from all of this, the composer came up with a quite beautiful love theme, given a carefree, poppy arrangement in Cape Cod Weekend. This theme is presented as a vocal by an unknown female singer as the last track on the disc.
Accompanying the set is the usual colourful and informative booklet, with notes by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall, including a complete cue-by-cue guide.


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