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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Music by Jerry Goldsmith
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1114 (US)
28 Tracks 78:31 mins

1987's Innerspace is worth seeking out if it screens on your TV. It's an entertaining mix of thrills and comedy and boasts a great cast, from Meg Ryan at her cutest, to the always solid Dennis Quad, to the hilarious Martin Short, before he became irritating. It also boasts a fine, workmanlike score by the late, great Jerry Goldsmith, which was poorly represented on the LP that came out at the time of the film's release. Now, over 20 years later, La-La Land Records have finally released the score in all its complete glory.
Innerspace was composed at the height of Goldsmith's fascination with electronics where, unlike today, there were no sophisticated computer programmes to help him in his quest to add synthetic colours to the orchestra, those elements being provided by synths, often performed live alongside the musicians, and often by the composer himself. It's a sound that today seems very dated and in Innerspace, when the synths are at their most prominent, it can be a little grating. But, this said, there's no doubting the quality of the composer's writing for the film, even if there are not any particularly memorable themes that emerge from the score.
Not that there aren't strong themes throughout, including a noble and versatile main theme, which underlines Quaid's character's heroism whilst, in another guise, supports Short's comic antics; acts as a bonding motif between the two, and also crops up in action mode throughout.
Goldsmith's love theme for Quaid and Ryan (who of course enjoyed a real-life relationship) is also pretty versatile and goes from melancholy early on to a hugely warm treatment at the film's conclusion.
There are also two villainous themes, the more memorable of the two being that for the Libyan hit-man "The Cowboy" as portrayed by Robert Picardo (who of course went on to great popularity as the holographic doctor in the Star Trek: Voyager TV series). It's a fun mix of pseudo-spaghetti and traditional western, with Jew's harp, tambourine, guitar and synth replacing the whistled lead.
Added to all this, there is of course the ever excellent Goldsmith action and tension writing that is instantly recognisable, and that features in so much of his work of the time.
All in all, whilst not perhaps being his greatest work, it's still an entertaining and serviceable score for a much underrated film, and a must for all Goldsmith fans.
Accompanying the disc is the usual high-quality booklet, with Dan Goldwasser's detailed notes on the film and its score (with contributions from director Joe Dante, who of course worked with Goldsmith on many of his films), together with Jeff Bond's track analysis.
Limited to just 3000 units, and already sold out at La-La Land's website, you'd best get moving if you are to hunt down a copy from one of the soundtrack specialist dealers.


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