March 17th, 2007

Goldsmith (film composer)


The clip that I posted yesterday engendered a very important question:
suitboyskin: Also have you ever noticed that Bob Barker doesn't really age?
heybishop: That's because, like the former Pope, he's been animatronic since the early 80's.
Actually, as suitboyskin will attest to, the Pope was merely being Weekend at Bernie's'ed around a lot. Bob Barker is another story, and his ability to avoid aging (with the exception of the day his hair turned white overnight) is because of connections that he had made in the industry years ago. In fact, this surveillence video taken by R. Nordburg of Police Squad (taken in the early 80s but only recently declassified) shows where another celebrity could credit the same uncanny talent:

I didn't order The Vanishing. I saw part of the movie, maybe didn't give the music a decent chance... but most of all, this is the score that Goldsmith pointed out as being one of the bottle caps. Of course, composers can often not see the value of their own work; lehah recently discussed Bill Conti's views on his own music in filmscore, but given the period this was in Jerry Goldsmith's career, I decided I'd pass. This is, of course, a much better position than I found myself in Runaway had come out. I most likely would have decided against purchasing that score anyway; I'm not that enamored of the electronics in many of Goldsmith's 80s scores (with exceptions, such as Legend) so an all electronic score which I found rather bland in context of the film may not have been worth the purchase.

Unfortunately, with these limited releases, you never know know which ones are going to be there for long and which ones will go the way of Inchon. Just because you've been eager for something doesn't mean anybody else has. Elmer Bernstein's Birdman of Alcatraz is, amazingly, still out there. But that is a fairly moot point, because the stuff you wanted is something you pounce on anyway.

The gray area is the middle ground, when you're not sure. The samples might sound nice, but if that's all the score has to offer... The problem is that it is the gray area where the new discoveries come into the picture. I took chances on some releases that I wouldn't part with today. I only knew Bronislau Kaper's Mutiny on the Bounty by reputation; I had never heard of Maurice Jarre's Crossed Swords but I liked the samples. I was made aware of Serge Franklin's L'Enfant des loups from a posting on filmscore, took a chance and loved it. Unfortunately, the "when in doubt, order it" rule doesn't always work out, because you can sometimes become aware of a score long after it has been sold out. This is especially true if you are an avid film fan, which most film score collectors are anyway.

So this is one that I decided to let go. It is not an area of Goldsmith's career that is my favorite (on the other hand, his scores from the 60s and 70s - even his most minor contribution - all have something in them to interest me), and so I had to make the decision to allow that one to go. Does it bother me that one day I might see the film and fall in love with that one cue that I just have to have? Yeah, a little. But in the grand scheme of things, I doubt that adds up to the satisfaction of at long last having Conti's Karate Kid scores. Which is something that I've been waiting for. And I'm pouncing on anyway.

Cross posted to filmscore.