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Brundlefly

The Western Scores of Jerry Goldsmith

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This is virtually a continuation of the "Crucial Jerry Goldsmith Scores that Nobody Knows"-thread: 

I would like to know more about Jerry Goldsmith' Western Scores (or at least about a selection of them).

 

What they are like? Which one are better than others? Which of them are typical and which of them are unusual?

 

At the time, they're all available for a pretty low price. But I cannot buy all of them at once. So which ones should one get immediately and which ones can wait?

 

Rio Conchos (1964)rio_conchos_lala_cd_cover.jpg

Stagecoach (1965)stagecoach_LLLCD1215.jpg

Hour of the Gun (1967)hour_gun_XPCD 173.jpg

Bandolero! (1968)bandolero_LLLCD1256.jpg

100 Rifles (1969)100_Rifles_LaLa_cd_cover.jpg

Rio Lobo (1970)rio_lobo_LLLCD1221.jpg

One Little Indian (1973)one_little_indian_ISC383.jpg

Take a Hard Ride (1975)take_hard_LLLCD1367.jpg

Bad Girls (1994)bad_girls_LLLCD1169.jpg

 

Are there more Jerry Goldsmith Western Scores that you would like to mention?

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I have already decided to buy the new LLL set. Due to what is being said about 100 Rifles I'm most interested in that one.

 

I'm probably gonna buy a 100€ batch at soundtrackcorner, so that there are no shipping costs. The batch will include Small Soldiers, 100 Rifles/Rio Conchos and 2 or 3 further western scores. So out of the remaining 7 scores (Stagecoach, Hour of the Gun, Bandolero!, Rio Lobo, One Little Indian, Take a Hard Ride and Bad Girls) which ones would you pick? Is one of the releases near the danger zone? What is the general mood and style of these scores like? I know little about any of them.

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Favourite equals polar opposite of best in that case. Stagecoach is second-worst. The rest basically all are great but some are more tuneful (Take a Hard Ride, Wild Rovers), others more subdued (Hour of the Gun) or gritty (100 Rifles, Rio Conchos).

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6 hours ago, publicist said:

Favourite equals polar opposite of best in that case. Stagecoach is second-worst. The rest basically all are great but some are more tuneful (Take a Hard Ride, Wild Rovers), others more subdued (Hour of the Gun) or gritty (100 Rifles, Rio Conchos).

So if I bought Hard Ride and Hour of the Gun in addition to 100 Rifles/Rio Conchos I could get a little diversity into my soundtrackcorner batch? To which category do Bandolero, Rio Lobo and Little Indian belong?

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8 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

So if I bought Hard Ride and Hour of the Gun in addition to 100 Rifles/Rio Conchos I could get a little diversity into my soundtrackcorner batch? To which category do Bandolero, Rio Lobo and Little Indian belong?

 

Bandolero = close to '100 Rifles', has a catchy tune (it's actually light companion to 'Needles and Pins') and lots of mexican and gritty stuff

 

Rio Lobo = another Top 10 main theme and lively underscore, about 35 minutes of it, but below those you listed.

 

One Little Indian = a Disney comedy western, so it's a sweet score with a hummable kiddie theme and some up-tempo action numbers, solid but not essential.

 

I would add 'Bandolero'.

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I think, I'll add Take a Hard Ride and Bandolero!. I love Jerry's mexican styled music.

 

(I also love Jerry's russian styled music, but I don't think I'll find that in one of these scores.)

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Wild Rovers is essential!

 

 

Some cool counterpoint writing in this one.

 

As I've said before, I think publicist is too harsh on Bad Girls. It may not be as inventive as Goldsmith's earlier Westerns, but it's still accomplished, and to my ears at least it doesn't sound like Goldsmith was bored by it. It's a lot of fun and features some exciting early 90s Goldsmith action writing.

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Wild Rovers is actually one of the least essential IMO, because it depends so heavily on an existing folk tune “Goodbye Old Paint” (it feels like 90% of the damn score) and I prefer Jerry’s wholly original stuff. It does have some good highlights but considering it’s long OOP I wouldn’t advise Brundlefly to spend a lot of money trying to acquire it.

 

 

In fact I’d recommend One Little Indian (the reissue was on sale at Intrada last I checked) over it, by far. If you do a little bit of easy editing to take out the most annoying comedic riffs on Lawrence of Arabia for the camel in the story, I actually think it’s one of Jerry’s best/most enjoyable western scores with a super badass theme...that comic element just drags it down from time to time.

 

I would honestly prioritize getting all of the LLLs you can, especially if they go on a good sale this week to celebrate the new release. The lowest priority of them is Stagecoach, which is perfectly nice but insubstantial (the TV scores for The Loner on that disc make more of an impression IMO). I think Bad Girls has some lame 90s synth stuff at times, but when it’s good it’s really REALLY good...just as good and gritty as his 60s and 70s westerns could be, IMO. Check this out (second half in particular) and try to tell me that’s subpar Goldsmith:

 

Oh oh and I reiterate: if you can ever find Lonely Are the Brave for a decent price, NAB IT! It is a more subtle score for the most part and might take longer to grow on you, but it is his best IMO.

 

Yavar

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2 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Wild Rovers is actually one of the least essential IMO, because it depends so heavily on an existing folk tune “Goodbye Old Paint” (it feels like 90% of the damn score) and I prefer Jerry’s wholly original stuff. It does have some good highlights but considering it’s long OOP I wouldn’t advise Brundlefly to spend a lot of money trying to acquire it.

 

 

 

It's a great score  - certainly in another class than 'Bad Girls' - and this folk tune association is flimsy at best. If Jeff Bond or whoever wouldn't have unveiled such connection in some FSM Buyers Guide, no one ever would have noticed, as the chords are so common for american folk music.

 

Quote

I think Bad Girls has some lame 90s synth stuff at times, but when it’s good it’s really REALLY good...just as good and gritty as his 60s and 70s westerns could be, IMO. Check this out (second half in particular) and try to tell me that’s subpar Goldsmith:

 

 

The main theme on synclavier is awful on all counts and the second-rate Rambo action (with even more stripped-down orchestration) is fun, but hardly worth a recommendation. As far as westerns go, 'Lonely are the Brave' is certainly the best, psychologically (next to 'Hour of the Gun') but more effective in the movie. For all its qualities, i never found much appeal on disc, but it's a brilliant film score.

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On 6/23/2018 at 7:31 PM, publicist said:

Favourite equals polar opposite of best in that case. Stagecoach is second-worst. The rest basically all are great but some are more tuneful (Take a Hard Ride, Wild Rovers), others more subdued (Hour of the Gun) or gritty (100 Rifles, Rio Conchos).

 

I know it's not exactly cutting-edge or whatever, but 90s Goldsmith is my favourite. Love the more lush, streamlined scores of this period (THE MUMMY being my alltime favourite JG, for example). If I were to mention a more artistically ambitious western score, I would obviously pick something else. Maybe BANDOLERO!. But it's BAD GIRLS I keep returning to for best listening pleasure.

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44 minutes ago, Thor said:

Love the more lush, streamlined scores of this period (THE MUMMY being my alltime favourite JG, for example).

I don't listen to The Mummy any more. My CD doesn't work any more and I keep saying that an expansion is imminent.😔But yes, it's also one of my favourites and in addition to that it was my first Goldsmith CD.

 

Many people advised me to get Bandolero!. So I think that it'll be.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

I know it's not exactly cutting-edge or whatever, but 90s Goldsmith is my favourite. Love the more lush, streamlined scores of this period (THE MUMMY being my alltime favourite JG, for example). If I were to mention a more artistically ambitious western score, I would obviously pick something else. Maybe BANDOLERO!. But it's BAD GIRLS I keep returning to for best listening pleasure.

 

Sure, that's why i would categorize it as a more idiosnycratic personal recommendation whereas *objectively* (as far as these things go) the 60's/70's score generally are of much higher quality and ambition, musically. 

 

I also like the 90's very digestible, but scores like '100 Rifles' need much more championship enablers, because the movies are obscure today and it would be sad if musical nuggets like that were ignored for bad Cineplex fodder like 'Bad Girls' (a truly bad movie with a score ranging from workmanlike to bad).

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See, Brundlefly? I told you LLL was going to do a Jerry Goldsmith westerns sale -- at 50% off on all of their still in print ones (barring the new release), I'd say it might might make more sense to buy directly from them even with greater shipping costs:

www.lalalandrecords.com

 

In case anyone cares, here's how I would rank LLL's Goldsmith western sale titles, in order of priority:
1. Rio Lobo -- a more subtle and melancholy score that gets under your skin and grows on you:

 

2. Bandolero! -- I love the whistled main theme though I understand if some don't; great themes and action music in this but it also has a more contemplative side I like:

 

 

3. Take A Hard Ride -- This has one of Jerry's best western themes and the highlights are incredible, but fair warning to those who might be turned off by the occasionally abrasive/unsettling synths for the villain:

 

 

4. Bad Girls -- Aside from the synth keyboard performances of the main theme which are very dated 90s sounding (and probably responsible for the poor reception this score had in the past), this is incredible music every bit on the level of Jerry's 60s and 70s western efforts. Listen particularly to the dark latter cue in this:

 

 

5. Stagecoach / The Loner -- This is a very nice score, very pleasant and folksy with catchy themes. It just lacks the badass moments of the other four albums listed above. In fact the most badass part of the CD is the TV music for The Loner. :)

 

 

 

Finally, I'd like to give a shoutout to Mark Banning for his excellent design work for the covers on 100 Rifles and especially Rio Conchos (probably the best he's ever done). When I first saw that Rio Conchos my initial guess was that Jim Titus had done it!

 

Yavar

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17 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

See, Brundlefly? I told you LLL was going to do a Jerry Goldsmith westerns sale -- at 50% off on all of their still in print ones (barring the new release), I'd say it might might make more sense to buy directly from them even with greater shipping costs:

www.lalalandrecords.com

Holy shit, I have to take that offer! When I order all 5 CDs plus the new one it's 5×10$+24,98$+14$+7×2,75$ = 108,23$. But what's about the toll, when it's shipped overseas? Does La-La Land write a lower price on the package, so that I don't have to pay any extra fees?

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I don't know as I live in the US -- you can always shoot them an email and ask; you're pretty friendly about it. I will say that I haven't read any complaints on the board about customs charges when ordering from LLL, like I have many times with Varese. I do hope you're able to take advantage of the sale. $75 before shipping for eight brand new complete Goldsmith western scores (counting the two Loners + theme as one) is a pretty amazing deal, I gotta say. I was happy to pay full price for these!

 

Also, just a heads up, but Intrada has had their One Little Indian reissue discounted for a little while now too...of course this LLL sale is a higher priority, assuming you won't be stung too badly by customs fees.

http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.10887/.f

 

Yavar

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Alright, I ordered Bad Girls, Bandolero! Rio Lobo, Stagecoach, Take a Hard Ride and 100 Rifles/Rio Conchos at LLL! Including shipping costs that's 95€, so it's 13,50€ per score! Normally I would pay 150€, so that'd be 21,50€ per score! There is no way the toll is so high that it wasn't worth ordering it from LLL!

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He ordered all five that got put on sale by LLL, because they were at half price! How does that not make perfect sense? He's still got plenty of Goldsmith western scores yet to acquire, but he's got a really good start of a collection of them now, with a pretty wide range of styles.

 

Yavar

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23 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

The sound quality of Rio Conchos is realy amazing! 1964?! WTF?!

I think, I won't touch the other five scores anytime soon. There are still plenty of Goldsmith scores that I have to cover before that.

 

I know, right? Probably Mike Mattesino's most impressive work, especially when compared with the original FSM release from over 15 years earlier. That said, you still need to get the amazing Intrada London Symphony Orchestra recording of the score when you can...Wall of Fire in particular on that will blow you away in modern sound quality:

http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.8195/.f?sc=2&category=5

 

(Also The Artist Who Did Not Want to Paint is given an incredible performance...probably my single favorite piece Jerry ever wrote.)

 

Glad you liked those first two Goldsmith western scores, and looking forward to hearing what you think of the rest.

 

Yavar

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After repeated listens I have to update my Jerry Goldsmith Top 10.

  1. Alien
  2. Legend
  3. Papillon
  4. Total Recall
  5. Night Crossing
  6. The Ghost and the Darkness
  7. 100 Rifles
  8. Under Fire
  9. The Mummy
  10. Damnation Alley

100 Rifles is sublime! One of the roughest and most brutal scores that Jerry did. Musically, it's also one of his most interesting and creative efforts. Not even one cue is superfluous. That is one of the rare occasions, where every note can be kept and it's still a perfect listen!

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Yeah, there's not a single cue of 100 Rifles I would dream of omitting in my listen, though there are several other great western scores of his I would also say that about. In fact, before the more subtle depths of Lonely Are the Brave eventually caused it to take over as my favorite Jerry Goldsmith western score, 100 Rifles held that position for several years! It's just awesome.

 

Keep goin' with those Goldsmith western scores and another one or two might make it onto your cool top 10 list. :)

 

Yavar

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On 7/19/2018 at 1:19 AM, Yavar Moradi said:

Keep goin' with those Goldsmith western scores and another one or two might make it onto your cool top 10 list. :)

I'm not sure about that. :unsure: Here's my Jerry Goldsmith Flop 10:

 

  1. Not Without My Daughter
  2. Bad Girls
  3. Along Came a Spider
  4. Alien Nation
  5. Runaway
  6. King Solomon's Mines
  7. Criminal Law
  8. Mr. Baseball
  9. Congo
  10. The Vanishing

Bad Girls really underwhelmed me in every perspective. A musically little inspired copy of former action scores with a slightly changed texture. You basically already know all of it, only this time it sounds kinda western-like. I know, I exaggerate, but considering it's Goldsmith it's one of his comparatively poorest efforts.

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King Solomon's Mines is actually a great score (if you get over the bad Raiders clone that is its main theme, even if Goldsmith in reality modeled that after the Patton march, and his last purely orchestral effort before First Knight) and Congo  fun one.

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Maybe you're right. I don't own all scores from my Flop 10. I listened to some of them on YouTube several times and decided not to buy them. (There might be other scores that are a lot worse than Congo and The Vanishing which I like quite a bit.)

 

But I gotta admit Not Without My Daughter and Bad Girls SEEM to be on a special level of bad on the Goldsmith-o-meter.

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Congo's just a fun time-killing in-between for Baby and Ghost & The Darkness. Alas and alack, primates just cannot compare to the brutally captivating antics of dinosaurs and lions.

 

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