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Jerry Goldsmith - The Secret of NIMH (new Intrada Expanded)


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INTRADA Announces:



Composed and Conducted by JERRY GOLDSMITH

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 332

The original album composer Jerry Goldsmith prepared for The Secret of NIMH in 1982 featured 12 tracks and ran a generous 48 minutes, covering almost all of the score’s major sequences. When Intrada set out to do an expanded and remastered edition, the complete recording sessions proved to be illusive. Missing elements are not uncommon in this business of soundtrack archaeology, but this one was a painful near miss. A deep search uncovered the first-generation, DBX-encoded 1982 album master assembled by Goldsmith and engineer Len Engel, as well as three rolls of 1″ 8-channel and one of three ½″ 3-channel tapes. While these didn’t reveal every sequence of Goldsmith’s magnificent score, they did contain one missing cue -- “At Your Service.” If only one cue of the unreleased material was to surface, this is the one to have. It accompanies the sequence when Mrs. Brisby first journeys into the lair of the intelligent rats. Additionally the elements revealed a complete “demo” version of the end-credit song performed by Sally Stevens and the orchestra. The latter is identical to the film recording with the exception of the temporary orchestra mix and levels, which largely yielded to the vocal for later balancing purposes.

Goldsmith took the scoring assignment under the condition that he could score it like a live-action film. “As I told the producers, if they wanted a Disney-like, synchronize-every-cut type of score I couldn’t do it. I wanted to score it as a live-action film, and they agreed.” The score features as many as eight different themes for the film’s major characters and situations. As the composer described it: “They go from pure romanticism to impressionism, everything. It’s sort of an animated Peter and the Wolf, but it all hangs together cohesively. It’s a much more conservative score than, say, Omen or Outland or Alien or even Poltergeist, but it’s still diversely styled, musically, and it all seems to tie together very well.”

In the film, two stories run in parallel. Mrs. Brisby is a widow, and one of her four children, Timothy, is sick with pneumonia. She is desperate to move her home away from the farmer’s fields, where it will soon be destroyed by plowing, but her family can’t move while her son is ill. The second story involves a group of rodents—rats and mice—being held at a facility run by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). After experimental drug treatments alter the rodents’ DNA and render them intelligent they escape—with the help of Mrs. Brisby’s husband—and form a colony underneath the farmer’s lawn. Because Mr. Brisby is killed while drugging the farmer’s cat, Dragon, he is a revered figure to the rats, who eventually help Mrs. Brisby and her family move their home.

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 332

Retail Price: $19.99


For track listing and sound samples, please visit:


Jerry Goldsmith

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 332

Date: 1982

Time: 63:09

Tracks: 16

Price: $19.99

Expanded release of richly melodic, highly exciting Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack for popular Don Bluth animation film from Robert C. O'Brien novel "Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH", with voices of Elizabeth Hartman, Dom DeLuise, Derek Jacobi, Hermione Baddeley, Peter Strauss, John Carradine.

Original 1982 album offered generous 48-minute program featuring all of the major cues save one lengthy dramatic sequence entitled "At Your Service" and a few shorter bits. For some three decades, complete session elements have been lost and sadly remain as such. But exhaustive search did yield significant reward: Len Engel's actual first generation 1982 dbx-encoded album master plus 3 rolls of 1" and 1/2" multi-track tape offered complete album - and at last! - the previously unreleased "At Your Service". Three additional demo theme recordings featuring both Paul Williams and Sally Stevens were also present on masters.

Jerry Goldsmith fashioned his music in epic-scale for large orchestra plus chorus with nods to classic styles of Debussy, Stravinsky as well as his own landmark Poltergeist. Resulting score offers magical moments, beautiful theme, awe-inspiring colors plus incredibly ferocious action music. Another big asset: several sequences are quite lengthy. Total score now runs 53 minutes. Ten additional minutes of demos bring CD up to 63 minutes.

Courtesy MGM, Intrada re-mastered CD now offers nearly-complete program in dynamic stereo. Informative liner notes from Jeff Bond plus flipper-style cover artwork and interior package design by Joe Sikoryak add rich graphics to compliment Goldsmith's legendary score. Recorded May 4-7, 1982 at CTS Studios in London. Jerry Goldsmith conducts National Philharmonic Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers. Intrada Special Collection CD release available while quantities and interest remain!



Composed and Conducted by JERRY GOLDSMITH

01. Main Title (3:15)

02. Allergic Reaction/Athletic Type (2:42)

03. Flying Dreams – Lullaby (Vocal: Sally Stevens) (3:18)

04. The Tractor (3:00)

05. The Sentry Reel/The Story Of NIMH (6:05)

06. At Your Service* (3:39)

07. Escape From NIMH/In Disguise (5:02)

08. Flying Dreams (Vocal: Paul Williams) (3:21)

09. Step Inside My House (4:43)

10. No Thanks (2:03)

11. Moving Day (8:00)

12. The House Raising (4:36)

13. Flying High/End Title (2:39)

Total Score Time: 53:00

The Extras

14. Flying Dreams – End Title Demo (Vocal: Sally Stevens)* (3:15)

15. Flying Dreams – Demo (Vocal: Paul Wlliams)* (3:21)

16. Flying Dreams – Demo (Piano Duet)* (3:24)

Total Extras Time: 10:09

*Previously Unreleased











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If you check out the links on the 5th post down at the link below, you can hear from DVD rips all of the missing music left off the album (including the one track Intrada was somehow able to get). The new track from the remaining missing material was definitely the best one, at least. All of the other missing music does indeed feel like minor filler material in comparison, and nothing I am sore about not having. Granted, this isn't one of my TOP favorite scores of all time, so I am sure some people here would feel differently. I am actually really curious to hear that piano duet demo of the song. That's completely new and would be nice to have a full version form of it without singing. Definitely plan on getting this, since I only ever owned an MP3 given it's previous out of print nature.


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It is a bit shocking that a London-recorded Goldsmith score from the early 80s is lost, yes...

How can someone have seen The Secret Of NIMH and not remember anything about it?!

I guess there's only one thing left for you to do: rewatch it!

I think I've seen it twice, long ago. And that was after a friend had a presentation about the book back in school. And I've listened to the OST many times.

And I still barely remember anything about the plot.

But yes, I do want to see it again. The voice actors alone are enough to make it intriguing (I've only seen the German dub before).

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I read the book as a kid. It was really a great story. When I saw the movie, I thought it was . . . "over-Bluthed," as some of his projects tend to be. It was all right, but I wasn't a big fan. The score was one of its best aspects.

OK, so this week-end: The Castle Of Cagliostro and The Secret Of NIMH!

The first was by far the best!

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There is something about old mills, acres and rabbit holes i dig. I love the impressionistic, blazing-red look that - to my knowledge - never was as fully realized as here and in FANTASIA. Honestly don't know what Uni means with over-Bluthed, it's arguably not a smooth and audience-friendly as AMERICAN TAIL and much too dark for the usual Di$ney-audience (a fact Spielberg lamented).

I know parents that don't like it due to its darkness and filthy subject matter though kids usually dig it. Love that defining Hollywood score moment when the amulet raises from the mud and Goldsmith uses glistening string arpeggios that grows into a grand statement of the 'secret of NIMH' motif. It doesn't get much better that that as far as animation music is concerned.

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Heard it last night. It's absolutely wonderful. Shares some DNA with other Goldsmiths (Legend and Poltergeist) but also has its own unique identity that sounds almost nothing like his other stuff. It's a non-saccharine take on a fairy tale and I love those kind of scores. Just like them slightly bleaker and not as diabetes-inducing. In that sense, it reminds me slightly of Return to Oz. In tone, not style. Gorgeous stuff.


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It's impressionism all the way, baby. It brought out a painterly side in Goldsmith that seemed to have come quite easily to him and it's a shame that he didn't follow this route more. Trivia: Goldsmith came to the point of meeting with Bluth and Spielberg about AN AMERICAN TAIL but had to bail out for a mediocre project like POLTERGEIST 2 (or maybe HOOSIERS) and later expressed his intense disappointment to Bluth & Co. - maybe Goldsmith was too antsy to have scored 5 animated movies in a row like Horner, but i'm sure they all would have been very different.

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About the order of tracks:

By the way, there is a lot of miss-information going around with regards to the order of the tracks. Our CD follows the well-produced original 1982 album sequence that Goldsmith and Engel assembled, plus the addition of the very important new cue ("At Your Service") approximating the place it goes in the film since the original album utilized creative assemblies - which work beautifully.
The first CDs (on Varese and TER) altered that original sequence, ironically not into film order either, but into a totally new sequence that oddly put the epic "House Raising" climax of the score ahead of "Moving Day", a near-fatal decision that caused Varese to reissue their CD years later with the tracks returned to the 1982 sequence Goldsmith and Engel intended. We stayed with that 1982 sequence as well.


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  • 2 months later...

Wow! It turns out the alternate cover is unauthorized fan art that Intrada used without his permission!

This one:


Here's the original artists site:


And here's the art from his site:



He's been posting in the FSM thread about it:


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The artwork was used without my knowledge or permission.... Mistakes can be made, especially when it concerns the internet, and I just hope they'll get back to me and help resolve this fairly and justly... I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt... I'm just disappointed that I only found out about it months after the fact, without any credit, payment, etc., etc... I do think it was an honest mistake on their part, and not the result of anything intentionally deceptive.

Interesting to see what "fairly and justly" ends up being.

IF the derivative illustration was done without the artist obtaining a license from the company that holds the rights to the character, the image cannot be sold, licensed or published by the artist.

And if someone sells more than $1000 worth of art that utilizes such copyright protected characters, it is actually a Federal crime, 17 USC 506.

The character's copyright owner has exclusive rights to sell or license such images, regardless of who the artist is.

If a company uses such an illustration mistakenly, that's one thing. It would be another thing to then pay the unlicensed artist after having been made aware of the copyright infringement.

Of course, none of that is applicable if the artist has obtained the necessary licenses.

Oh oh!

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Well that "controversy" was short-lived!

Joe Sikoryak, the guy who does the art direction for all of Intrada's albums, posted this in the FSM thread:

Intrada intended no slight in using your artwork, Adam. It was an honest mistake on the part of their long time art director, yours truly---who just heard about it this morning when we checked our e-mail. After designing 700 albums, this is a first. Give me a call and we'll set things right.

and then the artist replied

Greg, they are very good guys, and long story short, we worked it all out extremely amicably. It was an honest oversight, and I'm delighted and honored to have my work featured in this release.
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