& Buy From
Music Conducted By
Albums Produced By
FSMCD Vol. 8, No. 16
Bay Cities CD, Chapter
III CD, MGM LPs
Year Of CD/Film Release
Limited Edition Release
The Carey Treatment
(R Budd) and Westworld (F Karlin)
Includes The Carey
Treatment And Westworld extra cues
9. Disco Strut ** (2:34)
10. Disco Love Theme (Disco Version) (4:29)
11. Theme From The Prize (1:39)
12. Stranger on the Street (0:51)
13. Cape Cod Weekend (Love Theme From Coma) (2:35)
14. The Institute (Jefferson Institute)/No Interview (2:26)
15. Hot Wire (2:07)
16. Toys in the Attic (O.R. 8) (5:35)
17. The Charts/Chance Encounter/The Lecture Hall (4:43)
18. Study in Anatomy (3:12)
19. No Address/After Hours/Up for Bids/Illegal Parking (5:31)
20. A Lack of Efficiency/A Free Ride (2:58)
21. A Difficult Position/The Long View (3:44)
22. A Lucky Patient/A Nice Case (5:46)
23. Sunday's Moon (2:32) *
* Lyrics by Carol Goldsmith
** Composed By Don Peake
Jerry Goldsmith enjoyed
a bumper crop of major movies to score back in 1978 and each
one was a high profile box office hit. Coma proved to
be one of the biggest. A taught medical thriller from writer
and director Michael Crichton. This was Goldsmith's second outing
with the director after the earlier TV movie Pursuit.
The relationship would continue with the period caper The
Great Train Robbery the following year and the sci-fi thriller
Runaway in 1985. Not to mention a series of film adaptations
for other directors of Crichton's books for Congo, The
13th Warrior and Timeline.
Coma remains one of the composer's finest examples of
his thriller scoring technique. A style that is sadly lacking
these days. Goldsmith's palette is devoid of brass relying on
strings, woodwinds and piano as well as the return of the Echoplex
to manipulate and create some chilling effects.
This new two CD set sadly
includes two other scores that are of merit but should have been
released on their own. The Coma score may be only 42 minutes
long but it could have been partnered with the album version
to make this a comprehensive look at the Coma score. But
beggars can't be choosers and as always I applaud the efforts
of Lukas Kendall and FSM to bring us another thorough well produced
CD. So Coma's music begins on disc 2 and features a handful
of source cues for the film. Beginning with Don Peake's period
disco piece and continuing with Goldsmith's disco version of
his love theme. The next selection seemed very odd indeed; The
theme from Goldsmith's score to the 1968 MGM movie The Prize.
FSM reveal Goldsmith re-recorded the theme for a piece of source
used in the film.
The score begins proper with track 12 and essentially deconstructs
the album selections into the actual score cues. Goldsmith famously
left the first hour of the movie un-scored and wrote his 42 minute
score for the last hour of the movie. The first sequence to startlingly
include music is the reveal of henchman Vince (Lance Le Gault)
for Stranger On The Street who stalks our heroine (Genevieve
Bujold) throughout the movie. The short piece introduces Goldsmith
stark thriller scoring for strings and keyboards with echoplex.
In contrast the love theme for Bujold and her boyfriend Mark
(Michael Douglas) who spend a romantic weekend together (Cape
Cod Weekend) is the only upbeat and playful cue in the score.
Goldsmith's theme is melodic but essentially pop, very much a
musical interlude of the time.
The Institute/No Interview coldly introduces the eerie
and unwelcoming Jefferson Institute that receives the ever growing
list of Coma patients at Susan's Hospital. Goldsmith makes the
visitors, especially Susan, as unwelcome as possible at the imposing
and desolate facility. Goldsmith's chilling theme for the Institute
is almost mournful in its execution. The bleak futuristic building
design gives Goldsmith ample opportunity to terrify the audience
with strings and an unsettling piano without us even knowing
As Susan's suspicions grow at the Hospital she goes to meet a
maintenance man with further information only to find he's been
electrocuted in the bowls of the hospital's maintenance area
(Hot Wire). Goldsmith continues with his terrifying line
and heightens the tension as Susan makes her way to the discovery
of the body in the gloomy basement.
Toys In The Attic follows Susan's progress as she discovers
a mysterious gas tank that seems to be feeding from the basement
into the hospital. Susan makes a perilous climb and follows the
pipes through a confined shaft only to discover it leads into
OR8, where most of the patients appear to be ending up in coma.
Goldsmith is allowed to dominate the sequence and emphasises
Susan's perilous journey to make the startling discovery.
The Charts/Chance Encounter/The Lecture Hall follow Susan's
progress to investigate the series of unexplained coma cases.
This cue is made up of three segments as Susan nervously investigates.
Goldsmith provides further development of his string effects
to create tension and Susan's heightened anxiety. Her second
face to face encounter with Vince allows Goldsmith to develop
his cue into a minor chase cue with electronic embellishments
juxtaposed with aggressive string playing.
The chase develops in A Study In Anatomy as Susan hides
in a freezer of dead bodies with Vince close behind. The unpleasant
location and the grey lifeless bodies hanging up engender even
more horror with Goldsmith's wailing strings and electronics
providing the climax as the bodies topple onto Vince as Susan
makes her escape.
No Address/After Hours/Up For Bids/Illegal Parking is
the major extra music presented here. This stunning cue is made
up of four sequences and develops Goldsmith's eerie suspense
and chase music into some of the composer's most effective thriller
scoring. The prepared piano motif heard earlier is properly developed
and backed up by a brooding bass line. Electronic effects explore
the sequence further creating a feeling of isolation for Susan
as she sneaks around the Jefferson Institute evading the guards.
A Lack Of Efficiency/A Free Ride covers Susan's perilous
hiding place above the hanging coma patients as the security
guards search the room. The cue then slowly develops into a an
elaborate exclamation as Susan makes her escape on the top of
an Ambulance. The lengthy sequence is another major highlight
of this release.
A Difficult Position was never used in the final cut of
the movie, but would have served the sequence well where Dr Harris
(Richard Widmark) drugs Susan as she tries to confide in him
of her discovery realising he is not only in on it but running
the operation. Goldsmith creates a nightmare dreamlike state
for Susan as she slowly looses consciousness. The sequence continues
and the second part of the cue The Long View makes its
appearance in the film.
A Lucky Patient is the finale cue as Mark is finally confirmed
as one of the good guys and makes his way to the basement to
find and switch off the gas. Goldsmith's cue switches between
Mark's frantic attempts to switch it off in time and the relaxed
and chilling deception to unnecessarily operate on Susan to kill
her off. As Dr Harris' plan fails and Susan wakes Goldsmith brings
resolution and relief to the score as Mark comforts Susan (A
Nice Case) and the love theme returns, while Dr Harris' is
left to be arrested by waiting Police. The score closes with
a chilling but elaborate orchestral crescendo.
Sunday's Moon is partly a vocal of the love theme for
Coma and may have been intended for the Cape Cod weekend
with lyrics by Carol Goldsmith. It makes for a surprisingly effective
song and deals with the couple's relationship rather than the