Try & Buy From

Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By
Bruce Botnick

Performed By

Albums Produced By

Lukas Kendall

Retrograde FSM80130-2

Previous Release(s)
Mogwai Music
MCD-98720 (Boot CD)

Geffen Records
GED 24044 (Mini album)

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Reviewed By
Brandon Moore

Cues & Timings

Disc One

The Film Score

1. Fanfare in C (Max Steiner)/The 2. Shop/The Little One 4:30
3. Late for Work 1:46
4. Mrs. Deagle/That Dog 2:22
5. The Gift 1:45
6. First Aid 2:17
7. Spilt Water 3:02
8. A New One 1:10
9. The Lab/Old Times 2:35
10. The Injection 2:56
11. Snack Time/The Wrong Time 1:49
12. The Box 1:24
13. First Aid 1:39
14. Disconnected/Hurry Home 1:03
15. Kitchen Fight 4:06
16. Dirty Linen 0:43
17. The Pool 1:07
18. The Plow/Special Delivery 1:16
19. High Flyer 2:22
20. Too Many Gremlins 2:06
21. No Santa Claus 3:27
22. After Theatre 1:39
23. Theatre Escape/Stripe Is Loose/Toy Dept./No Gizmo 4:36
24. The Fountain/Stripe's Death 5:42
25. Goodbye, Billy 2:56
26. End Title/The Gremlin Rag 4:10

Total Time: 62:26

Bonus Tracks

27. Blues 2:17
28. Mrs. Deagle (film version) 1:27
29. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (traditional, arr. Alexander Courage) 1:12
30. After Theatre (With "Silent Night") 1:36
31. After Theatre (Without "Silent Night") 1:36
32. Rabbit Rampage (Milt Franklyn) 0:47
33. The Gremlin Rag (full version) 3:35
34. Gizmo's New Song 0:35
35. Gizmo's Trumpet 0:30

Total Time: 13:35

Total Disc Time: 76:01

Disc Two

1984 Soundtrack Album

1. Michael Sembello—Gremlins...Mega Madness (Produced by Michael Sembello and Mark Hudson) 3:52
2. Quarterflash—Make It Shine (Produced by John Boylan) 4:11
3. Peter Gabriel—Out Out (Co-Produced by Nile Rodgers and Peter Gabriel) 7:02

Total Time: 15:04

Jerry Goldsmith

4. The Gift 4:58
5. Gizmo 4:14
6. Mrs. Deagle 2:54
7. The Gremlin Rag 4:13
Produced by Bruce Botnick and Jerry Goldsmith

Total Time: 16:12

Total Disc Time: 31:25

Soundtrack Ratings









After 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie, which Joe Dante helmed the segment "It's a Good Life", the director and Jerry Goldsmith would join forces again the following year on the box office smash Gremlins. It was to become the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership that would continue until Jerry Goldsmith's untimely death in 2004. Dante's manic style and love of comedy, horror and science fiction was the perfect collaborator for someone like Goldsmith, who clearly loved the challenges presented to him. Their unique talents meant every one of their collaborations was a film not to be missed.

The main themes are for the creatures that terrorise the small town of Kingston Falls (The Gremlin Rag) and a hum-able little theme for Gizmo, the new pet Mogwai of Billy Peltzer and hero of the film. The pentatonic scale at the beginning of Gizmo's theme and the oriental feel of the B section of the Rag seem to both suit the supposed Mogwai's eastern origins and can be heard when Billy's father first purchases Gizmo from a old Chinese man in Chinatown (The Prologue). Also included thematically in the score is a frantic tritone motif for the Gremlin leader Stripe, a synth theme for Mrs. Deagle and an energetic theme for Billy Peltzer and the town of Kingston Falls. Gizmo's theme is even used as a love theme for Billy and Kate.

In Late for Work we get to sample the Gremlin Rag for the first time. The opening contains a portion of the rag stated in the low brass but doesn't end there. For this classic Dante camera pan and set up of the film's neighbourhood the Gremlin Rag is ever present rhythmically accompanying Billy's theme with biting muted trombones and bouncing pizzicati in the violins. Goldsmith skilfully uses melodic rhythm in exposition and somewhat foreshadows the mayhem to follow.

In Mrs. Deagle Goldsmith introduces a nasty and chromatic out of tune synth theme with accompanying strings for the town's very own Scrooge. The Gift starts after Mr. Peltzer gives Gizmo to Billy early for Christmas and Goldsmith's theme plays an important part of the story itself on screen as the Mogwai sings the tune. The music starts with a light version of Gizmo's theme and the touching leaping octave middle section in violins is introduced for the first time as Billy attends to Gizmo when he falls into a trash can. A small coda follows the next morning on a humorous statement of Billy's theme on synth as he mistakenly decides to get a glass of orange juice using one of his Dad's disastrous inventions.

In Pop Goes The Gremlin Billy's friend Pete accidentally spills water on Gizmo which causes the Mogwai to suddenly multiply. The music becomes dark as synth sounds mesh with strings and other odd textures. Soon a tritone begins the first full statement of the Gremlin Rag when five new Mogwai appear. After some unreleased music in the film, including a gorgeous slower string statement of Billy's theme, a sweet version of Silent Night plays as Billy and Kate walk home after work. A string transition flows into Gizmo's theme and gives way to bowed tremolos accompanying the middle section as Billy asks Kate out on a date. The music segues into the bouncing synth tritone under eerie high harmonics on Gizmo's theme as Billy's science teacher does a blood test on one of the Mogwai. When the Mogwai transform, hatching from their cocoons into the ugly Gremlin creatures, the rag is performed on synth with a new up and down plucking pizzicato string line using tritones. This idea frequently scores the action scenes and is memorably stated at the end of the Gremlin Rag credits. When Billy finds his teacher dead a cacophony of synth and Bartokian violin sounds play the tritone and rag ideas (Gremlins On The Loose).

A memorable scene follows when Billy's Mom has to confront the Gremlins alone in her kitchen (Mom Vs. The Gremlins)
and Goldsmith's impressive horror scoring takes over the film to the end. Pitch bends and weird synth sounds, some even sounding like dying cats, spread throughout the quiet but tense underscore. A brutal action section introduces a frantic, almost march like theme (possibly for Gremlin leader Stripe), as Billy's Mom is attacked by a Gremlin tossing dishes at her. The theme continues in a powerful statement in trombones and trumpets with the Gremlin Rag always present in string accompaniment as she is attacked by Stripe hiding in her Christmas tree (Stripe Blows His Nose).

Mrs. Deagle's theme returns in Deagle-deagle-deagle
as we see her attending to her cats and yelling at Christmas carollers. When the carollers turn out to be Gremlins, a bizarre synth version of the Gremlin Rag is stated ending with a 'pesante' low brass statement of her theme after she is launched out the window of her house by her stair lift which has been tampered with by one of the Gremlins.

Billy rescues Kate from the town bar as fast paced strings and pizzicato variations on the bouncing tritone idea run furiously (Billy To The Rescue). A sad and haunting re-harmonized version of Silent Night follows as Kate recounts her father's death on Christmas eve when she was younger (A Christmas Story
). For the Movie Theatre/Explosion synths state the tritone idea and Gremlin Rag with long line brass and First Blood-like multi-metered patterns emerging as both Billy and Kate escape the movie theatre packed with Gremlins

The final confrontation (Hunting Stripe) takes place at a local shopping mall as Stripe remains the only Gremlin left with Goldsmith providing plenty of action material on the tritone pizzicati. Interesting violin effects occasionally state the Gremlin Rag and upbeat trombones bite against meandering violins when Stripe shoots Billy with a crossbow. Small hints of Gizmo's theme occur before a jaunty horn, trumpet and string idea plays fortissimo as the Mogwai races to rescue Billy in a toy car (Gizmo Saves The Day
). Trumpets and strings struggle to overpower with the tritone idea with violin runs accentuating as Stripe is blinded by the mall lights. Solo violin plays as the Gremlin leader greets Billy on a water fountain attempting to multiply. The bouncing tritone plays against the jaunty string theme as Gizmo is able to open the window shades letting in deadly sunlight killing Stripe. For Stripe's lengthy demise Goldsmith coalesces every idea quickly, the chiming chords from the opening of the film, the weird smearing synth sounds, and solo violin and synth statements of the Gremlin Rag.

A warm statement of Gizmo's theme and the chiming opening chords return at the end of the film as Mr. Wing arrives to take the Mogwai back to his shop in Chinatown (Bye, Billy) before Goldsmith segues into his riotous end credit presentation of The Gremlin Rag.

The soundtrack album released by Geffen on LP and later CD only contained around fifteen minutes of Goldsmith's score. Although a good quality Boot CD surfaced in 1999 it is now finally available as a 2 CD set produced by FSM. Finally Goldsmith's full score is now available for all to enjoy.