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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Mark McKenzie

Additional Music Composed
For The Picture By
John Debney

Recorded By
Bruce Botnick

Performed By
The Hollywood Studio Symphony

Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Label
Varèse Sarabande
302 066 523 2


Previous Release(s)
-

Year Of CD/Film Release
2003/2003

Running Time
37:18

Availability
Normal Release


Cues & Timings


1. Life Story (Carl Stalling) (0:18)
2. What's Up? (1:24)
3. Another Take (0:48)
4. Dead Duck Walking (3:13)
5. Out of the Bag (3:42)
6. Blue Monkey (0:54)
7. In Style (1:09)
8. The Bad Guys (2:57)
9. Car Trouble (3:45)
10. Thin Air (1:24)
11. Area 52 (1:27)
12. Hot Pursuit (2:26)
13. We've Got Company (1:50)
14. I'll Take That (1:19)
15. Paris Street (1:21)
16. Free Fall (1:15)
17. Tasmanian Devil (1:10)
18. Jungle Scene (1:40)
19. Pressed Duck (3:22)
20. Re-Assembled (0:50)
21. Merry Go Round Broke Down (Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin) (0:16)


Soundtrack Ratings

Disappointing

Functional

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Outstanding



Looney Tunes Back In Action
 

A welcome return to the podium for Jerry Goldsmith following the debacle over Timeline and concerns over the composer's health, which has obviously prevented him working the scoring schedules he once did. It's also the belated tenth outing with manic movie maker Joe Dante, which finds Jerry Goldsmith on familiar territory with another madcap, high spirited romp, calling on the composer's unique brand of comedic scoring.

Looney Tunes Back In Action serves up a whole host of bells and whistles but the most notable aspect about the score is this is more about comedy than cartoons. The opening cue (What's Up) introduces the style of the score with a very light 80's pop theme for guitar, but move on and the score becomes a lot more contemporary with Dead Duck Walking a major highlight, introducing a playful but more dramatic take on his main theme as well as a thrilling bad guy theme. It's at this point the score rolls out the various thematic highlights full of orchestral slapstick. Out Of The Bag introduces a cool Jazzy spy theme, more U.N.C.L.E. than Bond though, plus a cute homage to the composer's own Gremlins rag. Blue Monkey includes a beautifully executed homage to Herrmann's Psycho and whether intentional or not, a nod to Elfman with a couple of Pee Wee moments later on. Album highlights continue with both The Bad Guys and Car Trouble introducing some rhythmic action and the infectious western theme for Yosemite Sam, in its self a pastiche on those old TV western themes.

In the second half of the score further highlights emerge with cues like the criminally short Area 52 taking in slashing strings, more guitar and one of the best ghostly voices heard in film music. Further action is served up with both We've Got Company and the bombastic Free Fall. Tasmanian Devil hints at the more aggressive Goldsmith rhythms before closing abruptly, while cues like Jungle Scene and Paris Street slow things down and give the score a whiff of romance and the exotic.

Back In Action is wild concoction of themes and motifs all barely getting a chance to shine, before the composer literally changes his tune and moves on to the next. But surprisingly it all remains coherent and one of the reasons may be down to the fact that the orchestration avoids the 'kitchen sink'. The ensemble of orchestra and rock are all left with room to breathe, giving the score a genuinely transparent sound. While the electronics and whistles create a sound field of incredible depth, giving Bruce Botnick one of his best recording credits to date.

Traditionally comedy scores likes these are notorious for not having much of a life outside the movie they were written for, their huge orchestrations no more than an impenetrable wall of sound, that may have been fun to play in the studio but out stay their welcome when released on soundtrack album. Thankfully Looney Tunes Back In Action is a refreshing change, with Jerry Goldsmith's Merry Melodies proving a genuine treat.