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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By
Mike Ross Trevor

Performed By
The National Philharmonic

Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Varèse Sarabande
VSD 5350

Previous Release(s)

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings

1. Rae's Arrival/Opening Titles (5:06)
2. First Morning (3:46)
3. Campbell and the Children (1:57)
4. The Trees (6:01)
5. The Harvest (3:11)
6. Mocara (3:36)
7. Mountain High (2:41)
8. Without a Net (4:19)
9. Finger Painting (2:30)
10. What's Wrong? (1:52)
11. The Injection (2:09)
12. The Sugar (2:08)
13. The Fire (2:10)
14. A Meal and a Bath (8:03)

Soundtrack Ratings







Medicine Man

Jerry Goldsmith's score to John McTiernan's Medicine Man is a lively mix of light comedy and drama, and calls upon a host of ethnic sounding electronic effects and percussion, as well as the powerful presence of the ever reliable National Philharmonic Orchestra. Goldsmith opens his score with an infectious South American theme for guitar, joined by electronics and strings for Rae's Arrival and her journey to meet Campbell in his forest laboratory. A second theme is introduced as Rae flies over the blazing forest, as road builders carve their way through. This theme, predominantly for electronics, and instigated by a pounding beat develops a driving rhythm, also show casing orchestral elements, of powerful brass and dense string writing.

First Morning is a beautifully tranquil piece as Rae wakes to her first morning on the beautiful forest floor. Goldsmith's cue is simply exquisite combining inspired synth effects for the streaming morning sun, with the warmth of a melancholy theme highlighting harp. Campbell and The Children starts in a similar vain but expands into a third theme doubling as both love theme and in the next cue, a theme for the forest itself.

The Trees remains the standout cue of the entire score as Goldsmith steadily develops a memorable 6 minute cue as Rae is hoisted up into the canopy. Goldsmith's elegant and stately theme is almost Barryesque in nature, brimming with warm textures, and show casing a remarkable performance from the NPO string section. As Rae ascends and breaks through the canopy to a wondrous view of the massive forest, Goldsmith provides a triumphant statement of his theme, played out to the breathtaking vistas. Goldsmith's winning theme is further developed in latter cues; Finger Painting, What's Wrong, The Injection and The Sugar with woodwinds coming to the fore alongside transparent string writing.

Mountain High returns to the lighter side of the score with a further arrangement of his main theme featuring more ethnic percussion and electronic effects as Rae and Campbell trek across the forest to meet with a witch doctor. While Without A Net introduces a little tension via a pulsing synth rhythm as Rae is rescued from a precarious position.

Although comedy and drama are well catered for, Medicine Man does have a thriller aspect with both Mocara and The Fire utilising ominous electronics that signal the desperate search to re-create Campbell's cure for Cancer amidst the ever nearing road builders. The latter cue for The Fire, is one of the few times that music plays without sound effects or dialogue, as a runaway tractor ignites a fire and decimates an area of forest. Goldsmith's ominous synth beat, joined by brass and strings, may not sound like a major action cue but it's ability to convey the tragedy of the moment is supremely effective.

The score closes with an 8 minute finale and end credit (A Meal and a Bath
). Here Goldsmith's music signals hope with a tender variant, before launching into a powerful rendition of his theme, now a statement of love for both Campbell and Rae as they journey on in search of the cure, with the pulsing fire music rounding out the score as the credits roll.

Varese's lengthy CD presents one of the composer's most beautiful scores and features one of the finest recordings ever made for a Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack, courtesy of the talented Mike Ross Trevor. As a footnote to this assignment, Goldsmith not only composed the score, but influenced star Sean Connery into using a pony tail hairstyle for his character in the movie. As a joke Goldsmith is also credited as hairstylist during the movie's end credits.