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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton
Alexander Courage

Recorded By
Bruce Botnick

Performed By

Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 301

Previous Release(s)
BMG/RCA Victor

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings


01. Practice (2:24)
02. The Field (1:25)
03. Let’s Go Boys (1:26)
04. Here We Go (1:01)
05. No Favors (1:32)
06. Graffiti (1:38)
07. My Life (0:45)
08. Wade’s Over (3:20)
09. Same Old Story (2:13)
10. All Is Well (0:47)
11. Get The Drinks (4:00)
12. Stand Off (0:48)
13. Run Maggie (0:41)
14. Pictures (1:54)
15. Maggie’s Back (1:02)
16. Secrets (2:03)
17. Where Are You? (2:34)
18. Anything I Want (1:10)
19. The Raft (Original) (3:41)
20. Go, Mom (2:11)
21. What Happened? (2:41)
22. Do It! (2:53)
23. Ballast (Revised #1) (1:43)
24. Vacation’s Over (10:05)
25. One Left (Revised #1) (0:35)
26. Family Reunion (End Title)
Contains Edited Version of “The Water Is Wide” (Traditional)
Performed by Cowboy Junkies Produced by Michael Timmins (5:46)

Total Score Time: 62:06

The Extras

27. The Gun (Pizzicato Hits) (1:52)
28. The Raft (Revised) (3:42)
29. Now What? (Original) (1:44)
30. Ballast (Original) (1:18)
31. Ballast (Revised #2) (1:19)
32. One Left (Original) (0:36)
33. One Left (Revised #2) (0:37)
34. Great Timing (Original) (1:59)
35. “The Water Is Wide” (Electric Violin Version)
(Adapted and Arranged by Jerry Goldsmith) (2:58)
Total Extras Time: 16:18

Total CD Time: 78:52


01. The Bridge (2:59)
02. We All Go (3:58)
03. Wade Overboard (4:27)
04. The Stakes Just Got Higher (5:02)
05. Tom Lost (3:46)
06. The Cliff (2:32)
07. Ranger Danger (1:00)
08. Raft In Trouble (2:32)
09. Gail Strikes Back (1:30)
10. Hold On (4:28)
11. The Gauntlet (9:29)
12. Final Fight (2:06)
13. Reunion And End Title (6:33)
Contains “Mandolin Mix” of “The Water Is Wide” (Traditional)
Performed by Cowboy Junkies Produced by Michael Timmins

Total Score Time: 50:36

The Extras
14. Racing Victory (0:44)
15. Racing Victory - Alternate 1 (0:35)
16. Racing Victory - Alternate 2 (0:29)
17. Gail Leads - Alternate (0:13)
18. Maggie, Too (0:36)
19. Maggie, Too - Revised (0:36)
20. First Baggage (0:36)
21. First Baggage - Revised (0:28)
22. Rock Symbols (0:55)
23. Baggage Again (0:28)
24. Gail’s Advice (0:50)
25. Wade Shows The Gun (0:36)
26. Terry Hesitates (0:44)
27. Threats (0:18)
28. Wade And Terry Argue (0:34)
29. Tom’s Plan – Revised (0:22)
30. Twigs And Leaves (0:47)
31. Raft In Trouble - Revised (2:30)
32. Tom And Maggie (0:30)
33. Untie Us (0:43)
34. Final Fight – Revised (2:06)
35. Reunion - Version 2 (2:00)
36. Reunion - Version 3 (1:59)
37. Reunion - Version For Album (2:02)
38. Reunion – Version 4 (0:10)
39. “The Water Is Wide” (Traditional)
Performed by Cowboy Junkies
Produced by Michael Timmins (3:10)

Total Extras Time: 25:26

Total CD2 Time: 76:06

Soundtrack Ratings







The River Wild


The River Wild was originally scored by Maurice Jarre, but was later rejected and replaced by an admirable score written by Jerry Goldsmith. A prerequisite of the project was the requirement for Goldsmith to incorporate into his score the traditional song The River Is Wide (1724). Although the film included a song version performed by The Cowboy Junkies, Goldsmith still had to utilise the theme as the basis of his score and the theme for Meryl Streep's character. The main title (Gale's Theme) features a rich orchestral prologue, very much Goldsmith that focuses on woodwinds and strings, but rallies the full orchestra for an elaborate close.

Big Water introduces the dramatic percussive lead music for the river itself and the treacherous rapids. Goldsmith provides 'Ramboesque' preparations with synth pads, strings and brass to give the dramatic vistas a genuine a sense of awe. Wade Goes Under develops into a dazzling action highlight but starts with a barnstorming orchestral workout of the Water Is Wide before segueing into Goldsmith's own secondary theme as the family navigate the first of the rapids. Goldsmith piles on the tension with quivering strings accentuated by deep brass, supported by timpani and stinging synth hits, along with an elaborate suspense motif, ala Rosenman's pyramid of brass©.

The score moves into minor suspense with Tom Hangs On as plucked strings, an ominous synth beat and more timpani complete an atmospheric cue. Vision Quest and Same Old Story are tranquil cues and an opportunity to develop the Water is Wide with subtle woodwind figures and gorgeous string passages. It's here Goldsmith displays a deft touch at transforming this piece into virtually his own theme. Little Niagara acts as a prelude to the finale with the violent rapids shown in their full and terrifying glory, Goldsmith's grinding music brilliantly builds tension and provides a foreboding theme for more synthesiser hits and low end brass.

Vacation's Over is an impressive 9 plus minutes, and is probably Goldsmith's longest action cue, but eschews Goldsmith's trademark complexity for a more direct approach. This is where the composer takes on the river itself with an odd metered action set piece. Here Goldsmith is forced into stop start action and suspense at every turn, at the same time his stabbing brass and strings slowly build and develop the tempo toward the climax. Goldsmith combines his vista scoring for synths, with bellowing brass as the boat battles the ferocious white water. But just as you think it's all over and they've ridden the worst of it, Goldsmith unleashes more, sending the brass into the highest registers, and snare drums attack as Goldsmith's theme strains as the boat struggles out into the clear. A brief rest bite is quickly interrupted by a violent final fight demanding trademark Goldsmith action scoring as the orchestra are lead into an aggressive rhythmic finale.

Family Reunion closes the score and signals farewell to Goldsmith's theme before the family reunite under a trumpet solo and warm strings for Gale's theme. The Cowboy Junkies' vocal features during this cue, but it's Goldsmith who returns for a warm but nonetheless powerful coda.