Try & Buy From

Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By
Eric Tomlinson

Performed By
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Expanded Album Produced By
Ford Thaxton

Original Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Silva America SSD 1025 

Previous Release(s)
Varese Sarabande
VCD 47218

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Reviewed By
Darren Charlton

Cues & Timings

Silva Screen CD

1. Overture (6:07)
2. Main Title & Argo City (3:15)
3. Argo City Mall * (0:56)
4. The Butterfly (1:36)
5. The Journey Begins * (1:12)
6. Arrival on Earth * / The Flying Ballet (5:36)
7. Chicago Lights / Street Attack * (2:23)
8.The Superman Poster** (0:52)
9. A New School (2:13)
10. The Map (1:10)
11. Ethan Spellbound * (2:13)
12. The Monster Tractor (7:34)
13. Flying Ballet *** (2:13)
14. The Map *** (1:13)
15. The Bracelet (1:44)
16. First Kiss * / Monster Storm *** (4:35)
17. "Where is She?" - The Monster Bumper Cars (2:57)
18. The Flying Bumper Car (1:28)
19. "Where's Linda?" (1:21)
20. Black Magic (4:08) *
21. The Phantom Zone * (3:42)
22. The Vortex - The End of Zaltar  * (5:49)
23. The Final Showdown & Victory */ End Title (12:10)

* Previously Unreleased
** Contains Superman theme by John Williams

*** Alternate Version
**** Short Version

Varese Sarabande CD

1. Main Title (03:12)
2. "Where Is She?" (01:05)
3. Black Magic (04:06)
4. First Flight (04:14)
5. The Butterfly (01:34)
6. "Where Is Linda?" (01:14)
7. The Monster Tractor (07:26)
8. The Bracelet (01:24)
9. Monster Storm (02:55)
10. A New School (02:08)
11. The Flying Car (01:25)
12. The Map (01:10)
13. 9M-3 (01:41)
14. End Title (06:05)

Soundtrack Ratings








In Goldsmith’s days at CBS, Bernard Herrmann criticised a piece he wrote for being too good for the episode it was written for. Sadly, this would become a theme in Goldsmith’s career and in the cases of Star Trek TMP (1979) and Supergirl (1984) it would be made all the worse by his contemporary John Williams when the equivalent projects of Star Wars (1977) and Superman the Movie (1978) would go on to become icons in the history of cinema. In concert, Goldsmith often joked how films such as Rambo paid his mortgage. But in the case of Supergirl, there was genuine surprise and glee when it belatedly found popularity with audiences as an encore. And for good reason, for Supergirl came during an important time in his work that’d bear career defining classics such as Poltergeist (1982), Gremlins (1984) and Legend (1985) and carries some of the hallmarks of those scores in its blend of symphonic scoring, ostinato, transparent string writing, chorus and sound design through the use of integrated electronics.

Goldsmith wasn’t a champion of the Wagnerian leitmotif which he felt was rigid when placed against the transience of the moving image. Always the modernist, he preferred his scores to grow organically from smaller motivic and rhythmic devices. However, Goldsmith’s splendid theme for Supergirl is at once thematic and motivic in the way its five notes are ingeniously repurposed throughout the score into different guises; at once heroic (titles), questing (The Map), feminine (First Flight) and pastoral (A New school). Following a four note fanfare heard over swirling strings, the theme is a five note figure. However, unlike the theme for Superman, which ascends over its three-note “SUP-ER-MAN!” statement, Goldsmith’s theme descends. It’s more about flight and discovery than the attainment of strength or success and in this way Goldsmith highlights his unique abilities by articulating the essence of the film’s central character even when the film itself struggles to. And so it goes. There is much to discover. The score is full of complex and contrapuntal writing, its scale and variety creating magical moments for the film itself, the flurrying flute heard during Chicago Lights as Supergirl takes a night flight over the city, play like currents in the wind; the fantasy soundscapes of Arrival on Earth and Phantom Zone and the quasi religious end scene to end title segue, among the best of Goldsmith’s career. And he deftly manages tone, juggling B-movie motifs for the monster, a sweet love theme, and chorus in ways that are always coherent to the whole. Supergirl is no second rate cousin.

Whilst the original (and rare) Varese Sarabande LP/CD remains a holy grail amongst fans for using takes with much the electronics removed allowing the listener to fully appreciate just how brassy and classy the National Philharmonic’s playing is, the 1993 Silva Screen CD presents the vast majority of the score as heard in the film itself. A two CD presentation of both, and a reappraisal of an underrated gem, are long overdue.