The definitive presentation
of a much loved and admired Jerry Goldsmith western score from
the early seventies. Goldsmith was the unusual choice to work
on Wild Rovers, as the movie's director, Blake Edwards,
usually called upon the talents of Henry Mancini. But it appears
Edwards was taken by Goldsmith's work on Patton and wanted
to work with the him on his revisionist western.
Goldsmith's elegy to the western score is in direct contrast
to his westerns of the sixties and called for a more folksy approach,
taking in the grand treatments of Copeland but capturing the
human stories through some intimate scoring for solo instruments.
Most notably guitar, harmonica, accordion, banjo, and the quaint
sounding tack piano.
The score's Main Title, heard here for the first time
minus vocals and effects, is one that literally sings to the
wide open spaces and the natural beauty of America's west by
way of its gentle swaying melody. While the brutality and harshness
of the time are equally captured during some unforgiving symphonic
moments (Cattle vs Sheep, The Knife and Final
Destination). The latter incredibly capturing the barbarism
and fear of a man about to die. But it's Goldsmith's various
treatments of his theme that makes Wild Rovers so memorable.
Often hauntingly performed by solo instruments and sensitively
supported by a small orchestral ensemble, Goldsmith's divine
arrangements capture both the friendship between Ross and Frank
and the beautiful wintery landscapes they wander through.
Action comes in the form of two very popular cues that has Goldsmith's
music absolutely charging across the screen. The first is Wild
Horses, a barnstorming and humorous symphonic workout, capturing
the mayhem of snaring a wild horse. While Bronco Bustin'
is a rapturous set piece of violent percussion, thunderous brass
and more vibrant strings, as our heroes break in the horse. Goldsmith
later revealed he got the call to write the cue while in London
recording the album, after the score had been completed, and
said all he had at his disposal to work with was a child's toy
piano! FSM's detailed and informative notes reveal this arrangement
to be an alternate take of a cue known on the album as Saturday
Night, which played more to the comic value of the sequence.
Wild Rovers remains a landmark in the composer's career
and his most respected score for the western genre. A bold mix
of brutality and beauty that perfectly captures those pioneering
times. Released several times in album form but now properly
issued by FSM with both the original Hollywood recorded score,
and the much loved album re-recording. Both are presented in
brilliantly transparent stereo sources, that reveal hidden depths
to the composer's wonderful orchestration. This CD also includes
the extra cue from the MCA LP re-issue, that was missed off the
original MGM album. And if that wasn't value for money, then
they also include the various vocals that were either intended
for the film or used on the album. This of course includes the
vocals from Jerry Goldsmith's own daughter, Ellen.