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  • escape_planet_apesComposed by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Varese Sarabande CD Club VCL 0909 1098 / 2009 / 29:00

While it wasn’t the first time he scored a sequel, 1971’s Escape from the Planet of the Apes was the first time Jerry Goldsmith worked on the sequel to a film which contained one of his genuinely great scores.  (It was actually the second Apes sequel and is generally regarded as the best.)  Goldsmith went on to score sequels to The Omen, Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Poltergeist – and it’s interesting to note that on each occasion (at least until the latter-day Trek movies) he pretty much reinvented the wheel every time.  Virtually all sequel scores take the first score as their base and reuse as much as possible – but not Jerry Goldsmith.  From the opening bars of this score’s main title, it’s obvious that the extraordinary avant garde world he created for the first film is a very long way away – it’s a funky, brilliant bit of jazz.  This is followed by some great (vaguely tongue-in-cheek) action music.

This score is very much a game of two halves.  The first half may be light – the second gets darker, quickly, and stays there.  It still retains some of the unmistakable early-1970s stylings (and the film was in fact set in the early 1970s) but Goldsmith lays over the top some ingenious, creative music which does recall the wild ways he used his orchestra in the first film’s score – but, still, doing it in a different way here.  It is never as brilliant as Planet of the Apes – few film scores are, let’s face it – but hearing the remarkable way the composer approached his second dip into the Apes well is completely fascinating.  16 minutes of the score were released in a single-track suite which was a bonus track on Varese Sarabande’s earlier release of the first score; now, the complete score arrives courtesy of the same label’s CD Club.  It’s a short score (a whisker under half an hour) but certainly an impressive one.  *** 1/2

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