- Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
- La-La Land Records / 2009 / 69:13
Twofers are no new thing in soundtrack releasing, but surely there’s never been quite such a bizarre pairing as this one, presenting two previously-unreleased Jerry Goldsmith scores – his music for the feather-light romantic comedy IQ paired with John Frankenheimer’s hard-hitting, sometimes rather disturbing thriller Seconds. But who cares about the pairing? Just treat it as two separate scores and there’s no problem. IQ was until now the only one of Goldsmith’s many 1990s scores that had not been released (he reportedly didn’t want it released himself at the time). It’s perhaps his most lightweight score, with several of the generally short tracks quoting “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” – sometimes with a doo-wop background! It works brilliantly in the (surprisingly good) film, and I’ll admit that it’s hard to resist how charming and innocent it all is, however many worlds apart it may be from the composer’s more serious-minded work.
It didn’t come much more serious-minded than Seconds, one of Goldsmith’s earlier scores. The film sees a man being surgically altered and given a new identity after he grows tired of his life, but gradually his new life unravels with dire consequences. 1966 was in the middle of the time when film music was arguably at its most creative and that would be a fine word to use to describe the composer’s efforts here. The score begins with a cue which is a perfect match for Saul Bass’s mesmerising, brilliant opening titles – a screechy violin leading into a macabre passage for pipe organ. Goldsmith was no slouch when it came to writing striking opening title pieces – and this is one of the most striking of all of them. The score is a brilliant mix of this disturbing music with weirdly beautiful trills (sounding at times a little similar to his prologue music from The Agony and the Ecstasy), which Jeff Bond astutely notes in his liner notes represent the utopian life the main character is striving for but can’t quite attain. There’s also a gut-wrenchingly beautiful piano theme which is just stunning. This is a score which has been in-demand by Goldsmith fans ever since the film came out, and it’s not hard to see why. Unfortunately the only surviving masters are those which include the film’s dialogue, but the album producers have done a great job in cleaning the sound up and giving a perfectly acceptable presentation. However odd the pairing of scores – this album is very much recommended. IQ (for all its charms) may be for Goldsmith completists only, but Seconds is simply brilliant. ** for IQ and ***** for Seconds