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  • rentacopComposed by Jerry Goldsmith
  • Intrada Special Collection Volume 108 / 2009 / 51:31

The film’s poster says “BURT AND LIZA!” excitedly.  But whereas at one time that may have been enough by itself to propel any pile of junk into the box office stratosphere, by 1987 it was not and Rent-A-Cop disappeared rather promptly.   It’s fair to say that the score for the film was not one of Jerry Goldsmith’s finest hours.  What it does have, to its credit, is a memorable main theme (Goldsmith churned those out like nobody else); it’s the very height of 80s cheese, but its sweeping romantic heart is probably just about enough to make you forgive the drum machines.  It certainly gives the album a welcome boost whenever it appears.

Sadly the quantity of electronics in the rest of the album rather spoil it.  I don’t think Goldsmith is given sufficient credit for the way he integrated electronics with an orchestra (he was pretty pioneering), but there was a time in the 1980s when he seemed maybe just a little too desperate to get synths into every score and this is pretty much the weakest point of those days.  In the couple of big action cues, one just longs for the orchestra to be left alone to do its thing – the thing that Goldsmith did better than anyone.  Sadly that never really happens.  This album is an extended release of perhaps the one Goldsmith score which was least deserving of the privilege, though it’s been out-of-print for so long it was probably intended more as an opportunity to provide the score for people who had never previously had the chance to own it.  The main theme and a couple of other decent tracks mean at least there’s something here for Goldsmith completists, but if you own the earlier album then even those completists (apart from ones as stupid as me) might take some convincing.  (Producer Douglass Fake even acknowledges in his booklet notes that the earlier album offered a better listening experience!)   **

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  1. Alex Cope (Reply) on Saturday 21 November, 2009 at 16:47

    The first album that Jerry arranged does offer a better listening experience, and I think that is a three-star presentation, but this expanded release seems uneven with so much of the synth suspense music represented, so I understand the two star score in this case.

    I don’t think it’s as terrible and embarrassing as many have claimed, although it’s certainly mediocre. Despite the stink of cheese, the romantic music is genuinely lovely, and I still get a kick out of Jerry’s power anthem.