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The Bodyguard
  • Composed by Alan Silvestri
  • La-La Land Records / 2012 / 77:25

One of those films whose monumental success at the time seemed predictable enough, but in retrospect is much harder to fathom, The Bodyguard was the big hit of 1992, confirming Kevin Costner as the biggest movie star of the day (yes, really) and further enhancing the star power of Whitney Houston, making her acting début.  John Barry was originally hired to score the film but left after the director rejected his theme, according to this album’s liner notes.  The last-minute replacement was Alan Silvestri, then at the height of his popularity.  The key problem he faced was probably trying to chart a musical course for the score around all the David Foster-produced songs which dominated the soundtrack in the film (and indeed the album released at the time, which became the biggest-selling soundtrack of all).  That challenge is one the composer rose to pretty well in the film, but as can now be heard on the first ever release of the score itself, there are certainly great limitations to the music when heard on album.

The score’s centrepiece is “Theme From The Bodyguard”, which no doubt made Alan Silvestri an exceptionally rich man thanks to its inclusion on the 1992 album.  It’s the theme for Costner’s character, with a surprising film noir feeling to it thanks to the Chinatown-style solo trumpet.  It doesn’t really get a great deal of development over the course of the score, but its restatements are welcome.  The real highlight is probably the action theme introduced in “Followed / On the Job”; Silvestri’s distinctive action sound is always a pleasure to hear, but there isn’t too much of it on the album (which is mostly rather dull suspense music).  The love theme is surprisingly unmemorable – it’s pleasant, but leaves no lasting impression.  By far the finest piece of music in the score is the gorgeous, evocative “Snow / I Understand Now / Just One” (catchy track title, eh?) which is like a musical depiction of a dreamy winter wonderland.  There’s probably a decent half-hour album in amongst all this, but the music just doesn’t work in this form, with every last note included – there seems a lack of focus, understandable given the very limited amount of time Silvestri had to work on the film – and the album in this form just isn’t very satisfying.

Rating: **

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  1. Score lover (Reply) on Tuesday 8 January, 2013 at 07:27

    I completely disagree.

    I think “The Bodyguard” is one of Silvestri´s most affecting scores, featuring one of the most haunting and beautiful main themes.

    The La-La-Land release is absolutely gorgeous and a welcome and overdue addition to any score lover´s collection.