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Artwork copyright (c) 1994 Hollywood Pictures Company; review copyright (c) 2000 James Southall
Gorgeous score must be Goldsmith's most under-rated
One thing it's impossible not to notice after being part of the film music community for a number of years is that there is a blinkered and ignorant attitude towards the music of Jerry Goldsmith. These days, when he writes action music, he is criticised for not trying something different; when he writes something different, he is criticised for not making it sound like Planet of the Apes or Freud.
Angie, while surface-deep, is an absolutely marvellous score, easily one of Goldsmith's most attractive - if not his most attractive ever. To give you a frame of reference, it is like a cross between Elmer Bernstein's To Kill a Mockingbird and Nicola Piovani's Life is Beautiful. The main theme is just gorgeous. Beginning with an accordion rendition of the melody, it is then taken up by the strings, which then reprise the tune after a brief trumpet interlude. All of this is underpinned by a subtle bass guitar. It's a wonderful piece of music.
The rest of the score is, in truth, just as good; a particularly attractive secondary theme is developed fully in the heart-melting "Two Bells"; "The Prognosis" cannot have been a good one, because the piece is tinged with a great deal of sorrow. There's a brief diversion in "The Journey Begins", which features synthesiser work and slightly livelier orchestral passages, almost venturing into Basic Instinct territory. There's a final, brief reprise of the main theme (on accordion) to close the album.
All in all, Angie is a score that I really can't recommend highly enough, and it deserves a place in anyone's collection. Robert Townson evidently thought the same way, because the release is much more interesting than Varèse's norm - several pictures are in the booklet, of Goldsmith conducting the orchestra, of him mixing the score, of Arthur Morton, Bruce Botnick and Kenny Hall, Goldsmith's film score "family", and there's a short note from the director, Martha Coolidge. Don't be put off by the bad word-of-mouth from the naysayers, Angie is a beautiful score.