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Artwork copyright (c) 1978 Associated General Films and ITC Entertainment Ltd.; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



A whole new way to experience a very familiar classic


Capricorn One was always one of Jerry Goldsmith's finest albums.  Rightly so: with some thunderous action pieces bolstered by a dynamite main theme, it entertains and excites from start to finish.  But for those familiar with the film, however satisfying the album was, there was always a sense that it was missing something.  What it was missing is actually the score for Capricorn One.  As was not all that uncommon for many years, Goldsmith re-recorded his score in London because an album could be released more cheaply that way, and he reworked several of the more important cues for the album.  What was different that time was that his reworking turned out to be rather substantial.  Of course, the core material was there, but he took what was a jagged and rather harsh musical work and turned it into a more traditionally symphonic, slightly softer one.  It's a brilliant album.  But it wasn't the score for Capricorn One.  (It was almost a case of it being, to use a cheap gag, Capricorn Two.)

Now, over a quarter of a century later, Goldsmith fans are finally able to actually listen to the film recording.  From the blistering opening bars of the main title (which wasn't even on the original album) it is clear that this is a wonderful thing.  It is frequently claimed (including, indeed, in the liner notes for this new album) that Capricorn One was one of Goldsmith's most influential scores.  While that is probably beyond argument (try listening to a James Horner action score without hearing the jagged rhythms of the main theme from this score - it's impossible), in truth Capricorn One marked the climax of Goldsmith's action writing over many years rather than the dawn of a new style of scoring for the composer.  Listening to the original soundtrack album, it seemed like a culmination of the style the composer had been honing throughout the 1970s on films like Ransom, The Cassandra Crossing and Twilight's Last Gleaming; hearing the original score, one hears not the influence of those scores and their like, but more the influence of the composer's harsher tones from Planet of the Apes and the more dissonant passages of Chinatown.

Of course, the blistering dissonance of those classics isn't really replicated here, and there is a substantial amount of melody along the way, but the very raw sound, brilliantly orchestrated and recorded, is deliciously familiar from them.  Listening to this album, it is like hearing a previously-unreleased Goldsmith action classic rather than a deluxe edition of an old favourite.  And what a wonderful experience that is.  There are untold joys on offer here, from the visceral intensity of the main theme through to the pulse-pounding wonder of action tracks like "No Water", "The Helicopters" and "Break Out", the latter of which is up there with The Wind and the Lion's "Raisuli Attacks" as the best example you'll find of Goldsmith's magnificent action music style.  And all of this without mentioning the romantic Kay's Theme - it doesn't get as much of an airing in the proper score as it did in the re-recording, but it is still welcome whenever it appears.

When The Omen was released as a deluxe edition a couple of years ago, the new album was a wonderful presentation of the score - but the original album was put together so brilliantly that it is sometimes tempting to listen to the score as it was originally released on album, but with the improved sonics of the new version.  Of course, that isn't possible with Capricorn One - the new recordings are just too different from the originals.  All this means is that those Goldsmith fans with the original have no need to dispose of it (especially since GNP Crescendo's album also includes the composer's music from Outland) - it makes for a great companion piece to this new album, but is not replaced by it.  With high-class production values including excellent sound and typically detailed notes, this 21st volume of Intrada's Special Collection is special indeed.  Get one while you can because you just don't hear scores like this one any more.


  1. Main Title (1:12)
  2. Abort 1 (1:30)
  3. Abort 2 (:32)
  4. Capricorn Control (:25)
  5. Mars (1:18)
  6. Docking (2:47)
  7. Working Overtime (:43)
  8. We Have Landed (:58)
  9. The Message (3:51)
  10. Kay's Theme / Elliot is Missing (3:38)
  11. The Letter (2:54)
  12. Break Out (5:04)
  13. The Desert (:28)
  14. Bedtime Story (2:32)
  15. The Helicopters (1:04)
  16. Hide and Seek (1:22)
  17. No Water (2:45)
  18. Flare No. 1 (:26)
  19. The Long Climb / Flare No. 2 (3:51)
  20. The Snake (3:32)
  21. To Bru from Kay (1:46)
  22. The Station (5:28)
  23. The Celebration (1:40)
  24. End Title (2:40)
  25. Fanfare Source (:11)
  26. Breakout (LP imitation) (3:04)


Movie Wave horoscopes

A treat for you: the beginning of an occasional series in which Movie Wave's resident astrologer (James Southall) provides horoscopes.  This will be done only when the name of the film whose score is being reviewed contains one of the signs of the zodiac.  Part two of the series is likely to follow when Jerry Fielding's score for Michael Winner's 1973 movie Scorpio finally gets released (as it surely will, one day).  So here you are: if your star sign is Capricorn then you are lucky indeed, because here I predict what's in store for you over the week ahead.

On Sunday you may come into some money.  If you do, be sure to stock up on canned goods so you'll be OK in the event of a severe shortage of baked beans over the long, hot summer months ahead.

On Monday it is inadvisable to travel anywhere by motorcycle - who knows what menaces may be out on the highway, praying on motorised two-wheel vehicles.

On Tuesday, should you be approached by an elderly, overweight lady named Linda, give her any sandwiches you're carrying and then run away quick - all will not be as it seems.  Your lucky fish for the day: rainbow trout.

On Wednesday, you will get wet whether you take your umbrella to work or not.  Sorry, but that's how it is.  There is nothing you or I can do about it so I wouldn't worry too much.  (And much though I urge you not to worry too much, be absolutely certain to check your life insurance is up to date before you leave the house.)

Thursday is a good news / bad news sort of day.  The bad news is that you may lose the use of one of your limbs following a freak yachting incident.  The good news - well, actually there isn't any good news.  I was just trying to give you something to look forward to as you read the bad news.

On Friday, if journeying beyond your usual boundaries, under no circumstances accept hitchhiking men with beards.  Things will not be as they seem - and underneath those beards will be stored things impossible to comprehend.

Saturday will be this week's day of rest.  Sit back and watch tv.  Just try to remember you've left some dumplings on the stove because if you leave them too long and they catch fire, this will unleash a sequence of events culminating in your public humiliation on prime time television.