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Album running time

1: Main Title (3:26)
2: The Ambassador (4:48)
3: Trial Run (2:12)
4: The Monastery (3:14)
5: A TV First (2:48)
6: The Statue (4:11)
7: The Second Coming (3:22)
8: Electric Storm (5:19)
9: The Hunt (4:00)
10: The Blooding (3:36)
11: Lost Children (3:42)
12: 666 (3:00)
13: Parted Hair (6:33)
14: The Iron (2:28)
15: The Final Conflict (8:32)

Performed by
conducted by

Orchestrated by

Engineered by
Produced by

Released by
Serial number
302 066 289 2

Artwork copyright (c) 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2001 James Southall

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Operatic masterpiece a highlight of all of film music

Jerry Goldsmith is the only major film composer who has regularly scored inferior sequels to his movies - one thinks of the Poltergeist and Rambo series in particular - but his opus must surely be found in the three scores he wrote for the Omen trilogy. In general, though, he tends to approach sequels in different ways from the original, and there can be no greater example of that than in these films.

The Omen features the classic horror score, the best ever; the first sequel took that base material but made it much grander, with a far bigger orchestra. There was a whole new approach for The Final Conflict, a ridiculous movie but one whose issues allowed Goldsmith to write one of his best scores. It's difficult to imagine how a film composer could fail to be inspired by a tale which features the devil himself being appointed US Ambassador to Great Britain and which culminates in the second coming of Christ! But at the same time, it's impossible to imagine how any composer through all history could have been inspired more than Jerry Goldsmith, who was in the middle of the most incredible run of top-quality film scores.

He wastes no time in presenting his new theme for Damien in the opening track - an imposing, grand theme, it ranks alongside any in the composer's vast output. What follows is a symphony of good versus evil (with the emphasis very much on the evil). Goldsmith was given the very rare opportunity to write music with real form, and that is exactly what he did: this is film music that features reasonably extended cues which all have proper beginnings, middles and endings. It's not a series of short cues that fit the dramatic requirements of the film, it's real music.

The whole album is stunning, but three cues are worthy of particular praise. The first is "The Second Coming". Its orchestral and choral majesty and magnificence rival anything even Miklós Rózsa wrote in his biblical scores and it is surely a high-water mark of film music as a whole. "The Hunt" scores a fox-hunt scene and rivals Goldsmith's similar cue in The List of Adrian Messenger, one of his earliest (and finest) film scores. The album climaxes with the eight-and-a-half minute "The Final Conflict", which starts off being very subtle but ends up being anything but. Both the Christ theme and Damien's Theme are given stunning choral arrangements to round off what could be regarded as the best Jerry Goldsmith album.

The scores was originally released in the 1980s but the sound quality was poor. This new release corrects that with a vengeance, to the extent that it is like listening to a whole new score. So much material that was buried by the mix in the original release has now been unleashed, along with a few important cues that weren't released at all. This is a stunning, stunning album. Film music just doesn't get any better than this.

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