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Album running time

1: The Dome / The City / Nursery (3:05)
2: Flameout (3:23)
3: Fatal Games (2:26)
4: On the Circuit (3:49)
5: The Assignment / Lost Years (5:59)
6: She'll Do It / Let Me Help (2:41)
7: Crazy Ideas (2:38)
8: A Little Muscle (2:22)
9: Terminated in Cathedral (1:28)
10: Intensive Care (3:00)
11: Love Shop (3:43)
12: They're Watching / Doc is Dead (2:45)
13: The Key / Box (4:22)
14: Ice Sculpture (3:35)
15: The Sun (2:15)
16: The Monument (8:12)
17: The Truth (2:03)
18: You're Renewed (2:58)
19: The Journey Back / The Beach (1:36)
20: Return to the City / Apprehensions (2:30)
21: The Interrogation (3:58)
22: End of the City (2:23)
23: Love Theme (2:27)

Performed by
conducted by


Engineered by
Produced by

Released by
Serial number
FSM Vol 5 No 2

Artwork copyright (c) 2002 Turner Entertainment Co; review copyright (c) 2002 James Southall

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Back to the future

Isn't it funny how so many science fiction films set in the future become dated far more quickly than other films made around the same time. Nobody ever seemed to realise that the future is not likely to be a version of the present only with exaggerated versions of modern pop culture trends and perhaps no film sums this up more than Logan's Run. It was released shortly before Star Wars and is such probably the last high-profile futuristic film with everyone walking around in brightly-coloured pyjamas, listening to disco music. In fact the film has a very relevant story to tell and it's unfortunate that its design probably renders it almost irrelevant to audiences now - set in the 23rd century, a civilisation is housed within a giant dome, not allowed to exit, where (in the words of the liner notes) "citizens amuse themselves with random sexual encounters, routine plastic surgery and recreational narcotics" - sounds not unlike my school days. The downside is that when they reach the age of thirty they are killed: this is a society for the young, and only the young. Unsurprisingly, eventually some people decide to escape.

Jerry Goldsmith's score is one of his most intelligent. It is split into two parts - the scenes inside the dome are scored with electronics, strings and percussion, while outside scenes get a full orchestra. Goldsmith's approach to both is brilliant, and he sticks to those rules fully. The electronics at first seem daunting: like most things about the movie, they are stuck firmly in 1976. But if (and this is a leap, I admit) you can try to forget how dated the equipment was, you can only marvel at Goldsmith's use of the resources on offer at the time. He creates a dazzlingly spectral soundscape for the dome which is certainly the most remarkable use of electronics in a film from that time - the music ranges from being tense to outright terrifying. A handful of cues feature Stravinsky-like work for strings and percussion ("A Little Muscle", "Intensive Care", "The Key") that instantly bring to mind Goldsmith's Oscar-winning work on The Omen, a score he recorded very soon after Logan's Run. "Ice Sculpture" is stunning: a theme for a robot called Box alternates with the love theme before coming to a terrifying finale.

Brilliant though those sections are, it is the music for the exterior scenes that is the most astonishing. This begins with "The Sun", where the love theme is presented as a fanfare (the full orchestra is heard for the first time in the film - or on the album) for the rising sun, the first time the movie's two protagonists have seen it out of doors. This then gives way to a ferocious action cue as they must resume their escape attempt. What follows this is absolutely, unquestionably one of the finest pieces of music ever written for film: "The Monument" is a lengthy (eight-minute), impressionistic piece. It opens with a motif that Goldsmith would later use as the basis for his score for Islands in the Stream (another of his very best works) before the score's most beautiful arrangement of the love theme for flute, harp and strings. A lively, evocative section follows, shortly making way for another version of the love theme. Then the characters discovered an abandoned city: we know it as Washington DC and Goldsmith launches into warm Americana. The cue finally ends with horn glissandos lending an air of mystery. If ever a single cue made a film score an essential purchase, it is "The Monument": whatever you think of the electronics in the album's first half, if you fail to be impressed by "The Monument" then you probably shouldn't be listening to film music. (The slightly anaemic recording by Goldsmith on a later compilation doesn't quite sum up the majesty and brilliance of the cue.)

"You're Renewed" is one of those explosive, pulse-pounding action cues that only Goldsmith has ever written quite so well. It is furious and ferocious; ballsy and bombastic. Vintage Goldsmith. The action then returns to the dome in "Return to the City", meaning the electronics return; this section culminates in "The Interrogation", quite one of the most terrifying pieces of music I've ever heard. Shrill electronics get louder and louder, more and more urgent, as the film's conclusion is reached. The finale ("End of the City") sees Goldsmith give a quite stunning full orchestral treatment to the love theme; it's probably the most breathtaking dénouement in any of the composer's scores (which is truly saying something) and one of the most beautiful themes he has ever written.

Being 1976, it was essential for this beautiful love theme to be presented in a pop arrangement (not by Goldsmith - in fact it sounds more like Abba), and that rapturous piece (perhaps not as bad as one may fear) is included at the end of this album for the sake of completeness. As ever with Film Score Monthly, the package is first-rate - informative liner notes and excellent sound make this an essential buy. Their best release so far, it's one of Goldsmith's best scores; one of cinema's best scores.