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PCR 507

Artwork copyright (c) 2000 CPT Holdings Inc.; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Funky 70s cop music


Working in television a lot during the 1970s (at a surprisingly high rate), Jerry Goldsmith scored numerous tv movies, miniseries and pilot episodes of weekly series, something he has done extremely rarely since.  Quality of both the television shows and their scores varied considerably, with Goldsmith sometimes going for a strictly utilitarian approach (something he has rarely, if ever, done in movies) - as has been shown by a couple of the more recent releases of his television music from the day.  On the other hand, of course, there were some real gems (usually for the tv movies or miniseries - things like The Red Pony and QB VII spring immediately to mind).  Police Story was one of a string of police dramas that appeared during the early 1970s in the aftermath of the Dirty Harry movies and was quite popular.

Goldsmith wrote the theme and scored the pilot episode, with Richard Shores then arranging and conducting his music into a series of library cues that were used throughout the series.  This album presents all of Goldsmith's original compositions and all of Shores's arrangements, some of which differ markedly.  It's actually an excellent score, featuring a fine theme in the best tradition of these types of show, full of 70s funk.  The full theme itself is only half a minute long, but it appears several times through the score itself, often featuring electric guitar accompaniment, perhaps most notably in two early cues, "Hot Car" and "The Tail", and later in the library cue "Foot Pursuit".  There's a nice love theme for strings and piano in "A Love Affair" and "The Hospital", a lovely and touching piece.  The action finale "The Market / Quick Draw" is an exciting and vibrant finale; after a slow start it positively explodes and is really quite a thrilling piece.

As a bonus, the CD also includes a short suite from the spinoff Medical Story (guess what - it was set in a hospital) which featured a theme by Goldsmith and a pilot score by his longtime friend and collaborator Arthur Morton.  It's actually a very different kind of score, with prominent electronics.  The theme is quite memorable and impressive, but the score itself is a little too low-key to leave that much of an impression, effective though it is.  It is at its best in the more tender moments, quoting a beautiful oboe theme. 

All in all, Police Story is a decent score that's a boost to a Goldsmith collection, though there are of course plenty of others you should probably get first.  It is easy to wish that Goldsmith had gone a little more full-pelt with the 70s stylings in the action music, but then it is also easy to forget that his first aim was to score a tv show and not consider that an album might be released thirty years later.  Certainly, it's good enough to recommend.


  1. Theme from Police Story (:31)
  2. Hot Car (2:27)
  3. The Tail (2:10)
  4. The Lawyer (:26)
  5. Stakeout #1 (1:10)
  6. Wrong Number (1:59)
  7. A Love Affair (1:53)
  8. A Lack of Trust / The Stoolie (:55)
  9. The Phone Booth (2:08)
  10. Stakeout #2 (:44)
  11. The Market / Quick Draw (6:03)
  12. The Hospital (2:17)
  13. On the Streets (1:55)
  14. Foot Pursuit (2:05)
  15. Legwork Montage (1:20)
  16. Stakeout Duty (:44)
  17. Watching and Waiting (:35)
  18. Tailing (2:00)
  19. Build and Act Out (:26)
  20. Street Action (2:02)
  21. Market Hold Up / Draw! (6:05)
  22. Love Theme (1:54)
  23. Hot Pursuit (2:12)
  24. End of Shift (1:26)
  25. Medical Story (7:09)