Monday, January 20, 2020

Score Sample - 80s Forgotten Gems - Young Sherlock Holmes

Taking another look at scores from 80s films that have been forgotten over the years. Today's entry comes from the film Young Sherlock Holmes. The score was composed by Bruce Broughton and is one of the very best adventure scores of the decade. Broughton crafts some wonderful themes for Watson and Holmes, a beautiful love theme, and one of the most diabolical evil chants for the Egyptian death ritual in the film. It is a powerhouse of a score, and in many ways may remind you of a John Williams score.

That said, has anyone else noticed that the schoolyard villain in this film is named Dudley and looks like Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter franchise. I would be willing to bet J.K. had this movie in mind when writing the first Potter books... but I digress.

Here is the end title piece to Young Sherlock Holmes composed by Bruce Broughton.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Score Sample - 80s Forgotten Gems - The Last Starfighter

I continue my look back at wonderful scores from the 1980s attached to movies that have been lost in the mists of time. Now The Last Starfighter did a lot of things right, and it is a very entertaining film all the way around. It also was one of the very first movies to use computer generated visual effects for the starships on screen. For that alone will be logged in history books.

But these days folks don't seem to talk too much about it. That is a shame because the wonderful score by Craig Safan has a very memorable main title. In fact, I've heard this main title played in amusement parks when they are trying to get a heroic vibe going. Safan's score could be at home in space or in a film with knights and dragons. He does some great stuff with it, and also gives us a couple of other themes to play with over the course of the film (along with some minimal electronics as a nod to the role of video games in the plot).

But in all honesty the end credits piece Into the Starscape is what you need to hear. So here you go, from the film The Last Starfighter composed by Craig Safan.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Score Sample - 80s Forgotten Gems - Return to Oz

Here is a little mini series of posts about movie music. Because I love it, and I love sharing it. The 1980s were a great time for fantasy and adventure film scores. The decade was dominated by some of the biggest names in film scores with John Williams giving us the amazing Indiana Jones trilogy as well was two Star Wars films. You had James Horner cranking out both Krull and Willow not to mention two Star Trek scores. And speaking of Star Trek Jerry Goldsmith knocked it out of the park with Star Trek V as well as his immense and amazing score to Legend. At the end of the decade you had Danny Elfman really coming into his own with fantastic scores to Scrooged and Batman.

But I'm not going to talk about any of those, I'm going to focus on the forgotten ones. Scores to movies that most people don't talk about any more, but had amazing scores. First up is David Shire's wonderful work with Return to Oz. Shire did some amazing work with various themes for nearly all the characters and weaving them into one powerful score. Listening to the full album is a treat with a new memorable theme popping up in each track. It is nearly impossible to pick one to sample here. But I think his most charming music is the rag time triumphal march that plays near the end of the film. Using the rag time style fits perfectly with the setting of the film, and gives the score a unique identity among the very much orchestral bombast scores (nothing wrong with that) we got in the decade.

So here is Rag March from Return to Oz by David Shire.