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Robocop - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Soundtrack Review

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by Chris McEneany May 1, 2010

  • Movies review

    5
    3,269

    Robocop - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Soundtrack Review

    “Dead or alive, you are coming with me!”

    Another long-awaited CD release comes our way with Intrada's excellent presentation of the complete Robocop score. The cult Paul Verhoeven movie, a futuristic satire on corporate evil and the rampant lawlessness and violence of a greed-driven society gone out of control was a smash-hit, spawning a sequel, a TV-movie spin-off, a series and now a potential reboot. Focussing its attention on the grand old SF notion of a man/machine combination, in the form of the titanium-enforced body of resurrected Detroit police officer Murphy (Peter Weller) after he was brutally slain by a vicious gang of scumbags led by the notorious Clarence Boddiger (a barnstorming Kurtwood Smith), Verhoeven's hard-hitting tale is part social condemnation, part revenge flick, and all terrific. A New Age crusade - Robo is a questing knigh (who also created the incredible suit for Weller), gleefully boo-hiss villainy from a mob of smarmy goons including Ronny Cox and Ray Wise, cute retro stop-motion animation and puppet-work and a massive desire to subvert the macho posturing of the likes of Arnie and Stallone with deliciously dark wit and profound statements about the nature of humanity. Although troubled during production and, ironically, something of a joke around Tinseltown, the film became the biggest box office draw of 1987 and has maintained devotion from fans and newcomers alike ever since.

    With such a hardcore story - hyper-violence and cutting social satire mixed in with terrific sci-fi concepts and a revamped superhero quest - it would come as no surprise that Verhoeven turned to a composer renowned for his powerful main themes, intensely percussive drive and innate sense of musical chaos. Basil Poledouris will be forever remembered for his bone-judderingly macho masterpiece, the score for Conan The Barbarian, but the acclaimed tunesmith was also responsible for the music for the paranoid “what if” scenario of John Milius' Red Dawn, the swaggering aerial heroics of Iron Eagle and the epic lushness of The Blue Lagoon. But he had previously worked with Paul Verhoeven on the brutal, though really rather daft medieval romp, Flesh & Blood, which starred Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and he would go on to compose for the director again with the highly successful Starship Troopers. His brash, rough 'n' tumble style often belied a very lyrical side that proved he was adept at creating era and locale with some distinction - as his scores for the surfing classic Big Wednesday (also for John Milius, who wrote both Conan and Red Dawn) and Farewell To The King showed. But it was scores for the marvellous TV mini-series Lonesome Dove and the continentally shifted Western, Quigley Down Under (with Tom Selleck in the biggest hat in the world battling Alan Rickman in the Outback) that really showed how beautifully he could write for period and setting. The latter score (available from Prometheus Records in a great expanded form) has been justifiably hailed as one of his defining moments but, alongside his magnificent work on Conan (and even its blundering, sanitised sequel which Poledouris elevated with some truly magical music) the score for Robocop remains at the top of any fan's hit list.

    When Robocop swung around his way, it immediately appealed to his more usual raucous and bellicose nature, the tale of a man mutated and cursed with both single-minded duty and the emotions of a previous life stolen from him sang to Poledouris' favourite themes of valour and vengeance. Metallic synths, pounding percussion and hell-deep bass form the core of the machine that thunders and churns its way through the score. But the composer also finds the inspiration for some strong emotional undercurrents that come to signify Murphy's fragmented memories of his former life and of the wife and son that he can no longer see. These elements bring a surprisingly tender and heartbreaking balance to what is, in the main, a violently upfront and dynamic score. With its glacial, futuristic textures and bold militaristic muscle, this makes for a thrilling ride that works as gloriously away from the film as it does with it. Intrada deserve a lot of praise for the scintillating job they have done with this glitteringly clear and pristine presentation. Although released twice before on disc, this is not only the fullest evocation of the score, but also the fullest sounding too. High ends absolutely shimmer, low registers tickle the bowels of the earth. The electronics have such a degree of clarity and the traditional orchestra such depth and warmth and vigour that this release, taken from newly discovered 2” 24-track masters as well as the 1” 8-track electronic master sequences, truly sounds as if had been recorded yesterday. Sneeringly conducted by a typically aloof Howard (The Snowman/Flash Gordon) Blake and Tony Britton and performed by the Sinfonia of London at the Abbey Road Studios in May 1987, the score for Robocop became an instant classic, racing away from the starched and juvenile synths and rock-based foundation of many genre scores of the decade, whilst encouraging a heroic passion that is as timelessly inspiring as anything by Erich Von Korngold or Max Steiner, or John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith. With the passing of Basil Poledouris in 2006, Paul Verhoeven lost his musical muse, Goldsmith stepping into the breach for Basic Instinct and The Hollow Man after triumphantly proving he had exactly the same combination of might and majesty as Poledouris with the equally staggering Total Recall. Now that both composers have passed away, it seems more than coincidental that the Dutch filmmaker has not had a hit on his hands for quite some time.

    “You may not like what you are going to see.”

    That may be true, Robo, but we're damn well going to love what we are going to hear!

    The main theme is now justifiably regarded as one of the classic action signatures of the 80's. Indeed, Poledouris is an absolute genius for composing grand, over-the-top themes that incorporate pomp and ceremony and martial might, that are designed to get the blood flowing and the heart hammering. Full of surging testosterone and injected with nitro, the main theme, which will become Robocop's martial charge, actually sounds as though it has been encased in steel, itself. Verve and all-out bombast are the order of the day as the piece ploughs relentlessly forward. Appearing several times throughout the score, though only in its entirety in a couple of cases, tracks 15 and 23 most notably, there's no denying how strident, muscular and utterly balls-out it is. Insistently clangorous and powerfully rhythmic, this is precisely the sort of full-bore, resplendent and heraldic theme that could send you off to war with no regrets and no fear at all. Somehow the word “inspiring” just does not do it justice. This “heraldic” angle is, of course, a vital quality of the score and Poledouris qualifies this mode with the stunning use of a trilling flute that rides up and over the pounding brass surges like the foam atop the crest of a wave. Robocop is, to all intents and purposes, a shining knight of the realm. A man-at-arms on a crusade not only for law and order, but for personal justice as well - and this theme is a glorious and exhilarating statement of courage under fire. As I said, we hear this theme in a large number of tracks, though it is rarely given much more than a flurry of patriotism here and there as a swelling counterpoint to the action that threatens to engulf it. Its repetition and familiarity, though, reinforce our connection to the cyborg, and as the theme gradually grows in emotional maturity and grandeur, it becomes a shining example of spiritual indomitableness and strength.

    The score commences with the Main Title, which is not the main theme. This short cue, shimmering and mysterious with overlaid synth textures and a sustained crescendo for orchestra and electronics - which is the hallmark of the entire score, actually - blends into a staccato flurry of clattering Morse-code-like notes that denote the frequent Media Break newsroom interludes like some infernal robotic typist. But the yearning, tragic “soul motif” for the story's tormented hero also plays a part here. The opening titles of Verhoeven's film are too short to incorporate the proper Robocop fanfare, but this seemingly slight track actually sows the seeds of both the futuristic sheen and the emotional core of the drama in perfectly formed little vignette. It is impossible to state just how skilful Poledouris is being here. In just 45 seconds he has encapsulated the voice of the score and the soul of the main character, and half of that time is given over to the playful urgency of that media teletype!

    The schmaltz of a US weekday-soap is given a broad satirical bent in the next cue, Have A Heart, the music playing over Verhoeven's patronising commercial for artificial hearts. And then, after a little newsroom media break rattle-and-fanfare, we find ourselves in the sickly, rolling-field Americana of corrupt OCP boss Dick Jones (Cox) as he delivers a trite and condescending PR wet-dream of corporate saintliness. Poledouris clearly enjoys such satire and his music is warmly smothered with honey and devoutly saccharine, yet there is also no mistaking that the cue is also quite lavish and soothing. It's a musical joke, of course, yet the music is wonderful at the same time. By contrast, the next track entitled Twirl - all 25 seconds of it - is merely an ominous tone that foreshadows the cruel trick that fate will soon play upon Officer Murphy, as he practices his gun-twirling skills and Miguel Ferrer's Robo-Project head, Bob Morton, hints that they'll be needing a volunteer.

    The action comes in heavy and fast once we reach Track 5, Van Chase. With Officers Murphy and Lewis (a crop-haired Nancy Allen) pursuing the evil Clarence and his goons down the freeway. The back doors of the van burst open with gunfire and a wounded baddie is unceremoniously flung out to smash down on the bonnet of the pursuing cop car. (“Can you flyyyy, Bobby?”) Poledouris introduces the elements that will resurface and evolve throughout the score. Clarence's energetic and pulsating theme bullies its way across a landscape of frantic brass and percussion, a series of violent clashes making the first third of the track a musical riot of blood and thunder. But the middle section, covering the sequence when the two cops follow the gang into a disused steel mill and split up in order to corner them, develops into an unsettling passage of ominous hide and seek. Low woodwinds and strings hover together, forming a foreboding canopy over a tone that is gradually darkening and twisting with an ethereal melancholy, portentous of what will follow. Track 6, Murphy Dies In O.R., commences after the horrendous execution of Murphy, who is literally shot to bits in one of the most extreme scenes of protracted brutality that 80's cinema had to offer in a mainstream film. Death is imminent, even as a helicopter whisks his ravaged body away to hospital and doctors begin to work on what remains of the once cocky, pistol-twirling lawman. Glacial tones crumble beneath heavy brass. Amazing electronic chimes flutter about as Murphy's life drains away amid the sterility and blurring activity of the operating room. The beginning of what Poledouris termed as the “soul” motif is established here - a haunted, loss-tainted four-note phrase for eerie strings - the mark of his humanity and a secondary theme for the character that will be revisited later. A hint of Conan The Destroyer makes its presence felt for a second, but the motif is twisted and doom-laden, soon falling away into urgent, unstoppable demise.

    For Robo Lives, Poledouris awakens the synths alongside our metal-encased boy as the film shows us his gradual assimilation of the world around his reborn eyes, from his own POV. Circuits open and close, electronics sizzle and hum in a sea of enveloping tones, textures and layers of shimmering futuristica. Officer Murphy is, for the moment, gone ... and Robocop has replaced him, just a shell with its human soul locked away.

    Track 8, Drive Montage, plays over Robo's first night out patrolling the streets of Old Detroit. Although another brief cue, this introduces what will become the character's main theme. Gentle glistening electronica, and an ethereal wavering sound like a machine's voice start the cue. Then, shifting up the gears, Poledouris drifts from a string-based bridge to the incredible, driving insistence of that brassy charge. Listen, in this section, to the simply beautiful clarity of the electronically enhanced anvil-clashes that “tick-tock” their way into the martial beat like some Olympian blacksmith hammering-away on a sheet of gold, the metallic motif gleaming so vividly that you'd swear the sparks were flying past your ears. In fact, this effect was achieved by smacking a fire extinguisher with a large metal hammer and the sound recorded live amid the orchestra.

    With his titanic shadow engulfing a couple of would-be rapists and their victim, Robo emasculates one of them and saves the girl, his victorious rise to fame proceeding with admirable gusto. The age-old superhero theme of coming to terms with new-found powers, facing suspicion and then recognition from the surrounding society, and then the struggle to discover the real identity and some form of inner peace now plays out in earnest. Poledouris will be its guiding light.

    Nukum, Track 10, is the music for one of Verhoeven's warped commercials. As a family sit at a table playing a nuclear war variation of Battleships, Poledouris delivers a mock-tense stand-off theme of mounting terror and suspense, but then closes it all off with a cheeky dance of orchestral comedy. The next track, Murphy's Dream, wrings upset and torment as Robocop recoils from haunting images of Clarence murdering him, piccolos jabbing at his convulsing steel frame. But Poledouris then injects a shimmering long-line rendition of the heroic theme as Robocop awakens and forces his way out of his holding cell, driven now by emotions that he can't fully understand and a desire to seek out his true identity, especially after his old partner, Lewis, confronts him and acknowledges that she knows who he really is. The wonderful combination of synth and orchestra stoke some haunting fires that creep through the mystery of Robo's visions, insinuating, wordlessly, to him that all is very definitely not what his programming tells him it is.

    Gas Station Blow-up is a thrilling set-piece that sees Murphy meeting with one of the gang who executed him as he holds up a garage, a chance encounter that ends in a raging inferno. The music however is not an action cue, but rather a re-appreciation of the “soul” motif for Murphy as more weird memories are triggered by the sight of the murderous Emil (Paul McCrane). And this plays directly into the lengthy passage of Murphy making some connections and doing some detective work that will ultimately lead him to the home he once had. And, as such, Track 13, Murphy Goes Home, is the emotional show-piece of the score. A pensive chord of unfolding realisation on long shimmering synth lines and drifting edges from woodwinds culminate in a clashing crescendo. The soul motif is invoked as Murphy returns to the family home and finds it empty, yet his own broken memories supply the images of a life long gone and artificially buried. Nostalgic, ghostly and sweetly agonising, the theme develops with cool chimes and lost reflective sorrow. A beautiful combination of electronics and orchestra once again, elements from the harp and the keyboard suddenly rising to a short, searing gasp of the martial theme for the closure of the track.

    “I'd buy that for a dollar!”

    For Track 14, Clarence Frags Bob, Poledouris constructs a steady and irresistible set-piece for the terrible murder of Robocop's “father”. Clarence's theme is given a slow and grave movement, perfectly capturing the macabre dread of Bob's predicament, his legs shot to hell and a grenade left agonisingly out of reach to seal his doom. With a ticking-bomb-like countdown and a sombre build-up that grimly wipes all the fun from the musical scene, this becomes a momentous moment of magnified cruelty.

    But this despicable act will not go unpunished as Robocop storms the drug facility in which Clarence is attempting to broker a deal in the next track, Rock Shop. Adding the sound of Murphy smashing his way into the warehouse with a series of clashing percussive chords for cymbals, chimes and electronica - an effect that Verhoeven omitted from the final film - Poledouris commences the most thrilling and action-packed set-piece thus far. After a bell-like cadence that sounds a little bit like the old Carolco logo theme, the brazen chaos gets into full swing. Slaughtering bad guys left, right and centre, Robocop moves through the complex, destroying Clarence's little empire and seeking him out. The martial theme is then given its fullest workout, endorsed by that awesome flute 'n' synth crown that really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Accompanied by some mighty clashes on the cymbals, the track brashly continues, heroic and shrill with brass fanfare and tinkling chords that accentuate the metallic nature of our saviour, the theme soon finds retaliation in the form of Clarence's own driving theme, that bruising rush of brass and percussion. Brilliantly, Poledouris returns snatches of the soul motif as Robocop hurls Clarence through windows in order to get some answers out of him, establishing a connection between the two that has grave hidden relevance.

    “I work for Dick Jones. Dick Jones!

    After a little synth-sizzle and cymbal embellishment, Track 16 speeds lightly along on a pulsating rhythm for apprehensive strings. Robocop now knows who has been Clarence's puppet-master and, as a direct consequence, who is complicit in his own murder. Anticipation runs rife through the early portion, but then, as gleaming notes underscore the arrival of the soul-motif, we get to hear a confident and swaggering partial blast of the main march, accompanied by those fire-extinguisher chinks, albeit with greater intervals that, to my mind, signify that things aren't going to proceed quite as the avenger has planned. By this stage in the game, you are totally aware of the twists and turns in the story, simply from listening to Poledouris' score. That is some achievement. Some people have decried his music for our metal warrior as being overtly pantomimic - an observation of the composer's style that I will certainly concede when it comes to Starship Troopers - but, if this score is, then it belongs in a genre all of its own. Flamboyant - yes perhaps. Satirical - yes, of course, though only when called for. But the colour and richness and sheer personality the leit-motifs are profound and intensely wrought. When they converge, as they do often during the myriad confrontations, they do so without the audience-wink that Poledouris could so easily have fobbed us off with. He knows that this is ripe old entertainment, yet he refuses to let Verhoeven's detached voyeurism cloud the deeper textures of tragedy and valour.

    One of my favourite tracks appears in Directive 4, in which poor Robocop discovers the fail-safe defensive mechanism that the swine Dick Jones has incorporated into his programming - that he is physically incapable of arresting a senior officer of the company that created him. Swirling clouds of dissonant electronic clusters and the glimmering tease of a harp evoke an anguished state of woozy paralysis. This is wonderful stuff that is reminiscent of vintage Sci-Fi spells of otherworldliness, rather like something from The Outer Limits. After this moment of dizzying electronic swooning, Poledouris moves the score into wilder and more aggressive territory once more with the next couple of tracks. With Dick Jones calling on the backup of an ED-209 bodyguard, Robocop is manoeuvred into a devastating skirmish that will wreck a large portion of the OCP HQ. The familiar rhythm of the Van Chase is subdued and wrestled into a slower mode to approximate the clunking remorseless of the canon-armed police droid, Robocop's own heroic march making a wounded reappearance here as it is buffeted with the thundering yet ponderous electronic attacks. Gunfire, rockets and big metal fists are all serenaded by Poledouris' dynamic scoring.

    For Force Shoots Robo, Track 19, the shocking sequence when Murphy's own comrades are compelled to open fire upon him - in an appalling parallel to the very type of fusillade that got him into this grisly mess to start with - the main martial theme struggles valiantly to protest against the harshly mysterious strains of the Directive 4 motif, briefly winning out in a noble last stand gesture from violins. Then the “soul” motif returns as Robocop drops from floor to floor in the lower garage levels, strafed with gunfire the whole time, until Lewis, in the nick of time, drives up and manages to rescue him. Poledouris brings these various themes together in one long, winding and continuous flow that piles on the emotions - from rage to agony to desperation - in a beautifully constructed tour de force. But, as this faithful disc presentation is keen to show, he then switches tactics completely with the finale of the track a tongue-in-cheek homage to Max Steiner's mighty King Kong score from 1933 as, on-screen, one of Verhoeven's commercials plays out, this time for the souped-up luxury car, the 6000 SUX, as it is depicted raging around the city like a monstrous dinosaur. His music here sounds cheeky and somewhat amusing, but this is, strangely enough, a very fine approximation of the thunderous weight of Steiner's rampaging symphony.

    Track 20, Big Is Better, is not actually heard in the film. This was composed for an elevator scene by Poledouris and his orchestrator Steven Scott Smalley. This is New Age muzak that doesn't quite fit the flow of the score as far as I am concerned, although the more I play the full disc, the more I have come to like its odd placement and the lull that it delivers after the earlier rounds of chaos . Coming over like a synthesised lounge riff, this is, though, perhaps too calming and laid-back for the tone of the film and the growing tension and violence of the surrounding tracks.

    The soul theme is given a forlorn treatment in Track 21, Care Package. As Murphy and Lewis rest up in the steel mill, with Robocop trying to regain his aim after the damage done to him by both Directive 4 and the ED-209, Poledouris cements their bond with this theme at the same time as Murphy comes to accept the awful truth that even if he can repair his circuits and his chassis, he may never be able to patch-up the damage between himself and his wife who has, as Lewis is compelled to inform him, “moved on”. The theme is never overbearing. This is a painful moment, but it is also cold and stark and slightly off-kilter, almost as though Poledouris is trying to tell us that Murphy must now accept who and what he is and also ... move on.

    “They can fix you ... they can fix anything.”

    But the rest doesn't last long. And, just to prove this, Track 22, Looking For Me, is a stand-out, folks. This is where it all comes together in one glorious, savage and inspiring wallop of action, duty, rage and revenge.

    Heavily armed with some stolen military weapons that can destroy Robocop - and half a city-block besides - Clarence and his crew track the renegade rozzer to the disused steel mill that was the scene of Murphy's original execution. But Robocop is waiting for them and the film's exciting showdown begins. The march strikes up in earnest with Clarence's theme racing alongside it, literally head-butting its way in. Poledouris brings back those keening strings and that achingly gorgeous heraldic counterpoint to cap those bold brass statements. An energised, folding phrase quivers beneath the struggling electronics and brass, as one by one, Robocop whittles the enemy numbers down. Percussion resonates, cymbals clash with distant, shivering appeals. Trombones bleat and stab. Strings and horns weave in and out of layers of synth. The music becomes a roaring melange of the metallic and futuristic and the more primitive, emotional barrage from the orchestra. Poor Emil takes a dip in a handy vat of toxic waste and then, melting into a shambling monstrosity of steaming gloop, erupts in a celebrated welter of splattery gunk on the bonnet of one of those cherished 6000 SUX's. Robo gets a heavy load of scrap dumped on top of him and is left, injured and malfunctioning, in a lake of rusted grease and grime as a wrathful Clarence bears down upon him. Poledouris scores this poetic final confrontation with elements of the Rock Shop percussive clangs as, speared symbolically with a steel spike, Robocop manages to make a final fatal stab of cathartic retribution - jabbing his own interface spike into the throat of his sadistic nemesis. The music hits an aggressive ultimate coda for Clarence as he totters about, blood elegantly spurting from his opened jugular, the villain's theme making one last agonised statement. Culminating in a triumphant, but shattered evocation of Murphy's soul them, this grand action track bows out on a note of shivering resignation.

    “Dick ... you're fired!

    After a slowly building triumphant phase for Murphy's much-anticipated “retirement” of the corrupt Dick Jones, the final track then delivers something that fans of the score had been missing for such a long time - the fully assembled End Credits music which contains the complete rendition of the main theme, as well as the soul motif. Some listeners have complained that this presentation is not exactly as heard in the film, but this is succinctly explained by Intrada's Douglass Fake in the terrific 20-page booklet that accompanies the disc. For the movie Verhoeven wanted to have the main theme slotted over the top of the appearance of the Robocop title just before the credits roll, and before the full final set of cues. Thus, a snippet from Drive Montage was used. Although cool in the film, this was both utterly un-musical and shockingly abrupt, and certainly not how Poledouris had written it. Therefore Intrada made the decision to evict that isolated edit from this presentation, thus preserving a much better and more harmonious flow to this final medley of all the main themes in one glorious procession.

    Leonard Rosenman, whom I have discussed many times in score reviews already, was tasked with scoring the sequel, Robocop 2, from Irvin Kershner, and this, in many ways, was a fine companion-piece to what Poledouris crafted. Rosenman kept to his own rather unique musical style, but his trademark wayward orchestration contrived to perpetuate a consistency with the metal marshal's continuation. Poledouris was back, however, for the naff third instalment which was actually a TV movie directed by Fred Dekker, the cult creator of Night Of The Creeps and The Monster Squad (see separate BD reviews for both films), and even if his score never reached the giddy heights of the original, it was still a welcome reunion.

    “OCP runs the cops!”

    Once again, great cover art and a nice booklet of score and film notes, from Jeff Bond, as well as very informative technical talk from Intrada's Doug Fake ensure that this limited release is one to cherish. With Intrada, FSM, Varese Sarabande and La-La-Land literally pumping-out classics at a blistering rate, score-lovers are sure to find themselves hideously out of pocket. I know I am. But the good stuff just doesn't seem to be drying-up. British label, Tadlow, who have been responsible for some magnificent reconstructions - True Grit (reviewed separately), The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, The Guns Of Navarone and the incredible 3-disc set of El Cid - are even returning to the front-line soon with something that I have been longing for ... Maurice Jarre's complete score to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome spread over two discs. Man, I can't wait for that one. So the soundtrack scene is continuing to unearth gems at a riotous rate.

    But, for me, Robocop has been the score release of the year, so far. A blisteringly well-earned 10 out of 10, folks.

    Full Track Listing

    1. Main Title 0.45

    2. Have A Heart 0.33

    3. O.C.P. Monitors 1.41

    4. Twirl 0.25

    5. Van Chase 4.56

    6. Murphy Dies In O.R. 2.35

    7. Robo Lives 1.05

    8. Drive Montage 1.04

    9. Helpless Woman 1.16

    10. Nukem 0.26

    11. Murphy's Dream 3.05

    12. Gas Station Blow-up 1.44

    13. Murphy Goes Home 4.15

    14. Clarence Frags Bob 1.45

    15. Rock Shop 3.42

    16. Robo Drives To Jones 1.47

    17. Directive 4 1.04

    18. Robo & ED 209 Fight 2.10

    19. Force Shoots Robo 2.43

    20. Big Is Better (Basil Poledouris/Steven Scott Smalley) 2.33

    21. Care Package 2.58

    22. Looking For Me 5.13

    23. Across The Board (End Credits) 7.32

    Total Time 56.16


    Verdict

    Always presented as a short and rather abrupt score, this version is expanded quite happily from all those that have gone before and, as such, Intrada's release of the complete Robocop is very welcome indeed. Niggles regarding the odd second or two omitted from the End Credits assembly are pointless and easily swept away by the clarity, quality and sheer power of Poledouris' pulverising score. The inclusion of the infomercials and media breaks are a cool distraction, adding a touch of variety to the flow of the score now that they have been properly incorporated into the chronological order of the full soundtrack. There will be some who don't like this, but the fact is that they are an integral part of what Poledouris composed and designed, and placing them after the score as has been done before, as a separate selection makes a mockery of the full impact of the musical treatment.

    The score is one of the all-time classics of both the action and the SF genres, and a paean to a decade when literally anything went and when being high-concept also meant being completely unafraid to push boundaries, yet cling to the all-important ethic of entertaining the crowds. Basil Poledouris is sorely missed by score-fans and by filmmakers alike. His style was distinctively dynamic, yet it could also be lyrical and moving - two ends of the extreme that he exhibits with unparalleled success here with Robocop. That main theme is simply so electrifying that you just don't want it to end.

    I said it earlier on, but it is worth saying again - this is the score release of the year, so far. The package that Intrada have put together - outstanding quality recording and fantastic liner-notes that delve deeply into the history of the score and the film - is second to none. Limited in number to 3000 copies worldwide, this will sell out, so get your order in promptly. You won't regret it.

    You have 15 seconds to comply!


    The Rundown

    Movie

    10

    Overall

    10

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