I'm going to cut to the chase right away with this one - Alan Silvestri's incredibly popular score for Predator sold out almost immediately at Intrada, the label that has just released this complete limited edition run of 3000. Like his awesome score for The Delta Force a couple of years ago and Jerry Goldsmith's Baby: Secret Of The Lost Legend, both of which disappeared in virtually the blink of an eye, this is down to a couple of elements. Firstly, the limited run aspect of some of these discs. Now, this is obviously regrettable and the reasons for such low quantities for what prove to be massively popular titles is subject to a stack of mitigating factors - cost of production, license-fees and the fact that a title's saleability is not an immediately quantifiable commodity. Secondly, genuine fans really aren't going to hang about when they get wind of a Holy Grail getting released, so available copies will be snapped-up pronto. And thirdly, the speculators, who have absolutely no love of the music in question, but know enough about the field and the people who move within it, who rush their order through - often multiple orders of the same title - so that they can then sell them on eBay to those who weren't able or just weren't quick enough to place their order in time ... and at vastly inflated prices, of course. Hardly an ideal situation, and it is one that score-fans have had to learn to live with.
But what it all boils down to, though, is the music itself. And whether you deem it worth your time and your hard-earned cash to seek it out after the event.
Well, in this case, despite all 3000 copies of Predator getting scooped-up faster than it would take the dreadlock-sporting alien hunter to cloak himself, I would say, quite categorically, that it is worth tracking down by fair means or by foul.
Previously put out by Varese Sarabande (and equally OOP) back in 2003, this edition from Intrada boasts superior sound quality, culled from source material that was unavailable at the time of the prior release, and does, in fact, feature a smidgeon more music - for here, at last, is the full End Credits sequence. I have already chronicled the movie, itself, in a review for its recent Blu-ray release, but it seems only right that Silvestri's hugely influential and highly regarded contribution towards the classic actioner's cult status gets its fair dues. So let's dive into the jungle once more and face off against that pesky crab-faced Predator again. It's safari time.
Although Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer are, perhaps, regarded as the most percussive-motivated composers in the business, Alan Silvestri can more than hold his own in such a bombastic field. An ex-drummer, Silvestri's penchant for pounding rhythms and thunderclap punctuation is given total freedom here, his score a literal blitzkrieg of storming aggression and muscular mayhem. The jungle environment allows him to indulge all sorts of tribal instruments and arrangements, from rattles and shakers to the electro pulse of the 80's stalwart keyboard, the synclavier, an instrument that would go on to form the total embodiment of his later score for The Delta Force (reviewed separately). Whilst our bunch of macho super-commandos led by Schwarzenegger's Major Dutch Schaeffer benefit from some of the genre's most pulverising and dynamic thematic material, the alien side of things is given a demoniacally violent presence that is more than equal to it. Whereas Jerry Goldsmith created an unorthodox and otherworldly sound design for his Alien, Silvestri treats his extraterrestrial bad boy like a mythical warrior who has materialised from out of the mists of legend. His confrontation with Schwarzenegger is, therefore, a clash of the titans, and Silvestri treats it as such, musically.
We commence with the famous Fox logo theme which appears and is then marvellously warped into a sustained sizzle and snarl, evoking a Predatory corruption as the hunter's ship streaks towards the Earth. Movies are always playing with studio logos - Paramount's mountain morphing into the peak at the start of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the Fox logo melting into liquid DNA for The X-Men, Universal's appearing in black and white flames for Van Helsing and even in its full vintage incarnation, complete with biplane, for the Director's Cut of The Wolf Man - but it is rare for their actual fanfare to be tampered with. This particular arrangement of the Alfred Newman logo-theme comes courtesy of Elliot Goldenthal, the elongated space-growl at the end purely a Silvestri touch that anchors it into this now-enlarged cult universe.
The Main Title opens with a blast of brass, then drifts through a melange of melancholy galactic swoons before plunging into the tight militaristic march that signifies the testosterone and the sinew that swells Predator's mighty conflict. Brass builds in significant chords above a brisk, but unhurried drum beat, growing in strength until the track forges out of orchestral stone the main fanfare that accompanies Arnie's commandos as they arrive in the “charming little country” that most of them will never leave. Synth sears the edges and a tuba adds bellicose bravado to this main 6-note theme. Dutch, imperious, brazen and simply undefeatable (who else but Schwarzenegger?) is heralded with a soaring peal of trumpets, trombone and percussion, the score, itself, as big and as bold as he is. Silvestri then allows it to settle back into the military march, only faster now and unmistakably eager to get into battle. The track ends on an energetic flurry of brass and drums that just leaves you breathless, but all fired-up for action.
The next track comprises three major cues. We have rappelled into the jungle alongside this squad of pure attitude and a few nasty discoveries are made - skinned bodies hanging from the trees, crashed helicopters, and an ominous sense that Something Else is out there ... “and it ain't no man.” Silvestri captures the broad feeling of Boys' Own adventure with powerful brass and emphatic percussion, the mission-clock is ticking and the orchestra is marking time with a steady rhythm. A terrific echoing bongo-drum effect throbs towards us and then recedes - this may be just another jungle, but there is something here that doesn't quite belong, the motif seems to be warning us. Little bursts of tight militarism make intrusions, woodwinds adding a sprightly warmth to the covert manoeuvres. A sudden synth and horn-ripped stinger focusses on the remains of a Predator kill - a ritually skinned trio of Green Berets - percussion lending the shock some violent momentum. Ethnic mysterioso scurries about as Dutch has his men Cut 'Em Down and then we get the groaning weight of a revenge-plan in Payback Time, as our team move out to track down those they believe responsible for the atrocity. Silvestri divides his time between stealth and aggression, snatches of brass and percussion intermingling with subdued phrases for woodblock and synth. The good guys soon come across the enemy camp, from which they hope to extract a couple of American prisoners.
Lengthy stealth-mode continues in a similar vein as heard in the previous track during the majority of The Truck (Track 4), as Dutch and his squad take the fight to the bad guys. As his men circle around the guerilla encampment and take out the sentries, one by one, moving ever-closer in the hope of some payback, Dutch lifts the titular vehicle off its blocks, loads it with high explosive and shoves it, manually, down into the camp to literally unleash hell. Silvestri uses a little ethnic percussion, something like a woodblock and rattle, to add a frisson of exotic suspense. Lurches of synth, shimmering strings, slow-rolling percussion and deft woodwind voices create the atmosphere of the jungle ambience that the team are creeping through. All that is missing from this segment is the bird-whistle that Mac uses to fool the guards. The whole thing then rises to the indomitable moment when Dutch heaves the truck into explosive oblivion and the bullets begin to fly. Surprisingly, the actual battle, itself, remains virtually unscored by any new material, the album track building to a musical crescendo that, rather cheekily, doesn't appear. What director John McTiernan did was to re-track other cues from elsewhere in the score into the sequence, most notably the main title theme, which Silvestri very obligingly allows to “stick around!”.
After the massacre of the guerillas and the wholesale destruction of their camp, Dutch's team, with Dillon's captive (played by Elpidia Carrilo) in-tow, move out in to the jungle, heading for the extraction site. The American hostages have been murdered and Dutch and his men just want to bug-out before they get surrounded by enemy reinforcements. To go along with this determined exfiltration Silvestri's music for Jungle Trek is propulsive and tribal, fast and driving. The sense of movement is acute, the smell of danger all-pervasive. Only Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer and James Horner are able to evoke such a similar momentum that actually seems to hook into your flesh and physically urge you to move in time with them. Silvestri has always been able to do this. His powerful rhythmic action cues for Van Helsing, The Delta Force, Back To The Future and Beowulf all ably support this. Each soldier gets a piece of the music, the track massing size and strength until Dutch fills the frame and the Main Title theme returns with added force.
Track 6 features two prominent cues. When Carillo's Anna sees her chance and makes a run for it in Girl's Escape, a rapid, hard-hitting heartbeat for the human angle double-taps its way through a fugue of alien synth snarls for the Predator who cannot resist joining in the chase. A series of merged 3-note bursts herald the hunter as he closes-in on poor Hawkins (Shane Black), the cue accelerating through an attack-mode of warped strings, spiralling woodwinds and frenzied horns. Stunned celli and viola establish the shock that Hawkins' slaying produces, a note from the tuba ripening the fear. This is also the first of a couple of occasions when Silvesri incorporates his own potent and ominous take on the infamous Dies Irae, as the stunned commandos survey the grisly remains of what was once their comrade. “I want Hawkins' body found. Sweep-pattern. Double-back,” commands Dutch, Silvestri responding with martial drums and a deep, angry beat. Atmospheric stealth ambience weaves through the next section, before Jesse Ventura's Blaine gets zapped by a sniping Predator. Blaine's Death, the next cue, features the staggering tumult of the remaining soldiers tearing the jungle apart with ferocious fire and grenades. Synth, brass and horns explode together as Mac (Bill Duke) takes up the mini-gun pours hot lead after the retreating Predator. Silvestri whips the orchestra into a storm, high strings searing out over the top, a thunderous beat on keyboards sprinting along beneath, trumpets burning through it all like spent casings whizzing through the air.
One of the score's great eerie moments comes next. After the smoke has cleared and the revolving barrels of the mini-gun have stopped spinning, the troopers gather their wits and assess What Happened, all visibly reeling from the ambush from this new and unseen mystery foe. To a tuba-enforced moan of stunned aftershock, Dutch sends out scouts into the bush. Anxious strings and haunted brass fail to bring a devastated Mac back from the brink of madness. When Poncho (Richard Chaves) returns with the staggering news that their bombardment left “No blood. No bodies” and that they “hit nothing”, Dutch's grave concern about their unusual, and now unmistakeably worsening situation is compounded with a terrific tribal beat of stabbing percussion, a descending phrase of growing unease for strings, then woodwinds and then for strings again. It is a spine-tingling effect. There is genuine concern on Arnie's face and Alan Silvestri nails the mood of grim mystery with magnificence. The way that he veers the orchestra from bold and brassy to apprehensive and fearful in such easy moves is utterly captivating. The drama is unfolding minute by minute for these guys, and he makes sure that the score underpins every development and every emotion along the way.
The lone trumpet lament of He's My Friend signifies with poignancy the loss of Blaine, as felt by his main comrade-in-arms, Mac. Slightly corny, the motif hinges on a pure militaristic note of noble sacrifice like a Last Post, before seguing into a tender horn and string-based melody of tragic aftermath and sombre reflection. This theme will reappear in We're Gonna Die (which should, if Billy is quoted correctly, be called We're all gonna die), where it signifies Dutch's sombre acceptance of the grief his men feel at their unexpected losses, and then at the start of The Pick-up and End Credits, when Dutch, the last man standing, is revealed to have survived the ordeal and defeated the Predator. Although certainly a traditional piece - Goldsmith utilised a very similar theme many times over, from Lonely Are The Brave to First Blood and its sequels - Silvestri gives it some dignity and then thankfully folds it back into either a dense layer of taut dread (as heard in the first two examples) or back into the Main Title theme (as in the case of the final track). In his score for Predator 2, the composer returns to this motif for when Danny Glover's hero-cop visits the grave of his partner, killed by new urbanised Predator, and realises that the cloaked enemy is there watching him. In this instance, he beautifully blends the plaintiff lament directly into a revamped tribal phrase for the Predator, and the effect is stunning, switching from the melancholy to the unholy almost seamlessly. Track 8 fades with a sustained note of apprehension from the trombone, as Anna sits mesmerised by the smear of Predator blood on her fatigues.
Track 9 takes up with some unusual and chilling effects from the synclavier, abetted by various trills from the woodwinds, barks from the brass, keyboard jabberings and fluttering strings as the barely seen Predator sits and patches himself up. After the trumpet lament, strings waver ominously as night-time falls on the commandos' concealed camp. Then Silvestri cuts loose with one of his most shocking cues, as a wild boar strays into the killing zone and sets off one of the flares. In a panic it runs at Mac and the two of them plunge into a pit, the enraged soldier stabbing the poor beast to death in the belief that he has caught the real enemy. The score becomes a truly nightmarish barrage of energy and primal ferocity. Brass snarls with venom, cymbals clash spectacularly. Trumpets and percussion mimic the downward thrusts of Mac's blade, the whole cue freezing the blood. Listen to the woodblock tokking! as the team then rush back to find that Anna has not tried to escape during the drama.
We are at the halfway point in the film and the score - and it has been a punishing experience so far. And this has just been a warm-up for what will follow.
“If it bleeds, we can kill it,” says Dutch as he leads his men in a defensive countermeasure that sees them constructing a spring-trap out of the surrounding trees and vines. Silvestri matches the grunting exertions of a screen that is positively heaving with strained sinew, bulging muscle and macho pride with a terrific pounding beat that would make Max Steiner nod with appreciation. A relentless keyboard staccato is hammered out. The drums are battered senseless. Strings cry out in rising waves that buffet the brass commando motif. “You really think this Boy Scout bullshit's gonna work?” taunts an incredulous Dillon during a slight orchestral breather, the brass section giving way to a single-time drum beat. “It can see all our trip-wires. Maybe it can't see this. Instead of complaining ... maybe you should help,” is Dutch's practical reply, to which Carl Weather's strips off his combat vest and reveals the physique that once put Rocky Balboa on the canvas ... and joins in the jolly jamboree. Alan Silvestri then resumes the ferocious and insistent beat with even more vigour than before. The military vibe is upped and the whole cue becomes so irresistible that you actually wish you could grab the end of the vine and help in hauling those trees down, yourself. The familiar 6-note percussive theme from the Main Title bludgeons its way in. The strings strain even more, clawing higher in pitch as the tension on the vines is stretched to nearly breaking point. Awesome stuff.
After a tense and ethereal flavour of shimmering strings and trembling woodwinds in The Waiting, as Anna tells the crouching troopers what happens in this neck of the woods during the hottest months, the track turns more suggestive and restless. Muted brass figures yawn out as Dutch, acting as bait, breaks cover and strides out into the open. Silvestri sustains the spell with gleaming strings, but then allows the brass section to launch inwards and devour the once-spectral moment in a swift, adrenalised assault. The Predator, cloaked all the while, has blundered into the trap right behind Dutch. The score rips into a very John Williams-ish rush as the trap is sprung ad the alien is hauled high into the air, brass and strings vaulting over one another in a musical melee.
After their plans go to pieces, Poncho lies on the deck “busted-up pretty bad”, the Predator has hopped-it and Mac has gone after him. Track 12's Can You See Him? has Dillon going after Mac, the CIA pencil-pusher eager to make amends with the unhinged and embittered soldier. Together, they mount an attack on the Predator, whom they can now discern against the foliage despite his cloaking device. Silvestri uses a range of motifs, stingers and effects to create a tense atmosphere of stealth and danger. After a squirrally motif hurries along beside Dutch, Billy, Anna and Poncho, Track 13, Dillon's Death, reaches the paralysing cue for when Carl Weather's spots Bill Duke's blasted head - an ascending figure for strings colliding with the clout from a big bass drum. A long figure from the French Horn then echoes as, reacting to the Predator taunting him from the shadows, Dillon spins around and surveys the surrounding jungle. A variation of the Main Title resurges, but it is full of dread, Silvestri now letting us know that the Predator most definitely has the upper hand. To emphasise this, the enemy then blows Dillon's arm off and then, to a barrelling and unstoppable momentum, charges at the stricken soldier and lifts him into the air impaled on its wrist-mounted spikes to a brief brass-fuelled, drum-crashed crescendo of victory.
In a fascinating twist, Silvestri then recalls his own take on the ominous Die Irae theme that has seen such service in the genre over the years, in the likes of The Car (by Lawrence Rosenman) and The Shining (by Wendy Carlos) as well as many others, for the grim sacrifice that Billy (Sonny Landham) makes in his date with destiny. Refusing to run any more, the big Indian warrior stops atop a symbolic log stretched over a rocky chasm, discards the trappings of a modern soldier and awaits the enemy with nothing more than a machete and some of his own tribal magic. Silvestri marks the occasion with tremendously deep chords and a single metallic percussive note sounding out amidst the ritualistic excess like a ship's bell sounding out in the fog. The cue grows, corrupting the 6-note Main Title again, flavouring it even more with the Predator's ceaseless dominance. What was once the province of the commandos has become tainted by the alien. No longer does the fanfare sound mighty, it is now a forlorn harbinger of doom.
But the track doesn't end with Billy's rage-filled scream of agonised death. As Dutch and Anna support a visibly trembling Ramirez (Poncho), Silvestri unleashes a wallop via synth and woodwinds to signify the Predator's swift and deadly arrival on the scene. A laser-bolt takes Poncho down and, after dispatching Anna to the immortal cry of “Run! Go! Get to da CHOPPAH!!!”, Dutch plays decoy and leads the alien hunter off in the opposite direction, running for his life, but giving her a chance to get free. The orchestra responds to this frightening development with a blistering rhythm of strenuous forward drive, the music running pell-mell alongside Dutch. Trombones and tuba belch and the percussion thrusts against a little repetitive snap from the synth. Going over the edge of a cliff elicits a sustained sizzle of suspense from the score, and a measured descending figure as Dutch plummets down into the river.
Now alone and facing an opponent that has wiped-out his entire team with ease, Dutch is forced to revert to his most primitive, and to use his primal instincts and his resourcefulness as his best weapons. This is the big centrepiece of the score. The longest track at 9.28 minutes, Dutch Builds Trap, is an epic of savage and instinctive statements that builds slowly and deliberately towards an utterly rousing conclusion as Dutch issues his challenge to the Predator, a battle-cry that comes equipped with a titanic 5-note recurring figure on the big bass drums and blow-piped into the fray by a platoon of trumpets. But the thing about this track is that it is able to adapt the Main Title for both characters, Dutch and the Predator, into one unbroken passage of growing courage and vigour, weaving skilfully from one opponent to the other as, in the film, we see the human going back to basics and constructing traps and primitive weaponry, and the alien adding the final touches to his trophy cabinet of skulls. A demented quality creeps into the refrain for the Predator, grave nobility for Dutch. Topping and tailing the track are a couple of keen encounters, too. At the start we have the skin-crawling shock and awe of our first full appearance of the Predator as it rises from the water, de-cloaks and scans for Dutch, who is hiding in the mud. Jagged, angular notes bashed out on the piano stop the heart, fragments of the Main Title filter through, now establishing the locked-in-combat nature of the two protagonists. Electrified lines of piercing strings sizzle the air as the hunter's alien circuitry fails to locate the huddling last commando.
The final stretch of the track continues with glistening effects as Dutch lies in wait for the Predator to arrive, tense strings singing as it looms up behind him, cloaked and quiet. And then the start of the final battle, punctuated with brass and sweeping woodwinds.
Another epic track, composed of two long cues, comes next. Predator Injured follows the first half of the confrontation - full of piano jabbings, little rolls of percussion and brass, and an armada of shivering high-register strings as the cat-and-mouse game gathers steam. So far, the battle is fought from a safe distance - rocks and spears are thrown, laser bolts are returned - but Silvestri never slackens the suspense as Dutch is forced to run and hide all the time. Following a trail of the alien's glowing blood, Dutch is tricked into entering a dark cave. Sensing the hunter moving in behind him, he fires off an explosive and dives over the rocks for cover. But, having taken an unwise dunking in the river, all of his mud-camouflage has been washed off. A sharp trumpet blast greets the sudden appearance of the Predator as it hurls him into a wall of stone and leans in close to study this worthy opponent. Piano chords reverberate as brass surges in bleating clusters, the alien dropping Dutch to his knees and stalking off a little way to unclasp his mask and finally reveal his face to his prey. Silvestri treats this now iconic moment to the 5-note battle motif, heard deep down behind swift brass and percussion voices, the drums pummelled into a mock military snare, cymbals then allowed to shiver with tense agitation as the mask finally comes off. Synth snarls greet the mandible-mawed countenance of the Predator in full glory, the big reveal a raucous collision of deep guttural brass and percussion. Tribal woodblock, strings and xylophone are brought into play as the alien then growls at Dutch and, mighty clawed arms stretched wide, moves in for some Hand-to-Hand Combat. Composed of brutal lurching figures, this second and much shorter cue adds a synth rasp to the challenging interjections of now perfunctory brass and percussion, the xylophone adding to the whole disturbing symphony. Dutch is battered all over the show, Silvestri's music knocking him about just as much as the Predator. There's no tit-for-tat in this duel - Dutch gets his ass kicked and the score is forced to side with the bad guy.
Track 17, Predator's Death, is a classic. Starting with an energetic and bruising passage of musical muscle - a bleeding and badly injured Dutch crawls towards his primitive trap, the Predator, steel wrist-blades activated, casually pursuing him. He's done playing with the human now, and he needs that tough skull for pride of place in his trophy cabinet. The keyboard takes some grief, trombones curse, cymbals clash, strings duck and dive. A shivery interlude for ethnic shakers and agitated celli takes place as Dutch realises his nemesis is about to take the bait ... but the Predator suddenly works out the purpose of a row of sharpened spikes and moves around to his quarry from the other side. The slow pursuit motif strikes up again but with more emphasis from the brass section this time. But Dutch was a bit more prepared than than the Predator reckoned, and he has this side of the ditch covered too. With fiercely vengeful brass roaring, the commando kicks out a wooden stave and deposits an extremely hefty tree-trunk right on top of the hunter's head. Pinned beneath the massive weight and now mortally wounded, the Predator has the last laugh - quite literally - and activates a mini-nuclear self-destruct weapon. In a way, it is a shame that the score doesn't incorporate the alien's mocking cackle (pilfered and mimicked from the big Indian, Billy), but Silvestri has the piano march out a rapid succession of jagged notes, the brass and strings jostling together over the steady rumble of percussion as Dutch suddenly finds the energy left to run as far from the imminent eruption as possible. Silvestri bows out of the track with the lost soldier lament for lone trumpet, finally bringing French Horn and violins in to tenderise the moment when, the dust clearing in the down-draught of a helicopter's rotors, Dutch is revealed to have survived the ordeal.
The score then climaxes with a reprise of the full End Credits, something that the prior release truncated slightly. This, of course, means that we get to hear the Main Title once again, its brutal 6-note military cadence now more jubilant and victorious, the score having turned full circle. Addictive and chest-thumping, this is a dish best served LOUD.
The highlights of this score are possibly too numerous to mention, but some favourite pieces of mine would have to be Jungle Trek (Track 5), What Happened? (Track 7), Building The Trap (Track 10), and then both Tracks 15 and 16, covering Dutch's battle preparations and his final man-et-mano with the big Predator. Sadly, we don't have Little Richard belting out Long Tall Sally - a song that has, for me at least, become synonymous with the film - although it shouldn't be too hard to program it into your Predatory Playlist for full movie effect.
As mentioned earlier, there was a previous official incarnation of the score given life by Nick Redman. Returning to produce this newer, more scintillating version Redman now joins forces with Intrada's Douglass Fake and, equipped with the DAT transfers of the original stereo scoring sessions - something that hadn't been available until now - and together they have been able to re-master the entire score with much improved sonics. The clarity of this new presentation comes into its own right across the board, but there are many little nuances that shine through far more than ever before. The stereo spread is much cleaner, reproducing the dynamic orchestration in either speaker with greater finesse and helping to make some of the complex writing a little more explicit. The little harp shivers, the warmth of the woodwinds and the subtle appearances of the ethnic percussion gain such a lot as a result. The running order of this album is also different than previously heard. This disc has every cue now presented chronologically in the originally intended film order, with each track lasting for its full duration. There are many bootleg versions of Predator out there, and some even have the bellicose rumbling effects of the alien sounds and snarls that accompany the instances of Predator-vision. This release, though, is certainly the best sounding and best-packaged.
Predator is a military action score that has lashings of SF atmosphere and brooding menace, all wrapped like muscular body armour around the iconic persona of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Alan Silvestri took several motifs from his earlier music for Back To The Future and injected them with nitro-glycerine. And steroids. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you can clearly hear an orchestra working overtime and being driven almost over the edge of the precipice - it is profoundly exciting and cathartic. Alan Silvestri is a master at such empathetic and exhilarating writing. He would take the majority of the themes he created for this superior first adventure and recruit them for Predator 2, twisting them an even more exotic melange of ethnic percussion and effects, and even using a barrage of sampled, corrupted voices to embody the second monster's personality. Hopefully a release of the full score for the sequel will be made available one day.
During his Golden Period, Arnie was exceptionally well served by the composers on his films. Basil Poledouris had rocked the pillars of antiquity with his two Conan scores. Brad Fiedel delivered a terrific neo-anthem for The Terminator. James Horner clashed urban funk with exquisite steel drums for Commando, and a brisk Chicago street-vibe with imperious Russian pomp in the Glasnostic Red Heat. And Jerry Goldsmith created a score for Total Recall that seemed to fuse all of the above elements into one incredible futuristic action-fest. Alan Silvestri also managed to combine the mythic grandeur of muscle-hewn majesty (a la Poledouris) with the brassy, metallic sheen of Fiedel, but came up with something totally unique, highly distinguished and wholly individual for Predator. That he revisited his themes again for Stephen Hopkins' second instalment was not so much a simple rehashing, but a welcome treat. The power of the score has also been given tribute by John Debney in his homage-rife music for the new (and exceedingly poor) Predators from Nimrod Antal and Robert Rodriquez.
Julie Kirgo provides some fun notes in the little illustrated booklet to complement this blistering presentation.
Full Track Listing
01. Fox Logo (Alfred Newman/Arranged by Elliot Goldenthal 1992) 0:26p>02. Main Title 3:52
03. Something Else; Cut 'Em Down; Payback Time 7:37
04. The Truck 4:23
05. Jungle Trek 1:48
06. Girl's Escape; Blaine's Death 6:40
07. What Happened? 2:01
08. He's My Friend 1:26
09. We're Gonna Die 3:29
10. Building The Trap 3:06
11. The Waiting 3:27
12. Can You See Him? 4:52
13. Dillon's Death 2:05
14. Billy And Predator 2:32
15. Dutch Builds Trap 9:28
16. Predator Injured; Hand To Hand Combat 7:22
17. Predator's Death 3:43
18. The Pickup and End Credits 5.58
It came and went in the blink of an eye, but Intrada's fantastic release of Alan Silvestri's score for Predator is definitely worth hunting down. If you can trace the old Varese Sarabande edition or even one of the many bootlegs that are always floating about, then you are still in for a treat. This is gung-ho writing that strives to create an unstoppable percussive overdrive and, brimming with macho heroics and exciting set-pieces, offers orchestral testosterone aplenty. The themes have become iconic and the score is justifiably regarded as one of the best in the genre. Alan Silvestri would go on to compose many more wonderful action scores, all boasting the same passion for all-out bombast, rich orchestration and strong thematic wallop. Along with Back To The Future and Romancing The Stone, Predator was the soundtrack that made his name.
Well, okay, the disc vanished almost as soon as it went on sale, but this is something that fans who missed out will still be able to track down via the internet. It is not the ideal situation, of course, but we should all agree that it is better to have such limited releases coming along, than not to have them at all. Alan Silvestri's Predator is awesome in every sense of the word.
It came to Earth for the thrill of the hunt.
It may have picked the wrong man, but it sure picked the right music.
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