First Blood - Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 4th December 2010.
One of the most beloved of action scores and a massive influence on such hyper-kinetic yet emotionally charged material ever since. Goldsmith would explore and evolve his themes over the course of two more Rambo movies (Brian Tyler composed the fourth instalment, though he couldn't avoid paying homage to the master), but the raw guts of the character’s musical voice came into being with this incredible work of stirring adventure, moving pyschological complexity and haunting militarism. Rambo was given life by Stallone, but Goldsmith provided the impetus to get the blood pumping around his granite-hewn body. This pumping powerhouse score is the template for modern outdoors adventure music. It moves in-synch with the violence and with the rugged atmosphere of the environment, and yet it creates such iconic themes that it is hard to imagine the genre ever properly existed before Jerry Goldsmith wrote them.

With considerably improved sound quality that really provides pristine instrumental clarity, a detailed history of the score in a finely illustrated booklet, and bolstered by Intrada’s proud involvement in the score's continual popularity, this luxurious 2-disc release of First Blood is a fan’s dream come true. Rambo stands defiant on the cover-art, and this muscular and adrenalised score tells his story with passion, vigour and depth. Without Goldsmith's haunting lament-infused main theme, the character would not be half as sympathetic. Without his brawny energetic action cues, Rambo would have given up the chase and, like Col. Trautman once advised, Teasle could have picked him up “working at a gas station … there'd be no fight and no-one would get hurt.” So, Jerry, it's all your fault that Stallone and Rambo came to own the genre with one of the biggest bodycounts since World War II. With the label having already released a fantastic complete score for Rambo III, we just need them to unleash the mighty second instalment in all its glory and with improved sound. But, for now, there is enough musical testosterone here to keep Jerkwater, USA, in need of “a good supply of bodybags!”

Thankfully, Intrada's magnificent release is not limited and fans should have no problem picking up a copy from them ... which I urge them all to do.

Happy Birthday, Intrada … you drew First Blood with this one, and now it has come home.


Read the full review...
 

Glenn01

Distinguished Member
HOLY **** Chris I knew nothing about this !!

Must go and order a copy without delay.

Will be back soon to provide feedback to your review which I have only had chance to speed read so far.

Goes away to URGENTLY order 2 disc First Blood Soundtrack :smashin:
 

Glenn01

Distinguished Member
Had time to digest your review now Chris :smashin:

You really do give so much to your reviews and I feel like I have already listened to it once now just by reading your review :thumbsup:

I must say I really like some of the film related quotes / links you add too which are VERY :cool:

classic example ...

"there is enough musical testosterone here to keep Jerkwater, USA, in need of “a good supply of bodybags”

And the carefully inserted lyrics from "its a long road"

None of these small details goes un-noticed mate and really does add to the enjoyment of reading your review.

A brilliant read Chris that is staggeringly detailed, enthusiastic and brings a smile to your face in sections too ... perfectly balanced !

As for the score itself, Ihad forgotten how much of the film music was missing till you mentioned some of the new key music.

Then the new material and re-worked tunes, sounds really interesting. How amazing that this stuff is only just coming to light now ... over 25 years after the films release.

Same could be said for the Vince Di Cola release a few months back for Rocky 4 though I guess (hey, you should do a review of that too) :smashin:

Either way, for us fans, it is like Christmas that we get to see a release like this come to fruition.

Being a HUGE Stallone / Goldsmith / Rambo fan I really can't wait to get my hands on this 2 disc release.

Thanks again for a stunning review Chris and for bringing this one to our attention your a star :clap:
 
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Mics49

Active Member
I must be thick but I can't find this on Amazon US (not many deliver to where I reside at the moment, hence Amazon is my one-stop. ;)). Could someone please post a link? Cheers.
 

Glenn01

Distinguished Member
I ordered mine from Buysoundtrax.com if thats any help :smashin:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
I must be thick but I can't find this on Amazon US (not many deliver to where I reside at the moment, hence Amazon is my one-stop. ;)). Could someone please post a link? Cheers.

Here you go ...

Welcome - Intrada

As I've said, this is not a limited release, so don't worry ... they won't run out!

Cheers,

Chris McEneany :devil:
 

Chris McEneany

Well-known Member
Had time to digest your review now Chris :smashin:

You really do give so much to your reviews and I feel like I have already listened to it once now just by reading your review :thumbsup:

I must say I really like some of the film related quotes / links you add too which are VERY :cool:

classic example ...

"there is enough musical testosterone here to keep Jerkwater, USA, in need of “a good supply of bodybags”

And the carefully inserted lyrics from "its a long road"

None of these small details goes un-noticed mate and really does add to the enjoyment of reading your review.

A brilliant read Chris that is staggeringly detailed, enthusiastic and brings a smile to your face in sections too ... perfectly balanced !

As for the score itself, Ihad forgotten how much of the film music was missing till you mentioned some of the new key music.

Then the new material and re-worked tunes, sounds really interesting. How amazing that this stuff is only just coming to light now ... over 25 years after the films release.

Same could be said for the Vince Di Cola release a few months back for Rocky 4 though I guess (hey, you should do a review of that too) :smashin:

Either way, for us fans, it is like Christmas that we get to see a release like this come to fruition.

Being a HUGE Stallone / Goldsmith / Rambo fan I really can't wait to get my hands on this 2 disc release.

Thanks again for a stunning review Chris and for bringing this one to our attention your a star :clap:

Wow, cheers Glenn. The cheque is definitely in the mail. ;)

If you feel like you're hearing it as you read the review - then I've done my job correctly. It is a pleasure to write about scores such as this - big, exciting, iconic. So much film-music nowadays is bland, generic and utterly devoid of character or colour. This is something that can NEVER be said about a Goldsmith score. Here was a composer who may have embraced the changing times - swinging sixties, nihilistic seventies, electronic eighties, full-circle in the nineties etc - but never forgot that the mood and the personality of the story came first.

He was a pioneer and an experimentalist - Planet Of The Apes, Patton, The Omen, Alien, Runaway - yet he was devoutly symphonic in his writing. And no-one, but no-one could write propulsive action music like he could AND inject so much mood and personality into the mix at the same time.

"He was an expert with brass, with strings ... with just a bare baton. To compose off-the-cuff ... to write things that would make a music-teacher weep. Well, Goldsmith was the best."

Cheers, guys, more to come soon!

Chris McEneany :devil:

PS. Glenn, you forgot to mention how damn good looking I am! :D
 

Glenn01

Distinguished Member
You know what Chris, you have just reminded me how much we will miss Jerry Goldsmith.

He gave us some of the best music scores in my collection, music which I feel I will continue playing for years (for ever) as they all have timeless repeat play quality.

The Rambo trilogy music is regarded by me as some of Jerry's finest work and these action scores have never been bettered. First Blood, Rambo 2 and Rambo 3 are just stunning albums which have to be played at loud volume ... they really stir your senses.

Credit where credit is due though, you gave another superb review for this new John J classic Chris and thought you deserved a appreciative little pat on the back :smashin:

Keep the great reveiws coming and remember ...

"Any law against me getting something to eat round here"

"Yeah ... me ... king***** cop"

:)
 

Mics49

Active Member
Thanks for the links, Gents. Will give it a try, thankfully without pressure, and see who delivers cheapest to "down (not 'under') here".

On the subject of yet another great review from Chris. I only recently revisited FB on blu and even the wife somehow endured it, surprisingly. The score is one of the unforgetable ones out there.
 
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