Sudden Impact - The Original Score CD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany
Schifrin’s score for Sudden Impact once again gives voice to the danger and excitement of Dirty Harry. All the hallmarks of the series are there – the percussive action licks, the cool jazz riffs and the little reminders to what has gone before – but the evolution of both the character and the series is also hugely prevalent in the haunting theme for retribution that comes to dominate the score and the sense of things turning full circle. Harry’s world is forever downbeat and stippled with death and tragedy. It is only the fact that he can deal with all this with a sarcastic quip and a healthy disrespect for the rules that keeps the adrenalin flowing and Schifrin, more than anybody else, understands this, painting his scores with pulsating combinations of tension, pathos and excitement. With some terrifically orchestrated moments of spine-tingling tension, splashes of frightening discord and hauntingly gothic carousel ditties, a liberal dose of early 80’s colour and some great action dynamics, Sudden Impact comes alive on disc with a startling and diverse intensity. Despite truncating my favourite cue from the movie, this album gets a well-deserved 9 out of 10 from me.</p>Schifrin would go on to score The Dead Pool but, until that soundtrack is eventually released, we will have to say goodbye to Harry Callahan for awhile. But, for those of you who have been keeping up with this series of reviews, I can testify that this CD collection is immensely rewarding and showcases some wildly exciting and inspired film scoring from a true master of the urban thriller genre. Jerry Fielding’s contribution takes a slightly more jazzy turn, but, taken as a whole, Schifrin’s Aleph label have done a wonderful job of producing these scores in ultra clear, awesome stereo, great packaging and kitted-out with illuminating notes from Nick Redman. I can only recommend them whole-heartedly.


Now … make our day and bring on The Dead Pool and let us complete the set.
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