Carl is on hand with his recommendations of the best soundtracks to listen to whilst in lockdown
To help beat the coronavirus blues, for the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome soundtracks to listen to during the COVID-19 lockdown. Whether its lesser-known gems, Oscar-winning classics or just celebrating the best composers – we’ll be here to give you our top picks during this difficult time.
The Hunt For Red October (Intrada Special Collection) By Basil Poledouris
Basil Poledouris created some really good scores in his time with us. He scored ‘Robocop and Robocop 3’. He gave his talents to ‘Starship Troopers’. He created the scores for ‘Conan The Barbarian and Conan The Destroyer’. He provided music for two Steven Seagal movies in ‘Under Siege 2 and On Deadly Ground’ and ended his career with the score to the Hong Kong film ‘The Touch’ before succumbing to cancer in 2006 at the age of 61. But through the years, it can’t be denied that he gave the world some great film music. One of his best scores is the one he created for ‘The Hunt For Red October’, the first film that Hollywood produced based on the novel by Tom Clancy and the first appearance on the screen of his character Jack Ryan. With the legendary Sean Connery in the lead role of Soviet Submarine Commander Marko Ramius and Alec Baldwin playing Ryan, the film was a decent enough thriller and one that launched the character into the minds of the world, one which is still going 30 years later in the ‘Jack Ryan’ Amazon Prime show.
Poledouris’ score has been reissued by Intrada under its Special Collection label and is in a complete and expanded form. The original release was pretty good in its own right but this new version is awesome. Many tracks that appeared in the film have never been available until now, such as the opening track to the film entitled ‘Never Happened’. Although the piece is only forty-one seconds long, it deserves its place and deserves to be heard. Of course, the second track ‘Hymn To Red October’ is where we start to feel the passion contained within Poledouris’ score. The track starts off so quietly and mysteriously with a hint of a Russian choir behind it before the track kicks into gear and is suddenly loud with the choir singing their hearts out. The choir continues to sing throughout the opening credits with Poledouris’ music accompanying them. The effect is extremely worthy and enjoyable.
As we progress through the score, we are given blasts of quiet contemplation alongside epic and action-packed motifs. Some of the music stands out in the mind long after the album has ended, such as ‘Course Two-Five-Zero’. This is a piece that is enjoyable in its own right as it depicts the submarine’s course under the waves and the magnificence and wonders that below the surface holds. The listener can picture the sights that the audience will see on the big screen even though the crew of the submarine cannot. It is a beautiful, elegant piece. But of course, this is an action/drama film and as such, we are given heart-pumping moments during the score which adds to the tension and mystery of exactly what is really happening and how it will eventually play out. By the time we reach the ‘End Title’, we know how it has all gone down and are rewarded with a mix of three tracks from the score to comprise the finale (Ancestral Aid/Hymn To Red October/Nuclear Scam). It is a terrific way to end the score. But we are not done yet. As a bonus, four tracks are added at the end of the main score. The Album versions of the tracks ‘Putin’s Demise’ and ‘Red Route I’ are here alongside an alternate mix of ‘Necessary Force’ and finally ‘The Anthem Of The Soviet Union’ which those onboard the Red October sing during the film. The running time of the disc is seventy minutes and thirteen seconds long and note a single second is wasted.
The score is one of those that the listener can relax to and is extremely worthwhile picking up. Don’t allow the Russian singing to put you off a purchase as it is an integral part of the score and is, strangely, quite uplifting. It brings a sense of perspective and honor to proceedings along the way. Put it in your iPod, plug in your headphones and allow yourself to drift along underwater as Basil Poledouris and his score brings you to a different world beneath the ocean waves.
Stay safe, look after each other and take care.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great soundtracks our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!