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Soundtrack review: Daylight (Randy Edelman, 1996)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Daylight (Randy Edelman, 1996)


The Sylvester Stallone movie score review of this week comes from 1996. “Daylight” is a disaster movie set in the tunnel in New York. It’s an easy movie, one that doesn’t pretend to be more than it is. I love this movie and I always watch it again with the same pleasure. It doesn’t hold any surprises; it respects a formula I love so I keep a very fond memory of this film.
If the movie I’ll watch again anytime I stumble upon it, it’s a different story with the music. “Daylight” is one of the scores I listen to quite often and I know I will listen to many times in the future. Randy Edelman is a composer who knows how to do themes.  “Dragon – The Bruce Lee story”, “The Mummy – Tomb of the dragon emperor” or “Dragonheart” (yes, he seems to be called a lot to do movies involving a dragon in some capacity) are all fine examples of themes I easily recognize. He outdid himself here.
The “Daylight” theme for me is one of the most recognizable of the 90s. I’ve listened to thousands of tracks since then, lots of which have come and gone, but somehow this wonderful theme stuck with me. I can identify it in a heartbeat, I recognize it, and it’s as familiar to me as any of the Superman theme for example . There are a lot of scores I have to hesitate before saying if I like them or not, or to remember why I liked them. It’s not the case with “Daylight”. I will always name this score among my favorites, and I know exactly why. It’s the theme, it’s the tone…The theme is just like Stallone’s usual characters: not a superhero, just a serious man, always trying to do the right thing, with a look on his face that demands compassion and understanding. But I know the guy he plays, I love the guy he plays, I trust him and I’m not looking to see someone else in his movies.
It’s the same with the Daylight theme. It’s catchy, serious and commands that little world which was formed in the tunnel. The best way to describe it for is to say that it sounds like a miniature superhero theme. If Superman flies around the world and turns back time, the Daylight theme does the same but inside a snow globe. And it’s awesome.
The main theme returns all throughout the album, accompanied by “Latura’s theme”, which is a soft and serious piano tune; nothing bombastic, but very appropriate and heroic. A theme not for a super hero, just for a normal hero, often alone and misunderstood. There is not much variation on this score. These two themes play around in various forms and arrangements, but that’s ok, because I can’t get enough of them. They are like my favorite food that I never get tired of, no matter how many times I’ve eaten it. When people ask me about my favorite deserts ever, I never have any trouble naming a few, and lemon cake is always among them. When I am asked about my favorite movie scores, I never have any trouble naming a few, and Daylight is always among them. It’s the familiarity and bitter-sweetness of its taste.
I love the Daylight movie score.
For more Stallone movie reviews,check out John Rambo, Rocky IV or Tango & Cash
My ratings:
Cue score: 97 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 37 / 40
Album excellence: 91%
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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