Soundtrack review: Capricorn One (Jerry Goldsmith – 1977, 2015)
Another week, another reissue of an old score by a record label, another Jerry Goldsmith score. All these equals another chance for me to connect with his music. I have to admit that the more I hear the more intrigued and interested I am. I used to have a problem with his brand of action, so serious and metallic, so grave and cold. And yet when “Capricorn one” begins my mind immediately goes to “Total recall” and I discover a familiarity in the sound. That’s a nice place to start. The music goes darker then. The urgency morphs into danger and suspense and I feel myself gripped by this score. “Capricorn one” is a 1977 government conspiracy thriller about a Mars landing hoax. I was surprised to find out it was written and directed by Peter Hyams who I knew form movies like “Sudden death”, “Timecop” and “End of days”.
I am surprised to be so drawn to this score so early. It usually takes me a while to warm up to Jerry’s more abrasive way of doing thriller music but this time something clicks. I am sucked into that dark and dangerous atmosphere and I want to be part of it. The suspense is alive and palpable and this score gives me the kind of emotions and sensations I usually get from a movie. Only this time I don’t need the on screen images to make this enjoyable because I can make my own. The atmosphere set by the composer is thick and meaningful enough that I get the thrill and worries I would get from watching the thriller.
The music is smart and sneaky. It just pulls me in there and holds me tight. “Capricorn one” is like a dark and slippery snake slowly tightening its grip around me. If I would struggle to get out it would only hold me tighter so I might as well give in. I’ve listened to hundreds and hundreds of film scores and yet I can still be surprised by how a composer can weave such a thick and comfortable musical fabric to wrap me in. I just can’t get out from under the spell of this score. I know I am free to do it; I can just take my headphones off and leave the chair. But this is the trade of a legendary composer: with just his notes and arrangements written almost 40 years ago he can just grip me so tight and make me so curious about and invested in his score that a simple act such as removing ones headphones becomes the hardest thing to do.
Yes this is a dark and magnificently crafted score which will not leave your library. I don’t know how a treasure like this stayed hidden for so long.
Cue rating: 91 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 38 / 60
Album excellence: 64 %
We Have Landed
Elliot Is Missing
Hide And Seek
Break Out (LP Imitation)