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Soundtrack Review

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Lonesome Dove
(30th Anniversary Edition)
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Basil Poledouris
Label: Varèse Sarabande
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 March 2019

Varèse Sarabande celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Lonesome Dove miniseries by reissuing Basil Poledouris's original score. Out of print for more than 10 years and never available digitally, the CD and digital album features a new exclusive track composed and performed by Zoë Poledouris and her husband Angel Roché, which uses her father’s timeless themes from the original score in tribute. Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall led an all-star cast, including Danny Glover, Diane Lane and Anjelica Huston, in the story of two former Texas Rangers who join a cattle drive to the Montana Territory...

Lonesome Dove was Basil Poledouris's first Western soundtrack, and some might argue that he leans a little too heavily on some of the cliches that had come before. However, while slightly guilty of this (mainly in the overuse of violin) on a handful of tracks, the majority of the music here could have easily worked in any drama series. There's music for every mood and one of the highlights of this album's 15 tracks (59 min, 02) sec is that it is so diverse.

Yes, we have the cliched Western feel of tracks like 'Arkansas Pilgrim (Clara, July, Lorena)' and the closing segment of 'Farewell Ladies - Finale' but there are also elements which may have inspired composers in some small way. James Horner's score for Cocoon has elements that sound like the music halfway through 'Farewell Ladies - Finale', while the ending to 'Statue - Deets Dies' could almost have been repurposed as music for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There's also a flavour of John William's later score for Saving Private Ryan in 'The Leaving' (mainly thanks to the use of the trumpet to signify patriotism.

There's a bonus track on this new release, as Poledouris's daughter, Zoe co-wrote and performs the album's closing song 'Let's Remember' which uses the show's main theme as a jumping off point. She has a strong voice and the song is a loving tribute to her father's incredible music.

Poledouris really sinks his heart into this rich score. It's a lovingly crafted gem that if you don't already own you should rush out and buy.


Darren Rea

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