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Soundtrack Review

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Air Force One (1997)
(2019 Deluxe Edition)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Label: Varèse Sarabande
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Release Date: 27 September 2019

Varèse Sarabande has listened to its CD Club fans and delivered what it claims is the most requested reissue, Jerry Goldsmith's 1997 score for Air Force One. This Deluxe Edition contains 46 tracks (2 hr, 25 sec) across 2 CDs. The soundtrack was recorded in a span of only three weeks, (with additional music from Joel McNeely). In this action drama, Harrison Ford plays James Marshall, a onetime combat hero in the Vietnam War who is now President of the United States. Communist Radicals hijack Air Force One with Marshall and his family on board. The President must use his strength and intelligence to keep the terrorists at bay and devise a plan to allow his family to escape to safety...

Air Force One is one of the few Jerry Goldsmith albums I never managed to add to my soundtrack library, so I was looking forward to listening to Varèse Sarabande's Deluxe Edition.

On the first play through my overall impression was that not only was it an instantly forgettable, rather bland score, but that it also seemed to "borrow", rather too heavily, stylistically from Goldsmith's work on the first Rambo movie, First Blood (1982).

There are highlights, like the mellow, reflective 'No Security' and the solid suspenseful 'The Hijacking Parts I & II', but I think where this release falls down is that the original soundtrack really did include all the highlights. This picking of the bones of the movie score, whilst incorporating alternate themes that were abandoned or reworked does the original no good.

Those that know the original score inside and out will no doubt cherish the opportunity to hear the alternate themes as well as some of the music that was cut from the original release of the soundtrack. Personally I didn't think it was one of Goldsmith's finest scores... not even close.

Personally, unless you're a huge fan of the composer or the original score, I probably wouldn't bother picking up this rather padded release.


Darren Rea

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