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Legend - The Jerry Goldsmith Score

Track List:
  1. Main Title/The Goblins 5:45
  2. My True Love's Eyes/The Cottage 5:04
  3. The Unicorns 7:53
  4. Living River/Bumps & Hollow/The Freeze 7:21
  5. The Faeries/The Riddle 4:52
  6. Sing the Wee 1:07
  7. Forgive Me 5:13
  8. Faerie Dance 1:51
  9. The Armor 2:16
  10. Oona/The Jewels 6:40
  11. The Dress Waltz 2:47
  12. Darkness Fails 7:27
  13. The Ring 6:28
  14. Re-United 5:18

Total Time: (70:50)

Composed by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Conducted by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

It's no coincidence that the film Legend bombed when it hit the U.S. I simply cannot believe that a studio executive could try to find a replacement (a cheap, 1980s electronic band score) for *this*, one of the most magical and ethereal scores I've ever heard. In fact, if there is a single word that best summarizes this score it is "ethereal." Legend is pretty much unlike you've heard from Goldsmith before, or basically any other composer at all. I suppose that The Secret of NIMH comes close, but that really only compares to the similar lyrical melodies that Jerry uses for the songs, "My True Love's Eyes" and "Bumps & Hollows", especially the former.

Regardless of the film, this score is a masterpiece. Though it is indeed fantasy-themed, I would not necessarily lump it in the same context as others like Krull or Dragonheart. Instead of emphasizing heroism or bravery, Goldsmith's score is more like one long dream-sequence, punctuated with some of the most interesting synth orchestrations I've ever heard. Though disliked by many, the oddball synths actually add a whole lot to the magic and enchantments of the score, with the exeption of the "goblin" synths, but more on that later.

Perhaps unnoticed by many, the amount of themes in the score is completely staggering at about the number 20! And the scary part is how well they are all mixed and intermingled with one-another. As a whole this is probably one of the most complex film scores written, and it deserves more credit than it has for that fact alone. Though it contains all of these themes the liner notes state specifically that Goldsmith did not use them as leitmotifs per se. Goldsmith prefers to build many themes out of one basic melody at the center of the work.

Now, concerning those liner notes that the booklet has... Wow! These are probably the best liner notes I've ever seen in a normal jewel case-sized booklet, containing not only the sordid history of the film and it's original score, but a rather complex look at the replacement score by Tangerine Dream, and exactly what it was about the replacement score that made it unfit for the movie. And of course, the book contains information about the people involved, actually getting rather nasty in its descritpion of the producer responsible for the film's demise.

As far as the bad goes... well, it's not that they're actually bad, but the Goblin synths previously mentioned can be rather grating at first, and it takes a few listens to get used to them. Once you do get used to them, however, you may feel that they could have been done better somehow, but they do work quite well with the score as a whole. Basically, you should just keep an open mind about the music, and it will all fit into place.

As a whole, Legend is probably one of the best fantasy scores you could buy. I actually like this better than even Krull and the *only* reason it gets a 9.5 instead of a 10! rating is the somewhat intrusive synth. It really is an incredible shame that this score was not used and that many are probably never going to hear it. Even though an official North American release was *supposed* to have been released recently, it has been postponed indefinitely so the only way you're going to be able to hear this score is if you import it. It may cost around 30 dollars or more to do so, but trust me, it's worth the trouble.

Legend is Copyright 1985 Filmtrax PLC Copyright 1992 Silva Screen Records Ltd.. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.