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The Never Ending Story
Corny, but I love it anyway. -Isaac Engelhorn (1/16/2002)
Track List:
  1. Never Ending Story
  2. Swamps of Sadness
  3. Ivory Tower
  4. Ruined Landscape
  5. Sleepy Dragon
  6. Bastian's Happy Flight
  7. Fantasia
  8. Atreju's Quest
  9. Theme of Sadness
  10. Atreju Meets Falkor
  11. Mirrorgate - Southern Oracle
  12. Gmork
  13. Moonchild
  14. The Auryn
  15. Happy Flight

Total Time: (34:00)

Composed by:
Klaus Doldinger,
Giorgio Moroder

Conducted by:
Klaus Doldinger

Song performed by:
Limahl

The Never Ending Story is a film about the imagination. It is also one of my favorite movies of all time, yet it didn't become so until recently, when I watched it again for the first time since I was too young to really understand it. Maybe it was my sudden comprehension of something that I had basically enjoyed as a small child that caused my sudden love for the flick, though maybe I would have loved it just as much had I never seen it back in the 1980s. Anyway, the score by Klaus Doldinger and Giorgio Moroder is certainly what I would consider a time piece. I really doubt that if anyone nowadays were to listen to it for the first time that they would like it very much, but for some reason, I like it almost as much as a like the movie itself.

Well, almost. I do have one huge, insurmountable obstacle towards my complete enjoyment of this music, and its name is Giorgio Moroder. I *hate* his tracks. Even the "Ivory Tower" track that sounded great in the film was butchered on the album and filled with all sorts of outdated eighties synth beats. It's true that the synth pervades most of the score, even Doldinger's tracks, but at least his have an orchestra there to begin with. Moroder's music is pure synth, and the only track that he wrote that I appreciate is the theme song, named after the film itself. Now that I mention the song, I'm sure that many people my age can remember it, but a lot are probably ashamed to admit that they like it. I guess that I am a little bit, but after all, it is a catchy tune.

Back to the score, this contains a couple of my personal favorite themes of all time. The first of which is the "flight" theme that accompanies the two main characters as they fly around on the back of Falkor, the luck dragon. The music sounds as corny as the description I just gave it, but it really is truly fun to listen to. Fans of Yasunori Mitsuda's Xenogears soundtrack ought to love the theme just because of how much it sounds like the "flight" theme from that score. The other theme that I love so much is the "auryn" theme, which is almost unmistakeably tied to Nobuo Uematsu's main theme from the Final Fantasy series. I'm almost positive that Uematsu-san modeled his theme after this one, because they sound an *awful* lot alike. Although not a major theme, the "Fantasia" motif is one of the most recognizable musical licks I know.

Even though I may say how much I like this score, I can admit that it is not for most tastes. When you consider the fact that it is so influenced by its era, the 1980s in this case, many people may want to avoid it for it's "new wavy" pop culture influence. What's more, the CD itself is a terrible release. It's just a direct transfer from the original LP with no sound work done at all. I would love to have a new disc release of this soundtrack with more of the music from the score, with the film versions and not the pop versions of Moroder's tracks, and better sound quality. Though I suppose that if that's ever going to happen, it will be a release by a small label like Indtrada or Prometheus. Though it's not likely to happen anytime soon, here's to hopin'.

I was actually only tempted to buy this CD recently when it was brought up on the message boards at SoundtrackCentral.com, where a couple people went nuts over the thought of this music. I gave it another chance after several years, and was glad that I did. Even though I really like this, I'm going to have to warn you not to buy it if you can't stand the thought of 80s pop influence. If you don't mind though, I think that you'll be treated to an easily enjoyable score, with themes that'll stick with you. So in effect, I guess you could say that it really is never-ending.


The Never Ending Story is Copyright 1984 EMI Records Ltd. Produced by Klaus Doldinger and Giorgio Moroder. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.