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Police Story
They don't make 'em like they used to... -Isaac Engelhorn (10/26/2001)
Track List:
  1. Theme From Police Story :31
  2. Hot Car 2:27
  3. The Tail 2:10
  4. The Lawyer :26
  5. Stakeout #1 1:10
  6. Wrong Number 1:59
  7. A Love Affair 1:53
  8. A Lack of Trust/The Stoolie :55
  9. The Phone Booth 2:08
  10. Stakeout #2 :44
  11. The Market/Quick Draw 6:03
  12. The Hospital/End Credits 2:17
  13. On the Streets 1:55
  14. Foot Pursuit 2:05
  15. Legwork Montage 1:20
  16. Stakeout Duty :44
  17. Watching and Waiting :35
  18. Tailing 2:00
  19. Build and Act Out :26
  20. Street Action 2:02
  21. Market Hold Up/Draw! 6:05
  22. Love Theme 1:54
  23. Hot Pursuit 2:12
  24. End of Shift/End Credits 1:26
  25. Suite from Medical Story 7:09

Total Time: (53:47)

Composed by:
Jerry Goldsmith,
Richard Shores,
Arthur Morton

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Conducted by:
Jerry Goldsmith,
Richard Shores,
Arthur Morton

It's almost disheartening to know that television scoring used to be so great. What has become nothing more than an excuse for those with hardly any talent to clobber us over the heads with synth boredom *used* to be very special indeed. So special that even the top-notch composers of the day were happy to lend their talents to the small screen. Jerry Goldsmith was becoming more popular than just about any other composer in the early seventies when the police drama Police Story was released. Despite the fact that Goldsmith's flame of popularity was stolen by John Williams a few years later with the likes of Jaws and Star Wars, Goldsmith would always retain much of that popularity simply from his immense talent and the wonderful scores that he continued to craft.

Police Story, while certainly not one of Jerry's best scores is still leaps and bounds ahead of 95% of the scoring you'll hear on television nowadays. Most every fan of film music has something that they like on television. It may be something like Stargate SG-1, Babylon 5, or Star Trek, which seem to be the most popular (and oddly enough, are all sci-fi). What makes Police Story so great is the fact that it takes influences from the pop music of the time that it was composed. While this would ordinarily seem like a bad thing, it strangely adds something to the music listening to it all these years later. Perhaps it gives off the feeling of nostalgia, but I'm not entirely certain that that is it.

The score sports an extremely catchy little tune for the main title, and though it is so short (a meager 30 seconds) it still has an incredible knack for getting stuck in your head. The following cues of Goldsmith's opus utilize it well and one of the later tracks (as stated in the liner notes) reveals a use of the Jaws theme two years before John Williams composed his shark thriller!

Tracks 13 to 24 are not directly composed by Goldsmith himself, rather they are compositions and arrangements of Jerry's work done by Richard Shores. The final track, a suite from the Medical Story pilot episode was composed by the late Arthur Morton, who many may recognize as Goldsmith's friend and most prolific orchestrator.

While what I've written thus far may make it seem as if I love the score to death, I can't really say that that's entirely true. I like it a lot, but the honest truth is that Police Story, while good, isn't necessarily one of the best Goldsmith purchases that you could make. I've mentioned how much better this is than television music of today, which is why I have done my best to speak well of this score. Ordinarily, I would acutally not go through much trouble to find this CD, but since it's a limited edition (totaling at only 3000 copies), I would suggest that you head over to Soundtrack Magazine's website to purchase a copy.


Police Story is Copyright 1973, 1975, 2000 Prometheus Records. CD produced by Ford A. Thaxton. Executive producer: Luc Van de Ven. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.