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Tron
A step back into the 80s -Isaac Engelhorn (2/26/2002)
Track List:
  1. Creation of TRON
  2. Only Solutions (Journey)
  3. We've Got Company
  4. Wormhole
  5. Ring Game and Escape
  6. Water, Music, and TRONaction
  7. TRON Scherzo
  8. Miracle and Magician
  9. Theme from TRON
  10. 1990's Theme (Journey)
  11. Love Theme
  12. Tower Music - Let Us Pray
  13. The Light Sailer
  14. Sea of Simulation
  15. A New TRON and the MCP
  16. Anthem
  17. Ending Titles
  18. TRONaction (Original Version)
  19. Break In
  20. Anthem for Keyboard Solo

Total Time: (58:59)

Composed by:
Wendy Carlos

Orchestrated by:
Jorge Calandrelli

Conducted by:
Douglas Gamley

Performed by:
The London Philharmonic Orchestra

Tron is one of those distinguished movies of the 1980s that everyone my age remembers seeing as a child, and now that it has been released on DVD, it is only fitting that Disney give the first CD release of a soundtrack to compliment the film. Wendy Carlos is a composer that has worked magic with synths on a few occasions and Tron may just be her most successful job of melding them to orchestra. Since this was obviously done with the synths available in the early 80s, the music tends to sound a bit cheesy, but if you can stomach that fact, you may just find that it adds to the score's charm.

It may seem that I am being something of a hypocrite here since I've always been one to bash similar scores to this one such as Blade Runner, but I think the key difference here is that this music isn't really out to be taken completely seriously, and the fact that there is a real orchestra here helps a lot, even though most attention is showered on the electronics. This is a fun score for a fun movie that was made to graphically wow the audiences back in the day. While most people nowadays who have never seen the film won't be impressed by the visuals, the film is still successfully entertaining, and the score is responsible for much of it.

One of the reasons this may be such a well-recognized score is the fact that even most people who are not regular listeners of film music can recognize the awesome love theme. While it is generally presented in various odd ways, it comes off in the end as one of the most hummable and neat melodies from its decade. There is another major theme used basically for the danger of the electronic world which does not come off nearly as well, but other musical ideas throughout the soundtrack will undoubtedly stick with you, especially if you've seen the movie.

I'm not so sure Disney should have left the songs by Journey on the album. While the score may be an enjoyable flashback into the 80s era, the songs may not fair so well alongside it, though it is completely amusing to hear their "1990s Theme" if you have any knowledge of "pop" culture.

While mostly enjoyable and cool, the electronics do tend to get a bit grating by the time the album is over, though the end titles are always a good listen. To be fair, I would have liked a little less synth. I'm not too upset, the score in the end is only enjoyable. I doubt that anyone would really be impressed by it as any sort of "serious" (sorry, that's the best term I could think of) music. It's fun, sure, but it's not captivating, and it certainly isn't dramatic. This in itself may turn some people off, so you will just have to keep in mind that this is a score to be enjoyed almost like a cartoon short.

It's difficult to explain this score and how it works, but you'll just have to get it and maybe watch the movie for yourself to understand. I'm not giving this the highest rating in the world, but I'm still going to recommend it to most people, and hardcore collectors had better get it right away.


Tron is Copyright 1982/2001 Disney Records. CD produced by Wendy Carlos. Executive producer: Ron Miller. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.