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  • Writer's pictureStefan

Happy 88th Birthday, Jerry!

This week, because of Jerry Goldsmith’s 88th birthday at February, 10th , just some very personal notes.

Without doubt, Jerry Goldsmith is the most gifted film music composer ever! Hans Zimmer might be more popular, John Williams composed for more popular movies, John Barry is famous because of “James Bond”, and James Horner very well-known for the James Cameron collaboration, but Jerry was the most-gifted and had the most variable composing style. What Jerry truly missed in his career, was a big hit score, but perhaps this was also because of this complex composing style. Jerry’s music is not so easy listening such as Zimmer’s scores.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I discovered Jerry Goldsmith’s music in 1989. I cannot remember which the first Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack was, but I am pretty sure, “Explorers” was one of the first. I watched this crappy movie because it was another movie of “Gremlins”-director Joe Dante, but when I watched “Explorers” because of “Gremlins”, then I knew that Jerry composed the music for Gremlins, see, it becomes tricky... But, for sure, I know that “Explorers” was the first Jerry CD I bought.

The first LP of a Jerry score was “The Secret of NimH”, still one of my favourite scores. I also remember when I was a teenager and listened to the track “The Tractor”, my mom was a little astonished about the dramatic music I suddenly preferred except to the more melodic soundtracks I listened before.

Since 1989, I became a huge fan of Jerry’s music, and for the whole year, I just listened to music of this composer, a whole year no other soundtracks! And the best thing was, I did not feel bored! I felt like a fish in the water with so many great scores and really enjoyed this truly gifted composer!

In the following years, I watched a lot of movies just because of Jerry’s music, and it was a lot of crap among them, and I also throw one of his scores on the floor because it was so boring and the most unstimulating music I ever heard. This was the score for “Criminal Law”.

Each year, I watched the Academy Award ceremony. Jerry was 18. (!) times nominated, one time I saw him in the audience, I think it was in the year of “Basic Instinct”, but even in this year he did not won. His only Oscar was for the “The Omen” (1976), long ago.

Each year I became a bigger fan of Jerry. I felt like I was supporting an underdog. Jerry was the far better composer, but he never won, in 1987 his score for “Hoosiers” was nominated and he lost against “Round Midnight”, does anybody remember the score? 1980, Jerry’s score for “Star Trek” was nominated, and George Delerue won for “A Little Romance”. I love Delerue, but really, for this score an Oscar? 1993, Jerry was nominated for “Basic Instinct”, and who won? Alan Menken for “Aladdin”, he won the year before with “The Beauty And The Best”, now a second score for a nearly similar soundtrack? Oh, come on!!, and Jerry also made jokes about that “L.A. Confidential” lost against a sinking ship, Horner got the Oscar for “Titanic”.

When I discovered that Jerry was giving annual concerts in London, I immediately bought the ticket, and when I was finally sitting in the Barbican in London and saw Jerry coming to the stage and listened to his music and his comments, I have to say this was the happiest moment of my life!! Since then, I attended every concert, and also the last concert (for his 75th Birthday) that was announced, but Jerry was too ill to come. Then Jerry died on July 21st, 2004, and since then film music is never the same. I watched “Lonely Tunes” because this was Jerry’s last score, and when I saw “Star Trek: Nemesis” and the name Jerry Goldsmith appeared on the screen, I got tears in my eyes...

I want now present here six favourite tracks of Jerry’s music, each of them has a special place in my heart, and I will give no explanations, some of them I already discussed on my blog, others will follow:

“The construction” – “Explorers”

“End Titles” – “The Secret of NimH”:

“Square One - End Credits” – “The Burbs”

“Overture” – “The Great Train Robbery”

“Bajo Fuego” – “Under Fire”

“The Omen – Suite”

Jerry, you are so missed!!!

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