Jerry Goldsmith

" Morricone would have added choir, Goldsmith relied on his numerous instruments "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

Jerry Goldsmith was still planning his career when he wrote Bandolero!, another one of those typical Western moves of the '60. Even though Ennio Morricone was equally writing music for Westerns as Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and others, also Goldsmith was doing his part for the Western genre. And you have to say, a part of the dark nature of Rio Conchos and Hour of the Gun has surpassed onto Bandolero! But what is also noticeable is his continuation of themes. Here he introduces 3 at least themes or motifs (sadly never fully fleshed out), but at least they are again catchy entries in the already award winning Goldsmith book of movie themes.

This special edition came just months after Goldsmith's death. Incidentally Intrada released a first CD release of Bandolero! (a movie starring Jimmy Stewart, Dean Martin, George Kennedy and Raquel Welch) around 1993, but went soon out of print. Now after so many years and sadly during the untimely death of the legendary composer, Intrada reissued a full version of it, which contains the original album (which ran for about 28 minutes), 2 demo versions and the full release (which amounts up to 44 minutes).

Naturally, it's only logical to listen to the full version alone because it are the same yet extended (and at times unreleased) tracks of the same score. So in that case, you can quickly listen to Bandolero! for a couple of times. Why? Because it is Goldsmith toying with instruments and themes. Luckily for us, the liner notes pinpoint out many ideas for you to discover. And so it starts with "The Saloon" using the main theme in a typical bar western piano tone with harmonica and banjo.

To hear the quality of the theme, you must only listen to the "Main Title" to understand its winning charm. Sprightly with comical tones like out of The 'Burbs, one part stating itself by bells, flute, accordion or guitar, it is the more orchestral version that flourishes during the second part of this track.

"Procession to the Gallows" is a darker piece (based around the Rio Conchos darker mood) while "A Bad Day for Hanging / The Kidnap" uses the main theme in its varying instrumental work out. The Mexican crossover in "Across the River" is only followed by the longest track, "Bad News / He'll Cross It / The Bait", stating soft versions of the theme, the Sheriff motif over marimbas and softly Maria's theme on guitar.

The score remains subdued, even in the quiet parts, but Goldsmith does throw in subtle variations. What about the bad guy's motif which crops up from time to time, like for instance in "El Jefe" or in "Ambushed" (performed alongside the Sheriff's theme). "Sabinas" states nicely the main theme on horns (besides the bandits and Maria's motif) while the jumpy comic Burbs in "A Bag of Money", the subdued and dark "Dee's Proposal" (Maria's theme appears almost with an Italian romantic flavor on guitar) and the morning darkness with optimistic main theme in "A Better Way" ends the complete album in the outcome.

While not containing those memorable themes as Rio Conchos or Hour of the Gun, it's the quality of Goldsmith's toying with ideas and instruments in a soft subdued setting that makes Bandolero! so fun for a while. And naturally because this was a master who at least continued to use themes, with the fun main theme in the center of it all. It makes it not that memorable, but it is a worthy special addition for the loyal Goldsmith fan, naturally already sold out in the outcome. Bandolero that!


Complete Album
1. The Saloon * (1.33)
2. Main Title (2.01)
3. The Imposter * (0.47)
4. Procession to the Gallows * (2.58)
5. A Bad Day For Hanging + / The Kidnap * (4.10)
6. Across the River (1.04)
7. Bad News * / He'll Cross It * / The Bait + (8.58)
8. The Trap (2.28)
9. El Jefe (0.54)
10. Ambushed (4.06)
11. The Violator * (1.19)
12. Sabinas + (3.07)
13. A Bag of Money * (1.20)
14. Dee's Proposal (5.35)
15. A Better Way + (3.47)

Bonus Tracks
16. Maria's Theme (Demo) * (1.58)
17. Bandolero! (Demo) * (1.36)

Original Album
18. Main Title (1.59)
19. The Trap (2.25)
20. El Jefe (0.52)
21. The Bait (2.13)
22. Ambushed (3.07)
23. Sabinas (2.52)
24. Dee's Proposal (5.30)
25. Across the River (1.02)
26. A Bad Day For Hanging (3.02)
27. A Better Way (3.35)

* Previously Unreleased
+ Expanded Track

Total Length: 75.50
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 16 votes - average 3.41/5)

Released by

Intrada Special Collection Volume 16 (limited release 2004)

Conducted by

Lionel Newman

Orchestrations by

Herbert Spencer