Damnation Alley

Jerry Goldsmith

" Alley of uneasiness and craftsmanship "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

The Goldsmith shrine unleashed another unreleased soundtrack, this time the apocalyptic film Damnation Alley of 1977. A film you will appreciate more back in those days than if you would see it now. Nonetheless, Goldsmith delivered his usual self to the motion picture, unleashing more shrills and details to it than perhaps another would unleash. And the result is this brassy shrill outburst of ideas you may have heard in previous efforts of those years. It opens with the functional main theme, leading to various cues using the theme to good effect. But Damnation Alley is mostly remembered for the beasts that crawl in that wasteland, most notably the cockroaches in "Don't Bug Me". Basically the most atonal piece of the disc, but also a testament to the craftsmanship of Goldsmith once those drums begin unleashing coolness to the escape for those bugs. Electronic support is kept to a minimum, and works pleasingly well with the apocalyptic feel of the movie. Unreleased cues also bring some excitement to the fore, like "The Voyage Begins" which is more of the main theme, and "Refueling Stop", giving some epic adventure to the tale. You know, Damnation Alley is not the easiest of Goldsmith scores, but it does have a distinctive personal sound. One Goldsmith could bring so easily. His uneasy brassy suspense mixed with the electronics and an occasional uplifting moment does work rather easily on disc. A disc that did take its time to find its place on the soundtrack market, so thanks for that Intrada.

Detail in the uneasiness / excitement always goes hand in hand with Goldsmith's soundtracks.
The attacking nature will not please everyone.

Track Listing

1. Main Titles (2.09)
2. A Different World (2.26)
3. Valley of Death (1.47)
4. The Landmasters (1.51)
5. The Voyage Begins * (1.23)
6. Signals * (2.47)
7. The Desert * (1.25)
8. Don't Bug Me (4.35)
9. A New Passenger (1.26)
10. Refueling Stop * (2.10)
11. The Wrong Order * (2.41)
12. A Storm Brewing (1.26)
13. A New Day (2.18)
14. End Title (1.43)

The Extras
15. The Voyage Begins (Alternate) * (1.20)
16. A New Day (Alternate Take) * (2.20)

* Previously unreleased

Total Length: 33.46
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Released by

Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC396 (regular release 2017)

Conducted by

Lionel Newman

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton