Eraser

Alan Silvestri

 
" The expanded release erases the original release, if you at least never heard of the original release "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Before I begin this review I have to mention something, namely that soundtrack collecting has become a very expensive hobby nowadays. Today we seem to get music from any label, any movie, series or game, even if it's interesting or not. Today music will be released completely even if the soundtrack is valuable enough on existing material. Because how else would you describe the music of The Fugitive and Eraser getting expanded (no sorry), complete editions? The Fugitive of composer James Newton Howard might be an Oscar nominated score, nobody ever thought it was plausible that this score would receive a 2CD complete release. And I can say the same of Eraser, Alan Silvestri's score for the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger hit that received the same (though 1 CD only) treatment. Yep, soundtrack collecting is nowadays about erasing the ones you don't think are necessary, just to save you from bankruptcy.

Whether or not Eraser Expanded Archival Collection is worthy of such a treatment, I still think it's a peculiar release. First of all, Eraser isn't one of Silvestri's best, and secondly I don't remember much material missing from the release that was truly worthy of re releasing it in the first place (at least completely now). But that doesn't mean Easer will not have an audience, because let's be honest, people will be buying it as we speak. But again, I believe better efforts than this are waiting impatiently for the same complete deluxe edition treatment nowadays.

With that said, Eraser, the Expanded Archival Collection release of La-La Land Records begins with an unused opening track. With "Main Title (Unused)" we are introduced to an ominous appetizer, which has a recognizable sound that would later be reintroduced in the Volcano score (amongst others). In this track, we are also introduced to a motif that will be called the witness protection motif. Though unused or not, the meaning of the archival treatment is not the unused material, but the unreleased material. And then "Need a Lift" (aka the introduction of Arnie in the film) is probably one of the finest of them all. Introducing not only the action theme but also the main Kruger theme, we are treated to a typical Silvestri cue as it grows to its explosive reply.

The already released "She's In" (which introduces us to Lee's theme) lets the main Kruger theme reappear for another round, all the while the exotic percussion forms up a nice touch in "Candid Camera". In another largely unreleased track ("Your Music / Compact / Balloon Attack"), it is the action theme that erases the largely sinister first part of the track. After that, Lee's theme unites with a touching main theme in "Kruger's Story (Expanded)", "Cabin Raid" and "Kruger Gets Drugged" throws in some witness protection motifs, all the while functioning better when it is used in more suspenseful versions alongside the action theme in the entertaining "Kruger Escapes" (aka the hugely over the top plane sequence).

"It's a Jungle" accurately fuels the rhythm with the Predator like percussion as backbone to the suspenseful material, the same for the sound in "You're Luggage (aka Hold your Fire)", using the electric guitar as powerful supplement to the already potent action theme moments. The "Cyrez Break In (Expanded)" aside (holding a lot of witness protection motifs and action theme statements), the end of Eraser dares to go even further.

In "Union Trouble?" there's already a cool main theme moment, in "The Warehouse" action theme statements disrupt the unnerving underscore, and in "The Dock Fight (Expanded)" you'll receive even much more bolder main theme statements. But all these statements aside, you haven't heard the main theme in full until you've heard it in "Final Showdown", definitely the most fun cue of the album.

The end holds the typical moments after that, including a powerful send off with the main theme in "The Eraser (Expanded) (aka Brilliant Piece of Work / Finale)".

Listening back to Eraser after all these years, there are several things that caught my attention. Even though Eraser Expanded Archival Collection is not one deluxe edition I call necessary, it will definitely suffice for the fans. Because looking back at the original album, only 1 (perhaps 2) unreleased tracks warrant an additional excellent remark from my behalf, making this not a score you should definitely have in your collection if you already acquired the earlier release in the past. Yet whilst listening, I discovered that, even though the typical Alan Silvestri style is saturated through the entire listening experience, it's much better than the typical stuff we're getting from him today.

Tracklisting

1. Main Title (Unused) (2.39)
2. Need a Lift * (4.04) Excellent track
3. You've Been Erased * (2.43)
4. She's In (6.14)
5. Candid Camera * (1.32)
6. Your Music * / Compact * / Balloon Attack * (7.21)
7. Kruger's Story (Expanded) (2.13)
8. Cabin Raid (4.43)
9. Kruger Gets Drugged * (3.11)
10. Kruger Escapes (4.09) Excellent track
11. It's a Jungle (3.16)
12. You're Luggage (aka Hold your Fire) * (3.20)
13. "When I Have Proof" (3.21)
14. Cyrez Breaks In (Expanded) (8.24)
15. Union Trouble? (2.47)
16. The Warehouse * (3.26)
17. The Dock Fight (Expanded) (4.47)
18. Final Showdown * (3.18) Excellent track
19. Reunion (1.44)
20. Van Explosion * (1.07)
21. The Eraser (Expanded) (aka Brilliant Piece of Work / Finale) (2.59)

* Previously unreleased or containing unreleased material

Total Length: 77.18
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(total of 29 votes - average 2.93/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1129 (limited release 2010)

Conducted by

Alan Silvestri

Orchestrations by

William Ross, Mark McKenzie & Conrad Pope