The Edge

Jerry Goldsmith

 
" The theme edges the score "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

When you look back at the career of Jerry Goldsmith, there have been numerous scores that were blessed with a main theme. Yet in fact, he has tackled all his scores in the same approach, and that was by writing a theme (or a bunch of themes), so that the rest could be centered around that. The examples are endless, but in some the main theme is so grand that it actually makes the entire CD worthwhile.

The Edge is blessed with a main theme that will be remembered more than the actual CD itself. And that is understandable if you encounter one of Jerry's richest themes of his career. Representing the vast beauty of the outdoors itself, it literally explodes with grandeur in "Lost in the Wild".

When the main theme has passed, the main characters and their plane have already crashed. And so "The Ravine" comes across as very dangerously. The sound for the bear is threatening and the action / suspense music is from the book of Goldsmith himself, revoking back the memories of Congo, The 13th Warrior (and so many others). The sad thing is, this track isn't one of Jerry's best compared to other works. The good thing is, it is considered by today's standards one amazing piece of work by itself.

The mystery in "The Birds" that signs off with the main theme, that main theme in "Mighty Hunter", the underscore in "Bitter Coffee", the dying use of the Bear motif in "Stalking" (literally behind average underscore) and the percussive and tense second part of "Deadfall" all deliver us the meaty bulk of the score. Luckily, this score sure knows how to end the adventure when we experience once again what a great main theme can do, both in "The River" and especially in the final track "The Rescue". I'm sure I'm not the only one who will say it is the best possible version of that theme in the entire score.

But all things considered, The Edge isn't one of Jerry Goldsmith's best. The man has written so much epic stuff in his career, we can't think highly of them all. But once again this is an example where one grand theme, and various subthemes make for a good listening experience nonetheless. This means that alongside Jerry's tense score, you still get a soundtrack that takes down most of the competition nowadays. It is then also the theme that will annihilate most of the competition in the end.

Tracklisting

1. Lost in the Wild (2.59) Excellent track
2. The Ravine (4.35) Excellent track
3. Birds (2.21)
4. Mighty Hunter (1.30)
5. Bitter Coffee (3.00)
6. Stalking (5.43)
7. Deadfall (6.12)
8. The River (2.18)
9. Rescued (6.01) Excellent track
10. The Edge * (2.53)

* Performed by Mike Lang (Piano), Chuck Domanico (Bass) & Steve Schaeffer (Drums)

Total Length: 38.05
 
" The main attraction is the main theme and you’ll not be disappointed in the number of times you get to hear it. "

Written by Thomas Kiefner - Review of the limited release

Directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, the story centered around a huge Kodiak bear who felt his space was being invaded by humans, added with subplots around murder and a love triangle. The scenery, acting from Hopkins and Baldwin, and the Goldsmith score all contributed to this being a must see picture if you happened to miss it. The build up tension was at an all time high as survival over the 1500 pound bear becomes paramount.

1997 was a busy year for Jerry as he also did fine scores for L.A. Confidential (Oscar nominee), Air Force One and Fierce Creatures. While some will argue that The Edge was his finest in '97 and was worthy of the Oscar nomination, this reviewer very early on fell in love with the theme of Confidential, considering it one of his finest efforts albeit it very close to the Bernstein main theme from All On The Waterfront.

Having said that I really like this score and fell for the infectious theme from the first moment I heard it. From being played on the oboe in a minor key very sadly to being featured on the heroic and majestic French horns it is proud and filled with beauty and nicely complemented by the strings. It is featured on many tracks of this expanded score, which includes 30+ additional minutes of material in this new limited 3500 release from La-La Land.

One of the bonus tracks, an alternate jazz rendition of the Edge theme performed by a jazz trio. All three did a fine piano bar version with crisp cymbals, positive bass line, and a nice improvisational solo from the piano featuring upper register and a nice harmonic left hand. Back in the days it could have been a Bill Evans piece as it had a similar sound although far less complex than Bill.

“The Birds” is a good underscore cue with ominous horns, a shrieking sound imitating the birds and some minor moments in the use of the Edge theme creating a very listenable cue. “Stalking” is another good underscore featuring dissonant sliding trombone cues with appropriate sounding violin harmonics creating an eerie sounding cue. The main attraction is the main theme and you’ll not be disappointed in the number of times you get to hear it.

If you own the original RCA release purchasing the La-La Land will give you an additional 30 minutes of material including my favorite jazz cue of the Edge. Liner notes by Jeff Bond are a bonus as he gives you a mini book of information about the film and cues. One could always sell the RCA on e-bay and upgrade to this new release. Goldsmith fans have already purchased this CD and if not are making plans to do so. While not my favorite it is certainly one of his better efforts. Recommended.

Track listing

1. Early Arrival* (01:32)
2. Lost In the Wild(s) (02:59)
3. A Lucky Man / Open Door* (01:41)
4. Mighty Hunter (01:31)
5. The Spirit* (00:36)
6. Birds (02:22)
7. The Fire / Breakfast* (02:31)
8. Rich Man* (00:58)
9. The Ravine (04:36)
10. Bitter Coffee (03:01)
11. Wound* (01:38)
12. Stephen’s Death* (02:26)
13. The Cage / False Hope / No Matches* (03:34)
14. Stalking (05:46)
15. Deadfall / Bear Fight (06:21)
16. The Discovery / Trust Your Back* (05:01)
17. The River (02:26)
18. Rescued (06:03)
19. End Title (Lost In the Wild) (s)* (01:59)
20. The Edge (02:55)

Bonus tracks:
21. False Hope (Alternate Take)* (01:08)
22. Rescued (Film Version Ending)* (01:19)
23. The Edge (Alternate Take)* (03:00)

*Previously unreleased

Total Duration: 01:05:23
(click to rate this score)  
 
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(total of 35 votes - average 4.3/5)

Released by

BMG Classics/RCA Victor 09026-68950-2 (regular release 1997)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Jerry Goldsmith & Alexander Courage