Alan Silvestri

" Fandango is decent stuff "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Intrada Records releases Fandango, a score for a motion picture about 5 students who go on one last trip before they face gradation, work, marriage, basically the departure of freedom. Directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson, Sam Robards and Suzy Amis, the movie was not a tremendous success. Basically it was a short movie that transformed to a motion picture after Steven Spielberg funded the project upon viewing it. Reynolds feature film debut was luckily a bullseye shot musically, for he casted a still unknown Alan Silvestri (fresh of the success of Romancing the Stone and prior before working on Back to the Future) for the gig.

Now after many years, Fandango finally makes its big debut musically, for it existed for a long time on bootleg alone. And Fandango does feel like the strange little duck on the pond, if you just compare it with the music of today. However, back then it was the most normal thing on earth, and the way it opens with "Road Trip" is like you never left the 80's musically. A strong steady beat and a strange sounding saxophone create an environment that feels off yet slightly liberating, putting our hearts and souls right back with Romancing the Stone, as it captures that same style and tone. A brief fanfare in "Desert Trek" unleashes "The Train", capturing Silvestri's known rhythmic action sound full of the whirling strings and brassy action theatrics, followed by dreamy Abyss like music in "Desert Dream". Fandango surely unleashes all those known sounds that Silvestri would explore and amplify in many wider known blockbusters after that.

Speaking of future blockbusters, "Plane Take-Off" features a couple of great Back to the Future moments put in a fire blazing ode to Who Framed Roger Rabbit's opening shenanigans. And the fanfares keep on coming in "Plane Ride", often showing Silvestri's amazing bombastic style yet slightly inexperienced attention in melodic development. Making Fandango pretty entertaining yes, but slightly inexperienced as we hear great ideas in a less refined development. "Desert Walk" and "Fandango (Piano Solo)" have a couple of lovely emotional moments and the 80's are nothing without a moment for cool electric guitar ("Wedding"). Overall, Fandango feels right for the era and sometimes exceptionally electrifying for the experience. At one point, I can enjoy Fandango for its diversity and its cool energetic pace, at another I feel it's lacking some kind of refinement that keeps it from gaining any momentum. For 30 minutes this is sufficient, but it's evident Fandango lacks that finishing touch and that killer main theme, making this ideal and entertaining stuff for the die hard Alan Silvestri fan amongst us. Though I place the recently released Overboard higher on the list, because it HAS that main theme.

Favorite Moment - The Train (0.49 - 2.52)
Energetic Alan Silvestri at his early finest

Track Listing

1. Road Trip (1.41)
2. Desert Trek (1.01)
3. The Train (2.52)
4. Grave Stone (1.31)
5. Desert Dream (1.51)
6. Fatal Fall (0.27)
7. Plane Take-Off (6.12)
8. Plane Ride (2.23)
9. Desert Walk (5.00)
10. Fandango (Piano Solo) (1.56)
11. Wedding (3.51)
12. Dance (2.22)
13. Goodbye Friend (2.17)

Bonus Tracks
14. Spanish Guitar (Duet) (2.01)
15. Wild Percussion (0.26)
16. Desert Walk (Alternate) (5.01)

Total Length: 40.55
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 7 votes - average 4.29/5)

Released by

Intrada Special Collection Volume 249 (regular release 2013)

Conducted by

Alan Silvestri