2-CD premiere of complete Jerry Goldsmith classic action soundtrack for second Rambo film!
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Doug's Tech Talk
2-CD premiere of complete Jerry Goldsmith classic action soundtrack for second Rambo film! Lengthy search for complete elements begun in 1988 when Intrada acquired rights to initial First Blood score (and Rambo III soon after) finally comes to an end with this newly restored release of everything Goldsmith recorded for the blockbuster film! Hear for the first time on CD, from newly-located three channel stereo session mixes, the brief but important “Pre Lift Off” music for the dramatic scene of Rambo revving up his helicopter rotors after having just downed his Russian opponent. Enjoy also the CD premiere of the short fortissimo burst of percussion heard at the conclusion of “Stories” as the scene cuts to the military command center. Two additional unused percussion outtakes also appear as extras on CD 2. The entire score appears on CD 1, in the best audio to date, presented mostly from PCM 1610 format digital mixes as well as the three-channel elements, including for the first time Goldsmith’s written assembly for “Village Attack/Helicopter Fight”, always intended as one piece as it appears in the film. CD 1 also includes the “Carolco Logo” which was written for the film and later became their signature. Fun extra on CD 2: Their logo with the session slate attached, drawn from the three-channel masters, indicating it was ironically recorded in two takes just prior to recording the long-missing “Pre Lift Off” cue. Still more extras from the three-channel elements include an early unused take of “Ambush” plus an early mix of “Revenge”. Newly-located as well were the 2” 24-track masters for the 1984 trailer sessions held nearly a year before the film opened, engineered by Bruce Botnick. These allowed us to offer both a brand new mix in superior audio of the trailer first appearing on our 2-CD First Blood release plus an alternate unused trailer, scored for large orchestra without electronics. One other three-channel extra appears simply because of its unique attractiveness: the “trumpet stripe only” take of “Stories” with the three players isolated on their own channel, made during the 1985 mixing session in London and affording the listener a chance to hear a three-part harmonized version of the Rambo theme in a pure, most haunting fashion. It was our goal to offer virtually everything we located after the nearly three decades of searching, so CD 2 also includes most of the score from the never-before used 35mm three-channel stereo masters, which offer a slightly different audio experience. Finally, an extraordinary extra can be found on CD 2 (along with yet 2 more unused alternates): For the film, Goldsmith actually wrote an orchestral “End Credits”, melding the Rambo 2 theme with a rousing all-new idea composed solely for these credits. The cue climaxes in an incredible, major-key moment of splendor unlike anything else in the entire Rambo trilogy. Interestingly, according to numerous individuals associated with those original sessions, this stirring finale was immediately discarded (a song wraps the closing credits instead) and dubbed onto a low-fidelity cassette at the time for the producers. Apparently no other masters were ever vaulted. Happily that solitary cassette survived the ages and made it from Carolco’s vaults in 1985 to this present 2-CD premiere. In any audio quality, this end title is a stunning treat to hear! Sylvester Stallone created one of cinema’s most iconic action characters of all time in this dynamite George Cosmatos Vietnam POW rescue film. Richard Crenna, Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff and Martin Kove sign on as well. Rambo: First Blood Part II comes home at last! Jerry Goldsmith conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra. 2-CD set available in the Intrada INT series!
CD 2 Original Soundtrack – 35mm Three-Channel Mixes 01. Carolco Logo (With Slate) (0:34) 02. Main Title (2:16) 03. Preparation (1:18) 04. The Jump (3:21) 05. The Snake (1:54) 06. The Pirates (1:30) 07. Stories/Percussion (Overlay) (3:28) 08. The Camp (1:24) 09. Forced Entry (1:03) 10. The Cage (3:59) 11. River Crash (2:23) 12. The Gunboat (1:17) 13. Betrayed (4:26) 14. Bring Him Up (1:17) 15. The Eyes (1:00) 16. Escape From Torture (3:43) 17. Ambush (2:40) 18. Revenge (6:18) 19. Bowed Down (1:06) 20. Pilot Over (1:57) 21. Village Attack/Helicopter Fight (4:56) 22. Pre Lift Off (0:25) 23. Day By Day (2:08) Total Time: 54:57
Carolco Demo Cassette 31. The Map (Alternate) (0:59) 32. Helicopter Fight (Alternate) (4:17) 33. End Credits (Original) (3:11) Total Extras Time: 23:38 CD 2 Total Time: 78:42
Tech Talk From The Producer…
Goldsmith ingeniously ties the first film score to the sequel not so much with the original theme but with a new one, actually more of a motif, that begins with the same five notes as “Home Coming” but then repeats the phrase upward, transforming it into a new idea. This new melody effectively glues the numerous action sequences into a single, coherent whole.
But with Goldsmith at the top of his game, creating a new idea out of an earlier one is just one part of the whole. To anchor everything with a fresh approach, Goldsmith created an all-new Rambo theme, heard at the outset of the “Main Title” and played throughout the score in all manner of color and guise. As with the other primary melodies, Goldsmith roots this new Rambo theme in a minor key. In fact, while major chords do, of course, figure throughout the music, Goldsmith never uses a major key as the basis for any of the themes, including the above-mentioned three as well as the low-brass-dominated theme created expressly for the Russian colonel in the second film.
The most audible musical device in all three Rambo scores is a rapid, staccato fivenote motif, sometimes lengthened to seven notes and typically played on keyboards. It works as both a signature for the Rambo character and as a rhythmic foundation and pulse for much of the action music.
For a score oft-discussed among fans—and equally oft-released by record labels—the score for Rambo: First Blood Part II not only holds up incredibly well, year after year, but also showcases the singularly intelligent, often complex architecture that Jerry Goldsmith incorporated into the music. Intrada proudly presents this entire score in fresh garb to both new audiences and those long since familiar with the score. It is truly one of the great action film scores of all time