Soundtrack Review: Basic Instinct

Soundtrack Review: Basic Instinct

Basic Instinct Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Basic Instinct by Jerry Goldsmith.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 100
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 71.9
Album Excellence: 100%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Basic Instinct is a 1992 American erotic thriller film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone and Jeanne Tripplehorn. The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal death of a rock star. Investigated by homicide detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), Catherine seduces him into an intense relationship. Meanwhile, the murder case becomes increasingly complicated when more seemingly connected deaths occur and Nick’s psychologist and lover, Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), appears to be another suspect. The score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

Not a lot of people are talking about the now famous film score by Jerry Goldsmith, but more people should. One of the most evocative thriller films in recent times and it had a super sexy and seductive score to match. The main theme is now ingrained in my mind just like the greatest themes of our time and it’s not because of the film which I’ve only seen once or twice, but it is the score, and I’m delighted to hear it again thanks to Quartet Records ultimate 2 CD release of the full film score plus a host of alternate takes. The score opens of course with the seductive and masterful main theme of the film with ‘Main Title / The First Victim’, and it holds up excellent in 2015 as I’m sure it will for the ages. There’s something very alluring, sexy and haunting about it. It is so easy to remember and to hum. I sometimes whistle it as well. It has the smell of Herrmann as well, back when he was Hitchcock’s number one guy. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is the best erotic thriller theme of all time, at least for me.

It does play on that main theme a lot, but there are so many great variants of it and also so many layers to peel off. Try to listen to it a few times and you’ll discover new things every time. The wonderful little touches like the reverberating stick/metal percussion that arrives from time to time and the shear complexity of the music, the textures. It’s a joy to hear over and over again. Just listen to that playful tone of ‘Crossed Legs’ which of course is from that scene everyone remembers. It’s so seductive, so excellent. The little flanging percussion in the underscore must be the sweat running down on all those guys faces as they witness Sharon Stone’s total power over them. Of course it can’t be a 90s Goldsmith score without some exciting action and ‘Night Life’ brings that familiar and brilliant action sound from Goldsmith’s productive 80s/90s period. I love it!

The whole score is pure poetry to me and I can listen to it for hours. It’s weird actually, how much better this is than most 90s thriller scores which mostly are boring affairs. Goldsmith could produce gold from the dullest of stones, he could produce wine from water and that’s exactly what he has done. If you’ve missed out on the 2004 Prometheus edition you’re in luck as this is an even better presentation. A must have for everyone!

1. Main Title / The First Victim *
2. Catherine And Roxy
3. Shadows / Profile
4. I Don’t Smoke
5. Crossed Legs
6. Beth And Nick
7. Night Life *
8. Home Visit
9. Your Wife Knew
10. What’s Between You?
11. One Shot
12. Kitchen Help
13. Pillow Talk
14. Morning After *
15. Roxy Loses *
16. Catherine’s Sorrow
17. Wrong Name
18. She’s Really Sick
19. It Won’t Sell
20. The Games Are Over
21. Evidence
22. An Unending Story / End Titles *

23. Main Title (Theme From Basic Instinct) (Album Version)
24. Crossed Legs (Album Version)
25. Night Life (Album Version)
26. Kitchen Help (Album Version)
27. Pillow Talk (Album Version)
28. Morning After (Album Version)
29. The Games Are Over (Album Version)
30. Catherine’s Sorrow (Album Version)
31. Roxy Loses (Album Version)
32. An Unending Story (Album Version)
33. The First Victim (Alternate)
34. First Victim (Alternate #2)
35. Beth And Nick (Alternate)
36. Pillow Talk (Alternate)
37. An Unending Story / End Credits (Alternate)
38. That’s Real Music

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Basic Instinct, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings


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