Soundtrack Review: First Blood

Soundtrack Review: First Blood

First Blood Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score First Blood by Jerry Goldsmith.

At a glance:

30 tracks
77 minutes of score
Geek Score: 98
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 70.5
Album Excellence: 92%
Buy or stream? Buy

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

After being inspired by A small measure of peace JNH Thursday I wanted to “steal” that idea and do something like that myself. Starting today and hopefully many Sundays to come, welcome to the BIG J’s Sunday! Basically I will review scores from the big J’s Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner and James Newton Howard. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but it was either last year or the year before when Jerry Goldsmith really became one of my most played and favorite composers. Before that, I had an interest in Rambo, Star Trek, The Mummy and the most known works from Jerry. I had no idea how much fantastic music I was missing out on. Discovering Jerry was amazing to me as I was going through a bunch of scores. The man’s action music was exciting, really exciting and he did it with such ease in almost every score.

So I decided to start with Rambo which is a movie and music that most of us know. I am reviewing the expanded Intrada release. The Rambo theme is something I would bet everyone knows and I would argue it’s almost up there with the most famous themes of our time. This score starts with a strange version of it. ‘Theme From First Blood (Pop Orchestra Version)’ is what the name says, a pop version of the famous theme. It’s strange to hear it in such an arrangement but it’s still good. ‘Homecoming’ is the version we all love and know with guitar, horns, flute and strings. It’s a thing of beauty. If you want a more explosive version there’s ‘It’s A Long Road (Instrumental)’. There’s also a secondary theme in First Blood which I love. You’ll hear it for the first time in ‘Under Arrest’ and it’s the catchy bass rhythm that you hear. It’s very identifiable as one of the themes of Rambo. ‘The Razor’ is our first action cue of the score and Goldsmith has opted for a less lyrical cue, a more down-to-basics action material with a creepy beginning. From about a minute it starts and it’s mostly percussion and some sounds, but that’s the thing with Jerry, he makes every tone sound so exciting

First Blood is a great example of Jerry’s 80s action music. There are excellent uses of horns, short bursts of some electronic sounds, exciting percussion and a great theme or two to boot. ‘First Blood’ (cue 22) is an excellent example of how Jerry constructs many of his action scores. I don’t know about you, but I think this is extremely exciting music. This release also includes the 1982 LP album as a bonus which is great for those who wants the original release in remastered form. I gotta say that the 1982 program is a perfect one and one I go back to most when listening to the score. There are two more exciting extras on this release. ‘Carolco Logo’ is familiar to a lot of people and includes the First Blood secondary theme. ‘Rambo (Special Summer 1984 Trailer) is a great one. It was made as a promotion for Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1985 but with images from the original Rambo (I think) and it includes the hallmark synth from Rambo: First Blood Part II.

Rambo is an amazing character that has featured in many movies and given us so much great music. This is the first time we get introduced to the themes and lore that is John Rambo and so it will always be special to me. Some would say First Blood Part II is the better score and I wouldn’t disagree with them, but this is where it all started and so has a nostalgic power over me that is hard to fathom. This is a piece of history and is arguably one of Jerry’s best scores. Grab it if you can find it!

1. Theme From First Blood (Pop Orchestra Version)
2. Home Coming
3. My Town
4. Under Arrest
5. The Razor
6. A Head Start
7. Hanging On
8. Over The Cliff
12. First Blood
13. The Tunnel
14. Escape Route
15. The Truck
16. No Power / Night Attack
17. Hide and Seek
18. It’s A Long Road (Instrumental)

2. Escape Route
3. First Blood
4. The Tunnel
5. Hanging On
6. Home Coming
7. Mountain Hunt
8. My Town
9. The Razor
10. Over The Cliff
11. It’s A Long Road (Instrumental)
13. Carolco Logo
14. Rambo (Special Summer 1984 Trailer)

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: First Blood, 9.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings


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