Rio Conchos Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Rio Conchos by Jerry Goldsmith.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 87.7
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 9.4
Album Excellence: 21.4%
Rio Conchos is a 1964 American western film directed by Gordon Douglas and starring Richard Boone, Stuart Whitman & Anthony Franciosa. It is based on the novel of the same name by Clair Huffaker. When a shipment of repeating rifles is stolen from the U.S. Cavalry, Capt. Haven (Stuart Whitman) and Sgt. Franklyn are sent to recover them and enlist the aid of an alcoholic former confederate and Indian hater, James Lassiter (Richard Boone) and a Mexican murderer, Rodriguez (Tony Franciosa). Lassiter, who owns one of the rifles, says it came from his embittered former commander Col. Pardee, while an Apache woman informant reveals that Pardee intends to sell the stolen arms to her people. The score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
Rio Conchos is Goldsmith’s first officially released true western score. It has been released many times in fact. First by Intrada in 1989, then expanded by FSM in 1999, then slightly expanded from it’s original release and heavily remastered comes the version I will review which was released by Intrada Records in 2013. Kritzerland released an expanded version in 2014 which seems similar to FSM’s release, but with added stereo and without some of the extras. Anyway, I was so impressed by the sound of the remastered Intrada release, I just had to go for that one. The score opens with the title cue ‘Rio Conchos’, one of Goldsmith’s most famous western themes. It’s a beautiful and a quiet theme. Maybe not spectacular, but it is quite memorable and one of Goldsmith’s best early themes for sure. You better start loving this theme because naturally it is used frequently in this score to good effect like in the next cue ‘Where’s The Water’, which almost seems like a remix hadn’t it been for a few dramatic moments. By dramatic, I don’t mean Goldsmith’s usual dramatic way, but a more quiet one. In ‘Bandits Ho’, we get to hear the main theme in my favourite version yet, a more fast paced and exciting version. More big, bolder, powerful. I love it. What I don’t exactly love is the rest of the music in this cue apart from a massive orchestral shindig at 5 minutes in. The rest is sounding good, but I’m not on love with that quiet percussion and guitar based music.
I got to say that this has to be one of the best sounding remasters of a re-recording. It sounds so crisp. I don’t know what they did, but it’s music restoration magic. Then again, it is a re-recording so I assume the sound quality was pretty great to begin with. Back to the score, it fits nicely for those who prefer restrained, more quiet westerns. Personally I prefer the more loud one, I think they are more fun. That being said, this one has it’s moments of greatness and I can’t deny the quality of the music, particularly ‘Wall Of Fire’ which is some of that beautiful Goldsmith action music. It’s Goldsmith’s signature sound all the way through. I think I can even hear some “Small Soldiers” in there. Brilliant. I might go and pick up the Kritzerland version, because I’m curious to hear the original score in stereo. Still, this one is cheaper and it’s still in stock so get it while you can.
2. Rio Conchos
3. Where’s The Water
5. The River
8. Wall Of Fire
14. End Cast