Film Music Review
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ERASER (1996)


Music composed, orchestrated, conducted, and original album produced by Alan Silvestri.

21 Tracks (Playing Time = 77:20)

Reissue produced for La-La Land by MV Gerhard. Additional orchestrations by William Ross, Mark McKenzie, and Conrad Pope. Music edited by Kenneth Karman and William Kaplan. Reissue digitally edited and mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland. Reissue CD Art Direction by David C. Fein.

La-La Land Records 1129

Rating: ****

Limited edition of 3000 copies


Eraser was another of those big summer Schwarzenegger action pictures. This time out he plays a US Marshall whose job it is to “erase” histories for people in the witness protection program. His assignment here is Vanessa Williams in one of her first major film roles. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Schwarzenegger movie if he did not also have authority to “protect” his assignments by any means, i.e., weapons, explosions, and anything else he might need.

1996 was a pretty good year for action film scores which included INDEPENDENCE DAY, STAR TREK—FIRST CONTACT, THE PHANTOM, and THE ROCK. Add to that Silvestri’s exciting score as well.

The disc opens with an intriguing unused “Main Title.” Silvestri imbues the music with a sense of unease and mystery that perhaps took the film too far into a more Hitchcock-like implication (interestingly similar to his music for WHAT LIES BENEATH). For the most part, fans will enjoy the may additional tracks released here for the first time amounting to some 30+ minutes of music with many cues “expanded” from the original album release on Atlantic. The martial element is on display throughout the score easily accomplished with prominent snare drums. Silvestri tosses in some electric guitar riffs in “You’ve Been Erased” against a slightly lyrical idea that revisits the mysterious main title idea. Also interesting is how he uses sound design elements in the score to create interesting, at times macabre, soundscapes to lay in the more tense musical ideas.

The score does seem to take its hints from THE FUGITIVE and US MARSHALLS but Silvestri’s thematic writing and superb action scoring are reminders of his growing comfortability in this genre and there are plenty of interesting little orchestral touches, especially the inclusion of the celesta in transitions within cues, that most will not be disappointed. Unlike many “unreleased” scores, there are longer musical tracks assembled from the previous release which help anchor the score as a listening experience. The newer additions help expand some of that material for a more complete presentation.

ERASER turns out to be another great action score for which Silvestri fans can be most thankful.

Fans who have grown to love this score in its earlier incarnation will be impressed with the sound quality here and with many of the action sequences that are expanded and included here.


--reviewed by Steven A. Kennedy , 31 March 2010

Clips can be heard at the label’s website:

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