Film Music Review
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Robocop (Expanded) [Soundtrack]


Robocop (1987)

Music composed by Basil Poledouris.

23 Tracks (Playing Time = 56:16)

CD produced by Douglas Fake. The Sinfonia of London conducted by Howard Blake and Tony Britton. Orchestrations by Steven Scott Smalley. Synthesizers performed by Derek Austin. Recording engineered by Eric Tomlinson.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, May 13, 21-23, and 28, 1987. Analog to digital transfers made by Joe Tarantino at Joe Tarantino Mastering, Berkeley, CA. CD edited and mastered by Douglas Fake, at Intrada, Oakland, CA. CD Art Direction by Joe Sikoryak, designWELL, Berkeley, CA.

Intrada Special Collection 129

Rating: ****

Limited edition of 3500 copies.


Paul Verhoeven ’s ROBOCOP raised the director’s profile with its violence couched with an ability to tell a human story in the midst of all the action. Basil Poldeouris, who had provided a score for the director’s earlier FLESH+BLOOD and would also score the later STARSHIP TROOPERS, crafted one of his finest scores since CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). Though the score has appeared on CD before, Intrada’s release offers a few bonuses that make it worth a look for fans of the composer.

The new release has re-sequenced the score and added a few additional cues as well. There are several commercial music spots in the film and these are now placed in chronological order (they appeared as bonuses on a previous incarnation of the score’s release). Contextually they shift the musical thrust just enough that both the preceding and following music somehow gains more power. There is also a new age track, “Big is Better”, that was elevator music not used in the film but also placed in proper sequence where it would have occurred.

The remixing of the score means that the structure of the music will sound different as well since the original CDs were reorganized as a listening experience. Those more familiar with the earlier release may discover this music has a lot more musical complexity but will likely struggle with the comfortability of what is known to them. The big cue highlights from this score include the pulsing “Main Title,” the “ Van Chase,” and the final end credits music with the “Robocop Theme” getting a fuller presentation.

The most striking thing about the score is its many musical resemblances to Goldsmith’s TOTAL RECALL, Verhoeven’s next film. Hearing both scores in now fuller and better sound will be a welcome highlight for fans of these works.

Intrada was able to use recently discovered 2” 24-track masters in addition to the 1” 8 track masters allowing them to remix each cue.

The resulting sound is truly amazing and clear, correcting some of the duller sound of the original release.

reviewed by Steven A. Kennedy , 24 April 2010

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