Craft Recordings/Varèse Sarabande release a stunning updated vinyl of Starship Troopers.
Basil Poledouriss – Starship Troopers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Varèse Sarabande VS00530/Craft Recordings [8/4/2023] stereo double vinyl, ****1/2:
(Basil Poledouris – film score composer; Steven Scott Smalley – orchestrations; Steve Bramson – orchestrations; Greg McRitchie – orchestrations; Eric Colvin – synthesizers; Steve Forman – specialty percussion – Steve Forman)
Starship Troopers was a very misunderstood satire. Released in 1997, Paul Verhoeven’s adaption of Robert Heinlein’s “interstellar” war with a mutant bug race combined military patriotism, and science fiction with campy humor and state-of-the-art special effects. With a relatively unknown cast (at the time, including Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris), the film eventually became a cult classic. The movie was buoyed by a vibrant film score by Basil Poledouris (Red Dawn, Robocop). The composer was influenced significantly by Miklós Rósza. Twenty-five years after its release, Varèse Saraband and Craft Recordings have released a double vinyl, available in black and limited edition marble-colored vinyl. There are eye-popping album graphics from Malachi Ward, including a poster and new liner notes.
This is a unique blend of orchestral (Hollywood Studio Symphony) and electronic sound that faithfully captures the contrasting elements from the film. As the soundtrack begins, the sweeping orchestral accents translate the pageantry and dramatic urgency. There are processional brass interludes that are reminiscent of momentous scores like Star Wars or Star Trek. As the narrative shifts to impending doom, the music shifts and reflects a darker vibe with brass intonation. Poledouris is equally adept at ethereal, aspirational motifs with reed emphasis. There are occasional lilting moments that are rendered with subtlety. When string counterpoints are introduced, it is compelling. During the more intense scenes, they are set against imposing brass. Some of the quieter moments are framed by synthesizer. A consistent march-time percussion underscores the war landscape. Whether portraying explosive action scenes, air flight, narrative tension or campy goofiness, the music always works.
Starship Troopers Original Music Soundtrack is a great companion piece to the flick. For those familiar with the movie, it is a visceral reminder. However, it is music that is interesting, complex and can easily stand on its own merits. Vinyl enthusiasts will appreciate the gatefold artwork and poster.
Starship Troopers Original Music Soundtrack
Side One: Fed Net #1/Bug Attack On Newsman; Telepathy Practice/Carl Orders Cyrano; Friends Forever; Transporting; Fed Net #2/Crime And Punishment; Carmen’s Shuttle Ride; Undocking; Teamwork; Dear John; Breckenridge Killed; Punishment/Asteroid Grazing; Call To War/Basd News From Home
Side Two: War!!; Fed Net #3/Countdown To Victory; Klendathu Drop; Fed Net #4; Battle Ready;; Raszak’s Roughnecks; Tango Urilla; Johnny And Dizzy; Hopper Canyon/Mess Hall Mess
Side Three: Bugs!!; Radio Shack/Whiskey Outpost Pt.2/Death Of Dizzy; Dizzy’s Funeral; Rico’s Roughnecks/Destruction Of The Rodger Young/Bug City
Side Four: Brainbug/Cave Nuke; They Will Win; End Titles; Into It.
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