The Basil Poledouris Collection Vol. 1
June 14, 2014
BSXCD 8944 (2 CD)
Limited Edition of 1500 Units
LOVE THEME BEHOLD HAWAII
A WHALE FOR THE KILLING
When I think of Basil Poledouris (1945-2006) I also think of The Hunt for Red October a favorite of mine as well as Lonesome Dove ( Emmy winner) , and Conan the Barbarian. The list can go on and on with this ‘A’ composer in the 80’s and 90’s, who frequently used the synthesizer and he was partially responsible for me learning to like the instrument. Coming from the Golden Age era this has been a big step in my listening as at one time I would have nothing to do with it at all.
The set features three of his lesser known films Behold Hawaii, Flyers, and A Whale for the Killing, all melodic and quite easy to listen to on the ears. I’m including audio clips from all three to give you an idea of the melodies.
Behold Hawaii (1983) was an IMAX documentary about the big island and the music reflects what you might expect to hear. “Ocean Quest” with its harp glissandos, quiet soft strings, and a peaceful passage from the synthesizer all make for a good track as it builds to a crescendo with the synthesizer offering an organ phrase to end it. If you close your eyes you’ll hear the presence of the surf. “Pristine Hawaii” continues the mood and feelings. Somewhat disturbing is “River Run” begins with a Pino Donaggio chord, a prelude to the Hawaiian drums. “Hula,” the final track, is a lovely theme with flutes giving way to strings and finally the main theme bringing it to a conclusion. Mostly relaxing it nicely represents Hawaii.
There are two tracks reworked from “Conan the Barbarian, one done by Larry Hopkins, a rather subdued “Anvil of Crom” and the other a piano driven arrangement of “The Orgy” from Joohyun Park with vocalizes from Basil’s daughter Zoe. Both are well worth repeated listens.
Flyers (1983) is a short thirty five minute documentary done in IMAX about what else flying. The seven tracks range from soaring melodies to a comedic line, to Star Wars type material. It is an easy listen to score and the twenty plus minutes pass rather quickly. It is definitely the softer side of Basil and material that might fit other situations.
A moody atmosphere begins the soundtrack “A Whale for Killing,” a made for television movie that was nominated for two Emmys starred Peter Strauss and Dee Wallace. It deals with a farfetched idea about a whale that gets caught up in low tide and certain redneck townsfolk want to kill it while others are attempting to save it. The story takes place on the Newfoundland coast and the town of Barris has a definite flavor of the Irish. Listening to tracks “Sailing Into Barris,” “Unloading the Boat,” “Morning in Barris,” “Graduation Ceremony,” and others make you feel like you’re in Cork. When I saw the title “A Whale of a Tale” my thoughts drifted to Kirk Douglas and the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was a very nice version of the main theme which has a catchy melody, one you’ll want to listen to over and over. The vocal to the main theme “A Whale For the Killing” has an unusually long prelude before the male vocalist offers his shanty. I like it.
Three themes (The Blue Lagoon, Big Wednesday, It’s My Party) for solo piano are nicely played in a classical style by BSX house pianist Mark Northam, someone who I’ve grown to feel very comfortable listening to over the years. If you’re not interested in purchasing the set these three would make a fine trio to download.
I understand including Misfits of Science as it is Poledouris but frankly it seems to be out of place on this set as it doesn’t fit the overall theme of the relaxing laid back style.
A Whale For the Killing bonus track is definitely damaged with background noise and was really only included for the Poledouris collector who wishes all of his material.
Total Duration: 01:47:15
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for additional savings from BSX.
That $19.95 price might just come down a bit.