“I require the solace of the shadows and the dark of the night. Sunshine is my destroyer” – Darkness (LEGEND, 1985)
When it comes right down to it, one of the earliest movie memories I have that sticks in my mind is of Tim Curry as the character ‘Darkness’ in the Ridley Scott fantasy classic LEGEND. I can’t say that the character really frightened me – he fascinated me. If for some reason you’ve never seen LEGEND take a few seconds to Google ‘Legend + Darkness + Tim Curry.’ Now do you see where I’m coming from?!
Arguably, part of LEGEND’s charm is Jerry Goldsmith’s score, which thanks to Silva Screen is now available on vinyl for the first time in a deluxe format.
Upon release, the film wasn’t the hit that Scott was hoping for. However, over the years it has gone on to become a cult classic. I for one have always been a fan and do not look forwards to the day when it invariably gets the go-ahead for a remake.
Much like the film itself, the score has also suffered its share of mishaps and detractors. Previous to working on LEGEND, Goldsmith had worked with Scott on the movie ALIEN and had been reportedly none too thrilled with how his score had been used in the film, but that’s another story for another day.
After being pitched on the premise of LEGEND, Goldsmith signed on and set to work composing musical versions of John Bettis’ lyrics to be used in the film.
The National Philharmonic Orchestra with Sydney Sax leading then performed the score.
The film and the score would suffer a number of cuts, eventually totaling around 30 minutes being taken out. Goldsmith once again frustrated at how his score had been used, could do very little at this point. He had already been paid and had left the project – sadly this is also where the fun would end for what remained of Goldsmith’s score.
Sid Sheinberg the executive in charge of Universal at the time decided that the film needed to have more of an “MTV” appeal and ordered LEGEND be recut. Sheinberg oversaw this process and in doing so ordered a brand new score be recorded. Rather than go back to Goldsmith, Scott and Sheinberg hired the now legendary group Tangerine Dream to re-score the movie. In doing so, they (Sheinberg & Scott) believed Tangerine Dream could offer the same genius they had given to previous Tom Cruise hit RISKY BUSINESS. It is worth noting that the North American version of LEGEND still includes the Tangerine Dream score, whereas the European version contains the Jerry Goldsmith score, now restored thanks to the “Directors Cut.”
As I type this I can unequivocally call myself a Tangerine Dream fan, however for me when it comes to the score for LEGEND there is only one score, that of Mr. Jerry Goldsmith.
If you’ve listened to The Damn Fine Cast you’ll be aware of my Goldsmith quest (in which I foolishly attempt to collect every Goldsmith score there is on vinyl), which at present sits at around 30 LPs and shows no sign of stopping. The score for LEGEND was the impetus behind this. As a composer the emotions Goldsmith is able to conjure up are second to none and always leave me wanting more.
The original Goldsmith LEGEND UK vinyl soundtrack release came in 1985 via Filmtrax and for the most part it’s a great addition to any collection albeit one that’s fairly brief. In 1992, Silva Screen released a deluxe version on CD containing extra tracks that at that point had never been released, which was then also re-released in 2012 after the original became increasingly harder to find. At this point I started to countdown the days until hopefully Silva Screen came through with a vinyl release.
The countdown is over!
Queue much rejoicing from myself and the soundtrack community at large, Silva Screen have released a deluxe 180g 2 disc LP set of Jerry Goldsmith’s LEGEND with all new art work by ‘Vance Kelly’. Which includes one of the best gatefold sleeve designs I’ve seen in a long time and is also currently available as a poster via The Flood Gallery.
As well as sounding phenomenal, the deluxe version also contains more tracks and extended pieces. For instance, on the original release the track ‘Bumps & Hollow’ was a standalone track but on the deluxe version the track is part of a medley which includes ‘Living River / Bumps & Hollow / The Freeze.’
Having had the original for such a long time, when playing this new version I still expect things to follow a certain order and when they don’t it is almost like discovering the score for the very first time.
Goldsmith has the innate ability to genuinely create pieces that complement the images shown on screen. The fantasy world as directed by Scott is all the more believable because of the use of Goldsmith’s music. As 2015 comes to a close I can see LEGEND playing a big part in my end of year top ten.
The complete track list is as follows:
1. Main Title / The Goblins
2. My True Love’s Eyes / The Cottage
3. The Unicorns
1. Living River / Bumps and Hollows / The Freeze
2. The Faeries / The Riddle 3. Sing the Wee 4. Forgive Me
SIDE C 1. Faerie Dance 2. The Armour 3. Oona / The Jewels 4. The Dress Waltz
SIDE D 1. Darkness Fails 2. The Ring 3. Reunited
Fans of Goldsmith will certainly benefit from grabbing this version even if you already own the original and if you’re new to the score now is the perfect time to experience the magical world of LEGEND created by Jerry Goldsmith.
In the US, you can purchase the LEGEND soundtrack vinyl via Light In The Attic.
*Image courtesy – Silva Screen Records