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CHiPS: Season Two – music by Alan Silvestri

CHiPS: Season Two - music by Alan SilvestriYes. You read that right. We’re talking CHiPS. Ponch and Jon. Erik Estrada and…that other guy. On motorcycles. Set to the sounds of unashamedly disco-fied music. And this is that music.

For those needing a justification, remember that Michael “Worf” Dorn guest starred in numerous episodes as a recurring fellow cop back at the precinct, and that this is a CD of music from the second season, mostly composed by Alan Silvestri, later of The Abyss, Contact and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? fame. Needless to say, CHiPS represents a very early entry in Silvestri’s career, but as far as disco goes, this CD – an unlikely entry from the guys at Film Score Monthly – certainly makes it sound like he swaggered into that career with confidence.

Things open up with the main theme, which Silvestri didn’t compose, but did rearrange for his first year in residence on the series. I’d actually forgotten how brassy and fun the CHiPS theme is, and Silvestri poured on extra layers of synthesizers, drenched with a flanging effect, for his arrangement. If that’s the packaging on the outside of the box, then Silvestri’s library of score cues is exactly what’s advertised on the box: definitely ’70s, with in-your-face brass and strings backed up by a cheerful rhythm section of flanged guitar, drums, bass and synths.

Silvestri has always been on the bleeding edge of bringing synthesizers into film scoring, earning a lot of attention for being one of the first relatively big-name mainstream composers to make heavy use of the Synclavier in the late 1980s. He’s not shy about putting synthesizers front-and-center here, either. There’s also a track of music composed by Bruce Broughton, another big name these days, created for a Halloween-specific episode, which uses synths to good effect, as well as some familiar string section horror effects – all with that ’70s beat underneath it. You almost expect it to break into “Other Galactic Funk” at any second.

3 out of 4Is it cheesy? Yes, it is – but when you’ve got a big CHiPS publicity photo on the front cover of the CD’s booklet, you really shouldn’t be prepared for anything but. If you grew up with CHiPS on television, this’ll probably bring back memories of sitting in front of your grandmother’s tiny color TV, wolfing down Cheetos and Dr. Pepper. (Actually, no, that’s my childhood – get your own.)

Order this CD

  1. CHiPS Main Title composed by John Parker / arranged by Alan Silvestri (1:19)
  2. Peaks And Valleys (3:55)
  3. Family Crisis (5:44)
  4. Disaster Squad (6:22)
  5. Neighborhood Watch (3:36)
  6. High Flyer (6:18)
  7. Trick Or Treat composed by Bruce Broughton (5:59)
  8. The Grudge (5:15)
  9. The Sheik (5:48)
  10. Return Of The Turks (5:40)
  11. Supercycle (2:48)
  12. High Explosive (4:49)
  13. Down Time (2:51)
  14. Repo Man (2:15)
  15. Mait Team (4:07)
  16. Pressure Point (2:46)
  17. Rally ‘Round The Bank (2:28)
  18. Matchmakers (2:42)
  19. Ponch’s Disco (4:00)
  20. CHiPS End Credits composed by John Parker / arranged by Alan Silvestri (0:29)

Released by: Film Score Monthly
Release date: 2006
Total running time: 79:11

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