Planet Of The Apes: The TV Series (expanded)

Released as a very limited edition (2000 copies) by La-La Land Records, this two-disc collection includes and expands upon the material already presented by Intrada Records on a single-CD release early in the 2000s. Intrada’s release included Lalo Schifrin’s appropriately chaotic theme music and his music for the pilot episode, as well as a further episode score by Earle Hagen.

This 2-CD release adds more music by Schifrin and the show’s other composers, offering a classy time capsule of an era when synthesizers had yet to become routine instruments in film scoring. It’s interesting to hear Schifrin and other composers try to alternate between “normal” 1970s orchestral scoring and something more akin to the tone set by Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the first Apes movie.

3 out of 4If you’ve already invested in the Intrada set, whether or not you liked it will determine your interest here: if you did like it, here’s a whole second disc of what you liked. If it didn’t really grab your attention the first time around, it’s probably safe to let this one slide. Despite the smaller-than-usual print run, it’s still available at the time of this writing.

Order this CD

    Disc One

  1. Main Title (1:16)
    Music from Escape From Tomorrow
  2. Exotic Forest (1:02)
  3. Spaceship (1:41)
  4. Apes Urgency (1:31)
  5. Concealment (1:17)
  6. Apes Chase (1:02)
  7. The Warp (1:01)
  8. Urko/Galen (4:12)
  9. The Master (0:15)
  10. Prison Guard (1:58)
  11. Prison Cell/Zaius (1:27)
  12. Jail Break (2:32)
  13. Your World (1:54)
    Music from The Gladiators
  14. Wooded Area (0:45)
  15. Jason (0:27)
  16. Brutal Fight (1:03)
  17. The Disc (1:11)
  18. Barlow (1:17)
  19. Ready (0:36)
  20. Trouble With Apes (1:43)
  21. Planet of the Apes Mountains (0:44)
  22. The Arena (1:43)
  23. Wrestling in the Arena (1:03)
  24. There Will Be a Death (0:26)
  25. Alan in Jail (0:28)
  26. Dalton (1:05)
  27. Human vs. Apes (1:26)
  28. A Beginning (2:28)
    Music from The Good Seeds
  29. Riding for Urko (1:46)
  30. Travel Without Stars (3:17)
  31. Pitchfork Attack (0:30)
  32. Local Patrol (1:37)
  33. Plowing (0:25)
  34. Central City (0:16)
  35. Polar (0:36)
  36. Zanties (0:28)
  37. Virdon (1:08)
  38. I’ve Seen Him Before (0:21)
  39. Apes Neutral Suspense (0:34)
  40. We Ride (0:30)
  41. Discovered (0:40)
  42. Toll the Bell (0:12)
  43. The Riding Enemy (0:22)
  44. Hunting Bonded Humans (1:02)
  45. Twin Bulls (1:25)
  46. Apes Tension (1:33)
  47. Wind Mill (0:25)
  48. The Next String (0:54)
  49. End Credits (0:30)
  50. Riding for Urko (extension) (1:54)
    Disc Two

  1. Main Title (1:16)
    Music from The Trap
  2. Opening (1:04)
  3. Reflections (2:30)
  4. Through the Forest (1:15)
  5. The Bag (0:31)
  6. Stalk in the City (3:02)
  7. Hunted (0:55)
  8. Searching (1:00)
  9. Go to Work (0:17)
  10. The Poster (1:46)
  11. Urko Makes His Move (1:07)
  12. The Execution (2:30)
  13. One for the Road (0:49)
    Music from The Legacy
  14. Country Style (0:35)
  15. Ruined City (1:13)
  16. Apes (0:40)
  17. The Machine (0:49)
  18. The Soldiers (2:29)
  19. Ape Signals (0:50)
  20. The Kid (0:34)
  21. Virdon and the Kid (0:25)
  22. Urko (0:44)
  23. The Family (0:40)
  24. The Kid’s Toy (0:20)
  25. Kids and Apes (1:15)
  26. Farm Girl (1:12)
  27. The Reward (0:29)
  28. Apes and Kids (0:44)
  29. Knowledge Hunts (3:12)
  30. Farewell (0:35)
    Music from Tomorrow’s Tide
  31. Runners (0:41)
  32. The Raft (1:43)
  33. Fisherman’s Love (1:09)
  34. The Village (0:48)
  35. Quotas Quotas (0:18)
  36. Fire and Fish (1:02)
  37. Garcon (0:14)
  38. More Fine Divers (0:33)
  39. Peter Dives (0:31)
  40. The Sharks (0:28)
  41. Sharks (2:36)
  42. Find Him (0:31)
  43. Gato Leaves (0:50)
  44. Bandor (0:31)
  45. Bandor the M.C. (1:30)
  46. Escape (1:49)
  47. Run Off (0:18)
    Music from The Surgeon
  48. Medicine Off Center (2:43)
  49. More Sutures (1:32)
    Music from The Deception
  50. Farna Theme (0:58)
  51. Farna Theme #1 (0:44)
  52. Farna (0:36)
  53. Farna Reminisces (1:11)
  54. Leave Me Alone (0:31)
  55. Be Gentle With Her (0:29)
  56. Deception (1:40)
  57. Goodbye (0:33)
    Music from The Interrogation
  58. Again (1:33)
  59. Mish Mosh (0:23)
  60. Drums and Bells (2:04)
  61. Wind Machine (1:04)
  62. End Credits (0:30)

Released by: La-La Land Records
Release date: January 13, 2015
Disc one total running time: 58:51
Disc two total running time: 1:08:15

Music Written For The Film Planet Of The Apes

Planet Of The Apes: Music Written For The FilmMajor labels may drop re-releases, even expanded ones, of classic rock albums at the drop of a hat; asking for the same treatment for a soundtrack album – especially one that still sells well in its present form – is a completely different species. Such is the case with Jerry Goldsmith’s career-defining score from 1968’s Planet Of The Apes. It’s not the complete score, every note recorded for the movie, and yet it’s still in demand with a certain niche audience that isn’t likely to break out of its niche. Where’s the incentive to re-license everything, secure new rights, pay union musicians from 48 years ago for even more minutes of their music again? (Understand, I’m not articulating my own belief there, but rather the thoughts that must be going through the head of a music label.) That’s why John O’Callaghan, author of a well-regarded book on Goldsmith’s Apes score, opted to start from scratch: get the license to use the original sheet music and arrangements to produce a brand-new recording.

But isn’t that road fraught with peril too? Well…yes. O’Callaghan has had more access to the orchestrations and timing notes than anyone since the music personnel who worked on the original film, and carefully timed things out to the correct tempo. Perhaps most impressively, he rented out the same exotic percussion instruments used for the 1968 score sessions and recorded them acoustically. Where Music Written For The Film Planet Of The Apes falters is in the choice – almost certainly dictated by budget – to used sampled and synthesized instruments for everything else. In some cases, this isn’t actually bad; O’Callaghan has some nice string samples at his disposal. But it’s the brass instruments that are let down by this recording. Very few of the brass instruments heard here are going to convince anyone that there’s a real player at the real mouthpiece of a real horn (or tuba, etc.). A few of the samples are just about credible, but generally speaking, the synthesized nature of the music almost robs the fancy acoustic percussion of its credibility. Though with the project’s likely low budget, I’m not sure what the alternative would’ve been.

3 out of 4On the upside, we finally have a complete recording of the Planet Of The Apes soundtrack, and it’s quite enjoyable. The downside, however, is a reliance on synths and samples that are sometimes less than convincing. The alternate arrangements presented in the bonus tracks are fascinating, as are the liner notes (derived from O’Callaghan’s book, “Simians & Serialism”). It’s an interesting companion to Goldsmith’s 1968 recording, but not a replacement for it (which its author acknowledges). Listen in the same spirit as someone listening to a decent cover band, or perhaps the Cult Files collections of the 1990s.

Order this CD

  1. Planet of the Apes (Main Title) (2:19)
  2. Crash Landing (6:53)
  3. The Searchers (2:32)
  4. The Search Continues (4:59)
  5. The Clothes Snatchers (3:13)
  6. The Hunt (5:14)
  7. A New Mate (1:13)
  8. The Revelation (3:23)
  9. No Escape (5:42)
  10. The Trial (1:47)
  11. New Identity (2:29)
  12. A Bid For Freedom (2:39)
  13. The Forbidden Zone (3:27)
  14. The Intruders (1:11)
  15. The Cave (1:25)
  16. The Revelation Part 2 (3:26)

    Bonus Tracks:

  17. Planet of the Apes (Main Title) (2:19)
  18. The Searchers (2:32)
  19. The Revelation (3:23)

Released by: Pithikos Entertainment
Release date: 2016
Total running time: 60:14

Planet Of The Apes (newly expanded edition)

Planet Of The Apes (newly expanded edition)The modern world of big-screen reboots and remakes presents a minefield to the music department: how do you create music for a story that’s been done before, without doing the same music that’s been done before? (At least one movie remake, the modern remount of Hitchcock’s Psycho, opted to reuse the original music, albeit a new recording of it.) Matters are made worse when the soundtrack of the original version was a groundbreaking, genre-shaking opus that was practically its own character in the film – such as Jerry Goldsmith’s brutally percussive score from 1968’s Planet Of The Apes. In that respect, the 2001 reboot of Apes had a double burden – the original movie and its music were indelibly ingrained into the minds of genre fans. Top that.

Tim Burton tried to, and as he so often does, he brought frequent musical collaborator Danny Elfman along for the ride. Both had an unenviable task ahead of them. Arguably, the music succeeded better than the movie for which it was designed, and La-La Land has re-released the soundtrack to the 2001 Apes remake in an extravagant form, stretching the movie’s almost wall-to-wall music across three discs covering both the original soundtrack album as released in ’01 (which had a pretty healthy selection of music on it to begin with) as well as the complete score as heard in the film (the material on the single-CD soundtrack release differed significantly from the actual film score in many places).

As I was listening to the movie score, the thought struck me that Elfman – despite his seemingly permanent place on Hollywood’s music A-list – hasn’t scored too many sprawling space sagas. Planet Of The Apes isn’t really a sprawling space saga – its “space” scenes are confined to the movie’s opening minutes – but the music for those scenes is an interesting taste of how Elfman would handle the territory that is so often associated with Williams, Goldsmith, Horner and others more frequently regarded as “sci-fi composers.”

When the action comes jarringly down to Earth, the race is on for the film’s hero to outrun the apes, and for Elfman to do things differently from Jerry Goldsmith. As attached as I am to the original 1968 movie and its soundtrack, I found Elfman’s treatment of similar scenes to be more than satisfactory – in fact, they’re hugely enjoyable purely as a listening experience (they didn’t hurt the movie either, though arguably there were things other than the music that did hurt it). In some regards, it’s not entirely dissimilar from Goldsmith’s score because it doesn’t need to be – it’s not a case of anyone’s ideas being ripped off, it’s a case of both composers bowing to the tribally-rhythmic obvious.

The original single-disc soundtrack has been given fresh coat of remastered paint, and sounds great if you’re still attached to the original tracks and running order. (I still admit to enjoying Paul Oakenfold’s movie-dialogue-heavy “Rule The World Remix” as a guilty pleasure; Oakenfold probably does too, since it helped to raise his Hollywood profile, which now includes his own film scores.) Rounding things out are a selection of “source” cues Elfman concocted for scenes which needed “in universe” background music.

Planet Of The Apes was meant to launch a new generation of 20th Century Fox’s venerable Apes franchise for the 21st century, and its hugely-hyped launch seemed to all but guarantee that. Somewhere between the movie just not being as shocking or interesting as the 1968 original, and the inevitable anti-reboot backlash, it managed to fall between the cracks despite the hype. Elfman’s soundtrack remains possibly the most valid element of the movie – much like the re-release of the music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (also reissued by La-La Land), it was ripe for reassessment despite being 4 out of 4only a decade old. I felt a little let down by the music from Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, so maybe this re-release could serve to remind the director and producers of the next Apes reboot-sequel-prequel-thingie that Elfman’s still out there – and he definitely knows how to go ape.

Order this CD

    Disc 1: Film Score Part 1

  1. Main Titles (film version) (3:53)
  2. Deep Space Launch / Space Station / Power Outage (2:36)
  3. Thumbs Up / Trouble (5:57)
  4. Pod Escape / New World / The Hunt (4:13)
  5. Ape City (2:13)
  6. A Look / Unloading /Thade’s Inspection / Ari Watches / The Branding (3:44)
  7. Ari Buys a Pet (1:24)
  8. Leo Wants Out / Dental Exam (2:12)
  9. Thade’s Desire (1:35)
  10. The Dirty Deed (1:54)
  11. The Escape (3:39)
  12. Trust / Escape (3:32)
  13. In the Forest /Into the Pond / The Messenger (2:29)
  14. Unused / Thade Gets His Way / Ari Connects (3:49)
  15. The Story (3:00)
  16. Scarecrow Stinger / The Camp / Raid (5:20)
  17. Thade Goes Ape (2:42)
  18. Calima (7:22)
  19. The Army Approaches (3:03)
  20. Thade’s Tent (2:10)
  21. Discovery (5:07)
  22. Preparing for Battle (3:51)
    Disc 2: Film Score Part 2

  1. The Charge (4:44)
  2. The Final Confrontation Landing / Showdown (8:34)
  3. The Aftermath / Thade’s Suite (7:31)
  4. Ape Suite #
  5. 4:59)
  6. Ape Suite #
  7. 2:36)
  8. Rule The Planet Remix (4:09)
  9. Thumbs Up / Trouble (alternate mix) (5:57)
  10. New World / The Hunt (alternate mix) (3:20)
  11. Dental Exam (alternate mix) (1:21)
  12. The Dirty Deed (alternate mix) (1:54)
  13. The Story (alternate mix) (2:59)
  14. Preparing for Battle (alternate) (3:35)
  15. The Final Confrontation (alternate mix) (7:14)
  16. The Aftermath / Thade’s Suite (unedited) (7:32)
  17. Camp Raid (percussion only) (4:08)
  18. Rule The Planet (overlay) (3:01)
  19. Source Music Montage (Band Source, Trendy Source, Jazzy Source, Calliope Source, Rave Source) (2:54)
  20. Dinner Source (1:40)
    Disc 3: Original Soundtrack Album

  1. Main Titles (3:49)
  2. Ape Suite #1 (3:52)
  3. Deep Space Launch (4:35)
  4. The Hunt (4:58)
  5. Branding The Herd (0:48)
  6. The Dirty Deed (2:27)
  7. Escape From Ape City / The Legend (5:57)
  8. Ape Suite #2 (2:42)
  9. Old Flames (2:10)
  10. Thade Goes Ape (2:37)
  11. Preparing For Battle (3:26)
  12. The Battle Begins (5:17)
  13. The Return (7:18)
  14. Main Title Deconstruction (4:22)
  15. Rule The Planet Remix (remixed by Paul Oakenfold) (4:03)

Released by: La-La Land Records
Release date: 2012
Disc one total running time: 75:57
Disc two total running time: 78:24
Disc three total running time: 58:21

Planet Of The Apes: The Series

Planet Of The Apes: The SeriesThe most unexpected Planet Of The Apes soundtrack of all is this compilation of music from the franchise’s brief extension in live-action TV. Though the series boasted some segments worthy of the Apes brand of storytelling, it’s often ignored by more serious afficionados of the original film series because it doesn’t try very hard to adhere to the movies’ timeline. What the TV series had going for it was lavish location filming, Roddy McDowall again donning the makeup of a sympathetic ape, and what was actually a fairly effective music library.

With the rules of television scoring being different in the ’70s, not every episode of the Apes TV series got its own score; many of its installments were “tracked” from this music written for early episodes. Lalo Schifrin also composed the oppressive, guttural main theme, so his scores tended to quote that theme frequently, providing some unity. The episodes scores by Schifrin were less adventurous than, say, the same composer’s globe-style-trotting music for Mission: Impossible, but he wisely leans in favor of “aping” the brutal, occasionally dissonant sound established by the first movie’s groundbreaking Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack. With a smaller ensemble at his disposal, Schifrin makes the best use of his orchestral resources: there’s more brass than strings here, and he can’t hope to match Goldsmith’s wall of violent unconventional percussion. What he manages to pull off with that smaller orchestra is impressive.

Some of the better cues are the wrap-everything-up-on-a-less-hopeless-note final scenes from Schifrin’s scores. “Your World”, from the series pilot, is the musical epitome of “cautiously optimistic,” while “A Beginning” (the final cue of the show’s second hour, The Gladiators) is less certain in its feel-good send-off (and was used to close out many of the series’ installments). The Gladiators score also provides a showcase for what Schifrin was able to do with his more modest percussion section.

Another early episode score, The Legacy, was composed by guest musician Earle Hagen, and it’s distinctly different from Schifrin’s music. Less in-your-face pessimistic than Schifrin’s scores, Hagen’s music is more typical of mid 1970s drama scoring for American TV. Cues like The Soldiers demonstrate an attempt to mesh with the Schifrin scores, but most of the music is subtler and more mysterious, befitting the episode’s race to preserve a hologram which promises to be a storehouse of human scientific knowledge. Hagen went on to compose other scores for the series, ultimately providing almost a third of the show’s scores versus the two-thirds either scored by Schifrin or tracked from episodes previously scored by Schifrin.

The last score – incidentally closing out the first four episodes of the show – sees Schifrin return with a more robust percussion ensemble, and resuming the use of music that complements his main theme nicely. A few cues (the opening moments of “Riding For Urko” in particular) see Schifrin confidently stepping right up to the territory mapped out by Goldsmith’s score for the first Apes movie. 4 out of 4This score truly belongs in the Apes musical pantheon.

And so does the TV soundtrack as a whole. More obscure than even the later film sequels, the TV series suffered from a malady common to early ’70s TV science fiction – namely having well-worn plots from westerns or The Fugitive grafted onto the Planet Of The Apes backstory – but the music is one of the better things about the show, consistently reminding the audience of the stakes in play, even if the scripts didn’t make this quite so clear.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title (1:15)

    Escape From Tomorrow by Lalo Schifrin

  2. The Spaceship (2:38)
  3. Apes (2:48)
  4. The Warp (2:03)
  5. Urko and Galen (4:05)
  6. Prison Guard (1:58)
  7. Jail Break (3:32)
  8. Your World (1:58)

    The Gladiators by Lalo Schifrin

  9. Jason (1:11)
  10. Fighting (2:14)
  11. Barlow (1:50)
  12. Trouble (2:25)
  13. Into the Arena (2:47)
  14. There Will Be Death (0:53)
  15. Humans versus Apes (2:34)
  16. A Beginning (2:32)

    The Legacy by Earle Hagen

  17. Into the Ruined City (2:28)
  18. The Machine (0:50)
  19. The Soldiers (2:30)
  20. The Key (1:25)
  21. Verdon and the Kid (1:10)
  22. The Family (1:56)
  23. The Reward (2:25)
  24. Knowledge Hunts (3:13)
  25. Farewell (0:38)

    The Good Seed by Lalo Schifrin

  26. Riding for Urko (1:48)
  27. Travel Without Stars (3:18)
  28. Attack (3:18)
  29. Bonded Humans (2:26)
  30. Next String (2:27)
  31. End Credits (1:59)

Released by: Intrada
Release date: 2005
Total running time: 68:34

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – music by Patrick Doyle

Rise Of The Planet Of The ApesThe Planet Of The Apes franchise has never been safe or predictable, and the same goes for its music. With a musical lexicon established by an unconventional score that has to count as one of Jerry Goldsmith‘s career highlights, the Apes franchise demands that later composers bring their A-game. Even the 21st century’s first attempt at reviving the franchise – though it was a non-starter that sits well outside of the accepted continuity – was scored by none other than Danny Elfman. The single season of live-action TV Apes drew heavily on a pilot score by Lalo Schifrin that acknowledged Goldsmith’s adventurous music, even if it couldn’t approach it on a TV soundtrack budget. The upshot of this is: you can’t go tame composing for Apes.

Patrick Doyle‘s score, however, does precisely that for a lot of its running time. Don’t get me wrong – fans of the Hans Zimmer-inspired school of “action music with lots of fast-moving cello ostinatos” will feel right at home here, but even Zimmer could be more adventurous than this (see also: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception). The music is pleasant enough, and Doyle proves that he’s got the chops for a “primitive” sound, but it’s well into the movie or the soundtrack before that’s apparent. Even when the primate action gets hot and heavy, rather than playing up the exotic, the score falls back on a wall of strings. The groundwork for the end of humanity is being laid in the story, but we still get a rather gentrified, string-heavy sound – more than once, I found myself wondering what Bear McCreary would’ve done with this movie.

When Doyle does do brutal/primitive, it’s a breath of fresh air, but it seems as though he falls back on the string section as quickly as possible. The music isn’t bad, just… awfully conventional.

2 out of 4I wasn’t expecting, or hoping, to hear full-scale quotation of the original Goldsmith score or any of its successors, but a little stylistic callback to the original might not have hurt. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is a different kind of approach to the Apes franchise, and it definitely gets a musical treatment that’s different from most of what has come before. Is it more contemporary? Yes – but it’s also strangely more generic, the last sound I’d expect from a new movie in this series.

Order this CD

  1. The Beginning (2:48)
  2. Bright Eyes Escapes (3:37)
  3. Lofty Swing (1:36)
  4. Stealing The 112 (1:51)
  5. Muir Woods (1:20)
  6. Off You Go (2:17)
  7. Who Am I? (2:20)
  8. Caesar Protects Charles (3:57)
  9. The Primate Facility (2:44)
  10. Dodge Hoses Caesar (1:39)
  11. Rocket Attacks Caesar (1:24)
  12. Visiting Time (2:16)
  13. “Caesing” The Knife (2:04)
  14. Buck Is Released (1:51)
  15. Charles Slips Away (1:16)
  16. Cookies (1:15)
  17. Inhaling The Virus (2:45)
  18. Caesar’s Stand (4:23)
  19. Sys Freedom (4:56)
  20. Zoo Breakout (2:40)
  21. Golden Gate Bridge (5:21)
  22. The Apes Attack (2:09)
  23. Caesar And Buck (1:57)
  24. Caesar’s Home (2:40)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 2011
Total running time: 61:06

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Escape From The Planet Of The ApesJerry Goldsmith was among those who didn’t return for the second installment of the Planet Of The Apes film series, but he was back on board for the third, which was an attempt to reboot the series without ditching the established continuity. If anything, the third film was the most clever of the sequels, drop-kicking the story back into the present day (or something like it) for an Apes-style meditation on the spectrum of prejudice (from sublte to savage) and the fleeting and entirely disposable nature of celebrity, two topics which have helped Escape From The Planet Of The Apes retain its ironic bite over the years rather than allowing it to become increasingly dated (as with the other sequels).

Goldsmith, keenly aware of what the movie needed (as always), came out swingin’. No, not swinging, but swingin’ – as in groovy, baby! His opening theme for Escape is one of my favorite pieces that Goldsmith has ever written, period. It sounds nothing like the opening to a science fiction movie. It sounds like the opening to a ’70s comedy, which is what the movie’s admittedly funny opening scene is trying to trick you into expecting. With its jazzy beat and straight-outta-the-late-sixties electric organs, guitar and sitar, Goldsmith’s opening number completely belies the story that’s about to unfold. And I love it. The whole movie is about appearances deceiving, and Goldsmith was clearly in on the joke.

The swingin’ mood carries into the next track, “The Zoo”, which is a bit more mellow – almost into Barry White backing-track territory, again completely unexpected for Goldsmith. It’s at the beginning of this track, however, that the composer begins to slip in some of the unorthodox, almost animalistic instrumentation from the Planet Of The Apes score, but subtly – you can be forgiven for not noticing (especially while watching with the movie’s dialogue and sound effects).

“Gorilla Attack” is a burst of brutality that seems out of the place with the movie’s decided gentle first reel, but it’s a preview of things to come. Goldsmith resumes the grooviness with the “Shopping Spree” montage, but things quickly become more unsettled as the movie’s plot becomes darker and more serious to a shocking degree. As suspicion mounts that the two talking apea – now revealed to be expecting parents – may well signal the end of the line for homo sapiens, the music becomes darker by several orders of magnitude. Tracks such as “Labor Pains” and “Mother And Child” distract a bit by sounding like the score from a more domestic drama, but the sheer brutality of immediately adjacent tracks like “The Breakout” and “The Hunt” leave little doubt that the story is still about the impending extinction of the apes as we know them at this point in the saga. “Final Chapter and End Credits” brings it all home, no longer the gimmicky laugh at the beginning of the movie, but closing off a tragically brutal story. The latter half of that track revisits the basic melody of Goldsmith’s jaunty opening, but in a much more somber treatment.

I can caution you that there’s barely a half-hour of music here (and on one of those pricey, limited-edition releases, no less), but this is a Goldsmith masterpiece – possibly even moreso than Planet Of The Apes itself. Escape From The Planet Of The Apes was all about getting the audience in their seats with some popcorn for some kooky, zany fish-out-of-water comedy, only to 4 out of 4serve up a slice of blistering social commentary that, frankly, audiences probably needed in 1971. (I’d put this movie, completely unchanged in front of an audience now, too: the 1971 timestamp would probably put them even more at ease and make it even more shocking.) Goldsmith’s music was part of the process of tricking the audience into letting its guard down, and it’s downright hummable too – a great combination.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title (2:32)
  2. The Zoo (1:06)
  3. The Gorilla Attack (0:56)
  4. I Like You (1:05)
  5. Shopping Spree (2:19)
  6. A Little History (1:23)
  7. Interrogation (3:18)
  8. Labor Pains (1:05)
  9. Breakout (0:38)
  10. The Labor Continues (3:55)
  11. The Hitchhiker (1:06)
  12. Mother And Child (3:52)
  13. The Hunt (4:06)
  14. Final Chapter and End Credits (1:42)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 2009
Total running time: 29:03

Planet Of The Apes – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Planet Of The ApesSo much has been written down through the years about the influential career milestone that was Jerry Goldsmith‘s score for Planet Of The Apes that I’ve resisted reviewing it for a long time. It’s well known that it’s an unsettling, unconventional listening experience, with or without the movie. What is there to add to that?

The funny thing, however, is in giving it a fresh listen and finding that a lot of it is actually in a familiar orchestral vein. In some ways, it’s the exact opposite of Goldsmith’s later score to 1976‘s Logan’s Run, which starts out synthetic and becomes lushly orchestral only when the characters leave their artificially constructed, computer-regulated environment. Planet Of The Apes starts out aboard a futuristic spacecraft, familiar ground for many a science fiction flick, but then both the movie and the music ditch those familiar trappings for a desperate, primitive quest for survival.

Frequently, this is accomplished with a wall of percussion that, up until this point, viewers and listeners just didn’t expect to hear next to an orchestra. But it really isn’t until “The Search Continues” that Goldsmith pushes the music into a space where it’s barely recognizable to our ears as music. Using some novel instrumental effects, he creates the disconcerting audio equivalent of chittering apes. “The Hunt” uses the call of a primitive horn to raise the tension as Taylor (Charlton Heston) tries to lead a colony of humans to freedom.

Goldsmith eschews some obvious avenues for more traditional scoring at other points too – the short cue “A New Mate” is anything but sexy; instead it’s uneasy, as the apes prod him and a primitive human woman together. “The Revelation” plays up Taylor’s horror at discovering what’s happened to his surviving shipmate.

“The Trial” again uses existing instrumentation in unconventional ways to play out the parody of the Scopes monkey trial in which Taylor is railroaded and fast-tracked for execution simply because of what he represents. After that, the score is surprisingly low-key, seeming to rumble toward what seems like either an inevitable grim fate or a daring escape… only to culminate, like the movie, in both at the same time.

Rounding things off is a 16-minute suite of music from Goldsmith’s only follow-up in the Apes film series, Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, which presents a nice “highlight reel” of that movie’s music, which was all the more surprising for not following in the footsteps of what Goldsmith created for the first movie. (Varese would later release the entire Escape score on its own as a limited edition in 2009.)

Jerry Goldsmith did accomplish some amazing sounds with Planet Of The Apes, but perhaps even more significantly, he laid the groundwork for the use of unconventional percussion in film scoring to signify the otherworldly and the uninviting. 4 out of 4The percussion lexicon he all but created here led to such things as the Sand People music in Star Wars, Bear McCreary‘s wall of eastern percussion throughout the TV remake of Battlestar Galactica, and many, many others. The shadow cast by the music of Planet Of The Apes looms large over many familiar future scores in the same genre. Jerry Goldsmith just happened to get there first.

Order this CD

  1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (0:15)
  2. Main Title (2:12)
  3. Crash Landing (6:39)
  4. The Searchers (2:26)
  5. The Search Continues (4:57)
  6. The Clothes Snatchers (3:09)
  7. The Hunt (5:10)
  8. A New Mate (1:05)
  9. The Revelation (3:22)
  10. No Escape (5:40)
  11. The Trial (1:45)
  12. New Identity (2:26)
  13. A Bid For Freedom (2:38)
  14. The Forbidden Zone (3:23)
  15. The Intruders (1:10)
  16. The Cave (1:20)
  17. The Revelation (Part II) (3:25)
  18. Suite: Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (16:27)

Released by: Varese Sarabande / 20th Century Fox Film Scores
Release date: 1997
Total running time: 67:29