Logan’s Run – music by Jerry Goldsmith

Logan's Run soundtrackJerry Goldsmith’s music for Logan’s Run may prove to be just about the only element of the movie that had stood the test of time while still winning almost unanimous praise. Granted, I’m quite the fan of the movie itself, but it’s hard to deny that Goldsmith may have done a better job of painting the film’s emotional curve than the director did.

There are essentially two components to the score: a three-note theme for the futuristic city dome, and a more expansive melody for Logan’s burgeoning romance with Jessica. While the love theme may be more pleasant on a pure listening level, I find that it’s that city theme which I focus on, on an intellectual and structural level. Goldsmith puts those three notes through so many different permutations that it’s fascinating – in rapid-fire succession, the three notes form the electronic sound that opens the movie, as well as the orchestral figure that eventually overshadows it. But it’s also at the heart of the Carousel music, the nursery music, everything. Both structurally and musically, it’s pure genius.

Once the movie reaches its halfway point, the electronics disappear as Logan and Jessica leave the city behind and venture into the outside world. The city theme still follows them, though, now accompanying pursuing Sandman (and Logan’s former friend) Francis in the form of a low menacing orchestral reading of the same theme. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit – the characters’ first glimpse of the outside world is treated with one of the most beautiful pieces of music Jerry Goldsmith ever wrote. It’s that good.

The complete score is heard here, in chronological order, including cues that were shortened or left out altogether due to trims that had to be made to reduce the movie’s nudity to a level where it would get a PG rating and not an R. Also included is a pop instrumental version of the love theme, though I was around when this movie first came out, and I certainly don’t recall hearing that hitting the radio airwaves at the time.

That’s the CD – but the CD is only half the package. This is the first disc I’ve bought from Film Score Monthly Magazine’s ever-growing selection of limited-edition soundtrack CDs, and as impressed as I’ve always been with the magazine itself, the CDs may well be even better. The detailed liner notes that accompany the CD do a fantastic job of putting the film and its music in context, and then goes through the score track-by-track, cue-by-cue, offering detailed analysis of each piece of music and its place in the complete score. Thematic elements and development, rhythm and structure are all analyzed in depth, but not to a degree that the layman can’t follow along. I was almost hesitant to offer any analysis of the score in this review at all, for fear that I’d wind up parroting the liner notes, but if anything, those notes helped draw my attention to the nuances in Goldsmith’s work all the more. If this is indicative of Film Score Monthly’s other CD offerings (and, judging by the fact that releases of other soundtracks such as The Omega Man and The Towering Inferno have already sold out, I’d guess that it is), I’ll be visiting their store more often and I heartily encourage you to do 4 out of 4the same.

In short, the music from Logan’s Run is a treat, and the added bonus material is a nice, deep dish of tasty, tasty gravy that heightened my enjoyment of the music quite a bit. Highly recommended!

Order this CD

  1. The Dome / The City / Nursery (3:05)
  2. Flameout (3:23)
  3. Fatal Games (2:26)
  4. On The Circuit (3:49)
  5. The Assignment / Lost Years (5:59)
  6. She’ll Do It / Let Me Help (2:41)
  7. Crazy Ideas (2:38)
  8. A Little Muscle (2:22)
  9. Terminated In Cathedral (1:28)
  10. Intensive Care (3:00)
  11. Love Shop (3:43)
  12. They’re Watching / Doc Is Dead (2:45)
  13. The Key / Box (4:22)
  14. Ice Sculpture (3:35)
  15. The Sun (2:15)
  16. The Monument (8:12)
  17. The Truth (2:03)
  18. You’re Renewed (2:58)
  19. The Journey Back / The Beach (1:36)
  20. Return To The City / Apprehensions (2:30)
  21. The Interrogation (3:58)
  22. End Of The City (2:23)
  23. Love Theme from Logan’s Run (2:27)

Released by: Film Score Monthly
Release date: 2001
Total running time: 74:18