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Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Back in Time...
1985 at the Movies


Composer: Various
Performed by: Varèse Sarabande Symphony Orchestra
Label: Varèse Sarabande Records
RRP: $99.98 (£64.42)
Release Date: 02 June 2015

Varèse Sarabande Records releases the 6-CD box set Back In Time...: 1985 At The Movies, which features over six and a half hours of music from iconic 1985 films including Academy Award®-winning and nominated scores, music from all of the top 10 box office hits, and a compilation of smash hit songs all from the year...

For those that grew up in the '80s, this collection is a wonderful nostalgic trip back in time. The collection contains 6 discs (119 tracks - 5 hr, 52 min, 20 sec). The press release states that these hold over 6 and a half hours, so I'm not sure if we are missing a few tracks on the review copy.

Disc one contains a compilation of new recordings of themes from various movies (16 tracks - 1 hr, 09 min, 16 sec); disc two includes original artist songs from films (10 songs - 42 min, 44 sec), although Huey Lewis and the News's 'The Power of Love' from Back to the Future is noticeable by its absent; disc three comprises another collection of new recordings from various movies (25 tracks - 1 hr, 17 min, 08 sec); disc four is made up entirely of new recordings of Alan Silvestri's music from the Back to the Future trilogy (20 tracks - 53 min, 02 sec); disc four brings us John Barry's Out of Africa score (18 tracks - 39 min, 24 sec); while disc six gives us Dave Grusin's music for The Goonies (30 tracks - 1 hr, 10 min, 14 sec).

For those picking up this CD collection, the set comes in a gatefold LP package design with an originally commissioned cover painting by A Nightmare on Elm Street artist Matthew Joseph Peak. Housed in the package is a 24-page booklet with extensive liner notes by album producer Robert Townson and exclusive photographs from the premiere Varèse Sarabande Symphony Orchestra recording sessions held on the historic Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.

If you were being picky, then you could argue that the Back to the Future disc includes music from not just 1985, but also 1989's Back to the Future II and 1990's Back to the Future III. One of the biggest disappointments for me with the original release of the score for Back to the Future, was that it only included two tracks of Alan Silvestri's music. However, in 2009, Intrada Records released a limited-edition two-CD set of the score. John Debney does a good job of reproducing the originals. I know the Back to the Future scores inside out and on occasion I was unsure whether or not I was listening to the original.

Likewise the Out of Africa and The Goonies discs are worthwhile additions. In fact, they're almost worth the retail price alone. Both are wonderful scores, with Out of Africa being one of John Barry's finest works.

I did enjoy this collection, but personally I wouldn't buy it myself as I already own all of the original scores that are included here. It's a shame that Pee Wee's Big Adventure was given such a wide selection of tracks, while Return to Oz and The Color Purple were only given one track each). If you're a soundtrack fan, or a child of the '80s that doesn't already own the original scores, then this is a wonderful collection that you'll get a lot of pleasure out of.

Track listing:

CD 1: A brand new recording featuring David Newman conducting the debut of the Varèse Sarabande Symphony Orchestra, Produced by Robert Townson

01. Back To The Future - Music by Alan Silvestri
02. The Goonies - Music by Dave Grusin
03. St. Elmo’s Fire — Love Theme - Music by David Foster
04. Legend — Re-United - Music by Jerry Goldsmith, Lyrics by John Bettis
05. Return to Oz - Music by David Shire
06. Lifeforce - Music by Henry Mancini
07. Revolution - Music by John Corigliano
08. Cocoon - Music by James Horner
09. A View To A Kill - Music by John Barry
10. The Color Purple - Music by Quincy Jones, Arranged by John Williams
11. Witness — Building The Barn - Music by Maurice Jarre
12. Agnes of God - Music by Georges Delerue
13. Silverado - Music by Bruce Broughton
14. Out of Africa - Music by John Barry
15. Brazil - Music by Michael Kamen – Arranged by Christopher Lennertz
16. Rambo: First Blood Part II - Music by Jerry Goldsmith 

CD 2: The Songs - A classic collection of the original songs by the original artists from 1985 films

01. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) - John Parr - From the film St. Elmo’s Fire
02. Burning Heart - Survivor - From the film Rocky IV
03. When The Going Get’s Tough, The Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean – From the film The Jewel of the Nile
04. Weird Science - Oingo Boingo - From the film Weird Science
05. Bit By Bit - Stephanie Mills - Theme from the film Fletch
06. Rhythm of the Night – DeBarge – From the film The Last Dragon
07. Say You Say Me - Lionel Richie - From the film White Nights
08. Is Your Love Strong Enough - Bryan Ferry - From the film Legend
09. To Live And Die In L.A. - Wang Chung - Theme from the film To Live And Die In L.A.
10. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) - Tina Turner - From the film Mad Max-Beyond The Thunderdome 

CD 3:

Pee Wee's Big Adventure - Music Composed By Danny Elfman
01. Overture / The Big Race
02. Breakfast Machine
03. Park Ride
04. Stolen Bike
05. Hitchhike
06. Dinosaur Dream
07. Simone's Theme
08. Clown Dream
09. Studio Chase
10. The Drive-In
11. Finale

The Bride - Music Composed and Conducted by Maurice Jarre
12. The Bride

Spies Like Us - Music Composed and Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
13. The Ace Tomato Company
14. Off To Spy 

North and South - Music Composed and Conducted by Bill Conti
15. Main Title

Enemy Mine - Music Composed and Conducted by Maurice Jarre
16. Before the Drac Holy Council

Jagged Edge - Music Composed by John Barry
17. Part XIII

The Black Cauldron - Music Composed and Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
18. Escape From The Castle
19. Taran
20. The Witches
21. Gurgi
22. The Horned King
23. The Fair Folk
24. Eilonwy
25. Finale

CD 4: The Back To The Future Trilogy
John Debney • Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Back To The Future:
01. Back To The Future
02. Skateboard Chase
03. Marty's Letter
04. Clocktower Pt. 1
05. Clocktower Pt.2 And Helicopter
06. '85 Lone Pine Mall
07. 4 x 4
08. Doc Returns

Back To The Future Part II:
09. Hill Valley, 2015
10. Burn The Book
11. He's Gone
12. The Letter
13. I'm Back
14. End Logo
15. The West

Back To The Future Part III:
16. Main Title
17. Indians
18. Point Of No Return (The Train Pt. III)
19. End Credits

20. Back To The Future: The Ride - From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, conducted by Alan Silvestri

CD 5: Out of Africa
Joel McNeely • Royal Scottish National Orchestra

01. I Had A Farm (Main Title)
02. Alone On The Farm
03. Karen & Denys
04. Have You Got A Story for Me
05. I'm Better At Hello
06. Mozart: Clarinet Concerto In A major: K622 (Adagio)
07. Karen's Journey Starts
08. Karen's Journey Ends
09. Karen's Return From Border
10. Karen Builds A School
11. Harvest
12. Safari
13. Flight Over Africa
14. Beach At Night
15. You'll Keep Me Then
16. If I Knew A Song Of Africa
17. You Are Karen M'Sabu
18. Out Of Africa (End Credits)

CD 6: The Goonies - Original Motion Picture Score
Music Composed and Conducted by Dave Grusin

01. Fratelli Chase
02. Map and Willie
03. The Goondocks (Goonies Theme)
04. Doubloon
05. Lighthouse
06. Cellar and Sloth
07. Restaurant Trash
08. The "It", Fifty Dollar Bills and a Stiff
09. It All Starts Here
10. Plumbing
11. Skull and Signature
12. Boulders, Bats and a Blender
13. Wishing Well and the Fratellis Find Coin
14. Mikey's Vision
15. Oath and Booby Traps
16. Triple Stones and a Ball
17. Pee Break and Kissing Tunnel
18. They're Here and Skull Cave Chase
19. Playing The Bones
20. Water Slide and Galleon
21. Octopus
22. The Inferno
23. One Eyed Willie
24. Treasure, Data & Mouth and Walk The Plank
25. Sloth & Chunk
26. Mama & Sloth
27. The Fighting Fratellis, Sloth's Choice and Ultimate Booby Trap
28. The Reunion and Fratellis On Beach
29. No Firme and Pirate Ship
30. End Titles (Goonies Theme)


Darren Rea