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Explorers
(1985)
Album Cover Art
1990 Varèse
2011 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(May 8th, 1990)

Intrada Records
(September 5th, 2011)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1990 Varèse album was a regular U.S. release, but it fell out of print and fetched $60 or more in the 2000's. The 2011 Intrada album was initially limited to 3,000 copies at $20 each, but upon selling out in a single day, the label announced a major shift in its policy regarding limited quantities of its products, essentially abolishing hard limits beneath the 10,000-unit maximum required by licensing agreements. A second pressing of unknown quantity of this score followed several weeks later. It went completely out of print in early 2013.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you desire a whimsical, optimistic twist on Jerry Goldsmith's usual action style, joined by a handful of exhilarating statements of redemptive fantasy themes in the composer's trademark synthetic and orchestral blend for the era.

Avoid it... if you require a significant amount of symphonic meat to accompany your Goldsmith constructs for this genre, for the composer keeps the environment in Explorers airy, undemanding, and occasionally downright wacky.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,501
WRITTEN 7/18/09, REVISED 9/20/11
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Explorers: (Jerry Goldsmith) While Explorers may be director Joe Dante's most innocent children's film in terms of its completely silly and likable story aimed at the imaginations of youth, the tale also contains some of the director's fiercest condemnation of media influence on our children. The basic premise is corny and doesn't try to hide that fact; three nerdy kids in contemporary 1985 are sent (through their dreams) technical schematics from friendly aliens and use an old Apple computer and a battery to invent a sphere of energy that, along with parts of an old amusement park ride, will take them on a journey to the aliens' distant spacecraft. When they get there, however, it becomes evident that all the knowledge about Earth that they can convey to their new alien friends comes from what they have seen on television, making a comedic but rather damning assessment about our own society (especially when you consider how often humanity's interactions with alien creatures in the media leads to war). Generally greeted positively, Explorers is considered one of Dante's more obscure efforts despite a cast that includes Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix as debuting youngsters. Also a footnote in the production is Jerry Goldsmith's score, a work that hasn't really competed well with the better known entries by the composer in the collaboration but does indeed stand favorably in qualitative comparison. Dante's instructions to Goldsmith for the assignment pointed to rather solemn Americana music to represent the concept of dreams unrealized, and while there is a fair amount of that melancholy tone heard during the skyward gazes in the picture, the composer still infused Explorers with a whimsical, optimistic twist on his usual action material, producing an always redeeming and sometimes exhilarating fantasy environment. This score's closest cousin is clearly Innerspace, though Explorers exceeds the later effort in terms of thematic cohesion, performance enthusiasm, and singular highlights. There is no doubt that Goldsmith's technique of blending symphonic and synthetic elements was reaching its maturation by 1985, and Explorers benefits greatly from an intelligent balance of the two. At the time, he was still employing three or so keyboard players to stand alongside the orchestral musicians and perform live with the ensemble. Because of the obvious alien and fantasy elements in the story, Goldsmith applies the resulting otherworldly effects as both singular accents in the work and, more entertainingly, as rhythmic accompaniment to the rest of the players.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
213 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.32 Stars
***** 50 5 Stars
**** 53 4 Stars
*** 49 3 Stars
** 39 2 Stars
* 22 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Funny about Intrada Records
Scott B. - September 30, 2011, at 10:50 a.m.
1 comment  (1146 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1990 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 41:49
• 1. The Construction (2:25)
• 2. Sticks and Stones (2:03)
• 3. No Air (2:24)
• 4. The Bubble (1:43)
• 5. First Flight (2:45)
• 6. Free Ride (3:33)
• 7. Fast Getaway (4:47)
• 8. She Likes Me (2:28)
• 9. Have a Nice Trip (7:54)
• 10. All Around the World - performed by Robert Palmer (2:18)
• 11. Less Than Perfect - performed by Red 7 (4:06)
• 12. This Boy Needs to Rock - performed by Night Ranger (3:57)
2011 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 77:13

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1990 Varèse album contains a short note about the score and film. That of the 2011 Intrada album features very detailed notes about both, including a track-by-track analysis.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Explorers are Copyright © 1990, 2011, Varèse Sarabande, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/18/09 and last updated 9/20/11.
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