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First Blood
(1982)
Album Cover Art
1988 Intrada
2000 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
2010 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Intrada Records
(November 22nd, 1988)

Varèse Sarabande
(September 26th, 2000)

Intrada Records
(November 22nd, 2010)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
All of the albums from Intrada and Varèse Sarabande are regular commercial releases. While the earlier two are out of print, they remain readily available. The 2010 2-CD set initially sold for $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the outstanding 2010 Intrada set if you seek by far the most superior presentation of an action score that builds and maintains more character than most in existence, conveying the sorrow of John Rambo with surprising warmth in its melodic highlights.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear the same consistently explosive tone of action in First Blood that made the subsequent two scores in the franchise (also by Jerry Goldsmith) so memorable.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,323
WRITTEN 7/19/09, REVISED 12/29/10
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
First Blood: (Jerry Goldsmith) It has been such a long road for John Rambo since 1982 that it has become difficult to recall just how different First Blood is from the sequels that inevitably followed its success. The character wasn't the muscle-bound superman of Sylvester Stallone's build in David Morrell's book, and it was never intended for the adaptation to lead to subsequent films in which Rambo develops into nothing more than a killing machine. Audiences wouldn't have had enough sympathy about Rambo to care about the sequels if not for the incredible empathy developed for the character in First Blood. While the lead role was re-written slightly when the likes of Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman reportedly turned it down, yielding an obviously different portrayal by a less refined but arguably more likable Stallone, the most important change in the narrative came at the end. The novel concluded with Rambo's killing by his only remaining friend, Colonel Trautman (played by Richard Crenna), but with so much sympathy for the protagonist and the successful examination of the treatment of Vietnam veterans already addressed in the story, the closing act was twisted into the redemptive form seen on screen. The total submission of Brian Dennehy's bigoted sheriff and the widespread destruction of the small Oregon town that greeted Rambo with such indifference or disdain was revenge enough, and in its final cut, First Blood is a surprisingly intelligent film. It's also a relatively bloodless one as well, with only one absolutely confirmed death clearly witnessed. Compare that to the three sequels, each successively increasing the body count exponentially, and First Blood is clearly in a league apart from its satisfying, though mindless successors. There also exists a significant difference in the mood between Jerry Goldsmith's music for First Blood and the two 1980's sequels also scored by the composer. Whereas Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo 3 are ambitious action scores that build upon only the most explosive moments of First Blood, the first score is a comparatively subdued work. It balances the tragedy of Rambo's loneliness with the precision of his stalking and evasion techniques, only rarely bursting with heroic force. The purpose of Rambo in First Blood, after all, was not to terrorize a small town, but to simply find a long lost friend.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
535 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 4.28 Stars
***** 323 5 Stars
**** 106 4 Stars
*** 60 3 Stars
** 26 2 Stars
* 20 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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First Blood Formula
Bruno Costa - January 6, 2011, at 2:40 p.m.
1 comment  (974 views)
National Philarmonic?
Mick - August 5, 2009, at 9:10 a.m.
1 comment  (1369 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1988 Intrada/2000 Varèse Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 40:17
• 1. Home Coming (2:21)
• 2. Escape Route (2:39)
• 3. First Blood (4:36)
• 4. The Tunnel (4:02)
• 5. Hanging Out (3:29)
• 6. Mountain Hunt (6:06)
• 7. My Town (1:55)
• 8. The Razor (3:08)
• 9. No Power (2:51)
• 10. Over the Cliff (2:03)
• 11. It's a Long Road (Instrumental) (2:52)
• 12. It's a Long Road - performed by Dan Hill (3:19)
2010 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 87:19

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of all the albums include information about the score and/or film, though that of the 2010 Intrada set is the most thorough (and includes lyrics to the song).
Copyright © 2009-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
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 First Blood are Copyright © 1988, 2000, 2010, Intrada Records, Varèse Sarabande, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/19/09 and last updated 12/29/10.
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