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Flatliners/Falling Down
Album Cover Art
1997 Bootleg
2014 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Co-Conducted, and Produced by:

Co-Conducted by:
Marty Paich

Co-Orchestrated by:
Brad Decter
Chris Boardman
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Bootleg
(1997)

Intrada Records
(January 20th, 2014)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1997 private release featured professional print quality but was essentially a bootleg with the identifier of JNHCD 001. The 2014 Intrada album for Falling Down is a limited product with unknown quantities produced and sold initially for $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the 1997 pseudo-bootleg CD only if you're prepared for substandard sound quality and are familiar with the five beautiful minutes of Flatliners that highlight the product.

Avoid it... on either available album presentation of the competent but largely unsustainable score for Falling Down, the less engaging of the pair of scores on the 1997 product.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #482
WRITTEN 6/24/97, REVISED 2/6/15
Howard
Howard
Flatliners/Falling Down: (James Newton Howard) Among the edgy films directed by Joel Schumacher in the early 1990's were Flatliners and Falling Down, both scored by his regular collaborator at the time, James Newton Howard. Selections from the two soundtracks were long available only on one combination album released in 1997, a pseudo-bootleg CD release that became a high collectible. In 2014, Falling Down received an official release by Intrada Records, and until equal treatment of Flatliners arises, this review will remain merged as before due to the 1997 product. The mass appeal for that rare album surrounded the release of the highly varied and occasionally beautiful score for Flatliners, a youthful favorite with an all-star production crew and cast that depicted a group of medical students who decided they would challenge the power of God by suspending themselves in near-death experiences to see what happens at the doors of the other side. Supposedly, the experience is reported to one of peaceful bliss, but these cocky students manage to turn the affair into a series of gloomy and suspenseful maneuvers in resuscitation, all set in a Gothic and shadowy environment that causes the film to walk a fine line between adventure and horror. Howard plays the score along the lines of a religious horror film, alternating between glorious choral statements of beauty and terrifying barrages of orchestral and electronic mayhem. The moments of beauty culminate in the remarkable "Redemption" cue, a documented highlight in Howard's entire career and a calling card among his early assignments. This four-plus minute cue is harmonious in a grandiose religious fashion, offering the film's salvation in a magical thematic statement arguably unparalleled in the composer's lengthy career since. On the other hand, the score's whole is better defined by its considerably disturbing horror elements, with cues like "Flying - First Expedition" featuring a downright unpleasant combination of atonal choral chanting and heavy percussion that mirrors Danny Elfman's concurrent Nightbreed score in many ways. Howard does return to the simple beauty of "Redemption" in a few places, but in the same fashion as in A Devil's Advocate, with single notes of magnificent harmony bursting out of otherwise distraught action. In "Diary of a Surgeon," Howard creates a sound remarkably similar to what Trevor Jones would write for Hideaway a few years later, with a electric guitar rhythm propelling an adult chorus, though here in Flatliners, the guitars eventually wail harshly (among other irritating sound effects). Poor sound quality (with a distracting level of hiss) plagues the score's entire presentation on the 1997 album.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
200 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.21 Stars
***** 60 5 Stars
**** 33 4 Stars
*** 37 3 Stars
** 30 2 Stars
* 40 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1997 Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 57:35
Flatliners:

• 1. A Good Day to Die (1:58)
• 2. Redemption (4:31)
• 3. Diary of a Surgeon (2:30)
• 4. Nelson's Challenge (3:19)
• 5. Flying - First Expedition (1:41)
• 6. Reflections in the Evening (3:25)
• 7. Tunnel of Light - Second Expedition (0:49)
• 8. Back Alleys (1:06)
• 9. Voices (1:38)
• 10. Flashback - Third Expedition (0:40)
• 11. Sins of the Past (3:03)
• 12. Memories - Fourth Expedition (1:41)
• 13. Atonement (1:22)
• 14. Forgiveness (1:53)
• 15. To Fly Alone - Final Expedition (1:07)
Falling Down:

• 16. 110 Freeway (2:06)
• 17. South Central (2:42)
• 18. Miracle Mile (1:28)
• 19. Hollywood (2:44)
• 20. West L.A. (1:01)
• 21. Santa Monica (2:43)
• 22. Venice (3:55)
• 23. Pier (3:51)
• 24. Pacific Ocean (2:11)
• 25. Closing Theme from "Falling Down" (4:33)
2014 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 70:05

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1997 bootleg includes no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2014 Intrada album contains extensive notation about both.
Copyright © 1997-2017, 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 Flatliners/Falling Down are Copyright © 1997, 2014, Bootleg, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/24/97 and last updated 2/6/15.
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