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The Incredible Hulk
Composed, Conducted, Co-Orchestrated and Co-Produced by:
Joe Harnell

Co-Orchestrated by:
Don Davis

Co-Produced by:
Ford A. Thaxton

Super Tracks Music Group (Promo)

Release Date:
November, 1999

Also See:
The Hulk (2003)

Audio Clips:
1. The Incredible Hulk: Main Title #1 (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

2. Love Theme from The Incredible Hulk (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

8. The Incredible Hulk: Main Title #2 (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

18. Theme from The Incredible Hulk (Disco Version) (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

Limited promotional release, available only through soundtrack specialty outlets.

  Nominated for an Emmy Award.

The Incredible Hulk
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Buy it... only if you still have a soft spot for the lonely piano theme that often accompanied David Banner on his quest for a cure to his maddening problem.

Avoid it... if you expect that solitary theme for the scientist, as well as the pretty theme for his love interests, to be able to carry the otherwise badly dated action cues and disco material from the series.

The Incredible Hulk: (Joe Harnell) Long before two major feature films both re-introduced the concept in the 2000's, the Marvel character of "The Incredible Hulk" became famous in the classic CBS television show. Offered in 87 hour-long episodes over three and a half seasons starting in 1978, "The Incredible Hulk" stuck to a successful formula in nearly each story. Having overdosed on gamma radiation, a scientist is an outcast who hitchhikes to avoid a tabloid reporter because, as we all know, if the scientist gets mad, he turns into a buff, green giant in the form of Lou Ferrigno. The entire point of the series was to follow the scientists' plight to return to a normal life, but when CBS surprisingly cancelled the successful show only a few episodes into its fourth season, no satisfyingly conclusive episode was ever made possible. Composer Joe Harnell was brought into the production in part due to his involvement with the concurrent series involving "The Bionic Woman," and he would provide music for "The Incredible Hulk" that would eventually yield an Emmy nomination after the cancellation of the show in 1982. Harnell's career is highlighted by similar sci-fi efforts of the era, though the four years of "The Incredible Hulk," as well as its related television films, represent a large portion of that career. As with the scores for such series as "V" and "Alien Nation," fans of Harnell's television music had been patiently awaiting an album of music from "The Incredible Hulk," and, in 1999 (one year after a lengthy release of "V" in promotional form), the SuperTracks Music Group presented a full CD of music with a variety of the most memorable material from the series.

With most of the essential cues from the show included on this lengthy promotional release, "The Incredible Hulk" fans who grew up with show could finally enjoy the ultimate treatment of music from the series. Whether that music (or the series) fits your tastes is another matter, and Harnell's work in this case has aged rather badly compared to his other entries of the time. While retaining a certain orchestral sci-fi element that can also be heard in "V," both the era of the show and its deeper character development cause its music to have an entirely different feel. Harnell's use of the smaller orchestra provides for a generous amount of dramatic underscore for the shifting emotions on screen. Also present are subtle reminders of 1970's pop influence, with percussion, electric bass, and various rhythms often embedded within the music and exuding a disco feel. It is because of these elements that the music really doesn't hold up as well thirty years later. The album exposes vast contrasts in style, especially later on the product when music from individual episodes is heard. The highlights of Harnell's music are the moments of solitary contemplation, in addition to the remarkable love theme. The latter is provided in a concert-like rendition early on the product, though the theme really flourishes in with the female choral contributions of "The Wedding" from the famous episode "Married." Even better known from the show is "The Lonely Man Theme," a solitary piano idea for the scientist's transient movements that eventually was adapted as the show's title theme.

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On the other end of the scale, the moments of Hulkish anger, often accented by militaristic percussion that continues for extended sequences, are more difficult to grasp, mostly due to their harshly dissonant shades and incongruous percussion usage. The album is constructed with the idea of covering this wide variation in music from the series. Three variants of the title theme are provided, including a (now really obnoxious) "Disco Version" that was released on an LP single at the time. Over twenty-five minutes from the pilot (which is arguably better than much of the material that would appear in later episodes) is followed by suites from a few of the best episodic scores, including "Married," "Prometheus," "The Secret Empire," "Homecoming," and more. A few of the episodes used music that also appeared in the 1979 series "Cliffhangers." The best of these episodic suites are by far the two cuts from the Emmy-winning "Married" episode, which include both the wedding and death scenes' accompaniment. A token farewell track from the pilot finishes the score music on the album with a reprise of the "Lonely Man Theme." Interestingly, the album does not contain any material from the episode "Triangle," which was the one that earned Harnell his Emmy nomination from the series. Still, with 74 minutes of well-presented music, this promotional album will surely satisfy any fan of the show or comic series. Due to its age in style and mono recording quality, though, casual fans of television sci-fi music might be better suited investigating Harnell's "V" promo first. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.94 Stars
Smart Average: 2.96 Stars*
***** 98 
**** 108 
*** 140 
** 117 
* 108 
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    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.

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 Track Listings: Total Time: 73:59

• 1. The Incredible Hulk: Main Title - Version #1 (1:32)
• 2. Love Theme from The Incredible Hulk (3:05)

The Incredible Hulk: The Pilot:
• 3. Gamma Ray Treatment (5:50)
• 4. Growing Anger (3:18)
• 5. First Hulk Out/Second Hulk Out (7:35)
• 6. Growing Tension/Explosion/Hulk Rescue and Susan's Death (8:40)
• 7. The Lonely Man Theme (1:33)

Music from the Series:
• 8. The Incredible Hulk: Main Title - Version #2 (1:12)
• 9. Married: The Wedding (2:48)
• 10. Prometheus: Arrival at Project Prometheus (5:13)
• 11. Ricky: Montage (2:19)
• 12. Stop Susan Williams: Suite* (6:36)
• 13. Homecoming: Suite (2:10)
• 14. The Secret Empire: Suite* (7:51)
• 15. Prometheus: Through The Floor/Hulk on the Rampage (3:48)
• 16. Married: Prelude to Tragedy/Death Scene (3:48)
• 17. Pilot: Graveyard Farewell-Lonely Man Theme Reprise (3:11)
• 18. Theme from The Incredible Hulk (Disco Version) (3:29)

* also heard in the TV Series "Cliffhangers"

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes notes about the television show, following TV films, and Harnell's career.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Incredible Hulk are Copyright © 1999, Super Tracks Music Group (Promo). The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/15/99 and last updated 6/15/08. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1999-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.