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Section Header
1986 Album

1992 Expanded

2002 Re-Issue

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Lyrics by:
John Bettis

Labels and Dates:
Filmtrax PLC (Germany)

Silva Screen
(April 13th, 1992)

Silva America
(May 7th, 2002)

Also See:
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Audio Clips:
1992 Album:

2. My True Love's Eyes (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (233K)
Real Audio (145K)

3. The Unicorns (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

12. Darkness Fails (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

14. Re-United (0:33):
WMA (215K)  MP3 (267K)
Real Audio (166K)

The 1986 Filmtrax album out of Germany is difficult to find outside of Europe. The 1992 Silva album is still floating around, and you could occasionally find a new copy in stores upon the arrival of the 2002 album, which is a regular U.S. release.



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Sales Rank: 183951

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Buy it... if you want to hear a fascinating and melodic venture by Jerry Goldsmith that remains one his most stylish and effective integrations of synthesized and symphonic elements.

Avoid it... if you prefer Tangerine Dream's less striking music for the American release of the film, despite the fact that Goldsmith's partially rejected work is extremely memorable in its own hybrid fantasy construction.

Legend: (Jerry Goldsmith) If film score disasters could be ranked on a top ten list, then Legend would exist somewhere near the top of that list. Director Ridley Scott was coming off of two unpleasant films in the middle of the 1980's, Alien and Bladerunner, and had decided to create an uplifting fantasy film targeted towards families. The convoluted story conveyed all the genre staples of the best alternate worlds, with incredible creatures, demonic villains, and a sappy love story. Plagued by production cuts, stage fires, and studio meddling, Scott's Legend turned out to be just as much of a nightmare for the director as it would be for composer Jerry Goldsmith. The veteran composer had not been entirely happy with his experience working on Alien with Scott, but he was nevertheless won over by the fantasy script and was eagerly brought in on Legend's pre-production to assist in adapting John Bettis' lyrics into songs that would fit into appropriate points during the film. Goldsmith had just completed the synthetically jarring music for Runaway, and he thankfully utilized his newly developed array of synthesizers in a much more harmonious fashion with a London orchestra and choir for Legend. The massive score was destined to initially suffer the same fate as Scott's entire film, however, with the earlier, European release cut significantly and arbitrarily in length. Goldsmith's score experienced the same fate. With half an hour removed from various places in the project, Goldsmith's score was ultimately jumbled and out of place, with several temp cues remaining in the final cut of the film. Goldsmith's frustration with this process would be out of his hands, however, for all of the drastic changes came after he had been paid and left the project for greener pastures (including his famous effort for Hoosiers the following year). Like many others, Goldsmith had his scores mutilated or rejected altogether on multiple occasions, so the event really was not considered earth shattering at the time. Only in retrospect, with the help of a director's cut DVD that revisited copies of the original master tapes for the score, has the situation been deemed tragic.

Through careful reconstruction, the Silva Screen label has, over the years, treated Goldsmith's score with great care, reconstituting most of its cues on multiple releases. While collectors of the composer's works assume that his music would have been better suited for the picture in its original arrangements, this is a case in which even a casual observer could say the same. Goldsmith's score is lyrical and thematically beautiful, a relative rarity at a time in his career when he was using his music in a variety of more abrasive applications. Sensitive in its attitude and fantastically evocative in its use of melody to soften the characters at the heart of the faerie tale, his music for Legend is rich with texture and choral majesty. The thematic battle between good and evil is masterfully matched to the attempts by the Dark Lord to reign in the film. Instead of resorting to several completely separate motifs throughout the score, Goldsmith establishes a central faerie tale theme and simply elaborates on different sections of that theme to represent other characters and locations in the story. The performances of the National Philharmonic Orchestra are dynamic and precise, with the endless electronic supplements integrated with skill. Goldsmith had always stated that he wanted to treat his synthesizers like a fifth section of the orchestra, and this score is among the composer's best such merging. Many of the techniques he employed with the electronics in this score would directly inform his music of the next fifteen years. The dynamic range of emotions in Legend extends from cute, dancing interludes for innocuous creatures to deep brass explosions for the Dark Lord. The latter representation culminates in "Darkness Fails," the last three minutes of which present harsh, lower range brass performances of the kind of satisfying resonance that bridges Poltergeist and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The score really doesn't feature many extended action sequences, content to meander through contemplative territory of an airy fantasy atmosphere. At several points in the work, Goldsmith transitions into lyrical female vocal performances of "My True Love's Eyes" and other material, some of which is vaguely Celtic in its tone, and these are always fully integrated into the orchestral recordings.

The only major detraction from Goldsmith's Legend score is a crashing glissando, or wobbly electronic pulse, that jabs at the listener several times near the beginning of the score as dark events are suddenly foreshadowed in the film. These "oiya-oiyu, oiya-oiyu" noises (as opposed to the hard "doyng!" noises heard courtesy the Blaster Beam in the original Star Trek score, though just as metallic in general tone) often interrupt Goldsmith's best thematic statements and nearly ruin the integrity of a few cues. Aside from those bizarre blasts of the synthesizer, Goldsmith's electronics match the eerie setting well. They are slowly removed from the equation and replaced with the choir almost completely in the last twenty minutes of the work. At the outset, though, the rolling synthetic effects are so alien to the ear that they may be considered to be the score's weakest element by some listeners. Such folks will gravitate back to the soft vocal performances of the angels and central female character. The "My True Love's Eyes" lullaby served as proof that Goldsmith was young at heart and could, conceivably, have made an entire career out of lyrical children's film scores. The score is completed by a suite-like restatement of all the extended components of the title theme in the remarkably enjoyable "Re-United" at the end of the film. Unfortunately, as the studio distributed the film around the globe, more sorrow was in store for Goldsmith's score. The earth shattering event that was avoided in the European release of the film was experienced by Goldsmith collectors when the score was entirely dumped for the film's subsequent American release. The single man at Universal responsible for this decision was then-executive Sydney Jay Sheinberg, who is the idiot known for making some of the most disastrous decisions for the studio in the 1980's (also replacing Michael Kamen's score for Brazil and blessing the production of Howard the Duck). Sheinberg decided that Legend needed more appeal to teenagers and thus oversaw editing of the film himself (in MTV style) so that it included more kissing and other sexual material. He commissioned the German electronic group Tangerine Dream to rescore the film in haste, figuring that their score for Risky Business had enhanced a previous Tom Cruise film and the same could result again.

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What Tangerine Dream provided was electronically and thematically inferior compared to Goldsmith's symphonic/synthetic hybrid effort, and the members of Tangerine Dream themselves became frustrated when Sheinberg would mutilate their score in the final edit as well. Ironically, when the film was extended in length for American television, scenes with Goldsmith's score from the European version ended up alongside scenes with Tangerine Dream's music, making the ultimate experience a musical embarrassment. After Sheinberg's foolish actions, Legend was a total failure in America, seizing neither teenagers nor families, and part of this failure was no doubt due to the removal of Goldsmith's score. On album, all of the music for Legend music is widely available. The Tangerine Dream score was released by Varèse Sarabande on an early CD in 1985 and re-issued in the same form in 1995. The Goldsmith score has been released several times on CD as well. An original German CD was pressed in 1986 with contents identical to the English LP release (which contained ten tracks and about 45 minutes of score). When the Silva Screen label returned to the project for a CD release in 1992, their original intent was to just re-issue the same content in remastered form with better packaging. But upon a mix-up with master tapes and the discovery of superior sounding alternative master copies, Silva produced a full, 70-minute album in excellent quality. This album remained in circulation (as an import in the United States) until it began becoming difficult to find around the year 2000. Varèse Sarabande originally advertised that they would release a "Deluxe Edition" of Goldsmith's Legend in December, 2000, but then backtracked when Silva retained the rights (Varèse only distributed the score at that time through its European branch). Then, in 2002, Silva finally re-issued the album once again (with new artwork, but the same contents as the 1992 product) for total commercial circulation and this album remains in print and readily available. While the 2002 edition claims to have better sound quality than all the others, the 1992 pressing has a very good balance of clarity and resonance itself (either product will satisfy Goldsmith fans). Overall, Legend was a fascinatingly doomed project from which an excellent Goldsmith score has emerged and lived a healthy life apart from its disgraced film. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Jerry Goldsmith reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.26 (in 113 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.26 (in 138,499 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.21 Stars
Smart Average: 3.15 Stars*
***** 212 
**** 209 
*** 197 
** 156 
* 142 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   One more of Goldsmith's masterpieces
  Richard Kleiner -- 10/17/10 (1:03 a.m.)
   An addictive masterpiece... *NM*
  I was scepticle at fir... -- 8/13/09 (4:08 p.m.)
   This is a true epic fantasy score!
  C.J. -- 3/12/07 (10:01 p.m.)
   Extraordinary score!
  Rende -- 1/19/07 (1:48 p.m.)
   Unavoidable To Listen
  Sheridan -- 4/17/06 (7:10 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings (1986 German Album): Total Time: 46:06

• 1. My True Love's Eyes (5:02)
• 2. The Riddle (3:40)
• 3. Sing the Wee (1:06)
• 4. The Goblins (3:41)
• 5. The Dress Waltz (2:44)
• 6. The Ring (6:29)
• 7. The Unicorns (7:53)
• 8. Bumps and Hollows (5:03)
• 9. Forgive Me (5:11)
• 10. Re-United (5:17)

 Track Listings (1992 and 2002 Silva Albums): Total Time: 70:50

• 1. Main Title*/The Goblins (5:45)
• 2. My True Love's Eyes#/The Cottage (5:04)
• 3. The Unicorns (7:53)
• 4. Living River*#/Bumps & Hollow#/The Freeze (7:21)
• 5. The Faeries*/The Riddle (4:52)
• 6. Sing the Wee# (1:07)
• 7. Forgive Me (5:13)
• 8. Faerie Dance* (1:51)
• 9. The Armour* (2:16)
• 10. Oona*/The Jewels* (6:40)
• 11. The Dress Waltz (2:47)
• 12. Darkness Fails* (7:27)
• 13. The Ring (6:28)
• 14. Re-United#

* previously unreleased
# lyrics by John Bettis

 Notes and Quotes:  

The 1986 German album has sparse packaging, but both Silva albums are overflowing with extra details about the film and score.

  All artwork and sound clips from Legend are Copyright © 1986, 1992, 2002, Filmtrax PLC (Germany), Silva Screen, Silva America. 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 3/15/97 and last updated 3/22/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.