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Section Header
1992 Intrada

2005 Intrada

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Bruce Broughton

Orchestrated by:
Chris Boardman
Don Nemitz

Labels and Dates:
Intrada Records
(Original Issue)

Intrada Records
(2-CD Set)
(November 12, 2005)

Also See:
Wyatt Earp

Audio Clips:
2005 Intrada Album:

CD1: 9. On to Silverado (0:32):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

CD1: 13. Party Crashers (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

CD2: 4. Jake Gets Tyree/Then Slick, Then McKendrick (0:29):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

CD2: 6. We'll Be Back (End Credits) (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Both albums are regular U.S. releases. The 1992 album is out of print and carries a value of about $15, while the 2005 2-CD set retails for $30.

  Nominated for an Academy Award.


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Buy it... if you seek one of the most vibrant, satisfying adventure or Western themes in the history of Hollywood, the 2005 2-CD set presenting its original recording in much improved sound quality.

Avoid it... if you expect Silverado to excel in the mass of underscore added to the 2005 album, because while that material ranges from competent to strong, none of it can really compete with Bruce Broughton's signature title theme for the picture.

Silverado: (Bruce Broughton) By the early 1980's, the Western genre was all but left for dead, the kind of thing meant to be lampooned by Mel Brooks. The Lawrence Kasdan production of Silverado in 1985 marked the sudden return of the serious Western to the Hollywood landscape, spawning a wide range of entries in the following ten years that included some of the industry's most applauded movies. Despite a budget of only $26 million, Kasdan was able to assemble a fantastic ensemble cast by banking on leads whose best years were still mostly ahead of them. The group of Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, and John Cleese anchoring Silverado has made the film a frequent entry for late night television lineups. The plot addresses nearly all of the stereotypical Western elements, from rancher and sheriff disputes to outlaw protagonists that band together to save dusty towns from violent oppression. Everything about Silverado defied expectations with a reception that deemed the film a fresh new start to a genre in the era, and the original score by Bruce Broughton was the most obvious reason for that reaction. Broughton's music received countless accolades that led to an Academy Award nomination for the composer and thrust him quickly into a role as one of Hollywood's leading voices for Western scores in the years to come. It is too early to definitively say that Silverado caused Broughton to be a "one hit wonder" from a mainstream perspective, but there is a sense that all of his endeavors for topics involving the Old West or other adventuresome realms were destined to be compared to his 1985 calling card. Foremost among these subsequent works remains 1993's Tombstone, which expands upon the various dramatic elements in Silverado but does not feature the earlier score's immensely satisfying title theme. A healthy debate about Silverado can revolve around the issue of whether or not its fame is due to just that one theme or its entire package. In some ways, a score like Tombstone offers more consistently interesting, quality material, but at the end of the day, there simply cannot be any doubt that Broughton's thematic identities for Silverado are the legendary crowning achievement of his career.

The suite of two themes from the score has been performed countless times in concerts worldwide, and the unquestionably outstanding title theme is as memorable as John Williams' fantastic themes of that era in Hollywood history. The formula of large symphonic bombast that Kasdan and Broughton agreed upon for Silverado was a 180 degree turn from the style of Ennio Morricone minimalism that had dominated the genre in the 1970's. Parts of Silverado are as rowdy as any Western score in history, explosive in their ambitious brass and percussion employment. Broughton's affinity for intriguing trombone applications extends to the entire brass section, yielding layers of wildly maneuvering harmony often accompanied by equally ambitious violin lines; it's no wonder Silverado presents so much difficulty for some performing groups to nail down. The main theme is divided into two parts, the opening fanfare and the actual melody. Both are afforded extremely attractive brass treatment that varies considerably in tone, from the smoothly flowing "On to Silverado" to the rambunctious, concert-like "We'll Be Back." Despite being able to stand on their own for brief references, these two motifs are the highlights of the score when Broughton uses the fanfare's heroic progressions to serve as counterpoint to the primary theme. Additionally, when Broughton tones back the theme and hands it to high strings and woodwinds in "On to Silverado," you hear very clearly just how beautiful the idea truly is in any incarnation. That cue also contains the score's most cohesive presentation of the secondary "settler's theme" that is best known as the middle sequence within the famous concert suite for Silverado. Acoustic guitar and trumpet solos are another significant highlight of this memorable cue. Broughton assigns a dark, rhythmic identity to the evil ranchers in the plot, allowing snare and growling bass elements to represent them in ways that would be reprised in Tombstone for the antagonists there. Tambourines, piano, triangles, and wood blocks provide some levity to the brighter cues, assisting in maintaining a soundscape that is remarkably dynamic in the majority of the score. If a complaint were to be registered in regards to the thematic aspect of Silverado, it's that Broughton doesn't adapt his primary theme enough times, because the highlights of the score are easily those cues in which he does.

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Listeners unfamiliar with the full score may also be surprised by the amount of playing time occupied by barely audible suspense or conversational material. There is a fair amount of mundane music in the midsection, highlighted by a handful of unconventional techniques for creating disturbed ambience for the genre. Foremost among these is the use of an eerie, descending bass tone reminiscent of what Jerry Goldsmith sprinkled throughout the Poltergeist franchise. Broughton also uses a cymbal to seemingly emulate the ominous warning of a rattlesnake to foreshadow the rancher gang's activities, as in "Augie is Taken." Overall, Silverado is a strong score from start to end, but not worthy of designation as a classic until you take the title theme into consideration. Few themes have endured through the years as well as this one, and it's catchy enough to engrain itself in your memory and refuse to budge. The spread of the thematic statements between various sections of the orchestra is also an aspect of Silverado that will ultimately impress any listener. Broughton has always praised the performances of the Los Angeles ensemble utilized for this score, though the brass section does commit a few distracting errors during the especially difficult sequences (most notably from the horns). The score has been the centerpiece of the Intrada Records label's relationship with Broughton that has remained strong for decades. An original 46-minute CD pressing in 1992 expanded upon Geffen Records' 31-minute LP record release, and in 2005 Intrada provided the complete score on two CDs with significantly improved sound due to better source and mastering technologies. Technically, there are some source cues recorded by Broughton on piano that are missing from the 2005 edition of unlimited quantity, but all of the symphonic music recorded is included on the product (including a few bonus cues at the end of the second CD). Some of the track titles of the two Intrada CDs differ due to the varying edits of the album presentations. Most of the additional 40 minutes of music will be somewhat uninteresting or redundant to casual listeners, though the improvement in sound quality will be worth the $30 price tag (more so than Intrada's 2006 expansion of Tombstone) for anyone who has always held an affinity for the score's memorable title theme. That theme is the kind of phenomenon that carries an entire score regardless of the quality of the medium, and Silverado therefore enjoys the highest rating possible. ***** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Bruce Broughton reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.3 (in 10 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.17 (in 3,710 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings (1992 Intrada Album): Total Time: 46:17

• 1. Silverado Main Title (4:47)
• 2. To Turley (2:43)
• 3. The Getaway/Riding As One (4:21)
• 4. Ezra's Death (1:53)
• 5. The McKendrick Attack (1:38)
• 6. Augie is Taken (2:36)
• 7. On to Silverado (6:26)
• 8. This Oughta Do (4:51)
• 9. Augie's Rescue (6:36)
• 10. Slick, Then McKendrick (4:03)
• 11. Goodbye, Cobb (2:06)
• 12. End Credits (We'll Be Back) (4:22)

 Track Listings (2005 Intrada Album): Total Time: 86:04

CD 1: (48:03)
• 1. Main Title (4:46)
• 2. Paden's Horse (1:33)
• 3. Tyree and Turley (3:39)
• 4. That Ain't Right (1:13)
• 5. Paden's Hat (3:37)
• 6. The Getaway/Riding As One (6:07)
• 7. Den of Thieves (1:46)
• 8. The Strongbox Rescue (1:53)
• 9. On to Silverado (6:23)
• 10. McKendrick's Men (1:24)
• 11. Ezra's Death (1:52)
• 12. An Understanding Boss (1:47)
• 13. Party Crashers (1:37)
• 14. Tyree and Paden (0:52)
• 15. McKendrick's Brand (0:50)
• 16. You're Empty, Mister/Emmet's Rescue (3:43)
• 17. Behind the Church (1:15)
• 18. Augie is Taken (2:36)

CD 2: (38:01)
• 1. Worried About the Dog (2:07)
• 2. Prelude to a Battle (4:50)
• 3. McKendrick Waits/The Stampede/Finishing at McKendrick's (8:24)
• 4. Hide and Watch/Jake Gets Tyree/Then Slick, Then McKendrick (9:30)
• 5. Goodbye, Cobb (2:05)
• 6. We'll Be Back (End Credits) (4:22)

Bonus Tracks:
• 7. The Bradley Place (1:48)
• 8. Jake Gets Tyree (Original Version) (2:15)
• 9. The Silverado Waltz (2:03)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The inserts of both albums include information about the score and film, though the 2005 set features a more extensive analysis.

  All artwork and sound clips from Silverado are Copyright © 1992, 2005, Intrada Records (Original Issue), Intrada Records (2-CD Set). 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 5/28/10 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2010-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.