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Total Recall
Album Cover Art
1990 Varèse
2000 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
2015 Quartet
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande (Original)
(June 12th, 1990)

Varèse Sarabande (Deluxe)
(December 5th, 2000)

Quartet Records
(December 15th, 2015)
Availability Icon
Both Varèse albums are regular U.S. releases, though the 1990 product went out of print. The 2015 Quartet Records album was limited to 3,000 copies and sold initially at soundtrack specialty outlets for a retail price of $25.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you continue to admire Jerry Goldsmith's top-notch, energetic, cohesive action and fantasy material that is saturated with his trademark rhythmic and instrumental flair of the 1980's and 1990's.

Avoid it... if you prefer an earlier generation of Goldsmith action that didn't rely as heavily on such considerable synthetic accompaniment to the orchestra, the electronics a pivotal component of the fantasy atmosphere in this entry.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 12/13/96, REVISED 3/24/16
Total Recall: (Jerry Goldsmith) A blockbuster of low moral character and extraordinary special effects, Total Recall was a top grossing, critically embraced action film of the highest order, with the right director, the right actor, the right story, and the right composer happening upon each other for an enormously entertaining result. Of director Paul Verhoeven's line of extremely violent films of the 1990's, Total Recall, complete with offensive use of an innocent bystander as a human shield in a gun fight, easily maintains the most mainstream praise in retrospect, even if it only lands on plenty of viewers' "guilty pleasure" lists. Undemanding but enthusiastic performances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, fresh off his spirited role in Kindergarten Cop, and Sharon Stone countered a silly premise and dialogue so corny that it actually works (in context, that is). The film is a classic example of a concept and finished product that is so overwhelmingly stupid but zealously tackled by its crew that it is undeniably likable in almost every aspect. In his first collaboration with Verhoeven, a teaming that would eventually include the Oscar-nominated Basic Instinct and the less inspired Hollow Man, composer Jerry Goldsmith wrote one of the most invigorating action scores of the Digital Age for Total Recall. The film's futuristic, outlandish story and flashy visuals are well-suited for Goldsmith's synthetically paced score. The composer was well experienced in the genre by 1990, having produced popular scores for Outland, Capricorn One, Alien, and the Star Trek films, and for Total Recall, Goldsmith would have the opportunity to engage his audience with his maturing use of light electronics while also brandishing his talents with rhythmic and raw orchestral action. It is the delicate, but well-maintained balance between these two basic elements that makes Total Recall such an enjoyable score, even when divorced from the stunning visuals of the film (which won an Academy Award for its special effects without the nuisance of any other nominated competition).

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.88 Stars
***** 1,154 5 Stars
**** 1,034 4 Stars
*** 562 3 Stars
** 246 2 Stars
* 153 1 Stars
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FVSR Reviews Total Recall
Brendan Cochran - May 11, 2015, at 2:17 p.m.
1 comment  (258 views)
Sheridan 2 - November 17, 2006, at 7:50 a.m.
1 comment  (2412 views)
Goldsmith best Score
Martin - August 2, 2006, at 6:13 a.m.
1 comment  (2793 views)
Source Cue
Mark - 224 - October 28, 2004, at 10:29 a.m.
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Newest: January 21, 2004, at 8:22 a.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1990 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 40:13
• 1. The Dream (3:33)
• 2. The Hologram (5:36)
• 3. The Big Jump (4:33)
• 4. The Mutant (3:16)
• 5. Clever Girl (4:31)
• 6. First Meeting (1:10)
• 7. The Treatment (5:30)
• 8. Where am I? (3:56)
• 9. End of a Dream (5:45)
• 10. A New Life (2:23)
2000 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 73:58
2015 Quartet Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 144:13

Notes Icon
The original 1990 album's insert includes no extra information. The expanded 2000 album's insert includes lengthy notes about the film and score, but early printings of the insert contained badly misaligned text. The 2015 Quartet album's notes are also in significant depth, including a cue-by-cue analysis. Contrary to the claims of a few wildly juvenile fanboys, none of the inserts includes a nude picture of the three-breasted midget featured in the film.
Copyright © 1996-2016, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Total Recall are Copyright © 1990, 2000, 2015, Varèse Sarabande (Original), Varèse Sarabande (Deluxe), Quartet Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/13/96 and last updated 3/24/16.
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