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Cherry 2000
Album Cover Art
1989 Varèse
2004 Prometheus
Album 2 Cover Art
2011 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Steven Scott Smalley

Performed by:
The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande
(September 1st, 1989)

Prometheus Records
(July, 2004)

Intrada Records
(June 14th, 2011)
Availability Icon
The 1989 Varèse Sarabande album was a top collectible from 1992 to 2003. Only 1,500 copies were printed through the Varèse CD Club and it originally sold through the label's mail-order service for only $12. At its height in the late 1990's, it sold for as much as $2,500.

The 2004 Prometheus album is not one of their limited club titles, but was still mostly available through soundtrack specialty outlets. For a long time, it retained a value under $20. That price point was where the 2011 Intrada album started, though that product is limited to only 1,500 copies and targeted at the specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you need a refreshing change of pace from the vast plethora of lesser-inspired scores in the decades since Basil Poledouris' engaging and entertaining fusion of electronics and orchestra for a strikingly unique parody Western.

Avoid it... if the idea of hearing electric guitars and synthetic rhythms with your bold Western brass themes makes you cringe, though both the 2004 and 2011 albums supplement this rowdy listening experience with a different companion Poledouris score from the 1980's.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 7/1/97, REVISED 6/29/11
Cherry 2000: (Basil Poledouris) Despite sinking $10 million into Cherry 2000 in 1985, Orion Pictures had no idea what to do with the film, delaying it two years before finally giving up on a theatrical release and sending it directly to video. The tongue-in-cheek, B-rate science-fiction/action flick stars the counter-intuitively squeaky Melanie Griffith as a female mercenary in the post-apocalyptic world of robot infiltration and societal disorder in California and Nevada. With flashy cars, atrociously dumb dialogue, and futuristic sexuality on the line, the film holds no punches in its lighthearted Mad Max depiction of future societal brutality. But then again, the film is laughably horrible, perhaps in a semi-intentional way, sending Griffith and her vintage Ford Mustang on a mission with a misguided young man on a hunt for another copy of a specific sex robot (the titular "Cherry 2000") after the male lead's original one is accidentally electrocuted by a washing machine. They run into nasty degenerates in the deserts on the way to a sunken Las Vegas, where they do find their target sex toy but predictably fall in love with each other instead. Every once in a while, you get the impression that crew members "above" this variety of trash take the job anyway as some kind of humorous diversion, and Cherry 2000 represented that type of situation for composer Basil Poledouris. At the time, he was best known for his grand, thematically complex scores for sword and sorcery films like Conan the Barbarian and Flesh + Blood. Released at roughly the same time as RoboCop, Cherry 2000 was the kind of project that allowed the composer to use the opportunity as his own testing grounds for his budding instrumental ideas (especially involving synthesizer techniques) and have unhindered fun in the process of venturing into the realm of futuristic Western. By this time, Poledouris was beginning to really get the knack of combining massive orchestral performances with trademark electronic rhythms and synthesized instruments, setting the framework for a variety of subsequent hybrid scores (culminating, interestingly enough, in Free Willy). While Robocop was initially the more popular expression of this experimentation, Cherry 2000 would eventually reveal itself to be the dark horse winner in these endeavors.

If you walk into Cherry 2000 expected a serious score, you may be disappointed and wonder why you spent the time and/or money on one of its several semi-rare to rare albums. Instead, it's a collection of positive, if not silly parody ideas on a very large scale, poking obvious fun at Spaghetti Western and European romance music all the while enunciating itself strictly though Poledouris' distinctive musical voice. So infectious is the composer's entertaining stance for Cherry 2000 that it's hard not get drawn into the bizarrely eclectic nature of the music for this film and recognize that it truly is the production's only redeeming element. Despite its attention to thematic harmony and tonal rhythms at almost every turn, the score is neither robust nor awe-inspiring. Instead, Cherry 2000 makes its name with personality alone, tackling the futuristic Western genre by expressing itself with backwards-looking themes against a backdrop of synthetic rhythms and electric guitars. The Hungarian orchestral performances highlight several well-developed themes, and as usual for Poledouris, these motifs weave in and out of each other in every cue and change their guises as the score progresses. The film opens with Poledouris' sappy love theme, a wishy-washy and overly sensitive representation of the male lead's obsession with his Cherry 2000 sex robot. Intriguingly, while this idea is conveyed by strings and solo woodwinds throughout these early scenes and the many flashbacks to his love affair with the machine, Poledouris shifts it to the electronic realm for the romantic interactions between the man and Griffith's mercenary. It swells into an action theme during the plane sequence in "End of Lester" and explodes with banging chimes and full symphonic glory at the outset of "The End" with almost ridiculous pomposity. In many ways, the love theme is the core of the score's narrative, the only idea to truly evolve throughout its length. The nutty villain, Lester, is treated to a quirky keyboarded idea starting in "Moving" and dominating the second half of the score; in "Truck Fight" and "Lester on the Move," Poledouris combines the strangely light-footed celesta-like tone of the synthetic keyboarding for this motif with muscular orchestral backing, an odd but effective approach to the character. In both "Truck Fight" and "Lights On" (among others), this motif is overtaken by the primary Western-styled theme for the female mercenary.

Almost the entirety of Poledouris' tribute material to Ennio Morricone in Cherry 2000 is dedicated specifically to Griffith's character, though the stylish solo electric guitar in "Drive to Gloryhole" is an early exception. Several different phrases within this theme clearly address this parody element, none with fuller development than in the latter stages of "Thrashing of Sky Ranch." The light treatment of this idea early in "'E' Flips Sam" is notable in that it represents practically the only soft statement of the identity. Few dull moments are to be found in Cherry 2000, for Poledouris is almost constantly heard exploring one of his amusing parody themes. There are even a few secondary ideas for specific scenes, a notable one of harmonically pleasing rising figures at the end of "Magneto" and, with synthetic choir, during the entirety of "Pipeline." The mock Western rhythms by themselves are a subset of the heroine's theme, often including deep brass minor-third progressions and standard percussion appropriate to the genre but usually accompanied by futuristic waves of electronic mastery foreshadowing the tones of Wind (especially at the outset of "End of Lester"). In cues like "The Barricades" and "Photograb," these cute but very palatable rhythms carry passages often about a minute long. The highlight of these rhythmic loops and their synthetic effects is arguably "Lights On," a cue accompanying the start of the climactic fight in a Las Vegas casino but opening with twenty seconds of futuristic wonder that most sci-fi movie-makers would probably love to steal for the opening frames of their own projects. The last 80 seconds of "Thrashing of Sky Ranch," however, is a more sustained singular highlight that employs some challenging rhythmic meter changes that brilliantly express the composer's knack for playing to stereotypes in the genre. On the whole, what Poledouris accomplishes with this charming combination of future and past is a remarkably effective score with a very distinct personality. Nothing remotely like Cherry 2000 has been written by Poledouris (or any other composer) before or after, making it a very refreshing glimpse at an untapped sub-genre of parody. There is a touch of Jerry Goldsmith to be heard in the meandering, light electronics at times (especially in the sensitive woodwind and keyboarded statement of the love theme in "Ambush in the Cave"), the vigorous pace of its chase cues offering familiar deep and pulsating synthetic rhythms with pounding timpani on every measure.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.8 Stars
***** 147 5 Stars
**** 131 4 Stars
*** 63 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 35 1 Stars
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Selling Authentic Cherry 2000 Soundtrack Varèse Sarabande
fauX - August 17, 2007, at 5:35 a.m.
1 comment  (2502 views)
JS Park - October 8, 2004, at 2:44 p.m.
1 comment  (2807 views)
I want my cherry 2000
Evan - February 13, 2004, at 12:48 p.m.
1 comment  (3017 views)
Download Track 21 at Poledouris's Website
Travis - February 6, 2004, at 10:33 p.m.
1 comment  (3319 views)
About the other edition
Seongyong Cho - January 3, 2004, at 3:16 a.m.
1 comment  (3131 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1989 Varèse Sarabande Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 39:05
Track Listing on Packaging:
• 1. Prologue (1:02)
• 2. Lights On (1:49)
• 3. Main Title (1:55)
• 4. Lester (5:05)
• 5. Rauda (0:42)
• 6. Hooded Love (1:13)
• 7. The Barricades (1:50)
• 8. Magneto (4:18)
• 9. Drive to Gloryhole (1:23)
• 10. Thrashing of Sky Ranch (3:21)
• 11. Sam Flips (1:13)
• 12. Cherry Shorts Out (1:30)
• 13. Lester on the Move (0:36)
• 14. Drive (1:52)
• 15. Photograb (1:09)
• 16. Plane to Vegas (1:00)
• 17. Ambush in the Cave/Truck Fight (2:09)
• 18. Flashback (1:05)
• 19. Lights Out (1:47) (incorrect time)
• 20. The End (0:35) (incorrect time)
Corrected Track Listing:
• 1. Prologue (1:13)
• 2. Lights On (1:55)
• 3. Main Title (1:58)
• 4. Lester (5:04)
• 5. Rauda (0:45)
• 6. Hooded Love (1:17)
• 7. The Barricades (1:52)
• 8. Magneto (4:22)
• 9. Drive to Gloryhole (1:27)
• 10. Thrashing of Sky Ranch (3:27)
• 11. Sam Flips (1:18)
• 12. Cherry Shorts Out (1:33)
• 13. Lester on the Move (0:41)
• 14. Drive (1:52)
• 15. Photograb (1:09)
• 16. Plane to Vegas (1:00)
• 17. Untitled Track (0:59)
• 18. Ambush in the Cave/Truck Fight (2:15)
• 19. Flashback (1:08)
• 20. Untitled Track (0:54)
• 21. Lights Out (1:52)
• 22. The End (0:39)
(The packaging's track listings are missing tracks #17 and #20, however the times after the tracks are correct up until #18. Track #18 is actually #19, and #19 and #20 are indeed the final two tracks as #21 and #22. Both missing tracks are under a minute in length. Other published accounts that the listings are missing only one track, #17, are incorrect.)
2004 Prometheus Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 76:43
2011 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 65:48

Notes Icon
The inserts for all three official CD albums from 1989 to 2011 include extra information about the score and film. All copies were hand numbered on the original Varèse Sarabande release.
Copyright © 1997-2021, 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 Cherry 2000 are Copyright © 1989, 2004, 2011, Varèse Sarabande, Prometheus Records, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/1/97 and last updated 6/29/11.
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