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First Knight
Album Cover Art
1995 Epic
2000 Bootleg
Album 2 Cover Art
2011 La-La Land
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Alexander Courage

2011 Album Produced by:
Bruce Botnick
Mike Matessino
Labels Icon
Epic Soundtrax
(July 4th, 1995)

Camelot (Bootleg)

La-La Land Records
(April 12th, 2011)
Availability Icon
The 1995 Epic album is a regular U.S. release, readily available at low prices for over a decade. The 2000 "Camelot" bootleg was circulated widely on the secondary collector's market in the 2000's. The 2011 La-La Land album is limited to 5,000 copies and available at an initial price of $30 at soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you maintain at least a moderate collection of Jerry Goldsmith's most robust action scores, because First Knight valiantly connects the styles of his 1970's classics with the bombast of his best scores of the late 1990's.

Avoid it... on any album if you have little tolerance for Goldsmith in unintentional parody mode, for he pushes the nobility and melodrama to downright silly heights here, and especially avoid the incomplete and badly rearranged 1995 commercial product.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 9/24/96, REVISED 4/25/11
First Knight: (Jerry Goldsmith) Outside of Sean Connery's casting as the famed King Arthur, nearly everything about the 1995 film First Knight was both an artistic and intellectual disaster. So embarrassing was director Jerry Zucker's mutilation of the Arthurian legend that Camelot became humorous in parts where it was not intended. A ridiculously dumb script, poor special effects, the lack of magical elements, and absolutely wooden performances by Richard Gere and Julia Ormond rounding out the love triangle were the doom of First Knight. Aiding in the discontentment were comparisons at the time to the more fiercely original Rob Roy and Braveheart, increasingly realistic, vivid movies still fresh in the minds of audiences and critics at the time. Worldwide grosses helped First Knight fare reasonably well despite scathing reviews, and after the dust settled, the production was widely remembered with more forgiveness by film score fans for Jerry Goldsmith's heroic music. The project marked the second time in the matter of two years that Goldsmith would replace Maurice Jarre in the action and adventure genre, confirming (among other factors) Jarre's slow and unfortunate descent into relative obscurity at the end of his career. The assignment was one of extremely short scheduling for Goldsmith, who tackled his return to the mainstream action genre with a good sense of humor and only three and a half days in which to record the music. What he provided for First Knight is so epic in proportion and noble in tone that some might have wondered, given the suspect quality of the film, if the composer was subconsciously writing a parody score. But with his tendency to tackle substandard projects with the utmost serious enthusiasm, it's far more likely that Goldsmith was over-compensating for a film that lacked scope and nobility in its other production elements. His music is quite memorable in its blatant statements of each of its ideas, with several extremely obvious primary themes typically sounding off amongst many smaller motifs of equal power. It's a score dear to the hearts of many Goldsmith fans if only because it is saturated with fondly remembered techniques that span from The Wind and the Lion and The Omen in the mid-1970's to Air Force One and The 13th Warrior later in the 1990's. While First Knight may not be packaged quite as well as those other scores, it nevertheless entertains fans of the composer with unyielding bombast and romanticism.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.66 Stars
***** 979 5 Stars
**** 988 4 Stars
*** 705 3 Stars
** 315 2 Stars
* 236 1 Stars
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Goldsmith's last great epic score
Louis Banlaki - July 17, 2011, at 3:10 a.m.
1 comment  (1662 views)
Alternative review of First Knight
Southall - May 8, 2011, at 2:54 p.m.
1 comment  (1864 views)
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)
N.R.Q. - April 12, 2007, at 9:19 a.m.
1 comment  (3090 views)
Sounds like Star Trek alittle.
Kevin Smith - February 16, 2007, at 1:20 p.m.
1 comment  (3258 views)
Excellent album
Sheridan - August 26, 2006, at 5:19 a.m.
1 comment  (3234 views)
First Knight
*//.KasSanDra - October 20, 2005, at 2:02 p.m.
1 comment  (3736 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1995 Epic Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 39:59
• 1. Arthur's Fanfare (0:45)
• 2. Promise Me (4:05)
• 3. Camelot (2:20)
• 4. Raid on Lionesse (4:26)
• 5. A New Life (4:53)
• 6. To Lionesse (3:27)
• 7. Night Battle (5:40)
• 8. Village Ruins (3:21)
• 9. Arthur's Farewell (5:26)
• 10. Camelot Lives (5:37)
2000 Camelot Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:17
2011 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 145:14

Notes Icon
The inserts of the 1995 Epic and 2000 Camelot albums include no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2011 La-La Land set includes detailed notes about both.
Copyright © 1996-2020, 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 First Knight are Copyright © 1995, 2000, 2011, Epic Soundtrax, Camelot (Bootleg), La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/24/96 and last updated 4/25/11.
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