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Tyler Album
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Final Score Composed, Conducted, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Final Score Co-Orchestrated by:
Robert Elhai
Dana Niu

Rejected Score Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Rejected Score Orchestrated by:
Mark McKenzie
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande
(Tyler Album)
(November 25th, 2003)

Varèse Sarabande
(Goldsmith Album)
(September 7th, 2004)
Availability Icon
The Tyler album is a regular U.S. release. The Goldsmith album was a Hybrid SACD packaged like a Varèse Sarabande Club title and available from September to December 2004 only on their web site. It was released in a limited commercial circulation at the end of 2004 but was completely out of print not long after.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the rare Jerry Goldsmith album if you consider yourself any collector of his works whatsoever, and on the Brian Tyler album if you seek an extension of the propulsive action material you heard in his music for Children of Dune.

Avoid it... if you're hoping to hear a Goldsmith score that isn't highly derivative of his previous works or, alternately, if you're hoping to hear a Tyler score that isn't as simplistic and tedious as you found Children of Dune.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 12/6/03, REVISED 3/7/09
Timeline: (Jerry Goldsmith/Brian Tyler) Director Richard Donner's films have included a plethora of sequel-inspiring ideas, from Superman: The Movie and The Omen to Lethal Weapon. The Michael Crichton-written Timeline was not destined to be one of them. It's rare that films with such promise are so overwhelmingly terrible, devoid of practically any redeeming characteristic whatsoever. The time travel concept in Timeline involves a secretive multinational corporation that has invented a method of reverse time exploration, and the characters who test the new technology end up fighting for their lives in the 14th Century when things, naturally, go wrong. The movie was a nifty excuse to place tomorrow's technology in the setting of knight and castle warfare, though its employment of an absolutely inept ensemble cast (with no stars) was often blamed for muting any interest the concept may have had. Paramount knew they had serious problems with Timeline even before test audiences confirmed their fears, and the project was delayed several times so that Donner could rearrange the narrative into a form that wouldn't put audiences to sleep. Both Donner and Crichton projects had been accompanied by the music of veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith over the previous twenty-five years, from Coma to Goldsmith's lone Academy Award winner, The Omen. The composer's involvement with Timeline stretched for a frustrating seven months, starting after the conclusion of work on Star Trek: Nemesis and continuing until his involvement in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, another film plagued by post production problems. Goldsmith was forced to record music for Timeline in both December of 2002 and March of 2003, with some reports indicating that a certain amount of re-scoring took place in the interim. After the composer submitted his finished work for Donner, Paramount and the film's producers realized that the movie needed even more extensive work to salvage it. As Donner rearranged the film once again, Goldsmith was given the opportunity to essentially write yet another score for Timeline. Understandably, he considered his job finished and walked away.

Such circumstances aren't rare in Hollywood. Goldsmith had both excused himself and been fired from projects before. But Timeline was different because of the composer's advancing age and declining health. The project consumed the majority of the composer's last two years of productivity and is therefore remembered with a fair amount of irritation by his collectors. Knowing that his production of music was slowing by 2003, those fans immediately bootlegged Goldsmith's score, circulating 74 minutes of recording session material in 39 short tracks on CD. The composer, who often conveyed an opinion that too much of his music was released on album, specifically approached Varèse Sarabande producer Robert Townson and asked him to shepherd through an official release of Timeline. That release came not long after the composer's death, available as a specialty product sold through the label's site in September of 2004 before eventually experiencing a limited commercial distribution at the end of that year. The hybrid SACD pressing was treated like one of Varèse's Club titles, and it did eventually go completely out of print. The Varèse presentation edited the score's short cues into a more coherent 48-minute album, missing only a couple of notable recordings from the sessions and offering stunning sound quality. A few of the cues did end up mislabeled in the production of the Varèse album, though for the most part, almost everyone was happy with their offering. When discussing the merits of Goldsmith's work for Timeline, it's difficult to separate this score from the real life timeline of Goldsmith's death. The Varèse album was the last "new" Goldsmith score ever to be released, and it therefore holds some sentimental value. Objectively speaking, Timeline isn't among the composer's very best action scores of the Digital Age, as some have claimed it to be, but it is indeed a solid work. Both this score and Looney Tunes together bid competent farewells to nearly the full range of Goldsmith's talents, and almost any collector of the composer will find material in these works with which to be satisfied. If you're hoping for a classic in the case of Timeline (based on all the hype it originally generated), then you may be disappointed.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.28 Stars
***** 146 5 Stars
**** 176 4 Stars
*** 162 3 Stars
** 113 2 Stars
* 81 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Can't believe Goldsmith's score is
Louis Banlaki - July 17, 2011, at 3:14 a.m.
1 comment  (1756 views)
Goldsmith's Rejected Score Brass Section (HSS)
Kino - October 16, 2008, at 8:28 a.m.
1 comment  (2322 views)
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)
Kino - October 16, 2008, at 8:21 a.m.
1 comment  (1926 views)
Timeline vs Warhammer Dark Omen VG music
Mark Knight - February 19, 2008, at 5:13 a.m.
1 comment  (2506 views)
Complete Score   Expand >>
ddueck - October 8, 2007, at 3:00 p.m.
2 comments  (2871 views)
Newest: July 20, 2008, at 5:59 a.m. by
Krishna Manohar
A highly enjoyable action score
Sheridan - August 18, 2006, at 9:46 a.m.
1 comment  (1885 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Tyler Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:39
• 1. Main Title (2:15)
• 2. Galvanize the Troops (0:45)
• 3. Battle of La Roque (4:13)
• 4. Troops in the Fog (1:38)
• 5. Battalion (0:48)
• 6. 1357 France (2:53)
• 7. Enter the Wormhole (2:48)
• 8. Timeline (1:29)
• 9. Lady Claire and Marek (1:38)
• 10. Night Arrows (2:51)
• 11. Transcription Errors (2:04)
• 12. Storming the Castle (4:11)
• 13. Battlefield Revealed (1:06)
• 14. Interruptus (2:51)
• 15. Mysterioso (2:45)
• 16. Eternal (2:24)
• 17. Village Burned (1:18)
• 18. Descent (2:43)
• 19. History Will Change (2:11)
• 20. Past and Present (2:23)
Goldsmith Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 47:59

Notes Icon
The insert of the Tyler album includes a list of performers and photos of Tyler and Donner from the recording sessions. The insert of the Goldsmith album includes a list of performers and a note from producer Robert Townson about the circumstances of the score and its rejection. Strangely, contradictory to Varèse practices, there is no picture of Goldsmith on that packaging. The entirety of Townson's note, along with a preceding paragraph about the release (for the press), is as follows:

    "The release of his score for Timeline was something that was very important to Jerry Goldsmith. He called me himself and asked if I could please make sure there would be a CD. He knew how important it was to his fans that this work not be relegated to becoming a studio archive footnote. I was present at every recording session and knew how extraordinary it was. Even though it was totally unprecedented with a major film studio, it was my intent from the very beginning to make sure that this score was released. There is still a lot of Jerry Goldsmith music to unearth from the various film studios and Varèse Sarabande will remain forever devoted to caring for and preserving it. But Timeline, Jerry Goldsmith's penultimate composition, now becomes the final new score that we will ever be able to offer from the beloved maestro. With its release we celebrate the memory of a great man who led one of the most exemplary careers in film music history. At last! A score we could not allow to be filed away as a mysterious film music casualty.

    Jerry GoldsmithÕs Timeline is an exceptional work. It's grand in concept, detailed in execution, melodically and rhythmically inspired, exquisitely beautiful and exhilarating. Poised to be another epic merging of the virtuoso words of Michael Crichton and the music of Jerry Goldsmith, the film Timeline was also to bring about a rather historic reunion... that between Goldsmith and director Richard Donner. The two hadn't worked together since The Omen in 1976, the score which earned its composer an Academy Award. Goldsmith began work on Timeline shortly after completing Star Trek: Nemesis for director Stuart Baird (Donner's frequent editor and another veteran of The Omen), in August of 2002. All told, Goldsmith invested some seven months in the project, with recording sessions separated into two main blocks. Three days of recording took place on December 16 - 18, 2002, with more sessions from March 5 - 8, 2003. From these recording sessions emerged an invigorating symphonic work that was embraced by the filmmakers, as cue after cue met with ovations and praise.

    When, a short time after the score had been completed, news broke that the film was going to be rescored, it was one of the most unexpected and perplexing developments in recent times.

    Despite the film's pedigree, however, what had resulted was, in industry lingo, a troubled picture. Faring poorly in test screenings, the film's April release date was aborted and the entire postproduction process, including editing and scoring, was reopened. The film was to receive a rather extreme makeover, even going so far as to excise the opening sequence (the scene which originally accompanied the cue "The Dig"). Having already devoted many months to the producers and delivering a score of might and brawn, Goldsmith viewed any further investitures as futile. Composer Brian Tyler's score for Paramount Pictures' The Hunted (directed by William Friedkin) proved to be the key resume entry that landed him the daunting task of composing a replacement score. But despite all the rethinking and second-guessing, the production's efforts were for naught as the film still failed to either draw the public or satiate the critics.

    Goldsmith's score, under these circumstances, seemed destined to be lost to the dark purgatory of unused and rejected film scores. Despite Donner's acknowledgment that Goldsmith's score was "phenomenal," "magnificent" and "extraordinary," it was, nevertheless, a score without a film.

    But Jerry Goldsmith has always done far more than simply score films (not that there is anything simple about that!), Jerry Goldsmith is an artist. He always has been. And the music he writes is lasting, memorable, moving and important. So, ensuring that this particular score, despite the fate it met in the film, can find its way into the hands and collections of his most devoted fans, Varèse Sarabande is proud to offer this special SACD presentation of Jerry Goldsmith's medieval symphonic adventure."

Copyright © 2003-2021, 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 Timeline are Copyright © 2003, Varèse Sarabande (Tyler Album), Varèse Sarabande (Goldsmith Album) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/6/03 and last updated 3/7/09.
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