Rambo: First Blood Part II

Jerry Goldsmith

" To survive a soundtrack these days, you gotta hear ... Jerry Goldsmith's Rambo II "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

The Rambo scores remain a pleasant memory in Jerry Goldsmith's career. After all its a balls to the walls display of how action, tension and heroism blends together in a non stop assault on the senses. But I mean that absolutely in a good way. The Rambo scores are the example to what today's composers should strive for in their action music. Of course few will ever succeed in blending all this magnificence together, so perhaps it's wise not to even try to duplicate it. Still it's the way to go, after all Rambo II is a bonafied suspense score that goes for only one thing. Create tension between the hard action music. The first part has that tension music, always with some version of the themes through it, or through the electronics that create this angry growling noise we've come so accustomed with. But Goldsmith never forgets in the midst of all this tension and electronic accompaniment to tie it together with the heroic Rambo theme. It's the way music was written back then, and it's almost impossible to believe it appears to be so difficult to duplicate it today. Anyway, when most of the tension has passed, it's time for Goldsmith to unleash his action music. And it's safe to say, it's where Rambo II soars in. I mean "Escape from Torture", "Revenge", "Pilot Over" or the amazing "Village Attack / Helicopter Fight" (a showcase to build action music) are absolutely amazing cues. Rambo II is now a complete bodied action soundtrack and a showcase of how it's supposed to be done. A thematic rollercoaster ride full of power, tension and development. Or another sad reminder of how old music still kicks the new music silly with just one single cue (you can pick the one who has the honor to do that).

Who needs action music that lasts a lifetime?
Rambo needs 3 things: bullets, his knife and the Rambo THEMES.
Goldsmith's rhythmic action know no boundaries ("The Jump", "Escape from Torture" and "Village Attack / Helicopter Fight".
"Escape from Torture" or "Village Attack / Helicopter Fight", I can't decide which one is more brilliant.
Perhaps even a tiny overload of action / suspense music now.

Track Listing

CD 1: 61.41
Complete Original Soundtrack
1. Carolco Logo (0.18)
2. Main Title (2.14) Excellent track
3. The Map (0.59)
4. Preparation (1.19)
5. The Jump (3.20) Excellent track
6. The Snake (1.55)
7. The Pirates (1.31)
8. Stories / Percussion (Overlay) (3.31)
9. The Camp (1.25)
10. Forced Entry (1.03)
11. The Cage (3.59)
12. River Crash (2.23)
13. The Gunboat (1.19)
14. Betrayed (4.26)
15. Bring Him Up (1.18)
16. The Eyes (1.01)
17. Escape From Torture (3.43) Excellent track
18. Ambush (2.48)
19. Revenge (6.17)
20. Bowed Down (1.06)
21. Pilot Over (1.56) Excellent track
22. Village Attack / Helicopter Fight (4.55) Excellent track
23. Pre Lift Off / Home Flight (3.26) Excellent track
24. Day by Day (2.09)
25. Peace in Our Life: Frank Stallone (3.20)

CD 2: 78.41
Original Soundtrack – 35mm Three-Channel Mixes
01. Carolco Logo (With Slate) (0.34)
02. Main Title (2.17)
03. Preparation (1.19)
04. The Jump (3.23)
05. The Snake (1.55)
06. The Pirates (1.31)
07. Stories/Percussion (Overlay) (3.32)
08. The Camp (1.26)
09. Forced Entry (1.03)
10. The Cage (3.59)
11. River Crash (2.23)
12. The Gunboat (1.18)
13. Betrayed (4.28)
14. Bring Him Up (1.18)
15. The Eyes (1.01)
16. Escape From Torture (3.44)
17. Ambush (2.49)
18. Revenge (6.18)
19. Bowed Down (1.07)
20. Pilot Over (1.57)
21. Village Attack/Helicopter Fight (4.54)
22. Pre Lift Off (0.28)
23. Day by Day (2.16)

The Extras
(Unused Cues – 35mm Three-Channel Mixes)
24. Stories (Trumpet Stripe Only) (3.30)
25. Percussion No. 1 (0.06)
26. Percussion No. 2 (0.08)
27. Ambush (Early Take) (2.49)
28. Revenge (Early Mix) (6.22)

1984 Trailers
– 2" 24-Channel Mixes
29. Rambo Promo No. 1 (Original) (1.06)
30. Rambo Promo No. 2 (Revised) (1.08)

Carolco Demo Cassette
31. The Map (Alternate) (1.00)
32. Helicopter Fight (Alternate) (4.19)
33. End Credits (Original) (3.13)
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 2 votes - average 4.75/5)

Released by

Intrada 7149 (regular release 2016)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton

Performed by

The National Philharmonic Orchestra