The Swarm

Jerry Goldsmith

 
" The Swarm is Coming "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

People in Hollywood land have been attacked by all kinds of creatures. The bees is definitely one of the most logical choices. The Swarm is therefore one of those disaster films of the 70's that worked, well worked to a degree. It ain't The Birds (though it of course tried to be), and yet still it wasn't a giant spider or something like that attacking Hollywood land. Jerry Goldsmith was of course another logical and safe bet. And his music is good to a degree as well. What I like is that there's a nice balance between the real threat, and occasional calmer moments ("High Toxin", "The Boys and the Bees, Part 1", "A Gift of Flowers"). It calms the experience down. But the biggest threat still comes from the bees, and their over presence in the film also leads to an over abundance of them on disc. Especially in this overlong format. Prometheus spoiled the completist's search for the whole dead, even though this is seriously too long. Goldsmith keeps the score as fresh as possible, but if one starts with a sound for the attacking bees, you can only stick with it. The opening buzzing orchestra opens most of the cues, and once and a while Goldsmith does something with it (the dramatic suspenseful motif in "The Bees Arrive" works and is one of those cues that's used a lot on compilations). In general, The Swarm is fully functional, and often engaging enough on a dramatic / disaster scale. The only thing that keeps me from rating it higher is the massive length. Goldsmith keeps the score interesting enough, and one can only love those final 2 MEGA Goldsmith pieces, but surely things could have been shortened immensely for a much smoother listen? Then again, what a serious improvement if one would compare it with today's 70 minute scores. At least here it's all interesting enough.

Typical strong music for the thrilling action moments ("The Bees Inside").
Those last 2 tracks in particular show Goldsmith's true potential.
Enough dramatic music to counterbalance the attacking bees music.
Funny coincidence or deliberate wink, the Jaws like rhythm of 2 notes in "The Bees Picnic".
Score could have been cut in half, because this presentation seriously drags the experience (especially in the first part).

Track Listing

1. Main Title / Red Two Reporting (6.40)
2. The Black Mass (2.33)
3. What Happened? (1.11)
4. The Bees Picnic (2.19)
5. On Their Way (0.58)
6. Get Him Out (2.12)
7. Old Friends (1.26)
8. High Toxin (4.27)
9. The Boys and the Bees, Part 1 (2.05)
10. Oh Maureen / The Boys and the Bees, Part 2 (2.31)
11. Bees on Fire / Towards Marysville (2.05)
12. The Lollipop (0.43)
13. A Gift of Flowers (2.00)
14. The Bees Arrive (4.55)
15. Out of the Closet (1.50)
16. The Park (0.41)
17. Rita and the Doctor (0.59)
18. Brad and Helena (1.36)
19. Train Wreck / No Effect (3.34)
20. Tommy's Dead! (3.24)
21. Exact Instructions (7.13)
22. Oh Walter! (1.14)
23. The Glasses / Houston Headquarters (3.46)
24. Burn 'Em Out (1.11)
25. Get Reinforcements! (2.29)
26. The Bees Inside (5.21) Excellent track
27. End Title (3.05) Excellent track

Total Length: 65.15
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Released by

Prometheus CD Club PCR 517 (limited release 2003)

Conducted by

Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton