Preparing this new CD master was akin to combining a mystery story with a jigsaw puzzle - a certain amount of detective work linked with a large degree of patience.
The score of LEGEND has always been generally regarded as one of Jerry Goldsmith's finest achievements although the original CD release proved to be something of a disappointment - not because of anything lacking in the musical content but due to the sub-standard packaging and shallow sound quality. As the initial release of the soundtrack did not remain in catalog for very long it was Silva Screen's original intention just to reissue the original album with improved artwork, notations and sound. However, when it was discovered that the original album master had been lost, we contacted the recording engineer for the LEGEND sessions, Mike Ross-Trevor of the Hit Factory Studios (London) in an effort to find alternative tapes. Fortunately he had stored a set of 2-track digital tapes from the original sessions (mixed-down from 8-track) which he knew "would be worth preserving".
These tapes featured some complete "takes" but many were just sections of cues which had then been edited for the soundtrack and later for the album master. Those edits had now to be "recreated", which proved difficult especially as the film company had lost all of the printed scores for LEGEND, so this work had to be done without the aid of following bar lines. Where possible we have remained faithful to Goldsmith's edits, and because of great advances in digital technology since 1985, have in some cases made "cleaner" cuts. Whilst preparing the new CD master a wealth of other material was found. So, an alternative master utilizing some of the additional music was prepared and then sequenced in the order they would have appeared in the uncut version of the film - Goldsmith's complete score was composed for a film of 14 reels which was then trimmed down to 12 reels with the first 4 reels being left virtually intact, but then in other reels music from completely different scenes appear, e.g. cues from reel 13 find their way into reel 6! It was then decided to release this alternative master as it gives a more complete and "darker" view of this landmark score from Jerry Goldsmith's illustrious career.
Special thanks are due to Mike Ross-Trevor without whose skill, patience and infinite care for detail, this release would not have been possible. -James Fitzpatrick
LEGEND: Eons ago, the Lord of Darkness reigned sovereign over the world. Then came the splendor of light which bestowed peace and harmony upon the world, and the Dark Lord retreated to the solace of the shadows deep beneath the world. Hateful of light, his destroyer, the Dark Lord plotted his return to power by one day banishing light forever. But the secret and power of light is safe from the clutches of the Dark Lord, resting in the souls of two unicorns, who are hidden from all but the purest of mortals.
An enchanted, "woodsy" atmosphere is conjured by ethereal chords from chorus, synthesizers and strings, counter pointed by bird-like calls from the flute and synthesizers, as the moonlit forest is seen. However, three goblins, Blix, Pox and Blunder, disrupt the peace, as they espy two shafts of light emanating from a forest glade. The noisy goblins rush to investigate, but the light recedes, and the many animals gathered around it flee. All are gone as the goblins reach the glade, save for a long, silvery hair caught upon a tree-a strand from a unicorn's mane. The goblins snatch it up and ride off. Goldsmith perfectly captures the wicked essence of the goblins in their theme, which is most often voiced by an eerie synthesizer, the sound of which has a strikingly "vicious" quality, suggestive of slime, flatulence and the uncouth vulgarity so characteristic of these creatures.
Sent out by the Dark Lord to destroy the unicorns, and bring back their enchanted horns, the goblins stalk Lili, a young princess who sings to herself as she wanders through a woodland glade. Arriving at the cottage of her friend, a peasant woman named Nell, Lili mischievously plays a trick on Nell by untying her laundry line. Lili enters the cottage, and the music expresses her love of nature and longing for the simple agrarian life. But this soothing air is interrupted by an eerie glissando from a synthesizer, as Lili has a vision of Nell's chiming clock frozen in ice and snow, portending the terrible fate which is to come from Lili's mischievous nature. The pastoral mood returns however, when Nell enters, and Lili forgets her premonition.
Lili runs deep into the forest to meet her sweetheart, Jack, who lives alone in the woods among the animals. Jack brings Lili to a secret place in the forest, where they are able to gaze upon the unicorns who frolic blissfully in a stream, and the unicorn's theme crescendos in its most soaringly beautiful setting of the score. Not content merely to gaze, Lili leaves Jack's side to get closer, but the goblins have been following the lovers, and close in, waiting for the opportunity to strike.
Lured by Lili's song, the stallion inadvertently walks into Blix's line of fire, where he shoots it with a poison dart from his blow-gun. Terrified, both unicorns flee, and the goblins set-off in pursuit, their theme now voiced by belligerently triumphant brass. Jack chastises Lili for her blasphemous attempt to touch a unicorn, still unaware of the goblins and the doom which has been sown. Lili sings to Jack to soothe his troubled spirit. When he questions her true devotion, she hurls her gold ring into a deep pool of water, joking that she will marry "he that can retrieve it." To her startled surprise, Jack dives in instantly. However, in another part of the forest, the Goblins corner the dying stallion and sever the spire from it's head. The sky darkens and a raging tempest engulfs the world in snow and ice, leaving Jack trapped beneath the frozen surface of the pool. He manages to break through, but Lili has fled, believing him drowned. Running blindly through the blizzard, Lili arrives at Nell's cottage, and the same synthesizer glissando now signifies that her earlier vision has come to pass, for Nell and her family (and the clocks) are all frozen stiff. Lili's trance of horror is broken by the arrival of the goblins, (announced by the nasty, viscous synthesizers) who burst through the door, narrowly missing the princess as she ducks into the loft.
Having collapsed from cold and exhaustion into the snow, Jack is revived by woodland faeries, where he is introduced to Honeythorn Gump, a child-like, but wise and ancient elf. Agreeing they must set things right, Jack sets off with Gump and three faeries - Screwball, Brown Tom and Oona, to find the remaining unicorn mare, and retrieve the spire of the stallion. After nearly killing Jack with a spell to make him dance uncontrollably (as punishment for allowing Lili to touch a unicorn), Gump offers Jack the chance for absolution by answering a riddle- "What is a bell that does not ring, yet it's knell makes the angels sing?", to which Jack correctly guesses, "bluebells". Being bested by a mortal sends Gump into a temper tantrum, and he smashes his fiddle in a rage, underscored by a frantic solo violin. Snapping out of it, he befriends Jack and offers him faerie wine. The briefly happy mood is broken however, when they are reminded of the peril the world is in, and that they must try to do something about it.
Though aware of the terrible tragedy that has befallen the world, the faeries retain the compulsion to sing, and launch into a song which celebrates their faerie ways - ways which seem so frivolous to mortals who do not understand them.
Jack and the faeries discover the dead stallion in the snow. Angry brass signals the appearance of the mare, who regards Jack with rage at having caused the death of her mate. Tears well up in Jack's eyes as he begs the unicorn's forgiveness, and the music shifts into a gentle, somber setting of the unicorn theme on solo flute, expressing the mare's forgiveness (it is appropriate to note that the unicorn's emotions of rage, sorrow, and finally forgiveness, would not come across were it not for Goldsmith's music). Jack explains to the faeries what he has learned from the unicorn. The stallion's spire must be retrieved if the world is to be returned to normal, and a mortal champion must be found to accompany the faeries in their search. Gump chooses Jack, who is reluctant, but agrees.
When Jack reveals he took Lili to see the unicorns and she touched one, Gump and the faeries are so incensed that they cast a spell upon him and Jack begins to dance uncontrollably. In an interesting blend of source music and underscore, Gump plays his fiddle, while orchestra and synthesizers accompany him. The tempo of the dance grows more ferocious, as Jack is literally danced to the brink of death. With his last breath Jack proclaims "I did it for Lili, I did it for love, and I would do so again!", at which point Gump breaks off the spell, for folly out of love is a different story altogether. (This dance was cut from the film).
Jack is led by Oona, a tiny faerie who resembles a floating point of light, into an ancient cave containing weapons and armour from eons past, which Jack must take up to be the champion. Alone with Jack, Oona transforms into her true form - that of a beautiful and alluring young nymph with dragonfly wings and makes him promise to keep it a secret. A new theme, for Jack the Champion, is introduced here by the noble French horns, as Jack reaches for an ancient sword. Oona is personified by a three-note motif, heard on a high, whistle-like synthesizer when she is a point of light, then joined by strings and woodwinds when she transforms into a nymph.
Lili and the unicorn mare have been captured by the Goblins and taken to the Dark Lord's fortress - a huge, decaying oak hundreds of feet tall, with the facade of a castle in its thick trunk, surrounded by a dark, sinister swamp. In pursuit of the goblins, Jack and the faeries overcome the peril of a carnivorous swamp hag, only to be trapped in the cell- like larder of the fortress's kitchen by ogre-chefs. Jack suggests Oona fly out and get the key, forcing Oona to reveal her true form (infuriating Gump, who never had any idea of it). She agrees to do as Jack wishes, if he will only kiss her. Unsatisfied with Jack's quick peck on her lips. Oona takes the form of Lili, hoping to seduce Jack, but to no avail, for Jack's love for Lili is true. Hurt and rejected, Oona transforms back into a tiny light and angrily flies away - but in seconds returns with the key and they escape. Meanwhile, watching Lili, the Dark Lord is overcome with feelings of lust and desire, and resolves to corrupt her soul and make her his bride. Lili, lost in the cavernous fortress, wanders into the Dark Lord's empty throne room. Although alone and frightened, she is seduced further into the chamber by a shimmering box of precious and exotic jewelry.
A dark, wraith-like spirit wearing a grotesque, black gown appears to Lili and dances hypnotically about her. Lili is soon bewitched and seduced into the dance, which crescendos in euphoric fury. As the waltz reaches a climax, Lili finds she is suddenly alone, and attired in the wraith's gown herself. Dazed, she gazes with intoxicated vanity into a large mirror and admires herself in the dress.
Having confronted Lili, the Dark Lord reveals his plan to destroy the last unicorn, which will prevent the sun, his destroyer, from ever rising again, and make him lord over all. He attempts to seduce Lili with lies that her true nature is one of evil, calling her responsible for the unicorn's death and the tragedy which has befallen the world. Her corruption seems complete when she consents to be the Dark Lord's bride, if he will permit HER to kill the unicorn. However, Jack has devised a plan to bring light to darkness, by arranging a series of giant shiny plates (stolen from the kitchen) to catch and reflect the rays of the setting sun into the fortress to destroy the Dark Lord. As the sun nears the horizon, Darkness and Lili make ready to spill the blood of the unicorn, while Jack and Gump, hidden, look on in horror. But instead of killing the unicorn, Lili remains true and uses her sword to cut the chain which holds it captive, and it flees. Enraged, the Dark Lord strikes her down, but he is attacked by Jack and they engage in a broad sword duel, where the "Champion" motif now struggles to be heard against the onslaught of the Dark Lord's theme. Meanwhile, high atop the fortress, Oona tries desperately to rouse Screwball, who has fallen asleep after the long climb to set-up the final plate. Jack fights valiantly against the Dark Lord, but is overcome by the strength of the demon, who laughs at Jack's puny efforts to defeat him. All seems lost until Oona and Screwball manage to raise the plate at the last second. Heralded by a chorus in triumphant fury, the final moments of sunset blast through the dungeon doors and engulf the Dark Lord. Jack smites him down with his sword and the demon is swept into an eternal abyss.
Lili lies sleeping, still bewitched by a dark curse. Jack returns to the pool and this time retrieves the ring. Placing it upon Lili's finger, Jack kisses her and she awakens, the spell broken, and the two lovers embrace. In another part of the woods, Gump restores the spire to the stallion's forehead, and it is raised to life and reunited with the mare.
The world restored to the warmth of summer, Jack and Lili wave farewell to the faeries and unicorns, and run hand-in-hand into the morning sunlight. The end credits reprise the music for Jack, Lili, and the faerie theme of "Sing the Wee" in a fuller setting, bringing the score to a finale of ethereal reassurance, where light truly has overcome the darkness.
"It is not a film of the future, or the past. It is not even a story of now. The conflict between darkness and light has been with us since the creation...and will remain with us throughout eternity." -Ridley Scott
Reflecting upon the grim, dark atmosphere and gruesome carnage which pervaded his previous two films, ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, Ridley Scott felt his next project should be a more uplifting, family-orientated film, and of a very different nature. In spite of his unparalleled skill at depicting technologically-saturated environments, fancy gadgets and technology have never really interested Scott, who describes himself as "anti-mechanismo" at heart. When directing his first film, THE DUELLISTS, Scott determined that he very much wanted to make a film in the genre of mythology or faerie story, inspired by his childhood fantasies.
Scott originally sought to adapt the tragedy of "Tristan and Isolde" (the story of one of King Arthur's Knights, Sir Tristan, and his forbidden love for Isolde, the sister of a slain enemy - made famous by Richard Wagner's opera), but abandoned this idea, concerned that the classical nature of the story was perhaps too esoteric to interest most audiences. Instead, Scott opted for an original faerie-tale type of story, not based on any specific tale, although stylistically rooted in folklore of Britain and northern Europe, with the classic conflict between the powers of light and darkness at its core.
LEGEND OF DARKNESS, as it was initially titled, was written by Montana based writer William Hjortsberg, who himself is no stranger to stories concerning good and evil, as his novel FALLING ANGEL was later made into the film ANGEL HEART. Working with Scott, Hjortsberg forged a story which evoked the feeling of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty" and those of the Brothers Grimm, although the overall plot concerning the Lord of Darkness rising to possess the world has probably has more in common with the Biblical Book of Revelations than any mythological source. Also, Christian concepts such as temptation, sin, forgiveness and redemption are all explored in LEGEND, as are most importantly powers of light and darkness.
Hjortsberg's first draft of LEGEND was disturbingly dark and nightmarish, and actually contained a *sex scene* between Lili and the Dark Lord. Scott's desire to make a family orientated film was steadfast however, and Lili's temptation by Darkness was to find it's portrayal in more subtle ways. Scott also described LEGEND as a celebration of nature, which abundantly comes across in the film's enchanted, storybook images; the cottonwood fluff and forest mist drifting about the creaking branches of ancient oaks, the black bear scooping honey from a bees' nest in a moonlit forest, the rain of pink petals in a stormy wind. Scott's imagery captures that profound reverence for nature and dream-like enchantment which lies at the heart of faerie tales, where nature is intrinsically spiritual, and trees and flowers are the abode of elves, gnomes and wood nymphs, while dark caverns and swamps hold nasty terrors like goblins, hags and trolls.
The symbol of ultimate purity in LEGEND is also a nature symbol: the unicorn. However, the unicorn can also be found in many allegorical Medieval writings as a symbol of Jesus Christ, which would indicate further Christian symbolism in LEGEND. Likewise, the symbol of ultimate evil, the Lord of Darkness, is the most frightening Christian evocation of a fallen angel a towering, blood-red demon with massive black horns, and cloven hooves, who, significantly, also resembles a *pagan* symbol of lust and animal passion: the satyr.
Scott scouted locations for the numerous forest scenes among the Giant Sequoia trees of northern California, but sound stages eventually won out, being ultimately cheaper and logistically easier. A huge forest set was constructed on the "007 Stage" at Pinewood Studios in England. While nothing can equal the true enchantment and visual impact of the Sequoia forests, Production Designer Assheton Gorton's forest set was certainly a noble effort to do so, and was one of the most convincing "outdoor" interiors ever created.
In addition to Gorton, others in the group of talented artists that contributed to LEGEND included cinematographer Alex Thomson, BSC (EXCALIBUR), costume designer Charles Knode (BLADE RUNNER) , and make-up artist Rob Bottin (a long-time Joe Dante collaborator). The film was produced by Arnon Milchan, and was a co-production of 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios, who distributed the film in Europe and North America, respectively.
As Jack, Scott cast popular young actor Tom Cruise, whose youthful vigor and handsome, yet somewhat feral looks, greatly contributed to his portrayal of the naive woodland boy who must become a hero. Newcomer Mia Sara's storybook beauty and perfect blend of mischief and seriousness made for a convincing Princess Lili, while Alice Playten's mime-like mannerisms brought out the wickedness of Blix, the slimy androgynous goblin. David Bennent, who had given a brilliant performance as the impish Oskar in Volker Schlondorff's THE TIN DRUM, conveyed a true enchantment in the part of Honeythorn Gump. But versatile British character actor Tim Curry was most memorable as the Lord of Darkness, and was ironically helped rather than hindered by the heavy make-up, through which he conveyed a diabolical intensity and visceral sensuality that John Milton would have admired.
Once underway however, LEGEND was to have it's share of difficulties. There were several script alterations, and many elements which initially made the script so captivating were dropped along the way. Another major blow came when the 007 stage completely burned to the ground before shooting had completed, forcing the remaining scenes to be shot on hastily constructed sets. Principal photography was ultimately completed, and delivered into the hands of editor Terry Rawlings (who had also cut ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER for Scott).
Scott and Rawlings arrived at an initial cut of 125 minutes, but then further reduced the film to 113 minutes. Scott was happiest with this version, but preview audiences in Southern California were not so the distributor insisted another 20 minutes be cut. LEGEND was ultimately released in Great Britain in December of 1985 with a running time of roughly 95 minutes. The studio-imposed cuts hurt the film, but even in its truncated state LEGEND is still an impressive and unique fantasy, its shimmeringly enchanted atmosphere so exquisitely brought to life by Ridley Scott's obvious knowledge and love for such lore.
As much as the visual essence of faerie tales is captured in Ridley Scott's images, Jerry Goldsmith deftly conjures their musical ambience in his score. Goldsmith is clearly imbued with an uncanny insight into the characteristic playfulness and ethereal sensuality of faeries and woodland spirits, as well as the dark brooding and hate of demonic forces, and his score rings quintessentially true.
Goldsmith had previously worked with Ridley Scott on ALIEN, but found it a frustrating experience, sighting lack of creative input and feedback from the director as a major difficulty. As a result, Goldsmith's score for ALIEN was not used as it was intended, and some of his original music was discarded in favor of temp music (consisting of Howard Hanson's "Symphony #2") and Goldsmith's own music for the 1962 film FREUD". In spit of his experience on ALIEN, however, Goldsmith was the never the less very eager to score LEGEND, having been utterly bewitched by the beauty of William Hjortsberg script.
Written in London over 3 months, Goldsmith scored LEGEND for a full orchestra and chorus, embellished by an ensemble of synthesizers, including the YAMAHA DX-7, ROLAND JP-8, MEMORYMOOG, OBERHEIM OB,-8 DMX & DSX, and Sequential PROPHET-T8. Unlike the coarse, propulsive synthesizer music of RUNAWAY (a futuristic action adventure thriller Goldsmith completed shortly before LEGEND), the electronics here complement the orchestra and chorus with a sparkling, effervescent air, evoking faerie enchantment and black magic, while at the same time fulfilling more specific character expression, in particular for the goblins and Oona.
Stylistically, the score is lushly Romantic, yet suffused with the fluidity of Impressionism as well. The way Goldsmith veers from familiar tonality into the mysterious and uncertain atonal realm, makes the score inherently evocative of fantasy. As the music drifts between tonality and atonality, so does fantasy drift within that twilight realm between dreams and reality, the concrete physical world and the spirit realm. The use of voices also lends a spiritual atmosphere, with a vocalise chorus suggestive of angels (and sometimes demons), swirling about the orchestra in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of another great fantasy score, Maurice Ravel's ballet DAPHNIS ET CHLOE. Elements of folk music are also prominent in Goldsmith's score, most notably in the faerie music, such as the song "Sing the Wee", and Gump's reel-like solo fiddle in "Faerie Dance".
Goldsmith's contribution to LEGEND was also more than an ordinary film score. While most of the music was written for the completed film in post-production, Goldsmith actually began working in pre-production, with choreographer Arlene Phillips on the film's dance sequences, and with lyricists John Bettis on the songs sung by Lili and the faeries (Goldsmith had previously worked with Bettis on THE LONELY GUY and TWILIGHT ZONE-THE MOVIE). However, while dances and songs were featured in the film, LEGEND is not a musical, where dramatic "reality" is suspending to accommodate musical numbers. Rather, these songs and dances occur within the context of their respective scenes as part of the story (for example, Lili singing in order to attract the Unicorn, or the faeries casting a spell on Jack to dance him to death).
The score is thematically complex, although Goldsmith refrains from using leitmotifs, per se, believing that a score should instead be built from one basic theme, and out of that theme a few notes extracted and re-configured to develop more themes, so that all the material is related and indigenous to that one score.
When LEGEND was reduced to its 95 minute release cut, this of course necessitated that the music track be cut-down as well. Unfortunately this was executed with little regard for the cohesion of the score. Cues were indiscriminately edited, if not needlessly removed altogether. Worse, bits of different cues were cut together to make "new" pieces of music (Resulting in awkward shifts in key, tempo and orchestration), while other cues were used more than once, resulting in redundancy. Additionally, as in ALIEN, temp music was again retained (this time from Goldsmith's score for PSYCHO II plus library music by British composer Tim Souster), resulting in a breach of stylistic structure.
But even in its ravaged state, Goldsmith's score still contributed greatly to LEGEND, bringing to life its faerie-tale heart and soul. Fortunately, preserved on disc, the music's evocation of nature, spirituality, heroism, love and the epic struggle of powers of light and darkness can be heard in its fullness, as it was originally meant to be.
Jerry Goldsmith was born in Los Angeles in 1929. He studied piano with Jacob Gimpel, and composition with Mario Castelnuovo - Tedesco. Goldsmith's strong love of drama, coupled with the prospect of how difficult it might be to make a living writing concert music, convinced him to pursue a career composing music for films. Goldsmith continued his education at UCLA, while studying film scoring with Miklos Rozsa at USC. Expertise with another kind of keyboard, the typewriter, enabled Goldsmith to land a position as a clerk/typist at CBS radio in Hollywood, where, as he put it, "a lot of persistence and nagging" finally gave him the opportunity to write music for radio drama programmes. Goldsmith ultimately broke into television, where he contributed noteworthy scores for many productions, including DR. KILDARE, PERRY MASON, PLAYHOUSE 90, GUNSMOKE and THE TWILIGHT ZONE.
In time, Goldsmith graduated to feature films, and during the sixties his talents were sought-out by legendary film directors such as John Huston, Sam Peckinpah, Otto Preminger and Robert Wise. Since then, Goldsmith has earned a reputation as perhaps the most continually eclectic and prolific composer for films, with diverse scores for over 150 productions, among them A PATCH OF BLUE, PLANET OF THE APES, PATTON, CHINATOWN, MAGIC, STAR TREK - THE MOTION PICTURE, POLTERGEIST, UNDER FIRE, TOTAL RECALL, THE RUSSIA HOUSE and BASIC INSTINCT.
Goldsmith has also established a reputation in the concert hall as well as films. He made his public conducting debut in 1969 with the Southern California Chamber Symphony, performing his cantata "Christus Apollo". His orchestral concert works have been premiered by ensembles such as the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin, and the Dallas Symphony conducted by Goldsmith himself, while his ballets have been performed by the National Ballet of Australia, the San Francisco Ballet, and Ballemet, a young dance company in Columbus, Ohio. Over the last several years Goldsmith has also conducted a successful series of live concerts of his film music with many of the top orchestras in Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
Jerry Goldsmith is one of the most trend setting and respected of composers, and his influence on an entire generation of younger film composers is most apparent. Conductor Leonard Slatkin has noted Goldsmith as an example of how film music is sometimes more adventurous and forward-looking than much of the music that has been written for the concert hall in recent years. Goldsmith is also a strong advocate of electronic instruments being accepted as a new section of the orchestra, and that their inclusion is part of the orchestra's necessary and inevitable evolution.
As an artist, Jerry Goldsmith is not a great believer in waiting for "inspiration", nor does he subscribe to the notion of creative burn-out. For him, creativity stems from being disciplined enough to just sit down and write, and as long as one has mastered one's craft, music will come.
Goldsmith has been the recipient of many honors, including six Golden Globe nominations, seven Grammy nominations, and fourteen Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscar for THE OMEN.
Although Jerry Goldsmith's score was noted in many reviews of the European release as one of the film's most positive attributes, Universal Executive Sidney Jay Sheinberg determined that the success in America was dependent on replacing Goldsmith's score with more commercial, pop/rock-style music. This would theoretically make the film more "accessible" to, and attract, teenage audiences, as well as allow for a more marketable pop-music soundtrack album. The fact that LEGEND had been conceived in pre-production with Goldsmith's dance sequences and songs as an inherent element (the script actually contained John Bettis' lyrics) was apparently considered irreverent.
The Universal version was also cut differently, with a few shots and quick scenes which were not in the Fox release, including an ill-fitting kissing scene early in the film (derived from different shots of Jack and Lili's kiss at the film's end), which utterly ruins the faerie-tale innocence of Jack and Lili by implying they have had sex.
Scott was bitter about the changes imposed by the American distributor, which were against the essential nature of the film, and a clear attempt to capture the core audience of MTV and John Hughes' teen-narcissism films, which were big money-makers at the time. But Scott, now wallowing in the all-to-common post-production doldrums where director's are convinced their latest creation is a flop, bowed willingly to Sheinberg (who personally presided over the editing), welcoming the "objective" collaboration of someone who also desired the film's success. However, when LEGEND was released in America, it received scalding reviews and failed to be the hit with teens that Sheinberg had hoped after all his "improvements".
Interestingly, around the same time, Sheinberg also attempted to "improve" the other Arnon Milchan production awaiting release by Universal - Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL, by dumping Michael Kamen's score (again in favor of pop music), as well as other radical narrative alterations. Gilliam however remained steadfast that BRAZIL be released his way, and threatened to burn the negative if his wishes were not honored. The director's cut of BRAZIL wound-up winning the award for Best Picture of 1985 from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and Sheinberg was left with abundant egg on his face (and within a year, Sheinberg was to have an even worse disaster, having personally "green-lighted" the infamous HOWARD THE DUCK).
Had LEGEND been released as originally intended, who can say what its reception might have been? But shorn of one quarter of its running time, and one of its most powerful elements - Jerry Goldsmith's score, its failure was unsurprising, and in that state, perhaps deserved.
Selected to replace Goldsmith's score was Tangerine Dream, the German electronic group, consisting of synthesists Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling and Edgar Froese (who originally formed the ensemble).
It is probable that the Dream's work on RISKY BUSINESS was a deciding factor in their selection, as it was at that time Tom Cruise's most successful film, and Universal no doubt thought the Dream's involvement in another Tom Cruise film would invest LEGEND with the "successful formula" to attract the youth market.
The Dream approached LEGEND differently from Goldsmith, scoring the film "wall-to-wall" (with roughly 85 minutes of music for the ninety-minute cut), largely retaining their signature style of Eastern-influenced "New Age" pop throughout.
While the Dream have not been unsuccessful in some of their film endeavors, their adherence to purely electronic music, and their admitted desire to retain a consistent stylistic "identity" even when doing films, limits the spectrum of assignments to which they can effectively contribute. Although the "metaphysical" electronic sound of the dream would seem on the surface correct for LEGEND's air of spirituality, its appropriateness is questionable, as the Dream's style is strongly rooted in Eastern traditions, while LEGEND's was rooted in Western lore of Britain and northern Europe.
There are moments of effectiveness in their LEGEND score, but much of their music feels stylistically out-of-place, such as the sampled sitar playing a quasi-pentatonic melody, while the more gritty, rock-styled cues clash with the delicate, faerie-tale quality of the film, as well as affecting the credibility of Tom Cruise's performance (the slick, RISKY BUSINESS-style of certain cues clashing with Cruise's playing a kinder, gentler, kind of teenager).
One thing Tangerine Dream's score did have in common with Goldsmith's however, was that it also fell victim to studio meddling. When Universal decided a song was needed over the final scene of the film, they simply overlaid the Dream's cue for the finale with the vocals of Jon Anderson (without the Dream's cooperation). The Dream were obviously not pleased by this interference, but had no say when it was done, nor when a totally ill-fitting rock song by Bryan Ferry was put over the end credits (Universal no doubt felt that Bryan *Ferry* was the right choice for a *faerie* tale).
While Goldsmith's score complemented LEGEND perfectly, it would appear that Ridley Scott is somewhat indecisive when it comes to music, as was previously illustrated by Scott's hiring electronic composer Vangelis to score BLADE RUNNER, even though much of that film was in fact temp-tracked with *orchestra* music from Goldsmith's PLANET OF THE APES and James Horner's HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP.
Ironically, when Universal sold LEGEND to American television, they beefed-up its running time by adding footage from the Goldsmith-scored version, so that in one scene Goldsmith's score suddenly pops in for a few minutes, then the Dream's music returns, causing a jarring clash of styles.
In the final analysis, few involved with LEGEND came away particularly pleased, but the fate of the film served to reinforce the notion that entertainment businessmen should best remain in their swivel chairs and leave creative work to creative people.
Music Composed, Conducted & Produced by JERRY GOLDSMITH
Lyrics by JOHN BETTIS
Performed by THE NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA (Leader : Sydney Sax)
Recorded and mixed at CBS Studio 1 (London), January 1985 by Mike Ross Trevor
Album sequenced at The Hit Factory (London) by Mike Ross-Trevor and James
Fitzpatrick, July 1992
Published by Filmtrax PLC
Executive Producer for Silva Screen Records Ltd: Reynold da Silva
CD release Supervision: David Stoner
All Stills and Artwork 1985 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Layout Design and Artwork: Stephen Pettman
Typesetting by Diamond Graphic Ltd.
1985 Filmtrax plc
Issued under licence from Trax Music Ltd.
1992 Silva Screen Records Ltd.
For information on the Goldsmith Society, write to :
102 Horndean Road
Emsworth, Hants. PO10 7TL
Marketed by SILVA SCREEN RECORDS LIMITED
SILVA HOUSE, 261 ROYAL COLLEGE STREET, LONDON NW1 9LU
TEL: 071-284-0525 TELEX: 8951182 GECOMS G FAX:071-482-2385
For further information about our film soundtrack catalogue, please send a SAE to Silva Screen Records.