Legend: Music From The Motion Picture by Tangerine Dream (album review).

It’s an age-old story: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl are charged with saving the last two unicorns in existence, girl is captured and betrothed to marry the embodiment of evil while boy becomes an elfin champion and thinks that Scientology might be the answer to all his problems. This, the last part aside, is the gist of 1985 cult fantasy film ‘Legend’ directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Tim Curry and Mia Sara.

It’s rare that a soundtrack has its own story, often there to complement and enhance the visual aspects of the film. However, the ‘Legend’ score was mired in controversy when composing heavyweight Jerry Goldsmith was replaced after what many critics considered his best work. Unfortunately the film didn’t do well during the test screening process and Goldsmith took the fall. Director Ridley Scott decided to replace with German group Tangerine Dream who had previously worked on ‘Risky Business’ and ‘Firestarter’.

This late change did mean that there were two soundtracks released, the US and Japanese version with Tangerine Dream’s score and the European version with Goldsmith’s work.

It is the Tangerine Dream version that composer Brandon K. Verrett decided to re-capture in this album along with new interpretations of ‘Loved By The Sun’ originally sung by Jon Anderson and ‘Is Your Love Strong Enough?’ by Bryan Ferry, featuring vocals by Katie Campbell.

‘Opening’ is a dramatic scene-setter, moving from relaxing pipes to intermittent drums that highlight the danger of the situation and introduces the Darkness character. It sets the tone for the film and the entire soundtrack. Here is a world to be feared.

Verrett decides to go literal with some of his tracks. ‘Goblins’ and ‘Unicorn’ are exactly what you would expect from tracks with titles like these, with the former a scurrying, chaotic frenzy while the latter is a ethereal melody to put you at ease. Funny how unicorns are always symbols of peace and purity, surely there must have been a few bad eggs?

I was hesitant at first about attempts to re-work the songs with lyrics but Campbell gives ‘Is Your Love Strong Enough?’ a new spin and any fears about trying to replace Ferry are unfounded.

This is an enjoyable album and Verrett’s composing adds a fresh dimension to the film that fans will definitely enjoy.

Aidan Fortune

October 2012


(pub: BuySoundtrax Records., digital and CD BSXCD8909. 74 minutes, 20 tracks. Price: $15.95 (US)

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Once called a "fountain of useless pop culture knowledge", Aidan is an unashamed geek, grateful that he is allowed share his opinions on a global scale. A journalist by trade, Aidan is a massive fan of comics and recently set up a comics group in Brighton in order to engage more with like-minded people. His home is subject to a constant battle of vintage paraphernalia and science fiction & fantasy toys.

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