In compiling the soundtrack for Oliver Stone's Academy Award winning 1986 Vietnam War epic Platoon, producer Bud Carr opted to eschew original composition in favor of a collection of songs from the '60s in an attempt to capture the period. Many of the songs he selected were not even used in the film. The only excerpt from Georges Delerue's score that made it onto the album was "Barnes Shoots Elias." The '80s were not a golden age for sales of original score soundtracks. With only a handful of exceptions (e.g., Vangelis' Chariots of Fire and a few of John Williams' blockbuster soundtracks), most of the commercially successful soundtrack albums contained hit singles from pop artists. And as Platoon was one of the few Best Picture winners from the era that failed even to land an Original Score nomination at the Oscars, Carr was probably wise to make that decision. He populated the album with classic rock & roll songs like the Doors' "Hello, I Love You," Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," and Aretha Franklin's "Respect." But the soundtrack's best moments are not from the '60s at all. They are the Delerue-conducted excerpts from Samuel Barber's haunting "Adagio for Strings," which served as the theme for the movie and bookend the album as the first and last tracks.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater