Basil Poledouris

RoboCop [1987] [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Basil Poledouris has always thrived amidst the carnage of the action film. Known primarily for his excellent work on Conan the Barbarian, Starship Troopers, The Hunt for Red October, and the television miniseries Lonesome Dove -- for which he won an Emmy -- some of the composer's best work can be found on the soundtrack to Paul Verhoeven's 1987 sci-fi revenge romp, Robocop. Capitalizing on the film's anti-corporate undercurrent, Poledouris weaves a larger than life score for an unlikely hero, offering a heroic theme that paints Peter Weller's tragic, disfigured Detroit cop in a savior's light. Like Danny Elfman's score for Batman, the tone is dark, oozing metropolitan seediness awash in midnight rain. When the theme is reduced to a quiet lament, like on the masterful "Betrayal," the composer's love for his protagonist is evident, an element that's sadly missing from many of the genre's original scores. Varese Sarabande's 2004 reissue includes four bonus tracks, three of which are under 30 seconds, leaving the beautiful, trumpet-led "OCP Monitors" to make this re-release worthy of its predecessor.

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