Brad Fiedel

The Terminator [Original Soundtrack]

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One underrated highlight of the classic 1984 science-fiction film The Terminator was the marvelous synthesizer score by Brad Fiedel. Side one of The Terminator is comprised of six compositions by Fiedel, who once served as a keyboardist for Hall & Oates briefly in the mid-1970s. "The Terminator Theme" is a spectacular piece of haunting synthesizer music; each layer is perfectly effective, especially the deceptively simple melody line. "Tunnel Chase" is bombastically chilling while "Love Scene" is a soft, mournful piano-based version of the main theme; its bittersweet feel corresponds nicely to the pivotal scene that it supports. Fiedel's synthesizer work on "Factory Chase" is full of glassy squeals and scary bursts, and Ross Levinson adds touches of electric violin. Side two consists of generic, mid-'80s synthesizer-based, dance-oriented pop/rock, but that makes sense since most of these songs were used in club scenes in the film. Tahnee Cain and Tryanglz contribute three songs (Cain, aka Tane Cain, was married to keyboardist Jonathan Cain of the Babys and Journey); all three have typical hard-rock rhythm guitar and flashy solos, but the best one is "Burnin' in the Third Degree." The Jay Ferguson and 16mm cut "Pictures of You" is really only notable because the emphasis on quirky synthesizers is so different from Ferguson's solo rock hits "Thunder Island" and "Shakedown Cruise." The hyperactive Linn Van Hek song "Intimacy" is a mixture of latter-day new wave and primitive, early techno. .

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