A blast from the past in more ways than one, this 2005 release of Lalo Schifrin's complete 1973 score for Magnum Force is full of memories and associations for anyone who saw the Dirty Harry film, and full of curiosities for those who didn't. While Schifrin's music is undeniably dated and may be regarded by some today as hopelessly clichéd -- the eerie, wordless choruses, funky bass lines, electric piano vamps, psychedelic tabla drumming, menacing organ chords, mellow lounge-piano stylings, and free jazz improvisations are part and parcel of the urban music used in movies and TV series of the time -- the sheer variety of his materials and his efficient use of them to paint inner-city scenes is remarkable and unmistakably his. Schifrin's signature snare drum tattoos and alto flute solos (most famous in his music for Mission: Impossible) periodically punctuate the score, and his clustered brass, contrapuntal percussion, and exploitation of extreme instrumental registers for heightened tension are familiar devices, readily found in his concert music. The superior ADD recording is taken from well-preserved multichannel tapes, and the album includes much music cut from the film, but it is still viable and enjoyable in this superbly remastered presentation.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Magnum Force, film score|