Jerry Goldsmith's brief but potent score to the idiosyncratic 1971 Western The Wild Rovers combines the earthy authenticity of traditional American folk songs with the dramatic power of symphonic music to artfully evoke director Blake Edwards' melancholy vision of cowboy life. Employing period orchestration including guitar, harmonica, harmonica, and woodwinds, Goldsmith's themes mirror the rugged simplicity of the onscreen narrative. The music is by turns heroic (the exhilarating "Bronco Bustin'") and sinister ("The Cemetery/Red Snow"), tapping into the essential mythology of the Wild West without giving way to cliché and anachronism. Film Score Monthly's superb reissue features both the original Los Angeles soundtrack as well as a later re-recording cut in London. The contrast between the two is striking, with the former boasting a vivider physicality and the latter more cerebral and nuanced. Other extras include Sheb Wooley's rendition of the title theme and extensive notes and background material.
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny
|Wild Rovers, film score|
feat: Sheb Wooley
feat: Betty Wand
feat: William Holden