La-La Land Records LLLCD 1238
Disc 1/(The Film Score)
32 Tracks/Disc Time: 68:32
Disc 2/(Original 1978 Arista Records Album)
10 Tracks/Disc Time: 43:38
With Twilight Time's recent announcement for their Blu-Ray release of The Fury, it was the most perfect time for La-La Land Records to re-release John Williams' masterful score and in a grander and upscale remastered edition after being out-of-print for over a decade. The film which was directed by the streaking hot Hitchcock emulator, Brian DePalma, who had scored major successes with the adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie, the Vertigo inspired reimagining, Obsession and the twisted tale of seamese twins in Sisters. The Fury which based on the novel by John Farris (who adapted his own novel as a screenplay) revolves around a sinister and devious CIA agent named Childress (the late John Cassavetes), who kidnaps Robin Sanduza (Andrew Stevens) the son of a fellow agent Peter (Kirk Douglas) who has telekentic powers and has designs to build an army of agents like him. We also learn that Childress has also has another person with Robin's powers named Gillian (Amy Irving), who learn has a psychic connection to Robin. Peter who's has been searching for his son for many years, figures out a way to get to him by freeing Gillian from her captivity with the help of his girlfriend Hester (Carrie Snodgress) who happens to be Gillian's caretaker. Robin is growing completely mad and restless to that point that the drugs and sexual appetites that Childress has been subduing him are failing to the point of rage. Peter and Gillian are each other's only hope to save Robin from himself and end Childress' plans once and for all. The film itself has become a classic of the genre with it's spectactular effects and in particular the last few reels of the film, which I won't spoil for you because they have to be seen to be believed.
Director Brian DePalma had success working with the late Bernard Herrmann, during the composer's last hurrah in Hollywood with both Sisters and Obsession, the later earning a well deserved posthumous Oscar nomination with Taxi Driver. He then employed another bright star in Italian composer Pino Donaggio who's chilling and frightening score to Carrie, matched DePalma's spectacular visuals note for note. When it came time to find a composer to score The Fury, DePalma immediately contacted Academy Award winner John Williams, who had just score two major hits with Star Wars and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and the composer happily agreed to do so. The music to the film is definitely an ode to the late Herrmann and his style, while remaining true to Williams' own orchestrations. The music really made the film in my view because Williams' really added an extra dimension to the film that really aided the film's more spectacular moments. From the dark opening strains of the clarinet swirling and immersed in total darkness ("Main Title") as the credits play against a dark background, Williams has already immediately sucked you in with its pounding tympani illustrating the power of the characters in the film. This is the main theme to the score that Williams really gives sinister shadings throughout the score ("Vision On The Stairs", "The Conspiracy", "Coming Down The Stairs").
The score does have a tender spot in "For Gillian", a wonderful, wistful piece by Williams that is essentially a sweeter more romantic version of the main theme with lush strings and woodwinds. "Remembering Robin" is quite similar to the Gillian track but alot more dramatic and poignant. The score also plays like a dark, twisted ballet as evidenced in "Gillian's Escape" where Williams' brilliant gifts for melodies really takes hold of the scene in the film that had no dialog which was a great move on DePalma's part and a central and crucial centerpiece to the score. Bernard Herrmann would've been proud. As well as the album and film's exceptional and explosive finale that Williams' really unleashes some true terror as Robin goes out of control in the tracks "Lifting Susan", " The Fall", and "Father Meets Son", the power of the orchestra really backing up the grandiose appearance of Robin levitating on the ceiling like a human bat (yes, folks this has to be seen to be believed). Williams unleashes Gillian's own special attributes in avenging both Peter and Robin ("Gillian's Power") with a powerful performance by the orchestra and a frightning synthesizer theremin like loop that would scare anyone! "End Cast" is a reprise of the score's main theme as Williams usually does with all of his film scores bringing this score to a great end.
La-La Land Records definitive release of what many would consider one of Williams' best scores outside of his more popular ones like Star Wars, Superman,and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The album corrects the mastering on the original film score that was very good when Varese Sarabande released it over ten years ago, but now it sounds like the music was recorded yesterday and also adding some missing material that their release was missing. They also corrected a glaring distortion error on the original Arista LP (Disc Two of this set) during the album's best track "Gillian's Power" and restores the an alternate track that was glaringly missing on the release. Easily one of the best albums of the early young season and one to be amongst the best of 2013. The Fury is one of John Williams' excellent scores that definitely deserved the kind of treatment it finally got. Excellent release for La-La Land Records. Be very proud.