MINT - SEALED
View CD Page at FSM Site (More Details)
FSM returns to the treasures of the Warner Bros. archives (The Omega Man, The Towering Inferno) with a masterpiece by Jerry Goldsmith: The Illustrated Man. The film stars Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom in an adaptation of several short stories by Ray Bradbury, affording Goldsmith the crowning achievement of his work in the anthology format (CBS Radio Workshop, The Twilight Zone), as well as one of his most memorable and original works in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.
The Illustrated Man uses Bradbury's tale of a man (Steiger) covered in elaborate skin illustrations by a timeless witch (Bloom) as the thread amongst three other adaptations of his short stories: "The Veldt," in which rebellious children use a futuristic holodeck-device against their parents in a cold, sterile future; "The Long Rain," featuring astronauts trying to survive on a planet of perpetual rain; and "The Last Night of the World," in which concerned parents struggle whether or not to spare their children the agony of the world's destruction. Goldsmith's score links the stories with a single, immediately accessible folk-like theme acting as a springboard for some of the wildest avant garde writing of his career, filled with imaginative woodwind and string counterpoint. Goldsmith called his approach "lyrical serialism" and nowhere else in his career has he been able to display his melodic side hand-in-hand with his atonal, 20th century side.
Most of Goldsmith's score is found in the film's wrap-around sequences, but he creates unique variations of his main theme for the interior stories. "The Veldt" features the first all-electronic cues of his career: cold, atonal tunes that foreshadow the city music from Logan's Run. There is little music in "The Long Rain" but Goldsmith creates fascinating tape-delay effects for the sequence's finale. And in "The Last Night of the World," Goldsmith expands his main theme into a beautiful, Renaissance-flavored development for alto recorder. Everything in the score culminates in the lengthy action climax, featuring devilish clarinet solos as if played by Mephistopheles himself.
The orchestral portions of The Illustrated Man were previously pirated in mono on a German CD—a horrendous production even by bootleg standards. FSM's premiere release features the complete score in stereo and in correct sequence, including the electronic cues and, most importantly, the female vocalise for the main and end titles. The comprehensive liner notes by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall cover the film's history, Goldsmith's involvement and the intricate musical details. The Illustrated Man is an absolute gem.