“Hoosiers (Complete Score)”
Music By Jerry Goldsmith
Intrada Special Collection Volume 226
17 Tracks – Disc Time: 59:48 Grade: A-
Hoosiers was a sleeper hit in late 1986 which was inspired and based upon the true story of small town Indiana basketball team in 1954 that surprised everyone and won the championship that year. In the film, the team is coached by Gene Hackman’s Norman Dale, an embattled coach with a checkered past to agrees to coach the team in Hickory, Indiana. Dale immediately implements a plan that involves hard work and perseverance that brings back one of the town’s best players as the town tries to ouster Dale at first. Backed by the father of one his players named Shooter (Dennis Hopper) as his assistant and the town drunk, Dale inspires this team to work together to be winners in one of the film’s most memorable speeches. The film co-stars Barbara Hershey, David Neidorf and Chelece Ross and written by Angelo Pizzo, who along with director David Anspaugh (Hill Street Blues), would go on to make another memorable and inspirational true story, Rudy years after this film.
Hoosiers was voted as the no.1 sports film amongst the group of other memorable sports films such as Bull Durham, Major League, Field Of Dreams, Caddyshack, Rudy and White Men Can’t Jump in their top 100 voted. The film was honored with two Academy Award nominations one for Hopper for Best Supporting Actor and one for Best Original Music score and this where Academy Award winner Jerry Goldsmith’s work really shined in this film. Goldsmith, who during this period was really heavy into electronics blended in with his large assortment of live players which would shape his scores for the next ten years. The score is memorable one in which Goldsmith channels Aaron Copland and his Americana sound, while retaining his dynamic voice, fun musical odd meter readings and those fun electronics that simulate a basketball dribble (“Theme From Hoosiers”) which is the score’s central theme which develops into some terrific and engaging material (“The Pivot”. “The Coach Stays”, “The Finals”) which Goldsmith creates a masterful portrait of these underdogs striving against all odds to overachieve everyone’s expectations.
Goldsmith also develops a tender, poignant side to the film’s characters (Coach Dale, Shooter in particular) that also drive the personal side of the film’s storyline (“You Did Good”, “Town Meeting”, “Someone I Know”, “Empty Inside”. “Main Title- Welcome To Hickory” which opens the film is another centerpiece to the score that is a variation of the scores’ main theme as well as the more tender material that Goldsmith would feature the score with. When the soundtrack was released in 1987, Goldsmith put together a terrific 39 minute album on LP in the US (A British CD replicates the original LP’s contents) that captured all of the scores’ major set pieces and thematic material. Now, Intrada Records ups the ante with a new remastered and expanded album that adds twenty-minutes that were previously unreleased that do add significantly to the original album in a positive way despite the fact that the original album was flawless to begin with and retain the material as Goldsmith put it together originally. One of Goldsmith’s finest efforts, Hoosiers still remains part of his best scores of the 80’s that really saw him alter his style somewhat and still made his music all the more memorable. A definite recommendation.