PLANET OF THE APES CD Soundtrack Review

Coressel

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 26, 1999
Messages
699
It is inevitable that Danny Elfman's music to Planet of the Apes will be held up against the avant-garde squeaks and honks of Jerry Goldsmith's 1968 score. However, I think Elfman has made a wise choice in not trying to recreate a similarly non-music sound for this new film. Although I love Goldsmith's original, this new score (like the movie itself) is a different animal.
The Sony Classical CD soundtrack is a full hour in length and features an unnamed orchestra pounding out some quasi-organic percussive measures. There's also plenty for the strings and brass to do, along with the occasional electronic effect. The sounds are sometimes other-worldly, but often find their way back to Earth... or at least Hollywood. The score is pretty much tonal, with a few dissonant passages and the aformentioned percussion. Strings seem to be used where needed, as oppossed to underpinning every track. Some tonal progressions ("Preparing for Battle" and "The Battle Beings") seemed to be a vague nod to Holst's "The Planets."
One of the last pieces on the CD is titled "Main Title Reconstruction," which I actually liked better than the "Main Titles" on track 1. This stripped-down version made me wonder if the whole film score would have been better served with a less-is-more approach.
The goofiest part of the CD is the last cut (of course).
Paul Oakenfold's "Rule the Planet Remix" (there isn't a "Rule the Planet Original Mix" listed) is a waste of time. Having not yet seen the movie, I can only imagine (and dread) that this is the closing credits cue. I hope it isn't.
This is a very interesting soundtrack and well worth getting just to hear the excellent recording quality, even if it is a relatively tame beast compared to Goldsmith. Not compared to Goldsmith, it is a unique and for the most part untrendy soundtrack.
It might even be fun to find Goldsmith's music and make my own "deconstructed remix" with Elfman's to listen to in the car.
[Edited last by Coressel on July 24, 2001 at 12:41 PM]
 

Dan Brecher

Senior HTF Member
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Jan 8, 1999
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3,450
Real Name
Daniel
Good review. It's an interesting presentation of the score on the CD here I think, I like this score, it's perhaps not what one would typically expect of Elfman which I think is why I enjoy it. Sometimes it reminds me very much of Graeme Revell, especially the Main Titles cue. The slower parts seem to be the cues most obvious of being Elfman, just not his most known work. 'Old Flames' reminds me somewhat of A Simple Plan.
One thing that caught me though... I guess the closest thing you could call a "theme" in this score sounds very much like part of the "Zoom" cue form Elfman's Mission: Impossible score.
Paul Oakenfold's "Rule the Planet Remix" (there isn't a "Rule the Planet Original Mix" listed) is a waste of time. Having not yet seen the movie, I can only imagine (and dread) that this is the closing credits cue. I hope it isn't.
I agree, in fact I feel the presence of this track is additional proof that Planet of the Apes perhaps had Burton working under the restrictions of a major studio wanting their major summer hit. It's rumoured Fox don't speak too kindly of this score prompting last minute changes, it's feeling painfully obvious that the studio's executive staff caused restrictions to the creative freedom of those involved.
Dan (UK)
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Coressel

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 26, 1999
Messages
699
Thanks!
I listened to the soundtrack again last night, and I like it even more. There are some strange and interesting percussion instruments being played. I wish I knew what they all were. The "stick-slapping" sound does remind me a little of the original.
 

Coressel

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 26, 1999
Messages
699
Well, I just came back from seeing the movie... and while I'm relieved that the "Play That Monkey Muzak White Boy" remix was NOT on the end credits, there was some other extended "bump bump bump" tune not on the CD going on all thru the credits.
 

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