8 Disc Soundtrack Collection
For their final entry in the year that was 2013, La-La Land Records goes out with a BANG! The Lewthal Weapon 8 disc soundtrack collection is here. See and hear just why the Lethal Franchise is so great through music!
Lethal Weapon is a film franchise that most everyone loves. Well the love certain aspects of it. Sure when analyzing the Lethal films there are gonna be questions, moments of no way that would happen, and on and on… However for me the LW films are all awesome, they take the buddy cop, action, and comedy film to a new level of awesome. Over the course of the four films we follow the adventures of Riggs and Murtaugh, as they fight crime in LA’s darkest places! These two characters are polar opposites of each other, and that is a good thing. Riggs is the funny go lucky kinda guy on the surface, but deep inside he is very suicidal. Murtaugh is that average by the book kinda cop, the one who constantly can’t take a joke, or gets embarrassed by anything Riggs does.
Along with these two characters comes a stellar cast of others, that support the leads very well. The first two films we see Roger’s family, Riggs’s dog, and in the second film the addition of Leo Getz. As the third and fourth film arrived the cast grew with adding Lorna Cole, Riggs’s future girlfriend and wife, and Sgt. Lee butters, Rianne’s secret cop husband. Overall the entire cast of characters from all four films is very well rounded. Anyone can relate to at least one of these characters. For me these are films I can watch anytime. The plots are exciting, even though some might be very predictable. The action is well timed out and the comedy is GOLDEN!
Michael Kamen who composed the music, is also responsible for the Die Hard trilogy’s music as well. He had many scoring credis to his name, and he really knew how to capture moments of a film through the music.
When I got the set I thought to myself, “How are you gonna go about writing a review for this?” The answer was simple…. listen to all 146 tracks once, then listen to each 2 disc album as I write the reviews for them.
Before I get started on each 2 CD set here are some facts about this 8 Disc set:
Fact #1: In Total there are 146 songs spread over the 8 discs
Fact #2: That’s 7 hours and 51 minutes of musical movie magic!
Fact #3: There’s a 40 page liner notes booklet that comes with the set. This has an in depth look written by Jeff Bond about the four films. he also talks about the music and history of these soundtracks.
Fact #4: This isn’t just a 8 disc album score. They also include some of the famous sung songs that appeared in the film.
The first disc starts off with the Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock, just as the film did. The second track “Amanda” is a slow depressing track, as Hunsacker’s daughter commits suicide, or we are led to believe. The great thing about this track is it not only conveys Amanda’s sadness, it has an icy feel to it almost as if you know she was murdered. The third track “Meeting Martin Riggs/Roger’s Daughter” is one of my favorites, because I can see in my mind as I’m listening to it the scene where Riggs is in the Police Station, and Roger thinks he’s gonna open fire. Wat I really love about the score in Lethal Weapon 1 is a lot of the low moments. Around the 40 second mark in track five “Coke Deal” there is this tension building low tones. Kinda like the dun dun in Jaws, but not really. Everything about this 40 track score is simply great. You feel every emotion that both the major characters are going through. Track nine “The Jumper” has some of my favorite musical cues, because as I heard them, in my head I can hear Riggs flipping out with the guy that is threatening to jump. Track fifteen “Firing Range” is another of my absolute favorites, because as I’m hearing it I can see that scene in my head. This track has subtle fun moments in it, as it is paired up against a fun scene. Immediately after that though we are taken back to the seriousness of the film with “Dixie’s House/Alfred”
A majority of the Disc 1 tracks contain previously unreleased material or previously unreleased tracks. The second disc is the original soundtrack score that was released, plus it has three bonus alternate tracks. Having the originally released album alongside the one with previously unreleased material is great though. Because you get to see the differences, and hear the full album score on Disc 1, while hearing the original stuff on Disc 2. I can’t say wnough how many times I get mad at soundtracks and scores when they are only partially from the films score. Overall I really enjoy hearing the music from LW 1 again here, and it’s something that anyone would enjoy. It perfectly fits the psychology of the film, and Michael Kamen did a masterful job with it.
With the first track of Disc 1 in the Lethal 2 score Kamen amps up the action with some amazing guitar riffs. The main title and Red BMW chase music is anthemic, awesome, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Track four entitled “You’re Black I’m Mad / Drive to Stilt House / Stilt House Fight” has some awesome arrangements in it with the horns and a few great guitar riffs. Track nine “Finding Roger on the Toilet /Bomb Reveal/Bomb Squad Arrives” has more awesome horn sections in it, and the action packed emotional music of that scene continues in track ten. Kamen combines so many musical styles and instruments to create these arrangements, that it’s very interesting to hear what will be used next.
The second disc starts with five tracks from the film, and then the rest is the original album track listing. Part of track thirteen has the nail gun fight scene music in it! I always loved that scene in this film. Michael Kamen really out does himself with each new score for this film series. While I love the first films score, the second one is just as great. Track sixteen “Carrying Rika on the Beach” is some of the saddest music I’ve ever heard. It has this haunting piano playing, and you can really feel the emotion of the scene as you listen to the notes. With Track twenty one you hear a rendition of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door along with the scored track of Riggs Dying. Again very powerful, and very interesting to hear the score and a sung song combined. Sure we hear this in the film, but with sound effects also in the film, it is sometimes hard to appreciate a certain musical combination. Overall Lethal Weapon 2’s outing is very awesome, the original album even has Cheer Down by George Harrison and Still Cruisin’ by the Beach Boys. This section of the eight disc set is once again very well done. Highly recommended listening!!