Soundtrack Spotlight #3: Busting (Billy Goldenberg)

Okay, for this Soundtrack Spotlight, I'm givin' you even more Goldenberg. I feel, for at least these two posts, it is my duty to institute a Goldenberg revival because I really feel he is one of the finest film composers ever, and one of his finest scores is from the 1973 police buddy action/comedy/drama Busting, starring Elliott Gould and Robert Blake, and directed by Peter Hyams (in his directorial debut).

Last month, the Busting soundtrack was released for the first time on an official, legitimate disc. This soundtrack is extraordinary. I saw the film last year at Anthology Film Archives on an edited-for-TV print that had seen its better days (the film actually broke midway through). Hearing Goldenberg's score in a theater, no matter the quality of the print, was exhilarating in and of itself. There has never been a score for a film like this that is quite like this. It is, with every bit of honesty I can muster, totally and utterly original, but still manages to integrate the staples of 70's action-film musical composition. In my previous Night Gallery soundtrack post, I said that, with this particular score, Goldenberg achieves something that Elmer Bernstein tried to achieve throughout the entire decade of the 70's but never managed to really pull off (the closest he ever came was his Report to the Commissioner score). The liner notes make note of the fact that Goldenberg's orchestrations were extremely unorthodox, particularly for the time. Like how soundtrack-heads know there is the Mancini Sound and the Goldsmith Sound and the Williams Sound and the Barry Sound and on and on and on, there is most certainly a Goldenberg sound, and, for me, it's irresistible, and no better evidence could be given than his score for Busting.

Tracks I want to particularly call your attention to: "The Chase" and "Nailing Rizzo" open the same way, but go in different directions with a pulsating action-scene theme. I can't recall better chase music in a film from the time. Savor the jarring bongo sound and miscellaneous "noises" in tracks like "The Search" and "Home Alone". Alternate compositions of "The Chase" theme can be heard in "Busting the Club" and "The Electra". Enjoy!

Download here. Note: This is not my link, but another score-head's link. Thanks to Vagos.FM.

1 comment:

  1. I agree - true recognition for Billy G is LONG overdue!