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Jerry GoldsmithExecutive Decision

Label:Varèse Sarabande – VCL 0216 1164
Series:Varèse Sarabande CD Club – VCL 0216 1164
CD, Album, Club Edition, Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition, Expanded Edition
Genre:Stage & Screen
Style:Score, Soundtrack


1The Map1:29
2The Villa / Flying Lessons2:45
3The Abduction3:00
4The Bomber0:58
5Waiting / The Take Over3:07
6The List / No Choice3:05
7One Drop / The Passenger2:50
8The Remora2:17
9The Toy / No Choice2:03
10Initiating Approach 3:03
11All Aboard5:39
12Close Inspection2:35
13Drill Team5:39
14The Cable / Not Here2:08
15The Wallet2:42
16In The Interest Of Peace / Another Gun3:03
17The Bomb / Get To It1:19
18Do It 2:32
19Stop Them / Come Home1:25
20Executive Decision0:59
21Our Destiny / Weak Link2:16
22Pick It Up3:31
23Starting Over2:53
24Open Your Eyes / Inside The Bomb1:18
25Don't Do It / 5 Minutes2:57
26The Sleeper3:27
27It’s Over / Line It Up2:26
28Happy Landing1:15
29Hold It2:00

Companies, etc.



Limited Edition of 2000 copies


curiositykilledshawn's profile picture
Wanna know something weird? Whenever I am in a plane that is landing I pretend that I am Kurt Russell at the end of this movie.

I remember opening night for Executive Decision in the UK - Friday, May 10th, 1996. I was there in a packed theatre and I remember everyone holding their breath as the pressure blew between the stealth bomber and the 747 with Steven Seagal stuck in the docking collar. There was a strange silence as everyone took a minute to get their heads around that fact that the supposed hero of the movie just died. You could really feel the shock and it was a moment that has stayed with me, as well as not likely to be a moment I'll ever experience again thanks to the internet exposing every idiosyncrasy of a movie's production long before opening night.

Executive Decision has long been a favorite. With a strong plot and an intense, nail-biting disaster scenario there is more than enough suspense to fill the 135 minute running time. Jerry Goldsmith's score has long been regarded as one of his weaker, auto-pilot efforts (pun intended) but I've always appreciated it though I can understand where a lot of the criticism comes from.

Goldsmith works best when given lots of overblown action to score. There are only a few moments of high action in Executive Decision (the aforementioned "All Aboard" scene being the standout) with the rest of the movie taking place in dark, claustrophobic sets such as airplane attics, closets, and cargo holds. The dialogue is delivered in whispers and the score lingers in a sinister place beyond sight, skulking and plotting on its own. We also get a very whistle-able main theme that is used frequently throughout but never gets boring or repetitive.

Perhaps critics thought that such low-key material was beneath Goldsmith's talents and that a lesser composer should have been given the gig, but I disagree. Goldsmith meshes the familiar brass of the US military with the sound of evil Arabic sitars, giving us a simplified acoustic association for our heroes and villains, though as I have said, this is not a movie where going over-the-top with themes and motifs would have been appropriate.

I play this album quite a lot and the Deluxe Edition is a massive improvement on the original 1996 Varese disc. I'd like this score to get a bit more recognition but fans seem to be too obsessed over Goldsmith's more aggressive and up-beat gigs over the course of his career, particularly his 90s work, and Executive Decision often gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile.

Just play "All Aboard" at full volume whenever you get the chance.