Robocop (Nicolas Winding Refn Presents)

Original Score

Milan Records, 2015

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


There sure are a lot of vinyl reissues these days, but I don't think many of us saw this one coming. Film scorer extraordinaire Nicolas Winding Refn dusted off the tapes of 1987's Robocop, had them remastered and then pressed onto two thick pieces of vinyl. Add a gatefold jacket and new artwork and you get an aesthetically pleasing package that warrants taking a peek.

The score here is provided by Basil Poledouris, who did the soundtracks for my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Red Dawn, The Blue Lagoon, and multiple Conan The Barbarian flicks. With that said, it's pretty clear that Poledouris was behind some excellent work in the '80s. However, despite seeing all those movies, I can't exactly recall what their soundtracks sounded like.

Seeing as how it's probably been decades since most of us have watched Robocop, we're probably all clueless as to the music that accompanies it. If I had to guess, considering the subject matter, I'd expect futuristic computer generated noises and a barrage of bizarre otherworldly noises.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Turns out, most of this soundtrack is strings that serve to set an often ominous atmosphere. Occasionally there are louder bursts that soar, like the opening “Main Title,” but most of the time it's quaint strings and solemn horns, such as the soothing “O.C.P. Monitors.” The first half of the songs are often under two minutes, with the swiftly moving “Van Chase,” which clearly lines up with a dramatic scene in the movie, being the highlight.

The second half of the listen features many more fleshed out selections, bringing in synths as well as thundering percussion on “Robo Drives To Jones.” The chilling, yet glowing “Care Package” is the best offering on this half, and an unusual standout is the brighter, tropical feeling of “Big Is Better,” which seems like it would be better suited for the soundtrack of Weekend At Bernie's.

With the use of both orchestral and synth sounds, Poledouris did a fantastic job of replicating the man versus machine theme of the film in his music. And much like how the movie has held up well over time, the soundtrack is equally as enjoyable all these years later.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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