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Intrada: JUDGE DREDD (2Cd Score) [1995-2015] - ALAN SILVESTRI

For this release in its Special Collection, Intrada presents the completely restored score for the 1995 film Judge Dredd composed by Alan Silvestri on this 2-CD set. The scoring of the film was no small feat, first recording the score in London, then returning to Sony Studios in Los Angeles to record more.  Including all of the rewrites and alternate material, Silvestri composed and recorded over two hours of original music for a film that ultimately ran just 96 minutes.  Nearly all of what is heard in the film came from the LA sessions.

Epic Records released a soundtrack album at the time of the film’s theatrical run in 1995. Some 40 minutes of Silvestri’s score shared time with five songs by various artists. Most of those 40 minutes, all drawn from the London sessions, went unused in the finished film.   Nearly 70 minutes of actual film soundtrack can be heard on CD one for the first time apart from the film. The second CD offers the alternate material, including cues appearing on the original 1995 soundtrack release.

“There was something about the character Judge Dredd that was almost like a Roman gladiator for me," noted the composer.  In fact, the main theme marches in on the resounding clangs of anvils, announced by a corps of brass over an insistent, militant ostinato tromping like thousands of boots.  It's the start of a score that is nothing less than epic.  With grand sweep, commanding action, and an emotional charge simply absent most current scoring, the music of Judge Dredd is a priceless gem from the 90s.

The orchestra of more than a hundred musicians included strings, woodwinds, brass, harp, piano and synthesizers. The stunning percussion array included three snare drums, military drum, bass drum, piccolo drum, tom-toms, timpani, suspended cymbal, bowed cymbal, crash cymbals, tubular bells, chimes, bell tree, triangle, gong, tam-tam, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, waterphone, brake drum and an anvil—a veritable treasure trove of assorted beaters, twangers and whackers! And if that wasn’t enough, Silvestri also employed a large choir to fill in whatever gaps were left.

The original Epic album included a considerable amount of reverb, providing rich sound but diminishing the inner detail and clarity of the various orchestral colors. The audio was also “normalized,” meaning some compression was used to “flatten out” the overall dynamic level of each cue, allowing the entire album to be mastered at “hotter” levels across. It was a perfectly acceptable creative decision that is commonly in use today, especially when loud vocals share disc space with the orchestra. Since this release had no songs to deal with, Intrada retained the wider-ranging dynamics that the composer and his musicians delivered without compression. The loudest peaks in this new Intrada release are identical with the 1995 release but now yield wider contrasts with the softer passages. Regarding reverb, although a subjective preference, Intrada tends to be conservative with its application. While listeners familiar with the 1995 album may find it plays louder throughout, they will find this current release offers more nuances in the levels and more clarity in the orchestral details.

As one final bonus, this release includes Jerry Goldsmith's recording for the film’s theatrical trailer, which debuted four months before the film’s release.

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 316
For track listing and sound samples, please visit:

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Jeremy [The Wolf]

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