Rollercoaster - O.S.T.

Rollercoaster - O.S.T.

by Lalo Schifrin



This was the soundtrack for a late-period entry in the disaster film cycle that focused on a mad bomber who terrorized California's amusement parks by bombing their roller coasters. Since much of Rollercoaster took place at amusement parks, the soundtrack required a complex mix of conventional thriller music and believable source music for the parks' attractions. Thankfully, composer Lalo Schifrin served up a score that managed to deliver on both counts. A great example is the album's opening cut, "Prologue, Montage": This medley of cues from the score, artfully merged with carefully mixed crowd noises, takes the listener through chamber music, funk, carnival-style calliope music, pop
ock, and conventional orchestral film music in just over five minutes. However, the resulting soundtrack album isn't a consistent listen despite Schifrin's skill as a composer and arranger: Source music cues like "Penny Arcade" and "Children's Ride" ideally suit the film's needs but their novelty music style ensures they don't hold up to repeated listens. The score-based music is much more interesting: "Another Side of Harry" is an atmospheric, saxophone-driven jazz piece that effectively conveys the melancholy mood of its titular character, and "Calliope of Death" cleverly weaves suspenseful strings into its carnival-style keyboard motif to create a dazzling cue for one of the film's suspense set pieces. Fans of Schifrin's funkier work à la Enter the Dragon will also be pleased with the title cut, a barnstorming funk instrumental that layers wild flute and guitar solos over a rumbling bassline. All in all, Rollercoaster lacks the cohesiveness of the best soundtrack albums, but it is a solid showcase for Lalo Schifrin's multifaceted musical skills and is guaranteed to please his fans.

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