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Wild Rovers (1971)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Wild Rovers Wild Rovers
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $35.00
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: September 2003
Catalog #: Vol. 6, No. 15
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

The Hollywood western gasped its last breaths in the late 1960s with revisionist classics with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Wild Bunch. In 1971 Blake Edwards wrote and directed a Hollywood "anti-western" if there ever was one: Wild Rovers, in which William Holden and Ryan O'Neal play a pair of down-and-out cowhands who rob a bank and make a run for Mexico.

Although Edwards had a longstanding relationship with Henry Mancini (Peter Gunn, The Pink Panther), he turned to Jerry Goldsmith for Wild Rovers, having been impressed with Goldsmith's ability to score character in Patton (1970, FSMCD Vol. 2, No. 2). Edwards sought an Aaron Coplandesque effort which would treat authentic cowboy songs in the symphonic idiom, and Goldsmith responded with a theme-and-variations approach which even utilizes the same folk song elements ("Goodbye Old Paint") as Copland's ballet, Billy the Kid.

The result is a melodic and pleasing score that ranks as one of Goldsmith's finest in the Americana idiom. The cues range from authentically "folksy" to fully symphonic and "Coplandesque"; like Patton, the score is brief and focused on its almost monothematic personality, but not without modernistic action cues—such as "Cattle vs. Sheep," for the death of Karl Malden's rancher.

Previous LP and CD releases of Wild Rovers have been a London re-recording, with two songs performed by Ellen Smith (actually Ellen Goldsmith, the composer's daughter). This definitive CD features the the complete, Los Angeles-recorded underscore (never before released), including the unused title song performed by Sheb Wooley; followed by the complete London album recording (including the "Friendly Advice" track from the 1986 MCA LP, resequenced as Goldsmith intended); and then two bonus tracks of source music vocals from the film—all in stereo.

Jerry Goldsmith Scores on FSM
About the Composer

What to say about Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004), the reason so many of us are soundtrack collectors in the first place? The Los Angeles native knew early on he wanted to write music for the movies, had an extensive training in television in the 1950s (starting at CBS), and went on to an unparalleled career in the movies—capable of brilliance in every genre, and beloved by his peers and fans. FSM has released as many of his scores as we could get our hands on, from classic TV work like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to famous features (Patton) and obscure gems like The Illustrated Man and 100 Rifles...heck, make that all of them. Jerry, we love you and miss you! IMDB

Comments (23):Log in or register to post your own comments
Gave this a spin today! What a fun and jolly feel good western score from Goldsmith.
Also watched a candid interview with Ryan O' Neal discussing William Holden on making WILD ROVERS and Jerry Goldsmith gets a nice mention here.... around 10:40 mark.

This has always been a favourite western score of mine by Jerry Goldsmith, even if the main theme wasn't actually composed by him.
I like its lived-in, outdoorsy feel and Bronco Bustin is one of JG's standout cues in his whole career.
I saw him perform it live with the National Phil at Maida Vale back in '89. Stunning concert.
That Ryan O'Neill interview just backs up my feeling that 95% of actors either haven't got a clue and/or don't give a shit about the film once they've moved on to their next pay cheque.
I remember the film being okay, if a tad slow, miserable and overlong. I haven't seen it in years.
I have the LP and also got the LP programme on a two-fer CD that was released, but the FSM edition is the be all and end all of this score for me.

Going to give it a fresh listen.

Thanks for the reminder.


LOVE love love it!

I really like the bonus unused Sheb Wooley vocal.
I was interested to read in the notes that his performance was originally meant to be the original title song, but even though they dropped it, Wooley's name still appears in the movie's titles.

I remember buying the original LP (and loving it) and some years later buying it again (on MCA LP?) because it had a couple of extra score tracks.
Am I remembering that right?
And then the first CD issue was the LP programme (coupled with another score), until the FSM edition blew everything else out of the water.
Three of my All Time favourite westerns by JG are STAGECOACH, CABLE HOGUE and this score, and there's quite a bit of 'bleed' between all of them in their sound, but especially between WILD ROVERS and CABLE HOGUE, so there must be something in the potion that stirs the magic for me.

Back in those days of Early internet I was pleasantly surprised to find samples of various Jerry Goldsmith samples from his early scores that I was only aware of by name. And Wild Rovers theme became an instant favourite. And then a short while later FSM issued this gorgeous album. Talk about timing, It was an instant buy!!!

I remember buying the original LP (and loving it) and some years later buying it again (on MCA LP?) because it had a couple of extra score tracks.
Am I remembering that right?[/endquote]

When MCA re-released WILD ROVERS on LP and cassette in 1986, purchasers received a bonus, in the form an additional 2-minute track ("Friendly Advice") that was not on the original 1971 MGM LP. That track was also missing on the first two CD releases of the score--the Memoir CD (1990) and the Chapter III CD (2000). It wasn't until 2003, when FSM released their CD, that the track reappeared.


Hi Thierry,
Yes this was a wonderful job you done and I still have the one you kindly sent me all those years ago before the FSM one arrived.


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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Jerry (Jerrald) Goldsmith

Israel Baker, Henry Arthur Brown, Herman Clebanoff, Bonnie J. Douglas (Shure), Elliot Fisher, Debbie Sue Grossman, Mort Herbert, Anatol Kaminsky, Jacob Krachmalnick, Marvin Limonick, Paul Lowenkron, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Alexander Murray, Irma W. Neumann, Stanley Plummer, Ralph Schaeffer, Paul C. Shure, Marshall Sosson, Joseph Stepansky, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel)

Cecil Figelski, Allan Harshman, Myra Kestenbaum, Yukiko Kurakata (Kamei), Alex Neiman, Robert Ostrowsky, Joseph Reilich, Milton Thomas

Joseph DiTullio, Justin DiTullio, Ernest F. Ehrhardt, Marie Fera, Igor Horoshevsky, Armand Kaproff, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Emmet Sargeant, John Ryan Selberg, Frederick R. Seykora, Eleanor Slatkin

Milton Kestenbaum, Abraham Luboff, Peter A. Mercurio

Burnett Atkinson, Arthur Hoberman, Sheridon W. Stokes

Harry Klee

Norman Benno, John F. Ellis, Arnold Koblentz, Gordon Pope

Dominick Fera, Gary G. Gray, John Neufeld

Norman H. Herzberg, Jack Marsh, Ray Nowlin

French Horn:
James A. Decker, Vincent N. DeRosa, William A. Hinshaw, Richard E. Perissi

Malcolm Boyd McNab, Donald Robert Stoltz, Graham Young

Milton Bernhart, Richard "Dick" Nash, Phillip A. Teele

Caesar Giovannini, Artie Kane

Laurindo Almeida, Robert F. Bain, Frank Hamilton

Dorothy S. Remsen

Frank Hamilton

Tommy Morgan

Carl Fortina

Dale L. Anderson, Larry Bunker, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Louis Singer, Kenneth E. Watson

Arthur Morton

Orchestra Manager:
Lloyd Basham

Ray Mace

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