There isn't that much to be said about Brad Fiedel's scores to the first two Terminator films other than that they have become iconic and unmistakable. The second score is by far the better score as it's also the better film. The themes are more refined and the score as a whole is a lot more cohesive and not so "80's". While I do think the first score feels dated I do think the second one does not. Yes, the use of electronics is heavy but given the story it works.
The Terminator theme to me echoes a history. It feels almost like a march to the forgotten and the use of the synthetic strings give it incredible weight. The propulsive percussion is hair raising and carries the sense of intensity and focus. The rest of the score is a weaving of synthetic sounds that create an intensity and underlaying danger. The clings and clangs of the percussions are representative of the two terminators duking it out. The terminator is a synthetic organism. It is a machine. So the use of synths is such a perfect way to represent that character in the music. This is a machine who must learn human emotion, and Fiedel manages to do exactly that with the music. Admit it, the end of this movie is sad. The synthetic score in a way becomes synthetic emotions just like the terminator's emotions. That is then projected onto the audience to make them connect.
The score is a classic and will forever be recognized as one of the great action scores of all time. It manages to create such a perfect soundscape for the film yet it still stands on its own. The theme while iconic can still stand independent from the film. Silva Screen has re-released this score which was previously out of print from a different label. It's nice to know that the score is available again without having to spend ludicrous amounts of money on Ebay.
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