EXTERMINATOR 2 - Original Score by David Spear
CD includes Digital Download / Digital Booklet
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Dragon’s Domain Records, to be distributed through buysoundtrax.com, presents EXTERMINATOR 2, featuring music composed by David Spear for the sequel to THE EXTERMINATOR, written and directed by Mark Buntzman, starring Robert Ginty, Frankie Faison, Deborah Geffner and Mario Van Peebles as X.
Released in 1984, EXTERMINATOR 2 features the return of war veteran John Eastland (Ginty), now in New York City, who nightly patrols the city streets with his army-grade flame thrower strapped to his back and trademark welder’s mask to protect his identity. After a gang of thugs brutally murders an elderly couple inside their convenience store, the Exterminator introduces himself by cooking some of them alive while they try to escape. Their leader, X (Van Peebles), vows revenge on him. At the same time, Eastland reconnects with an old war buddy, Be Gee (Faison), who drives a trash truck for the city. By chance, Be Gee recently foiled another heist by the same gang when he rammed his truck into an armored car while X and his boys were cleaning it out. X takes his revenge on Eastland by murdering his girlfriend (Geffner), which prompts Eastland to team up with Be Gee and convert his trash truck into a hulking war machine. The climax of the film takes place in an abandoned factory where the Exterminator and his friend go medieval on X and his associates, providing enough revenge carnage for at least two sequels.
The music for EXTERMINATOR 2 was composed by David Spear, a prolific composer, conductor and orchestrator who worked on a hefty slate of films throughout the 1980s including AIRPLANE!, HEAVY METAL, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, GHOSTBUSTERS, MY SCIENCE PROJECT, THREE AMIGOS!, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2, MORTUARY ACADEMY and MAD DOG AND GLORY.
Spear composed and produced the music for EXTERMINATOR 2 entirely with synthesizers. He was brought aboard the project by agent Richard Kraft who at the time was employed at Cannon Films and was responsible for hiring the composers. The two main instruments Spear used to produce the score were the Yamaha DX-7 and an Oberheim DX drum machine. In addition to the underscore composed for the picture, Spear also penned a delightful love song with the help of Steve Goldring who wrote the lyrics and sang the duet with vocalist Lisa Donovan.
David Spear began his career orchestrating many film scores for Elmer Bernstein including AIRPLANE, ANIMAL HOUSE, HEAVY METAL and GHOSTBUSTERS. After his Broadway debut as Music Director of MERLIN, THE MAGICAL MUSICAL, Spear wrote scores for three Academy Award nominated films: RAINBOW WAR, BALLET ROBOTIQUE, and THE COURAGE TO CARE. He composed the music for the Emmy Award winning National Geographic documentary, SURVIVING EVEREST. One of his first major scores was for the 1981 vampire thriller FEAR NO EVIL, composed in collaboration with the film’s writer/director Frank LaLoggia. He led the Indianapolis Symphony for the 2008 premiere of THE LANGSTON HUGHES PROJECT featuring Ice-T and the Ron McCurdy Quartet. A dedicated educator, Spear served as faculty at Berklee College of Music (1991-1995), USC Thornton School of Music (1995-2006), NYU (2009-2013), and at Portland State as 2017 Artist-in-Residence. His work in academia and industry thrives on decades of creative collaboration with many notable artists, directors and scholars.
Dragon’s Domain Records presents EXTERMINATOR 2, featuring music composed by David Spear for the very first time on compact disc. The music has been mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland and the liner notes have been written by author and composer Brian Satterwhite, with the participation of the composer.
EXTERMINATOR 2 is a limited edition release of 500 units. EXTERMINATOR 2 is expected to begin shipping the week of March 16, 2022. Composer David Spear will sign the first 50 copies of EXTERMINATOR 2 sold through the website.
CD ONE - THE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM
1. Opening Titles/Police Scanner (2:44)
2. John’s Theme/Life in the City (2:08)
3. X Meets With the Drug Lords (2:02)
4. Kidnapping in Broad Daylight (1:23)
5. X’s Crew Tail the Garbage Truck to Caroline’s Home (1:09)
6. The Parking Ticket (1:23)
7. Love Theme (Short) (0:33)
8. X’s Crew Break Caroline’s Legs/Police Scanner/Alley Incineration (4:41)
9. Caroline Pushes John Away (0:40)
10. The Electrocution Execution (Album Edit) (2:51)
11. Fury (0:19)
12. Love Theme (Vocal Duet) (1:31)
13. John and Be Gee Steal the Uzi (Album Extended) (2:49)
14. Fighting The Punks (0:57)
15. John’s Urban Assault Vehicle (Welding Montage) (2:06)
16. The Drug Deal Begins/Crashing The Party (3:31)
17. X Kills Be Gee/Escape/Dog Tags/Too Late to Save Caroline (2:25)
18. Extermination (1:39)
19. Final Showdown with X (The Big Shootout) Bulldozing the Gang/
The Scaffold Chase/The Money Bag Bomb (9:52)
Total Time: 45:32
CD TWO - THE SCORE
1. Opening Titles/Police Scanner (2:44)
2. Liquor Store Robbery/Incinerating Punks (1:46)
3. John’s Theme/X’s Introduction/John and Caroline (1:25)
4. Armored Car Robbery/Police Chopper Explosion (2:03)
5. Be Gee’s Garbage Truck (0:50)
6. The Electrocution Execution (3:59)
7. John and Be Gee Ride Along/X Meets the Drug Lords (2:14)
8. Kidnapping in Broad Daylight (1:23)
9. Testing The Drug Sample (0:58)
10. A Toast and a Kiss From Caroline (1:01)
11. X’s Crew Tail the Garbage Truck to Caroline’s Home (1:09)
12. The Parking Ticket (1:23)
13. Love Theme (Vocal Duet) (1:31)
14. X’s Crew Break Caroline’s Legs (3:09)
15. John and Be Gee Bring Caroline Home From the Hospital (2:36)
16. Police Scanner and Alley Incineration (1:40)
17. Caroline Pushes John Away (0:40)
18. Spotting The Punks in the Park (1:41)
19. Fighting The Punks (0:57)
20. The Drug Deal Begins/Crashing The Party (3:31)
21. X Kills Be Gee/Escape/Dog Tags/Too Late to Save Caroline (2:25)
22. John’s Urban Assault Vehicle (Welding Montage) (2:06)
23. X Kills The Snitch (1:23)
24. The Big Shootout/Bulldozing The Gang (3:02)
25. The Scaffold Chase (4:20)
26. The Money Bag Bomb (2:36)
27. X Impaled/John Walks Away (1:09)
28. End Credit Suite (5:33)
29. Untitled (Unused) (0:44)
30. Life in the City (Unused) (1:49)
31. Extermination (Unused) (1:39)
32. Part 2 of A14 (Unused) (1:54)
Total Time: 66:46
Exterminator 2 (1984) *** / No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987) *** 1/2
Dragon’s Domain 728
Disc One: 19 tracks - 45:32
Disc Two: 32 tracks - 66:46
Dragon’s Domain 746
32 tracks - 78:08
Last year, Dragon’s Domain released some work composed by Elmer Bernstein’s former collaborator David Spear. They now follow up on that promise, delivering two sequel scores that further demonstrate the range of Spear’s orchestral and electronic stylings.
Exterminator 2 (1984) features the return of flamethrowing hero John Eastland (Robert Ginty), who brings his brand of vigilante justice to New York City. The film also marks the second feature appearance of Mario Van Peebles, who would go on to bigger and better things. Spear’s score showcases the Yamaha DX-7 and Oberheim DX drum machine, equipment that lands the music firmly in the ’80s electronic style that graces so many of these essentially direct-to-video films of the era.
The score was released as a limited edition quite a while ago, but this time out, Dragon’s Domain adds an entire second disc that sequences the music as it appeared in the film. Some additional unused score segments are also included to further sweeten things. One highlight is the “Love Theme,” which features Lisa Donovan and singer/lyricist Steve Goldring. In all, this is another of the label’s many guilty pleasures for fans of ’80s synth scores.
Donovan also sings the title song for No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987), “Everywhere With You,” which launches us into another low budget actioner, this time set in Cambodia. Electric guitar licks lend a then-contemporary flair to a score in which strings work alongside prominent electronics. Spear’s lyrical writing stands out most in this score, which functions as another solid example of ’80s action music with a hybrid electronic and orchestral setup.
The various guitar interjections make several of the tracks feel like introductions to pop songs of the period. As with Exterminator 2, there are some alternate takes included as well, adding value to the package.
No Retreat, No Surrender 2 is the stronger of the two scores covered here, but both are worthy examples of the genre. The two albums are each limited to 500 copies and also available digitally, while samples of either can be accessed at the label’s website. —Steven A. Kennedy
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