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Album Review

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/rock, 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. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Lost gem

What a terrific soundtrack to go along with a terrific film. A lost 70's classic. Get the movie Itunes!!!!


Born: June 21, 1932 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Best known for his "Mission: Impossible" theme song, Lalo Schifrin is an Argentinean-born composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor, whose jazz and classical training earned him tremendous success as a soundtrack composer. Born Boris Claudio Schifrin in Buenos Aires on June 21, 1932, his father was a symphonic violinist, and he began playing piano at age six. He enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire in 1952, hitting the jazz scene by night. After returning to Buenos Aires, Schifrin formed a 16-piece...
Full Bio

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