Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2018 August 13 • Monday

There's a new Mission: Impossible movie in theatres right now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the first "new" Mission: Impossible.

That would be the short-lived 1988 relaunch of the series, a move taken by a television network panicking in response to a writers' strike. They could simply get a mostly new cast, dust off some of the old scripts and shoot them again, this time in Australia and with Peter Graves returning as mastermind Jim Phelps.

Mission: Impossible is one of those properties that just isn't going to go anywhere without its theme music. And so Lalo Schifrin also returned to compose new episodes, as did his protege Ron Jones. Some of this music was just released on a double CD by La-La Land Records and it's our 530th Soundtrack of the Week.

The first disc of the set presents Schifrin compositions and the second music by Jones (with a few cues by other people).

Updating the music for 1988 is done subtly, just by adding synthesizers and Electronic Wind Instruments to the orchestra.

Most of what you hear is variations on and developments of either the famous main theme or the crucial cue "The Plot", which pretty much goes with anything.

While Schifrin exploits the strings and more linear figures, Jones is more about the bottom end, using bass and percussion to move things forward and creating atmospheres.

They get to relax once in a while, such as with Schifrin's very loungey "Usher's Rhumba" or Jones's tender and delicate reworking of Mission: Impossible motifs for "When I Grow Up".

The two discs make great companions and contrasts. I don't know how good the actual show was, but the music is brilliant.