The Lost Synth Score To Apocalypse Now

La-La Land Records and American Zoetrope have released David Shire’s ‘lost’ synth score to the classic Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.

Per Rejected Film Scores’ Justin Boggan:

Shire tells in the book David Shire’s The Conversation: A Film Score Guide (Juan Chattah) that he spent over a year working on the score and communication with the director, filming overseas, was spotty and rare at best.

During that time he was offered “Norma Rae” and took the offer. Shire explained that when Coppola found out he took on another score while working on this one, Coppola got angry and fired him.

The soundtrack is an interesting look at what might have been – including a Tomita-style take on Richard Wagner‘s Ride Of The Valkyries.

Francis Ford Coppola turned to his father, Carmine Coppola, to create the soundtrack that was ultimately used for the film. Keyboard Magazine published an article in 1980, written by Bob Moog, that looks at the making of the Carmine Coppola score.

11 thoughts on “The Lost Synth Score To Apocalypse Now

  1. Can see why Coppola passed on this one. Soulless and tonally deaf to the imagery and really isnt very interesting even on it’s own.
    So, thankful Coppola had a deeper vision than this.

    1. I half agree with you. I don’t find it soulless and I do find it very interesting on its own. However I do think it is a score in search of the right movie. It has more of a cyberpunk feel to it. Makes me think of a 1979 vision of today, not 1969 Vietnam. A mix of the film with this music would be interesting but not an improvement.

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