While the Transformers live-action remake vies for 2007 ID4 status, o.g. Autobot/Decepticon stans can start the tailgate party early with the reissue of the original Transformers: The Movie soundtrack. This anniversary edition purports to emphasize composer Vince DiCola’s contribution, even featuring modest liner notes from the composer, but the disc in fact collects both highlights from the original score and soundtrack songs (to date, the complete score was only available at a past BotCon, the annual Transformers fan convention, as a two-disc set entitled ‘Til All Are One, which surfaces occasionally on eBay and the like).
Though the anniversary edition is a cause for partial celebration for fans of the composer/musician, the collection provides a broader picture of the film’s soundscape: a mixture of future-obsessed mood music and contemporary cock rock. DiCola’s liberal use of period synth lends his score a creepily emotive quality, as if HAL 9000 were humming along to the film’s tale of interplanetary genocide. These quirky and understated passages contrast with the canned heat of Stan Bush’s “The Touch” (a double delight for Boogie Nights fans) and the heavily shreddy “Instruments of Destruction” by N.R.G., which are just a couple of the hard-rock bangers protruding throughout the film.
Though the two sides sound divergent, they both reflect Hollywood’s frequent mistake with soundtracks: drinking the newest and bluntest Kool-Aid. That said, yesterday’s gaffes often make for today’s hilarity and nostalgia, so ’80s babies can break out their Dinobot toys and crank up Lion’s thunderous version of the Transformers theme without shame one more time.