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Amanda (Soundtrack) by Basil Poledouris

Limited Release of Classic Poledouris
Review by Christopher Coleman

Music Composed and Conducted by Basil Poledouris
Performed by the Seattle Session Orchestra
Produced by Basil Poledouris, Tim Boyle and Curtis Roush
Orchestration by Greig McRitchie and Steven Scott Smalley
Limited Edition Released by Prometheus Records December 2000

Amanda (Soundtrack) by Basil Poledouris

Amanda by Basil Poledouris from


Originality 8
Music Selection 8
Composition 8
CD Length 7
Track Order 8
Performance 8
Final Score 8/10

Once again Prometheus Records brings a well deserved score to film music enthusiasts.  In a special limited edition compact disc, just over forty minutes of Basil Poledouris' remarkable score has been made available.

Many consider Poledouris once of the most under-appreciated film music composers around today.  His name has yet to become household, but the general high quality music he has produced over the years certainly is worthy of such honors.  For Amanda, a story revisiting the emotional bond between a child and his horse, Poledouris delivers another high quality score.  Amanda follows the vein of some of his other popular works including: Lonesome Dove, Free Willy, and more recently, Les Miserables.  

As one would expect, to compliment the heartfelt story, Basil Poledouris utilizes sweeping melodies and tender themes.  It is difficult not to make comparisons to Danny Elfman's work for Black Beauty, but Poledouris helps keep Amanda from being a mere copycat score.  The deep emotional, if not tragic, element heard in Les Miserables is lightly foreshadowed in Amanda- help making it a deceptively poignant score.  Repeated listens of this music is certainly necessary to glean all of its richness.

At times Amanda reflects of the freedom, boldness and grandeur of wide-open spaces or of tales of valiance, but can quickly turn to heart warming innocence as in track 2, Passing Wagon.  Much of Amanda, is quiet and reflective, and creates an almost mystical mood similarly to James Horner's The Spitfire Grill; however, the clear Poledouris character is never lost.  

The appeal of Amanda is that it is so quietly intriguing.  It does not bowl one over.  It entertains, but remains unobtrusive- a balance that can not be said of far too many scores.  This may be in part why Poledouris goes somewhat under-appreciated, as other composers sometimes force their music and names, by the nature their composition style or by sheer number of scores produced, into the spotlight.  When called upon to produce scores for such films as Free Willy, Les Miserables, and now, Amanda, rarely does Poledouris score so far over-the-top as to detract from the feel and telling of the story or make controversial splashes in the film music community. 

Unfortunately, the majority of tracks are less than three minutes in length, but with forty minutes of music being the sum total, an adequate portion is provided.  The fidelity of the recording is noteworthy and the flow from track to track equally consistent. In addition, the liner notes are above average as they are detailed and informative.  

Despite being some five years old, Amanda is now available for music lovers to enjoy and due to its limited availability, it is recommended that this disc be obtained in short order!


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track  Title  Time


1 Ride to Church 2:29  ****
2 Passing Wagon Sound Clip 1:41  ****
3 Biddle Remembers 1:30  ****
4 Gonna Ride Spoke 0:34  ***
5 Biddle to Barn 1:16  ***
6 The Glasses 1:18  ***
7 Practice 2:04  ****
8 The Story Part I/ Night By 4:08  ****
9 The Story Part II/ Caleb's Fear 2:55  ***
10 Biddle Sees 1:02  ****
11 Biddle Lightens Up 2:40  ****
12 Amanda Pushes Biddle  1:26  ***
13 Common Ground 0:56  ***
14 Pole Practice II 1:11  ***
15 The Story Part III/ Amanda Kills Spoke 2:17  ****
16 Search for Spoke 0:53  ***
17 Spoke is Found 0:45  ***
18 The Story Part IV/ The Sword 2:07  ****
19 To the Rodeo/ Biddle Accepts 3:39  ****
20 Amanda's Gift 3:35  ****
21 You Make the Magic 1:55  ****

Total Running Time


Awarded Soundtrack of the Month (December 2000)

Sound Clip Real Audio Clip


Quick Quotes

The score, while a lightweight when compared to Free Willy and his other childrens' efforts, is an enjoyable afternoon listen. It won't strike you in a memorable way, but it's a good way to pass some working time.... If you already have Free Willy and Lassie, then it might not prove to be all that more intriguing for you, but keep in mind that Amanda is a relatively recent score --coming after all those previously mentioned-- so all you Poledouris fans might want take another look at it. ***

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks

Composer Basil Poledouris
Basil Poledouris

Amanda by Basil Poledouris from






All artwork from Amanda is exclusive property of Prometheus Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.
Review format version 4.5

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