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The Incredible Hulk (TV Soundtrack) by Joe Harnell

Music of the Mean and Green
Review by Christopher Coleman

 

The Incredible Hulk (TV Soundtrack) by Joe Harnell

The Incredible Hulk
5/10

 

Category

Score

Originality 5
Music Selection 5
Composition 5
CD Length 7
Track Order 5
Performance 5
Final Score 5/10

 

 

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Joe Harnell
Composer 
Joe Harnell

 

Quick Quotes

Harnell's music is full of wonderfully retro cheesiness, and slavishly adheres to many of the familiar super hero musical clichés of the era. Special mention should go to the trio of recurring themes Harnell wrote as the musical cornerstones of the series - especially the Twilight Zone-style opening and whizz-bang propulsive melody of the 'Main Title', the massively overblown but undeniably romantic string and piano histrionics of the 'Love Theme' and the admittedly quite lovely piano solo in 'The Lonely Man Theme', which accompanies Dr Banner's long and desolate trudge into oblivion at the end of each episode. ***

Jonathan Broxton - Movie Music U.K. Reviews The Incredible Hulk

 

 

Conducted and Produced by Joe Harnell
Orchestrations by Geoffrey Alexander and Jeff Atmajian
Promo Release November 1999

Joe Harnell’s memorable television theme takes me right back to our old 13” Sony television set, the moment the rapid-pulsed theme begins.  This promotional CD release can easily be divided into two parts- The forgettable and the unforgettable.  As mentioned, the opening theme certainly fits into the latter group.   It oozes with that seventies feeling often heard in many of composer Mike Posts’ seventies compositions.  Following the antiquated, but adrenaline filled, main theme is the Love theme.  I don’t recall this theme from the show, but then again, I was pretty young when this show was being aired…and love themes probably didn’t catch my attention much then.  In any case, this theme is built in the typical late seventies-early eighties style: simple piano, light strings, and “oooing” vocal accents.  It is a decent theme, but not one most young couples would adopt as “their song.”  Another love theme is found in track 9, Married:  The Wedding.   This is a little stronger, thematically speaking, but leaves one to remove the left-over corn from their ears.  Ah, but that’s the magic of the seventies!

A much more emotional piece is The Lonely Man Theme (track 7).  This theme provides the framework for the main titles as well.  For whatever reason, I certainly do remember this music.  It invokes images of Dr. Banner walking down some road, in ripped up clothes, all by himself- sad, indeed.  This theme can be heard, rearranged, in track 13, Homecoming: Suite.  It even gets the lonely-western-whistle treatment! 

Track 8 is the second version of the main title.  It is fairly close to the original, but some of the percussions seem to be emphasized a little more and also some of the more sinister accents make themselves heard much more clearly.  The first-season version is the superior of the two, but wait!  There's one more!  The final track of the disc features a disco version of The Lonely Man theme and it doesn't get any more seventies than this!  It's bad, Man!

Most of the tracks are underscore and provide few moments of real listening pleasure outside of the show itself and fall into the forgettable category.  Each could fit in to a hundred action/adventure shows from the seventies and eighties:  Wonder Woman, The Bionic Man, The Bionic Woman…just about anything from producer Glen Larson.  Not all of those pieces that I have forgotten are all bad.  Ricky: Montage, Stop Susan Williams suite offer a break from all of the underwhelming action/suspense material.  Stop Susan Williams is a jazzy tune, with middle eastern elements, is rather enjoyable, except for the brass explosion that occurs about 2:30 into the track.  After the interruption, the track goes on its jazzy-way again only to build in suspense and than explode again.  Maybe Susan got stopped at that point.  Only re-runs can tell us.

There is a horrible hiss that accompanies several tracks here and it does prove distracting.  In any case, if you are a television music buff or just into TV-nostalgia , then this is one CD you might consider adding to your collection.  There are a few tv-moments that any kid raised in the seventies will surely remember and may enjoy being reminded of by way of some of the themes contained on this promotional disc.

 


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track Title Time

Rating

1 The Incredible Hulk: Main Title - 
version 1

1:34

****
2 Love Theme from The Incredible Hulk

3:06

***
3 Gamma Ray Treatment

5:52

*
4 Growing Anger 3;19 **
5 First Hulk Out/ Second Hulk Out/ Transformation 7:36 **
6 Growing Tension/ Explosion/ Hulk Rescue and Susan's Death 8:42 **
7 The Lonely Man Theme 1:35 ****
8 The Incredible Hulk: Main Title -
 Version 2
1:13 ***
9 Married: The Wedding 2:50 ***
10 Prometheus:  
Arrival at Project Prometheus
5:15 **
11 Ricky: Montage 2:21 **
12 Stop Susan Williams Suite 6:37 **
13 Homecoming Suite 2:12 **
14 The Secret Empire Suite 7:50 **
15 Prometheus:  Through the Floor/
Hulk on the Rampage
3:50 **
16 Married: Prelude to Tragedy/
Death Scene
3:12 ***
17 Pilot: Graveyard and Farewell/
 Lonely Man Theme Reprise
3:15 ***
18 Theme from The Incredible Hulk 
(Disco Version)
3:31 ***
 

Total Running Time

73:50  
 

Referenced Reviews
Heaven and Earth 

 
 

 

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