Soldier Blue is one of those movies that has stuck with me ever since I saw it. I remember back when I used to write reviews for MovieWeb.com that I got the DVD when Lionsgate obtained the rights to it and re-released it. I have always been a western fan. Leone films are a part of me as much as anything, but I usually have always been solely a spaghetti western guy. I was never crazy about John Ford or Sam Peckinpah. I am a Sergio Leone bred film enthusiast, but there was something about Ralph Nelson's Solider Blue. It was vivid, it was was raw and boy was it violent. Roy Budd's intimate jazz lounge style score for it always stuck out to me as well.
The music paints a certain romance right from the start and it feels very reminiscent of its time. It has the stylings of John Barry and Burt Bacharach all in one, but there was a raw innocence to it that was captured so beautifully. The western elements are all there as well, and Roy Budd does a great job of making this feel like an organic score. Once the film turns dark and violent you really yearn for the sweet melodies that captured the young spirits of Honus and Kathy. Now, this terrific release also comes with selections from Catlow, Zepplin, Something To Hide and The Magnificent Deadly Sins. Catlow is a bit of a lighter more energetic western sound from Budd. Zeppelin and The Magnificent Deadly Sins are the sort of odd ones in the bunch, but it's nice to have a few tracks from them as they are terrific scores.
In the end this really isn't the score to Solider Blue, but more of a compilation of Roy Budd's magnificent early work. It's an ode to one of the silver age's greatest composers and the sound quality of this release is superb. To be able to have these tracks is a great pleasure. This release was previously on a different label, but now we have it here in the states thanks to Silva Screen Records.