First-ever release of Jerry Goldsmith score from ’70s Mafia crime thriller! Richard Fleischer directs superb cast led by Anthony Quinn with solid support from Frederic Forrest, Robert Forster, Al Lettieri, Ina Balin, Abe Vigoda. Universal releases in late 1973. American crime-family thriller has either good fortune to be one of the first major Mafia tales following mega-success of The Godfather one year earlier… or misfortune of being sandwiched between that legendary 1972 Francis Ford Coppola epic and his equally legendary 1974 sequel, The Godfather Part II. Some obscurity resulted. No matter. The Don Is Dead holds it own albeit on a smaller scale. Greedy mob consigliere from one family sets into motion events that bring all-out warfare between two other families. Transfer of power between crime families, loyalty and honor, brotherhood, love – all play out on violent canvas. Enter Jerry Goldsmith. His score is brought to life by a full symphony, augmented by one solitary synth that provides prominent rhythm and color to key suspense sequences. Cues develop with synth device, strings, piano as mobsters work within garages, warehouses, other places. As graphic violence inevitably results, Goldsmith brings in entire orchestra with bursts of aggressive action music. One such grim highlight: The beating of girlfriend (Angel Tompkins) by Forster affords Goldsmith opportunity to unleash dissonant strings, wild brass punctuation (especially with striking wah-wah effects) and other Goldsmith signatures. Similar chaotic orchestral fury also plays during vivid Quinn heart-ache scene, where entire orchestra cries out in pain. Other action bits come with intense strings, percussion of “The Confession” and climactic chase “A Great Memory”, where classic Goldsmith rhythmic ostinato leads the pursuit. In contrast are numerous sequences of suspense as well os gorgeous love theme, heard both in vocal rendition, “Our Last Night”, written by Goldsmith with wife Carole and in transparent orchestral treatment. CD also features beautiful arrangement of love theme, recorded for but not used in final film, as well alternate version of lengthy title sequence. Mixed, edited and mastered from pristine condition 1/2” three-channel stereo session masters. Informative booklet notes by Jeff Bond, dramatic graphic design by Kay Marshall. Recorded in April and June of 1973. Jerry Goldsmith conducts.