The Hunt for Red October

For the longest time I’ve been waiting to hear the soundtrack for the movie The Hunt for Red October. It’s been some time since I’ve seen the movie, in which case I’m sure if I had seen it within the last decade, I might have known better.
What I was looking for was what I remembered; Russian chorus with a strong background. Hmm, sort of . The soundtrack for The Hunt for Red October is brought to you by Basil Poledouris of Conan and Starship Troopers fame. So it shouldn't really be a surprise that when I saw a chance to get the soundtrack, I jumped at it.
I ended up with the complete motion picture soundtrack, which contained all sorts of music not involved either in the original soundtrack release or even the movie. I’ve put the key just below so you don’t get confused with all the extra symbols. As there are 29 tracks, half of which fail to breach 2 minutes, I decided to list them and not go into detail for each one.
 [+] Previously released track
 [*] Unused in film
 [**] Contains music unused in film
 1.) Polinjarny Inlet [*] – 0:44
 2.) Hymn to Red October (Main Title) [+] – 5:06
 3.) Putin’s Demise [+][**] – 1:01
 4.) Graving Dock #4 / Two Keys – 1:41
 5.) Dallas’ Sonar – 1:17
 6.) Course Two-Five-Zero [+] / On Course – 1:02
 7.) “Let Them Sing” (Hymn) / US National Command Meeting – 1:22
 8.) Three Days Only [*] – 0:43
 9.) The Chase Begins – 2:05
 10.) “Buckaroo” – 0:24
 11.) Jonesys’ Theory [**] – 0:38
 12.) Red Route 1 [+] – 3:34
 13.) Ancestral Aid [+] – 2:07
 14.) Plane Crash [+] – 1:54
 15.) Ryan Leaves to Dallas – 0:53
 16.) Ryan Leaves to Dallas (alternate version) [*] – 0:52
 17.) Two Wives [+][*] – 2:46
 18.) Turbulance / Chopper [+] – 4:10
 19.) New Orders – 0:37
 20.) Red Alert [**] – 2:31
 21.) A Chance – 2:15
 22.) Nuclear Scam [+][**] – 7:17
 23.) “Americans!” – 3:24
 24.) Konovalov’s Attack – 3:02
 25.) “Torpedo Impact...Now!” – 0:40
 26.) Torpedo, Bullets and The Cook / Kaboom!!! [+] – 6:17
 27.) The New World (Hymn) / End Title – 3:41
 28.) Demo Theme #1 [*] – 0:40
 29.) Demo Theme #2 [*] – 0:12
In fact, there isn’t much to go into detail about. Aside from the few tracks (such as #s 2, 7, 13, and 27) that have actual Russian chorus involved, the majority of these tracks are extremely quiet; low key for spies to sneak around a dark submarine and add to the intrigue. Some tracks dip so low I have to turn my volume up just that much more. Though I know Basil can utilize a full orchestra to achieve some truly awesome results, here he has to match the movie – after all that’s what a soundtrack is for. I had in my mind something similar to Hans Zimmer’s Crimson Tide. I should have known better, but after the Conan soundtracks, I had high hopes.
Instead, you will be treated to a great deal of slow, creeping music with a few intervals of quick strings, louder horns, and a bit of steady drumming. In fact I think the majority of the action takes place in track 22, the longest track on the CD. I didn’t see much difference between tracks with excess music (either unreleased or unused), though it is fairly easy to zone out during any given song, as they are so similar. You can hear some of the progression of the movie’s action if you pay attention, but that doesn’t mean more exciting music. But again, I should have watched the movie in order to know what I was getting into.
Still, even not having seen the movie in some time, I think you would really have to be into the movie itself to want the soundtrack. Otherwise I simply see no real reason to bother with it. As a writer, I often use soundtrack music to inspire. Other times it works great for workouts, sleepytime music, relaxing, and what have you. I don’t see much use for this particular soundtrack in any outlet. It’s too quiet and lurking – no, it won’t work for Halloween, it’s not that sort of lurking. The best parts have the chorus, and that’s basically all one might have use for. That’s all I certainly like. (is it weird that a few parts make me think of Christmas music?) Of course, the full theme itself is very good – I only wish we had more of it.
A soundtrack easily passed over – however, Basil does have fantastic skill. Don’t forget that. You’re just better off seeking it elsewhere.
3.5 stars
Originally posted on


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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.