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What Is The Last Score You Listened To? (older scores)

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28 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

These are all great scores, Bes (even though none of them comes close to the brilliance of ALIEN³).


Alien3 is still in the mail :-)


Speaking.pf Silvestri, I love the Abyss too, but I just know the OST.

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4 hours ago, Jay said:

The Deluxe Edition has a ton of interesting music that wasn't on the OST, however the OST definitely does a very good job of covering the highlights and telling the entire story

Regarding The Abyss, I’ll have to try replacing the tracks which have alternates. I’ve only listened to the alternates once so didn’t have much of a feel for them being more engaging than the final versions.


I have to admit that it’s one of those scores that never excites me as much as I want it to. The finale choral sections are terrific but a lot of the earlier music doesn’t seem terribly interesting with that very repetitive style of Silvestri action music. In many ways, it’s a watery CE3K in terms of having a mixture of dissonance and military material leading to a hyper romantic finale but without the variety or quality of Williams’ writing (although comparing it to one of JW’s best scores is perhaps a bit harsh!). However will give this another go and see if I can get more out of it.


It’s another one of those cases where I can’t decide whether to keep the original album in my library as I found it difficult to produce even an approximation of the original album from the expanded tracks. However I’ll definitely be putting together a programme with the alternates together to see how that comes out.

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This was unfortunately one of Silvestri's numerous lazy efforts. It gets the job done, but apart from the Brainstorm rip and several older action licks by Silvestri himself (Roger Rabbit, Predator), there's just not much substance here. Most of the cues on the Varése just fizzle out at some point.

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The Last Castle: A muted musical effort - fitting the half-mast flag - for an awful military *drama*. The script began as plausible psychological study of a Patton-like general who is convinced of some wrongdoing and sent to prison. He was at first presented as a sympathetic guy vs. a bullying colonel controlling the prison. Originally the film's second and third acts were to show that the colonel was a good man, and the Patton-like Irwin a violent taskmaster who brutalizes other inmates into joining his crusade to get rid of the colonel.


Enter Bob Redford. In a vanity turn of epic proportions he demanded this to be changed to the story of a noble hero who fights a reign of cruelty (he even got a big shirtless scene piling rocks, at the tender age of 60). 'Tony' Gandolfini, playing his antagonist, was pissed but helplessly caught in a stereotypical baddie role. Fun fact: Gandolfini sits at his desk playing Salieri, who as we all know toiled in Mozart's shadow, emphasizing the colonel's second-rate status. This is the subtleness of the script, it's only missing a Pepsi bottle next to the guy.


Be that as it may, Goldsmith was thrilled with the script, in which incarnation we never know, and produced one of his by-then patented fallen hero scores, with a central trumpet theme that plays an awful lot like the US Marshals fanfare crossed with Rambo III. It's a slow-burn from minor dirge to big action score, which utilizes Goldsmith's very familiar ascending counter trumpets and booming percussions, embellished with the customary electronic enhancements (which by this time had become so smooth that they stopped being an annoyance).


It has been rightly criticized as a lackluster self-plagiaristic late effort, but the gracious veil of oblivion and decades of often lousy scores by much lesser colleagues lets it off the hook these days.


The best thing you can say about the full score released by Intrada now is that it spotlights a rather brilliant sound (it's a great recording, full of detail and room ambiance) and that its main theme and the few surrounding motifs are perfectly interwoven, like you would expect from an old war horse like JG, even when he was not firing on all cylinders at this time (the score came shortly after his first cancer treatment). 


Mark MacKenzie, the orchestrator, supplies a busy central action cue of over 6 minutes that Goldsmith wisely identified as being of minor consequence as it would be buried by gunshots and helicopter noises anyway. It's not really that interesting, musically, but it's no big nuisance, either. The three real standouts of the score are the big jingoistic flag cue at the end (or rather its final four minutes), the slow-burn from minor dirge to big heroic finish of 'The Rock Pile' and a super-precise 4-minute action cue called 'Taking Command' (no one could write this stuff like JG).


So it's not much for the seasoned Goldsmith fan but during lockdown months, it might become a nice diversion.


Now on to 'The Land Before Time' (aka Sergejewitch Hornerowski's most accomplished score for animation). 




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On 11/12/2020 at 2:17 PM, Tom Guernsey said:

Regarding The Abyss, I’ll have to try replacing the tracks which have alternates.


You can't ACTUALLY do it without busting out sound editing software



I’ve only listened to the alternates once so didn’t have much of a feel for them being more engaging than the final versions.


Well, compare "Crashing Crane" to "Crashing Crane (Alternate)" - From 0:48-1:00 the original uses the love theme (this is when in the score Silvestri intended to debut that theme!), while the final version is just the empty backing.  Once you hear the love theme version it just sounds so empty here to listen to the final version.  Then from 1:08-end is completely different between the two, with the original featuring a bunch of dramatic love theme variations, really letting you feel the weight of what's going on; Comparatively, the final version is just re-used action material until 1:23 and then just a boring empty suspense passage for the rest of the track.


"The Only Way (Alternate)" is almost completely different from "The Only Way" (the first 4:44 of the track) - the original is basically a huge breakdown and examination of the love theme as it goes through many dramatic and heartbreaking renditions performed by the whole orchestra - it's a highlight of the entire score!  The revised version is largely just strings and synth noise, underscoring the drama in a completely non-thematic way.  It doesn't tell you anything other than "something bad is happening".  What a massive difference!


In the final film the love theme isn't introduced until she dies and is resurrected, but man having these 2 cues in the program instead, that debut the theme much earlier and greatly develop it before her death, give it MUCH more impact when she dies.



I found it difficult to produce even an approximation of the original album from the expanded tracks. 


You can't recreate the OST program from the DE without busting out editing software.  If you do, you can rebuild the OST program like this


OST 01 Main Title = DE 1-01 Opening Title & DE 1-07 [1:02-end] SEALs Return

OST 02 Search The Montana = DE 1-04 [5:00-6:55] Search The Montana

OST 03 The Crane = DE 1-09 What A Drag

OST 04 The Manta Ship = DE 1-11 Lindsey's Close Encounter

OST 05 The Pseudopod = DE 1-14 The Pseudopod

OST 06 The Fight = DE 1-18 The Fight

OST 07 Sub Battle = DE 1-06 He's Convulsing & DE 1-08 Crashing Crane

OST 08 Lindsey Drowns = DE 2-02 [0:00-4:44] The Only Way

OST 09 Resurrection = DE 2-03 Resurrection

OST 10 Bud's Big Dive = DE 2-04 Bud's Big Dive

OST 11 Bud On The Ledge = DE 2-06 Bud On The Ledge

OST 12 Back On The Air = DE 2-08 Back On The Air

OST 13 Finale = DE 2-09 Finale And End Credits & DE 2-07 [1:26-end] Blinky Bows

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Like The Last Castle before it, this one is really only an update without many surprises - but in cases like this, that's like meeting an old friend were you don't mind the old stories you heard a million times but embrace their familiarity.


The Land Before Time, with its now half-famous story of Spielberg/Lucas excising vital parts of Bluths narrative for being too violent, is probably James Horner's high point in animation scoring, in all probability pushed by Spielberg, a classical music lover, into devising a musical narrative that combines the necessary Disney cutesy-nesses with a stringent development of a classical symphony. Of course, Horner didn't need much pushing here, taking several famous russian and hungarian concert works (Prokoviev, Bartok) and molding sections of them into his own tapestry. 


With TLBT, what stands out today much more than in 1988 is how Horner treats his cues like symphonic movements that flip-flop from epic to heart-tugging to playful, employing all the LSO's orchestral sections like i. e. a Prokoviev symphonic work (in Horner's case of course that means *just like Prokoviev*, as we know). What results is an endearing stroll through memory lane, when symphonic standards still counted in narrative film music and children's scores would be playgrounds for ambitious musicians (at the same time scores like David Shire's Return to Oz and Broughton's Young Sherlock Holmes were similar examples). Due to its child friendly nature, the orchestral attacks that characterized same year's Willow are mostly absent, making it a much more tone poem kind of work, though the ever-present pop-infused main theme always reminds you that you are in a commercial Hollywood movie of the 80's.


The complete score put out by Intrada doesn't introduce anything you would need particluarly, especially, as it all kind of blends into another, and there isn't any thematical development that isn't on the old release, just more of the same. Which of course isn 't much of a problem, see first paragraph. Sound is the same as the old MCA album, just a bit clearer and more spacious. So Willow is really the only important Horner score still missing a Deluxe kind of release now. Bring it on, Intrada!

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On 10/20/2020 at 12:52 AM, Holko said:

Thief of Bagdad (Prometheus, my own playlist) - still love it.

Conan the Barbarian (Prometheus) - still kicks all the ass.

Interstellar (OST) - yeah, it's alright.

Suite from Hook (from Spielberg/Williams II) - fantastic.

Jurassic Park (LLL) - so glad I've grown to love it.

The River - my own combination playlist, still needs a little refining.

Two Mules for Sister Sara - my own combination playlist, still needs refining.




Did you ever " refine" MULES?

My preference is the ost.

Anything you think needs inclusion from the film score?

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Something Wicked This Way Comes (both Horner and rejected Delerue score)


I still like Horner's score better but Delerue's was no slouch. The melodies he wrote for this film were beyond reproach but obviously weren't what the studio wanted. I would've loved to see Jack Clayton's director's cut with Delerue's score restored.


Horner's replacement score is more on-the-nose (like the scary music), but it fits the movie better. The smaller ensemble, plus the pristine album mixing by Simon Rhodes, makes for a great listening experience.

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44 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

I can never get into that score. It’s one of the few Jerry scores that just seems to happen and I can’t recall a thing about it. Will have to try it again in case I’m sorely mistaken!


Try the action stuff. It's right up there with Total Recall and Rambo - First Blood Part II.

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Speaking of action cues, i was delighted to hear in Austin Wintory's latest release what appears to be real muscular and dynamic writing for brass, strings and (lots of) percussion. And it doesn't sound like generic Hollywood stuff. Wonders never cease.


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7 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

He's not at the top of his game, with BABY


I actually think he is, with the action stuff. The rest is saccharine synth stuff ala Legend, but since I've never really found my way into that score as a whole (despite its unique atmosphere and some highlights), Baby is a nice package with glimpses of that in between great action cues.

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Nubuo Uematsu - Final Fantasy V


Haven't listened to this one in a while.  I forgot how much I love the main theme!  What an earworm


John Williams - The BFG


I keep coming back to this one.  I don't understand why so many JWFanners don't like it.  I think it's great!


Hans Zimmer - Interstellar


I like disc 2 of the 2CD edition MUCH MUCH more than disc 1.  Disc 1 is like, a lot of meandering with occasional moments of excitement or wonder or emotion.  Disc 2 is a perfectly balanced tone poem that expertly weaves all those ideas fluidly throughout.


Michael Kamen - Lethal Weapon 1,2,3,4


I listened to the OST albums (just the score tracks, not the pop songs) of 1-3 and then a playlist I found on FSM some guy made for 4 (since it had no OST album


I dunno, I still just can't get into these.  I like the parts that remind me of fun Die Hard cues, then the rest just kind of goes in one ear and out the other without making an impact.  I guess I need to watch the films again to "get" these scores

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12 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I'm not sure there's something to get, to be honest. The scores work well in the films but nothing more, which is fine.


Regarding Kamen, I'm now listening to this.


Michael Kamen - Open Range (Original Score) (2003, CD) | Discogs


I'm so glad I got it on CD!


Is it any good? Any highlight tracks?

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