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How "complete", are the three LOTR box sets?


Naïve Old Fart
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They all contain every cue from the start of the film to the end, including cues that Jackson dropped out entirely from the final film.  But the key is that it contains only one VERSION of each cue, when many cues throughout the score have several.  For example, a cue might have a theatrical cut version and an Extended cut version; the CRs only have the EE versions.  Or, a cue might have been written one way by Shore, and that appeared on the OST, then rewritten another way, and that one is on the CR.  Sometimes, a cue has more than 2 versions, so there is music recorded that hasn't been released at all.

 

Finally, the FOTR CR has issues the other two sets don't.  Namely that it is primarily an isolated score of the final cut of the EE film, meaning that some music that was dialed out wasn't restored, and some music that got replaced by tracked music actually contained the final film's music-editor made tracked cue on the set.  Also on that set, occasionally Shore had some bars trimmed here and there for "listening experience", meaning there's actually music heard in the FOTR film that isn't on CD.  

 

None of those particular issue are present on the TTT or ROTK CRs; For those releases they properly built albums from the ground up from the unedited recording session files.

 

Hope that answers your question.

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6 hours ago, gkgyver said:

Maybe that was written for the Live to Projection concerts?

 

No.  This was the original opening of The Palantir and was recorded at the sessions in 2003.  This is a big composition and went through massive structural changes during the editing and scoring of the film.  It was a candidate for the rarities but did not make the cut.

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7 hours ago, Jay said:

So the short answer is no, they aren't complete :P

 

Why do you ask, Richard? 

 

I ask because I have all three (I'm still paying-off the second mortgage I took out to buy them!) and they are advertised as TCRs. 

Clearly they're not...

I am grateful for all posters in this thread, and I bow to your immeasurably superior knowledge of the subject. Thanks, all.

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5 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

No.  This was the original opening of The Palantir and was recorded at the sessions in 2003.  This is a big composition and went through massive structural changes during the editing and scoring of the film.  It was a candidate for the rarities but did not make the cut.

 

Seems like it should have just been on the ROTK CR to begin with. 

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16 hours ago, Jim Ware said:

 

No.  This was the original opening of The Palantir and was recorded at the sessions in 2003.  This is a big composition and went through massive structural changes during the editing and scoring of the film.  It was a candidate for the rarities but did not make the cut.

 

LotR certainly has problems with a lot of alternate cues not 'making the cut'. Compared to the speciality label approach (and really, how can you not make that comparison), trying to make the TRA a listening experience, and omitting cues that didn't fit that experience, was short-sighted IMO.

 

And isn't there some alternate of the RotK opening underneath one of the 'In Discussion' tracks? Whose idea was that?

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5 hours ago, gkgyver said:

There is an added Rohan statement at the end there in the concert performance. Is this added for concert, or was this recorded but not used?

 

 

 

 It's on the score but I'm not sure if it was recorded.  Most, if not all of the hardanger (and rhaita) material was recorded separately for flexibility.

19 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Seems like it should have just been on the ROTK CR to begin with. 

 

Possibly, but it is somewhat incongruous against the added EE composition for the Eowyn/Aragorn scene.

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7 hours ago, gkgyver said:

The switch from DVD to CD was the decision that made it a missed opportunity.

 

The decision to pack interview, alternates and mockups all on one disc was, compared to the available material, wrong.

 

Fanboy entitlement! Be happy with what you were given.

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12 hours ago, gkgyver said:

The switch from DVD to CD was the decision that made it a missed opportunity.

 

The decision to pack interview, alternates and mockups all on one disc was, compared to the available material, wrong.

 

The DVD would have had more interviews and video, which would have left less space for music. The move to CD actually meant more music could be included. 

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Well I think we can all agree the CR releases are wonderful, but with so much music recorded new sets more in line with the specialty label motif (complete score PLUS alternates afterwards) would be welcome, and purchased by many here. 

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9 minutes ago, Doug Adams said:

 

The DVD would have had more interviews and video, which would have left less space for music. The move to CD actually meant more music could be included. 

 

Also, DVD would have had compressed audio.

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That's all fine and good, but I don't think the reductive process of finding the beauty and art in Fellowship was to keep the film edits intact for an advertised Complete release.

That reductive process seems to have changed quite a bit from Fellowship to Two Towers, where many edits were restored.

 

I love Fellowship like everybody else, but with the additional stuff surfacing over the years, it's not the official release that score deserves. The other two are, Fellowship is not. And Creative decision is only a part of the answer to that question.

 

A full piece of music was recorded, then something cut out for the film, but not restored for CD. If you truly want to stay in the argumentative realm of art, that's like creating a painting, then cut something out from the middle to fit the wall, instead of just finding a big enough wall. The important thing is the painting, not the wall. Just like on a CD release, the important thing is the music, not the tailoring to a nonexistant film.

 

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9 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

A full piece of music was recorded, then something cut out for the film, but not restored for CD. If you truly want to stay in the argumentative realm of art, that's like creating a painting, then cut something out from the middle to fit the wall, instead of just finding a big enough wall. The important thing is the painting, not the wall. Just like on a CD release, the important thing is the music, not the tailoring to a nonexistant film.

 

 

Except that this is inaccurate. Themes were written away from picture, not sequences. They were sketched at most -- and generally only insofar as general textures, and thematic appearances went. Final compositions were always written to picture. This was not a JFK situation. Yes, if the picture changed, the composition needed to change with it. And obviously that happened a lot. But draft three was no less authentic than draft one. The music was always made to match the visual. 

 

 

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I agree! Shores fifth attempt at a scene is no less valid than his first. And because he was composing music during much of the production of these films, it's inevitable that there are many scenes that got rescored and where the thematic emphasis changed. To release all of that would be a work if folly, and of little interest to anyone save a small number of very dedicated/obsessed fans.

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19 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

That's all fine and good, but I don't think the reductive process of finding the beauty and art in Fellowship was to keep the film edits intact for an advertised Complete release.

That reductive process seems to have changed quite a bit from Fellowship to Two Towers, where many edits were restored.

 

I love Fellowship like everybody else, but with the additional stuff surfacing over the years, it's not the official release that score deserves. The other two are, Fellowship is not. And Creative decision is only a part of the answer to that question.

 

 

Sorry, I managed to accidentally break this into two responses. 

 

Yes, Shore's process with Fellowship the CR was still reductive. You may not like it, but it was what he wanted. Creative decisions are the *entire* response to your question. This was not a ported over isolated score. No studio politics. Everything was recreated and remastered from scratch. Again, you may not like it, but statements to the contrary are simply inaccurate.

 

For what it's worth, I only had one bit of input into the FOTR CR: I asked them to return the passage where Frodo looks down the road early just after they've run through Farmer Maggot's crops. That was originally missing.

 

I was allowed more input on TTT and ROTK. I'd maybe earned more trust by then. That said, even if I'd been able to push for a number of adds on FOTR, I think we'd still have something very close to what we have today. That was Shore's vision of that release. 

4 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

I agree! Shores fifth attempt at a scene is no less valid than his first. And because he was composing music during much of the production of these films, it's inevitable that there are many scenes that got rescored and where the thematic emphasis changed. To release all of that would be a work if folly, and of little interest to anyone save a small number of very dedicated/obsessed fans.

 

Quite right. Also worth noting that Shore's process here wasn't all that different than what film composers usually go through. It's just that many of Shore's edits happened while he was standing in front of an orchestra, not sitting at a desk. 

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42 minutes ago, SafeUnderHill said:

 

Right, but Doug was discussing why a release like Jay mentioned wasn't likely. I think it's more the powers at be not seeing the merit in releasing all the alternates, or something approaching releasing all the musical dailies. I can see why.

 

I think we all can agree that there are bits of music that we would like released, and that Shore didn't specifically remove for artistic reason. For example, the beautiful full Seduction of the Ring statement at Amon Hen. This all seems to relate to the FOTR CR using the film edit version of the score.

 

There is a vast middle ground between releasing a handful of recorded alternates for three 4 hour Scores, and releasing ALL alternates and ALL "musical dailies".

Both the FotR CR and Rarities Archives don't even contain all the alternates we know of, let alone those we don't know. The Seduction theme is just one example that could have easily been restored.

 

I'm just getting the feeling the prevailing explanation is that restoring edited pieces (pieces that are in the film after all) is somehow detracting from Shore's artistic integrity, which I think is completely bizarre backwards logic. Taking a full recorded piece, and artificially editing it down, that hurts artistic integrity; not taking the edited form, and restoring the full recording.

I'm well aware that the pieces were in constant flux, but one version ended up being used. Both TTT and ROTK restored edits made to those versions used in the film. Fellowship does not. Only twice, briefly.

And it's fine, we're not entitled to an answer, but my feeling is that it's not ok to call it a Complete Recordings release then.

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When you order a steak at the restaurant but the chef made a mistake and started cooking a chicken patty before he put steak on the grill, but he dropped that and selected the second and final steak he serves you... Are you entitled to also receive that chicken and dropped steak on the side in a doggy bag? 

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1 hour ago, petaQ said:

When you order a steak at the restaurant but the chef made a mistake and started cooking a chicken patty before he put steak on the grill, but he dropped that and selected the second and final steak he serves you... Are you entitled to also receive that chicken and dropped steak on the side in a doggy bag? 

 

No, but if the Menu says "300 g Rib-Eye", I'm entitled to a 300 g Rib-Eye, and not a 200 g Rib-Eye, where the chef cut 100 g off because he finds it more aesthetically pleasing on the plate.

 

I'm not entitled to as many alternates as I please, but when the label says "Complete Recordings", as a customer, I think it's not wrong to expect the full recordings at least of the pieces that are on the discs anyway.

That's what happened in the latter two scores anyway! They didn't include the cobbled together film edit of Crack of Doom, they included the original recording, etc.

There are many things in TTT and ROTK that were restored and presented in original form. Compared to that, FotR doesn't come close. You shouldn't leave tracked music in the middle of pieces on a release called Complete Recordings. 

Sorry, that's just how it is.

 

All respect to Howard Shore, but then don't call it that.

 

If we got such a thing for the Hobbit, that would be like a godsend because I have doubts we will see anything of that sort for those scores because of the whole situation on the films in general. If Peter Jackson's planned documentary on making the films for the anniversary release didn't get paid for, lord knows what chances another soundtrack release has.

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Regardless of opinion of the end result, it's a bizarre difference in approach. One set conforming to the film edits/mixes (essentially resembling an isolated score), and the other two based more on the original recorded pieces.The edited Aniron and Breaking of the Fellowship are a frustrating listen sometimes.

 

As for the missing alternates... well I can see Doug's point to a degree. I certainly wouldn't want every single take ever recorded (having two performances of Welcome to Jurassic Park was more than I needed). I guess my approach, which is the same for all archive releases from our labels, is that this is the one chance to make this stuff available, and if it doesn't go on, it will never be heard.

 

That said, whoever put the RotK trailer on here - good call. We now need Shore's underscore for Misty Mountains in the AUJ trailer, with the Hobbit book :)

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1 hour ago, gkgyver said:

 

No, but if the Menu says "300 g Rib-Eye", I'm entitled to a 300 g Rib-Eye, and not a 200 g Rib-Eye, where the chef cut 100 g off because he finds it more aesthetically pleasing on the plate.

 

 

Or is it more like getting a 298g steak, which is easily close enough to a 300g steak to be sold as such? Do you usually weigh out your steaks before eating them just in case that tasty extra 2g makes all the difference in value? ;)

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I also think that it's weird Shore preferred edits or omissions over the complete recording of the piece. But even John Williams wanted to preserve the Raiders LP desert chase in the new release, and i think i have not heard worse or more jarring edits in a Williams score since.

 

 

Countless alternates, yes that is not neccesary. Only the radically different or interersting ones :)

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3 hours ago, gkgyver said:

No, but if the Menu says "300 g Rib-Eye", I'm entitled to a 300 g Rib-Eye, and not a 200 g Rib-Eye, where the chef cut 100 g off because he finds it more aesthetically pleasing on the plate.

 

Is that pre-cooked weight?

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Indeed. That these scores got the treatment they did is a blessing in itself. But I'm sure 10 years from now, these same semantics will be argued over and over again.

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FotR didn't get that treatment, that's the point.

The nice packaging and Great liner notes don't change the fact it's basically the isolated DVD Score, with all cuts, edits, odd choir mix and removed choir parts.

 

That the FotR CR is so far apart from TTT and ROTK, which are about perfect, is hardly a blessing.

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1 hour ago, BloodBoal said:

 

Tell that to fans of scores that have yet to receive such a release...

Like perhaps Robin Hood by Andy Price?

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Just now, Stefancos said:

Does Alvar still keep such a hope?

Hope beyond hope.

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You know better! In your darkest dreams you have already seen it. Mastertapes badly stored and crumbled to dust. The sheet music, accidentally mislabeled so lost in a storage depot of immeasurable size, never to be unearthed... 

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