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LOTR: Differences between the Complete Recordings and Regular Album Releases?


Jon Turner
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I was curious about the differences between the Complete Recordings and the regular album releases for all three Lord of the Rings movies.  Even though I own both, I wouldn't mind there being actual detailed descriptions on which version is missing what, as I'd like to compile the different versions.

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Basically, all three original Soundtrack releases are irreplaceable and are meant to complement the Complete Recordings.

 

From memory, the first half of the Fellowship OST is almost all alternate material to the OST, and there are still differences in the second half, and in various track in the next two OSTs, as well.

 

You’ll probably also want a rip of the Fan Credits (the alternate Breaking of the Fellowship alone is worth that) and the Rarities.

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13 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Basically, all three original Soundtrack releases are irreplaceable and are meant to complement the Complete Recordings.

 

Factually incorrect. The OST releases predate the CR's by several years. 

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 9:28 PM, Chen G. said:

Basically, all three original Soundtrack releases are irreplaceable and are meant to complement the Complete Recordings.

 

From memory, the first half of the Fellowship OST is almost all alternate material to the OST, and there are still differences in the second half, and in various track in the next two OSTs, as well.

 

You’ll probably also want a rip of the Fan Credits (the alternate Breaking of the Fellowship alone is worth that) and the Rarities.

I don't knoow… I bought the CRs and that's all I need. They contain a version of every cue I want.

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The Prophecy isn't on the CR.

The alternate Breaking of the Fellowship isn't on the CR.

The major-moded Lighting of the Beacons isn't on the CR.

 

Every single one of these pieces on its own is worth investing in the OST and the Fan-Credits rip. All of which isn't a slate against the CR, so much as it is a pointing out of some truly priceless supplementary material.

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The FotR also has a short unused cue that's not on the CR: 2.47-end of At the Sign of the Prancing Pony.

 

I could never delete the OSTs - particularly the first one is very nostalgically important. FotR is the score that got me into film music.

 

The only irritating thing is that there's way too much Ringwraith material in the first half, resulting in a lot of missing highlights in the latter section.

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11 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

The only irritating thing is that there's way too much Ringwraith material in the first half, resulting in a lot of missing highlights in the latter section.


absolutely.

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I think you could get rid of tracks 4,5,7 and 8 (or some similar variant, leaving one track with Ringwraith material) which frees up ~15 mins. You could then put in some more Bag End material, something from the Caradhras/early Moria bits, and put on the full Khazad-dum sequence.

 

I think TTT is the best of the three in terms of the variety of included material. RotK's problem is just the sheer length of the score vs album limitations, and the combinations of tracks that were possible, plus some of the music not having been written.

 

I  wonder whether they considered putting out 2 CDs for RotK once Shore's music had been proven after the first two.

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I wonder if it was really in the plans and they decided not to halfass it (like they would eventually do with the Hobbits) and just commit to the CRs.

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Isn't The Nazgul Attack track from TTT quite different to either the film or the OST? On the CR it seems to end in an alternate choral passage (Gandalf's secondary theme?) heralds his arrival awesome arrival at Helm's Deep.

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The choir is different/differently mixed between the OST and CR, and the film just tracks an edit of Last March of the Ents over it.

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Presumably this motif (for Gandalf) was originally intended to underscore that sequence, heralding the wizard's arrival. I like the way it plays out in the film, and I think the tracked cue works really well there, but even still; that original choral take would have been so much more majestic. It's such a stunning sound, which somehow evokes Gandalf's elemental "badassness". I wish they'd kept it in.

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On 1/27/2020 at 2:52 PM, Jay said:

 

I really should update those sometime!

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I thought it was: Tracked Forth Eorlingas > Gandalf the White (Original Choir Version heard in the Fan Credits) > Revised Gandalf the White using Tracked Eorlingas choir?

Was the Revised GtW replaced with the tracking again then?

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I can't follow what it is you are saying, can you re-write it in a way that is easier to understand?

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4 hours ago, Quintus said:

Presumably this motif (for Gandalf) was originally intended to underscore that sequence, heralding the wizard's arrival. I like the way it plays out in the film, and I think the tracked cue works really well there, but even still; that original choral take would have been so much more majestic. It's such a stunning sound, which somehow evokes Gandalf's elemental "badassness". I wish they'd kept it in.

I have video with this cue placed against picture here if you are interested:

 

 

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I just finished a 3-day listen to the CR blurays with my good headphones, while reading Doug's book.

 

On one hand I really really like how he treats the CRs as The One original, immoveable, final, intended entity, and focuses purely on explaining what happens musically and in the story - it makes the book much more focused and perfectly suited for enhancing the simultaneous listening experience.

 

On the other hand I'm absolutely fascinated by BTS stories like the above, and especially this one makes me wonder just how much of the book could be Doug rationalising/overexplaining things done for much more prosaic reasons - e.g. "Throghout TLOTR, the choral lyrics [...] regard the Wizard's position as a mediator, a character who moves between cultures to influence Middle-Earth. In Lothlórien, he was referenced in Sindarin and Quenya texts. In Moria, [...] Khuzdul [...] But here in Fangorn, Gandalf the Whiteis met by the same adapted Old English associated with Rohan." vs "Shore originally wrote the piece associated with a Rohan charge and PJ told him to play it here too". I'm not saing it doesn't make sense in the context of the CRs as one isolated finished work, but in the context of Shore's intents, it may seem dodgier.

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

I can't follow what it is you are saying, can you re-write it in a way that is easier to understand?


I thought Shore recorded a version of Gandalf the White that used a unique varation of that tracked music? (which is on the CR?) Was that what was replaced with the Temp? or is the bit we have in the fan credits what was replaced?

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32 minutes ago, Jay said:

For the CR, the beefier choral passage premiered where intended, in the "Gandalf the White" track, and his original choral passage appears where intended, at the end of "The Nazgul Attack"

 

Are you sure about this ordering? Because the statement of the choral motif in question sounds significantly more beefy (and extended) at the end of Nazgul Attack than the version heard during Gandalf the White, on the CR.

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2 minutes ago, Quintus said:

 

Are you sure about this ordering? Because the statement of the choral motif in question sounds significantly more beefy (and extended) at the end of Nazgul Attack than the version heard during Gandalf the White, on the CR.

I think he is talking about the fan credits alternate:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9VTQ4dkVPV1l1eVU/view?usp=sharing

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17 minutes ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

I have video with this cue placed against picture here if you are interested:

 

 

 

Aww man, I love the established cut of this scene, but damn this "original" alternate would have worked so wonderfully well too.

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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

 

Are you sure about this ordering? Because the statement of the choral motif in question sounds significantly more beefy (and extended) at the end of Nazgul Attack than the version heard during Gandalf the White, on the CR.

 

You're right, I messed up my wording in a few spots, I fixed it!

 

The story comes from Doug's Annotated Score PDF

 

image.png

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On 1/26/2020 at 3:02 PM, Jon Turner said:

I was curious about the differences between the Complete Recordings and the regular album releases for all three Lord of the Rings movies.  Even though I own both, I wouldn't mind there being actual detailed descriptions on which version is missing what, as I'd like to compile the different versions.

 

On 1/26/2020 at 6:48 PM, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

I have three threads, they all have analysis in the title.

 

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I must admit I never much took to nor really agreed with the "Nature Reclamation" theme being labelled as such, assuming this description is indeed its official title. I don't regard it - this opus' greatest motif - to have that sort of association at all. 

 

On one hand it's the "hope" theme, but it also inspires human bravery. Abstractly speaking, this music evokes feelings of the greater good; a kind of unseen power in the world that rallies the forces for good to stand up and fight together, to have hope in each other. 

 

Just because the ents are involved... I don't see it myself as being "tree huggy" in nature, forgive the puns. Musically, I don't think of the theme as natural forces per se rising up to fight Sauron. It's too mystical and I think humanistic for that. There's a sense of ancient culture about the melody. This is essentially LOTR's equivalent of Star Wars' Force theme.

 

As a musical idea, it's so much more than just natural restoration.

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7 minutes ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

And Eagles... And the Moth.....
 

 

If you're referring to the incident(s) with the eagles, they were barely involved...

 

By choice!

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37 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I must admit I never much took to nor really agreed with the "Nature Reclamation" theme being labelled as such, assuming this description is indeed its official title. I don't regard it - this opus' greatest motif - to have that sort of association at all. 

 

On one hand it's the "hope" theme, but it also inspires human bravery.  Abstractly speaking, this music evokes feelings of the greater good; a kind of unseen power in the world that rallies the forces for good to stand up and fight together, to have hope in each other. 

 

Just because the ents are involved... I don't see it myself as being "tree huggy" in nature, forgive the puns. Musically, I don't think of the theme as natural forces per se rising up to fight Sauron. It's too mystical and I think humanistic for that. There's a sense of ancient culture about the melody. This is essentially LOTR's equivalent of Star Wars' Force theme.

 

As a musical idea, it's so much more than just natural restoration.

 

I agree, but I think that's what makes its title so beautiful. More than a literal representation of nature, I like to think of it as a stamp for the spirit of Middle-Earth itself, or "natural restoration" as you put it. The rising of good over evil, a dichotomy that Tolkien mirrored in his handling of nature over industry anyway. It's just a much more abstract musical idea over all the other heavy character/location-specific leitmotivic associations.

 

And coincidence or not (don't care what Doug/Shore says), but I still consider this a "nature" moment!

 

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4 minutes ago, KK said:

 

I agree, but I think that's what makes its title so beautiful. More than a little representation of nature itself, I like to think of it as a stamp for the spirit of Middle-Earth itself, or "natural restoration" as you put it. The rising of good over evil, a dichotomy that Tolkien reflected in nature over industry anyway. It's just a much more abstract musical idea over all the other heavy/specific leitmotivic associations.

 

And coincidence or not (don't care what Doug/Shore says), but I still consider this a "nature" moment!

 

I consider that a Hobbit's Understanding moment!

Just now, Quintus said:

Well of course that moment was the genesis of the theme. But top men deny that do they? Rubbish!

latest?cb=20090525051014&path-prefix=en

If by Genesis you mean the first appearance in the chronology of the film/score, than obviously not.

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Ugh. Watching that moment is stirring the old emotions again. Boy did Shore know how to score a moment! Say what you will about him, but he was always good at oozing subtext.

 

Think a proper marathon is long overdue.

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10 minutes ago, Fal J. M. Skywalker said:

I consider that a Hobbit's Understanding moment!

latest?cb=20090525051014&path-prefix=en

If by Genesis you mean the first appearance in the chronology of the film/score, than obviously not.

 

Well I know we hear it atop Orthanc too with the moth and such, but its clear that the theme was very much underdeveloped during the time of Fellowship of the Ring scoring phase.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the nature material was born from that moment. The Amon Hen stuff was probably written before or concurrently with the formal codification of that theme.

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13 minutes ago, KK said:

I agree, but I think that's what makes its title so beautiful. More than a literal representation of nature itself, I like to think of it as a stamp for the spirit of Middle-Earth itself, or "natural restoration" as you put it. The rising of good over evil, a dichotomy that Tolkien reflected in nature over industry anyway. It's just a much more abstract musical idea over all the other heavy/specific leitmotivic associations.

Yes! All over Tolkien you can find the idea that Evil does not create new things, only twist and pervert good things - the One in answer to the other Rings, orcs from elves, etc. So it's really natural, born good versus artificial unnatural evil.

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5 minutes ago, KK said:

Ugh. Watching that moment is stirring the old emotions again. Think a proper marathon is long overdue.

 

All I'm doing lately is watching LotR. It's beyond ridiculous, but I can't help it. I remember being obsessed with it years ago, at the time, but I eventually OD'd on the whole thing and became absolutely sick of it. Fifteen years it took me to come back, after introducing it to my children. And I've been living it again ever since.

 

My kids absolutely love it too, it really amazes me how much they just seem to have been taken with it. These two do not like Harry Potter much at all, but they have watched a shitload of LotR on repeat by now, and to hear my daughter say it's the best film she's ever seen... well it makes me bloomin' emotional!

 

So yeah, I need to watch out that I don't overdo it again.

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6 minutes ago, Holko said:

Yes! All over Tolkien you can find the idea that Evil does not create new things, only twist and pervert good things - the One in answer to the other Rings, orcs from elves, etc. So it's really natural, born good versus artificial unnatural evil.

 

Indeed. It's easily the most purely Tolkien-esque musical idea in the franchise. Followed perhaps by the Ring themes, Lothlorien and Gilraen's Memorial.

 

2 minutes ago, Quintus said:

 

All I'm doing lately is watching LotR. It's beyond ridiculous, but I can't help it. I remember being obsessed with it years ago, at the time, but I eventually OD'd on the whole thing and became absolutely sick of it. Fifteen years it took me to come back, after introducing it to my children. And I've been living it again ever since.

 

My kids absolutely love it too, it really amazes me how much they just seem to have been taken with it. These two do not like Harry Potter much at all, but they have watched a shitload of LotR on repeat by now, and to hear my daughter say it's the best film she's ever seen... well it makes me bloomin' emotional!

 

So yeah, I need to watch out that I don't overdo it again.

 

I envy you. Especially when you get to see people fall in love with it with fresh eyes. Few movies do that anymore.

 

Think I'll take a pass at it this weekend.

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46 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I must admit I never much took to nor really agreed with the "Nature Reclamation" theme being labelled as such, assuming this description is indeed its official title. I don't regard it - this opus' greatest motif - to have that sort of association at all. 

 

On one hand it's the "hope" theme, but it also inspires human bravery. Abstractly speaking, this music evokes feelings of the greater good; a kind of unseen power in the world that rallies the forces for good to stand up and fight together, to have hope in each other. 

 

Just because the ents are involved... I don't see it myself as being "tree huggy" in nature, forgive the puns. Musically, I don't think of the theme as natural forces per se rising up to fight Sauron. It's too mystical and I think humanistic for that. There's a sense of ancient culture about the melody. This is essentially LOTR's equivalent of Star Wars' Force theme.

 

As a musical idea, it's so much more than just natural restoration.

 

 

Doug gave it that name because that is how Howard Shore thought of the theme, and in fact, how Howard Shore exclusively used the theme until PJ messed with his intentions.

 

In FOTR, it only appears when Gandalf uses the Moth to deliver a message when he's trapped on the top of Isengard, and in TTT, he only used it for the Ents.  But then PJ tracked it over Theoden's speech, and it became associated with Rohan fighting back as a result, and so then PJ had Shore use it for Rohan in ROTK and that was that.

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2 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Wacko Jacko the 2nd was right to reappropriate the theme, on that occasion.

 

Yea it ended up being extremely effective that way, especially in ROTK.  Goosebumps galore!

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