Buy 100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2 (Soundtrack) from Silva Screen Records Amazon.com

 

 

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100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2
from Silva Screen Records

100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2

Buy online

100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2 (Soundtrack)  from Silva Screen Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2 (Soundtrack) from Silva Screen Records

100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2
Silva Screen Records (2010)

Rating: 7/10

Buy 100 Greatest Film Themes - Take 2 from Silva Screen Records  from Amazon.com

 

“For newcomer audiences who are less picky about performance quality than many film score fans will be, this could be the ideal welcome to the genre.”

From Silva with Love
Review by Marius Masalar

The challenge with putting together a collection like the 100 GREATEST FILM THEMES – TAKE 2 from Silva Screen Records is not in selecting the music itself, because there is no shortage of viable candidates and, by and large, the selections that have made their way onto this massive 6-disc set live up to the album’s titular promise. The trick is to pick and arrange the music in a way that showcases the diversity of the film score medium while providing enough familiar tracks to engage a general audience and enough obscure ones to ensure that even film score buffs are in for a fresh treat. Luckily, with this fifth release in their “100” series, Silva Screen Records has created a tasteful and extensive set that reaches through all facets of the past 70 years of the art form, albeit with some rough performances along the way.

This 11-track sampler offers a glimpse at the breadth of the full collection, and provides a good listening experience in and of itself, though the effect of smoothly calculated stylistic transitions between tracks on the full set are lost on this short and shifty promo. Pete Moore’s vintage “Pearl & Dan Theme” (1) from Asteroid opens the sampler and the full set, kicking things off with some extremely fun jazz. Everything from big band brass to solo electric guitar and doo-wop vocals bring the arrangement to life. “From Russia With Love” (2) is the iconic Lionel Bart song that graced the famous Bond film of the same name. A crisp new recording with the City of Prague Philharmonic brings back the 60s in pristine quality. The same treatment is given to “Born Free” (3), another instantly recognizable and catchy film song. Sadly, the same is not true for all of the performances on the disc.

Vangelis’ classic “Love Theme” (4) from Blade Runner is either heart-wrenching or heart-clenching depending on your tolerance of plaintive saxophone solos, but the cheesiness it evokes today doesn’t rob it of its effectiveness. The same is definitely true of Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” (5) from Beverly Hills Cop. The bouncy synth theme is nothing if not retro and hilarious, but good luck getting it out of your head! The sampler is arranged fairly chronologically, and the sound of things gets noticeably more contemporary as we progress through the tracks. Dick Dale’s arrangement of “Misirlou” (6) from Pulp Fiction is the embodiment of the edgy surf rock mood that was so integral to the feel of Tarantino’s film, and it feels right at home on this set as a bump up to modern times.

Leaving the ‘90s behind us, the sampler takes a turn toward sheer beauty with Alan Silvestri’s stirring “End Credits” (7) from Cast Away. The lone oboe and simple piano are gripping in their subtlety, and the soft string section is at once lonely and touching. Of course, a good promo can’t deviate from excitement for too long, and so the mood picks right back up with Tomoyatsu Hotei’s badass “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” (8) from Kill Bill. It’s the kind of music you just want to exact vengeance to, despite the underwhelming rendition. One of the longest tracks on the sampler is Clint Mansell’s interesting “Welcome to Lunar Industries” (9) from Moon, an exercise in brooding and emotionally ambiguous minimalism. It is an extremely moody piece of music, and its simplicity is deceptive since it still manages to be moving and thought-provoking. Truly a great example of the style.

Closing the sampler are two very contemporary tracks. The first is “The Meadow” (10), from Alexandre Desplat’s redeeming score for The Twilight Saga: New Moon. The recording is underwhelming sadly, featuring an aggravatingly bright piano sound and a strangely stilted performance. The second, ending on a strong note, is “War” (11) from James Horner’s epic work on Avatar. The City of Prague Philharmonic certainly does justice to the scale of the piece, and the arrangement showcases the best parts of the track far better than its original album presentation did. Similarly, the recording is much more dynamic and bold than the original, albeit with a messier performance.

The issue with the sampler, and therefore presumably with the full set, is that it seems to indicate a generally low standard for performance quality and musical execution. Some of the re-recordings are stellar, but others are pale shadows of the originals with awkward interpretations and lazy musicianship, which seriously detracts from the enjoyment of the tunes. Of course, one cannot fault the original artists, but one can certainly wonder why Silva would choose not to raise the bar a bit after investing in such a huge undertaking.

Nevertheless, as an introduction to a defining collection, this sampler is definitely enticing, and the full six-disc set it represents is exceedingly valuable in its coverage of the genre. For newcomer audiences who are less picky about performance quality than many film score fans will be, this could be the ideal welcome to the genre.

Rating: 7/10

 


- Sampler

Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Asteroid - Pearl & Dan Love Theme (Pete Moore) 2:24  *****
2 From Russia with Love (Lionel Bart) 2:37  ****
3 Born Free (John Barry, Don Black) 2:49  ****
4 Blade Runner - Love Theme (Vangelis) 5:14  ***
5 Beverly Hills Cop - Axel F (Harold Faltermeyer) 3:04  ****
6 Pulp Fiction - Misirlou (Nick Roubanis) 2:19  ****
7 Cast Away - End Credits (Alan Silvestri) 3:52  *****
8 Kill Bill - Battle without Honor or Humanity (Tomoyatsu Tomei) 2:33  ****
9 Moon - Welcome to Lunar Industries (Clint Mansell) 7:28  *****
10 The Twilight Saga - New Moon - The Meadow (Alexandre Desplat) 4:06  **
11 Avatar - War (James Horner 7:43  *****
  Total Running Time (approx)    

 

 
   

 

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