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Back to Titanic by James Horner

Back to Titanic

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Back to Titanic (Soundtrack) by James Horner
Back to Titanic (Soundtrack) by James Horner
Titanic Anniversary Edition (Poster and Memorabilia)










Back to Titanic (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Back to Titanic
Composed by James Horner
Sony (1998)

Rating: 7/10

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“For those who found (and continue to find) the original TITANIC soundtrack release an enjoyable listen, BACK TO TITANIC certainly has enough new material to entertain you.”

Are You Ready to Back to Titanic?
Review by Christopher Coleman (Revised Review)



With a movie the length of TITANIC, there's little surprise that significant amounts of the original score wouldn't make a single CD release of the soundtrack. Be that as it may, that didn't stop the original soundtrack for TITANIC from selling some 30 million copies! It's likely to have sold nearly that many if there had been only one track on that release...and you all know what track I'm referring to. But, of course, I kid...mostly. Celine Dion's pop, romantic, vocal version of "My Heart Will Go On," for better or worse, literally haunted our ears and minds for the final few years of the 1990s, but only an all-time hit like that could have cast even the smallest of shadows on the epic score which came from the mind, heart and pen of JAMES HORNER. About eight months after the release of Sony's original soundtrack, came the inevitable, BACK TO TITANIC, featuring even more of JAMES HORNER's score...and a number of diegetic inclusions as well.

For Horner fans, the clear highlights here will be the two suites which sandwich the other eleven tracks. Launching this release is a 19 minute suite which completely and satisfactorily captures the musical essence of the film's score. Those who have listened to the original release enough times will notice that this isn't some hastily stitched together piece comprised of music already released, but a thoughtfully constructed and engaging suite. While the opening moments of the suite are much more reflective, we soon find ourselves caught back up in the adventurism of Titanic's pre-tragic, main theme.  Eventually, when Rose's theme reclaims the tempo and energy of the track. Sissel's perfect, wordless vocals enchant the listener again, while a subdued flute sets us up for a final symphonic and choral barrage that will perform a full-test of your goosebump-generator.

I would imagine there was some contingent of folks (completists, teenage-gals looking to re-enact the entire film, etc.) who pined for more of the music that was played or sung within the film itself and so Sony has considered them as well. For those who want to pretend it was them and not Rose who jigged it up in steerage with Jack, we have "An Irish Party in Third Class" by Gaelic Storm (2) complete with dialogue between the dance partners. Looking for more talky-talk from the film? Tracks such as "Come Josephine, In My Flying Machine" by Maire Brennan (8) and a new performance of "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion (11) dish up a few other memorable lines from the film. Even the famous Titanic quartet is represented on this release with two tracks "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (3) and "Nearer My God to Thee" (7) by I Salonisti. But let us go back to James Horner's TITANIC. Shall we?

Outside of the aforementioned suites, there are five additional tracks featuring Horner's score. Thankfully, Sony had the good sense to steer clear of dialogue on these tracks, making them a bit more valuable to those most interested in the score. Perhaps the piece I was most happy to see included is the piano-only version of Rose' theme entitled "The Portrait" (4).  That said "Jack Dawson's Luck" (5) is also a welcome, folksy and energetic insertion (5). "A Building Panic" (6) delivers eight minutes of prime Horner-suspense, while "Lament" (9), and "A Shore Never Reached" (10), provide a strong dose of somber and reflective music featuring Uilleann pipes, tin whistles, and fiddles.

The concluding track, "Epilogue - The Deep and Timeless Sea" (13), is another fantastic suite well worth your ear-time and money.  In it, we return to the main Titanic theme, not heard on the release since the mid-way point of the opening suite. It resurfaces, but it cannot return to the height of promise, luxury and optimism that the the pre-tragedy-ship-theme held.  Here, it remains subdued and reflective honoring the great losses incurred on that fateful April night. We are then given a final taste of the mystical "Heart of the Ocean" motif. Gradually, we return to a vocal performance of Rose' theme by Sissel, which at last, builds into a symphonic and choral performance. The last few moments find most of the orchestra fading into the depths, leaving us first with a regal French horn, then piano, then fiddle, and then one final deep orchestral gasp.

For those who found (and continue to find) the original TITANIC soundtrack release an enjoyable listen, BACK TO TITANIC certainly has enough new material to entertain you. In fact, I'd say the two suites alone (which total over 30 minutes of music themselves) are worth the investment. A bit of careful track programming between the two releases will render a most satisfying listening experience for even the heartiest TITANIC or JAMES HORNER fan. Years after it's release, Horner's music for TITANIC remains as romantic, magical and as instantly recognizable as ever.

Rating: 7/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Titanic Suite 19:05  *****
2 An Irish Party in Third Class (Gaelic Storm) 3:47  **
3 Alexander's Ragtime Band (I Solanisti) 2:29  ****
4 The Portrait 4:43  ****
5 Jack Dawson's Luck 5:38  ****
6 A Building Panic 8:08  ****
7 Nearer My God to Thee (I Solanisti) 2:49  ***
8 Come Joesphine, In My Flying Machine (Maire Brennan) 3:32  **
9 Lament 4:35  ****
10 A Shore Never Reached 4:26  ****
11 My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion) 4:42  ***
12 Nearer My God to Thee (Eileen Ivers) 2:22  ***
13 Epilogue - The Deep and Timeless Sea 12:35  *****
  Total Running Time (approx) 79 minutes  


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