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Music from the Films of Ridley Scott

Music from the Films of Ridley Scott

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Music from the Films of Ridley Scott (Soundtrack) from BSX Records
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music from the Films of Ridley Scott (Soundtrack) from BSX Records

Music from the Films of Ridley Scott
Composed from BSX Records
BSX Records (2013)

Rating: 2/10

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“While this album may indeed succeed in drawing new listeners to film music, I believe listening to an album like this can leave the listener with more of a hunger than a satisfaction.”

Not So Great Scott
Review by William Bard

 

Composer compilation albums are always fun, but it is director-compilation-albums such as MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF RIDLEY SCOTT, from BSX Records, that really stand out to me. (It also helps when the director in question works with more than one composer throughout his career.)  In general, these type of compilations offer styles of music so varied that the only common factor is the director’s vision of storytelling. From gorgeous solo oboe lines in “Main Title” (1 – THE DUELLISTS) to sexy, ethereal jazz saxophone in “Love Theme” (3 – Blade Runner), this new, Ridley Scott album is about as varied as one could find.

The unfortunate thing about such albums is that they also occasionally suffer from less-than-satisfactory orchestral renderings. Taking this release as an example, we have the “American Film Symphony”. Sound legit? It isn’t, and with even an average ear one can easily recognize the sounds of a home-made, synthesized “orchestra”. From what I can ascertain, the two exceptions to this are the first two tracks, performed by two orchestras not credited on the front cover, but easily the most “real”-sounding performers presented on this release. “Main Title” (1 – THE DUELLISTS) is performed by the Sinfonia of London and “End Credit” (2 – ALIEN) is performed by the Czech Symphony Orchestra. In addition to this, we have the songs “Princess Lily” (4 – LEGEND), “Someone to Watch Over Me”, “Now We Are Free” (13 – GLADIATOR), “Vide Cor Muem” (15 – HANNIBAL) and “Minstrel Boy” (17 – BLACK HAWK DOWN), which are sung quite beautifully, notwithstanding the noticeable synthesized backing. (There are a couple other choral pieces on the album, but these do not stand out to me as much.)

Compilations are always a touchy subject to me, as I wonder at times what warrants their existence in the first place; one could, almost on every occasion, find higher-quality performances and recordings in the respective films’ original soundtrack recordings. I could go on and on about the musical merit, or lack thereof, of the pieces presented here, but it frankly seems pointless when it would be better to direct you to the actual soundtracks from which these tracks originated. And with tracks like those from GLADIATOR [see “The Battle” (12) and “Now We Are Free (13)], which sound synthesized in the original soundtrack recording to start, I sincerely wonder why anyone would seek an even lesser-quality version of the music. If you really want a compilation of the music from the films of Ridley Scott, I’d suggest getting the original soundtracks, taking the official versions of the tracks presented here, and making a playlist on iTunes. 

While this album may indeed succeed in drawing new listeners to film music, I believe listening to an album like this can leave the listener with more of a hunger than a satisfaction; the satisfaction that one gets out of listening to a masterfully performed, masterfully recorded score. Of course, not everyone can or will want to purchase all these original scores, especially if they have not yet heard any of the music. A quick browse through YouTube or Spotify would deliver better renditions of a majority of these tracks and could give the listener a far better idea of how these pieces were intended to sound.
 

Rating: 2/10


Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Main Title (The Duellists) 2:58  ****
2 End Credit (Alien) 2:48  ****
3 Love Theme (Blade Runner) 5:08  *
4 Princess Lily (Legend) 4:51  ***
5 The Unicorn Theme (Legend) 4:51  *
6 Someone to Watch Over Me 3:05  ***
7 Charlie's Badge (Black Rain) 3:18  *
8 Thunderbird (Thelma and Louise) 4:06  *
9 Main Title (1492: Conquests of Paradise) 4:40  **
10 Lifeboats (White Squall) 3:33  *
11 Endurance (G.I. Jane) 3:19  *
12 The Battle (Gladiator) 4:11  *
13 Now We Are Free (Gladiator) 4:14  ***
14 Dear Clarice (Hannibal) 4:12  *
15 Vide Cor Meum (Hannibal) 4:01  ***
16 Leave No Man Behind (Black Hawk Down) 5:07  *
17 Minstrel Boy (Black Hawk Down) 5:07  ***
18 Burning the Past (Kingdom of Heaven) 2:41  *
19 Fate Has Smiled Upon Us (Robin Hood) 1:58  *
20 Collision (Prometheus) 2:52  *
  Total Running Time (approx) 78 minutes  

 

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