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Editor's Choice -

Best Of The Month

May 2011  

  

20th CENTURY FOX - 75 YEARS OF GREAT FILM MUSIC

Disc One (Total Playing Time = 78:50):

1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman) - :19
2. ALL ABOUT EVE (Alfred Newman, 1950) - 2:17
3. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (Alfred Newman, 1941) - 8:10
4. THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (Alfred Newman, 1943) - 4:18
5. LAURA (David Raksin, 1944) - 2:17
6. THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (Bernard Herrmann, 1947) - 3:54
7. CAPTAIN FROM CASTILLE (Alfred Newman, 1947) - 4:08
8. TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH (Alfred Newman, 1948) - 1:52
9. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Bernard Herrmann, 1951) - 3:45
10. VIVA ZAPATA! (Alex North, 1952) - 3:24
11. MY COUSIN RACHEL (Franz Waxman, 1952) - 2:23
12. THE ROBE (Alfred Newman, 1953) - 4:23
13. PRINCE VALIANT (Franz Waxman, 1954) - 4:53
14. UNTAMED (Franz Waxman, 1955) - 2:35)
15. THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR (Hugo Friedhofer, 1955) - 2:18
16. HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (Alfred Newman, 1953) - 5:36
17. THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (Alfred Newman, 1955) - 3:13
18. THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (Victor Young, 1954) - 4:27
19. LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING (Alfred Newman, 1955) - 7:05
20. THE LONG, HOT SUMMER (Alex North, 1958) - 5:02
21. FROM THE TERRACE (Elmer Bernstein, 1960) - 1:29

Disc Two (Total Playing Time = 76:17):

1. CLEOPATRA (Alex North, 1965) - 9:37
2. THE SAND PEBBLES (Jerry Goldsmith, 1966) - 5:08
3. PLANET OF THE APES (Jerry Goldsmith, 1968) - 7:18
4. PATTON (Jerry Goldsmith, 1970) - 5:37
5. TORA! TORA! TORA! (Jerry Goldsmith, 1970) - 3:02
6. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (Don Ellis, 1971) - 4:15
7. THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (John Williams, 1972) - 2:11
8. THE PAPER CHASE (John Williams, 1973) - 2:32
9. CONRACK (John Williams, 1974) - 6:00
10. THE OMEN (Jerry Goldsmith, 1976) - 2:32
11. MAGIC (Jerry Goldsmith, 1978) - 2:02
12. THE FURY (John Williams, 1978) - 4:27)
13. ALIEN (Jerry Goldsmith, 1979) - 4:09
14. NORMA RAE - "It Goes Like It Goes" (David Shire-Norman Gimbel, 3:01)
15. AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (Dave Grusin, 1982) - 1:58
16. MAX DUGAN RETURNS (David Shire, 1983) - 2:23
17. ROMANCING THE STONE (Alan Silvestri, 1984) - 5:28
18. COMMANDO (James Horner, 1985) - 3:56

Disc Three (Total Playing Time = 76:14):

1. PREDATOR (Alan Silvestri, 1986) - 3:51
2. THE FLY (Howard Shore, 1986) - 1:54
3. LUCAS (Dave Grusin, 1986) - 2:43
4. RAISING ARIZONA (Carter Burwell, 1987) - 1:54
5. WALL STREET (Stewart Copeland, 1987) - 2:48
6. BIG (Howard Shore, 1988) - 2:50
7. BROADCAST NEWS (Bill Conti, 1987) - 2:44
8. DIE HARD (Michael Kamen, 1988) - 5:29
9. THE ABYSS (Alan Silvestri, 1989) - 3:14
10. HOFFA (David Newman, 1992) - 8:00
11. MRS. DOUBTFIRE (Howard Shore, 1993) - 3:00
12. SPEED (Mark Mancina, 1994) - 4:03
13. CAST AWAY (Alan Silvestri, 2005) - 3:45
14. UNFAITHFUL (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, 2002) - 2:37
15. ICE AGE (David Newman, 1:18)
16. I, ROBOT (Marco Beltrami, 2004) - 3:15
17. FANTASTIC FOUR (John Ottman, 2005) - 2:33
18. NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM (Alan Silvestri, 2006) - 2:36
19. HORTON HEARS A WHO (John Powell, 2008) - 7:40
20. INDEPENDENCE DAY (David Arnold, 1996) - 9:07

 

Compilation Produced by Robert Townson.
Mastered by Erick Labson
Liner notes by Robert Townson and Robert Kraft.

Varese Sarabande 302 067 059 2

Rating: ****

 

For those who only want the complete soundtracks, this compilation may not be your choice, but I believe anyone who passes up this 3 CD box set is missing a great collection of memorable soundtrack themes over the past sixty years, from 1941 to 2008.




There really is no need to discuss all these 59 themes and highlights. Many or most of them will be familiar to avid film music collectors and film fans. I would guess that the first CD might be the least known to younger listeners. The name that comes up the most, as it should, is the Head of the Music Department at 20th Century Fox during the 1940s and '50s: Alfred Newman. There are highlights from ten of his scores, including the unforgettable 20th Century Fox Fanfare which is still used today. Newman received more Oscars than any other composer (9 of them) and he is without question one of the giants of Hollywood film music during the 20th century [see 100 essential film scores].

 

Other composers are also well represented including the ones shown in this picture from the CD booklet:

Bernard Herrmann (2 scores), Franz Waxman (3 scores), Alex North (2 scores), John Williams (4 scores), and Jerry Goldsmith (7 scores) are among the best of film composers from the past and, in the case of Williams, also the present.

There are a few Oscar-winning scores included: THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (Alfred Newman), LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING (Alfred Newman), and THE OMEN (Jerry Goldsmith). Also other highly rated film scores like:
THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, THE ROBE and PATTON.

Though some of the featured scores have only a brief theme, this CD set still provides an excellent sampling of music from 20th Century Fox films.

Of the three discs, I believe the third one (music from 1986 to 2008) has the least to offer, though several by Howard Shore (MRS. DOUBTFIRE) and David Newman (HOFFA) are quite good. This disc unfortunately illustrates how the film scores from the 1980s and 1990s were not up to the same high quality as earlier decades at 20th Century Fox. The last two tracks track on Disc Three provide an appropriate conclusion with John Powell's delightfully upbeat suite from HORTON HEARS A WHO and David Arnold's majestic score to INDEPENDENCE DAY.

This 3 CD box set is like a celebration on Independence Day in the U.S. It explodes with many fireworks of sound and bright sparklers of great themes.

So join in the celebration of 75 years of 20th Century Fox film music and add this compilation to your listening library.

I highly recommended this wonderful collection and have chosen it for Best of the Month.

-- Roger L. Hall, 24 May 2011

Comments regarding this review can be sent to

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Also available is this massive DVD collection:

 


20th Century Fox 75th Anniversary Collection
(3 volumes - 75 films)

 

 


 

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