Film Music Review
The Sammy awards
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Presents...

 

The 11th Annual

Best Film Music Releases of the Year

(CDs, DVDs, Book)

 

 

 


 

Selected by Roger Hall

Introduction

Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Silver Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Compilation CDs

Best Album Producers

Best Record Labels

Best DVDs

Best Film Music Book

 

Selected by Steven A. Kennedy

Introduction

Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Silver and Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Compilation CDs


The 21st Annual
Sammy Awards (or Sammys)
for Film Music CDs

Will Be Announced On

8 February 2009

 

Some of the Sammy Awards will be chosen
from among the Best of the Year titles on this page.

Read about last year's awards here

 


 

Introduction

 

When considering the merits of film music,
a reviewer can only express his or her opinion
based on what they hear.

So this annual survey is naturally somewhat subjective.

This year I felt it was once again a very lean year
for exceptional new soundtracks.
Yet there were a few above average releases.

One of them was WALL'E by Thomas Newman, from the best animated film of the year.
Another was Alexander Desplat's delightful score for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.
But these scores were not considered in this survey.

Because of the lack of truly outstanding film scores.
Steve has agreed with me that we will not pick
a Top Composer for 2008 or any new soundtracks.

Instead, we devote our lists to re-recordings and reissues or restorations,
and compilation CDs.

These are the three time periods included in this year's survey:

The Golden Age -- from the 1930s to 1950s

The Silver Age -- from the 1960s and 1970s

The Bronze Age -- from the 1980s and 1990s

Fortunately, there remains a steady flow of these film scores from the past.

I have chosen a total 30 titles (CDs, DVDs, and other categories).

So, on to my list for ...

 


Best of 2008

Selected by Roger Hall

 

To read the reviews, click on the links.

Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

HIGH NOON -- music by Dimitri Tiomkin
(Screen Archives Entertainment)

THE KENTUCKIAN and
WILLIAMSBURG: THE STORY OF A PATRIOT --
music by Bernard Herrmann (Tribute Film Classics)

LAND OF THE PHARAOHS -- music by Dimitri Tiomkin (Film Score Monthly)

KINGS ROW and THE SEA WOLF --
music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Film Score Monthly)

SHE -- music by Max Steiner (Tribute Film Classics)

 



Best Silver Age Soundtrack CDs

 

THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL -- music by Jerry Goldsmith (Intrada)

CINDERELLA LIBERTY -- music by John Williams (Intrada)

EL CID (3 CD Box Set) -- music by Miklos Rozsa (Tadlow)


Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST -- music by John Williams (Film Score Monthly)

CROSS CREEK -- music by Leonard Rosenman (Intrada)

 

 

 


Best Compilation CDs

THE ESSENTIAL HARRY POTTER FILM MUSIC COLLECTION (Silva Screen)

THE FILM MUSIC OF THOMAS NEWMAN (Silva Screen)

THE MIKLOS ROZSA COLLECTION: MUSIC FOR GUITAR (BSX)

MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF TIM BURTON (Silva Screen)


Best Album Producers

Lukas Kendall

Douglass Fake

James Fitzpatrick

Anna Bonn, John Morgan, William Stromberg

Robert Townson

 


Best Record Labels

 

FILM SCORE MONTHLY

INTRADA

SCREEN ARCHIVES ENTERTAINMENT

SILVA SCREEN

TADLOW

TRIBUTE FILM CLASSICS

 

 

 



Best DVDs

 

 


 

 

 

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
2 Disc Deluxe Edition --
music by Dimitri Tiomkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GARDEN OF EVIL (1954)
music by Bernard Herrmann
Isolated score track and commentary by
John Morgan, Nick Redman, Steven Smith, William Stromberg
[Included in FOX WESTERN CLASSICS box set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW
(Guests: Film composer Dimitri Tiomkin
& Dr. Samuel Hoffmann, Theremin player)

 

 

 

 


Best New Film Music Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Soundtracks of Woody Allen:
A Complete Guide to the Songs and Music in Every Film, 1969-2005
by Adam Harvey

 

 

 

 

 


 

Best of 2008

Selected by Steven A. Kennedy


If Roger still selected new scores, this would be the single hardest year for me to pick a “top” list.  My first favorite new score was Thomas Newman’s Wall-E.  Even the more recent spate of Oscar-bait films have scores that do not really make you want to run out and sample them.  And apart from personal favorites, the only other score that I have only heard and not seen work was Paul Cantelon’s interesting work for The Other Boleyn Girl which turns out to be a fine listen as does Pete Englishby’s fun score for Ms. Pettigrew Lives For A Day.  It is a bit of a throwback genre score as was Randy Newman’s perfect matching for the uneven Leatherheads. 

 

All of this was perhaps just as well because while new scores tended to be rather ho-hum, specialty labels unleashed a barrage of great scores and “holy grails” for fans of older film music—and that idea was applied to scores from practically every decade up through the 1990s!  This was the year that a Friedhofer score, released as a limited edition on Intrada, sold out within a few days!  I think that even shocked the guys at Intrada.  In fact, Intrada probably had some of their best film releases throughout the year hitting practically every period and personal favorites, some selected below.  Two amazing large-scale sets were released in 2008 that were also great to have on disc.  The first of these was Film Score Monthly’s massive MGM Soundtrack Treasury set which quickly sold out—though my favorite scores are the ones on the first four discs of the collection.  The other was a long-awaited set of scores from the Indiana Jones films.  It was a bit frustrating to not have an expanded 4th for the most recent film, or to even be able to just get the first three collected together.  But, if you a John Williams’ fan this was a prime want list for your collection with some great music to be found that you could only previously enjoy with the film.  With some of the many independent labels around, and with the economic situation we are heading into, it will remain to be seen how these specialty releases will survive the coming year.  It was perhaps poignant to get a chance to finally experience the Elmer Bernstein Film Music Collection as a gift this year.  It was a wonderful example of passion for film music being overcome by costs and market.  Things must have changed since Elmer made those recordings—that seems like a good thing!


Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

 

THE KENTUCKIAN and
WILLIAMSBURG: THE STORY OF A PATRIOT --
music by Bernard Herrmann (Tribute Film Classics)

LAND OF THE PHARAOHS -- music by Dimitri Tiomkin (Film Score Monthly)

SHE -- music by Max Steiner (Tribute Film Classics)

 

 

 

 


Best Silver and Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL -- music by Jerry Goldsmith (Intrada)

THE FOUR MUSKETEERS -- music by Lalo Schifrin (Label X)

HEAVY METAL– music by Elmer Bernstein (Film Score Monthly)

MYSTERIOUS ISLAND -- music by Bernard Herrmann (Silva Screen)

 

 


 

Best Compilation CDs

THE FILM MUSIC OF PHILLIP LAMBRO (Perseverance)

INDIANA JONES: THE SOUNDTRACKS COLLECTION – John Williams ( Concord)

THE MIKLOS ROZSA COLLECTION: COLLECTION FOR GUITAR (BSX) --
Gregg Nestor, guitar and arranger

MUSIC FROM THE FILMS OF TIM BURTON
Stephen Sondheim, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore (Silva Screen)

100 GREATEST TV THEMES, VOLUME 2 (Silva Screen)

SUPERMAN: THE MUSIC (1978-1988) – John Williams, Ken Thorne,
Alexander Courage, Ron Jones, Giorgio Moroder (Film Score Monthly)

VINTAGE CINEMA – various composers (Telarc)

 


Previous Best Film Music

 

10th Annual Survey for 2007

9th Annual Survey for 2006

8th Annual Survey for 2005

 

 


 

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