Film Music Review
The Sammy awards
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Presents...

 

The 12th 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 DVD With Isolated Score

Best DVD Box Set With Vintage Scores

Best New Film Music Book

 

Selected by Steven A. Kennedy

Introduction

Best New Soundtrack CDs

Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Silver and Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

Best Compilation CDs


Best Film Music CDs of the Decade (2000-2009)


The 22nd Annual
Sammy Awards (or Sammys)
for Film Music CDs

will be announced on 21 February 2010

 

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 subjective.

Both Steve and I have been compiled these Best of the Year lists for many years now. I think our job as reviewers is to tell it like we hear it and judge them as fairly as possible.

Included in my list are Best CDs, Album Producers, Record Labels, Best Film Music Book, and Best DVDs of 2009.

This year I felt it was once again a very lean year for exceptional new soundtracks.

Because of the lack of truly outstanding new film scores in 2009, I will not pick a Top Composer or any new soundtracks.

Instead, I devote my list to re-recordings and reissues or restorations,
and compilation CDs, all of them reviewed on Film Music Review during the past year.

These are the three time periods for the soundtracks list:

The Golden Age -- 1930s to 1950s

The Silver Age -- 1960s and 1970s

The Bronze Age -- 1980s and 1990s

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

So, on to my list for ...

 

The Best of 2009

Selected by Roger Hall

 

To read the reviews, click on the links.

Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for February

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE --
music by Max Steiner (Tribute Film Classics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for August

GOD'S LITTLE ACRE --
music by Elmer Bernstein (Kritzerland)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for July

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER --
music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Tribute Film Classics)

 

 

 

 

Special Merit 


THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD --
music by Bernard Herrmann (Prometheus)

 

 

 

 



Best Silver Age Soundtrack CDs

 

 

 

 

THE APARTMENT -- music by Adolph Deutsch
IRMA LA DOUCE and THE FORTUNE COOKIE -- music by Andre Previn
(The Apartment)

 

 

 

 

 


Best of the Month for October

THE BLACK STALLION -- music by Carmine Coppola
Additional music by Shirley Walker (Intrada)

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for September

EXODUS -- music by Ernest Gold
also other film scores (2 CDs, Tadlow)

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for May

HOW TO STEAL A MILLION and
BACHELOR FLAT --
music by Johnny Williams (Intrada)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for November

TARAS BULBA -- music by Franz Waxman (Kritzerland)

 

 

 

 


Best of the Month for March

TIME AFTER TIME --
music by Miklos Rozsa (Film Score Monthly)

 

 

 

 


Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

 

 

 

MAX AND HELEN & THE OASIS --
music by Christopher Young (BSX Records)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for June

TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE--
music by Jerry Goldsmith (Film Score Monthly)

 

 

 

 


Best Compilation CDs

 

 

 

 

DAVID RAKSIN AT M-G-M
(5 CD Box Set, Film Score Monthly)

 

 

 

 

 


DISCOVER FILM MUSIC
(2 CD compilation with 165 page booklet, Naxos)

 

 

 

 

Best of the Month for April

A JOHNNY MANDEL TRIO
(3 CD Box Set, Film Score Monthly)

 

 


Best Album Producers

Anna Bonn, John Morgan, William Stromberg

Douglass Fake

James Fitzpatrick

Lukas Kendall

Bruce Kimmel

 


Best Record Labels

 

BSX RECORDS

FILM SCORE MONTHLY

INTRADA

KRITZERLAND

TADLOW

TRIBUTE FILM CLASSICS

 



 

Best DVD With Isolated Score

 

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Two-Disc Special Edition)

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
(2 Disc Special Edition)

Music by Bernard Herrmann
Commentary by John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg,
and Nick Redman

 


 

Best DVD Box Set With Vintage Scores

 

THE FORD AT FOX COLLECTION:
THE ESSENTIAL JOHN FORD


DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
THE GRAPES OF WRATH
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
FRONTIER MARSHAL
BECOMING JOHN FORD


 

Best New Film Music Book

 

 

A History of Film Music
by Mervyn Cooke

 



 

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The Best of 2009

Selected by Steven A. Kennedy

 

Introduction

This was a great year for animated film scores with a strong score for CORALINE by Bruno Coulais kicking off a host of scores that often recalled Hollywood’s 1940s and 1950s (mostly because their alien themes often referenced those eras).

Giacchino’s UP is probably the best of the lot though no real commercial release appeared (you can download the score the so I’ve included it here). Young’s score to a really scary film is one of his best while Beltrami provided an equally great score to KNOWING often recalling approaches by Goldsmith. Giacchino’s other great score for 2009, STAR TREK, is worthy to be included on the Oscar short list if not a real nominee.

Hamlisch’s score for THE INFORMANT! was a welcome return to film music for the composer after an absence that has been way too long.

Danna’s score for the uneven sci-fi romance is among his most mainstream accessible scores but draws the listener into the narrative quite well.

Perhaps one of the best surprise scores was Henry Jackman’s MONSTERS VS. ALIENS which referenced classic Herrmann scores and falls along the lines of Elfman’s MARS ATTACKS!


 

Best New Soundtrack CDs

 

There were some wonderful classic releases this year though one wonders if labels are now moving away from music composed prior to 1960 and are beginning to mine the large field of scores for the latest group of people to reach their nostalgic years of the 1970s/1980s. That said, thank goodness for Tribute Film Classics and their always superb releases. So many Silver/Bronze age scores were released last year that it is hard to keep up with them all and so many were limited releases that by the time my own order arrived the disc had sold out (some were selling out in a day!). So you may have missed La-La Land’s release of the quintessential Bernstein parody score for AIRPLANE!, or the fantastic two-disc Gold set of music from EXODUS re-recorded for Silva, or a bunch of Goldsmith releases among which two stood out and are listed below.

We are also seeing some scores from within the past 20 years finding limited releases among which Howard’s THE FUGITIVE is perhaps a fine example of both restoring a score’s sound and providing a complete hearing of the music.

Intrada has been churning out more releases than you can shake as stick at these days and from odd cult favorites to holy grails the biggest gift for 1980s music fans was their release of BACK TO THE FUTURE, a favorite Silvestri score important for his career as well as featuring some wonderful action music.

Listed in alphabetical order:

DRAG ME TO HELL– Christopher Young

THE INFORMANT! – Marvin Hamlisch

KNOWING – Marco Beltrami

RED CLIFF – Taro Iwashiro

STAR TREK – Michael Giacchino

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE – Mychael Danna

UP – Michael Giacchino

 

 Honorable Mention:

ALIENS IN THE ATTIC – John Debney

MONSTERS VS. ALIENS – Henry Jackman

SIN NOMBRE – Marcelo Zarvos

 

 


Best Golden Age Soundtrack CDs

 

The CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGGADE – Max Steiner (Tribute Film Classics)

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER – Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Tribute Film Classics)

THE 7 th VOYAGE OF SINBAD – Bernard Herrmann (Prometheus)

 


Best Silver Age Soundtrack CDs

Silva Records continues to be the compilation music master when it comes to re-recording and among the many releases from 2009 (some repackagings) three stood out. Their horror movie collection vastly improved upon a 2-disc set from a few years ago and features music from a vast number of films familiar and less well-known but still an amazing musical listen. Their 2008 compilation of great music from that year allowed many the only chance to hear Giacchino’s “Roar” which appeared as end credits for CLOVERFIELD.

Other selections were well chosen too. Naxos is hovering around digital download and hard copy releases which means that their first film music compilation never appeared here in the U,S, as a hard copy and the 2nd one is available as both. These are possibly re-packaging from the orchestra’s own private label only available from their website in the UK.

While Chandos did not send out a lot of music for review, fans of English film music will handily enjoy their slim box repackaging of their Vaughan Williams film series which is superb and presented at a reduced price.

EXODUS (1960) – Ernest Gold (Silva)

FREUD (1969) – Jerry Goldsmith ( Varese Sarabande)

JULES ET JIM (1961) / les deux anglaises et le continent –
Georges Delerue (Universal France)

 


Best Bronze Age Soundtrack CDs

 

AIRPLANE! (1980) – Elmer Bernstein ( La-La Land)

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) – Alan Silvestri (Intrada)

THE FUGITIVE (1993) – James Newton Howard ( La-La Land)

TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983) – Jerry Goldsmith
(Film Score Monthly)

 


Best Compilation CDs

 

The Definitive Horror Music Collection – Various composers (Silva)

Film Music 2008– Arnold, Burwell, Cuomo, Djawadi, Eastwood, Giacchino, Gregson-Williams, Howard, T. Newman, Portman, Powell, Williams, Zimmer (Silva)

The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams (Volumes 1-3, repackaged) – Ralph Vaughan Williams (Chandos)

Great Movie Themes 2 – Badelt, Elfman, Mancini, Myers, Warbeck, Williams, ( Naxos)

The Music of Batman – Elfman, Goldenthal, Howard, Zimmer, Walker, Drake, Riddle, Hefti (Silva)

You Must Remember This Too: Classic Film Music Arranged for Guitar – Gold, Newman, Korngold, Rozsa, Herrmann, Morley, Tiomkin (BSX Records)

 



 

 

Previous Best Film Music

 

11th Annual Survey for 2008

10th Annual Survey for 2007

9th Annual Survey for 2006

8th Annual Survey for 2005

 

 


 

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