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The Magnificent Seven: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced CD]
Elmer Bernstein
The Magnificent Seven: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced CD]
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Elmer Bernstein
Title: The Magnificent Seven: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced CD]
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rykodisc
Original Release Date: 10/23/1960
Re-Release Date: 9/29/1998
Album Type: Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Style: Easy Listening
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 014431074127

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CD Reviews

Great music - bad sound quality
Joshua Kaufman | Cincinnati, OH | 12/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein has one of the more famous themes of cinema, coming from the same year that gave us one of the most famous movie-cues ('The Murder' from Psycho by Bernard Herrmann). Both of these, along with Spartacus by Alex North are said to have ushered in the 'Silver Age' in film music.
This score is much more than its well-known theme, however. It packs in just about everything one would expect from a score for a Western/Mexican movie written pre-Morricone: Happy trumpet lines, lots of latin percussian, fanfareing horns, and Spanish guitar motifs -- and mixes them up brilliantly.
There's lots of great themes abound, especially the various "riding" themes. Almost all the way through the score is packed with some kind of forward energy (it's said that Bernstein intentionalally wrote music faster than the action on screen to make the movie seem better paced). Beyond the main theme, I especially like the secondary theme, prominant in 'The Journey', and the wonderful trumpet theme featured in cues such as 'Calvera's Return'. And the final ten minutes or so bring them all together masterfully providing a great climax to a great score.
Unfortunatly, if you buy this album, you must take the bad with the good. This is the ONLY release of the original tracks recorded in 1960, however the sound quality is, quite frankly, painful at times. The hiss is very overbearing in some spots and listening to this on headphones is not the most pleasent experience. It's probably not Ryko's fault, as they were quite capable of producing albums with great sound (see Taras Bulba, a 1962 score). It was long thought that the original tapes were lost, so they likely deteriorated. As a result, I would recommend either of the two re-recordings -- one on the Koch lable, and the other very hard-to-find one the BMG lable (the prior is still buyable, but the latter is a slightly better performance).
So overall, buy this great score in some form, but I recommend a different version than this, unless you are the type who MUST have the original performance."
One of the greats
Joshua Kaufman | 12/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's about time that this soundtrack became available. It was just OK having the "Return of the Seven" as the only soundtrack version of this score, but this release, nearly 40 years after the original film release, finally remedies that.Rhino has put together a great CD. It has all the cues from the score. We finally get to hear the music in the original sequence which I have always felt made a difference. The album notes are not as wonderful and devote too much space to the film and not enough to the music.I think that people who are not familiar with the score will find themselves caught up with the energy of the score. Bernstein also managed the trick of writing an exciting score, well fitted for the film, while maintaining absolute musical integrity all the way from the consistently high inspiration to the superb execution. New listeners may feel that this score sounds like a lot of other Western scores. It is really the other way around: the others all sound like this one. It was the first of its kind (Jerome Moross's "The Big Country" not withstanding). Even Bernstein began to rewrite this score and produce soundalikes (such as the "Sons of Katie Elder" and "The Scalphunters"). At his best, Elmer Bernstein is one of the greats and produced a large number of terrific soundtracks that are still amazing for their high level of musicality and consistent inspiration. This CD displays a prime example."
A Magnificent Soundtrack
Steve Rawlings | Denver, CO USA | 04/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Composer and conductor Elmer Bernstein defined the sound for much of the western genre in this, his signature work. The music captures, with robust vibrance, the exciting tale of mercenary gunfighters enlisted by a Mexican village to rid them of a gang of bandits. Bernstein applies his own unique rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic gifts to give expression to the peaceful Mexican village, to the ruthless bandit gang, and to the stoic, resolute gunmen who confront them. The title music is instantly recognizable, a memorable theme that has attained a lasting stature...yet there is so much more in this score. The music ranges from soft, haunting Spanish-flavored themes accented with guitars and muted brass, to the soaring strings and staccato percussion of the furious gun battles between the bandits and the gunfighters. Throughout, the music teems with scope, drive, and energy. The music is further presented in the original sequence of the film which enables the listener to better reflect on the unfolding drama. The quality on this CD is experience that is simply magnificent!"