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Ed Wood: Original Soundtrack Recording
Howard Shore
Ed Wood: Original Soundtrack Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

To capture the story of the director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Howard Shore plays with '50s-style camp. On the minus side, this disc has no consistent mood and puts too much emphasis on the silliness over the more origin...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Howard Shore
Title: Ed Wood: Original Soundtrack Recording
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Hollywood Records
Original Release Date: 9/28/1994
Re-Release Date: 10/18/1994
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 720616200228, 400075675729, 295184681026

To capture the story of the director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, Howard Shore plays with '50s-style camp. On the minus side, this disc has no consistent mood and puts too much emphasis on the silliness over the more original and slightly more serious pieces. The overriding form here is "exotica," drawing obvious inspiration from Les Baxter (who was often himself a budget-horror-movie orchestrator). But Cuban noise maker Perez Prado, cult organist Korla Pandit, and Shore's own variations on "hep" get a bigger slice than the more elegant and eerie work of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, complemented by Cynthia Millar's Ondes Martenot (an early synthesizer) and Lydia Kavina's theremin. Still, Shore does a fine job re-creating phrases from old production-music tunes. The dialogue snippets are still hilarious. --Joseph Lanza

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CD Reviews

Almost as much fun as the movie itself...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 06/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For my dough, "Ed Wood" was one of the most enjoyable films of the '90's, and Shore's soundtrack is also excellent. While there are a few campy dialogue snippets from the movie, and a few moments of dissonant typical-50's horror sounds, overall this is actually a lovely piece of work. Mixed together almost perfectly are the Strange, the Beautiful, the Exotic, the Lounge, and the Comedic. If you liked the film, you can't help but like the disc. Even if you didn't see the movie, and even if you don't know who Ed Wood was, you probably will like the soundtrack. Shore dedicated this effort to the late Henry Mancini, who got his start doing horror music in the 50's..."Creature From the Black Lagoon" being one. This is fun, but it is also good music, well-performed. The real Ed Wood was inept and troubled, but he loved the movies, and he perservered in making them on his own no matter how many months it took and how incomprehensible they turned out. His life may not deserve a score this good, but the film they made about him certainly did."
As campy and striking as the film
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 02/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Howard Shore's original score, supplemented by titles from mambo king Perez Prado ("Kuba Mambo") and mystic organist Korla Pandit (the whirling dervish "Nautch Dance"), neatly captures the absurdity of Wood's filmmaking and the circus of atmosphere of the times that surrounded it.
The orchestral pieces, performed by the London Philharmonic, are typical mood settings, augmented by the theramin of Lydia Kavina and Ondes Martinot of Cynthia Millar. The other-worldly sounds set the era by adding just the right touch of '50s horror film atmosphere. The small-combo pieces are built on latin percussion and jazz-changes reminiscent of late-50s exotica by Les Baxter and Martin Denny.Snippets of dialogue help convey the film's tone, including Jeffrey Jones as the psychic Criswell, providing the soundtrack's introduction: "Greetings my friend. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious... the unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing you the full story of what happened. We are giving you all the evidence. Based only on the secret testimony of the miserable souls who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places -- my friends, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Can your heart stand the shocking facts of the true story of Edward D. Wood, Jr.?"Martin Landau's oratories as Bela Lugosi ("Wait! Pull the string! Pull the string!" set to a grand orchestral crescendo) are sure to confound anyone who has not seen the film, but for those who have, they add a sad, nostalgic dimension to this recording.It's an unusual task to write soundtrack music for a film about films. On the one hand, Shore wants to capture the flavor of Wood's filmmaking (and the soundtrack music that accompanied it), on the other, he must stay true to "Ed Wood" filmmaker, Tim Burton. The resulting soundtrack succeeds at both levels, plugging the listener into both Ed Wood and "Ed Wood.""
One of The Best Film Scores of All Time!
HeidiKakes | NY | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Tim Burton's darkly comedic biography Ed Wood is one of my favorite films of all-time. It was a light-hearted tribute to an eccentric man who is considered by many to be the worse director in the history of film, Edward D. Wood, Jr. What made this movie so amazing (other than the constant thrill of watching Johnny Depp's eyebrows singlehandedly mug the camera for 2 hours) was Howard Shore's perfect accompanying score. When I first heard it, I assumed it was Danny Elfman just because he is usually Burton's composer of choice, but it is indeed Shore. While I think Elfman adds incredible depth to Burton's films, Shore's score for Ed Wood fits the movie and its content exquisitely.

Mixing elements ranging from traditional film music with the theremin-tinged haunted exotica sounds of 60s lounge acts such as Martin Denny and Les Baxter, Ed Wood's score truly captures everything the real Ed Wood stood for and tried to accomplish with his films. If Wood had access to major movie studio funds, this is more than likely exactly what he would have chosen as the musical backdrop to his b-movie masterpieces. The album also features short, subtle soundclips from the film itself and while normally this deters from the listening experience, here it seems perfect and only makes you want to view the movie again and again.

While every track is nearly flawless, some of the ones that truly standout are the "Main Theme, "Ed Takes Control" and "This Is The One."

The "Main Theme" to Ed Wood is perhaps one of the most original pieces of music ever created for a modern film. The Afro-Caribbean, Polynesian drumming mixed with the eerie sounds of the theremin not only make it haunting in the vein of 60s giallo scores, but also extremely kitsch in a mondo lounge, space age, tiki-a-go-go way. There are several variations of the themes used in this track throughout the film and score.

The triumphant fanfare of "Ed Takes Control" is used in the scene where Wood realizes he must not let anyone stand in his way of his dream and must march forward. Shore is able to capture this moment perfectly with militaristic-style percussion and a vibrant brass section representing Wood's sheer determination to not let Hollywood ruin his vision.

"This Is The One" is one of the more emotional as well as traditional pieces of the score. This is the Howard Shore that we all remember from Silence of the Lambs, M. Butterfly and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy. The use of the theremin here again is very subtle and unlike other tracks, where it is used in a kitschy way, here it is as beautiful as when Clara Rockmore performed her classical theremin musical variations around the world. This is also the track played during the ending where we learn of Wood's fate. This is a very melancholy moment in the film, and Shore captures the essence of this scene completely. I find myself looping this track over and over because it is too brief.

All in all, Howard Shore's score to Tim Burton's Ed Wood works perfectly as an accompaniment to the 1994 hit film but also as a tribute to not only Exotica but also, one of the most underrated instruments of modern time, the theremin."