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Paramount Pictures 90th Anniversary Memorable Scores
John [Film Composer] Williams, Miklos Rozsa, Aaron Copland
Paramount Pictures 90th Anniversary Memorable Scores
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
 
Granddaddy of the Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures is rightfully proud of its century of contributions to both American cinema and the art of film scoring. But the first disc of this 43-track double-CD anthology merel...  more »

      
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Granddaddy of the Hollywood studios, Paramount Pictures is rightfully proud of its century of contributions to both American cinema and the art of film scoring. But the first disc of this 43-track double-CD anthology merely hints at the studio's musical peaks, blithely skipping through its first seven decades in just 17 tracks. Indeed, the package as a whole seems more interested in marketing its post-'70s catalog of hits and blockbusters than it does in paying real homage to history and roots. Even rarities like Double Indemnity and The Lost Weekend are served up via modern budget-line rerecordings, as is Ennio Morricone's epochal Once upon a Time in the West). Contemporary recordings of Aaron Copland's rare score to The Heiress and Franz Waxman's great Sunset Blvd. fare better, but soundtrack fans may miss the originals. The studio's rich pop-crossover successes in the '60s are documented via Breakfast at Tiffany's "Moon River" and excerpts from Romeo and Juliet and Love Story, while successful franchises like Star Trek and Raiders also get their due. Too often the '90s-focused second disc only underscores some uncomfortable trends in contemporary scoring--orchestral nervous tics punctuated by booming crescendos, treacly piano Muzak--and makes one wonder if the music of The Rugrats Movie and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider are really film music milestones. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

Only Disc 1 Is Worth Anything
Joshua Chipman | Shelby, IA USA | 07/19/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Normally I have a lot to say in my reviews, but not this time. The main problem with this collection is that all the most memorable film scores are just on one disc, with the second used mostly to play out stuff from the last ten years that, really, musically isn't very memorable and only includes three pieces anyone will recognize just because, like the movies they come from, they're based on old TV shows - The Addams Family, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible.

And that brings up another problem. With all due respect to the late Jerry Goldsmith, who has provided some truly great classic movie scores, was it REALLY necessary to include TWO versions of the SAME Star Trek march in this collection? This seems evocative of the milk-it-for-all-its-worth attitude Paramount has had lately toward its now-tarnished crown-jewel franchise. Where's James Horner's theme music from Star Trek II and III? If they're gonna put Star Trek on here twice, they should have provided a little diversity. It wouldn't have taken much, I'm sure.

I'm sure that Paramount's had other films with far more memorable music (even Harold Faltermeyer's Top Gun Anthem could have helped on Disc 2). This just seems like a lazy attempt at something that really could have been great."