Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Various Artists - Soundtracks|
Best Of The West: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtracks (Anthology)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
It's a brave compilation that bookends its contents with two of the greatest main titles in the western canon--Jerome Moross's soaring score to The Big Country and The Magnificent Seven, Elmer Bernstein's Oscar-winning tr... more »
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It's a brave compilation that bookends its contents with two of the greatest main titles in the western canon--Jerome Moross's soaring score to The Big Country and The Magnificent Seven, Elmer Bernstein's Oscar-winning triumph. But it's also a compilation that ultimately falls short by failing to live up to the ridiculously high standards those masterworks set. Admirably, Rykodisc has steered mostly clear of the tried-and-true on this collection of MGM/UA-released western music. With the exception of Dominic Frontiere's familiar Morricone ripoff, Hang 'Em High (Clint Eastwood's first American star-vehicle), most of the other themes (The Scalphunters, Young Billy Young, Return of a Man Called Horse) will be unfamiliar to casual listeners. Sadly, with exceptions like the revealing overture to The Wonderful Country, they don't offer enough to recommend. A dip into United Artists' rich crazy-quilt collection of spaghetti western scores might be a more rewarding endeavor for Rykodisc next time around. --Jerry McCulley
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Finally: Two 'Lost' Masterpieces and a 'Hallelujah'
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation boasts several unforgettable highs and forgettable lows, but the highs include tracks that, by themselves, still make this CD worthwhile -- perhaps even mandatory for a serious fan of the western-movie music genre. This is the only CD that includes the decades-out-of-print original recordings of Jerome Moross's benchmark masterpieces, The Big Country and oft-overlooked The Welcoming. Although a number of conductors and orchestras recorded The Big Country over the years, no one duplicated the signature tension Moross created between the brass and strings, a tension unaccountably and completely lost in all other renditions. The differences are as striking as the gulf between Ennio Morricone's offbeat and edgy "spaghetti Western" scores and Hugo Montenegro's comparatively tame makeovers. Best of the West also seems to be the only CD to include Elmer Bernstein's playful and thematically schizophrenic title track for The Hallelujah Trail, a romp that well reflects the film's equally rambunctious and schizophrenic plot. Bernstein's kicky Hallelujah Trail grows on you. Dominic Frontiere's derivative but distinctive theme for Hang 'Em High is a welcome addition in its own right (if one declines a natural temptation to compare it with Ennio Morricone's wellspring scores for other early Clint Eastwood Westerns). So is Bonnie Blue Flag, a nostalgic echo from The Horse Soldiers likely to summon up haunting imagery for anyone who saw the film. Lesser-known and less remarkable scores populate the rest of the CD, which concludes on a high note with Elmer Bernstein's classic The Magnificent Seven Theme, from The Return of the Magnificent Seven. No elaboration needed on that score. -Charles Bosdet"
Some of United Artists Greatest Western Film Music
hille2000 | USA | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was very delightful to hear the original music from Dominic Frontiere's Spaghetti inspired "Hang 'Em High," Elmer Bernstein's lost "The Scalphunters," and his greatest of all "The Magnificent Seven" and Jerry Goldsmith's underrated "Hour Of The Gun." This CD was a real stupefaction as if I was stranded in Death Valley for a week drinking cactus juice! These were those renowned Western United Artists Soundtracks. Do us all a favor and issue them complete! Do it!"