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Soundtrack Review

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100 Greatest Film Themes
Take 3

Performed by: various
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £29.99
SILCD1398 (CD), SILED1398 (download)
Available 25 March 2013

The third soundtrack release in the "100" series covers over 80 years of first-class film music. This wide and extremely varied collection provides the perfect overview of a musical genre that can both delight and educate on a journey through cinematic history...

Ranging from Laurel & Hardy's Dance of the Cuckoos theme to John William's majestic score for Lincoln, there is also a wide selection of Disney favourites, classic '60s and '70s film tunes and some of the very best of the contemporary scene that includes Drive, Prometheus, Skyfall, Les Miserables and The Hobbit.

This collection contains 100 tracks (unsurprisingly) and has a running time of 6 hr, 30 min, 14 sec. It's the third in Silva Screen's series - so if you were being picky you could say this is the 301-400 best film themes, but it's surprising to note that with a few exceptions (Top Gun and Star Wars for example) this release hardly duplicates any films (obviously it doesn't duplicate any tracks)

The album is split into six different time periods (on the CD release this represents one for each disc). So we get the music from the movies between 1930-1997 on disc 1. Then the following discs contain 1978-1992; 1992-2002; 2003-2010; 2010-2011; and 2011-2012.

Some of the tracks sound terrible when compared to the original (Monty Python's Life Of Brian's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' is probably the worst offender). Thankfully these are very few and far between. Even the vocal tracks are pretty faithful (although it's obvious they are covers). Tracks like 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' (Mary Poppins) and 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) benefit from having the vocal talents of Helen Hobson who played Cathy in 1996/1997's musical reworking of Wuthering Heights. And, and I'm sure I'll be shot for saying this, but I prefer Chloe Du Pre's version of Skyfall over Adele's.

The final disc is basically an extended edition of the Silva Screen's Film Music 2012 with some tracks from the Film Music 2011 added. Likewise, disc five contains tracks from Film Music 2011. So straight away, if you don't own those two releases, this collection represents excellent value for money.

Even if you're a huge soundtrack buff who thinks this is beneath you... think again. There were a few tracks here that had had me logging into iTunes to pick up the full albums, and it also reminded me of some old forgotten favourites - like Hans Zimmer's incredible score for Inception.

I'm not usually a fan of compilation albums of this style, but Silva Screen Records always go that extra mile to try and give the listener tracks that are as close to the original as possible and once again they've achieved that here.


Darren Rea

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