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Soundtrack Review

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100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes


Composers: Various
Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic and London Music Works
Label: Silva Screen Records
7 38572 15552 0
Release Date: 31 August 2018

Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic and London Music Works, this comprehensive 6 CD collection features music from the latest Sci-Fi blockbusters; from Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Blade Runner 2049, all the way back to 1950s classics The Day The Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet...

100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes brings together the best selection of Science Fiction music spanning almost a century, through a thorough overview of musical styles, themes and techniques. It spotlights music from Hollywood heavyweights and classically trained legends (John Williams, John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Bernard Hermann), electronic experimenters (Bebe & Louis Barron, Vangelis) and Jazz influenced composers (Bill Conti, Henry Mancini) to the new generation, who combine orchestral sounds with electronics (David Arnold, Johann Johannsson, Ramin Djawadi, Steve Jablonsky, Hanz Zimmer, Clint Mansell).

With collections like this there are always going to be themes that are overlooked and as the majority of tracks here have appeared on other Silva Screen collections, I'm assuming someone did a wonderful job of digging through the archives to unearth as many of the essential themes as possible.

It's not just film music as there are a handful of TV themes (Doctor Who and the original '60s Star Trek series) but there are so many TV themes missing that you would have expected to have made the cut (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Walking Dead) but are strangely absent. Likewise for movies there's no sign of Poltergeist; Hellraiser; Gremlins; Return to Oz (one of the greatest scores ever produced, to my mind); Indiana Jones franchise (while these film are action adventures, they always have an element of sci-fi at the end). I was also surprised to see some of Danny Elfman's classics were not included: Edward Scissorhands; Batman; Beetlejuice; Mars Attacks... Which is strange when you consider the theme to Dead Ringers (as beautiful as it is, you can't really consider it to be in the sci-fi genre) is included.

I have the original scores for the majority of the tracks on here, many of which I know inside out. And even I had a hard time telling some from the original recordings. Once again, as I've mentioned in the past, this is a tribute to Silva Screen for trying to capture the energy and the sound of the originals. Obviously the full orchestral themes are easier to replicate (although getting the right mix is a skill) and on occasion the electronic side of things isn't quite the same. 'End Titles / Klingon Attack' from Star Trek: The Motion Picture tries hard to replicate the digital sound on the 'Klingon Attack' segment but it's not very close to the original.

In addition, it would seem, that the trumpet parts are the hardest to replicate as there were quite a few tracks here where the brass section is a little off key (most notable on 'End Credits' from Independence Day and 'Overture' from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). On the flip side, I actually preferred London Music Works version of 'A Dream Within a Dream', from Inception, over the original.

The 100 tracks are spread over 6 discs (7 hrs, 24 min, 12 sec). This is an incredible album. I'd even go as far as to say it's an essential purchase for soundtrack collectors. It will also introduce you to some scores you haven't heard, and you may find yourself investing in the original full albums after listening to this.

Track listing:

CD 1

01. Main Title – Ready Player One
02. Corellia Chase – Solo: A Star Wars Story
03. Finale – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
04. 2049 – Blade Runner 2049
05. Showtime, A-Holes – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2
06. Theme – Star Trek: Discovery
07. Heptapod B – Arrival
08. Space Station – Mars
09. Spacewalk – Passengers
10. Stranger Things
11. Westworld
12. Warcraft
13. The Imperial Suite – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
14. Rey’s Theme – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
15. March Of The Resistance – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
16. Farewell And The Trip – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
17. Skin – Ex Machina
18. Tessa – Transformers: Age Of Extinction

CD 2

01. Cornfield Chase – Interstellar
02. No Time For Caution – Interstellar
03. The Hanging Tree – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
04. Gravity
05. Iron Man 3
06. London Calling – Star Trek Into Darkness
07. Waking Up – Oblivion
08. Life – Prometheus
09. Person Of Interest
10. Theme – Doctor Who: Series 5
11. It’s Our Fight – Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
12. Suite – Super 8
13. The Consolations Of Philosophy – Black Mirror
14. A Dream Within A Dream – Inception
15. Mombasa – Inception
16. Time – Inception
17. Outlands – Tron: Legacy
18. Recognizer – Tron: Legacy
19. War – Avatar

CD 3

01. Forest Battle – Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
02. Welcome To Lunar Industries – Moon
03. Hella Bar Talk / Enterprising Young Men – Star Trek
04. Roar! – Cloverfield
05. Driving With The Top Down – Iron Man
06. Adagio In D Minor – Sunshine
07. The Last Man – The Fountain
08. Together We Will Live Forever – The Fountain
09. My Name Is Lincoln – The Island
10. Battle Of The Heroes – Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith
11. War Of The Worlds
12. Don’t Blow It – Solaris
13. Across The Stars – Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones
14. Where Dreams Are Born – Artificial Intelligence: AI
15. Main Theme – Galaxy Quest
16. Duel Of The Fates – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
17. Anything Is Possible – The Matrix

CD 4

01. Harry & Greg / Launch – Armageddon
02. The Wedding – Deep Impact
03. End Titles – Lost In Space
04. The Story Ends – Mercury Rising
05. Contact
06. The Departure – Gattaca
07. End Credits – Independence Day
08. Apollo 13
09. Suite – Judge Dredd
10. Species
11. Giza 1928 / Going Home – Stargate
12. Overture – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
13. Suite – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
14. Total Recall

CD 5

01. End Credits – The Abyss
02. Closing Credits – Dead Ringers
03. Predator
04. Rock Shop / Home / Van Chase / The Dream – Robocop
05. Prelude / Ripley’s Rescue – Aliens
06. Main Theme – Back To The Future
07. Lifeforce
08. Dune
09. Bird Of Prey Decloaks – Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
10. Starman
11. Main Theme – The Last Starfighter
12. The Right Stuff
13. End Credits – Twilight Zone: The Movie
14. Love Theme – Blade Runner
15. Closing Theme – Blade Runner

CD 6

01. Adventures On Earth – E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
02. Overture – Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
03. The Thing
04. The Imperial March – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
05. Alien
06. Main Theme – Phantasm
07. End Titles / Klingon Attack – Star Trek: The Motion Picture
08. The Black Hole
09. Main Theme / The Destruction Of Peace – Battlestar Galactica
10. Main Title – Star Wars: A New Hope
11. Resolution And Finale – Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
12. Also Sprach Zarathustra – 2001: A Space Odyssey
13. Star Trek
14. London 1900 / Filbey’s Theme – The Time Machine
15. Forbidden Planet
16. Suite – The Day The Earth Stood Still
17. March – Things To Come


Darren Rea

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