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Soundtracks, Soundtracks, Soundtracks: Howard Shore

Oct. 26, 2012by:
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There are many things that make a movie what it is. It all starts with a story (according to what every How-To book on screenwriting tells us), there is the director and his crew, there are the actors, who bust their asses to bring a vision to life. Then comes the wonderful world of post-production. What is one result of that? The music. Soundtracks enhance the movie going experience. They can make us cry, they can pump us up, they can make us remember the 80's. Whether it be a musical band or a composer, soundtracks help our favorite movies stay etched in our mind forever.

Howard Shore, born October 18, 1946 has been in the game since 1979 and has been going strong ever since. Throughout his praise worthy career Shore has went to work with some of the best directors to ever hit the scene in frequent collaborations with David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, a film with Tim Burton, and has covered every one of Peter Jackson's adventures into middle earth. Shore's work with Jackson hasn't stopped at the Rings trilogy, he returned Jackson's side to score The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the two films that will follow. Shore has three Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, and four Grammy's two his name. Long story short, Howard Shore is one talented Canadian! Today good sir, we salute you!

1. LORD OF THE RINGS

Howard Shore provided the genius score for all three Lord of the Rings films, and as previously stated came back to make magic for Jackson in the Hobbit movies. Ive chosen to feature this track in particular from Fellowship of the Ring because it is a track that frequently finds itself into my head and makes me want to watch the film just to hear it blare through the speakers. The Bridge of Khazad Dum is in your face in all the right ways. It complimented the most suspenseful moment in Fellowship perfectlywhen that choir kicked in, it was magical. Purchase the soundtrack here

2. EASTERN PROMISES

I confess myself guilty; it took me a while to dive in to the gem that is Eastern Promises. I was late in being one of those film buffs that appreciated the work of David Cronenberg, but this was a situation that was remedied. The violin solo in the beginning of the Suite below is something that makes love to your ears like the film made love to your eyes. This was a dark piece of work, and Howard Shores work complimented that tone accordingly. Speaking of this violin solo, as I sit here listen to the track as I write this, Im reminded of the main theme from Schindlers List. A compliment in its purest form Shore, bravo! Purchase the soundtrack here

3. HUGO

When I talk about this film with people, I always find myself describing it as the perfect love letter to film. That it was, and Howard Shores work here captures the magic of the invention of film like nobody could have matched. I was lucky enough to have taken a film class in college that ran us through every single bit of George Mliss contribution to the art. I had seen the films that we were treated to in the flashback to his glory, and got taken to a place I havent been too in a long time. Martin Scorsese understood the amazement a film lover would have being presented with this subject matter. And so did Howard Shorelisten for yourself. Purchase the soundtrack here

4. ED WOOD

The bizarre man that was Ed Wood was a perfect subject for Tim Burton to tackle and he assembled the best team to tell the interesting directors story. In an interesting change up, due to creative differences on the film Nightmare Before Christmas, frequent collaborator Danny Elfman sat this film out, which made way for Shore. He came along and made an amazing piece of work that undoubtedly felt like it belonged to a Burton film, while adding his own Howard Shore flare. Long story short Elfman has been complimenting Burtons films for years, but Shore did his job in coming along and showing us all why hes one of the greats. Purchase the soundtrack here

5. GANGS OF NEW YORK

This film isnt Scorseses best, far from it as a matter of factbut man was that opening scene and the music that accompanied it bad ass. Shores score for Gangs of New York really captured the time period it was set in, and the crazy revolutionary shit that was going on at the time. Shores contributions to Scorsese films didnt end here. He also contributed to The Departed in which he earned himself a Grammy nomination and for the Aviator in which he earned another Grammy nomination and a Golden Globe win. But the thing we should all know by now is that Shore is a man who doesnt need an award for us all to know his worth. Purchase the soundtrack here

6. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Heres one of Shores early films that didnt earn him any nominations from the aforementioned ceremonies, but its one of my favorites because it immersed you in Hannibal Lecters crazy ass little world. Silence of the Lambswas not a happy filmId be hard pressed to find a film in recent memory with a bleaker tone, and earlier in Shores career he seemed to specialize in films of that mold. From here Shores career and his work only got better, so listen to this tracklose yourself in itand by all means look up the rest of the mans work. It wont disappoint. Run along now, and you will let me know if those lambs stop screaming wont you? Purchase the soundtrack here

Extra Tidbit: I haven't seen Twilight: Eclipse. But I've heard the consensus, and if there's any redeeming quality to be found in what I heard was drivel...it must have been Shore's decision to take part in it.
Source: JoBlo

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9:34PM on 10/26/2012
You only briefly mention The Departed, but I think it needs its own recognition. It's my favorite score by Shore after LOTR. The Departed could have been one of those suspense movies with an subtle, ambient score that lingers in the background and no one really notices. Instead, we get a jazzy, cool score that defines the style of the already great film.
You only briefly mention The Departed, but I think it needs its own recognition. It's my favorite score by Shore after LOTR. The Departed could have been one of those suspense movies with an subtle, ambient score that lingers in the background and no one really notices. Instead, we get a jazzy, cool score that defines the style of the already great film.
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