Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack: Complete!

Fellowship of the RingRecently I purchased the uber soundtrack box set, The Fellowship of the Ring: The Complete Recordings. This monstrosity contains three CDs and a DVD-Audio (which contains all the music of the CDs in 24-bit two channel and 5.1 surround for DVD-Audio players, and 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital if you have a regular DVD player). It contains all the music of the Extended Edition of the movie.

It's great to hear things I stupidly didn't realize weren't on the original one-discer, such as the music that's played at Bilbo's birthday party. It also has a fair amount of singing in it (Gandalf and Bilbo singing "The Road Goes Ever On", for example), which is a bit weird the first time around, but in actuality, a nice addition.

The 24-bit DVD-Audio on my home rig sounds really nice and smooth. It's a great experience which clearly beats listening to the CDs on a lousy car stereo or through computer speakers.

The discs come in a box that's similar in appearance to the 4-disc DVD sets, although the cardboard is a bit flimsier (and the DVD is housed on a stupid rubber peg, separately from the CDs [which are in their own book-like plastic container]). It also comes with a 40+ page booklet talking about the score, and a nice little ribbon to help pull the stuff out of the box.

Howard Shore really pulled out all the stops when composing for this film, and his work stands heads and shoulders above any other film soundtrack that I've heard in recent memory. And now we finally have a set that does his work justice, rather than continuing to suffer through the "greatest hits" nature of the one-disc soundtrack version. The set is a bit pricey at over $60 list, but with some hunting, you can get it down to $40. A must buy for any self-respecting music lover.


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