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Brazil Silver Screen

Michael Kamen & Various Artists

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Album Review

The soundtrack to Brazil would probably be better known if more Kate Bush fans heard her rendition of the "title song," such as it is, as the second track of the album. The song, drawn from the 1943 movie The Gang's All Here, is only a tiny part of the sound collage that makes up most of the CD, a mix of spoken word quotes from the movie interspersed with instrumental music, some in period style and some bold, expressive orchestral pieces, all written by Michael Kamen. From a purely musical standpoint, it's neither fish nor fowl and, given the availability of the complete film (and its many variant cuts) on DVD, it was inevitable that the soundtrack would be little more than a footnote for most fans. Still, the variations on the title tune, the presence of Kate Bush on vocals, and some of the better orchestral passages make it worth a close listen or two (or three). The sound is excellent, and there's even some decent annotation, which is unusual for a contemporary soundtrack.

Biography

Genre: Soundtrack

Oscar-nominated composer, conductor, and arranger Michael Kamen was born in New York City in 1948, going on to study oboe at the Juilliard School of Music while concurrently playing in a jug band. He then formed the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, whose fusion of classical and pop so impressed legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein that he invited the group to appear at one of his Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Between 1968 and 1972, the New York Rock & Roll...
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