Gone With the Wind (Original Film Soundtrack)
Max Steiner & MGM Studio Orchestra
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The soundtrack to Gone with the Wind has appeared in numerous forms since its first release on LP in the 1950s. The 1990 CBS/Sony reissue was the second attempt to expand its content significantly, adding some incidental music and refining the sound that appeared on the previous MGM and Polydor versions. Most of it works if one allows for the sheer age of the materials involved — Gone with the Wind is just about the oldest original soundtrack material that has any significant commercial appeal beyond a cult audience and, having been recorded in 1939, it has never fit entirely well into the modern marketplace. The producers here have tried to clean it up with various filters and other sound processing, which generally makes it easier on the ear. No re-recording of "Tara's Theme" or other memorable elements of the score were ever as well conducted as the original (even when composer Max Steiner himself attempted it in the '50s), and the sound is less ragged here than on earlier versions. The Rhino reissue from 1996 improves it yet further, though there will always be something lacking in some of the source material, in terms of modern fidelity and what contemporary listeners expect.