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The Lord of the Rings (Original Soundtrack from the Animated Film)

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Album Review

This disc contains the original motion picture soundtrack to the 1978 animated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Although the film was universally decried, the soundtrack has actually developed a cult following of its own. The score was composed and conducted by Leonard Rosenman, who likewise co-produced this recording. Other notable scores bearing his inimitable style include those for Cobweb, East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and the more science fiction-oriented Fantastic Voyage and Beneath the Planet of the Apes. For Lord of the Rings, Rosenman leans heavily on his pre-cinematic influences and studies in the avant-garde. According to Laurie Battle's liner notes, exclusive to this 2001 reissue, it may be a result of the influence that Arnold Schoenberg's style had on Rosenman that informs many of the themes found throughout this score. The methodology could be likened to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," as musical themes quickly develop, representing specific characters and their interactions. The settings — or locations of action — are also individualized with specific motifs, the most notable being the march-like rhythms representing Mordor. Although never established independently, these musical landmarks contrast as well as interact to form mini-vignettes that owe as much to Pierre Schaeffer's musique concrète as to anything remotely traditional in motion picture scoring. The entire contents of the original double-LP set are contained on this disc. The eight-panel liner notes foldout features full-color stills from the animated film as well as the insightful essay and track-by-track commentary from Laurie Battle.

Customer Reviews

Good movie great soundtrack

Back in the early 80's this was all we had to go on as far as LOTR was concerned. I wasn't yet a full blown GEEK so I thought that it was cool and watched it every chance I had when it showed on SHOWTIME. I admit that Peter Jackson's version is superior but this was a decent stab at it. Music is very memorable and involving. I think that the soundtrack caught the mood of the film and made a very lasting impression as far as fanatasy soundtracks went.

Still an enjoyable soundtrack

Back in the day, this was all a Rings fan could get. Bakshi's style may not have been the best choice, but it sure beat the heck out of Rankin and Bass (see animated The Hobbit). Anyway, as a kid I enjoyed this music a lot as my now very scratched album will attest, and I think it is still fun to listen to. Many of the themes are very well done and exciting. I particularly enjoy the main theme. If you are a soundtrack fan, I think this will appeal to you. If you are looking for the Howard Shore music, (among my all time favorites) this may not be the music for you.

Unfinished business

When this movie first came out, my friends and I could not wait to see how Ralph Bakshi would interpret this classic.It was released as part one, with part two to come out a year or two later. Alas, it never happened. I guess they ran out of money, but we never got the second part. Anyone familiar with this movie knows that It ends right in the middle of the story. Years later I saw that they had added an "ending" and everyone lived happily ever after. Was an incredible disappointment until Peter Jackson finally came through with his masterpiece. But any music inspired by Tolkien's work is always worth listening to.


Genre: Soundtrack

Composer Leonard Rosenman was an instrumental force behind the modernization of film scoring, championing avant-garde compositional techniques like serialism, atonality, and microtonality to help redefine the sound and scope of Hollywood music. Born in Brooklyn on September 7, 1924, Rosenman began playing piano as a teen, and after serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II he settled in California, studying composition under Arnold Schoenberg and Roger Sessions. In 1952 Rosenman earned a...
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The Lord of the Rings (Original Soundtrack from the Animated Film), Leonard Rosenman
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: 1978

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