CD Reviews James Horner


Varese Sarabande’s new “Deluxe Edition” re-release of James Horner’s ALIENS score is a vast improvement over their original 9-track/40-minute CD issued in 1986. All of the original 9 tracks are included in the expanded release, with features 19 original soundtrack cues supplemented by 5 alternate versions, with eleven of the OST cues (and all five … Continue reading Aliens


BRAINSTORM is a remarkable score, superbly performed by the London Symphony with Boys from The Choir of New College Oxford and The Ambrosian Singer’s, which offers a noteworthy look at James Horner in a new vein outside of the swashbuckling heroics of the composer’s past scores. The recording is very well put-together, and really lends … Continue reading Brainstorm


James Homer, it seems, is never destined to attain the consistence his admirers so keenly desire, unless he restricts himself to those projects which appeal to his own sensibilities. BRAVEHEART yields a score brimming with passion and poetry, a score which is frankly nothing less than great. Unquestionably the composers finest score to date, this … Continue reading Braveheart

Courage Under Fire

COURAGE UNDER FIRE is the third installment in Homer’s much-debated collaboration with director Ed Zwick, for whom he composed the haunting choir material for GLORY’s military drama. However, Zwick later asked Homer to go over the top with a musically brilliant but dramatically overwrought Shakuhachi opera for LEGENDS OF THE FALL. As if trying to … Continue reading Courage Under Fire


James Horner’s score for Peter Yates’ fantasy picture moves Horner up to a new plateau in his film scoring career. The score combines the excitement of his STAR THEK II music with the gentle lyricism his SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES often provided. A very cohesive score comprised of several interesting and well developed themes, … Continue reading Krull

Legends of the Fall

James Horner’s score to LEGENDS OF THE FALL is successful on at least three counts. It is a truly magnificent piece of film music, it is arguably Horner’s most important score so far, and, while we’re at it, it proves once and for all that film music can have a life away from the movies. … Continue reading Legends of the Fall

The Pagemaster

Picture this: a diminutive hero (Macaulay Culkin), Hollywood’s twit on the wane) is sucked into the world of magic and visits three realms of man’s imagination: adventure, horror and fantasy. Along with his three sidekicks, he is up against such literary classics as Melville’s Moby Dick, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. … Continue reading The Pagemaster

The Perfect Storm

James Homer, of late, seems to have developed an affinity for disasters of one sort or another. Space disasters (APOLLO 13), meteorite disasters (DEEP IMPACT), disasters at sea (TITANIC)… Nowadays, it seems that if Homer is scoring the movie you can virtually guarantee that something awful is about to happen. THE PERFECT STORM continues the … Continue reading The Perfect Storm

The Spitfire Grill

THE SPITFIRE GRILL is Homer’s current masterpiece. This rich and varied orchestral score will not fail to charm friend and foe alike. It strikes an impressive balance between the laid-back Americana featured in FIELD OF DREAMS, the subtle mysticism of WHERE THE RIVER RUNS BLACK and the rich melodies for which Homer has become justifiably … Continue reading The Spitfire Grill

To Gillian on her 37th Birthday

At first, TO GILLIAN seems like yet another quickie from a composer who seems hell-bent on churning out as many film scores as humanly possible. For starters, this intimate emotional score is musical simplicity itself. Nearly half of it is solo piano, which always works well under this kind of movie. You’d expect a high-profile … Continue reading To Gillian on her 37th Birthday