HANS ZIMMER-LISA GERRARD: Music from the Motion Picture “Gladiator” – Lisa Garrard, vocals/Heitor Pereira, guitar/ Djivan Gasparyan, duduk/ Tony Pleeth, cello/ Maurice Murphy, trumpet/ The Lyndhurst Orchestra/Gavin Greenaway – Universal Music/Original Recording Group (2-45 rpm 12” 180-gram vinyl discs) ORG 050 ****:
Quite a movie score demo, to put it mildly. Recorded at AIR Studios in London, the sonics of these 17 cues from the film score are undoubtedly far superior to the original Universal CD. There is rich bass-heavy orchestration that comes across with the greatest impact – certainly no deficiency of deep bass as some past 45 rpm 12” have had. There are many vocals and just humming by co-composer/performer Lisa Garrard, which makes the album different from most soundtrack scores. You will have to decide, based perhaps on the quality of your analog vinyl playback system, whether all this is worth the $55-$65 expense.
My first thought was – with so very few great soundtracks available in audiophile vinyl form – why this one? German-born composer Hans Zimmer has been very active, true. Rain Man was his first biggie, and he also did The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code, The Dark Knight, Rango, and Kung Fu Panda, as well as the “Spider Pig” song from The Simpsons. He’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. However, there’s Bernard Hermann, Korngold, both Bernsteins, Nino Rota, Miklos Rosza, and lots of other classic film composers one would think of first. In the cue “The Might of Rome,” Zimmer unbashedly rips off Gustav Holst – the “Mars” movement from The Planets. Sure, John Williams has done the same thing, but this track is really blatant. (For rousing Roman gladiator musical re-creation, give me Khachaturian’s Spartacus.)
I didn’t time it, but this one differs from most 45 rpm 12” vinyl in getting closer to the center label. In spite of this I noticed no serious rolling off of the wide frequency range or distortion as the grooves approached the label. Not like the last minutes of some of the original Mercury LPs.
Progeny, The Wheat, The Battle, Earth, Sorrow, To Zucchabar, Patricide, The Emperor Is Dead, The Might of Rome, Strength and Honor, Reunion, Slaves to Rome, Barbarian Horde, Am I Not Merciful?, Elysium, Honor Him, Now We Are Free.
— John Sunier
Jazz meets pop in this appealing 1970 Stan Getz vinyl reissue.