Gladiator: More Music From The Motion Picture


Decca Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


It was after the conclusion of the Academy Awards that I came back to the main computer in the Pierce Memorial Archives and made a startling discovery. Had it really been 10 months since we reviewed the soundtrack to Gladiator?

Although this movie has already made its exit from the theatres (as well as a successful transition to DVD), the hype surrounding this movie has not yet died down. This is apparent with the recent release of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 More Music From The Motion Picture Gladiator, another collection of music for and featured in the film.

Although the liner notes seem to skirt the issue, it appears that much of what is featured on this disc is comprised of either early attempts at certain selections of music or pieces which just didn't make the cut. If you listened to the soundtrack album and wonder what was cut and how good it could have been, all you need to do is listen to this disc - and the question answers itself. If these are considered "throwaways," I know artists who would kill for such musical trash. (In all fairness, co-composer Hans Zimmer admits in the liner notes that some selections just didn't fit the cut of the film, so it's not like these are half-hearted stabs at the soundtrack.)

Like the first Gladiator disc, much of the music segues, and features lines of dialogue from the film. These snippets really do help to set the mood for the piece, often assisting Zimmer and co-composer Lisa Gerrard in bringing the listener to a certain emotional level. The triad of "Homecoming," "The General Who Became A Slave" and "The Slave Who Became A Gladiator" is, quite simply, par excellence.

Complaints? I have all of one. Like the soundtrack proper, More Music From The Motion Picture Gladiator has its moments where the volume seems to drop to almost nothing. Often, I found myself cranking the volume knob up, only to be blown back into my chair a few moments later. Well, if anything, at least this is consistent throughout the two soundtrack discs.

What's interesting is that both of these discs could have easily been combined into one set, creating a soundtrack whose natural flow I don't think even Zimmer has dared to imagine. If you've seen the film, you know how good the music is. If you bought the first soundtrack, you will definitely not want to pass up the second chapter.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Decca Records, and is used for informational purposes only.