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Black Rain
Album Cover Art
1989 Virgin
2000 Bootleg
Album 2 Cover Art
2012 La-La Land
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed and Co-Produced by:

Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Shirley Walker

Co-Produced by:
Jay Rifkin
Labels Icon
Virgin Records America
(October 3rd, 1989)


La-La Land Records
(September 25th, 2012)
Availability Icon
The 1989 Virgin album was a regular U.S. release and has always remained available for roughly $5. The early bootlegs that congealed into the 2000 item with the number "HZCD 011LR" have traded widely on the secondary market. Cover art varies on the many bootleg versions. The 2012 La-La Land album is limited to 3,000 copies and initially retailed for $25 primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're curious to know where the action truly started for Hans Zimmer, Black Rain being the composer's first entry into a genre that eventually evolved directly out of the sound heard in this score.

Avoid it... on any album if you have no interest in hearing Zimmer's intuitively smart but not particularly well refined merging of Eastern solo instruments with his comfortably familiar rock-influenced tones.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 3/23/10, REVISED 10/15/12
Black Rain: (Hans Zimmer) A popular cops versus gangsters film of 1989, Black Rain led to director Ridley Scott's unequivocal denouncement of filming in Japan, claiming after being forced out of the country during the shooting of this movie that high production costs in Japan are prohibitive. The story is one of standard intrigue for the genre, tackling the subject of the Yakuza and all of the violent traditions associated with the Japanese mafia. Two New York cops are witness to a power struggle within the Yakuza in a local eatery and arrest an ambitious, ascending mob boss after he assassinates a representative of his competition. Upon losing this villain after escorting him to Japan for trial, they create trouble for Japan's police force and, after the gruesome killing of one of the Americans, Michael Douglas in the lead role takes matters into his own hands. The title comes from the Yakuza's belief that the counterfeiting of American dollars is revenge for the "black rain" caused by the nuclear attacks of World War II. Despite its production hiccups, Black Rain earned almost ten times its budget worldwide, snagged a couple of Oscar nominations for its sound, and forever changed the life of the composer of its score, Hans Zimmer. The German (via London) had appeared suddenly in the mainstream with Rain Man the previous year and was about to receive even greater recognition with Driving Miss Daisy. Zimmer had aspirations of coming to Hollywood and writing big action scores like John Williams, but he did not have the classical training and was only familiar with orchestration through his friendship with composer Stanley Myers. At the end of the decade, Zimmer was, sometimes with the assistance of Shirley Walker, beginning to explore orchestral accompaniment to his comfortable synthesizers which, to that point, had emulated an organic, symphonic sound well enough to suffice. Black Rain represented the composer's first foray into the genre of action, and Zimmer wasn't sure if his techniques would suffice for the picture. It didn't help to have a completely unsupportive producer on the project.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.15 Stars
***** 61 5 Stars
**** 60 4 Stars
*** 52 3 Stars
** 49 2 Stars
* 46 1 Stars
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Black Rain   Expand >>
Hannibal - April 20, 2010, at 5:20 a.m.
2 comments  (1567 views)
Newest: April 23, 2010, at 3:11 Lsnake

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1989 Virgin Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 48:25
• 1. Livin' on the Edge of the Night - performed by Iggy Pop (3:40)
• 2. The Way You Do the Things You Do - performed by UB40 (3:15)
• 3. Back to Life (Jam on the Groove Mix) - performed by Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler (5:09)
• 4. Laserman - performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto (4:48)
• 5. Singing in the Shower - performed by Les Rita Mitsouko and Sparks (4:23)
• 6. I'll Be Holding On* - performed by Gregg Allman (5:40)
• 7. Black Rain Suite: Sato (4:45)
• 8. Black Rain Suite: Charlie Loses His Head (7:03)
• 9. Black Rain Suite: Sugai (6:55)
• 10. Black Rain Suite: Nick and Masa (2:52)
* composed by Will Jennings and Hans Zimmer
2000 Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 74:25
2012 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 141:43

Notes Icon
The insert of the 1989 Virgin album includes no extra information about the score or film. The bootlegs contain no consistent packaging. The 2012 La-La Land album's insert contains extensive information about the film and score, including a track-by-track analysis.
Copyright © 2010-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Black Rain are Copyright © 1989, 2000, 2012, Virgin Records America, (Bootleg), La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/23/10 and last updated 10/15/12.
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