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Section Header
The Lone Ranger
Composed and Produced by:
Hans Zimmer

Additional Music and Arrangements by:
Geoff Zanelli
Rupert Gregson-Williams
Steve Mazzaro
Andrew Kawczynski
Jasha Klebe
Lorne Balfe
Jack White

Conducted by:
Nick Glennie-Smith

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler
Walter Fowler
Kevin Kaska
Suzette Moriarty
Carl Rydlund

Walt Disney Records/
Intrada Records

Release Date:
July 2nd, 2013

Also See:
Sherlock Holmes
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Angels & Demons
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
3:10 to Yuma

Audio Clips:
2. Absurdity (0:28):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (240K)
Real Audio (168K)

4. Ride (0:32):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (270K)
Real Audio (189K)

9. For God and Country (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (255K)
Real Audio (179K)

10. Finale (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (255K)
Real Audio (179K)

The download (Disney) and CD (Disney/Intrada Records) contents are identical, the latter initially selling for $20. The download option was available three weeks prior to the CD.


The Lone Ranger
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Sales Rank: 6612

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Buy it... for Geoff Zanelli's long, intellectually superb adaptation of the "William Tell Overture" alone, one of the most spirited and interesting pieces of film music in years.

Avoid it... if you expect Hans Zimmer and his other ghostwriters to supply any satisfyingly new ideas or provide more than a senseless, ethnically insulting misstep for Tonto and the Comanche in the story.

The Lone Ranger: (Hans Zimmer/Geoff Zanelli/Various) Is the Western action genre truly dead? The disastrous 2013 resurrection of The Lone Ranger sits alongside Wild Wild West and Cowboys & Aliens atop the list of spectacular fiscal mishaps in the genre, The Hollywood Reporter projecting that Walt Disney Studios was looking at a forecasted loss of $150 million on The Lone Ranger alone. Long before critics pounded the film and a frighteningly high proportion of the moviegoers attending it in theatres were old enough to remember the concept's heyday on the small screen, the production suffered from a series of setbacks that forced all the principal crew and executives involved to take a 20% pay cut just to keep The Lone Ranger from being cancelled. It's difficult to say exactly where the movie went wrong, though the casting and costuming of Johnny Depp as Tonto was disturbing enough to have possibly sunk the film in the early marketing phase. That, and the fact that young people simply don't care about the Lone Ranger and Tonto anymore; these are concepts effectively tied to a grandpa's generation. In Disney's flailing attempts to revise the characters, however, they brought in much of the team that translated Pirates of the Caribbean to the big screen, retelling a creation story about how attorney John Reid becomes the titular character in 1869 and battles outlaws in Texas in official and masked form with the help of his horse, Silver, and Comanche Native American Tonto. A somewhat sterile story (though with some cutting out and eating of a hero's heart) was partly the downfall of the production, but along with Depp came a few other oddities that did not function quite as well as they could have. One of the issues Disney faced during the making of The Lone Ranger was a problem with the identity of its soundtrack. For whatever reason, rock guitarist Jack White was originally hired to compose the score for the film, but after writing several songs, three of which credited for use within the film but only one appearing on the album releases, White reportedly stepped aside, citing conflicts of schedule. With Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski at the helm, it's no surprise that Hans Zimmer and his army of Remote Control minions was brought in to save the day. Zimmer and his cohorts were extremely busy in 2013, and it should come as no surprise that the duties on The Lone Ranger were spread between Zimmer and six of his ghostwriting clan.

The same questions about authenticity that plague the film abound when considering the score, which is a highly unoriginal piecing together of various existing sources with doses of prior Zimmer mannerisms slathered on the parts not explicitly emulating the composer's own personal hero, Ennio Morricone, as well as Elmer Bernstein, Jerome Moross, and others. It's truly challenging to find originality in Zimmer's approach to the production of this score, and one has to wonder if time constraints played a role in this haphazard collection of ideas. By no means is The Lone Ranger the absolute stylistic mess that was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, though you still get the sense here that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. The ensemble is better rounded in its representation of the recording mix, though Zimmer's taste for deep bass does continue to weight heavily on much of the work despite better enunciation of treble elements. Electronics are held to an outward minimum aside from the accentuation of the bass realm that Zimmer insists upon. Some honky tonk piano, guitar, and fiddle work is expected, as is the composer's predictable referencing of spaghetti Western techniques with a modern flair, akin to Marco Beltrami's 3:10 to Yuma. While Zimmer claims to have always wanted to write a Western action score, however, it's surprising to hear so few truly modernized genre mannerisms in a cool and affable package in The Lone Ranger, the cue "Ride" the only real exposition of such tribute-like genre music. Rather than taking this score down the purely Western route, the composer has clearly armed his ghostwriters with concepts that are mired in his own past, and some of the re-applications of this material are nonsensical. The heroic and action sensibilities are informed by the Pirates of the Caribbean scores and, oddly enough, Angels & Demons. The identity for Tonto is a totally bizarre mixture of Rango and Sherlock Holmes, with an unexplained infusion of Irish spirit as well. The traditional Irish folk song "After the Battle of Aughrim," arranged by Zimmer and performer Ann Marie Calhoun, is heard for the character in the deceptively named cue "Silver." Somewhere in between the realm of Zimmer power anthems and his underdeveloped sense of Americana exists the theme for John Reid, heard in pleasantly extended though somewhat anonymous form in "Home." He cannot escape his penchant for neoclassical progressions even here, several cues in the score emulating his prior use of them almost verbatim.

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The stomping action material in The Lone Ranger is highlighted by "The Railroad Waits for No One," an entertaining though simplistic regurgitation. The suspense music in "You've Looked Better" and "You're Just a Man in a Mask" relies upon dissonant textures and fails to engage. The most inexplicable moment in the score is "For God and for Country," an important cue that completely dismisses the Native American element with a single cry before launching into chanting choral attack music more suitable for a modern setting. What was Zimmer and his crew thinking here? Would it have been too difficult to adapt Tonto's style into some form of a Comanche war theme? That cue, while enjoyable in parts outside of the picture, is a monumentally wasted opportunity. All of these moments in the score are completely overshadowed by the outside insertions, including the Irish folk tune. Along with it are compositions by Brian Satterwhite, the three songs by White, and a slew of other licensed usages. And then there's the extensive work by Geoff Zanelli, a veteran Zimmer ghostwriter responsible in this case for adapting "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Stars and Stripes Forever," "The Star Spangled Banner," "Marse Henry March," and Gioachino Rossini's "William Tell Overture" into the film. What Zanelli managed to accomplish with the "William Tell Overture" in "Finale" is truly remarkable and very easily the highlight of the score. Whereas the rest of the score alternates between tired recapitulations of Zimmer's past and senseless ethnic attributions, Zanelli adapts the "Overture," which was the theme song for the famed television show, into an incredible action piece complete with highly intelligent manipulations of Zimmer's themes into its formations. The passages from about 4:40 to 5:10 and 6:55 to 8:20, along with snippets in between, are nothing less than brilliant, and thankfully the recording is mixed without such a heavy-handed bass. This work is so damn pleasing in an intellectual way that it really does make the rest of the score seem like simple rehash, and one could easily wish that Zanelli had been allowed to write the entire score. While thematic integration throughout The Lone Ranger is decent, you still get a score of disparate pieces in the end, one with no narrative due to the composer's methodology. The absolutely botched ethnic side of the work, from the Tonto identity to the Comanche raid on the train, is so insultingly off-base that it's hard to appreciate even apart from the film. If not for Zanelli's "Finale," this is a two-star score that could function as a three-star listening experience on album for the easy flows of "Ride" and "Home." But Zanelli saves the day with his arrangements, supplementing the other ghostwriters' toil with enough smarts to save the whole. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Hans Zimmer reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.98 (in 89 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3 (in 266,323 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.02 Stars
Smart Average: 3.03 Stars*
***** 92 
**** 131 
*** 146 
** 115 
* 92 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: the Finale
  Victor L. -- 10/9/13 (12:50 p.m.)
   Re: the Finale
  Daniel Zuko -- 8/1/13 (7:46 p.m.)
   Re: the Finale
  whez08 -- 7/29/13 (12:46 p.m.)
   Re: the Finale
  Edmund Meinerts -- 7/29/13 (10:39 a.m.)
   Re: the Finale
  Jacque -- 7/29/13 (9:26 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 49:35

• 1. Never Take Off the Mask (1:08)
• 2. Absurdity (4:58)
• 3. Silver (4:01)
• 4. Ride (4:18)
• 5. You've Looked Better (3:10)
• 6. Red's Theater of the Absurd* (3:03)
• 7. The Railroad Waits For No One (3:09)
• 8. You're Just a Man in a Mask (4:14)
• 9. For God and Country (4:54)
• 10. Finale** (9:52)
• 11. Home (6:55)

* composed by Jack White, performed by Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three
** "William Tell Overture" composed by Gioachino Rossini, arranged by Geoff Zanelli

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Lone Ranger are Copyright © 2013, Walt Disney Records/Intrada Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/27/13 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2013-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.