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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
2002 Regular

2002 Limited

2002 Limited Internet

2003 Trilogy

2006 Complete

2010 Rarities Archive

Composed, Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
Howard Shore

Vocals Produced by:
Paul Broucek

Performed by:
The London Philharmonic Orchestra

The London Voices

The London Oratory School Schola

Solo Vocals by:
Emilia Torrini
Elizabeth Fraser
Isabel Bayrakdarian
Sheila Chandra
Ben del Maestro

Choral Text by:
J.R.R. Tolkien
Philippa Boyens
Fran Walsh

Labels and Dates:
Reprise Records
(Original and Limited)
(December 10th, 2002)

Reprise Records
(Trilogy Set)
(December 9th, 2003)

Reprise Records
(Complete Set)
(November 7th, 2006)

Howe Records
(Rarities Archive)
(October 5th, 2010)

Also See:
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Audio Clips:
2002 Original Album:

5. The Uruk-hai (0:29):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (234K)
Real Audio (145K)

9. The White Rider (0:29):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (224K)
Real Audio (139K)

16. Forth Earlingas (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (245K)
Real Audio (152K)

19. Gollum's Song (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

2002 Limited Editions:

20. Farewell to Lorien (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (238K)
Real Audio (147K)

2006 Complete Set:

CD1, 6. The Three Hunters (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

CD2, 13. Sons of the Steward (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

CD3, 3. 'Where is the Horse and the Rider?' (0:28):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

CD3, 6. The Breach of the Deeping Wall (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

The regular 2002 album originally priced between $15 to $17 in the stores is the regular U.S. release. The 2002 limited release is indicated by a higher price and a sticker indicating its "limited" nature on the front plastic. The musical contents are the same on all the 2002 products except for the inclusion of one bonus track on the limited editions. The value of the different cover inserts (on the trading block) is yet to be determined. They could very well end up useless unless you acquire a whole set of 5 covers.

The 2003 trilogy set is essentially the original three albums from the films combined into one package (with no extra music). The 2006 set includes the complete recordings, priced initially for between $55 and $65 (the list retail price for this set is $15 higher than the complete set of the first score in 2005), and features the DVD with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound along with three CDs that offer 188 minutes from the score in 16-bit stereo sound. Other higher resolution variants on sound quality exist on the DVD (see review for details).

The 2010 Howe Records album called "The Rarities Archive" was only available in the back cover of the Doug Adams book The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores. That book had an MSRP of $60 but initially sold new for under $40.

  Winner of a Grammy Award.

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Buy it... on the 2006 complete set if you seek one of the best scores of the digital age of film music in a DVD-quality presentation that will, if you are properly equipped, stun both you and the people living down the street.

Avoid it... on the 2006 complete set if you do not use a surround sound system for your regular listening enjoyment and would prefer, in terms of content, the 73-minute 2002 album of highlights from the score.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: (Howard Shore) To the joy of crowds around the world, the 2002 sequel to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring followed its predecessor by only a year, proving that gone were the days of multi-year waits for fans of popular fantasy motion picture franchises. It had then seemed that only yesterday Peter Jackson's incredible The Fellowship of the Ring had taken the world by storm, and yet Jackson and his co-writers and co-producers had already been working on the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King extensively while the first film's final touches were being applied. Much of the success of the franchise is owed to the significant planning of the three films in the late 1990's, especially in relation to the intelligent adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's extremely long and complex tale. The reasons for the prosperity of The Fellowship of the Ring, both in terms of awards and popular opinion, transcended the usual technical categories of motion picture production, though few can argue that Howard Shore's music had little impact on the film; his music had become the first fantasy epic to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score in years. Because of the rapid rollout of this series of films, Shore was already in the process of writing the music for The Two Towers when he won that award. He had considered the trilogy an ongoing process of four to five years of writing and recording, and much of the material heard first in The Two Towers was already conceived and partially developed before The Fellowship of the Ring was even recorded. Audiences responded overwhelmingly well to the composer's highly intellectual and stunningly diverse approach to the first score, even beyond the expected rush of attention caused by new age sensation Enya's involvement with the project. Shore managed to single-handedly put John Williams' Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone onto a distant back burner, despite the maestro's score serving as the basis for most of the film score hype generated in advance of the 2001 holiday season. In short, Shore had unleashed the first entry in a trilogy of music already destined to be deemed a modern classic. It is recommended, for proper discussion of the background of these scores, that you read the Filmtracks review for The Fellowship of the Ring before proceeding.

As with the expanded edition DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring, collectors had been falling over themselves to obtain more of Shore's music for that film, and luckily for them, the hasty release of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers would at least partially satisfy their needs in the short term. Shore ensured the continuation of his mind-boggling, epic sound by utilizing the London Philharmonic in a massive coliseum and later mixed the sounds of the two different choirs (children's and adult). The scale of the second project is no less diminished, and no better evidence of that successive effort is the replacement of Enya with several operatic voices of similar new age style from around the world for this score. Shore also continued where he left off in the grand scheme of his composition for the franchise. As the broken fellowship's journey into peril continues, and the landscape of Middle-earth descends further into darkness, Shore bolsters his music with an increased size of scope and brazen thematic sweep. As had been promised by those involved with the post-production of the film, the score for The Two Towers is bigger, more diverse, and arguably better than its predecessor. The instrumentation and use of voices is more powerfully expansive than in the previous film, despite the continuation of almost all of the solo elements from that score. Instrumentally, Shore adds the Hardanger, a Norwegian fiddle, to represent Rohan, while the North African rhaita reed instrument accents the Mordor theme and log drums, dilruba, wood xylophones, and the cimbalom for Gollum all provide a rich texture for the score. The heavy emphasis on wood-related instruments for the representation of the Ents is a logical move not overlooked by Shore. Once again, several solo voices are mixed with the two choirs for the score as well, and the tone of each is meant specifically for individual cultures or scenarios. The lowest regions of the strings and brass receive greater roles in this score (great examples exist on the former in "Where is the Horse and the Rider?" and the latter in "Rock and Pool"), serving a cold dose of momentum to the forces of Isengard and Mordor that grow stronger as the story progresses. The heart of The Two Towers is undoubtedly more sinister, but even in these ranks, Shore maintains a sense of harmony that continues to entice the listener.

Shore established in The Two Towers that the original songs heard over the opening of the end credits were specific to each film and not intended to mingle thematically with the other scores. The performance of "Gollum's Song" by Bjork-inspiring and longingly bitter-voiced Emiliana Torrini serves as the closing piece for this feature, and Torrini's voice, as well as the others chosen for performances in the score, are foreign enough in their general tone to color Middle-earth (and even the world of men) with a fantastic edge of mystery and intrigue. With the success of Enya's voice, Shore seemed interested in keeping a vaguely Celtic sound to the vocals, which aided in their smooth listenability. The choirs are again layered elegantly with the orchestra, featuring the very wet, echoing ambient mix that caused detractors of reverberation to denounce the first score as a sonic mess. The use of the vocals to carry the melody of themes in The Two Towers gave those identities far more sweeping performances (of both lofty heights and quiet despair) that occupy several major cues for the film. Especially effective is Shore's technique of mixing the choirs and solo voices in The Two Towers so that they are occasionally indistinguishable, with the solo identity fading in and out to correspond with the action on screen. Technically speaking, this score is, like the others in the franchise, a work of marvel. Where The Two Towers differs from The Fellowship of the Ring most significantly is in its demeanor. Gone are the fluffy whistle performances of the hobbits' material, and the presentations of the fellowship theme, the anchor of the first score, are sparse and less blatantly heroic in most cases. Almost every theme from The Fellowship of the Ring is indeed present in The Two Towers, though the emphasis on each has been both switched and merged. As Middle-earth descends into a war that brings all of its cultures together, the music becomes appropriately muddy in its constructs, whether that entails the overlapping of ideas or the simple, subtle changes of notes within the progressions of a theme. It was noted in The Two Towers that Shore extended Tolkien's fascination with the number nine into his music; many of the themes and motifs exist in multiples of three-note phrases, a creative nod to the author.

Thus, what listeners received in the thematic placements of The Two Towers amounts to a crossover score. Other than a galloping fanfare for Rohan, there is no triumphant introduction for the handful of new themes, and with sparse major statements of previous themes, the score marches to its end with the obvious implication that the musical journey is not over. That said, Shore does offer more than enough blasts of harmony and melody throughout the center of the score to appease the thematically-minded listeners. The new themes introduced for the film are more obscure than some might have expected, due to the interesting fact that their pronouncement isn't as bold in the early portions of the score (and due in part to the necessities of the scripts). To Shore's credit, however, the style of the composer's extremely complicated sense of thematic manipulation (as well as the more obvious minor-major key shifting techniques) that he employed for the previous themes have carried over to the new ones, allowing them to blend into the mix effortlessly for the listener. Whereas The Fellowship of the Ring is a score with extended sequences of quiet harmony and few non-stop series of full ensemble mayhem, The Two Towers is a tumultuous experience by comparison. It dwells in the depths of despair for significant periods early in the score before its final half hour offers redemption in the form of action material that eclipses anything heard in the previous score. Thus, while The Fellowship of the Ring is consequently a more consistent listening experience on album in its full three-hour duration, The Two Towers presents material both weaker and stronger, and is therefore a work that requires attention to some areas more than others. Shore's enhanced role for the choirs is key to defining the highlights of The Two Towers, and moments such as the crescendo of magnificence at the start of "The Last March of the Ents" eclipse anything heard before in the series. With this structure in mind, a quick cue-by-cue analysis will help once again illuminate the score's highlights (as well as thematic references), and the following track titles refer to those found on the superior, complete score offering of The Two Towers in 2006 and, more specifically, the set's 24-bit DVD presentation.

One of the most effectively melodramatic themes in this franchise is the one for the history of the ring, and it opens "Glamdring" with all the sense of drama that the continuation of the story requires. This theme is a constant in the three score, whereas the related two themes for the ring (representing its evil and seduction) receive curiously reduced development in The Two Towers despite the approach to Mordor. The opening cue reprises the action of Moria heard in the previous score's "Khazad-Dum" cue during Frodo's nightmare sequence. The actual title sequence in The Two Towers is treated to just a glimpse of the Rohan theme early in "Elven Rope," and in both this cue and "Lost in Emyn Muil," short, diluted versions of the hobbits' pensive theme are barely evident. Smeagol's theme cuts short the pleasantries in the latter cue; this theme would be gradually overtaken in The Two Towers by Gollum's official "menace" theme (separate from the song at the end), and the cimbalom is the specific instrument of choice to perform not only this theme, but eventually accompany Gollum's character throughout the rest of the films. The opening of "My Precious" begins to exhibit Shore's intent in combining the ring's history theme with Smeagol's pity theme, an intriguing mix. An ugly dance for the cimbalom is cut short by Sam's French horns to signal an ensuing battle of wills. After the groaning of horns in their lowest registers, "Ugluk's Warriors" reintroduces the material for the Orcs and Isengard. These themes, guided by their pounding five-note rhythm, are intentionally largely unchanged through the first two scores. The remaining members of the fellowship are treated to a somewhat diminished, but still impressive performance of their theme in "The Three Hunters," followed by another noble hint of the Rohan theme. The remainder of this cue provides a very interesting confluence of the material for Isengard and Mordor, musically confirming the alliance of the two towers. The pure evil of the chopping bass string performance of the Isengard rhythm in the middle of this sequence is not to be missed. Growing unease and panic punctuates the largely uninteresting "The Banishment of Eomer." The dissonant, Orc-dominated battle music in "Night Camp," one of the most disturbing cues in the score, succeeds a short performance of the lovely nature's reclamation theme.

When the fellowship encounters the riders of Rohan for the first time (in "The Plains of Rohan"), a new heroic offshoot of the fellowship theme is explored, technically credited as the "fellowship in Rohan theme." The combination of Isengard and Mordor rhythms in the chase music of "Fangorn" is interesting technically, but difficult to grasp on album. The introduction of the unique instrumentation for the Ents comes later in that cue. Overlapping of the ring's history and Gollum's pity themes continues in the unremarkable "The Dead Marshes," from which a lengthy amount of material was removed from the final edit of the film; in this cue, a distant, rising tone is an eerie cousin of Jerry Goldsmith's similar idea in 1994's The Shadow. In "Wraiths on Wings," Gollum's pity theme and the ring's history theme ensue again before a reprise of the Ringwraith material from the first film accompanies their winged arrival. A new, ascending theme for Gandalf the White is a short highlight in the middle of the cue by that name. A short return to the whimsy of the hobbit's rural setting theme is a nice break in "The Dream of Trees." An intriguing development early in "The Heir of Numenor" is the mutation of the ring's previously existing themes into a major key variant that becomes the "fate of the ring" theme that celebrates the end of Sam and Frodo's journey late in the third film. A continuation of the blending of the Orc and Mordor themes later in the cue is redundant. As the Black Gate of Mordor enters the scene, Shore's themes of evil, whether for the ring or the locations and characters, start to churn indiscriminately. A new hobbit theme accompany Merry and Pippin in "Ent-draught," and the cue represents the return of the whistle and rhythmic movements from early in the first score. The lighthearted cue is the only comical and harmonically entertaining one in The Two Towers, especially when the Ents' material takes charge in the instrumentation. Worn snippets of the fellowship and Rohan themes open "Edoras," though the meandering conversational material does lead to the first full statements of the Rohan material by the Hardanger fiddle. The accompanying music for Eowyn is heard prominently on horns late in this cue and the three separate themes for her all represent not only the character, but Rohan's more personal side.

The sinister, ultra-low register theme for Wormtongue occupies the opening of "The Court of Meduseld" before charging choral clusters help free Rohan's king from Saruman's mental grip. This turn of events allows the Rohan theme to finally receive its full fanfare treatment in "Theoden King," merging the voice of the Hardanger fiddle with bold brass. The funeral scene for the king's son closes the cue with a highly dramatic and striking solo vocal, followed by ethereal ensemble singing. The transitional "The King's Decision" extends several themes in fragments, but makes little impact outside of its ominous, minor third progressions in the bass; similar material extends into "Exodus of Edoras" until a combination of the Wormtongue theme with Isengard's tones shifts the cue into a snarling menace. The Gollum material returns in "The Forests of Ithilien," with the two halves of his musical identities battling to a draw. In a moment of levity, Eowyn's material finally makes a full appearance in "One of the Dunedain," though as the conversation becomes serious, reminders of both Gondor's music and the Elves return. Shore replaced Enya's prior love theme for Aragorn and Arwen with the song "Evenstar," an interesting dismissal of Nicky Ryan's writing and a lovely return to the pleasant tones of The Fellowship of the Ring. The break is relatively short, though, for the combined themes and rhythms of Mordor and Isengard are unleashed without mercy in "The Wolves of Isengard." The presence of the Hardanger fiddle, mixed brilliantly with the choir and orchestra in the pounding of that cue, makes for one of the more cohesive action cues in the score. The depressing "Refuge at Helm's Deep" is harmonically pleasing, though the fragmented presentation of the fellowship and Rohan themes are appropriately sapped of their spirit. The brief "The Voice of Saruman" is a strongly resolute culmination of all the Isengard themes and rhythms into one powerful call to war. In "Arwen's Fate," Shore brilliantly swaps the instrumentation of the worlds of men and Elves so that Aragorn's subconscious is represented by the solo female voice of Rivendell while Arwen, facing her own departure, is represented by an orchestral soloist for the first time. The formal Rivendell theme develops in "The Story Foretold," followed by the Lothlorien and ring's history themes as the journey is monitored.

In remembrance of the slain Boromir, a full brass performance of the Gondor theme exists early in "Sons of the Steward," disintegrating later as reality sets in. The "Rock and Pool" cue is a delicious little piece for fans of Shore's melodramatic bass tones for Gollum and the ring's history themes, both of which intertwined in the dark fabric of this mean-spirited cue. The battle between the two musical halves of Smeagol/Gollum continues into "Faramir's Good Council," in which the ring's seduction theme taunts Faramir. Aragorn's heroic theme accompanies his ride to Helm's Deep in "Aragorn's Return," one of the few cues to feature a minute of truly optimistic music late in The Two Towers, with even a noble phrase of the fellowship theme resurrected for the occasion. The low-key "War is Upon Us" is unremarkable in its boiling thematic fragments, though the use of choir to boost the Ents' material is a plus. One of the highlights of The Two Towers is "Where is the Horse and the Rider?," a lengthy cue of stirring melodic exploration. Shadowy and hesitant renditions of the themes for Rohan, the fellowship, and Eowyn are all harmonically gorgeous, punctuated by a rising choral crescendo of solemn defiance in the middle of the cue. The last minute of the piece offers a stuttering version of the Rohan theme in a "call to arms" trumpet variation over snare; the second of these calls, faster and more resolute, is one of the score's more memorable bursts of energy. The Lothlorien theme is translated into a march at the start of "The Host of the Eldar" as the Elves arrive at Helm's Deep to assist. Frightened stirrings in the bass region offer subtle Rohan phrases before "The Battle of the Hornburg" kicks off the last portion of the score for The Two Towers and the subsequent eight cues mark the extremely frenetic powerhouse of climactic action music that really defines the score, for some listeners, as the best of the franchise. The Lothlorien theme has completed its mutation into a call of war at the start of "The Battle of the Hornburg," which then succumbs to the five-beat rhythm and Isengard theme (as the Rohan theme would as well at the end). The unstoppable nature of the rhythm, like the Uruk-hai, prevails again in "The Breach of the Deeping Wall." The explosive urgency lent by the relentless snare and growling low brass in this cue makes for one of the most harmonically forceful pieces in the score.

The fellowship's own Rohan theme is heard prominently after the explosion in "The Breach of the Deeping Wall," as well as the Lothlorien and original fellowship theme as the heroes regroup. Depressed string performances of the Shire's music open "The Entmoot Decides," and the gloomy tone carries over the Helm's Deep retreat announcement. A short moment of light choral lament from the pages of prior Elf contemplation accompanies Haldir's death in "Retreat," spurring a few bursts of retaliatory fellowship action before the Orcs' material consolidates into a brutal brass performance of the Isengard theme. Smart combinations of the Lothlorien, Rohan, and fellowship themes exchange phrases as the front gate of the fortress is abandoned. The mostly simmering "Master Peregrin's Plan" touches lightly on fragments of several themes, concluded by a tragically rising, strong figure to represent Treebeard's discovery. The first half of "The Last March of the Ents" is one of the score's best singular moments, building upon the previous hints of the nature's reclamation theme with full choral and orchestral glory. Shore returns to breakneck, rhythmic action mode in "The Nazgul Attack," reprising the Ringwraith theme, after which the cue shifts into a lengthy choral crescendo of the nature theme for Gandalf the White, announcing his arrival with reinforcements. An agitated rhythm and an explosion of the Rohan fanfare greets "Theoden Rides Forth" with optimism, and the subsequent solo performance by boy soprano Ben del Maestro leads to a statement of Gandalf's nature theme that stands above the battle's effects in the film. An elongated, frantic, and intelligently layered version of the nature's reclamation theme reaches an eventual climax at the end of the cue, as the Ents' attack devastates Isengard's industrial complex. The twelve-minute "The Tales That Really Matter" wraps up this middle portion of the journey by reminding the hobbits of both their homeland and their mission. The score's only truly positive and pleasing performances of three of their major themes occupy the first minutes of this cue. One last flourishing crescendo of brass action signals the end of the Uruk-hai in this battle. A few light-hearted bars of both the Ents' and hobbits' material, including the use of the whistle once again, accompany Merry and Pippin's antics.

Pieces of "Gollum's Song" begin to mingle with Smeagol's pity theme as Frodo and Sam are sent with Gollum to fulfill their destiny. After the fellowship theme's final rendering to accompany Gandalf's closing words, Shore offers the journeying hobbits one full, though slower performance of their primary, pensive theme on innocent woodwind. The cue closes with the battle between Smeagol's pity theme, Gollum's song, and ultimately the winner, the ring's history theme. These last moments of "The Tales That Really Matter" lead directly into "Long Ways to Go Yet," the finale piece that signals the true end of Smeagol. The prelude to "Gollum's Song," as well as the song itself, are another highlight of The Two Towers, twisting such a sinister declaration of betrayal into a harmonically beautiful and lyrically enticing song that remains, despite the lack of an Oscar nomination, the most memorable of the three to be heard at the ends of these three films. Both the wordless vocals of the boys choir at the start and Emiliana Torrini's solos in the actual song are built upon a foundation of extremely resolute brass and strings, and the City of Prague Philharmonic, for one of their numerous compilations of re-recordings on the Silva Screen label, once replaced the vocal performance with a yearning violin solo that is almost equally powerful. The remainder of the end credits sequence offers closure to all three of the themes that came together at Helm's Deep (for Rohan, the fellowship, and Lothlorien), as well as a reprise of the Rivendell theme (once again on solo woodwinds to explore Arwen's love for Aragorn). The score's most ambitious and uninhibited brass performance of the Rohan theme heard late in this cue is unfortunately lacking a prominent role for Hardanger fiddle, a seemingly curious omission of musical character considering Shore's definition of the people of that culture with that particular instrument earlier in the film. Confirming its role as the title theme for the franchise, the fellowship theme offers a noble conclusion to the score. All things considered, Shore wraps up the score quite nicely. The combination of outrageously strong action material and Gollum's alluring piece cause the last third of the score to more than compensate for the slower sequences in the earlier portions of The Two Towers. Neither of the other two entries have the strength of the some of the singular highlights heard in these cues.

Overall, there was understandably considerable comparison between the two available scores in the franchise for The Lord of the Rings in late 2002, and while most film score collectors agree that both entries (along with The Return of the King) were superior to anything from another composer in those years, there were usually conflicting opinions about which of the two was better. In a very general sense, it seems that The Fellowship of the Ring has a slight edge because of its extremely consistent listenability from start to end, including the extensive hobbit material that remains easy on the ears. But The Two Towers, while taking a considerable amount of time to build steam to its own highlights, kicks into a gear in its final half hour that the previous score never touched (in terms of propulsion and harmony at explosive volumes). Because each story becomes more conflicted (until the lengthy epilogue in the third film), Shore's use of the themes coincides with an increasingly muddy musical landscape that will frustrate listeners waiting to hear clearly delineated constructs in bold performance. The striking solidarity of "Gollum's Song" and a few of the bursts of the new theme for Rohan are exceptions, but, for the most part, The Two Towers requires a bit more appreciation for the concepts in the film to enjoy its subtleties in a listening experience. Once again not so magnificent was the initial album situation for the score. As could be expected, Reprise Records descended once more to the lavish depths of commercial despair, cranking out several different retail album versions to catch the weary Tolkien fan or Shore collector with an open wallet. Reprise churned out similar stunts with the first album, pulling out every marketing gimmick in the book to help catapult the albums for The Fellowship of the Ring to incredible, lasting heights in sales charts. It was great to see Shore's scores (all three of them, eventually) maintain their dominance in sales for many years after their street dates, though before the complete sets were released for all three scores, many fans held significant disdain for the label, especially given the fact that it was likely only involved in the franchise because of its association with Enya (and they therefore held the album rights to her performances for the first film).

For The Two Towers, Reprise once again opened the floodgates of shameless commercialism. The regular $14 retail product most usually found in stores contained almost all of the same Shore score as the two limited, $23 and $30 albums: the store edition and the internet edition. The regular release, not short on additional useless gimmicks, offered the score in "only" a standard jewel case with one of five two-sided "character cards," one online trading card from the film, a screensaver, the "Making of the Score" video, and buddy icons. The only extra music on the two limited editions is the impressive "Farewell to Lorien" performance by Hilary Summers for the The Fellowship of the Ring's expanded DVD edition. The store-found limited edition came in a gold foil embossed, dark blue leatherette CD wallet containing a 20-page CD booklet and also had a The Two Towers image gallery and two exclusive online trading cards, as well as lyrics and poems. The Internet limited edition featured deluxe leatherette packing, custom "belly-band" artwork, the 20-page CD booklet, and all five of the printed trading character cards from the standard jewel case editions. With the Internet edition, you also got movie trailers, image galleries, lyrics, poems, a score music video and the "Making of the Score" video, screensavers, buddy icons, and, exclusively in the Internet edition, printable maps of Middle-earth (and, more specifically, of Rohan and Gondor... just in case you get lost someday), The Two Towers print and color sets and two online trading cards. Just throw in fries and a Coke and you're set. At least Enya was purged from the equation this time around. With the attention to detail that Reprise paid to the different leatherette versions of the limited edition, not to mention the complete set to come, it was hard not to get the feeling that you were comparing trim levels on a new vehicle purchase. For some, the costs may as well have been the same. It is difficult to say which of the above is the most offensive. If these people at Reprise really wanted to impress those reading this far in this review, the serious admirers of Shore's music and the greater film music community, then they should have damn well flushed their trading cards down the nearest toilet and spent the money it took to produce them on what everyone really wanted: more music from the film.

Fortunately, Reprise did eventually provide the complete scores, but they did so after many fans had already succumbed to the fraud described above and purchased several of these gimmicks. Compounding their error, Reprise once again required you to provide your e-mail address, ZIP code, etc, before you could access any of the special bonus material in 2002 and 2003. It begged the question: what if you didn't have an Internet connection? No bonus goodies for you? The previous year, Filmtracks tested Reprise's site by using a specially tagged e-mail address to achieve access to the bonus material for The Fellowship of the Ring. The account received a somewhat respectable 21 spam e-mails from them and Warner Brothers in the following year, but who knows on what other distribution lists that e-mail address was going to reside. Privacy policies aside, it is simply wrong to require personal information from people in order to access material promised on the outer packaging. And while on the topic of commercial fraud, this review wouldn't be complete without an expansion of the rant you read in the review for The Fellowship of the Ring regarding the ridiculous trading cards. You get the oversized, double-sided ones in the jewel cases (to hang on the wall, perhaps? To impress your girlfriend?) and the plethora of online ones (a silly trend that the Topps company had started with its eTopps phenomenon for baseball and other sports cards at the time). Does anybody really give a shit about these things? Is anyone going to be buying Beckett Price Guide magazines in ten years just to see how much these things are worth? If so, then get a life. As for the 73 minutes of new music on these albums, however, Shore's contribution was good enough to overshadow Reprise's ludicrous marketing of it. Issues regarding the extensive reverberation were more common complaints from collectors, though the rich textures of the instrumentation and an otherwise crisp recording quality combined with the echoing mix to greatly enhance the fantasy element of the film. Purists who appreciate every fine detail in the work lamented their inability to hear individual instruments in the more intricate cues, however. Another complaint about the original albums resulted because the music was rearranged somewhat out of film order in the middle portions of the products.

Discussion of the 2006 Complete Set:

The amount of unreleased music from The Two Towers at the time of its debut was considerable. Shore originally conceived of four hours of music for the second film alone, with over three hours actually recorded. Having only 73 minutes of music on album meant that over 100 minutes of Shore's material for the film remained unavailable on commercial album. Not surprisingly, badly produced bootlegs were fans' initial response to Reprise's proliferation of buddy icons and other senseless activities. Fans of the trilogy and its three extremely popular scores received a gift from the heavens in late 2005, though, when Reprise took a gamble on the complete recordings of The Fellowship of the Ring, released on one stunning product. Despite the immense expense incurred by all those involved with the set's production, it performed better than hoped in unit sales, confirming the viability of the continuation of set releases for the other two works by Shore. Less than a year later, a nearly identical set for The Two Towers was released, featuring the same format in presentation and packaging as the set for The Fellowship of the Ring. As such, a significant portion of the technical and background discussion that you'll read below in this review will be very similar to relevant information provided in the analysis of the previous score (so, once again, reading these reviews in order is highly recommended). All three films in the trilogy have experienced extended cuts on DVD, and the original soundtrack albums, which contained significantly edited and rearranged snippets of score that often made little sense when compared to what was heard in the films, continued to suffer from inadequacy. While this editing of music for the single-CD albums was necessary to give fans what essentially amounted to a highlight album for each film, those edits didn't have the luxury of choosing to include supplemental material that Shore wrote after the theatrical releases to accommodate Jackson's longer DVD cuts. Even at a price tag of $50 or more, the first film's set caused a well-deserved frenzy, because of all three films, it had often been said that The Fellowship of the Ring was the most mistreated by its original album edit. Because the best portions of that score were spread equally throughout its running time, that particular set had a very notable impact on impressions of the work.

While some fans of the trilogy, individuals who must have an insane amount of free time on their hands, have noticed that there are small pieces of music here or there in the film that aren't included on the set (usually just seconds in length), 99.9% of listeners will be hard-pressed to find anything substantial missing from either of the first two "Complete Recordings" releases. In fact, the presentation of Shore's music on these three-CD sets is astonishingly loyal to the films, including material that was often truncated or omitted from their final cuts. Ironically, as to be expected from fickle collectors, the majority of complaints relating to the music on the sets, while few, were related to the inclusion of music that some people would rather not have heard. As mentioned before, such grumpy folks need to be rounded up, flogged in public, and forced to recognize that score fans are almost never treated to such a product and should very well be appreciative of the offering. As for the quality of the score itself as heard on this set, there is little to critique about Shore's work that hasn't already been mentioned; the complete recordings prove unequivocally that Shore provided his mastery for this concept in great quantities. The presentation does expose a few of the specific comments made above about the score's merits (far more than the shorter highlight albums). For instance, it became clear that The Two Towers, as the middle child, suffers from some of the structural limitations of accompanying a sequence of events that neither introduces nor concludes its primary ideas. That very fact contributed to the score's lack of Oscar nomination; only by circumstances of confusion over AMPAS rules was the score not nominated for the award (despite the other two scores winning the Oscar easily). Some collectors have insisted that the two other scores were superior representatives of the entire trilogy because they offer a more rounded inclusion of themes from the story. Without a doubt, both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King present far more extended sequences of beauty, from the playful innocence of the hobbits' music from early in the first score to the remarkable grace with which the story sails away at the end of the saga. But this set's rollout of the action material from The Two Towers gives it a unique quality that should not be overlooked.

As before, one of the few disappointments involving this trilogy of work is the fact that Shore never intended to utilize the end credit songs' themes outside of the films for which they were written. Enya's "May It Be" doesn't return, nor is "Gollum's Song" clearly defined in The Return of the King. There is no hint at the material for the Grey Havens in this score either. The lack of continuity for Gollum is perhaps the trilogy's biggest musical weakness, for Shore's combination of motifs for the character in The Two Towers is so captivating. The song performed at the end of the film is a lyrical variation on two underlying motifs used by Shore throughout the trilogy to represent the creature, and only because of Shore's apparent resistance to cross-populating the scores with their song melodies does "Gollum's Song," arguably fitting the "haunting" descriptor better than anything else, seem somewhat neglected given the character's ever-increasing role in the story. Nevertheless, the complete set offers several opportunities to hear Shore adapt his existing themes into strikingly enjoyable variants, and, as before, some of these newly pressed cues are impressive. Many of them had pieces represented by the commercial album, though an impressive snare and brass romp like "The Breach of the Deeping Wall" was substantially new to the ears. Most intriguing about the complete presentation is the extent to which the rearrangement of the film's final 30 minutes of score was executed on the single-CD album. The numerous lengthy crescendos in those final four or five tracks on the original CD, even including the final two cues (spanning the hobbit's final conversation and the end credits), often exist in extended formats when returned to their original recordings. This original format for nearly every highlight is a pleasant surprise on the set, especially in the case of some of the more harmoniously resounding battle preparation cues, including the appearance of both trumpet calls to arms in "Where is the Horse and the Rider?" Overall, The Two Towers is still a score that you'll likely want to edit down onto your own compilation (depending on how much enjoy the anvil-pounding Orc material and how attached you are to rumbling underscore cues like "War is Upon Us," which have little impact).

At the very least, collectors now had in these sets the complete palette from which to choose their own favorite material, and given each cue's original, expanded format, the lead-ins and such will be much easier to manage. Trying to compile music directly from the DVD's 5.1 audio format will be a difficult exception, of course. This is one of the few flaws with the complete set for The Two Towers, flaws that are mostly the same, in a technical sense, as those on the set for The Fellowship of the Ring. Spread over three CDs, the chronological presentation is a welcomed move, though you still have to forgive the lack of conclusive resolutions to the first two CDs (the arrangement was meant to spread the music equally in length between each one). A frequent listener of the single CDs will still take some time getting accustomed to the rearrangement of the material back into original order, and the all-new set of track names might again make finding your favorite snippets of music difficult, especially if you're not significantly knowledgeable about the specific names and places of the storyline. The vocal performances in The Fellowship of the Ring were a subject of some dissatisfaction for Shore, and they were remixed for the collector's set (along with a few prominent instrumental solos). The exact extent to which this same remixing process was accomplished for The Two Towers is not as clear (perhaps it wasn't as important a selling point to advertise), but, in general, the massive choral performances have been set a bit further back in the mix, allowing the orchestra a more clearly defined role. Because of the relative lack of quietly lyrical passages in The Two Towers, there aren't any solo performances that will strike you as much as the resounding woodwind solos in the first cues of The Fellowship of the Ring. The improved impressions are instead ensemble oriented. Another interesting difference between The Fellowship of the Ring and the two scores that followed is the amount of non-Shore material, or lack thereof. The first score featured pieces written by Enya and Nicky Ryan, or even the actors themselves, and while vocal performances by the actors are still included in The Two Towers, they are as contributions to an ensemble and are renditions of material written by Shore himself.

Shore's stylistic choices were confirmed after the first score's grand success, and purists will likely be pleased by the consistency with which the score stays true to the composer's own established sound for the trilogy. Along the lines of the source material, for instance, there is no cue like the obnoxious "Flaming Red Hair" hobbit party music in the first film to break up the listening experience in The Two Towers. The set's DVD presentation benefits the most from this consistency. Aside from the 180+ minutes of music available on the three regular audio CDs, the set comes with a DVD that features four different tracks of the same complete score. Your DVD player or the software on your computer, as well as their ability to function with the copy protection of the DVD, will determine which of the four tracks you can enjoy most readily. From a technical standpoint, the four tracks are divided into two DVD-audio and two Dolby Digital presentations. The Dolby Digital options include a 2.0 encoding at 224 Kbps, offering a decent surround experience, and the 5.1 encoding at 448 Kbps, which will be a vast improvement for the majority of basic surround sound listeners. Audiophiles, however, will go straight to the DVD-audio options, which include "Advanced Resolution Stereo Sound" and "Advanced Resolution Surround Sound," both of which feature 48 kHz, 24-bit encoding. This sampling rate may not seem much better than that of the regular CDs, but the 8-bit increase to 24-bit overall will provide a noticeable difference for non-Dolby listeners. The "Advanced Resolution Surround Sound" DVD-audio presentation is the glorious triumph of the set. If you have the six-speaker setup and playing capability to truly take advantage of the Dolby Digital 5.1 or DVD-audio tracks on these DVDs, then beware the consequences! Once you hear Shore's score in this full surround sound (which is essentially not any different from its clarity and scope in the film itself), it'll take you a while to get used to hearing the plain old, flat 16-bit stereo recordings on the regular CDs. The same could be said about any dynamic orchestral recording, but in the case of these three scores, it's really difficult to revert to the lesser sound quality. Many of the borderline problematic mixing issues on the stereo CDs are solved by the 5.1 spread, and combined with an outstanding source recording, the listening experience on the DVD is simply mind-blowing.

Among the highlights of the cues that will really impress you with the enhanced sound quality, the aforementioned "The Breach of the Deeping Wall," with its blazing snare rhythm and menacing brass layers, will knock you off your feet. The full-fledged orchestral force of the conclusion to "Theoden Rides Forth" will, like the slamming music of the Orcs and Isengard from early in the previous set, appropriately terrify your neighbors. With the success of the set for The Fellowship of the Ring, and the equally impressive presentation of this one, we can continue to hope that the entire industry is headed in this technological direction, despite the expensive consequence of forcing collectors to rotate out their older collections for 5.1+ surround editions. Many fans have complained about the DVDs in these sets, however, despite their spectacular listening experience for those properly equipped. Those who viciously attacked the set simply because of the ill-fated rubber knob that was meant to hold the DVD in place in the packaging (and yes, it doesn't really work that well on any of the sets) need some perspective. And those who claim that that the DVD unfairly pushed the price of the set to its supposedly "unreasonable" $50+ are likely lacking the capability to readily play and enjoy it. Simply put, if they heard the 5.1 mix on the DVD and could listen to it all day long, the DVD would be their primary reason for buying the set. One very valid complaint has been made about the DVD, however, and that involves the restrictive prohibition of certain features on the product. Unless it relates to the copy-protection features (and even there, it's questionable), there's no reason to again disallow scanning within a track. Unlike The Fellowship of the Ring, however, The Two Towers has shorter, more numerous tracks, leaving fewer moments of soft choral beauty hidden after several minutes of banging Orc rhythms. Some computer players, a tricky prospect for any DVD like this in the mid-2000's, especially with 5.1 sound cards and digital output jacks not readily available on non-Macs, will allow you to override the prohibitive limits put on the DVD. Tests run on the ever-popular VLC program allowed scanning, but also caused the 5.1 sound to stutter-step at times, negating the gain. Even later in the 2000's, there was no easy way to copy the highlights of the DVD's presentation onto a drive for compilation enjoyment.

Also, while the work that Doug Adams does for the 45-page booklet in the 2006 set is astounding in its depth and knowledge, the content will likely fly a few levels over the heads of most regular collectors; you have to be very familiar with the films to understand the character and location references. Still, Adams' work on collecting and presenting all of this information makes for at least an interesting read, even if it doesn't always connect in memory or terminology. His efforts to combine all of this information for an eventual book on Shore's trilogy of scores shows not only the complexity of Shore's creations for the films, but also the continued demand for the scores themselves. After the original album releases catered to mass hysteria with nonsensical trading cards, it seems that we've swung all the way in the opposite direction with the DVD sound and sensational technical detail of notes. It does make a person wonder if there isn't a happy medium ground someplace, and it also begs questions about when you can actually have too much of a good thing. Since the three complete sets for the franchise cater to the demand and hype of the trilogy's followers, you really can't fault Adams or anyone else for yielding to the temptation of producing the most technically perfect and thorough soundtrack products in history. If any scores of the 2000's deserve such treatment, it would be these. But if you never bought into the hype in the first place, then will any of these complete sets be worth the cost for you? That's hard to say. For some, the elusive missing cues will be the attraction. For others, the DVD's 5.1 Dolby Digital or DVD-audio sound will be key. But for many others, the highlight album that was released in 2002, with its basic 16-bit stereo sound, will touch on all the basics and provide enough of the best material to suffice. Regardless of that answer, in terms of the extent of improvement over the original albums, the complete set of The Fellowship of the Ring remains a more vital upgrade to its material than The Two Towers. The sets did become successively more expensive, further pointing to the first one as the most necessary. The DVDs' audio in any of these sets is a sonic marvel that shames regular 16-bit listening experiences (not to mention the sampled-down mp3's that most people enjoy nowadays), and it'll be a guaranteed joy to revisit them frequently. As with The Fellowship of the Ring, open your wallets for the complete set and don't worry about looking back.

Discussion of the 2010 "Rarities Archive":

Those most familiar with the music of The Lord of the Rings have always known that there exist alternate versions and unreleased supplemental materials from Howard Shore's endeavors. A long rumored additional CD containing these recordings was eventually incorporated as part of a comprehensive book by Doug Adams titled The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores and released in large hardcover form in late 2010. The book itself is undoubtedly the most detailed analysis of every aspect of a single piece of film music (assuming you consider the trilogy as one whole) ever to be assembled, taking all of Adams' information from the extensive booklets of the previously released complete album sets and expanding upon it for over 400 pages. It's a beautiful book, including color stills, sketches, studio photography, and samples of the score sheets. For casual listeners and non-music majors, however, the amount of discussion (and its technical nature) will be overwhelming and perhaps unsustainable, especially if you already considered yourself somewhat lost in the minutia presented in Adams' booklet notes for those aforementioned sets. The section about the recording process is the most intriguing, the controversial issue of the wet, concert hall-like sound of the recording clearly addressed as the stated intent of the crew. Without question, however, no matter your level of interest in the background and nitty gritty of these compositions, it can be said with certainty that no franchise of music better deserves such a treatment on written page, and its debut coincided with reports that Shore would collaborate once again with director Peter Jackson to score the pair of The Hobbit films long overdue because of legal wrangling involving the studio. Some of those who purchased the book for roughly $40 did so specifically for the CD of additional music from the trilogy stowed away in a pocket glued to the back cover. This, "The Rarities Archive," includes a variety of alternate performances, initial synthetic mock-ups, a trailer cue, and different edits of cues for scenes that were altered in post-production. The music is followed by about ten minutes of a recorded interview of Shore (conducted by Adams). For enthusiasts of the franchise's music, this overall collection of goodies is both fascinating and entertaining, though none of the inclusions is particularly Earth-shattering.

Learn about

Six tracks of music comprise the material from The Two Towers on "The Rarities Archive." Nothing contained in these is truly outstanding, however, especially compared to the additional insight into the other two scores. The most interesting music comes in the two tracks representing Arwen. Shore's music for the character always had a very slow tempo and melancholy demeanor, though his original demo version of her song (in "Gwenwin in In") is even more restrained than the final incarnation. Its slowly rising figures almost suggest the nature theme in this score. The album then includes the complete recorded version of "Arwen's Song" in its later form; because of edits to the film, this material was not featured in full. Clocking in at over two minutes, its longer version here is as beautiful as anything on this entire album. Much of the choral character of that track carries over into the alternate arrangement of "Emyn Muil," which does not include any radically new material, but does satisfyingly transition between the unique identities of many characters. The alternate recording of "The Eaves of Fangorn" does much the same, but for the more bombastic themes in the franchise (including those for the fellowship and Isengard). Of note in that cue is a particularly brutal, chaotic conclusion. The other two tracks from The Two Towers on this CD are more basic mock-up demos made by Shore and his associates on a Synclavier system for filmmaker approval. The first one explores "The Rohan Fanfare" and intriguingly introduces all of the theme's major phrases but out of their final order; Shore seemed to have eventually rearranged these phrases for the finished product, though casual listeners may not notice the difference. More technically interesting but not as appreciable on the album is the mock-up for "The Ent Theme." It's not exactly a highlight of the trilogy to begin with, its awkwardly lurching movements accurately conveying the characters but not translating to a satisfying listening experience. The synthetic version of this theme, however, is ironically more linear in its movements. On the whole, this compilation's music from The Two Towers is well rounded but brief. Paying the full price of the book simply for these CD tracks may be too steep for all but the most enthusiastic collectors of this franchise's music. Also to be considered is the fact that those who exclusively enjoy the 5.1 surround sound versions of the complete sets may have difficulty reverting back to standard stereo sound to appreciate this additional music. Still, Shore's efforts for The Lord of the Rings have proven to be peerless in the modern age of film music (and perhaps ever, some would argue), and any new music from the concept is welcome, in any form. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: *****
    Music as Heard on the 2002 and 2003 Albums: ****
    Music as Heard on the 2006 Complete Set: *****
    Music as Heard on "The Rarities Archive" Album: ****
    Overall: *****

Bias Check:For Howard Shore reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.56 (in 25 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.26 (in 95,449 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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  soundhawk -- 5/31/09 (9:50 a.m.)
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   Re: What about Gollum???
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 Track Listings (2002/2003 Regular Albums): Total Time: 72:46

• 1. Foundations of Stone (3:51)
• 2. The Taming of Smeagol (2:48)
• 3. The Riders of Rohan (4:05)
• 4. The Passage of the Marshes (2:46)
• 5. The Uruk-hai (2:58)
• 6. The King of the Golden Hall (3:49)
• 7. The Black Gate is Closed (3:17)
• 8. Evenstar - performed by Isabel Bayrakdarian (3:15)
• 9. The White Rider (2:28)
• 10. Treebeard (2:43)
• 11. The Leave Taking (3:41)
• 12. Helm's Deep (3:53)
• 13. The Forbidden Pool (5:27)
• 14. Breath of Life - performed by Sheila Chandra (5:07)
• 15. The Hornburg (4:36)
• 16. Forth Earlingas - performed by Ben Del Maestro (3:15)
• 17. Isengard Unleashed - performed by Elizabeth Fraser & Ben Del Maestro (5:01)
• 18. Samwise the Brave (3:46)
• 19. Gollum's Song - performed by Emiliana Torrini (5:51)

 Track Listings (2002 Limited Edition Albums): Total Time: 76:25

• 1. Foundations of Stone (3:51)
• 2. The Taming of Smeagol (2:48)
• 3. The Riders of Rohan (4:05)
• 4. The Passage of the Marshes (2:46)
• 5. The Uruk-hai (2:58)
• 6. The King of the Golden Hall (3:49)
• 7. The Black Gate is Closed (3:17)
• 8. Evenstar - performed by Isabel Bayrakdarian (3:15)
• 9. The White Rider (2:28)
• 10. Treebeard (2:43)
• 11. The Leave Taking (3:41)
• 12. Helm's Deep (3:53)
• 13. The Forbidden Pool (5:27)
• 14. Breath of Life - performed by Sheila Chandra (5:07)
• 15. The Hornburg (4:36)
• 16. Forth Earlingas - performed by Ben Del Maestro (3:15)
• 17. Isengard Unleashed - performed by Elizabeth Fraser & Ben Del Maestro (5:01)
• 18. Samwise the Brave (3:46)
• 19. Gollum's Song - performed by Emiliana Torrini (5:51)
• 20. Farewell to Lorien (Bonus Track) - performed by Hilary Summers (4:39)

 Track Listings (2006 Complete Set): Total Time: 188:12

CD1: (63:01)

• 1. Glamdring (3:50)
• 2. Elven Rope (2:19)
• 3. Lost in Emym Muil (4:14)
• 4. My Precious (2:56)
• 5. Uglik's Warriors (1:41)
• 6. The Three Hunters (6:12)
• 7. The Banishment of Eomer (3:54)
• 8. Night Camp (2:50)
• 9. The Plains of Rohan (4:14)
• 10. Fangorn (5:13)
• 11. The Dead Marshes (5:07)
• 12. "Wraiths on Wings" (2:07)
• 13. Gandalf the White (6:47)
• 14. The Dream of Trees (1:54)
• 15. The Heir of Numenor (6:50)
• 16. Ent-draught (2:53)

CD2: (63:59)

• 1. Edoras (4:34)
• 2. The Court of Meduseld (3:10)
• 3. Theoden King (6:12)
      featuring 'The Funeral of Theodred' - performed by Miranda Otto
• 4. The King's Decision (2:07)
• 5. Exodus of Edoras (5:42)
• 6. The Forests of Ithilien (6:37)
• 7. One of the Dunedain (7:13)
      featuring 'Evenstar' - performed by Isabel Bayrakdarian
• 8. The Wolves of Isengard (4:22)
• 9. Refuge at Helm's Deep (3:59)
• 10. The Voice of Saruman (1:11)
• 11. Arwen's Fate (3:58)
       featuring 'The Grace of the Valar' - performed by Sheila Chandra
• 12. The Story Foretold (3:58)
• 13. Sons of the Steward (6:02)
• 14. Rock and Pool (2:54)
• 15. Faramir's Good Council (2:20)

CD3: (61:12)

• 1. Aragorn's Return (2:11)
• 2. War is Upon Us (3:35)
• 3. "Where is the Horse and the Rider?" (6:15)
• 4. The Host of the Eldar (2:50)
• 5. The Battle of the Hornburg (2:52)
• 6. The Breach of the Deeping Wall (3:03)
• 7. The Entmoot Decides (2:06)
• 8. Retreat (4:40)
      featuring 'Haldir's Lament' - performed by Elizabeth Fraser
• 9. Master Peregrin's Plan (2:31)
• 10. The Last March of the Ents (2:31)
       featuring Ben Del Maestro
• 11. The Nazgul Attack (2:45)
• 12. Theoden Rides Forth (5:47)
       featuring Ben Del Maestro
• 13. The Tales That Really Matter (12:01)
• 14. "Long Ways to Go Yet" (8:05)
       featuring 'Gollum's Song' - performed by Emiliana Torrini

 Track Listings (2010 Rarities Archive Album): Total Time: 79:13

The Fellowship of the Ring:
• 1. Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All (Alternate) (5:57)
• 2. The Shire/The Hobbits (Mock-Up) (2:00)
• 3. Out From Bree (Theatrical Version & Alternate) (4:04)
• 4. Flight to the Ford (Alternate) (4:04)
• 5. Moria (Mock-Up) (1:45)
• 6. The Fighting Uruk-hai (Alternate) (1:47)
• 7. The Argonath (Alternate) (2:18)

The Two Towers:
• 8. Gwenwin in In ("Arwen's Song" Alternate/Mock-Up) (2:02)
• 9. Arwen's Somg (Complete) (2:11)
• 10. Emyn Muil (Alternate) (3:24)
• 11. The Rohan Fanfare (Mock-Up) (3:09)
• 12. The Eaves of Fangorn (Alternate) (5:29)
• 13. The Ent Theme (Mock-Up) (2:01)

The Return of the King:
• 14. The Return of the King Trailer (2:35)
• 15. The Gondor Theme (Mock-Up) (2:19)
• 16. The Muster of Rohan (Alternate) (6:44)
• 17. The Siege of Gondor (Alternate) (3:13)
• 18. Shieldmaiden of Rohan (Theatrical Version) (2:01)
• 19. Sammath Naur (Alternate) (8:53)
• 20. Frodo's Song ("Into the West" Alternate/Mock-Up) (2:23)
• 21. Elanor (Alternate) (1:30)

Interviews with Howard Shore:
• 22. In Conversation (Part 1) (5:06)
• 23. In Conversation (Part 2) (4:28)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The original 2002 (regular) album's insert includes notes from director Peter Jackson and album co-producer Paul Broucek. Also featured are lyrics from each of the ensemble vocal segments from the score, as well as the Gollum song. Once again, a whopping two full pages of credits add to the clutter and no track times are provided on the packaging, adding even this fine point to the expansive woes of the original album.

Various useless goodies add to the cost of the 2002 limited album. The 2003 set includes general notes about the trilogy. The 2006 complete set features a 45-page booklet with extraordinary notation about the music by Film Score Monthly regular Doug Adams. That final set includes extensive packaging extras, with the three regular audio CDs existing in a smaller case that can be stored separately from the massive book-like exterior.

A detailed, track-by-track analysis (a supplement to the notes on the complete 2005 set) is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format for download from Warner Brothers at the following URL: This additional material, as in the previous score's set, was not included in the product itself because of cost restrictions due to the booklet size. There is no guarantee that this file will continue to exist at that location, so dedicated fans should download it at their earliest convenience. It was still active at that location in late 2008.

There exists no actual packaging for the Howe Records album contained within the 2010 Adams book. It is initially difficult to extract the CD from its paper sleeve because they are glued tightly to the inside of the back cover.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers are Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, Reprise Records (Original and Limited), Reprise Records (Trilogy Set), Reprise Records (Complete Set), Howe Records (Rarities Archive). 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 12/11/02 and last updated 11/22/10. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2002-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.