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Section Header
Notting Hill
(1999)
U.S. & U.K. Commercial

Japanese Commercial

Promotional

Bootlegs

Composed and Produced by:
Trevor Jones

Labels and Dates:
Island Records (U.S. & U.K.)
(May 18th, 1999)

Polygram (Japan)
(July 2nd, 1999)

Promotional
(1999)

Bootlegs
(2000)

Audio Clips:
U.S. & U.K. Commercial:

3. She (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

12. Notting Hill (Score) (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (240K)
Real Audio (149K)


Promotional Album:

6. Six (Video Melancholy) (0:32):
WMA (209K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)

14. Fourteen (To the Hotel) (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

15. Fifteen (The Henry James Film) (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (150K)

18. Eighteen (Car Chase) (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

Availability:
The commercial albums are regular releases in their respective nations. The promotional score album is extremely rare, even more so than the bootlegged versions of it floating around the secondary market.

Awards:
  None.









Notting Hill

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Used Price: $7.89

Sales Rank: 1624120


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Buy it... on one of the rare score-only albums only if you are a die-hard collector of Trevor Jones' music or soft romantic comedy writing for acoustic guitar, piano, and light orchestra.

Avoid it... on the score-only albums if you seek the strong song collection featured in the film and would be satisfied with eight minutes of highlights from Jones' score.



Jones
Notting Hill: (Trevor Jones) After the popularity of Four Weddings and a Funeral earlier in the decade, mainstream British comedy was ready for a series of similarly themed and humored romance films. Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts were juxtaposed in a British/American tale of love for Notting Hill in which a British guy who is a nobody improbably wins the heart of a top-name American actress who is starring in a film shooting in his home town. You can guess who plays which roles, with several twists of humor and basic plot ideas repeated from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Propelled by its star power, Notting Hill was a date-movie success, so much so that the soundtrack began to take on epic proportions in its variations around the world. Several songs by the likes of Shania Twain and Elvis Costello are positioned wisely in the film, with one montage sequence involving the changing of seasons utilizing "Ain't No Sunshine" to great effect. Mixed in between the songs is a predictably contemporary and tender score by Trevor Jones. These situations aren't often composers' favorites, for you can't tell if the post production of the film will lead to a whole slew of songs replacing score that had been tailored specifically for certain scenes. Jones does exactly what you would expect to hear from any composer in the same situation, writing an underscore that could be moved around, replaced, downsized, or repeated without much loss to the integrity of his music. Hearing the composer write music for a light comedy probably isn't what his fans expected to hear anyways, with Jones scoring a wide range of fantasy and action films that usually featured enormous, sweeping themes or dramatic, dynamic constructs with the London Symphony Orchestra. Notting Hill came in between Jones' television assignments for Merlin and Cleopatra, and the stylistic difference between these works cannot be greater.

Collectors of Jones' music need to consider Notting Hill in the same regards that Alan Silvestri fans had met with that composer's numerous interludes into the romantic comedy genre. Silvestri, known widely for his action themes, was perhaps the most experienced such composer to tone down his writing for films like What Women Want and Serendipity at the time. The half an hour of music that Jones presents for Notting Hill is as pleasant as it is surprising. He is a man who has literally studied and taught methodology in every conceivable genre of music, and the effectiveness of his work for Notting Hill is undoubtedly successful. He begins with a solo acoustic guitar and weaves it in between clubby bands, solo sax, solo piano, and occasional orchestral backing. His title theme is simplistic and repeated often to compensate for the score's lack of screen time in the film. It maintains a soft, upscale barroom atmosphere at every turn, although a few cues with modern loops of percussion and rhythm keep the score moving at a listenable pace. The "Car Chase" cue near the end of the film features some light rock with electric organ, but the tone is generally consistent in instrumentation and personality with the remaining, softer underscore. Orchestral enthusiasts will likely enjoy the several cues in which the woodwinds and strings (and perhaps two or three brass players) of the orchestra offer a deep, lush accompaniment to the material. Here the group is used for one of the traveling scenes (to and from the hotel) and in performances of the theme in full, symphonic force, which work well in the magical, movie-business scenes in the film. The acoustic guitar writing sounds similar in many ways to John Du Prez's work for A Fish Called Wanda, although Jones always maintains a heavier, dramatic mix. He also wrote the source music for the film, whether it is heard in the bar, the hotel lobby, or elsewhere. The hotel lobby scene involves some gorgeous solo piano work that you'd expect to hear live upon entering a high class department store.

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Due to the film's success, several different song albums were pressed by various international branches of Polygram. The U.S., U.K., and Japan all had slightly differing collections of songs, and score fans can keep the situation simplified by knowing that the same eight minutes (in two suites of combined cues) of Jones' score material appears on all of them. For the most part, these eight minutes offer all you really need from the score, and you may very well enjoy the songs, too. But for die-hard Jones collectors, the somewhat redundant full score is an option. The composer originally pressed a promo (this was just before the Contemporary Media Recordings label he released scores under semi-promotionally starting doing essentially the same thing later that year with Cleopatra) containing the usual disclaimers on its packaging. This album had seventeen untitled tracks following a shorter Costello performance of "She," which has a foundation of piano that works seamlessly with the score. The purpose of the promotional pressing was not certain, although awards consideration may have been the thinking given the popularity of the film. As could be expected, the score then made several trips around the bootleg market, sometimes with the seventeen score tracks appearing by themselves (with the "She" song unfortunately stripped from the package). On other bootlegs, it was combined with material from Jones' Arachnophobia, which obviously doesn't fit with the tone of Notting Hill on the same album. The sequencing of tracks is different on nearly all of them. There are some downright beautiful solo performances on the expanded promo or bootlegged albums of Jones' score, especially involving the piano writing. But is either of these full-score options worth the search as opposed to commercial song and score combination album? For most listeners, no. The songs are really quite enticing, and since they fit the mood of Jones' underscore very well, they make a nice overall balance. In those eight minutes on the commercial album, the most significant of Jones' orchestral outbursts of theme is presented. Still, though, Jones continues to impress in the entirety of his work, proving his versatility once again.   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Commercial Albums: ****
    Promotional Album: ****
    Bootlegged Albums: ***
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For Trevor Jones reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.78 (in 18 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.42 (in 24,416 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 3.13 Stars
Smart Average: 3.11 Stars*
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 Track Listings (Island Records, U.S./Polygram, Japan): Total Time: 51:10


• 1. No Matter What - performed by Boyzone (4:33)
• 2. You've Got a Way (Notting Hill Remix) - performed by Shania Twain (3:21)
• 3. I Do (Cherish You) - performed by Bill Withers (3:45)
• 4. She - performed by Elvis Costello (3:06)
• 5. Ain't No Sunshine - performed by Bill Withers (2:03)
• 6. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - performed by Al Green (6:24)
• 7. Gimme Some Lovin' - performed by Spencer Davis Group (2:57)
• 8. When You Say Nothing at All - performed by Ronan Keating (4:14)
• 9. Ain't No Sunshine (Bonus Track) - performed by Lighthouse Family (2:03)
• 10. From the Heart (Bonus Track) - performed by Another Level (4:51)
• 11. Everything About You (Remix) (Bonus Track) - performed by Steve Poltz (3:55)
• 12. Will and Anna (Score) (3:35)
• 13. Notting Hill (Score) (4:46)

Japanese version features two bonus tracks on top of the American album:
(14.) Pulp's 'Born to Cry' and (15.) Swing Out Sister's 'Filth and Dreams'




 Track Listings (Island Records, U.K.): Total Time: 52:22


• 1. From the Heart - performed by Another Level (4:51)
• 2. When You Say Nothing at All - performed by Ronan Keating (4:14)
• 3. She - performed by Elvis Costello (3:06)
• 4. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart - performed by Al Green (6:24)
• 5. In Our Lifetime - performed by Texas (4:06)
• 6. I Do (Cherish You) - performed by 98 Degree (3:45)
• 7. Born to Cry - performed by Pulp (5:33)
• 8. Ain't No Sunshine - performed by Lighthouse Family (3:41)
• 9. You've Got a Way (Notting Hill Remix) - performed by Shania Twain (3:21)
• 10. Gimme Some Lovin' - performed by Spencer Davis Group (2:57)
• 11. Will and Anna (Score) (3:35)
• 12. Notting Hill (Score) (4:46)
• 13. Ain't No Sunshine - performed by Bill Withers (Bonus Track Not Included in Film) (2:03)

(Album features a different track order and selection from the U.S. version.)




 Track Listings (Promotional Album): Total Time: 37:23


• 1. She - performed by Elvis Costello (2:03)
• 2. Two (Introduction) (1:41)
• 3. Three (The Book Store) (1:56)
• 4. Four (Interviews) (2:25)
• 5. Five (End Credits Suite) (4:07)
• 6. Six (Video Melancholy) (1:11)
• 7. Seven (Dating) (2:38)
• 8. Eight (Will's Reflection) (1:29)
• 9. Nine (Walk Home) (0:57)
• 10. Ten (Anna's Invitation) (1:18)
• 11. Eleven (Hotel Piano Player) (1:58)
• 12. Twelve (Source Music) (3:19)
• 13. Thirteen (Love Scene) (2:15)
• 14. Fourteen (To the Hotel) (0:48)
• 15. Fifteen (The Henry James Film) (2:16)
• 16. Sixteen (The Garden) (1:58)
• 17. Seventeen (Resignation) (2:06)
• 18. Eighteen (Car Chase) (2:50)

(The promo album contains no track names other than the number of the track. Confirmed titles have been provided here in parentheses for reference.)




 Track Listings (Bootleg Albums): Total Time: 35:48


• 1. Introduction (Notting Hill) (1:41)
• 2. Anna's Theme (The Book Store/The Kiss) (1:53)
• 3. Smile (Video Melancholy) (1:09)
• 4. Bus to the Ritz (To the Hotel) (0:47)
• 5. Hotel Piano Player (The Lobby) (1:57)
• 6. Interviews (Interviews) (2:25)
• 7. Walk Home (Love Theme) (0:56)
• 8. The Garden (Sadness) (1:59)
• 9. Source Music (Source Music) (3:19)
• 10. Anna's Invitation (She's in London) (1:18)
• 11. Dating (All New Girls) (2:38)
• 12. Will's Reflection (To the Book Store) (1:28)
• 13. The Seduction (Love Scene) (2:14)
• 14. At the Set of a Henry James Film (The Henry James Film) (2:15)
• 15. Resignation (Secret Talk) (2:04)
• 16. Car Chase to Press Conference (Go!) (2:52)
• 17. End Credits Reprise (Notting Hill Suite) (4:09)

(Different versions of the bootleg feature alternate titles. Both sets are provided here for reference.)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The inserts for the score-only albums include only basic packaging and art. The commercial albums feature no extra information about the score or film either.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Notting Hill are Copyright © 1999-2000, Island Records (U.S. & U.K.), Polygram (Japan), Promotional, Bootlegs. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com 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 10/8/03 and last updated 4/4/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.