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Album Cover Art
1994 Sony (Songs)
1994 Sony (Score)
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
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Sony/Epic Soundtrax (Songs)
(January 4th, 1994)

Sony/Epic Soundtrax (Score)
(January 25th, 1994)
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Both albums are regular U.S. releases, easily available as of 2010 for under $2 each. The song album was re-issued in 2008 with the same contents and packaging.
The Bruce Springsteen song "Streets of Philadelphia" won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy. The Neil Young song "Philadelphia" was nominated for an Academy Award.

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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the song compilation album if you seek all of the powerful music you heard in the film, for this is a rare case in which the original score by Howard Shore stood no chance of competing with the song placements for the emotional heart of the picture.

Avoid it... on the score album if you expect Shore's contribution to provide anything more than safely conservative orchestral atmosphere of a surprisingly fluffy nature for this otherwise gripping film.
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WRITTEN 5/25/10
Philadelphia: (Howard Shore) After blazing through the awards ceremonies with his classic Silence of the Lambs, director Jonathan Demme turned his attention to a topic that was sure to gain similar press: AIDS discrimination. There was much to be impressed by in the weighty 1993 drama Philadelphia, perhaps the most notorious film ever to tackle the subject during the disease's ascendancy. Despite its many strengths, the production didn't gain as much critical praise and award wins due its overwhelmingly heavy-handed approach, pounding the viewer over the head with cut and dry depictions of character and prejudice. Still, it remains a powerful story of a senior associate at a prestigious Philadelphia law firm who remains secretive about his homosexuality and, for as long as he can, about his AIDS as well. When the truth is revealed, the firm fires the promising lawyer, leading the man to spend the remainder of his days fighting a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer with help of an attorney against whom he had previously battled in court. This tandem of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington was extremely effective, with Hanks earning his first Oscar win for a role that required him to physically waste away on screen. One of the most important assets in Philadelphia's incredible emotional appeal is Demme's use of music in the film. He renewed his collaboration with composer Howard Shore for the project, though the score is easily overshadowed in the finished product by the application of heartbreaking songs directly to the narrative. Even veteran film score collectors have to recognize the superiority and dominance of the song placements in Philadelphia when compared to Shore's work. Demme hired Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to write original songs to deliver a punch at the start and end of the film and used the Hanks' character's love of opera to convey an important (and arguably creepy) scene of despair. The aria is the only piece with which the actors directly interact on screen, though its presence is swallowed up by the incredibly potent application of the Springsteen and Young songs. The former artist ended up taking home an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy for "Streets of Philadelphia," though fans of the film have argued with some merit that Young's "Philadelphia" (also nominated for an Oscar) is a more pivotal representation of intense sadness at the conclusion of the picture. Either way, Shore's conservatively pretty score is something of an afterthought, especially with its unassuming stature fading away into the sound mix throughout Philadelphia.

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Average: 3.16 Stars
***** 18 5 Stars
**** 34 4 Stars
*** 28 3 Stars
** 15 2 Stars
* 18 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1994 Sony Song Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 41:02
• 1. Streets of Philadelphia - performed by Bruce Springsteen (4:13)
• 2. Lovetown - performed by Peter Gabriel (5:27)
• 3. It's in Your Eyes - performed by Pauletta Washington (3:44)
• 4. Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True) - performed by RAM (4:13)
• 5. Please Send Me Someone to Love - performed by Sade (3:42)
• 6. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? - performed by Spin Doctors (2:39)
• 7. I Don't Wanna Talk About It - performed by Indigo Girls (3:36)
• 8. La Mamma Morta - performed by Maria Callas (4:48)
• 9. Philadelphia - performed by Neil Young (4:03)
• 10. Precedent - score suite composed by Howard Shore (4:04)
1994 Sony Score Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 57:10

Notes Icon
The insert of neither album includes extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2010-2019, 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 Philadelphia are Copyright © 1994, 1994, Sony/Epic Soundtrax (Songs), Sony/Epic Soundtrax (Score) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/25/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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