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Co-Composed and Produced by:
Hans Zimmer

Co-Composed and Co-Arranged by:
Heitor Pereira

Co-Composed by:
John Thum
David Thum
Rick Garcia
Kenneth Karman
Gore Verbinski
James Ward Byrkit

Co-Arranged by:
Lorne Balfe
Tom Gire
Michael Levine
Dominic Lewis
Adam Peters
John Sponsler
Geoff Zanelli
Louis Knatchbull
William Malpede

Conducted by:
Nick Glennie-Smith

Orchestrated by:
Bruce L. Fowler
Walter E. Fowler
Kevin Kaska
Elizabeth Finch
Rick Giovinazzo
Yvonne S. Moriarty

Anti- Records

Release Date:
March 15th, 2011

Also See:
Broken Arrow

Audio Clips:
2. Rango Suite (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

6. Name's Rango (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

10. We Ride, Really! (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

18. The Sunset Shot (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release.


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Buy it... only if you desire a faithful musical souvenir to reflect the zany personality of the film, with endless parodies and movie quotes endearing to concept enthusiasts.

Avoid it... if you're interested in hearing a cohesive Hans Zimmer score, because much of the short soundtrack consists of predictable Latin or faux-Western musical cliches written or arranged by others, often poking fun at famous Western scores or Zimmer's previous works.

Rango: (Hans Zimmer/Various) Lampooning the Western genre from a new, comically reptilian angle is Rango, the first foray into animated features for director/producer Gore Verbinski and famed special effects company Industrial Light & Magic. Praised by critics for its sharp, easy-to-follow visual sense and a thankful return to 2-D, the early 2011 film has also received kudos for its smart handling of the Western genre, lovingly addressing all of the stereotypical characters, locations, and scenarios that made movies like Blazing Saddles so entertaining. In this case, a chameleon lizard named Rango naively takes on the challenge of becoming a sheriff in a small Old West town, encountering challenges from nasty antagonists, the landscape, and within. Everything in the film is executed with a tongue lodged firmly in the cheek, taking nothing about the concept seriously. Returning with Verbinski for another project is his usual crew, including star Johnny Depp and composer Hans Zimmer. The director is well known to have had a collaboration with composer Alan Silvestri disintegrate in the process of making the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, shifting to his partnership with Hans Zimmer from The Ring and sticking with him for all of his motion pictures since. The small bit of irony in that situation is the fact that Silvestri had written music for Verbinski's The Mexican in 2001 that could have served as a foundation for what was later required in Rango. As one might expect, however, the soundtrack for the 2011 movie became something of a marketing bonanza, bringing together a few Latin-related artists to provide songs to compliment Zimmer's score. That score, not surprisingly as well, is a massive collaborative effort that includes ten arrangers and six orchestrators and once again stirs up the ongoing debate about how much of this music should really be credited to only Zimmer on the movie poster and front cover of the album.

The only other major composing credit for the Rango soundtrack goes to Heitor Pereira, Zimmer's longtime assistant specializing in the area of Latin-flavored, guitar-driven flair, and John and David Thum, who wrote the two original songs performed by Los Lobos for the production and had some of that material incorporated into medleys within the score. In only three tracks featured on the album is Zimmer afforded solo writing and production credits, the remainder of the score cues arranged by a plethora of his normal Remote Control staff. Call these laborers "arrangers" if you must, but the term ghostwriters will always enter the discussion so long as Zimmer's material is adapted by his army of assistants in such a high number of stylistic directions throughout these types of scores. Otherwise, everything you need to know about the soundtrack is summed up by this statistic: 35 minutes of music over 20 tracks. That's the breakdown of the commercial album, and really the only practical way of presenting the music given how compartmentalized its final development seems to be. The two Los Lobos songs are offered at the end, and a series of source-like blends of song and score exist in several tracks provided by Rick Garcia. The two Pereira tracks are pure Mexican stereotype source additions, guitars and trumpets unashamed of their unoriginality. There's one medley that uses music by Richard Wagner and Johann Strauss as well, integrating "Ride of the Valkyries" directly into the tone of the score. Otherwise, you have about ten cues of Zimmer's thematic and instrumental tendencies adapted into recognizable variants. His solo cues are "Rango Suite," which touches upon all of the thematic material referenced through the later arrangements, "Rango and Beans" (a largely subdued and inconsequential cue), and "The Sunset Shot" at the end, a good finale that is unfortunately cut short at its conclusion by a very abrupt edit in the mastering. The other cues liberally quote and manipulate the themes in Zimmer's main suite, often making very clear references to previous Zimmer scores.

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As one could predict, Zimmer's long established love of Ennio Morricone's Spaghetti Western music is clearly an influence, and the parodies of the classic genre style is joined by John and David Thum's cute rip of Elmer Bernstein in "We Ride, Really!" The contemporary side of the score owes a bit to Robert Rodriguez's music, too. Some of the rhythmic sound effects employed by Zimmer late in the suite are reminiscent of early Danny Elfman personality. More interesting for Zimmer collectors will be the parodies of Zimmer's own early mannerisms, including several passages and thematic progressions seemingly lifted directly from Broken Arrow and Point of No Return. A fair amount of spritely spirit of a swashbuckling nature points back to Muppet Treasure Island more than Pirates of the Caribbean. The heralded open trumpet sequences from Crimson Tide make a return at the end of "It's a Miracle." Once again, Zimmer handles prancing comedic movements through staccato pounding in the base region, and despite some of his ensemble's attempts to breathe life into the score through dynamic instrumental humor, the recording's shaving of the upper and lower reaches to maximize gain levels once again betrays that intent. Ultimately, the music for Rango achieves its goals, and Zimmer's army of assistants managed to supply the score with the appropriate stream of parody. But at the end of the day, there's very little unique substance to be heard in this score, and the choppy album presentation won't likely appeal to film score collectors. While Zimmer has produced some outstanding music for animation in the past, this one is unfortunately closer to the format and quality of the Madagascar scores. With many of the cues overlayed with dialogue from the film, the Rango soundtrack album is clearly meant as a souvenir for enthusiasts of the film, as such succeeding in emulating the wacky personality when heard in context. Otherwise, it's a lightweight effort from Zimmer, one that once again proves his immense capability in regards to coordinating the talent around him. ** 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 266,342 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings: Total Time: 34:54

• 1. Welcome Amigo - performed by Rick Garcia (1:08)
• 2. Rango Suite (6:00)
• 3. Certain Demise (0:26)
• 4. Medley: It's a Metaphor/Forkboy - performed by Lard (0:45)
• 5. Welcome to Dirt (1:01)
• 6. Name's Rango (1:34)
• 7. Lizard For Lunch - performed by Jose Hernandez, Anthony Zuniga, and Robert Lopez (1:28)
• 8. Stuck in Guacamole (0:23)
• 9. Underground (3:20)
• 10. We Ride, Really! (0:53)
• 11. Rango and Beans (1:07)
• 12. Medley: Bats/Rango Theme/Ride of the Valkyries/And Der Schon Blauen Donau, Op. 314 (4:31)
• 13. The Bank's Been Robbed - performed by Rick Garcia (0:24)
• 14. Rango Returns (1:18)
• 15. La Muerte a Llegado - performed by Rick Garcia and George Del Hoyo (0:47)
• 16. It's a Miracle (2:00)
• 17. El Canelo - performed by Los Lobos (0:46)
• 18. The Sunset Shot (0:56)
• 19. Walk Don't Rango - performed by Los Lobos and Arturo Sandoval (2:50)
• 20. Rango Theme Song - performed by Los Lobos (3:28)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert contains extensive credits, a list of performers, and a fold-out poster, but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from Rango are Copyright © 2011, Anti- 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 3/5/11 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2011-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.