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 5. Ant-Man
6. Inside Out
   BEST OF JAMES HORNER (1953-2015):
         1. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
        2. Willow
       3. The Land Before Time
      4. Glory
     5. Legends of the Fall
    6. Apollo 13
   7. Titanic
  8. The Legend of Zorro
 9. Avatar
10. The Amazing Spider-Man
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Album Cover Art
Reprise (Horner)
Sample (Yared)
Album 2 Cover Art
Final Score Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Final Score Co-Produced by:
Simon Rhodes

Final Score Co-Orchestrated by:
Eddie Karam
Conrad Pope
Randy Kerber
John Kull

Rejected Score Composed and Produced by:
Gabriel Yared

Rejected Score Conducted by:
Harry Rabinowitz
Nick Ingman

Rejected Score Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian
John Bell
Kirsty Whalley
Stephane Moucha

Ethnic Vocal Solos in Both Scores by:
Tanja Tzarovska
Labels Icon
Reprise Records (Horner)
(May 11th, 2004)

(Promotional/Bootlegs) (Yared)
Availability Icon
The Horner score's album is a regular U.S. release. The Yared rejected score has never been commercially released. After Yared and his representatives leaked it to the public in 2004, first in MP3 form at his site and then on longer, lossless CDs to reviewers, his score was bootlegged prolifically.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the commercial album with James Horner's functional but mundane replacement score only if you have extreme patience with his tendency to recycle his own music, a technique actually made necessary by his last minute rush job for this film.

Avoid it... on the Horner album completely if you have a chance to somehow obtain the vastly superior rejected score by Gabriel Yared, the momentous crown jewel of his career that has haunted film score fans since its intentional leak to the public in 2004.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 5/13/04, REVISED 8/25/11
Troy: (Gabriel Yared/James Horner) In the arduous process of making what he deemed would be the biggest motion picture of all time, director Wolfgang Petersen spent $175 million taking over part of the Mediterranean island of Malta for the shooting of Troy. The 2004 re-envisioning of the Trojan War and attack on Troy by the armies of Greece had "epic" written all over its production values, including a variety of male leads led by Brad Pitt flexing his beach-appropriate muscles as famed warrior Achilles. Peter O'Toole's performance as the King of Troy, as true a nod to classic epics of Hollywood as anything in this movie, is made memorable by an unnatural, booming mix of his voice. Spectacular sets and costumes were betrayed, however, by the inane treatment of the story itself, alternating between boring conversational scenes and generic action involving special effects modeled after The Lord of the Rings. Critically, Troy has often been referred to as one of the most expensive flops in the history of cinema, though while it failed to recoup its budget domestically, lingering overseas grosses eventually neared half a billion dollars, at least earning Warner Brothers a fair sum of cash for its artistically flawed property. It has also often been said that no music score could have saved Troy from its much larger troubles, though its soundtrack has become its most famous production element. Petersen approached Academy Award winner Gabriel Yared more than a year before the film's scheduled release, hiring the classically-inclined composer despite the obvious fact that Yared had never written an epic battle score of this magnitude in his life. The director put a significant amount of faith in Yared based on the quality of music that he had heard in the composer's existing works, and Yared was eager to branch out of the romance and drama genres in which he felt himself trapped by his success in those modes (he sought Troy as means of expressing his action style and 1408 as an opportunity to finally tackle a mainstream thriller). In April of 2003, Yared began work on the score for Troy, researching source music necessary in the shooting of several scenes on location. Recording the rest of the score later in the year, Yared assembled a 100-piece orchestra in London, added layovers by a 25-member brass section, hired a Bulgarian chorus to produce authentic Eastern-European vocals and, most importantly, sought the help of Macedonian singer Tanja Tzarovska for a specific flavor of solo vocals.

The undertaking was immense, with considerable diversity in the recording sessions all dubbed into a nearly-finished product that was included as part of the film in test showings of Troy in March of 2004. Enthusiasm among all of those involved with the project was great (especially with the musicians and recording crew), including the strong approval of the music by the director. Hopes were sky high. In two test screenings in California, however, the film received very low marks, and the filmmakers claim that every viewer indicated that Yared's partially finished soundtrack was a primary reason for their dismay. It had been criticized as being "too brassy and bold," ironically too old-fashioned for the modern expectations of historical epic music. The studio went into a panic, and Petersen immediately sought help from other composers even before he summarily terminated Yared and expunged his score from the film. In general, rejected scores are a surprisingly frequent occurrence in Hollywood. High talent like Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry on many occasions had functional (if not exceptional) music rejected from a film for one curious reason or another. What happened with Troy, however, is an exception. Yared contended that he was offered no chance to remix or rerecord any of his music, with Warner Brothers executives very suddenly dismissing the entire work as being too incompatible with their newfound notions of what the score should sound like. Peterson, who was largely responsible for requesting the old-fashioned epic sound from Yared in the first place, did nothing to defend Yared despite his overflowing support for the composer prior to the screenings. Even as Yared still had orchestral sessions scheduled to put the finishing touches on the score, Peterson desperately called John Debney for last minute assistance and was turned down. The director then pleaded for help from James Horner, with whom he had collaborated on The Perfect Storm. Horner's reaction was one of smug, indignant disdain for how his score was badly mixed with the sound effects of the oceans in that prior work, but he accepted the challenge of scoring Troy in just ten days after viewing the same unfinished version presented in the screenings and being horrified by Yared's score. "I don't even know how to describe how atrocious the music was," Horner stated not long after. "It was like a 1950's Hercules movie. And it wasn't because Gabriel's not a gifted writer; it's because he just doesn't have any knowledge of writing film scores. Real film scores like that. It was so corny. It was unbelievable."

Citing Peterson's almost juvenile-seeming misdirection of Yared's "overblown" score, Horner continued, "Gabriel dutifully did whatever was asked of him by Wolfgang, and Wolfgang's musical tendencies are to overscore everything, like a Wagner opera. He's not into subtlety. Apparently it made the audience laugh in places during serious scenes. And this combination of this 'please do it bigger and bigger and bigger' and 'more is better' from Wolfgang and Gabriel's not knowing what big cinematic action music should be... they both came up with this score that was absolutely dreadful. Absolutely dreadful." He diminished Yared's Oscar-winning score for The English Patient at the same time, saying that it "was really very much based on Bach's music. I mean, if you listen to Bach's preludes and fugues and those things you'll hear Gabriel's score." Horner had also expressed irritation with not being tapped to score the film from the start. "I wasn't asked to do the original, which was sort of a bit of a twinge for me, because I did such a nice job, or he seemed so pleased on The Perfect Storm," he said. "Wolfgang was white. Completely shaken. Totally lost his confidence. I met with Wolfgang, and he of course, was completely cowed out, apologetic, embarrassed, and said I would be allowed to do whatever I wanted... 'would I please, please, please, do this, as a favor?' And how grateful he would be at that trouble." The fact that Horner churned out almost two hours of music in such a short amount of time is testimony to his talents. "I took it on as a challenge," he conceded, "I thought it would be a real challenge for me as a writer to see how much music I could write in nine days." His negative public comments about both Yared and Peterson (the latter justified, by all accounts) at the time didn't earn him many brownie points, though. He went on to criticize Peterson for not asking him to score Poseidon despite the fact that he remarked, "I would not have done Poseidon Adventure if you'd paid me 10 million dollars." His bitterness over his collaborations with Peterson caused him to conclude about Troy that "they're really not really grateful. They just want you to do it, help them out, and that's where it ends." Not long after this ruckus began, Yared stirred the pot in an unprecedented move that was also criticized by Horner: "Gabriel, meanwhile, in Europe, is furious. He's going on his website saying he was cheated and short-changed and they put his music in the film without the chorus and the chorus makes the difference. And you know, you're saying to yourself, 'this guy just doesn't get it.' The chorus would have made it worse."

Indeed, Yared was expressing his displeasure immediately in the summer of 2004 with total disregard for protocol. He had been fired twice before, first for Les Misérables because of a mutual falling out with director Bille August and with his own blessing when he was hired to replace Edward Shearmur for Wings of the Dove but had his replacement score dropped in favor of Shearmur's original (a choice Yared strongly agreed with). Troy was clearly different, however. He made sure that both fans and members of the industry were completely informed on the circumstances of his Troy firing by writing a lengthy open letter about the event that was most unorthodox and, some would say, a professional faux pas. Given the passion with which Yared describes the full year that he invested in the film and score in that letter, you can understand his frustration. "What shocked me the most was that I wasn't given the chance to fix or change my score or even to answer to any of the questions or accusations being leveled at my work," Yared wrote, "despite the fact that I had sessions booked to redo some cues to the new picture and new versions of other cues. Indeed, the decision to replace me had been taken and meetings with other composers had already taken place before I even spoke personally to Wolfgang. I was later informed that it was '...a problem with the writing' and that the score was beyond the hope of being fixed and they were happy to have a new composer write the whole score [in] just a month-and-a-half." Then, the composer did the unthinkable, following his statement of "I apologize to those reading this who will never get to hear this score" by releasing for download a little over 30 minutes of the rough edits of its highlights in MP3 format at his website. This caused extraordinary banter about the circumstances of Troy in the film music world, and it wasn't long before Warner Brothers demanded that the clips be taken offline. The quality of the score, despite continuing accounts that it does not fit the tone of the movie, spoke louder than Yared's letter, and the immediate bootlegs made from those thirty minutes of material became an extremely hot commodity throughout the rest of 2004. As Yared lamented, "In the end I am proud to say that with the great help and support of all my team I succeeded in producing what I firmly believe to be my finest score. It is original, musical, and every single cue is crafted with a great deal of thought, heart, and inspiration in a way that I feel works fantastically with the picture. My music was fantastically recorded and mixed, and the detail of each overdub layer gave a great and characterizing sound which was completely up-to-date, but with the scale and class of a great epic."

Ratings Icon
Average: 2.89 Stars
***** 1,153 5 Stars
**** 454 4 Stars
*** 976 3 Stars
** 817 2 Stars
* 1,206 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Horner's version was better...   Expand >>
Scorehound - March 8, 2012, at 11:22 a.m.
3 comments  (1136 views)
Newest: June 21, 2014, at 11:15 Scorehound
a sample of Yared's music incorporated in the film
movie_Fan - December 14, 2011, at 4:20 a.m.
1 comment  (919 views)
Poetic Justice
Sam - November 9, 2011, at 9:14 p.m.
1 comment  (675 views)
Awesome revision, CC!
Richard Kleiner - November 8, 2011, at 9:36 p.m.
1 comment  (644 views)
Alternate Review
Yarron Katz - November 8, 2011, at 1:19 p.m.
1 comment  (628 views)
Troy Formula   Expand >>
Bruno Costa - November 30, 2010, at 5:54 a.m.
2 comments  (978 views)
Newest: December 17, 2010, at 4:52 Richard Kleiner

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Horner Reprise Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:21
• 1. 3200 Years Ago (3:36)
• 2. Troy (5:01)
• 3. Achilles Leads the Myrmidons (8:30)
• 4. The Temple of Poseidon (3:28)
• 5. The Night Before (3:28)
• 6. The Greek Army and Its Defeat (9:38)
• 7. Briseis and Achilles (5:19)
• 8. The Trojans Attack (5:01)
• 9. Hector's Death (3:27)
• 10. The Wooden Horse and the Sacking of Troy (10:02)
• 11. Through the Fires, Achilles... and Immortality (13:27)
• 12. Remember Me - song performed by Josh Groban and Tanja Tzarovska (4:18)
2004 Yared Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 33:25
2005 Yared Bootlegs Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:21

Notes Icon
The insert of the Reprise Records album for Horner's score includes no extra information about the score or film. The various Yared bootlegs contain no official or uniform packaging.
Copyright © 2004-2015, 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 Troy are Copyright © 2004, 2005, Reprise Records (Horner), (Promotional/Bootlegs) (Yared) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/13/04 and last updated 8/25/11.
Wolfgang Petersen deserves divine punishment for his incompetence.
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