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Album Cover Art
1995 American
1995 International
Album 2 Cover Art
1997 "More Music"
Album 3 Cover Art
1998 French Set
Album 4 Cover Art
2015 La-La Land
Album 5 Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

Choristers of Westminster Abbey

Co-Orchestrated by:
Dennis Dreith
Labels Icon
Decca/London Records
(May 23rd, 1995)

Polygram/London Records
(October 7th, 1997)

London Records - France
(November 10th, 1998)

La-La Land Records
(November 27th, 2015)
Availability Icon
The original 1995 releases are all commercial products, in print, and can be found cheaply on the secondary market. The original American album has different artwork from identical releases in Japan and Europe.

The 1997 "More Music from Braveheart" album is a regular commercial release as well. In France, London Records produced the 1998 2CD set called "Tout Braveheart" with both of the other albums combined into one package.

The 2015 La-La Land album was limited to 3,000 copies and sold initially at soundtrack specialty outlets for a retail price of $30. Due to demand, it temporarily went out of stock at the label.
Nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the outstanding 2015 La-La Land set if part of the attraction to this score is your affinity for the film, because the music, despite its derivative nature, is an integral and beautiful piece of the Braveheart tapestry.

Avoid it... if you are a studious and pragmatic collector of James Horner's works and are expecting a unique and powerful experience on the same level of the superior Legends of the Fall and Apollo 13.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 9/24/96, REVISED 3/11/16
Braveheart: (James Horner) There can be no discounting of the ongoing popularity of the biographical epic film Braveheart, even after several decades of time that included the public disgracing of its director and lead, Mel Gibson. The Gibson throwback endeavor, telling a romantic version of the Scottish legend William Wallace and his people's fight for territorial freedom, was an outstanding success at the time of its release in 1995, although the true sign of the film's legacy is its continuing, almost cult-like following many years later. Despite its graphic violence, disturbing methods of killing, themes of romance lost, and, perhaps most intriguingly, a liberal dramatization of a historical figure about which relatively little was known, the film's quirky sense of humor combined with arguably Gibson's career performance to float the movie's legacy with a maddening stream of interest. The same crowds that flock to the film's bandwagon often discover James Horner's expansive score along the way, and these Braveheart junkies caused the composer's music for the project to reach phenomenal sales levels on two commercial albums released in the years succeeding the film's debut. Profits from Horner's score on the Decca/London label outweighed all three of Horner's concurrent 1995 album releases on MCA Records (Apollo 13, Casper, and Balto) combined and was briefly the composer's most significant record store success story until Titanic in 1997. And yet, the two most interesting aspects of Horner's music for Braveheart are its general lack of masculinity in the gravity of its performances and the systematic, obvious statements of typical "Hornerisms" with greater frequency, arguably, than many of his other works. The lack of genuine power in this score, especially compared to a work like Legends of the Fall, is a more nebulous curiosity, but the repetitions of style are as blatant as ever. As he clearly stated through the years, Horner was inspired by traditional Celtic and Scottish influences in his works, sometimes inserting them when not necessary, and some of his fans became downright sick of particularly the Irish elements in non-related situations. Naturally, Braveheart would give him the opportunity to pour the latter ethnicity on with all of his romantic power, Gibson admitting that he initially found it a little odd that Irish elements wiggled their way into the music.

With Gibson ultimately shrugging off the Irish tones in Braveheart as being inconsequential, Horner continued to blur the lines between cultural sounds unabated, successfully counting on the fact that most listeners won't realize the inappropriateness of the application. After all, if Jerry Goldsmith could use pan pipes for Under Fire (set in Nicaragua), then Horner may as well pull from the Andes region as well and insert a Kena flute into William Wallace's fight for freedom in Scotland. In the end, does it really matter? For intellectuals, those few who will argue about whether the performances of the whistle in Braveheart stray stylistically towards either Irish or Scottish sensibilities, the answer to the above question will be obvious. But when you boil it down to the overall feel of Horner's achievement here, there is no arguing that Braveheart is an intensely attractive score when hearing it in the context of the film. Listeners unfamiliar with many of Horner's other works make up the vast majority of buyers of the Braveheart albums, so issues of instrumental technicalities and self-regurgitations are moot. For film score collectors, the score remains a potentially problematic entry in his career because it is largely evidence of Horner's significant reliance on his own material in previous scores, as well as the foreshadowing of better development of some ideas in the future. When wide swaths of people within that community praise Horner's work for Braveheart as well, they seem to be willing to forget that it is one of the ultimate self-referencing scores from the composer, starting a trend during which, in the late 1990's, similar scores would instead be admonished for this very same behavior. Just because Braveheart has transformed into a cult film doesn't excuse Horner in this case for blatantly repeating several elements from his previous successes. In its favor, though, Braveheart features several redeeming aspects to its recording, extending the romantic pairing of modern orchestra and ethnicity into ghostly realms of beauty. The heavy romanticism, with deep string themes jerking the tears right out of audience, is a direct descendant of Legends of the Fall. The chilling boys' choir's late performances are clearly derived from Casper. The swells of battle, highlighted by Horner's newly trademarked use of percussion at the time, take several pages from Glory. A secondary phrase to the title theme exudes the nobility of the concurrent Apollo 13.

Ratings Icon
Average: 4.16 Stars
***** 14,328 5 Stars
**** 6,816 4 Stars
*** 4,395 3 Stars
** 1,321 2 Stars
* 871 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Is there a difference between International Ver. and Original Ver?
BirdMan - December 17, 2009, at 2:02 p.m.
1 comment  (2719 views)
song request
Eugine - August 21, 2007, at 4:43 a.m.
1 comment  (2757 views)
Additional Orchestrations
N.R.Q. - February 2, 2007, at 6:08 a.m.
1 comment  (2515 views)
Braveheart Soundtrack
Edith L Holloway - October 25, 2006, at 11:12 p.m.
1 comment  (5543 views)
Music to celebrate the superiority of Scotland
Ryan - August 6, 2006, at 4:41 p.m.
1 comment  (2848 views)
An outstandingly beautiful score
Sheridan - July 4, 2006, at 8:11 a.m.
1 comment  (2963 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Original 1995 Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 77:16
• 1. Main Title (2:51)
• 2. A Gift of a Thistle (1:37)
• 3. Wallace Courts Murron (4:25)
• 4. The Secret Wedding (6:33)
• 5. Attack on Murron (3:00)
• 6. Revenge (6:23)
• 7. Murron's Burial (2:13)
• 8. Making Plans/Gathering the Clans (2:05)
• 9. "Sons of Scotland" (6:19)
• 10. The Battle of Stirling (6:07)
• 11. For the Love of a Princess (4:07)
• 12. Falkirk (4:04)
• 13. Betrayal & Desolation (7:48)
• 14. Mornay's Dream (1:18)
• 15. The Legend Spreads (1:09)
• 16. The Princess Pleads for Wallace's Life (3:38)
• 17. "Freedom"/The Execution/Bannockburn (7:24)
• 18. End Credits (7:12)
1997 "More Music from Braveheart" Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 68:31
2015 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 128:43

Notes Icon
The original 1995 album's insert contains minimal information about the score and film. The 1997 album offers notes about both, including the following: "The traditional Scottish bagpipe songs have been added as a bonus to keep the spirit of William Wallace and his warrior poets alive and to further enhance your listening pleasure." The insert of the 2015 product contains extensive information about the score, including a cue-by-cue analysis and multiple notes remembering the composer after his death.

Special performers include:

Tony Hinnegan - Kena & Whistle
James Horner - Keyboards
Eric Rigler - Uilleann Pipes
Mike Taylor - Bodhrán Drum & Whistle
Ian Underwood - Synth Programming
Copyright © 1996-2021, 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 Braveheart are Copyright © 1995, 1997, 1998, 2015, Decca/London Records, Polygram/London Records, London Records - France, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/24/96 and last updated 3/11/16.
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