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Clash of the Titans
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:
Ramin Djawadi

Conducted by:

Orchestrated by:
Matt Dunkley
Stephen Coleman
Rick Ippolito

Additional Music by:
Neil Davidge
Geoff Zanelli
Bobby Tahouri
Noah Sorota
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Watertower Music
(March 30th, 2010)
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Digital retail release, also available through as part of their "CDr on Demand" service.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you like barbequed ribs with fries and mozzarella sticks to go with your knock-off blockbuster music from the Hans Zimmer clone factory of formulaic emulation.

Avoid it... if you prefer rainbow trout with rice pilaf and boiled asparagus while appreciating music with original themes, original instrumentation, original performances, and an abundance of nuance and style.
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WRITTEN 4/5/10
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Clash of the Titans: (Ramin Djawadi/Various) Hollywood's grand age of sword and sorcery in the early 1980's brought Greek mythology to the big screen in Clash of the Titans, and in the industry's age of CGI profiteering, a remake of the concept was inevitable. So eager were the studio's executives to squeeze many hundreds of millions of net profits out of the 2010 remake that they held the film for several months so that 3D technology could enhance the special effects and seduce audiences in Avatar fashion. Unfortunately, nobody stopped to consider the fact that a higher quotient of CGI usually means a lower level of intelligence, and French director Louis Leterrier manages to steer the mythology even further from its roots. The plot is irrelevant, other than it pits Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes (as Zeus and Hades) against each other for control of the land. After collaborating successfully with Leterrier for The Incredible Hulk, composer Craig Armstrong was assigned immediately to Clash of the Titans, a major plus given the Scotsman's low quantity of musical production for the screen (despite his obvious talent). As could be predicted, he was dismissed from the project during its post-production extensions and replaced with the reliable drones from Hans Zimmer's Remote Control. Armstrong reportedly didn't fully record a score for the film, though he is noted in its ultimate credits for having contributed to a theme (for Io) that remained in the final cut. As for the work of Ramin Djawadi and his hoard of assistants, there's really no point in discussing it as one would an accomplished piece of film music. Such an analysis of their atrocious material for Iron Man was a waste of time. We've reached the point where straight forward reviews of this kind of mindless, mechanical music are too boring to crank out one after another, so Filmtracks treats Clash of the Titans to a special format of analysis: the completely fictionalized Remote Control spotting session for this film. For those not familiar with the lingo of the industry, a spotting session is when the composer and director (or other crew) first sit down for a couple of hours to look over the rough cut of the film and decide where to put music and what it should generally sound like. The facetious sarcasm that follows obviously is not what happened with Clash of the Titans, but from what you hear in the film and on album, you wouldn't know the difference.

It's one in the morning and there's a familiar scene of ambient lighting over sofas, coffee, and laptops. The windowless room at the Remote Control studio is its usual hue of dark grays and blacks. Hans Zimmer's framed accolades line a wall outside the door. A slight scent of cigarette smoke wafts through the air. A group of sixteen composers in various states of discovery sits lounging comfortably with a few stray guitars, amplifiers, and abused drum pad parts from twenty years ago. One man avails himself of the keyboard array on the far wall, pounding out staccato rhythms of cello samples to keep himself awake. The 48 speakers in front of him have diminished his hearing capacity by 27%, but at least they augment the coffee as a stimulant. On the custom 82-inch high definition screen on the opposite wall, the mostly finished Clash of the Titans has entertained the crew for an hour, but they turn it off and get to business. There's no need to watch the rest of it because they've all seen the formula before. Time is short, too, because the filmmakers pulled a Nancy Myers on Craig Armstrong and Hans thus received another phone call. He turned down the assignment himself, as expected, and handed over the production to his ghostwriters so they would actually get some screen credit. God knows, if Hans wrote a theme or two, he'd be the only one in the opening titles anyway. A felt table in the corner of the room is used for the dice rolls and, in the third round, Ramin Djawadi throws a lucky 26 with five cubes to prevail. He'll get primary credit. He and the fifteen other guys bat around ideas about how to approach Clash of the Titans. They decide that Warner and cohorts wouldn't have contacted RC if their suits didn't want the ultimate in expedient and safe music, so that's what the chefs will prepare. Besides, who wants rainbow trout with rice pilaf and boiled asparagus when you can have barbequed ribs with fries and mozzarella sticks? And RC is a rib house anyway. Hans wrote the recipe book, of course, so the first thing to do is figure out what ideas from his classics can be aped. Better him than anyone else, because nobody wants to "do a Tyler Bates" and have a DVD cover framed on Hans' wall with a "*Derived in Part from Preexisting Compositions Not Authored by..." on it. Damn lawyers. (And damn that rascal Jay Rifkin, too!) Nobody's sure if they could understand Elliot Goldenthal music if they perused his cue sheets anyway, which is another problem. Better to stick to Hans and maybe some basic John Powell, because it'll be familiar and everyone will be happy.

The guy on the keyboards plays a rhythmic segment of "Roll Tide" from Crimson Tide and everyone nods their heads. An assistant is dispatched to find the contractor for some voices, because the budget permits them to "transcend" the samples they made of the same beefy guys a few years ago. They can also afford 80 orchestral players in London, though someone pipes up with the idea of only hiring 50 players, using samples to imitate the rest, and pocketing the savings. Nah, the ensemble is more fun, and the crew compromises by agreeing to mix the live players' recordings so they'll sound like the partially synthetic Hans sound they all know and love. Another assistant is dispatched to call the contractor for the orchestra, with explicit instructions that at least 65 of the musicians play cello, bass, double bass, tuba, trombone, or French horns. An ambitious upstart standing in the corner suggests two or three trumpets be employed, because the film does deal with some openly heroic content. An awkward moment of silence transpires, only the whirring sounds of busy hard drives spinning at 15,000 RPM filling the room. Laughter erupts as someone says, "What do you want next? Sixteenth notes with those? We're not John Williams." After a knock on Laurence Rosenthal for good measure, the usual rounds of jokes about woodwinds also ensue, punctuated by the inevitable, "Piccolos make Jerry Bruckheimer's balls shrivel up and shrink to the size of a raisin!" Not that Bruckheimer has anything to do with Clash of the Titans, other than an indirect shaping of the blockbuster mould. Everyone agrees to "stick it to the man," however, by inserting a bassoon or two into this new score. In fact, they get so wild that a few exotic flutes are discussed. Hans has used them many times, so he would surely approve. Ramin will play those himself, as well as a guitar viol, because not only is it the cool thing to do (not to mention that everyone wants both Brian Tyler's performance talents and his super fabulous hair), it looks good in the credit roll and on the press kit for the album. The specialty plucked stuff will sound like a cross between a cimbalom and a honky tonk piano. Why? Because Hans added it to the canon of RC-accepted sounds with Sherlock Holmes. But wait! Remember those years when Hans would use solo gospel voices in really cool, almost operatic ways? Like Point of No Return and Pacific Heights? Why not get some gorgeous female opera voice to represent Medusa? Hot shit! Forget the contractor, there's a stock of such ladies in the building! Or at least samples of them.

Ratings Icon
Average: 2.12 Stars
***** 41 5 Stars
**** 84 4 Stars
*** 192 3 Stars
** 264 2 Stars
* 369 1 Stars
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A personal message for Clemmensen   Expand >>
johnno - April 30, 2010, at 12:59 p.m.
2 comments  (3110 views)
Newest: May 5, 2010, at 11:31 a.m. by
Trent Easton Navarro
Great Review Christian!
Csongor - April 19, 2010, at 6:20 a.m.
1 comment  (1564 views)
Io's Theme
Synge - April 14, 2010, at 12:45 a.m.
1 comment  (2523 views)
Lol, Chris
Mick - April 10, 2010, at 7:29 p.m.
1 comment  (1010 views)
Well I still liked it
GeoScore - April 10, 2010, at 2:38 a.m.
1 comment  (1284 views)
it is what it is...   Expand >>
Michael Kelly - April 8, 2010, at 6:07 p.m.
3 comments  (2127 views)
Newest: May 23, 2012, at 10:59 p.m. by
Ligno Vitae

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 75:16
• 1. The Storm That Brought Me to You* - performed by Tina Dico (4:50)
• 2. There Is a God in You (1:38)
• 3. Perseus (6:33)
• 4. You Can't Hide from Hades (3:30)
• 5. Medusa (4:07)
• 6. Scorpiox (3:23)
• 7. Argos (1:53)
• 8. You Fall, You Die (1:14)
• 9. Written in the Stars (2:54)
• 10. Pegasus (2:22)
• 11. Bring Everything (But the Owl) (1:47)
• 12. Killed By a God (1:50)
• 13. Djinn (1:56)
• 14. Eyes Down (4:19)
• 15. You Were Saved for a Reason (1:20)
• 16. Redemption Through Blood (2:14)
• 17. I Have Everything I Need (3:15)
• 18. King Acrisius (2:27)
• 19. It's Expensive Where You Are Going (2:50)
• 20. Be My Weapon* (10:09)
• 21. The Best of Both (1:29)
• 22. Release the Kraken** (6:03)
• 23. It's Almost Human of You (3:15)
* composed by Neil Davidge
** composed by Geoff Zanelli

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The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2010-2021, 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 Clash of the Titans are Copyright © 2010, Watertower Music and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/5/10 (and not updated significantly since).
Rainbow trout and rice pilaf make a fine meal, but boiled asparagus is only good for sticking in someone's ear.
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