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King Kong
Album Cover Art
Composed and Co-Produced by:

Conducted by:
Pete Anthony
Mike Nowak
Bruce Babcock

Co-Produced by:
Jim Weidman

Orchestrations Supervised by:
Jeff Atmajian

Additional Music by:
Blake Neely
Chris P. Bacon
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(December 13rd, 2005)
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Regular U.S. release.
Nominated for a Golden Globe.
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Decorative Nonsense
(inverts site colors)

Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you can't resist a harmonically grandiose score that dazzles from start to finish with its simplistic choral and orchestral beauty.

Avoid it... if nothing can surpass the effectiveness and importance of Max Steiner's original 1933 score, especially a modern remake score that pays little tribute to its style.
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WRITTEN 12/16/05
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King Kong: (James Newton Howard) The last thing any fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy thought writer/director Peter Jackson would tackle next was another remake of King Kong, but to his credit, the 2005 version of the classic metaphorical tale has garnered fantastic success from critics and box office results alike. As to be expected, a film that was supposed to be about 140 minutes in length ended up running about 190 minutes, and yet the quality of the epic causes it to easily eclipse the 1976 version and stand as worthy modern counterpart to the 1933 RKO Radio Pictures classic. The overall plot for King Kong hasn't changed much over that time, with the notable change being the affection that the young actress feels in return for the ape in the 2005 version. All deep meanings behind King Kong aside, it is essentially a monster film for the majority of audiences, and with its endless dazzlements in the special effects department, the Jackson film offers up creature scenes that put Jurassic Park into surprising technological perspective. When speaking of film scores, you will hear little argument against Max Steiner's 1933 scoring being the first major film score ever to exist in a motion picture. Because of that fact, some background on Steiner's achievement should be discussed before the inevitable comparisons between it, John Barry's 1976 interpretation, and James Newton Howard's 2005 interpretation on the same story.

Steiner's score was such a novel idea in 1933 that every part of the composing, recording, and production processes were being invented on the fly. With only a maximum of 46 performers, and some having to run across the stage between instruments to play them at the right moment during a cue, the Steiner achievement is quite amazing. It was fierce in its brass, and defined the Golden Age of film music with its strings, and its statement of theme and motif, while inspired (like everything) from Wagner, presented moviegoers in 1933 with a score that laid the foundation for much of what we hear today in film music. John Barry never had a chance to capture the same momentous action in 1976; he was badly mis-assigned in that project, perhaps with the studios stuck on the romance of the epic rather than the action. In 2005, Peter Jackson would immediately make one change from the approach of Steiner's original. Instead of allowing lengthy dialogue sequences without underscore, as Steiner had done (the original is a short score), Jackson would require over three hours of music for his remake. That seemingly wouldn't be a problem for composer Howard Shore, who had written countless hours of music for Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy between 2001 and 2003, and had received three Academy Awards for his efforts. In a move that still has the film music world dumbstruck, Jackson and Shore parted ways late in the production process due to the always vague "creative differences" reason. Immediately, shades of Gabriel Yared's rejected Troy score --one that received much more interest after the film's release than the replacement score by James Horner-- came to the collective mind.

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Average: 3.53 Stars
***** 478 5 Stars
**** 608 4 Stars
*** 476 3 Stars
** 268 2 Stars
* 128 1 Stars
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King Kong (Recording Sessions)
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1 comment  (3345 views)
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Bruno Costa - November 7, 2010, at 11:31 a.m.
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Rejected Album?   Expand >>
C.J - March 7, 2008, at 10:24 a.m.
2 comments  (3194 views)
Newest: March 10, 2008, at 8:28 a.m. by
Big Time Filmmaker
Rejected Score?   Expand >>
Joshua - February 7, 2008, at 10:32 a.m.
4 comments  (4159 views)
Newest: December 15, 2009, at 7:48 p.m. by
Richard Kleiner
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)
N.R.Q. - April 28, 2007, at 5:02 p.m.
1 comment  (1848 views)
The Complete Score!
Jon - March 22, 2007, at 3:46 p.m.
1 comment  (2102 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 74:27
• 1. King Kong (1:09)
• 2. A Fateful Meeting (4:16)
• 3. Defeat is Always Momentary (2:48)
• 4. It's in the Subtext (3:19)
• 5. Two Grand (2:34)
• 6. The Venture Departs (4:03)
• 7. Last Blank Space on the Map (4:43)
• 8. It's Deserted (7:08)
• 9. Something Monstrous... Neither Beast Nor Man (2:38)
• 10. Head Towards the Animals (2:48)
• 11. Beautiful (4:08)
• 12. Tooth and Claw (6:17)
• 13. That's All There Is... (3:26)
• 14. Captured (2:25)
• 15. Central Park (4:36)
• 16. The Empire State Building (2:36)
• 17. Beauty Killed the Beast I (1:59)
• 18. Beauty Killed the Beast II (2:22)
• 19. Beauty Killed the Beast III (2:14)
• 20. Beauty Killed the Beast IV (4:45)
• 21. Beauty Killed the Beast V (4:13)

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The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2005-2020, 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 King Kong are Copyright © 2005, Universal/Decca and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/16/05 (and not updated significantly since).
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