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Season One
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Last Episodes
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Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Tim Simonec

Co-Orchestrated by:
Chad Seiter
Andrea Datzman

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
Labels Icon
Varèse Sarabande
(Season One)
(March 21st, 2006)

Varèse Sarabande
(Season Two)
(October 3rd, 2006)

Varèse Sarabande
(Season Three)
(May 6th, 2008)

Varèse Sarabande
(Season Four)
(May 12th, 2009)

Varèse Sarabande
(Season Five)
(May 11th, 2010)

Varèse Sarabande
(Season Six)
(September 14th, 2010)

Varèse Sarabande
(Last Episodes)
(October 11th, 2010)
Availability Icon
The first six albums, each representing a single season, are regular U.S. releases kept in print by the label during the run of the show and some time thereafter. The October, 2010 2-CD set was limited to 5,000 copies and at $20 in value was not any more expensive than the other 2-CD sets for Season Three or Season Six.
Winner of an Emmy Award in 2005 and nominated for Emmy Awards in 2008 and 2010.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on any and (more likely) all of the albums representing Michael Giacchino's immensely complex and impressive music for the concept if, as a fan of the show, you are able to understand and appreciate the development of his detailed associations contained within.

Avoid it... on all the albums except those representing Season Four and Season Six if you are only casually interested in beginning an exploration of the best music from "Lost."
Review Icon
WRITTEN 10/27/10
Lost: (Michael Giacchino) The only thing the producers of the television series "Lost" could have done to make its concept more laughable was to interrupt the climactic events upon the tropical island in the final episode with a shot of Tom Hanks, bearded and emaciated, sitting on a rock, trying to carve out a coconut with ice skates, wondering why his supposedly deserted habitat is suddenly shaking so much. For those not really in tune with the wild imaginations of series creators J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, and Damon Lindelof, "Lost" is nothing more than an obnoxious merging of religious and other supernatural concepts of prior origin into a convoluted mess of a narrative. What the series did prove is that the fantasy genre was not one to avoid on primetime television; ABC enjoyed overwhelming critical and popular success with "Lost," though its ratings and award wins dwindled as its plot became more bizarre during its run from 2004 to 2010. What started as a blend of Cast Away and "Survivor" eventually devolved into a dizzying whirlwind of temporal paradoxes and alternate realities, including a concept of purgatory that wasn't revealed in its purpose until the series finale. The survivors of a plane crash on a South Pacific island (introduced through extensive flashback sequences) first learn to survive but then are used as pawns in successive seasons during an elaborate struggle over a source of supernatural energy that exists on the island. If you can't handle complicated explorations of the concepts of fate and destiny, or if your logical mind has no time to bother with ridiculous fantasies used as a tool for character drama, then "Lost" is indeed laughable. Despite its questionable hook, the series was an immensely expensive and complex endeavor given the depth of its "concept bible" and its large cast, and these considerations made for a tough but rewarding career entry for composer Michael Giacchino. During the run of "Lost," Giacchino went from an emerging newcomer in animated film music to one of the only composers to sweep all the major awards for a single feature score. As a result of his time commitment to "Lost," his quantity of feature assignments likely suffered, but also as a result of "Lost" was a meteoric rise in popularity that undoubtedly helped his name recognition come time for his widespread recognition for Up. Regardless of that big screen success, "Lost" remains as the composer's most impressive cumulative achievement as of the time of its conclusion, winning an Emmy award in 2005 and nominated in 2008 and 2010.

Just as the plotline and other production elements of "Lost" had their own "bible," so too did Giacchino's music. The identity of the overall body of work that the composer provided to "Lost" is extremely cohesive from start to finish, both in terms of instrumentation and motifs. The same influences that you hear in Giacchino's music for the first season are still prevalent in the last one as well, and many in the mainstream claim to be able to recognize the music from the show even without hearing a major thematic passage. These soundtracks have enjoyed the appreciation of both the show's fanatic following and collectors of Giacchino's film music, yielding at least seven albums from the Varèse Sarabande label. They are their own phenomenon outside of their association with the show, mostly due to the arguably unrivalled coordination of ideas that Giacchino assembled and remained loyal to. Only Bear McCreary's concurrent efforts in the "Battlestar Galactica" resurrection could compete on the same level, and together these composers proved that the era of generic background music for fantasy and science fiction shows on television (long an annoyance in the many "Star Trek" series) was over. These shows each featured dozens of dedicated themes for specific characters, events, and locations, allowing them to mature and intermingle as the series progressed. As such, they are not much unlike a really long single film score, a major appeal alone but one also built upon by a dynamic instrumental palette in both cases. For Giacchino and "Lost," the performing ensemble never wavered. It always consisted of strings, trombones, and percussion players of the Hollywood Studio Symphony, conducted by Tim Simonec. An emphasis on harp and solos for strings and piano are constants, with the only deviations coming in the form of stereotypical tropical elements (including acoustic guitar) in early seasons. Giacchino's usual instrumental creativity is limited to the percussion section, which included the banging of airplane wreckage for some recorded samples. That said, the use of a bloated trombone section to represent the only brass in the series is creative in and of itself; the composer utilizes all the capabilities of that instrument through the show, including the trademark glissandos that slur their way to suspense more often than not. Whereas the strings, harps, and piano often handle the duty of carrying character sensitivity, the trombones are a tool of brutality for the action scenes and muscle for occasional majesty, joining with electronic accents and percussion to lend a unique sound to the concept's darker leanings.

Interestingly, however, the same consistency in instrumentation that is such a tremendous asset to "Lost" in context presents some challenges on its soundtrack albums, where the lack of diversity does cause some of the multitude of themes to lose distinctiveness in later seasons. The amount of fully developed themes and lesser motifs in "Lost" is breathtaking, numbering over 40 in the first category and over 150 in the latter. These range from flowing dramatic themes with long lines to unique little stingers and other short phrases that are faithfully applied in carefully placed synchronization points in the show. True fans of "Lost" have tracked these applications and published them in incredible detail online. This review isn't meant to verify or challenge such representations, because the purpose here is to recommend the albums rather than identify every wink and nod to a idea with which Giacchino saturates his music. These same fans have also noticed the inevitable disparity between what you hear on the seven albums and the final mix in the show, and while there were plenty of instances in which the mixing crew dialed out Giacchino's score for a portion of a scene, the composer's music is generally well treated in "Lost." As with the albums for "Battlestar Galactica" or even their peer (in terms of complexity of constructs) in the feature film world, Howard Shore's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the "Lost" albums also have two potential audiences. Those who love and embrace the "Lost" concept and lived and died with the series should have no qualms about picking up each successive album of Giacchino's music for the series. This review is aimed more at those who have either only a casual interest in the series or no knowledge of it whatsoever, because such consumers can't be expected to purchase seven albums of music and sift through all of that material for the highlights. Like any series, you can take an hour or so of fantastic album highlights from these "Lost" CDs and form a superior compilation. The most surprising thing about "Lost," however, is that Giacchino's achievement really doesn't translate well onto album in many cases. There is no doubt that his attention to detail in the actual compositions is worthy of the highest rating available in this review, but it's important to note that there really is no five-star album among those released. Thus, to find the best material from "Lost" to place on your own five-star compilation, continue reading. Also contained hereafter will be notation about important observations about each album, including some of the inevitable low points that exist in any show's music.

Before diving into Giacchino's music on the season-specific albums, it should be mentioned that Abrams wrote the short title theme for "Lost." Unfortunately, it's just as electronically ambient and forgettable as what he wrote for the title of "Alias" and it appears on the first three albums of "Lost" music. Giacchino's application of his suspense and mystery material for the "End Title" is heard on the second and third seasons' albums, and while it's at least connected to the fabric of the rest of the scores, it's not worth the trouble either. Several general observations about Giacchino's handling of the whole concept can be made from the Season One album, despite the fact that it starts extremely slowly, with much texture and electronic thumping early. The first note to make is the fact that Giacchino often betrays his inspirations in this music, often making references to the styles of John Williams, John Barry, and Bernard Herrmann throughout the run of the series (though lessening to an extent in the later seasons). Another point of interest comes in the composer's usual construction of themes using repeating phrases of an identical number of notes, whether it's two notes for the "Life and Death" theme, three for the main theme, four for the "Man in Black" theme, or five for the freighter theme, among others. He also has a habit of starting and stopping his softer dramatic development, unafraid of utilizing near silence or actual pauses during such sequences. As such, this music appropriately looks backward to Alan Silvestri's Cast Away and foreshadows Giacchino's own Up. The composer also commonly uses rising bass string figures as counterpoint to his themes, a technique that would grace his Star Trek score, from which the Vulcan material would be hinted at in several places in the "Lost" score's character themes. For the suspense and action of "Lost," Giacchino utilizes single or double synthetic and percussive pulses, aided by a common trombone glissando that often symbolizes the mind-numbing twists of reality in the plot. Aside from these general techniques, Giacchino not surprisingly introduces most of the series' major recurring themes in Season One, and almost all of these receive some air time on the corresponding CD release. The primary theme of the show consists of a hopeful three note phrase repeated several times on different keys, presented clearly in "Credit Where Credit is Due." Equally important to the series is the "Life and Death" theme, which is almost always conveyed by piano or cello solos and is one of the major sources of comparison to the later Vulcan music. Its usage in Season One is best heard in the respites from the action in "Win One for the Reaper," "Life and Death," and "Oceanic 815."

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.74 Stars
***** 229 5 Stars
**** 159 4 Stars
*** 105 3 Stars
** 61 2 Stars
* 52 1 Stars
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Thank you, CC!
Rick - March 21, 2012, at 10:46 a.m.
1 comment  (1195 views)
Well done review
MethodicJon - November 18, 2010, at 10:57 a.m.
1 comment  (1380 views)
The Submarine Theme   Expand >>
Super WWII Guy - November 13, 2010, at 12:34 p.m.
3 comments  (2138 views)
Newest: November 14, 2010, at 3:03 p.m. by
Super WWII Guy
An impressive review   Expand >>
JBlough - November 12, 2010, at 7:52 p.m.
3 comments  (1954 views)
Newest: November 14, 2010, at 9:57 a.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Season One Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 64:50
• 1. Main Title* (0:16)
• 2. The Eyeland (1:58)
• 3. World's Worst Beach Party (2:44)
• 4. Credit Where Credit Is Due (2:23)
• 5. Run Like, Um... Hell? (2:21)
• 6. Hollywood and Vines (1:52)
• 7. Just Die Already (1:51)
• 8. Me and My Big Mouth (1:06)
• 9. Crocodile Locke (1:49)
• 10. Win One for the Reaper (2:38)
• 11. Departing Sun (2:42)
• 12. Charlie Hangs Around (3:17)
• 13. Navel Gazing (3:24)
• 14. Proper Motivation (2:00)
• 15. Run Away! Run Away! (0:30)
• 16. We're Friends (1:32)
• 17. Getting Ethan (1:35)
• 18. Thinking Clairely (1:04)
• 19. Locke'd Out Again (3:30)
• 20. Life and Death (3:39)
• 21. Booneral (1:38)
• 22. Shannonigans (2:25)
• 23. Kate's Motel (2:07)
• 24. I've Got a Plane to Catch (2:37)
• 25. Monsters Are Such Innnteresting People (1:29)
• 26. Parting Words (5:30)
• 27. Oceanic 815 (6:11)
* composed by J.J. Abrams
Season Two Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 64:47
Season Three Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 154:09
Season Four Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 64:47
Season Five Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 78:47
Season Six Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 149:19
The Last Episodes Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 142:55

Notes Icon
The inserts of all seven albums include a list of performers, a list of episodes with corresponding track numbers, and extensive pictures from the show. The Season One and Season Six albums include a note from only the producers of the show. The Season Two and Season Five albums include only notes from the composer, the latter short in length. The Season Three and Last Episode albums include notes from both the producers and composer. The Season Four album includes only a note from Varèse Sarabande's Robert Townson.
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 Lost are Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, Varèse Sarabande (Season One), Varèse Sarabande (Season Two), Varèse Sarabande (Season Three), Varèse Sarabande (Season Four), Varèse Sarabande (Season Five), Varèse Sarabande (Season Six), Varèse Sarabande (Last Episodes) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/27/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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