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Pearl Harbor
Album Cover Art
Composed by:

Conducted by:
Gavin Greenaway

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler

Produced by:
Bob Badami

Song Performed by:
Faith Hill
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Warner Brothers Records
(May 22nd, 2001)
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Regular U.S. release.
The song "There You'll Be" was nominated for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe. The score was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek the most elegant and consistently beautiful romance theme of Hans Zimmer's career in an extremely pleasant album experience.

Avoid it... if you demand that any music for the treatment of this historical event make at least a basic attempt to provide a competent sound for its context.
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WRITTEN 5/9/01, REVISED 1/3/09
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Pearl Harbor: (Hans Zimmer) It's disappointing to see so many dumb Americans manipulated by Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay's ridiculously inept 2001 romantic epic Pearl Harbor. It's obvious what Bruckheimer and Bay had in mind. The tandem behind The Rock and Armageddon took a look at James Cameron's Titanic and decided to emulate its exact formula: 3 hours of sappy romance against the backdrop of a significant historical event. That way, you get the young female audiences to watch it repeatedly while their boyfriends are enticed enough by the explosions to oblige them. The problem with this equation for Pearl Harbor is that nothing about its production could compete with the appeal of Titanic, and while the film did expectedly well with the intended target audiences, it was appropriately hacked to death by critics who wasted 183 minutes watching this trash. The terrible script by Braveheart writer Randall Wallace reduced the love triangle between two pilots and a nurse at the outset of the war to a series of cliches and frustrating over-simplifications that are laughable more often than not. The script's handling of the actual attack reduces it to only 35 minutes in length, dragging on mercilessly for an eternity of epilogic material after the bombs stop falling. This insipidly stupid film also attempted to apply the Titanic formula to its music. The production had famously used Hans Zimmer's "Journey to the Line" cue from The Thin Red Line very impressively in the early trailers depicting the arrival of the Japanese aircraft over Hawaii that fateful December morning, and the composer was teamed up once again with the Bruckheimer/Bay duo with expectations soaring high. Could his score compete with James Horner's Oscar-winning juggernaut from 1997? Could the use of Faith Hill for a romantic ballad in Pearl Harbor compete with Celine Dion's Oscar-winning 1997 song? In short, no. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Zimmer can't compete with Horner favorably on any given day (though, considering their equal problems with re-use, Horner is superior in most circumstances). It simply means that Pearl Harbor, as an overarching production, is no Titanic, and the artistic failures of Zimmer's work here are linked inextricably to the film's much larger problems.

With only a few weeks remaining before the red hot Zimmer (still glowing from the success of Gladiator) and his team of many Media Ventures assistants and arrangers were supposed to turn in the finished draft recording of the score for the highly anticipated Pearl Harbor, the composer was still uncomfortably laboring over the theme that would exist as the centerpiece for the score. In February, 2001, he stated "All I can tell you is right now as I'm sitting here is I've been sitting here for three days trying to write a great theme. I think all of that should be in capital letters: A GREAT THEME. That's what you do at the beginning of these projects. You sit there and you try to write The Great Theme. It's very elusive. It tortures me and it tortures everybody around me. People don't even go near this room while I'm writing The Theme. And I haven't found it yet, so of course I'm in a complete panic, just like always." While he was already on the right track to finding the theme that would eventually dominate the score, he continued to joke about the process. "I always go through this stage. I don't have any time," he said. "I on purpose haven't looked at the calendar because that would be too terrifying. It's bad enough trying to write The Theme. It's even worse to try to have reality creep into this process. Reality is definitely the enemy in this case." Interestingly, if you were not aware of the rushed circumstance of this score's creation, admittedly caused in part by Zimmer's toil with the composition of the main theme, then it's easy to criticize it as an overly-simplistic and inadequate effort. With so much time spent in agony over the creation of the title theme, and not enough time to boost the merits of the rest of the score, the listener and movie-goer will get exactly what is to be expected: a great theme and nothing else. The entire score seems stuck in the conceptualization stage, needing another month of orchestration and fleshing out into the full beauty that the film undoubtedly required. To Zimmer's credit, the heart is there, but the body is severely lacking, causing the music to sound underscored and poorly orchestrated for an undersized performing group. Perhaps this is the result of what happens when you work for the type of director that unleashes you to create the music unbothered until the editing process begins.

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Average: 2.9 Stars
***** 2,050 5 Stars
**** 1,808 4 Stars
*** 2,893 3 Stars
** 2,378 2 Stars
* 2,318 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Just an honest opinion. No offence.
Janet - February 18, 2015, at 6:41 a.m.
1 comment  (702 views)
trailer score
chris corpuz - March 26, 2014, at 3:10 p.m.
1 comment  (858 views)
Enough with the anti-Zimmer, anti-PotC rants!   Expand >>
Edmund Meinerts - November 20, 2009, at 9:31 a.m.
4 comments  (3786 views)
Newest: January 5, 2016, at 9:12 p.m. by
Free piano score for Titanic
Shirley Chua - August 21, 2008, at 11:05 p.m.
1 comment  (3374 views)
Pearl Harbor - There You'll Be Score
Jun Ho - April 16, 2008, at 12:28 p.m.
1 comment  (2910 views)
I found songs!!!!
mandy - February 22, 2008, at 8:03 p.m.
1 comment  (3559 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 46:20
• 1. There You'll Be - performed by Faith Hill (3:42)
• 2. Tennessee (3:39)
• 3. Brothers (4:04)
• 4. ...And Then I Kissed Him (5:35)
• 5. I Will Come Back (2:53)
• 6. Attack (8:57)
• 7. December 7th (5:07)
• 8. War (5:15)
• 9. Heart of a Volunteer (7:05)

Notes Icon
The insert includes extensive credits and the lyrics to the song, but offers no extra information about the film or score.
Copyright © 2001-2021, 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 Pearl Harbor are Copyright © 2001, Warner Brothers Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/9/01 and last updated 1/3/09.
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