Recording Year: Decca, 2001.
This second soundtrack compilation for Ridley Scott's sword and toga epic, Gladiator, hit stores nine months after the movie's initial release. It was timed to capitalize on the film's front-runner status in the 2000 Oscar horse race, but it would be shortsighted to dismiss the disc as a wholly mercenary attempt to milk the Gladiator cash cow. Perhaps such claims would be warranted if Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture were what its title implies: a collection of excerpts from the film's original soundtrack that were left off of the first album. The initial album, Gladiator: Music From the Motion Picture, remains more than adequate as a summary of a highly eclectic and effective score which is not only Hans Zimmer's finest composition (thanks in large part to contributions by former Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard) but also one of the most original facets of an otherwise overblown and overrated blockbuster action flick. Thankfully, the second Gladiator CD is not merely an accumulation of leftover scraps of music. Rather, it is a fascinating audio diary, an inside look at the process of composing a film score. Zimmer's liner notes provide detailed accounts of the stories behind each discarded outtake and incomplete draft. One track is a fabulous vodka-inspired late-night jam between Zimmer's synthesizers and strings, Djivan Gasparyan's duduk, and Heitor Periera's Spanish guitar. Another is a faster, African-influenced version of Gerrard's stirring end credit theme, "Now We Are Free," that was abandoned for being too cheerful. It is clear from listening to the CD that these recordings were not rejected because the music was of an inferior quality to the final versions. In fact, some of these pieces are more inventive and listenable than anything on the soundtrack. They were cut simply because they did not meet the requirements of the narrative. Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture demonstrates strikingly not only how creative but also how exacting, meticulous, practical, and utilitarian a film composer must be.
Fields Of Haze.