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 Posted:   May 24, 2014 - 6:41 AM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

I doubt I have many things in common with Hans Zimmer, but one thing we do share is our love of Randy Newman's score for Avalon, which Zimmer has in the past named as his favourite film score.

I rarely see anyone else mention it which is a surprise - the gorgeous nostalgic Americana is so beautiful.

Anyway, I just wrote a little retrospective review:

http://www.movie-wave.net/avalon/

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2014 - 12:41 PM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

It's probably Newman's best film score (and I say this loving and greatly admiring a number of them). I haven't seen the film in many years, so I don't know if much material is missing from the album - but what's there is so brilliant, I'd welcome an expansion or a "plain-old" reissue, so those who missed out on this finely crafted work have a chance to pick it up. The "End Credits" really run the emotional gamut, and the album opens beautifully with the piano solo leading into the orchestra of "1914." (And "Television, Television, Television" and "Circus" [which also feels a bit Rota-ish in terms of the dissonances] are brilliant summation of Newman's "droll Americana" style.) Just wonderful, heartfelt, and above all, honest writing.

I remember Zimmer mentioning elsewhere that he was also an enormous admirer of Newman's tossed-out "Air Force One" score.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2014 - 6:14 PM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

I love this score too... it came from an all-too-brief period in Newman's career where he consistently scored interesting movies for adults.

He decided to become a full-time film composer in the late 80s, and really wrote some gems... PARENTHOOD, AWAKENINGS, and this one. I really like his two 1994 scores - THE PAPER and MAVERICK - as well, but they were kind of different animals, both written for films that needed action, motion, and punctuation instead of the mature dramatic support that the previous three scores he wrote needed. Of course, his film scoring career went in another direction entirely the next year, in 1995, which kind of became his signature genre (as a film composer, at least), only returning to straight drama twice more, both times on Gary Ross films.

Whenever I revisit the 1989-1991 scores, however - and RAGTIME and of course THE NATURAL - I'm always struck by how damn good he was at writing music like that. It's a shame he doesn't get to do it much anymore, but then I suppose there aren't many films like that being made anymore either.

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2014 - 7:04 PM   
 By:   Dr. Nigel Channing   (Member)

Very beautiful score -- one of my favorites by the composer as well. You have all inspired me to dig out the cd!

 
 Posted:   May 25, 2014 - 7:17 PM   
 By:   Josh Mitchell   (Member)

James et al., you've just inspired me to buy a copy on ebay. I'm unfamiliar with the film and score but always up for exploring "new" things.

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2014 - 2:00 AM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

Whenever I revisit the 1989-1991 scores, however - and RAGTIME and of course THE NATURAL - I'm always struck by how damn good he was at writing music like that. It's a shame he doesn't get to do it much anymore, but then I suppose there aren't many films like that being made anymore either.

He's been terrific at the Pixar stuff but yes, I really wish he had been able to do more like this. I wonder whether that was his choice, or he just didn't get asked (or the movies didn't get made).

 
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