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 Posted:   Sep 12, 2021 - 9:44 PM   
 By:   jkruppa   (Member)

I was thinking about this last night and wondering when the last all orchestral (or just fully instrumental) score had big sales. I'm not talking about soundtracks made of pop songs, obviously. To me, the peak of this was sometime in the 80s, within ten years of John Williams making a big splash with Star Wars. Or am I wrong? Are some orchestral soundtracks to hit films still selling well even now?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2021 - 10:12 PM   
 By:   csista   (Member)

Titanic was massive. Gladiator was a huge hit for a film score, too. And I'm sure the Star Wars prequels soundtracks also sold in big numbers.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2021 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   Tango Urilla   (Member)

Titanic used synths. Not sure whether there are electronics in Gladiator.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 12, 2021 - 11:19 PM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

So no LION KING.....mmmmh..I guess its can be PIRATES OF THE CARABEAN maybe..or GLADIATOR...or HARRY POTTER

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 1:07 AM   
 By:   Adam.   (Member)

Dances With Wolves was a rare orchestral score that caught on with the general public and was a big seller.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 1:54 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

How would we know anymore, with the decline of CD pressings and sales, coupled with more LP issues and downloads?
Did THE Marvel/AVENGERS scores sell big, in conjunction with the huge numbers for their respective films?
Or the Disney/Pixar scores? (obviously many of them contain popular songs).
It seems to be another thing that's fallen to the ages.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 3:34 AM   
 By:   Hitch22   (Member)

Wasn’t the score of Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) also a smasher?

EDIT: oops, you meant all orchestral score. Amelie doesn’t fall in that category.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 4:38 AM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

Phantom Menace.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 5:53 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

The Lord of the Rings

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I'd say Star Wars.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

Almost certainly TITANIC. It's an overwhelmingly orchestral score with synth keyboards.

LION KING and THE LITTLE MERMAID might also qualify.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 8:22 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

The Lord of the Rings

Pretty sure this is the correct answer. Those Howard Shore scores were huge and popular enough to sustain not only a "Lord of the Rings Symphony", but also almost two decades worth of complete live-to-picture performances.

Since then, I'd say TRON: Legacy was hugely popular but it obviously wasn't "all orchestral".

I guess it's hard to believe The Force Awakens didn't do really well, but there's less explicit evidence of that.

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 8:45 AM   
 By:   Nicholas_DW   (Member)

Titanic used synths. Not sure whether there are electronics in Gladiator.

I'd think that a lack of songs would be more important than orchestration, but hating synths is a pastime that doesn't seem to be going away.

I remember when our Media Play (R.I.P.) had an entire side of an aisle in the music area devoted to Titanic CDs. I think that explains why so many are readily available at our favorite used music outlets to this day. I'm also quite sure that damn song accounted for a lot of its sales. I truly love the score, but that damn song is like nails on a chalkboard that's being slammed on top of the already gorgeous theme and it seems to be what so many people latched onto. My cousin bought the CD for the song. One time, I put on a score track and the love theme came up. She instantly lit up. "Celine Dion!" No. James Horner. She sang the thing.

Phantom Menace.

tHeRe ArE sYnThS iN tHaT sCoRe!

There, guys. I saved you the trouble.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 8:56 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

The Lord of the Rings

Pretty sure this is the correct answer.


Sorry, don't mean to pick on you but it's not even close. TITANIC sold over 30 million units. All three Lord Of The Rings scores combined sold above 4 million units. That's according to Billboard data that's outdated but the trend is clear.

STAR WARS sold over I million copies in 1977 and of course it's been reissued many times but I'm certain TITANIC is the all-time orchestral soundtrack champ.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   King Solium   (Member)

The Lord of the Rings

Pretty sure this is the correct answer.


Sorry, don't mean to pick on you but it's not even close. TITANIC sold over 30 million units. All three Lord Of The Rings scores combined sold above 4 million units. That's according to Billboard data that's outdated but the trend is clear.

STAR WARS sold over I million copies in 1977 and of course it's been reissued many times but I'm certain TITANIC is the all-time orchestral soundtrack champ.


The question was last best selling not best selling ever. Titanic sold 30 million unites for one cue which was a song.

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Sorry, don't mean to pick on you but it's not even close. TITANIC sold over 30 million units.

The person who started this thread stipulated "all orchestral score", not "soundtrack album". I'm sure you'll agree that Titanic has many synthetic elements and is not "all orchestral"?

All three Lord Of The Rings scores combined sold above 4 million units. That's according to Billboard data that's outdated but the trend is clear.

I'm guessing that's for the original single disc albums?

STAR WARS sold over I million copies in 1977 and of course it's been reissued many times but I'm certain TITANIC is the all-time orchestral soundtrack champ.

I'm sure you're right about but again you misread the original prompt. It was "last bestselling all orchestral score", not "all-time bestselling orchestral soundtrack champ".

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

A previous commenter noted that sales of physical media have dwindled significantly, making it difficult to quantify "sales." Are sales of digital downloads made public? How many people just listen to music as part of a subscription service like Apple music? Thus, is the question posed here even knowable?

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

What!?! Tens of millions of squeeing DiCaprio fans didn't shell out for the album just to relive Jamie's danger motif?

 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   EdG   (Member)

Sorry, don't mean to pick on you but it's not even close. TITANIC sold over 30 million units.

The person who started this thread stipulated "all orchestral score", not "soundtrack album". I'm sure you'll agree that Titanic has many synthetic elements and is not "all orchestral"?

All three Lord Of The Rings scores combined sold above 4 million units. That's according to Billboard data that's outdated but the trend is clear.

I'm guessing that's for the original single disc albums?

STAR WARS sold over I million copies in 1977 and of course it's been reissued many times but I'm certain TITANIC is the all-time orchestral soundtrack champ.

I'm sure you're right about but again you misread the original prompt. It was "last bestselling all orchestral score", not "all-time bestselling orchestral soundtrack champ".

Yavar


I thought "bestselling" meant the score that sold the best, but in any case the recent Star Wars: THE FORCE AWAKENS sold well, and was #3 on the soundtrack charts for the year (including streams) and #143 of all albums for the year. I can't recall any orchestral score doing that well since. I'm sure there are electronic effects in there somewhere so I don't know if that will arbitrarily exclude it.

GLADIATOR had tons and tons of electronic enhancement.

Re: the electronics thing... virtually every orchestral score has electronic sweetening or effects in in including John Williams, and furthermore there's no way to search data for such an arbitrary distinction. The best you can do is look at soundtrack releases that were predominantly score and not songs and look at how they did. Very few ever chart thus the original question may very well not be unanswerable.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 13, 2021 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

The person who started this thread stipulated "all orchestral score", not "soundtrack album". I'm sure you'll agree that Titanic has many synthetic elements and is not "all orchestral"?

TITANIC has some synth elements, but it's first and foremost a fullbodied orchestral score. So I definitely think it qualifies (regardless if teens primarily bought it for the Dion song back in the 90s). But I'm sure there have been plenty of great orchestral sellers in the 25 years since then. Some candidates have already been mentioned (GLADIATOR, POTC, LOTR, Marvel stuff....). Would be interesting to see some stats, but I don't think any exists?

 
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