Agent Triple P has long been an aficianado of film soundtracks and thought that the John Williams scores for the original Star Wars trilogy would never be surpassed. However, we have now conceded the title of best film scores ever to Howard Shore's monumental achievement for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Over the last three years the original soundtrack selections have been overtaken by a series of limited edition versions of the complete scores for all three films. These are, almost certainly, the most expensive cds that Agent Triple P has ever bought. We managed to buy The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers as soon as they came out over Christmas 2005 and 2006. However the complete score for The Return of the King has proved most elusive. It appeared in late 2007 and almost immediately sold out. The record company announced that they would not be pressing another edition and we watched with disbelief as the prices on eBay approached £150 for the set. We were delighted, therefore to pick up the set for a mere £80 (frankly we would have happily paid £150) from a seller in Chicago. We had no great hopes of this set actually arriving, given the vagaries of the US Postal Service and the UK Customs and Excise, but were delighted when it arrived by FedEx today.
Howard Shore's score is the greatest achievement in film music since the original Star Wars music re-defined what a film score should be and took us back to the days of Korngold, Steiner, Waxman and Herrmann.
The three complete scores total 135 tracks and 9 hours and 58 minutes of music. Shore's use of leitmotifs is the most effective since Williams original Star Wars score and, arguably the finest use of leitmotifs since Wagner's Ring cycle (appropriately).