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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A requiem "for those who didn't come back..."
One of the truly outstanding scores composed for a television series was the late Michael Kamen's music for the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," a 10-part adaptation of the late Stephen E. Ambrose's non-fiction book about E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Executive produced by Ambrose, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg,...
Published on June 13, 2004 by Alex Diaz-Granados

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
not as many songs that I like than not
Published on February 3, 2010 by Leimonade


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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A requiem "for those who didn't come back...", June 13, 2004
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This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
One of the truly outstanding scores composed for a television series was the late Michael Kamen's music for the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," a 10-part adaptation of the late Stephen E. Ambrose's non-fiction book about E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Executive produced by Ambrose, Tom Hanks, and Steven Spielberg, this monumental miniseries follows an elite light infantry unit from its training stages at Camp Toccoa, GA to the 11-month campaign in Northwest Europe, starting from the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 to the surrender of Germany and E Company's capture of Hitler's private "Eagle's Nest" in Bavaria.
When I finally saw the first episodes of "Band of Brothers" on the History Channel a few weeks ago and heard the strains of the "Main Theme" (Track 1), the credits had not finished rolling, and because the style was similar to John Williams' music for Saving Private Ryan, I said to myself, "Oh, what a beautiful Williams contribution!" Instead of being an overtly "warrior music" theme with heavy use of brass and snare drums (think of almost every pre-1970s war movie or TV-show military show, or even today's "Theme from JAG"), the Main Theme features a more melancholic approach, featuring a full orchestra (London Metropolitan Orchestra) and voices, very much in the same vein as "Hymn For the Fallen" from Saving Private Ryan. Pure Williams, I thought, and certainly not without precedent; the composer has long teamed with Spielberg, working with the director/producer in all but one of his major movies. Williams has also written quite a few TV themes, including Land of the Giants, Amazing Stories, and the NBC Nightly News theme "The Mission."
Imagine my astonishment when I saw the credit "Music by Michael Kamen."
Well, maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised, because before his recent death, Michael Kamen was one of the most sought-after composers in Hollywood, having written scores for such for such films as Creepshow, Die Hard, Die Hard 2, and Die Hard with a Vengeance. He is able to convey the emotional context of diverse films by melding all sorts of musical references and styles (note how he works Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and bits of "Singin' in the Rain" into the score of Die Hard, for instance).
The album, obviously, is not a comprehensive recording with the complete score for a 10-hour miniseries. Rather it is a nicely conceived 20-track sampler with music from each episode (conveniently, each track is labeled with the cue name and episode title.)
Key tracks include:
1. Main Theme
2. Band of Brothers Suite One
3. Band of Brothers Suite Two
4. Part One -- CURAHEE: "The Mission Begins"
10. Part Four -- REPLACEMENTS: "Bull's Theme"
12: Part Six -- BASTOGNE: "Headscarf"
16. Part Nine -- WHY WE FIGHT: "String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor" (Op. 131) by L.v. Beethoven
20. Part Ten: POINTS: "Band of Brothers Requiem"
Kamen, who dedicated his score to his father's twin brother, Captain Paul Kamen (who was killed in Germany three days before the end of the European campaign), composed the music for "Band of Brothers" as a requiem, so even though there are hints of militaristic music, it's all infused with solemnity and sadness, reflecting the proud achievements of E Company's surviving members while remembering the ones the veterans consider to be the real heroes, "those who did not come back."
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are you waiting for!?, September 28, 2002
By 
Chris (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
l have just finished listening to the entire soundtrack and felt obligated to write a review so that other people can feel the same amazement that l did when experiencing this soundtrack. That is important. You do not listen to this soundtrack - you experience it.
It is very difficult to describe this soundtrack. It evokes so many themes in so many different ways. For those of you familiar with the works of other film music composers, the best description l can give is that the composer, Michael Kamen, combines the delicate rolling sounds of James Horner (A Beautiful Mind) with the action-packed tempo that is characteristic of John Williams (Jurassic Park, Jaws, Apollo 13).
The music stands very well on its own. You could listen to this music at any time of the day. At work, in the car, while you are falling to sleep, doing the dishes - anything. l bought it in particular for background music while l am studying and always feel inspired, no matter which track l am listening to. Whether it is the all too familiar Main Theme (Track 1), the serious, determined sound of The Mission Begins (Track 4), the despairing but hopeful mood in Bull's Theme (Track 10) or the intricate folk melody and vocals contained within Plaisir D'Amour (Track 14), you will be nothing short of breathless by the end.
Through headphones or speakers, the sound is first-rate. Full bodied bass and light as a feather treble will give you goosebumps in no time. You can easily picture the movie playing out in your mind as the CD spins away. l suppose a good measure of any soundtrack is its ability to enhance and not detract from the picture - as though it maintains a subtle yet inseperable presence. Such is the case with Band of Brothers. It maintains continuity of theme for its duration without shocking you or making you want to press the skip button to the next track. It is very easy to listen to all 20 tracks sequentially and feel like you've listened to a single, evolving composition.
In any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so get out there and get yourself a copy of this timeless soundtrack. You will wonder how you ever did without it. l cannot even bare to study in silence anymore after listenting to this CD. l suppose invigorating is the best way to describe how one feels after letting this soundtrack make itself known. Do yourself a favour and get it now! You certainly won't regret it. If you're anything like me and have a soft spot for vibrant theatrical orchestrations with plenty to say, this soundtrack will very quickly become one of your most treasured possessions.
Cheers
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully moving soundtrack to a spectacular epic, December 4, 2001
By 
J "peacemover" (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
In the Band of Brothers soundtrack, Michael Kamen has composed and arranged a work of music that testifies to the heroism and great sacrifice made by those who served in the war. He brings out the pathos and courage through beautifully simple melodic themes and deep rich harmonies that are very moving.
The main theme is majestically stirring, with brass and violins stating the theme, which is complemented by an arrangement of choral voices. This soundtrack helps drive home one of the primary themes of the excellent HBO series- war is a very complex, chaotic, and harrowing experience, in which suffering and death strike suddenly and leaving lasting scars- both physical and emotional, but the courage of the human spirit, comradery and love triumph over the evils of war.
Whether you have seen the HBO series or not, you will be moved by this powerful work of music.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of Kamen's very best work, July 16, 2000
By 
D. Roberts "Hadrian12" (Battle Creek, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Michael Kamen's Opus (Audio CD)
Michael Kamen is one of the most under-recognized musicians in Hollywood today. He has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Queen, Eric Clapton, Sting, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and David Sanborne (among others). He has written numerous soundtracks and has composed many orchestral scores for Rock bands thru the years. This album is a compilation of some of his best work.
I have always found Kamen's music hauntingly nostalgic. The Julliard product's emotional energy is injected into everything he writes. This CD contains his music from movies such as "Highlander" "Mr. Holland's Opus" (hence the allusion in the title) "Die Hard" and others. Fans of Kamen will recognize that the theme from Stromness he actually "borrowed" from the saxaphone concerto which he wrote for David Sanborne. It is played nicely here on a French Horn.
This is a good CD for anyone who likes Kamen's music, or enjoys showtunes / movie soundtracks. Most people will probably recognize at least one theme off this album, although they may not have the slightest idea who wrote it. 8-)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will never listen to it the same again, February 15, 2003
By 
David Riden (Walnut, CA., USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
Once I saw the mini series, I had to have the cd. I am SO not the one to buy soundtracks. I think out of the 400 cds I own, 5 are soundtracks. I loved the movie Gladiator. Loved the music just as much. Didn't buy the soundtrack, but I am close to doing so. Band of Brothers topped it all. I even went out and bought the 6 disc dvd mini series and couldn't watch it fast enough. If you have not seen the mini series, but you do buy the soundtrack, it is still a great score and emotional. If this applies to you, WATCH THE SERIES! Find a friend, relative who taped it off HBO, or steal it from someone, but get your hands on it somehow. You will never listen to the score the same again. It will bring up visuals from the movie that will have you appreciating the score that much more.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good of kind, September 6, 2001
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
At last I have found a soundtrack score that is worth listening to without the visual aspect of the film--in this case teleseries--for which it was composed. I doubt if I will ever get to see the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" since I do not subscribe to that station, but I certainly would be motivated to do so based on the 20 tracks of music on the Sony CD (SK 89719). The music of Michael Kamen is arresting, moody, exciting, and quite beautiful in turns; and I especially liked the track in which a chorus was singing "Plaisir d'amour." The inclusion of a few minutes from a Beethoven String Quartet is a little tacky; but in general, this disc is surprisingly worth the listen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and remarkable Kamen music, October 27, 2003
By 
Bram Janssen (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
The music to the crowned miniseries resembles the miniseries itself: deliberate, thoughtful and militaristic -all told in the convincing voice of a storyteller. The highs and lows of drama and suspense, the comradeship and (ill) fortune - Kamen utilises it all successfully in a coherent score.
To me, this is Kamen's most intelligent and beautiful score to date. Mostly known for his music to McTiernan films and Metallica's "Symphony & Metal" concert, Kamen is a man of osmosis and influence. Never shying back for utilizing other people's music to better his own, he is both loathed and loved.
He should be loved for this album. In this score, little is not his. As the series is inspired by the film Saving Private Ryan, the music to the series is inspired by John William's score for named movie. Luckily, Kamen extends no further in this than `the feel'. He brings out his full symphonic talents to create the fluxating sensations of melancholy and dreariness, where the typical military march influences sound like pounding Roman galley drums rather than proud propaganda.
The other influence besides Williams, is Beethoven's "String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor (OPUS 131)". In the series it plays over the event of `discovering the camp' - yet it fits in with the other music like the piece of a puzzle. Again, it is not copying themes and instrumentations that Kamen applies, it is mood and key.
We can hope Kamen will stay on this path of enhancing and deepening his symphonic capacities. That is not to say his other musical scores are flat for using pop and rock influences, but to me at least, it is this orchestral music that truly touches a snare. I was, at the least, blissfully surprised by Michael Kamen's mindful music for "Band Of Brothers". Set aside any possible reservations at buying another Kamen album: this one is definitely worthy of praise.
This one gets four stars.
Bram Janssen,
The Netherlands
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful band of music, December 27, 2002
By 
Brandon Cutro (Tyler, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
Michael Kamen, who wrote about 10 hours of music for this series, was very dedicated to this project for a long time and his dedication to the music and the story shows in this soundtrack, which is a brillant piece of music. The music really takes off in the first 4 tracks, with the main theme, 2 lengthy suites from the film, and "The Mission Begins" which showcase all of the themes. The rest of the tracks go to traditional orchestral underscoring with the lack of these themes, except in just a few places. Had the themes been played like they were before more often, this would have gotten a solid 5 star rating. "Swamp" contains a great solo for woodwinds. "Spiers' Speech" contains light strings, along with a piano solo. The theme returns again in "Winters On Subway", this time in a piano solo. A boys choir is featured in "Plaisir D'Amour", which gives a unique and light touch to it. The last 3 tracks do shine once again, with the main theme making a final appearance, and the use of Michael Kamen's daughter, Zoe, on vocals in the final track. Overall though, a great soundtrack that although not as good in the middle, really shines at the beginning and at the end (especially at the beginning). One of the better war movie scores that showcases Kamen's great writing talent and a job well done by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one for your Michael Kamen collection, January 27, 2004
By 
jlo1 "jlo1" (Poughkeepsie, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
Anyone who was moved by the HBO series, and enjoys movie scores will also want to have this CD. I was surprised that it was not quite as flourishing, for lack of a better word, as other Kamen scores such as From The Earth To The Moon or Iron Giant. But the subject matter obviously did need a more somber, subdued tone and sensitivity, and it is full of beautiful melodies and arrangements. Thankfully the score also does not possess the obvious or almost patronizing military ditties found in most war movies. The music is very elegant, touching and inspiring. I forsee some of these tracks being played at memorials, at airshows, and by the West Point band in their outdoor concerts, in the future -- perhaps a few becomming traditionals with time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music gets me every time., April 17, 2006
This review is from: Band of Brothers (Audio CD)
I can not help but be moved every time this music plays during the series. I bought this soundtrack about a year ago and it hasn't lost any of its emotion yet. Kamen created a beautiful score for Band of Brothers and for the most part, it can all be heard on this on cd. Sure there are a few minor pieces missing but when you have everything on this disc, who could complain? If you are a fan of the Band of Brothers series, I would recommend you buy this cd. It is deffinently one of the best soundtracks I have ever bought. What can I say, no matter how many times I listen to Band of Brothers, the music gets me every time. Thank you for reading.
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Band of Brothers
Band of Brothers by Michael Kamen (Audio CD - 2001)
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