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  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings)
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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings) Soundtrack, Box set, Collector's Edition

122 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, Box set, November 20, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The final film in the Lord Of The Rings blockbuster trilogy features the climax of the epic journey that brought Tolkien's world before our very eyes. The Complete Recordings series featuring the soundtrack albums have been hits and award winners. Now with The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King featuring Into The West by Annie Lennox, this album from the series' composer Howard Shore is sure to score with movie fans. For fans of The Lord Of The Rings films, and those who purchased last year's The Fellowship Of The Ring The Complete Recordings and The Two Towers The Complete Recordings, this incredible package completes a now classic set of soundtracks.

This five-disc set caps off the "complete recordings" series, which offers extensive versions of Howard Shore's score for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The main problem lays in its being the last installment: Most of the main characters, along with their themes, have been introduced in the previous two sets, creating a certain sense of familiarity. But there is still plenty to please fans here, and then some. Though it includes the climactic trek to Mount Doom, the overall mood is less dark than in The Two Towers. The London Philharmonic Orchestra handles the heavy lifting, with help from adult and children's choirs, and well-selected guest stars. Soprano Renée Fleming, for instance, lends a particularly eerie, otherworldly touch to disc 1's "The Grace of Undómiel," and disc 4's "Mount Doom" and "The Eagles." Meanwhile, flutist James Galway provides a quasi-spiritual counterbalance, a musical ray of hope on tracks such as disc 3's "The Mouth of Sauron." And of course, Annie Lennox's Academy Award–winning "Into the West" is here, incorporated in disc 4's "Days of the Ring." Finally, the fifth disc is a DVD-Audio that includes the score in super-duper surround sound. It may seem like overkill, but too much is never enough for LOTR fans--and besides, people buying this set are exactly the kind of people who own the type of equipment required to make disc 5 explode. Finally, the packaging includes new artwork and liner notes written by Doug Adams, an expert on the music from LOTR. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Disc: 1
1. Roots and Beginnings
2. Journey to the Cross-roads
3. The Road to Isengard
4. The Foot of Orthanc
5. Return to Edoras
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Osgiliath Invaded Featuring Ben del Maestro
2. The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
3. Allegiance to Denethor
4. The Sacrifice of Faramir Featuring Billy Boyd performing “The Edge of Night”
5. The Parting of Sam and Frodo
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Grond – The Hammer of the Underworld
2. Shelob the Great
3. The Tomb of the Stewards
4. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
5. The Pyre of Denethor
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Mount Doom Featuring Renée Fleming
2. The Crack of Doom
3. The Eagles Featuring Renée Fleming
4. The Fellowship Reunited Featuring Sir James Galway, Viggo Mortensen, and Renée Fleming
5. The Journey to the Grey Havens Featuring Sir James Galway
See all 8 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 20, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: November 20, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Soundtrack, Box set, Collector's Edition
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000V6BE6M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 186 people found the following review helpful By G. Kroener on November 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Four years it has been now; four years since The Return Of The King graced our theatres, destined to become the second most successful film of all time, garning eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Jackson. And, not least of all, two for Howard Shore and his never resting mind. Four years full of studying Tolkien, labouring over dozens of different cuts and scrutinising every thematic approach in each scene, making absolutely sure it relates correctly and pushes all the right buttons, Howard Shore's labour of love comes to a glorious, and well- deserved end.
The End? Not really. For three years now, Howard Shore himself supervised the production of these Complete Recordings, and it speaks for his character that he didn't give this project out of his hands.
So, here we are, holding The Return Of The King in our hands, and the question is today as relevant as it was four years ago - maybe even more, since we can now judge the full vision of Howard Shore: does it hold up? Did Shore do justice to his own brilliance, did he actually manage to bring the full spectrum of themes to a logical, conclusive, satisfying end?

If the last 20 years of film making have taught us anything, then it's certainly a strong reluctancy to set our hopes for sequels or prequels too high. How many times did we have the highest hopes for a single project, and it didn't only fail, but also had that uniquely ability to not only tarnish the film itself, but all previous entries as well?
That is the most important lesson, and it also reveals a very important aspect of creativity: dazzling the mind with a lot of flash is easy; illuminating the mind with structure demands far more from any artist.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert Thorbury on November 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been greatly looking forward to a complete "Return of the King" soundtrack ever since the movie came out, and I realized how wonderful Howard Shore's music was. What sheer delight, being able to sit in my living room for two hours last night, and again this afternoon, with two cats vying for space in my lap, the sound of knitting needles softly clacking nearby, during lulls in the music, while listing to the heavenly strains of melody wafting from the speakers. The only thing missing was the fireplace and a couple of burning logs.

I would argue for this being the greatest score ever written for a film sequel, except that technically it isn't. Peter Jackson set out to produce a single, gigantic epic, which he then broke into three parts for convenience. In much the same way, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the original novel half a century ago but split it into the familiar trio. Thus, when Howard Shore was asked to create the music, he had the luxury of thinking in terms of the whole trilogy, and began to lay the groundwork in "The Fellowship of the Ring" right from the beginning. This gave him a tremendous advantage over, say, John Williams, who was at the mercy of George Lucas coming up with a new Star Wars script every few years. He had to make up the music as he went along.

According to the "making of the music" video in the extended DVD version of "Fellowship", Shore knew from the outset that he wanted to create an opera. If you read the excellent notes which come with the music boxed sets for all three movies, you'll know that he heavily employed a 19th century technique called "leitmotif", wherein every character of note, and every place, gets its own theme, and all of these melodies are skillfully woven together.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Howard Shore's Academy Award winning score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of King was released in 2003. That was a typical standard release, only containing a fraction of the film's actual music. Finally, the film's score takes its rightful place in cinematic music history with this 4-disc masterpiece recently released from Reprise Records.

Shore's brilliant blending of themes occurs in this final chapter of the film trilogy, more so than either of the two previous releases. The Fellowship theme, after forming and then breaking, must draw itself to a new level of focus as they reach Mount Doom. The Elves' theme bestows its final gifts to Middle-Earth, receding into the West. Isengard's theme must meet its fateful demise, but not before incorporating those themes into Sauron's theme near the end of the story.

The themes of men, Rohan and Gondor, each given isolated themes in the previous releases, now join forces assuming lead roles in the preparation for war with Sauron's forces. The theme for the Ring itself is also brought to its climax as its fate is decided on Mount Doom. The three main Ring themes now interact with each other, creating a musical fusion that beautifully haunting.

As Middle-Earth survives the War of the Ring and enters its Fourth Age, Shore grants the surviving culture's themes peace and prosperity and maintains the aesthetics of each society. Men are granted respite; the Elves, peace; Hobbits, wisdom; and Ring to its fate, destruction.

Released in a beautiful boxed set, Shore's score is recorded on four discs. Disc five is a DVD audio disc that contains the entire score in Dolby Digital Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo Sound, Advanced Resolution Surround Sound (24-bit), and Advanced Resolution Stereo Sound (24-bit).
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How to Play a DVD A in the superior formats?
Ok in order to play the high resolution DVD-A layer you need a DVD-Audio capable DVD player, i.e. it must carry the DVD-Audio (not video) logo. Most DVD players are DVD-V only and can not access the high resolution audio. Alternative you could rip the high resolution files to be played back on... Read More
Sep 28, 2008 by Beau F. Mcmurray |  See all 5 posts
Once it is gone is it gone?
on Howard Shore's website:

Update from REPRISE Records confirmed that sales have been so great for The Return of the King - The Complete Recordings that many retailers are currently backordered. The Reprise sales department is working diligently to ship more sets out to the retailers as quickly... Read More
Dec 7, 2007 by M. M. Miller |  See all 19 posts
Anticipated Track?
The Battle...for sure.
My wife hates that scene in the movie because I made her watch it with me 3 times in a row...I have a good sound system and would cause the widows to shake with the thundering of the horses. So to finally be able to listen to it while I drive...oh-man I just can't wait!
Nov 15, 2007 by Chad Garlinghouse |  See all 13 posts
Huge caution with soundtrack
It was primarily due to changes in the Academy Award criteria. John Williams' second Harry Potter soundtrack - mostly refurbished from the first soundtrack - was submitted and nominated for the Original Score award. The Academy changed the rules to require something like 90% new material in a... Read More
Nov 26, 2007 by Mark |  See all 4 posts
Track List
I dont care what the tracks are called, I just want the music!
Oct 13, 2007 by HardyBoy64 |  See all 8 posts
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