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There Will Be Blood

41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 18, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Guitarist Jonny Greenwood has composed a hauntingly dramatic instrumental score for Oscar nominated writer-director
Paul Thomas Anderson s ambitious new film, There Will Be Blood. An adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, the movie features
Daniel Day-Lewis in what The Hollywood Reporter has described as a powerhouse performance... it s a certain awards contender.
Greenwood s remarkable compositions, written primarily for strings, have already garnered considerable praise in advance reviews.
The score resembles his rock compositions only in the level of daring and inventiveness to be found throughout these tracks and in the unsettling atmosphere he is able to conjure at key moments. Greenwood s score is more indicative of his current collaborations with the BBC Orchestra as Composer In Residence activities closely followed by Pitchfork Media and The Daily Swarm.
In fact, the score incorporates material from two orchestral pieces he created in that position, smear and Popcorn Superhet Receiver,
which will have its U.S. concert premiere this January when Greenwood appears at the Wordless Music Series in New York City.
There Will Be Blood takes Anderson in a radically different direction than his celebrated earlier films, Boogie Nights and Magnolia dazzling, attention-grabbing movies marked by multiple plot lines, ensemble casts and surreal visual elements. His last project,Punch Drunk Love, was a sophisticated comedy-drama with a smart pop score by composer-producer Jon Brion, released on
Nonesuch in 2002. Anderson s new work is a stark period piece filmed on arid Texas plains; critics have likened it to the brilliantly austere work of such revered directors as Stanley Kubrick and Terence Malick (Days Of Heaven). The Hollywood Reporter called Greenwood s score captivating...greatly contributing to the sense that tectonic forces lie beneath the drama.
The soundtrack to There Will Be Blood will appeal to serious movie-music fans, who will appreciate this rare find: an intelligent, beautiful
and deeply cinematic orchestrated score performed by the BBC Orchestra and London Sinfonietta that can hold its own next to the classic work of such composers as Bernard Herrman, Elmer Bernstein and Ennio Morricone.

This album marks Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's first high-profile soundtrack--and one that's also easily among the most striking offerings of 2007. Music is particularly important for director Paul Thomas Anderson (remember Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love?) and here, his choice of Greenwood is a gamble that more than paid off. The score is extremely string-heavy, and tension (of which there's plenty in the Upton Sinclair-based movie) derives from them instead of the usual percussive Hollywood tropes (indeed, percussions are almost entirely absent from the CD). "Henry Plainview" and "Proven Lands" are part of a larger piece, Popcorn Superhet Receiver, that Greenwood wrote as Composer-in-Residence at the BBC; both cues display the musician's imaginative use of strings, suggestively scary on the first, pounding and creepy on the second. But Greenwood also knows when to bring in a new instrumental voice, as with the Satie-like piano on "Prospectors Arrive." Equally at ease writing for a string quartet and for a larger orchestra, Greenwood has come up with compositions closer to the new-music world that to the vast majority of scores coming out of Tinseltown--something we should be really grateful for. This is a new, exciting direction for film music. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

1. Open Spaces
2. Future markets
3. Prospectors Arrive
4. Eat Him By His Own Light
5. Henry Plainview
6. There Will Be Blood
7. Oil
8. Proven Lands
9. HW/Hope Of New Fields
10. Smear

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 18, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • ASIN: B000XA50MK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There Will Be Blood is a great movie, a unique vision probably greater than the Upton Sinclair novel which inspired it. It would not have been as great a movie without Jonny Greenwood's music. Music deepens image, gives character to the shot, establishes the feeling. Here, dialogue is sparse; much depends on image and sound, not words. Thus this is a thoroughly cinematic movie (i.e., it shows us things, it doesn't talk us there, and in the showing, gives us meaning and feeling), the music inexorably bound in the telling, in my mind the most cinematic film of 2007. The masterful choice of the final movement of Brahms' violin concerto, used twice in the film, arguably one of the last gasps of anti-Wagner, conservative, romantic triumphalism, is perfect: "there will be blood"....... but we shall win. (For the record, Brahms didn't).

I was disturbed when I learned the Greenwood score was not nominated for an Oscar. All other nominated scores, including the very pretty, ambitious one for Atonement, sound so forgettably conventional! Subsequently I learned that Jonny's does not qualify according to Academy rules because chunks of it consist of music he had previously composed and published, never-you-mind how artfully they are worked into the film. Pity, because recognition of the highest order is obviously deserved. Director and Music Editor are also deserving of highest praise.

Greenwood is that rare breed, a thoroughly classically trained musician (and violist) who "crossed-over" to become a superb rock guitarist now perhaps coming back to his classical roots. I'm rather glad he seems to finally be firmly out of his classical closet. Jonny Greenwood deserves a statuette of some sort.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Thaddeus Marcum on March 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Greenwood, who composed the music for There Will Be Blood, is known as the fella from Radiohead who usually spends most of his time on the floor mixing sounds and adding ambience to the bands' surreal disposition. His quality is definitively effective and distinct and that same quality can be found here on the original soundtrack for There Will Be Blood.

From the start to the finish, Greenwood engulfs us in the world of the gothic and takes us across a fascinating, ethereal place where nothing is certain with one exception: that doom is fast approaching for everyone within the film.

You will feel the approaching dread as you hear the dark melody of 'Prospectors Arrive' and witness a group of eager workers flood the dusty early-morning streets of a town that doesn't stand a chance against the ravenous nature of greed and exploitation.

Greenwood hits us whether we are prepared for his outbursts of melodic darkness or not, and the result perpetuates the film's theme into our lasting consciousness long after the final credits roll past our stunned eyes. Two grand omissions stand as keeping this score from perfection. They are...

"Fratres for Violin and Piano"
by Arvö Pärt - played during the scene where H.W. loses his hearing.

"Violin Concerto in D Major (Movement III)"
Written by Brahms, played during the end credits of the film.

A solid and original piece from one of the great minds of modern music.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on January 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I just saw Paul Thomas Anderson's jarring "There Will Be Blood" and immediately bought the score. The film features one of the most effective uses of music I have seen recently on the big screen. Jonny Greenwood's masterful score creates an atmosphere of suspense, horror, and confusion that matches the barren landscape and characters of the film. A string section hasn't created such terror since Bernard Hermann's score to Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." But there are no cheap thrills here or thundering orchestral hits - the sheer absence of them is unsettling. While watching Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Daniel Plainview, we are quite sure that he could murder any of the people around him without a second thought, and his rage is perfectly matched by the violent yet sparse orchestrations.

Greenwood's score brings to mind very prominent composers. Much of the music heard in the film, especially the stunning opener recreated in the track "Henry Plainview," seems a delightful nod to György Ligeti's "Atmosphères," and perhaps a nod to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," which also used that piece and similar visual motifs. Elsewhere, the pizzicato strings and arpeggios in "Future Markets" seem more akin with Béla Bartók's "Music for strings, percussion and celesta," and the orchestration of "Eat Him by His Own Light" is reminiscent of Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the end of time." Sealing the deal is the very fun track "Proven Lands," with col legno strings and more pizzicato figures. When I heard it in the film I remember thinking "man, this is great music!"

But the score as a whole is, in my opinion, most surprisingly representative of the great unexplored West.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on May 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
In addition to the terrific acting, there were two major plusses about There Will Be Blood. The first one is, I had no idea where the story was going. In an age where it seems that one movie is pretty much like another, this was a welcome surprise.

The second additional plus was the terrific modern-classical score from Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (including portions of his Popcorn Superhet Receiver). It is the first in recent memory that both calls unnecessary attention to itself (mostly due to its use of dissonance during particularly dramatic scenes) and remains true to the film.

Most of the time, when I notice that I'm hearing a score, it's because it's particularly bad. A good score, most of the time, should be like a good editor: if they're doing their job, you won't notice them. But Greenwood's music outdoes itself on both fronts, making the music from There Will Be Blood also the first score since Danny Elfman's peak in the early 1990s that I am actually considering purchasing on CD.
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Full Sountrack
The only songs I can think of that would be missing would be Greenwood's "Smear" and "Popcorn Superhet Receiver" along with the edit of "Convergence" that had "There Will Be Blood" soaring on top of the beats. Now, as far as that edit goes, I don't know of... Read More
Apr 20, 2008 by J. Boles |  See all 2 posts
Do you think this soundtrack is better then then In Rainbows?
I liked the soundtrack. But it's in a pretty different league from the new Radiohead album. Even the quiter, more thoughtful songs aren't this erie.
Mar 12, 2008 by J. GARRATT |  See all 2 posts
what is the classical piece when they set the dereck working?
Final movement of the Brahms Violin concerto. Not sure who is playing it though... sounds like an older recording.
Feb 10, 2008 by Dan R |  See all 6 posts
Missing tracks?
The song you are referring to was not originally written for There Will Be Blood. It was written by Jonny Greenwood for Bodysong (his first score and the one that caught PTA's attention) and can be found on that soundtrack -- the track is called Convergence. It's the highly percussive song where... Read More
Jan 19, 2008 by J. Y. Lee |  See all 9 posts
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