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The Day the Earth Stood Still Soundtrack

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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The Day The Earth Stood Still
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Audio CD, Soundtrack, March 4, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

This Robert Wise classic set a new standard for sci-fi films, and its outlandish score by Bernard Herrmann did likewise for film music. It features not one but two Theremins, three organs, two pianos, two harps, three timpani, four tubas, strings, guitar....this is madness, brilliant madness, re-recorded at Abbey Road especially for this release!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: September 28, 1951
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • ASIN: B00008J2KU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,749 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The year is 1951 and director Robert Wise is about to throw panic into Washington D.C. and the film world with "The Day the Earth Stood Still", when an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands near the White House. Very dramatic, intelligently directed and a well-craft screenplay with an outstanding cast. Our players are Klaatu (Michael Rennie) plays the alien invader and the Earth People who may be worth saving are Helen Benson (Patricia Neal), Dr. Barnhardt (Sam Jaffe), Bobby Benson (Billy Gray) and Tom Stevens (Hugh Marlowe). With first-rate cast we have a first-class composer of Bernard Herrmann, who creates the well established trademark of sci-fi with the theremin-dominated musical score. The theremin on this album is played by Celia Sheen, haunting with eerie imagery seeping through the orchestration. Wonderful arrangements by the composer himself, with excellent conducting by Joel McNeely. Each section of the orchestra ~ the pianos, hammonds, harps, brass and electronic instruments amplify within each cue. As Celia is carefully in complete control with the entire ensemble. The result is colors come shining through with a perfect performance and a credit to the classic composition by Bernard Herrmann.
Total Time: 38:43 on 33 Tracks ~ Varese Records 302-066-314-2 ~ (3/04/2003)
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Format: Audio CD
Bernard Herrmann, the famous coposer of so many classics of the cinema, has never written a boring film score, and in this science fiction classic,he sets the standard high again for great film music. This film is one of the classic science fiction movies of all time and this film score matches its subject with great force, music of the heavens and space and great music for Gort the robot. Highly recommended. This music fills you with awe and great harmonies. Herrmann was one of our greatest film composers and anything he wrote is worth listening to again and again.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
but I like it as well if not better. This is Bernard Hermann's original score performed by orchestra (including Theremin) at Abbey Road Studios in 2002. The attention to detail and consideration of original arrangement is exemplary. As a long time fan of this film classic (and if you haven't seen it, find it ! After 58 years, it still speaks volumes of the human condition and futile politics) I've heard the original soundtrack within the film many times. This is different, of course, but excellent within its own right. If you wish to study the Theremin exquisitly used in an orchestral environment, this is the score and one the best recordings I've heard. Hermann's composition is simply classic of the genre.
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Format: Audio CD
This is not the original, but a fairly faithfull re-recording of the score. Purists may be put off by this and wish to seek out the original, but I think most will find this a beautifully recorded album. There are only minor changes to be found here, most have to do with the difference in recording techniques. The sound is fuller and richer that the one used for the film. I have to admit I purchased this thinking it was the original, but any bad feelings I had about that fact quickly went away.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is a great soundtrack from one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. When I was a child and heard this on TV, I hid behind the couch. More than 50 years later, it still has a dramatic other-worldly character.
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Format: Audio CD
The Day the Earth Stood Still is perhaps the greatest science fiction film of the 1950's; a decade shrouded not-so-much with pink poodle skirts, jukeboxes and hula-hoops as its growing fear of a confrontation with the Soviet Union and the atomic holocaust surely to follow. If the purpose of film as an art is to dissect the culture in which we live, then screenwriter Edmund H. North and director Robert Wise are the two guys in the sugar-filled ice cream truck making their rounds across suburban neighborhoods of America, shouting their terrifying message of self-destruction, the need for a stronger United Nations, and eventual demolition of nuclear arms to children running up and down those streets with silly putty in their hands and Davy Crockett hats on their heads.

Before listening to The Day the Earth Stood Still, I conducted a little research into its scoring sessions in order to further wet my appetite. Following Bernard Herrmann's writing efforts with 1941's Citizen Kane, and more recently his 1949 atmospheric score to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (both of which I have yet to hear but expect to later unearth), Herrmann, like most masters of any particular trade, still had something to prove; he wasn't your typical Hollywood musician.

Recorded in August of 1951, Earth Stands Still showcased unusual overdubbing and tape-reversal techniques, a skill that 1960's experimental rockers like Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson (with Good Vibrations) and the Beatles would further develop. Unusual instrument combinations were used as well; violins, cellos, three electric basses, two Theremin electronic instruments, organs, electric organs, vibraphones, glockenspiels, marimba, tam-tam, timpani, celesta, and others.
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Format: MP3 Music
In spite of all the confusion caused by other reviewers here, yes, this IS the original soundtrack recording. It is not in stereo. It sounds the way many soundtrack recordings sounded in the early 1950s (1951, to be specific). It's identical to the 20th Century Fox recording released in 1993 and found here: The Day The Earth Stood Still: 20th Century Fox Film Scores - The Classic Series EXCEPT for two extra tracks that are very exciting to Herrmannophiles such as me--Alternate Theremin Mixes and Studio Rehearsals and Outtakes.
Well worth the money! The only soundtrack you will ever hear with an orchestra made up of two theremins, an electric violin, electric bass, four pianos, four harps, and 30-odd brass instruments!
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