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How The West Was Won: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, January 14, 1997
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture: How The West Was Won/I'm Bound For The Promised Land/Shenandoah/Endless Prairie...
  2. Main Title
  3. This Is The West
  4. The Erie Canal
  5. Two Hearts On A Tree
  6. Shenandoah
  7. First Meeting
  8. First Kiss
  9. The Morning After
  10. The River Pirates (The River Pirates/Stalking And Killing) (Extended Version)
  11. Godspeed Eve (Godspeed Eve/The Rapids)
  12. The Burial (Bereavement/Rock Of Ages/Fulfillment)
  13. Wagon Train Forward: Wagon Train/War With Mexica/Banks Of The Sacremento/Wait For The Wagon
  14. Sit Down Sister
  15. Wanderin'
  16. The Jump Off Point
  17. Cleve Van Valen (Cleve Van Valen/Wagon Train/Morgan, Lilith, And Aggie/Cleve And The Mule)
  18. Poor Wayfarin' Stranger
  19. Raise A Ruckus Tonight
  20. Come Share My Life
  21. Cheyennes (Cheyennes/Indian Fight) (Extended Version)
  22. Careless Love
  23. Gold Claim
  24. What Was Your Name In The States?
  25. He's Gone Away
  26. A Home In The Meadow
  27. Marriage Proposal

Disc: 2

  1. Entr'Acte: How The West Was Won/A Home In The Meadow/Nine Hundred Miles/Banks Of The Sacremento...
  2. Mr. Lincoln
  3. He's Linus' Boy
  4. I'm Sad And I'm Lonely
  5. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  6. Zeb's Return
  7. The Pony Express
  8. A Railroader's Bride I'll Be
  9. Workin'
  10. The Jugglers
  11. No Goodbye
  12. Zeb And Jethro
  13. Buffalo Stampede (Buffalo Stampede/Aftermath)
  14. Climb A Higher Hill
  15. The Van Valen Auction
  16. Gant (Desperado)
  17. No Goodbye
  18. Celebration
  19. Finale
  20. Finale Ultimo
  21. Exit Music: The Promised Land/Banks Of The Sacremento/A Home In The Meadow/How The West Was Won
  22. Miss Bailey's Ghost (Playback Version)
  23. A Home In The Meadow (Playback Version)
  24. When I Was SIngle (Playback Version)
  25. Shenandoah (Alternate Version)
  26. Rock Of Ages (Playback Version)
  27. The Erie Canal (Playback Version)
  28. Wait For The Hoedown (Extended Version)
  29. First Meeting (Alternate Version)
  30. No Goodbye (Demo)
  31. A Home In The Meadow (Alternate Version)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: February 20, 1963
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Rhino
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000033TD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Includes score (including several extended versions), source music, outtakes, demo.
The meat of this 2 CD set is the score itself, which is fabulous. I got this in April and have probably listened to it 50 times since then.
The accompanying brochure, which describes the history of the movie, the music, the composers(Alfred Newman with assistance from several prominent lyrists and arrangers), is also very informative.
While the movie itself is very entertaining, it is not great (but is significant - see Cinerama). If you want to see it in Cinerama, you'll have to go to Dayton.
Hopefully they'll remaster the video for DVD and include the entire screen. The widescreen video is from the 70 mm print made from the Cinerama prints, but actually does not include the entire screen width.
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Format: Audio CD
This double-CD set is an expansion of the original vinyl, with a playing time of over two hours as against the record's 45 minutes or so, and includes every bit of music from the movie--even the brief snippets ("Erie Canal" (0:32), "Workin'" (0:28)) and the pieces that play so softly in the background that you barely register them as you watch the video ("Wanderin'," "Careless Love")--plus expanded versions of several of the record's tracks (the "Overture," the brassy "Main Title," "The River Pirates," "Cleve Van Valen," etc.). There are also several outtakes like "He's Gone Away," and a clutch of supplemental material at the end--the vocal demo for "No Goodbye," reconstructed versions of "Miss Bailey's Ghost" and "When I Was Single" (originally sung by Debbie Reynolds as Lilith Prescott), and the like.
Nowadays many of the CD's that market themselves as "soundtracks" are really just assemblages of popular vocal music played under the action. "HtWWW" may have begun that trend with its liberal use of folk and traditional motifs, such as the "Greensleeves"-like "Home in the Meadow" and the many period songs sung in the background ("Sit Down Sister," "Poor Wayfarin' Stranger," "When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home," "A Railroader's Bride I'll Be"), but it does it much better, with lots of original instrumental music by Alfred Newman, ranging from the heart-pounding "Cheyennes!" to the light, bouncy "Cleve Van Valen" to the half-tearful, half-optimistic "No Goodbye" and "Climb a Higher Hill.
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Format: Audio CD
As a longtime devotee of Alfred Newman's genius as a composer and conductor, I highly recommend to everyone Rhino's 2-CD album of the complete score to MGM's 1963 film, "How the West Was Won."

In a perfect world, it would not have taken 34 years (from 1963 release date of film to 1997 release date of 2-CD soundtrack) for this music to have been revealed in such awesome, stunning splendor. It's reasonable to reflect, however, that technology has evolved during those three decades to the point where such a recording is not only possible, but affordable.

Perhaps Voltaire's satiric maxim, "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds" (Dr. Pangloss -- "Candide"), can occasionally ring true.

For me, the revelations of the complete score are not the long-coveted magnificent cues (which remain breathtaking and heart-stopping) of the complete "Cheyennes/Indian Attack" and "Finale/Finale Ultimo," but such tracks as "Lincoln," "Zeb Returns" and the "Van Valen Auction" in which Newman develops his thematic underscore with basic simplicity, adding depth and beauty with various counterpoints to create a three-dimensional sound that never fails to engage the mind and the heart. This score is finally complete.

The phrasing in "Cheyennes" is, in a word, "phenomenal." An oft-cited anecdote by Ken Darby concerned Newman's pondering this sequence and wondering how in the world he was going to be able to come up with something fresh for an Indian attack. He then went home, sat down and wrote this series of cues that equalled, and exceeded (IMO), everything previously written in the genre.

There will, of course, be many out there who will fret and worry over which cues are actually original and which are based on folk themes.
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2 Comments 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The main theme as well as the entire score for HOW THE WEST WAS WON is (in my opinion, of course) every bit as good if not better than any of the musical scores of movies which are so often thought to be the greatest ever such as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, CHARIOTS OF FIRE, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, STAR WARS, THE GODFATHER, E.T., GONE WITH THE WIND, THE STING...etc, etc.
I'm not saying these aren't great, and I'm not saying HWWW is better than all of these. But it seems that whenever most people discuss great soundtracks, this one never comes up. Don't think that this is merely great Western music (although it is certainly that). This is a wonderful film score that boasts of a power and beauty all its own.
And at the same time, some that is not its own. For Alfred Newman, in a creative fit of musical genius, arranged one of the two main themes for this film to be the old gospel hymn "Bound For the Promised Land". This along with "Shenandoah" and several other great classic songs were thrown in to help set the mood of a pioneer's life on the American frontier.
Of special interest on this matter is the hauntingly beautiful "Greensleeves" tune: "A Home In the Meadow," which, at the end, is sung powerfully and beautifully by a choir. Almost as well done as that is the first track on SIDE 2. Here, it ends with the simultaneous combining of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Bound For the Promised Land".
Much like John Williams's STAR WARS, Mr. Newman knows always when to pick up the pace, and when to let it inch its way along, always setting the perfect mood for each scene. Also like the soundtrack for STAR WARS, you can play this music (without playing the movie), and it still makes you feel like the story is being told to you through the music.
And when you get right down to it, that's what a great soundtrack ought to do.
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