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Tron: Legacy (Amazon Exclusive)
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Original soundtrack to the highly anticipated 2010 motion picture, composed by the multi platinum Electronic duo Daft Punk. It's no accident that the group's two visionary musicians, Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, are Tron fans too. Having grown up with an admiration for the ground-breaking Tron film in the 80s, Daft Punk took on the scoring of the next chapter of the story with extraordinary thought and precision. The critically acclaimed French duo composed and produced the album. The Duo assembled a symphony of one hundred world class musicians in London and recorded the orchestra at AIR Lyndhurst Studios, Britain's premier scoring facility.
About the Artist
From Daft Punk's first single release in 1993, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were hailed as a new breed of electronic music innovators. Following their seminal debut in 1997 (Homework), the band went on to release two more studio albums (Discovery-2001, Human After All-2005) and two live albums (Alive 1997, Alive 2007), winning them both critical and popular acclaim throughout the world. Daft Punk are known as much for their music and technical innovation as their groundbreaking and elaborate visual universe, which centers around their irrepressible and mysterious Robot personas. In 2006, their directorial art house film debut, "Daft Punk's Electroma," premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and in 2007 they toured internationally with a jaw-dropping live show that was an awe-inspiring combination of their musical and visual prowess. Their collaboration with Kanye West on his #1 hit single "Stronger" was hailed as "The Song of the Year" by SPIN Magazine (January 2008 issue), which also saw Daft sharing the cover with Kanye, having been awarded "Tour of the Year" by the magazine. Daft Punk performed with West on the Grammy Awards in 2008, marking the mercurial duo's first and only television appearance anywhere in the world. "TRON: Legacy" will mark Daft Punk's first film score.
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Encom Part 1 (3:53)
Encom Part 2 (2:18)
Round One (1:41)
Additionally there are 2 bonus tracks available exclusively only from iTunes:
Father and Son (3:12)
Outlands Part II (2:53)
Sea of Simulation (2:41) is available to download in lossy mp3 format exclusively from Amazon.
Sunrise Prelude (2:51) is available exclusively to download from Nokia Ovi.
Unfortunately, if you want the complete soundtrack (legally) you have to import the more expensive 2-CD album and the only way to get the other four missing bonus tracks is to purchase them from iTunes AND get the 8th track from Amazon and 9th track from Nokia so keep in mind that you are NOT getting all of the really great memorable music from the film on the single disc 22 track domestic album. It also does not include the two retro 80's songs "Separate Ways (World's Apart)" by Journey and the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" that were both featured in Flynn's Arcade.
As for the score itself, it's absolutely mind-blowing. Daft Punk have created a sonic masterpiece worthy of the legacy of Tron. Their brilliant layering of ambient electronica with orchestral symphonics is every bit as avant garde in creating atmospheric digital soundscapes as Wendy Carlos' score was for the original Tron. I only wish that they had incorporated some more of Wendy's memorable themes. You can kind of hear a few familiar notes that recalls Tron's theme in "Adagio For Tron" but that's pretty much the only hat tip to Wendy's vintage score. Like the film itself, Daft Punk have taken the music of Tron to a whole new aesthetic level by incorporating their unique style of techno synthpop along with their influences of electronic film composers like Vangelis on "Arrival" to the ominous Carpenter-esque "C.L.U." and synthesizing them with traditional orchestral composers like Bernard Hermann and Max Steiner.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo demonstrate they have the musical talents to command the accompaniment of a full symphony orchestra and can score unforgettable music for blockbuster films. When I heard Daft Punk were scoring the film, I admit I initially had my doubts that they could pull it off but they have and by far their score for Tron Legacy is one of the best and most inspirationally thrilling movie soundtracks of the modern age and deserves a complete 2-disc release and not scattered all over the Grid.
End of Line
I'm pleased with this score: its sound may not carry the most recognizable musical themes I remember from the original, but the tone of Daft Punk's score is well matched to the world of Tron just the same. Consider it more faithful to the *spirit* of Carlos' original score and you'll be happy. There are sweeping synth passages that pulse and build in intensity ("Recognizer"), digital coughs and blips lifted straight out of an '80s arcade, and all of it is arranged in a way that clearly belongs in the film. Strings blend excellently into the mix, such as the tracks "Outlands" and "Flynn Lives".
Sometimes a soundtrack--particularly one by a mainstream artist--can be more about promoting the artist than it is about the movie (for example, the "Spawn" soundtrack was more about making two bands collaborate for each song and pulling music from multiple genres). Daft Punk are very focused on the task at hand: they create a sonic soundscape that reminds me why Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" took the mainstream by storm--"The Grid", "Arena" and "Rinzler" are very similar. The music to Tron: Legacy sounds just retro enough to hearken back to 1980 while just appealing enough to not sound stale today.
If you're looking for a good sampling of what's here, listen to the passage from "Nocture" to "End of Line" to "Derezzed" to "Fall". If you want one of the few moments the score sounds most like Daft Punk, that would be "Solar Sailor". And if you are considering the digital download, yes you do get the booklet. It doesn't show as available in the track listing but when you download you will receive a digital copy of the booklet in PDF form.
NOTE: the downloadable MP3 album from Amazon contains one bonus track. However, reviewers are stating that the downloadable version(s) available from other Amazon stores (such as in the UK at Amazon.co.uk) offer a larger "2 disc" version of the album. A completist might want to mull over the difference and download that version instead. I'm not sure how the exchange rate factors into such a purchase, so if you're not from the UK, keep that in mind.