The Last of the Mohicans

Morgan Creek Productions US 1992 CD (0729592001522)
Morgan Creek Productions UK 1992 CD (0731451749728)
Movie Film release: 1992

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# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.Main Title1:44
2.Elk Hunt1:49
3.The Kiss2:47
4.The Glade Part II2:34
5.Fort Battle4:20
7.Munro's Office/Stockade2:30
9.Top of the World2:44
10.The Courrier2:27
12.River Walk and Discovery5:30
14.The Brittisch Arrival2:00
15.Pieces of a Storry4:58
16.I will find YouClannad1:42
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The Last of the Mohicans - 06/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
Although a very popular soundtrack, I have never much cared for Trevor Jones' Last of the Mohicans. The main theme has the right wistful and noble mood about it, but I always felt it sounded badly stilted and somehow in need of re-arrangement to let it to flow more easily. While it is true that Randy Edelman wrote music for the film - around a third in total written for the film - it is Jones' theme and the more notable moments that he scored that are almost certainly what has made the music so popular.
While it perhaps seems a little foolish to re-record what is a relatively recent score, I suspect that like the John Barry and John Williams scores they have re-recorded, it will be more popular with the general public than their more film music fan specific recordings of Bernard Herrmann and Alex North. Of course that helps to level Varese's bank balance and enable these other recordings which are more worthy, but ultimately less popular. However, in this instance, Varese have actually managed to improve on the fairly badly produced (by Randy Edelman) original album, which lumped the Jones and Edelman cues separately. Here, they present fewer cues, but in the correct order so, while there are differences in compositional style that are easy to spot, it makes for just a slightly uneven tone, rather than an album of two clear halves.

Jones' main theme is only presented in its 'proper' form in a couple of places, the fairly brief main title being of course the first. As I said, it does have the right mood, it just isn't technically very adept. The theme does appear throughout the score, but in a form that suggests the melody rather than quoting it outright. It is most notable during the sprinkling of action cues, although these tend to be somewhat simplistic and just grind along in what is really a none too inspiring way. Jones' quieter sections are considerably more interesting, but even then, not really that striking.

The reasons for Randy Edelman writing music for the film are too complicated to explain, but his cues have always been criticised for being poor in comparison. There are only a few on this album, but they don't really detract from Jones' music all that much. As they are basically low key cues, their impact is somewhat limited anyway, even if they don't have quite the same haunting quality that Jones has created. The main highlight for Edelman's music is the guitar solo during The Glade, even if it doesn't quite fit in with the rest.

I'm sure I'll be strung up for heresy, but I would probably recommend David Arnold's similar and similarly titled Last of the Dogmen over Mohicans. The main theme is a beautifully fluid composition that I think works much better than Jones' even if Arnold's score as a whole does tend toward overkill in orchestration and melodrama. Joel McNeely's reading of both Jones and Edelman's music is good and improves on the original score album's sound with the RSNO giving a typically expansive reading. The track order produces more coherent experience and the liner notes provide some detail on both the score and film.
Golden Globes: Best Original Score (Nominee)
The music of this soundtrack was used in:

Legends of the Fall (Trailer)
The Missing (Trailer)

Other releases of The Last of the Mohicans (1992):

Last of the Mohicans, The (2000)
Last of the Mohicans, The (1993)
Mohicans (2011)
Last of the Mohicans, The (2014)
Last of the Mohicans, The (2018)
Last of the Mohicans, The (2019)
Last of the Mohicans, The (2006)

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