Raise the Titanic

Silva Screen Records (0738572110222)
Silva Screen Records (5014929031927)
Movie | Released: 1999 | Format: CD, Download

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# Track   Duration
2.Main Title/The Minde Shaft3:16
3.The Sicilian Project/Dog Attack2:33
4.The Sicilian Defence/Southby/"The mountain comes to us"3:06
5."We're in Business"1:46
6.To Cornwall/"All that's left" (memories of the Titanic)2:27
7.Deep Quest/Flood!5:26
8.Finding the Cornet/Spy on Board/The Smoke Stack4:53
9.The Titanic Uncovered3:58
10.Gene Explores the Titanic/Deep Quest Trapped3:43
11.Rescue Attempt/Blowing the Tanks3:50
12.Raise the Titanic/Deep Quest Saved3:32
13.Memories of the Titanic2:10
14.Russian Threat/The Titanic Enters New York Harbor2:58
15."Thank God for Southby"/In the Graveyard/End Titles4:46
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Raise the Titanic - 08/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
If Raise the Titanic isn't the most requested CD release in the history of the world, I don't know what is. Evidently enough people actually saw the film to hear the music to request the score. I seem to remember the film being pretty lame, but don't remember anything about the score. Of course, many people will compare the approach with that taken by Mr Horner on Titanic, but Barry does it his way and Horner did the whole Oirsh thing. The Prelude is what you'd expect for a film about such a large ship, noble and stately and thoroughly John Barry. I think it's the bit that everyone remembers (although I have to admit that it wasn't nearly as great as I'd thought it would be and don't think it quite compares to many of Barry's classic main themes). Much of the remaining music is built around that theme, albeit in slightly less stately orchestrations (the biggest rendition is saved for the triumphant moment when the ship herself, now raised from the Atlantic... yes, quite.)
I must admit that there isn't a great deal of variety in the score, much of it is low and sonourous, probably accompanying endless underwater scenes of little submarines floating about looking at dingy special effects. This is perhaps the problem, James Horner at least had a love story and a tragedy to score, John Barry just had lots looking and luckily a bit of raising toward the end. This disc perhaps evidences the argument that Barry would have been an ideal choice to score Cameron's overbudget (but ultimately more successful) effort. There are a few more interesting passages though, Dog Attack is a briefly growling action interlude, although I can't possibly see what it has to do with the rest of the film. To Cornwall is a very non Barry-like jig, which is then followed by a much more Barry-like piano and saxophone passage, which is extremely good indeed. Flood has a little more drama toward the end of the cue, but has a very slow blow build up of grumbling strings and the odd oboe solo.

Raise the Titanic is probably a score that will grow on me as Barry's extra little themes become more apparent and I get more used to the material, unlike everyone else, I know virtually nothing of the score (and when I heard the suite Silva recorded previously several years ago wasn't fussed, but I've changed my opinions since then). Barry fans will almost certainly be delighted, but if they were expecting the main theme a lot, then it has to be said that it doesn't actually happen much and the rest is generally constructed of a secondary theme and other typically Barry like motifs (one of which sounds like it could be from a Bond score, but I couldn't be sure.)

The City of Prague have certainly put a great deal of effort into producing an excellent recording, the sound quality is predictably top notch, but it is the fine orchesrtal performance that is most impressive. Then again, they always seem to do John Barry's music with just that bit more conviction than any other composer's music. With this and Zulu, it would be nice to build up a repatoire of Barry's unreleased scores, even if Varese have taken the slightly more curious option of re-recording and slightly expanding some of Barry's more well known efforts. If the performances remain at the quality they are from both labels, then we are certainly in for a treat.
Raise the Titanic - 10/10 - Review of Andreas Lindahl, submitted at
For some reason John Barry's score for Raise the Titanic - the 1980 film starring Anne Archer, Alec Guinnes, David Selby among others - never got an official release. And for some other reason the original orchestral master tapes have been lost for years, which has made a release of the original score impossible. This has, of course, been a big disappointment for many film music and Barry aficionados.

Now, thanks to Silva Screen, and the City of Prague Philharmonic, conducted by Nic Raine, we are given a complete release of Barry's classic score for the first time ever. That this is a re-recording, and not the original recordings, shall not intimidate you. The music has been reconstructed, basically with a laser disc release of the film as reference - since Barry's drafts also are missing - by Nic Raine, who previously has worked with John Barry as an orchestrator for 15 years - so he should know what he is doing - and the City of Prague Philharmonic have once again done a marvelous job.

On to the score then. What's it like? Well, it sounds incredibly much like a traditional epic Barry score, like Somewhere in Time, Out of Africa and the other classics, although much darker, deeper and mystical. Basically Raise the Titanic is fifty minutes of slow and emotional writing for strings, tons of low brass chords and melodic horn phrases. We have all heard it many times before, but neverthless it is good and relaxing listening to, although sometimes quite boring, to be honest - the music has a tendency to get a little too monotonous. The main theme is also classic Barry style. Lush, majestic and somewhat nostalgic and timeless it is presented for the first time in the "Prologue". There are a wealth of other themes as well, such as the beautiful "requiem for the lost", to quote the liner notes. It is really a stunning theme, filled with grief and reverence, performed by slow, sweeping strings, supported by low brass, and is heard in the "Main Titles" and "The Titanic Uncovered", among other cues. There's also a wonderful waltz theme in "Gene Explores the Titanic".

The release includes excellent liner notes, with info on the film and comments on every score cue by David Wishart.

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