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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag but at this price, can you afford not to?, 16 Nov 2001
By 
ST (Chester-le-Street, Durham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I agree with the previous review; the first couple of tracks overshadow the competent selection which follow. However, it must be noted that the price of the CD is justified entirely by the quality of the first track- Hymn To Red October (main title) is well worth the price on it's own. The vocal thematic is briefly developed in track 2 (Nuclear Scam). Track 3 (Putin's Demise) starts ominously, descending to synthesizers drifting through deep water as black as space...track 4 (course two-five-zero) starts with a crash and mellows, a very short interlude. Track 5 (Ancestral Aid) is one of the darkest of the bunch, russian vocals and dangerous undertones making it almost threatening later on. Track 6 (Chopper) grates a little, the drama being a bit overstated by the over-busy percussion section. Track 7 (Two Wives) wasn't included on the picture but is included here, which is a bonus because it is a nice piece with melancholic undertones mirroring Captain Ramius himself; his strong, regal quality steeped in regret and sadness over the death of his wife while he was at sea. Track 8 (Red Route 1) is a mixture of tracks 2 and 3 with strains of the vocals heard earlier in places. Track 9 (Plane Crash) is sombre and menacing, but don't turn up your volume or 1min 13 secs in you'll lose your speakers with the sudden female vocal and orchestral crescendo which it peaks to! The final piece, track 10 (Kaboom!) is loud, fast paced action music as the film climaxes.
If you loved the film, buy the soundtrack as it captures the style and pace of the film quite well- you certainly won't be in any way disappointed (for complete excellence, purchase the Batman OST; the ORIGINAL film's score by Danny Elfman- you will thank me).If you didn't, it's still a good example of Poledouris' work for your collection with a couple of notable pieces standing head and shoulders above the rest.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning opening, but the rest fails to live up to it, 8 Oct 2000
Basil Poledouris' soundtrack to John McTiernan's film, 'The Hunt For Red October', is appropriately tense for its subject matter, and will be particularly rewarding for fans of the film and other such films (such as Crimson Tide). The opening two tracks are the best on the album, taken from the opening credits and the most exciting part of the film respectively. These tracks combine fast orchestra movements with strong male choruses singing patriotic Soviet verses, and this combination of lighthearted orchestral background with the robustness of the choir matches the film perfectly, making the listener believe in the power of the former USSR's naval might. The emotion that can be felt in these two pieces of music leave the listener believing that he is listening to the submariners themselves singing. Sadly, the rest of the album, while full of the tension and minute orchestral subtleties that make all the difference when watching the fate of men 500 ft below the sea's surface, fails to live up to the potential of the first tracks, and doesn't stand up on its own away from the film. The choir make a welcome return to form in 'ancestral aid', but the remainder of the album performs as little more than background music. The duration (or lack thereof) of the album is also a disappointment. This album is a worthwhile buy for fans of the film, and the use of the choir in expressing the patriotic pride of the Russian submariners is second to none; however, the rest of the album sadly fails to live up to the expectations created by its opening
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb CD, featuring a wide variety of atmospheric music., 9 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Poledouris: Hunt for Red October Original Soundtrack [IMPORT] [SOUNDTRACK] (Audio CD)
'The Hunt For Red October' contains a pleasingly diverse selection of music, whilst always staying in the same mood. The CD contains ten tracks, brought from several moments throughout the original motion picture, some dark and atmospheric, others action-packed and exciting.
The first tune, 'Hymn to Red October', is undoubtedly the best on the disc. It contains the grandeur of an imperious choir, at first mixed with the noticeable, but not overpowering, whine of the violin, then the hurrying low tones of the deep brass. The quality of music is unsurpassed in this slow, but proud, grand piece. One can almost visualise the rows of singing sailors as the tune breaks into the Soviet anthem, the vocals once more at the forefront of the tune.
This is well followed by the second track, a seven-minute exploration of sub-aqua themes, the splendour of 'Red October' and finally, the action of underwater combat. The change from the subtle to the dramatic is made with ease and again to the pomp of the choral part of the piece. This tune incorporates part of the previous track, well mixed into the adrenalin-pumping fast music of action.
The CD then moves to two shorter pieces, both less than a minute. Though the time is lessened, the quality is not. The dark musings of 'Putin's Demise' lend a more atmospheric tone to the music. 'Course Two-Five-Zero' is, sadly, over as soon as it starts, but contains a fantastic mix of voice and orchestra, followed by a tune that is at the same time both sinister and innocent, yet strangely enjoyable.
From this point the disc becomes slightly less good, though still enjoyable. The final six tracks contain the biggest mix of all. In 'Ancestral Aid', there is fantastic choral music once more, joined with the anxious tones of the orchestra, as well as more dark music, to suit the sinister depths of the oceans. There is also lots of quick action in 'Chopper', 'Plane Crash' and 'Kaboom'. 'Two Wives' is a hopeful orchestral piece and 'Red Route One' contains one of the best themes on the disc, again with an orchestra to display it.
The disc is well presented, with some excellent music of a very high quality. Though it is more understandable if one has watched the film, it is by no means needed, in order to enjoy the CD. A must for fans of choral music, the album is worth buying by anyone who appreciates good music, especially atmospheric-style tracks. The Hunt For Red October is one of the best film scores of its period, with a diverse array of style, instruments and mood, as well as some first-rate composing and playing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Score by one of the great composers, 19 Feb 2004
By 
Mr. Ed "edsheadsaid" (Japan) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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Basil Polidaris is one of the most under-rated composers around but has managed to write some great scores for great films over the past 40 years.
Like the previous reviews stated, the apex of this score if right at the beginning, you will not find a more rousing opening. Because the opening is so good however, the rest of the score does seem to go downhill, however this is great as powerfull scores can 'cloud' the rest of the film and with the superb acting and dialogue there was no need for a brash score to cover it.
The score is appropriately tense throughout and wonderfully conveys the atmosphere generated by the film. For a detailed and accurate breakdown of individual tracks see the review below this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Poledouris, 3 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Poledouris: Hunt for Red October Original Soundtrack [IMPORT] [SOUNDTRACK] (Audio CD)
Basil is certainly not Fawlty in this score. As usual, we get a very short album selection of Poledouris' score (a common trend with his scores). There is a large amount of his Red October score not on the offical release. But what we do get is nice. For many, the opening title hymn is the only thing they buy this for, before switching it off. It's a shame. This is not due to any fault with talent. It's simply because Red October is a score which is utterly fantastic within the movie, yet stands alone quite badly outside of it as a listening experience because Poledouris did'nt take a leaf out of Goldsmith and Williams book by making a suite of his short themes. Instead, we are given some tiny 22 second clips of certain pieces used again and again in the movie. Great when coupled with a huge widscreen shot of a nuclear submarine underwater. But as a listening experience, just leave you wishing it had continued for another 6 and a half minutes at least because it's wonderful. The best lengthy track (at around 7 minutes) we get is "Nuclear Scam". A wonderful action cue that incorporates synth with the same skill of subtlety that Jerry Goldsmith has. Overall, Red October is a wonderful score. But not one that stands alone very well as a CD. Best heard within the context of the movie really. Either that, or we someday get a proper full release of it on CD (which i cannot see happening soon). Many of Poledouris scores are hard to obtain, or are no longer in print. Two easily available ones i quickly recommend are Robocop (original), and Conan the Barbarian (the expanded Varese Sarabande edition) for 2 truly great scores from the 80's. Btw : Apparently the hymn heard in this score is not the Soviet National Anthem, but rather the Anthem of the Soviet "Navy".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful., 13 Feb 2014
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I bought this for my husband for Christmas but in truth we both love this soundtrack and should have bought it years ago. It's truly moving and is the perfect soundtrack to a great movie.
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