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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The difference between the two releases and why hardcore Wicker Man fans should probably own both
I'll not go too deeply into the actual music contained on these CDs; suffice to say that it's beautiful, haunting, witchy folk music and one of the finest soundtracks ever released.

This review is aimed at those who are confused by the numerous discrepencies between the two releases. As one previous reviewer pointed out, there are two seperate releases of The...
Published on 19 Oct 2009 by Herod

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, and missing one of the loveliest songs .!!
It sounds as though it has been recorded straight from the television, I must admit that I was disappointed with it, especially as "Gently Johnny" is missing. The sound quality is poor, and it may as well be a Radio 4 play as it comes with all the sound effects of the film!!!! It is redeemed by "Corn Rigs", and "Willow's" song, although the latter is not the full version...
Published on 8 May 2002 by princessxinga@hotmail.com


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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The difference between the two releases and why hardcore Wicker Man fans should probably own both, 19 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
I'll not go too deeply into the actual music contained on these CDs; suffice to say that it's beautiful, haunting, witchy folk music and one of the finest soundtracks ever released.

This review is aimed at those who are confused by the numerous discrepencies between the two releases. As one previous reviewer pointed out, there are two seperate releases of The Wicker Man soundtrack, and Amazon have rather lazily mixed up the reviews.

The first release (Trunk Records, 1997, white cover, 27 tracks) is generally considered to be the inferior of the two. It was sourced from the music-and-effects reel produced for the film, so the tracks contain background effects and the occasional snatch of dialogue. The sound quality is pretty poor, with a 'recorded from the TV using a low quality microphone' feel to it.

The second release (Silva Screen Records, 2002, yellow/orange cover, 16 tracks) is of much higher quality, due to the fact that the original studio recordings of the songs had been located. It is these versions that were originally intended for vinyl release in the 70s by Paul Giovanni/Magnet. Sound quality is crystal clear and the songs included are mostly complete, not the chopped-up versions that appear in the 84 minute cut of the film and the first soundtrack. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it includes the wonderful 'Gently Johnny', not available on the original soundtrack.

So, the second release is the clear winner, right? Well, not entirely. Firstly, the original inferior release contains some incidental music from the film not included on the second release. Secondly, the versions of 'The Landlord's Daughter' and 'Willow's Song' on the second release feature different singers to those who actually performed the songs for the film. Essentially, these two songs are cover versions. Regarding 'The Landlord's Daughter', the song in the film was actually sung by the cast who appear in that scene. The version here on the second release features an entirely different set of singers who were employed specifically for Giovanni/Magnet's aborted 70s release. The story surrounding 'Willow's Song' is a little more steeped in mystery, but, whatever, it is not sung by the same woman who sang it in the film. So, if you want the versions of these songs as they appear in the film, you've got to go for the first release.

Also, I disagree, to a certain extent, with some of the other reviewers regarding the background effects audible on the first release. While it is undoubtedly nice to hear the effect-less versions of the second release standing on their own as beautiful folk songs, only the versions with the sounds effects in the background retain all of the atmosphere and mystery that made the music of The Wicker Man so haunting and memorable.

The conclusion - both releases have their merits, and hardcore fans of The Wicker Man need both releases. Casual listeners can choose between faithfulness to the sound and atmosphere of the film (first release) or excellent sound quality (second release).
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ”hail the queen of the may!”, 30 Aug 2002
This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
The first thing that struck me when I got my pre-view copy of this album is how good it looked and felt…The album comes in a mat box, within in it contains the CD, a poster and a huge colour book(let).
This is the first time the music from the wicker man has been issued properly…A few years back there was an issue of the “soundtrack”, in its true meaning, sound and dialogue included. So here, for the first time we have the opportunity to hear the music without planes, seagulls and the crackling of a burning wicker man (although these things do appear on the disc, but now separately, between the tracks).
The CD begins with the folk songs from the movie, these sound remarkably clean considering the age…it only now that I realize how integral the songs are to the movie…this album tells the story. Three quarters through and then we get to a bit of score…nice…some dialogue clips and the end credits.
Listening to the album, you get a real feel for what the film is about, I think Paul Giovanni really hit the right note for this movie, I’ll finish this review with a quote from Christopher Lee extracted from the sleeve notes: “The music to The Wicker Man is quite extraordinary, its probably the best music I’ve ever heard in a film”.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic release - A must buy!, 18 Oct 2002
This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
In 1973, a heavily edited film version of "The Wicker Man" was released in UK cinemas as a "B Movie" accompanyment to "Don't Look Now." It remained overlooked for many years. Over the last few years however the film has gained huge cult status and there are several videos, DVDs and books produced about the film.
One of the most memorable elements of the film was the fantastic film soundtrack but only an album that effectively recorded the soundtrack directly from the film (with loud incidental effects) had been available. Until now.
This release by Silva Screen is brilliant and a huge amount of effort has clearly been made in putting it together (I was even contacted by the record company before the album was released about the work they were doing due to my comments on Amazon about the previous soundtrack available).
The first 6-8 tracks contain crystal clear stereo and complete studio recordings of all the main songs from the film. There is also a carefully mixed medally of other incidental music.
The remaining tracks are once again carefully mixed incidental music pieces from the film. Whilst they contain very occasional sound effects, these add the the music. The mono recording quality is also very clear.
The packing and accompanying booklet prepared by one of the musical score assistants is imformative and contains new information not found elsewhere. It offers valuable incite to the making of the film.
I strongly recommend buying this release, even if you are not familiar with the film. It is a highly enjoyable "folky" listen.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't get confused by these reviews, 30 Aug 2010
This review is from: Wicker Man-Ost (Audio CD)
There are two versions of the Wickerman Soundtrack- one with a white cover which is the original and lifted straight from the film so therefore featuring many sound effects from the film over the music (although in one instance this is a good thing as the sound of Edward Woodward banging on the wall as he struggles to contain his sexual frustration is heard over willows song and I think adds to it, in other instances its less welcome but often adds to the sinister and mysterious atmosphere)

The more recent release has an orange cover and is taken from the original music recordings. It's better sound quality, features 'Gently Johnny' and has a nice poster.

Amazon has set it up so that both versions of the soundtrack have the same set of reviews - hopefully this explains for you why some of the reviews seem to contradict each other.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These reviews are a muddle of two different CDs, 23 July 2009
By 
Blake Paine (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
There are two CDs available purporting to be the soundtrack to The Wicker Man. Unfortunately Amazon have managed to combine the reviews of both in the details of both CDs.

The earlier CD is on Trunk Records from 1998, No. 'BARKED 4CD', with a white coloured cover, a still from the film in the lower part of it and the title on the top right of the top part. It comes in a single CD case with an 8 page booklet and is a recording made from the actual film, so it includes bits of the dialogue and the songs fade out part way through. At the time, it was the best you could hope for but it's frankly rubbish.

The second CD is from 2002, on Silver Screen Records No.'FILMCD330'. This comes in a predominantly black, orange and yellow coloured slip case with an excellent 20 page colour booklet and original studio recordings of all 11 of the songs from the film (including 'Gently Johnny') in their entirety. There is also some incidental music from the film included separately as the last 5 tracks.

It goes without saying that it is the 2002 CD that you need to buy if you want to listen to the songs performed by 'Magnet' in the studio and not something you could record yourself with your old tape recorder and a video tape of the film playing on your TV.

And yes, it is a great album (the 2002 one that is).

Mind you, I'll bet in years to come it's the 1998 one that is rarer, such is the way of things.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The criticisms are true but..., 12 July 2002
This review is from: Wicker Man-Ost (Audio CD)
I can't help feeling that they miss the point somewhat. Without all the slightly odd soundbytes and effects it would lose all the atmosphere which was put across in the film, and become nothing more than a set of songs.
A further reason for this is that apparently a lot of the original material was lost (buried under the M4 now or something) so they only had this material to use.
However, don't let the other reviews of this sound track put you off! The musical score is truly fantastic - beautiful in parts, funny in others and sometimes fantastically chilling (that rendition of baa-baa blacksheep is so disturbing)
I love this album so much and I think that Trunk did a good job..
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, and missing one of the loveliest songs .!!, 8 May 2002
This review is from: Wicker Man-Ost (Audio CD)
It sounds as though it has been recorded straight from the television, I must admit that I was disappointed with it, especially as "Gently Johnny" is missing. The sound quality is poor, and it may as well be a Radio 4 play as it comes with all the sound effects of the film!!!! It is redeemed by "Corn Rigs", and "Willow's" song, although the latter is not the full version. I also advise people to save their money and watch the film instead, and I hope a better version will be out soon.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but we'll hope for a better re-issue!, 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Wicker Man-Ost (Audio CD)
As commented on elsewhere, this CD does disappoint in that it is recorded from a master tape of music AND SOUND EFFECTS. From the booklet: "The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Music And Effects" "The effects that are included were mixed through the music in 1973, and now lend a curious ambience to an awesome musical experience." "Finally it must be noted that this mono recording is taken from the original 86 minute music and effects tapes. This is the "one day" version of the film, so the song 'Gentle Johnny' unfortunately is excluded. We hope this doesn't impair your musical enjoyment." Getting past that hype, there's a lot of unwanted noise, shuffling and some minimal dialogue during some tracks. Still, for fans of the film, this is better than no soundtrack CD at all. Good, but we'll hope for a better re-issue in the future!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvest Festival, 14 May 2007
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This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
The second time I saw The Wicker Man I sat with a - then state of the art - cassette recorded poised by the TV speaker to record the music. I adopted this less than comfortable viewing position because, having seen it once, I was haunted by the soundtrack (and the film). That tape is long lost so it is great to have the music on CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justin Small Reviews The Wicker Man OST, 1 Oct 2002
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This review is from: The Wicker Man (Audio CD)
After watching the motion picture of The Wicker Man, you are left with a feeling of joy, sadness and amazement. As one of the greatest British horror films of all time, the soundtrack to the film is equally as splendid, and it was with great delight when this little beauty landed on the doormat. Take yourself back into the realms of Pagan splendour, Summerisle style, with the positive upbeat of 'Corn Rigs', 'Maypole' and the bawdy bar singalong 'The Landlords Daughter'. A warm folk soup that emphasises the pleasure angle of the cult lead by Lord Summerisle. The more macabre side of the film is emphasised with the wonderful 'Gently Johnny' and 'Willow's Song' excelling. All in all, this soundtrack equally matches the motion picture for uniqueness and flavour in the way it never fails to haunt you, knowing what they do to poor Edward Woodward at the end of the film where his appointment with the Wicker Man is indeed met.
Classic.
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