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The Shawshank Redemption: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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Customer Reviews:

  • Shawshank Redemption soundtrack
    I have watched the film thousands of times and just felt compelled to own the soundtrack as the music is very powerfull.
    I especially like the last track the music is just so uplifting!
    I feel that there should of been some of the film script over some of the music, it would of been nice to hear Morgan Freeman narrating " Get busy living or get busy dieing"! This soundtrack is the work of a genius!!!...more info
  • Hauntingly Beautiful
    This is a beautiful recording, a perfect match to a brilliant and uplifting movie. This musical score is etheric and deeply moving. It makes you soar, makes you sad, but above all, makes you feel glad to be alive.
    I agree with another reviewer who would have liked to have heard some of Morgan Freeman's wonderful narration along with the music, but that's OK, the music stands brilliantly all by itself.
    There are 3 tunes not written by Thomas Newman, 2 of which tend to jar you out of the musical mood the rest of the score presents. I just cut these 2 tracks out when I'm playing the disc.
    This is music you can float to. It's like watching clouds, you see and feel the textures the composer threads through the music. It's different every time I listen to it, always yielding something new. Sometimes I like to turn out the lights, close my eyes, and just let the music transport me. It has a dreamlike quality which gets me in contact with a deeper part of myself.
    To me it is deeply spiritual and uplifting, not just a recording, but a musical experience....more info
  • Beautiful movie, wonderful score
    Ah, The Shawshank Redemption. It's one of those movies where you say its name and people who have seen it sigh with you. I've wanted this soundtrack ever since I first saw the movie years ago, and I just recently got it.
    The score composed by Thomas Newman is perfect for the film. There are scenes that stand out in my memory, where I can visualize Andy and Red talking, and remember clearly the music accompanying it. For example, as Andy speaks hopefully and bitterly of Zihuatanejo, the music in the background is haunting and deeply moving. I love every track on this CD. I can, and do, listen to it repeatedly. It's the kind of soundtrack that you can either have on in the background or you can shut your eyes, focus on the music and get completely lost in it. The score has all the emotion of the film, and listening to it makes me want to see the movie. Watching the movie makes me want to listen to the soundtrack. It's an unending and pleasing cycle. If you've seen and loved the movie, this CD will be perfect for you. If you haven't, but you appreciate fabulous composers, then it'll also be perfect. There's really no way to miss....more info
  • Powerful!
    I have about 40 movie soundtracks, and this one is by far the best of them all. The movie is indeed brilliant as well. I cannot say enough about the beauty of the way the string base is utilized in many of the pieces on this soundtrack. For example "Shawshank Redemption" (track 11) nearly blows my speakers if I turn it up too high. Also, track 19, has some beautiful base sequences...this is a masterpiece! It should definitely rank among the best of all time....more info
  • Great music, but badly organized
    I'll indicate the parts of the film that correspond to each track, to help people decide for themselves if this corresponds to what they thought they might get out of this CD, although as far as I know none of the film's music was omitted. The only quibble I have is that the order of the tracks doesn't correspond to their appearance in the film.

    "May" - Played when Red mentioned that he and some guys he knew got the outside job of retarring the plate factory roof in May, as the assignments are being announced. See also "Workfield"; both have essentially the same fiddle-and-guitar theme.

    "Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)" - Played during the first view of the prison as Andy is brought in, beginning with the prison flyover.

    "New Fish" - Almost entirely piano. See also "Zihuatanejo", which is essentially a continuation.

    "Rock Hammer" - This string-and-claves staccato piece tracks the scenes wherein Andy became "a regular cottage industry", doing more and more tax returns.

    "An Inch of His Life" - Covers the final fate of Boggs Diamond after he and his cronies beat Andy up; includes some lovely piano that one would probably miss while watching the accompanying scene. The flavor is in the same category as "New Fish" and "Zihuatanejo", but sadder.

    "If I Didn't Care" - Andy is listening to this in his car on the night of his wife's murder, during the opening credits. This is the only track performed by the Inkspots and isn't original to the score.

    "Brooks Was Here" - The music accompanying the scenes from Brooks' letter; see also "So Was Red".

    "His Judgement Cometh" - The title is the 1st half of the quote on the sampler hanging on the Warden's office wall. The music accompanies his final scene, and begins with a long staccato string and percussion passage.

    "Suds on the Roof" - Picks up just as Red says "And that's how it came to pass..." This theme is semi-incorporated into "End Title".

    "Workfield" - Where 'the boys' collect enough rocks to keep Andy "busy 'till Rapture" while he's in the infirmary after the final encounter with Boggs; essentially a continuation of "May".

    "Shawshank Redemption" - Tracks the sequence where Red (as voiceover) reconstructs what finally happened to Andy, beginning where Andy takes off his shirt in his cell, and ends with the subsequent rainstorm scene. (Without the thunder or metal-on-metal FX, more's the pity.)

    "Lovesick Blues" - Andy remembered that Heywood wanted some Hank Williams instead of Mozart, so after Andy gets more resources, Heywood is shown listening to this on the library's record player. This is the only track performed by Hank Williams and isn't original to the score.

    "Elmo Blatch" - From the scene wherein Tommy tells Red and Andy about his former cellmate.

    "Sisters" - The "Stoic Theme" shifted into another key, covering the scenes of Andy's term in the laundry and harassment by Boggs Diamond & co., before the incident on the plate factory roof.

    "Zihuatanejo" - If the CD tracked the order of appearance in the film, the Zihuatanejo track (from the scene where Andy mentions it to Red) should appear just before "Shawshank Redemption". Very quiet piano picking up where "New Fish" left off, but leading into the full orchestra carrying the theme.

    "The Marriage of Figaro" - The scene where Andy briefly gets control of the sound system, of course, but performed in full.

    "Lovely Raquel" - Begins with a long staccato string passage, covering the years leading up to Andy's acquisition of lovely Raquel (*not* the Warden's rock-throwing scene, see next track).

    "And That Right Soon" - The title comes from the 2nd half of the quote on the sampler in the Warden's office, but oddly enough this piece should precede, not follow, "His Judgement Cometh". Just after the Warden throws the final chess piece at Andy's poster, this picks up as the camera pans across the cell to the poster itself, and ends as Red begins discussing how Andy got started on his main hobby.

    "Compass and Guns" - Played during Red's own struggle to choose between buying a compass to follow Andy's directions vs. getting a gun.

    "So Was Red" - Played while Red follows in Brooks' footsteps; essentially a follow-up to the theme of "Brooks Was Here".

    "End Title"...more info

  • Salvation lies within Newman's Music!
    A good film score supports and propels the plot by establishing the mood for the viewer. Newman's stoic and at times bleak music brilliantly preserves the film's main theme of hope. There is a sentimentality and hope that underpins the journey of Andrew Dufrane as he is wrongly convicted and incarcerated in a maximum security prison. The music is profound and moving as it captures the cold dampness of the granite walls of Shawshank State Prison. We watch the prisoners grow older before our eyes as the story travels through 19 years of life-sapping imprisonment. When Zeus sent Pandora with her little box of horrors to Prometheus and his unwitting brother Epimetheus, he also sent hope. Without hope, the ruler of heaven knew, man would despair and lose faith in life and in the gods. Newman's musical themes inspire and underpin the mood of the movie, which is hope. We watch Dufrane fight back against the corruption of the warden and the brutality of the guards with whatever is at hand. As with Pandora, Newman's music preserves our hope. We hope Andrew Dufrane will find absolution. We hope Red will come to find some purpose for his life beyond prison. We hope he will not end his life like Brooks did. We hope Andy Dufrane will secure his freedom. We hope Red can successfully join him in Mexico. We hope. Newman's music provides the scaffolding for our hope and inspiration as we journey through this brilliant film.

    This soundtrack is a must for the serious collector and for others, battered by a grey world of indifference, who need to recharge their world-weary batteries. The tracks gently massage the soul and restore life. Outstanding tracks include "If I didn't Care" by the Inkspots, "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart, "Shawshank Prison," "Suds on the Roof," and the "Shawshank Redemption."

    This is money well spent. Newman is at his absolute best. A brilliant film by Frank Darabont, lifted toward the heavens by Newman's inspired music....more info
  • Marvelous simply marvelous
    Okay I will start with a complaint- "If I didn't Care" did not need to be included in this soundtrack. I don't mind "Lovesick Blues" as much. But both are kind of not needed. Even though both appear in the movie. There I said it!
    Okay now let's look at the best part of this soundtrack. Thomas Newman's work. This guy has got a great family tree. So it's comes to now suprise this guy can write music. (Alfred Newman and Randy Newman are both related to him) I think I like Thomas the best of the three. Though Alfred is really good. I just haven't heard much from him. Anyway, "Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)" is the best cue on this. And it's a great cello and string arrangment that blew me out of the water the first time I heard it in the movie. Wow! "Brooks was here" is a sad cue, but is greatly written. It's simple but you can feel Brooks pain as he can't live on the 'outside'. "His Judgmenth Cometh" is not in sequence but it's a great cue that builds suspense as the warden's secret is discovered. "Suds on the Roof" is the first edition of the what I call hope theme. It's great and beautiful and a treat. "The Shawshank Redemption" cue is great that is undescribable it's very soft in the beginning before building up to a great climax. "Sisters" is another edition of The Shawshank Prison theme. It's a tad different. "The Marriage of Figaro" had to be on the soundtrack. It's a great scene in the movie, and the music kind of brings freedom and a sense of hope that just is grand. "And That Right Soon" is a great piece that is very active. With lots of fiddle playing or violins. "So Was Red" is the 2nd best cue on the soundtrack. It starts off with "Brooks was here" thing but then builds into a grand closure of the hope theme. "End Title" is no disapointment to a grand movie and soundtrack. The best movie ever made, and one of the best soundtracks ever written.
    Go get this soundtrack!...more info
  • This music is worth a listen for its own sake!
    I received this remarkable CD today and have just played it through. The action of the movie is underpinned throughout by Thomas Newman's music making quiet but powerful nudges into great waves of emotion on the part of the listener. We have all been Andy DuFreyn at one time or another, struggling to keep our humanity and human dignity when all seems lost. The powerful figure of Red assists Andy in his project to survive as a great human being. This music depicts that struggle and the wonderful transfiguration at the end is undoubtedly one of the most moving episodes I have ever seen. The most moving music for me, however, is the 'Brooks is here' piece as that little man, imprisoned since the early years of this century, let out into the ruthless modern world without any real support, just cannot take it...plus the loss of his raven, Jake. This is resolved by 'So was Red' in which the strength of the musical theme of Red overcomes that sadness and vacuous feeling that was Brooks as he committed suicide. The sense of a hot summer'e evening is magically portrayed as Red searches for those artifacts in the dirt that will bring him back to Andy. The mysterious hushed tones are gripping! This is first class. The style adopted is reminescent of some of Barber's magisterial solemn pieces as well as Roy Harris in his American introverted folkish idiom. To complement these we have the number from 'Figaro' that transfixed the prison for that brief moment of humanity as Andy sat back and revelled in his respite from brutality that comprised his everyday routine.

    If you were moved by the movie you will be amazed that the music does it alone to you. Perhaps it is the association with the action but I believe that Newton's music, especially in the Shawshank Redemption piece and 'So was Red', has the power to move me, irrespective of what they supported on screen....more info

  • Shawshank Sountrack
    I always loved the movie, and the soundtrack is no dissapointment, quality wise the soundtrack is quite good. If you liked the music to the movie then this is a good purchase....more info
  • This is the one that got me started on movie scores!
    It started back in highschool, well actually when I was in 7th grade and heard the music from the Shawshank Redemption for the first time. I simple fell in love with it. A while later, my brother bought me the soundtrack and I played it over and over and over......

    A few years later, I have purchased 47 movie scores. Everything from Sling Blade to Easy Rider to Dances With Wolves. Of course, my heart has gone out to Thomas Newman, the man who first haunted me with his movie score, The Shawshank Redemption.

    This score is my favorite of all of Newman's work, surpassing even the likes of How To Make An American Quilt, Meet Joe Black, and The Horse Whisperer. This, along with Fried Green Tomatoes, was the standard barer for most of Newman's current musical scores and despite some pressure from Road to Perdition and American Beauty, this one still stands as the leader of the pack when it comes to scores composed by Newman.

    BUY THIS ONE. Don't think twice. If you haven't owned any of Newman's scores yet, the perfect place to start is with The Shawshank Redemption....more info

  • An affecting CD that captures the movie's darkness and inspiration
    Don't listen to "The Shawshank Redemption Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" if you're in the car with the windows down; you might not be able to hear it. Most of the CD is soft-sounding and faint, but don't let those qualities deter you -- this is an excellent album. The dark overtones of the movie The Shawshank Redemption (Single Disc Edition) were furthered by the foreboding, often remote, music, and listening to this CD may take you back to what you felt while watching the riveting drama play out onscreen.

    Not all of this soundtrack is tinkling piano or a stirring string section. "May," the short lead-off fiddle track, and later renamed "Workfield" deeper into the CD, contains a rustic Civil War-era aura that belies the polished classical sound heard on most of this album. The stirring "Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)" properly begins this opus, a deep oboe and sublime string section indicating a plethora of beautiful classical sounds to come. Similarly, the ultra-soft, harrowing piano notes heard on "New Fish" are played again and again throughout the CD, in various forms, but never get old. Interestingly, many of these songs last under two minutes, but their effect resonates much longer; they feel far from transient. After hearing them, you may recognize added depth to the movie that wasn't as noticeable before. Some listeners may even entirely separate "Shawshank's" music from the movie altogether, due to its transcendent nature.

    Though much of this CD's music may conjure reflectiveness and despair, some of it contains old-time levity to capture the time period of the movie. The Inkspots' simple song "If I Didn't Care" may be a bit morose itself, but it pops up at a time on the album when the musical score by Thomas Newman becomes almost crushing in its singularity and sadness. Similarly, Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues," though a bit clumsy and country amid Newman's classical compositions, adds needed soul and a bit of fellowship.

    The melancholy piano heard on "Brooks Was Here," "Zihuatanejo" and "Compass and Guns," though simple and excruciatingly quiet, is astoundingly effective. Often backing the singular piano sounds is a similarly divine string section that will severely tug at heartstrings. Through all this beautiful darkness comes the inspirational "So Was Red" and then "End Title," two songs that, like they did in the movie, call forth feelings of hope and redemption. I'm probably being a little sappy, but as this music ends the CD, it's hard not to sentimentally envision both Andy (Tim Robbins' character) and Red (played by Morgan Freeman) reuniting on a sandy beach as the blue waves crash into their rejuvenated existence.
    ...more info
  • It's all been said.
    Have to chime in and vote for this film score as one of the top five in cinematic history, right up there with Horner's "Field of Dreams" and Bernstein's "To Kill a Mockingbird". I also agree with someone below....listening to the last two cuts ("So Was Red" and the End Title) with the headphones on, the volume up, lying on your back....is a life-affirming experience that will have you setting out for Zihuatenejo to find Andy Dufresne too. Few scores have so successfully captured the spirit and message of a film. And if you haven't seen the movie, see it!...more info
  • Mixed bag, but one stands out...
    THis was an astounding and uplifting movie. I first saw it at home and when Tim Robbins' character finally gets the record player and then broadcasts Sull'Aria from Marriage of Figaro it brought me to tears. The piece of music, which I was not familiar with since I generally detest Opera, tied with the scene and its redemptive character, is one of the most moving things I'v ever experienced. It is one of the most beautiful melodies ever. So I bought the disk and I've practically worn it out on that track. And also the old Hank Williams and Inkspots stuff, great stuff. SOme of the rest of it is hard to listen to without the accompaniament of the movie....more info
  • Wonderful soundtrack
    Loved the movie and the music! Just listening to the music reminds of the film and is so touching. Great compositions....more info
  • An Angel Ascending Into The Heavens
    Basically -- I LOVE THIS ENTIRE ALBUM! I especially love:

    Track 11 -- "Shawshank Redemption" -- it sounds like an Angel departing this troubled world, and ascending into the heavens.

    Tracks 20 & 21 -- "So Was Red" and "End Title" -- convey much the same general theme.

    I must also say that Mr. Newman is a highly adept composer and conductor.

    The only drawback here is the rating system -- you mean they only allow me to give it up to five stars?

    Try it, you'll love it!...more info

  • Unbelievable
    I own a lot of soundtracks but this is by far my favorite. The music is descriptive, emotional, strong, and yet hopeful. It perfectly reflects the perfection of the movie, and it is a great thing to own. If you ever loose faith in the world or your life, simply listen to the last two tracks of this soundtrack and your spirit will soar....more info
  • A shawshankingly brilliant score
    Thomas Newman does it again with another fantastic score to an outstanding film. The majority of the music is dark and ominous in tone, representing the realities of life in prison. The prison theme found in "Shawshank Prison" is just that kind of theme, dark and ominous with darkly scored string passages with a strong violin. You might wonder how music that is this dark and depressing gets 5 stars. It's because it cleverly shows the realities of a prison environment and getting the freedom that you deserve. All of this is wonderfully expressed throughout each and every track. The main theme in the film is found in "Shawshank Redemption", "So Was Red", and "End Title" which is a gorgeous, powerful, and bold theme played on strings that gives you that feeling of freedom I was talking about earlier. The theme is somewhat close to Marc Shaiman's theme from "The American President" which came out after this score. Tracks such as "May" and "Workfield" contain a southern like feel, while "Rock Hammer" and "Lovely Raquel" contain quirky like rhythms for strings. The best track is "End Title" which gives a full orchestral performance of the wonderful main theme. This score was nominated for an academy award and should have won the award, but didn't. Still, a great score that maybe difficult to listen to the first time through, but give it a chance and it will definitely begin to grow on you....more info
  • Powerful Album Delivers Hope
    I am a huge fan of the movie, and, being a music teacher, picked up on the music right away & had to have the album. The way Thomas Newman puts such varied compositional genres together makes it unique indeed. From the typical classical themes, to synthesized music, to the fiddle music, it all fits into the movie's major theme of freedom in America. I agree with another reviewer-it's a shame that the rating only goes to 5 stars. As Red soon discovered, I think the hope in Andy Dufresne is infectious, as is this music! This is definitely a must-have in any music collection!...more info
  • Amazing
    The sinister atmosphere he produces with tracks such as the 'Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)' and 'An Inch of Hi Life' are fantastic pieces, even if you have not seen the film.

    In 'So Was Red' leading straight into the 'End Titles' Newman creates a real feeling of space and freedom as if all the tension has been lifted. Amazing music....more info
  • Terrific and brooding - The last 3 tracks are extraordinary.
    I love it. The movie and the music compliment each other perfectly. This was the best film of 1994 by far. Forrest Gump is a close second but this music is still second best to FG. Wonderful. Be sure to check out the last 3 tracks, they are outstanding....more info