Medal of Honor Soundtrack Collection (8 Discs)
Music By Michael Giacchino, Christopher
Lennertz & Ramin Djawadi
Performed By The Northwest Sinfonia & Chorus,
And The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
Scores Conducted By Tim Simonec, Richard Rientul
(For Michael Giacchino’s scores)
& Christopher Lennertz
Scores Produced By Michael Giacchino,
Christopher Lennertz, Ramin Djawadi,
Peter Hirschmann, and Jeff Vaughn.
MOH Soundtrack Collection Produced By Steve Schnur,
Raphella Lima, Erik Kraber and MV Gerhard
LaLaLand Records LLLCD1159
Limited Edition of 2000 Copies
Running Times For Each Disc at the Bottom of the Review
Released On April 8, 2011
“It has been gratifying as a gamer just playing all the inertations of Medal of Honor to experience firsthand how lifelike the combat in Medal of Honor has evolved from the very first game I created in 1998. A lot of developers cut their teeth on Medal of Honorand have become stars in their own right, which also could be said for finding the composers who make video games felt more and more like movies.” – Steven Spielberg
There’s nothing better and more exciting to start a review with a quote from one of the greatest directors of all time. Nothing could be sweeter than to review a set from three different composers with three different styles, but all have created some of the most memorable and unforgettable music for a series of video games that no one thought would reach the heights that they have in 13 years. The music of Medal of Honor is definitely the most revered and groundbreaking because it would spark a more postitive trend for video games getting real exciting and expansive music. Definitely not the blips and keyboard bleeps that once dominated video games in the early 80’s and through the early 90’s, which some were actually pretty good like Super Mario Bros.3 and Street Fighter 2 for example.
Metal of Honor was the brainchild of Steven Spielberg who came up with the idea for the video game while he had been filming his WWII epic Saving Private Ryan and had formed his own studio Dreamworks in 1995 with moguls Jeffery Katzenberg and David Geffen. They had also formed another company, Dreamworks Interactive which had mostly ties with movies the studio were producing. Medal of Honor was their first original game and after taking Spielberg’s idea, Peter Hirschmann wrote out the actual storyline for the game which took place at the end of the war involving the games main protagonist, Lt.Jimmy Patterson. So the stage was set and the game was released to a very enthusatic and overwhelming response which would change the face of video games from that point on.
What set the MOH games apart from the rest of the first shooter games that had come out, were high quality and craftsmanship, the compelling storylines and the music. The music is probably the most vital part of movie or Broadway show and now, video games have also been given the royal treatment. Games would now feature grand orchestrial scores and themes by the likes of John Debney, Christopher Young, Penka Kouneva, Harry Gregson-Williams, Danny Elfman, Chris Tilton, Jesper Kyd, Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore. So composers didn’t just have films or television to write great music for, now the world of video games would also be a great creative outlet as well. Michael Giacchino, the recent Academy Award winner for Disney’s Up, got his start in the video game genre with his outstanding orchestrial score for The Lost World:Jurassic Park which impressed Steven Spielberg and the game producers to give him the job of writing the memorable score for Medal of Honor. Giacchino’s score is exactly what the producers hoped for and more. Grand and epic. It’s almost similar to the work of Spielberg’s close friend the legendary John Williams and with each score that Giacchino would compose for each different game, the Williams influence would grow leaps and bounds. Giacchino would compose the music for no less than five games which include Medal Of Honor, MOH:Underground, MOH:Frontline, MOH:Allied Assault and MOH:Airborne. He returned to the series despite his growing busy schedule which included films such as Mission Impossible 3, Ratatoullie, and of course the hit TV series, Lost because he loved the game. When Giacchino was busy, another up and rising composer was ready to fill his shoes albeit temporarily at least. That musical voice was that of Christopher Lennertz, who was virtually unknown at the time scoring independent films and was a student/protege of the late Basil Poledouris, who’s influence is clearly heard at times in his work. MOH:Pacific Assault was the first score that Lennertz would provide for the series which also used some of Giacchino’s already recorded music from the other games. It wouldn’t be until the next installment, MOH:Rising Sun which he really got to shine. Rising Sun which was written by Poledouris’ best friend Director John Millius’ provided Lennertz with the inspiration to do his teacher proud with an epic work that really stands out on its own. Lennertz would go on to write MOH European Assault and also for a couple of other games scores in 007 From Russia With Love and Quantam of Solace as well as writing the music for hit film such as Alvin & The Chipmunks and Hop. Ramin Djawadi is the latest composer to join the MOH family as the with the time, the game itself changed from its original WWII setting to more modern times of Iraq and Afghanistan for its latest incarnation of the game. Djawadi who is another protege of composer Hans Zimmer, had already wet his feet writing additional music for Zimmer’s films and writing scores for Blade:Trinity and the hit, short lived series, Prison Break. His music provided the modern edge the producers were looking for which is more synthetic than orchestrial adding layers of Ethnic instruments on top of his sound.
Personally, I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this box for the last few weeks. I thought about splitting it into seperate reviews to give each score a proper due, but with the massive amount of music contained on each disc and the box as a whole, it would’ve been impossible to make a more plausable review that wouldn’t short change it. The music is just so damn good, that to breakdown each score individually would really take away how really special this box truely is. For game fans of the series, it’s a blessing and for soundtrack fans, it is a grand revelation. There is endless amounts of without a doubt the most exciting, operatic, thrilling and unforgettable music ever created for a video game no less. The scores themselves really truly sound like they were composed for series of war films and if they were, they would no doubt rank amongst the best. Giacchino, Lennertz and Djawadi were really given the opportunity to shine and create music on an epic scale that otherwise they probably wouldn’ve have been allowed to with the current schedules that composers are given to write music for film and television nowadays. The quality of the music absolutely stands out for itself and it definitely due to Spielberg and the game’s producers making sure that they got the highest quality in every detail and aspects of all the games. It’s also not surprising why soundtrack and game fans have clammored for releases of the games soundtracks for all these years which were available with the game pre-orders. promotional composer CD’s and ITunes downloads. Personally, I’ve owned a few of these myself and wasn’t aware of the other score existance and now thanks to those great and hard working folks at Dreamworks Interactive, Electronic Arts and LaLaLand Records I was able to hear and enjoy the masterful work of three composers who made this bigger than one could’ve ever imagined.
This is a great all out package produced here without question and without a doubt, “THE” box set/collection of the year. The packaging is simply dynamic with an hard bound slipcase with Steven Spielberg’s words on the side of it and all the disc encased by seperate clamshell cases for max. protection with beautiful painted artwork from game score represented. The booklet itself is a great piece of words by Dan Goldwasser filled with great picture stills and extremely detailed notes on the production of the game and all those great musicians who performed on the games’ respective scores throughout the years. This is really amazing, it really is.
LaLaLand Records has to be seriously commended for this box and kudos to the game’s producers who really participated in its production in all aspects to make this special set really come to life. You cannot also forget the unforgettable work of Michael Giacchino, Christopher Lennertz and Ramin Djawadi, who really the games a more realistic and dramatic approach because without them, there wouldn’t be any Medal Of Honor.
BRILLIANT!!!!!! SIMPLY MAGNIFICENT!!!
The Medal of Honor Collection is now available to order from LaLaLand Records (www.lalalandrecords.com) with full details on the box as well.
MOH Disc 1 (Giacchino) – 18 Tracks Running Time: 69:27
MOH Underground Disc 2 (Giacchino) – 18 Tracks Running Time: 65:35
MOH Frontline Disc 3 (Giacchino) – 18 Tracks Running Time:74:40
MOH Allied Assault (Giacchino)/Pacific Assault (Lennertz)/European Assault (Lennertz)
Disc 4 – 30 Tracks Running Time:66:02
MOH Rising Sun Disc 5 (Lennertz) – 31 Tracks Running Time: 61:59
MOH Airborne (Giacchino) – 20 Tracks Running Time: 63:52
MOH (2010) (Ramin Djawadi) – 29 Tracks Running Time: 78:34
MOH Bonus Disc Disc 8 (Additional Music From Rising Sun,
European Assault and Airborne) – 46 Tracks – Running Time: 67:21
– Danny Gonzalez
Film Music Examiner New York- NYC, NY