It turns out that Bo Hansson is not a forgotten name in music at all. Plenty of people wrote to say that they had his album on vinyl; however people found his music on CD at Amazon and at CDNow. Opinions on it were varied:
“It is a mixed bag, some tracks work and some tracks are grimly awful.
The cover was very strange, but this was the 70’s and we were all wearing lurex socks at the time. The decade that style forgot.”
Other people liked it a lot more:
“I think Bo Hansson wanted to explore LOTR in a very personal way, and in this aspect he certainly succeeds. The tracks range from themes from The Old Forest to The Grey Havens, yet Hansson seem to have focused on a somewhat nostalgic take on the books. Whenever I put on this record I get the ‘You can never go home again-ish’ feeling that Tolkien illustrates in the latter part of ‘The Return of the King’ with the ‘Scouring of the Shire’ and Frodo’s leave. The burden of the ring is also heavily evident in the musical landscape, though without being dreary or too melancholic. All in all this record is an obscure gem not to be forgotten when Tolkien derrived music is discussed. It has achieved cult status in various circles, but aside from that it gets (maybe too,) little notice.”
Thanks to Sam and Aelinwen for that.
DW sent me a clip on realaudio, thanks for that, and Sam gave the URL of the Bo Hansson website
More people put in a plug for Blind Guardian. Whether you envisage LOTR with a heavy metal backing is a matter of taste. Stranger had this to say:
“If to talk about Tolkien related music – yes, Blind Guardian is great (my favourite band), but yes, you’re right, there are more good Tolkien music. For example, check out Classical Swords . There you can find “Lord Of The Rings” album of classical music in mp3’s, rated as film music (actually, as written, some compositions are really using music from Bakshi’s film). Or a Russian Blind Guardian-style band called “Shadow Host”. In their last album “Downfall” they have the song called “Galadriel” (you even can hear elven speech there! 🙂 ). Even Enya has a piano composition (I dont’t actually remember its name, something like “Lothlorien”). And there are much more. So there is no lack of Tolkien music now. :)”
For those preferring something more classical, there’s this suggestion from Elrond320:
“I read on the webpage about “Tolkien-inspired music” and thought you might also be interested in learning about a five movement wind symphony by Johann de Meij called The Lord of the Rings. Its five movements are:
IV. The Mines of Moria (Journey in the Dark)
The music is very good and will appeal to classical listeners and probably all Tolkien fans in general. The themes are well done; bright brass fanfares for Gandalf, haunting drum beats for Moria and a playful march for the hobbits. I don’t know of any recordings on the web, but I found the mp3’s on Napster. Enjoy!”
Thanks again to Orjan, who sent us the URLs to Summoning:
The Official Summoning Homepage They have lots of the songs and poems on their site, along with cool pictures.
Then you have to scroll down till you find Summoning. When you’re on the Summoning page, press ‘Soundsamples’.. and vòila…
Don’t all write to me with your suggestions for who’d do a great LOTR soundtrack please, I don’t have Peter Jackson’s ear on this. If I did I’d put forward Phillip Feeney’s name. He wrote the score for the ballet ‘Dracula’ that’s currently touring NZ. It’s been a hit in the UK and here, and is about to get to Australia. Very wonderful, very dark. Don’t miss it.