253. James Horner – ‘Titanic Suite’ (1998)

Taken from the album Back To Titanic

‘Titanic Suite’s first section is taken heavily from ‘Hymn To The Sea’, the final track on the original Titanic album, and because (spoiler alert) I’m going to be talking about that song heavily later on, this will focus on the rest of the music from the soundtrack. And there was so much more to enjoy on the instrumental Titanic soundtrack than just Celine’s megahit ‘My Heart Will Go On’. The score, composed by James Horner, is my favourite film score, and I have never heard music capture the tone and mood of a film so completely. I’m no film score expert, but in my humble opinion, this is really where it’s at.

The music in Titanic, much like the film, is all about light, darkness and seperation: there are dizzying highs, like in ‘Southampton’ and ‘Take Her To Sea, Mr. Murdoch’, where the music reflects the sense of grandeur and hope – the promise of a new era of technology, the promise of America, and the excitement of visiting places around the world in luxury and style. Here the score takes on a sprightly, almost Disney-like style, which conveys the innocence of the times and the simplistic nature of the love story at the heart of the movie.

And then there come the crashing lows, what with all the death and everything when the Titanic sinks. In pieces like ‘The Sinking’ and ‘Death Of Titanic’, the sheer desperation and seriousness of the situation comes through, with a gigantic amount of high-octane DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA. The switch from joy to impending death in such a short time calls for a really skilled composer and James Horner is the best when it comes to epic films. When the soundtrack did so well – selling 30 million copies and sixteen (SIXTEEN) straight weeks at the top of the US album chart – Back To Titanic was released, featuring more music and reinterpretations of music from the film. The best song there was ‘Titanic Suite’ a neat, 20 minute summation of the incredible score from this incredible film.

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