Raincatcher Records

Discover a new song, old or new (but probably old)

Leonard Rosenman - "The Voyage To Mordor; Theme From The Lord of the Rings" (1978 Fantasy Records)

Cover Image for Leonard Rosenman - "The Voyage To Mordor; Theme From The Lord of the Rings" (1978 Fantasy Records)

c Leonard Rosenman; from The Lord of the Rings, Fantasy – LOR - 1

With all due respect, I really wanted to do a post on "The Man Who Can't Forget" from the (tragically underrated) Wheel of Time show, whose second season is premiering Friday, but Amazon or whoever haven't officially released it. Even the clips are all bootleg:

So instead here's the main theme plus some build-up from the 1978 animated Lord of the Rings movie; cause The Wheel of Time is the same s***, sometimes beat for beat, but at a five times slower pace (I'm on book three of fourteen/fifteen with the plot going a mile an hour, and apparently "the slog" is still to come...definitely go for the show).

1978's The Lord of the Rings, from legendary alternative-animator Ralph Bakshi (Fritz the Cat, Fire & Ice), is in no wise the definitive adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's opus, and for its part Leonard Rosenman's score is a lot more typical-sounding than those of Howard Shore (who scored the Peter Jackson movies). It seems Rosenman (Rebel Without a Cause, The Twilight Zone 1959, Star Trek IV), who is remembered above for modernizing film scores in his day, has himself fallen victim to time's progress as this movie's theme and the preceding "The Voyage to Mordor" now sound distinctly last-century (with shades of John Williams)…like something you might hear on retro TV. But at around two-thirds of the way in, it gets real good and memorable. You know the part...

…not that it's fair to make a comparison to one/three of the greatest film scores of all time. But if I may, here's a cool video that swaps some Howard Shore into a scene from the Bakshi movie:

The 1978 Lord of the Rings also famously covers just the first two-thirds of the story, or at least the first two Peter Jackson movies (I always forget that after they beat Sauron in Return of the King there's a whole half a book to go). I actually had the unexpected opportunity to experience what 1978 audiences must have felt when my friend and I went to see Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse last month and belatedly found out there's going to be a sequel - which like a Bakshi Return of the King we may also never get....but bear in mind that Across the Spider-Verse is the longest animated movie of all time at slightly under two-and-a-half-hours and Bakshi's movie is only eight minutes shorter, and they're both worth seeing (Across the Spider-Verse is also just great).

I'm not familiar with Rosenman's other work so I'll leave off with some lesser(-known) Howard Shore. And some stuff from The Wheel of Time too - it's got a very eclectic, world-music sounding score that also makes it better than your average fantasy show.

Also Check Out:

By Howard Shore:

"The World is Ahead" (from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) - YouTube | Spotify

"Thrice Welcome" (from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) - YouTube | Spotify

By Lorne Balfe:

"The Aftermath" - YouTube | Spotify

"Tar Valon" - YouTube | Spotify

"From the West" - YouTube | Spotify

More Posts