$5 MP3 Album Deal: ‘Tron: Legacy – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’

For a huge selection of high quality MP3 albums at low prices there’s no better place to shop online than at Amazon. Every month the website hosts a wide variety of downloadable discs for $5 at their MP3 Store where each month they have 100 titles available, each of which will only set you back a single digital Abe Lincoln. Since individual MP3’s tend to sell for 99 cents at least you’re saving yourself a few bucks as well. Among the sweet deals Amazon is offering in November you’ll find titles from artists such as Lauren Hill, Bob Dylan, the Black Keys, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, John Coltrane, Kings of Leon, and Norah Jones.

There’s not a single dud in this bunch, but there’s one particular selection that has caught my attention so I’ve decided to write about it in greater detail: Tron: Legacy – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

When the filmmakers responsible for the nearly three-decades-in-the-making ambitious, CGI-laden 3D sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult classic/visual effects groundbreaker Tron needed the right composer to bring the film’s eye-popping action sequences and visuals to life they didn’t consult with anyone like John Williams or Danny Elfman. They went to French electronica musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, better known as Daft Punk. It was an unusual decision at first, but given that the music for the original Tron came courtesy of Wendy Carlos, a composer noted for the extensive use of synthesizer music in her work, it seemed appropriate.

By the time Daft Punk was hired, Tron: Legacy was already proving to be an expensive gamble for Walt Disney Pictures and they knew one of the key ingredients in producing a memorable film was a great soundtrack. Early on, de Homem-Christo and Bangalter knew that they couldn’t take the same approach to creating a film score on the scale that a big-budget production like Tron: Legacy demanded; the duo had worked on movie soundtracks before, but now they would have to take their game to an entirely new level. Daft Punk looked to the past works of famed film composers such as Max Steiner, Bernard Hermann, John Carpenter, Vangelis, and Maurice Jarre, as well as Wendy Carlos.

In a move reminiscent of how the late Sergio Leone worked with his composer of choice Ennio Morricone, de-Homem-Christo and Bangalter were involved in the production of Tron: Legacy from the very beginning and the music they created was ultimately used to edit the film with, rather than having the composers come in and work on the score once the movie’s final edit was complete. This also enabled the Disney marketing department to make good use of several score pieces, such as “The Game Has Changed” and “Derezzed,” in the film’s promotional campaign. Daft Punk also made a cameo in the film as DJs in the digital world’s End of Line Club.

Although the movie itself received mixed reviews and didn’t do the boffo box office Disney was hoping for, Daft Punk’s score was rapturously received by admirers of the movie, film score aficionados, and fans of the duo alike. de Homem-Christo and Bangalter had achieved great success in merging their traditional electronic sound with the grandiosity of epic adventure film music to create a score that was propulsive, emotional, mysterious, and full of light and wonderment. In short, Daft Punk did a far superior job of telling the story of Tron: Legacy than the filmmakers. The score alternately helps the film reach greater heights than it aspired and separately allowed your imagination to create a richer and more satisfying story that the score deserved.

Tracks like “Recognizer,” “C.L.U.,” “Disc Wars,” and “Fall” give the action sequences an aural fuel that burns like pure blue flame even when their failed by the structure of the writing and direction. There’s genuine emotion in the opening “Overture” and the concluding “Flynn Lives” (my personal favorite track), and on “Rectifier” you get a sense of the potent dread of being a stranger in a world ruled by dark forces with powerful technology at their disposal and the cruelty and knowledge to use it for their nefarious purposes. But the true beauty of the film’s world within our world can be summed up with the soothing beauty and awe-inspired joy of “Solar Sailer.”

Tron: Legacy – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is one of the finest film scores in recent years and worth picking up, especially for only $5. This album along with many more MP3 titles will be on sale until the end of the month, so take advantage of these deals while they last.

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy of the album, CD is only $6.99.

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