11950 WALL-E: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Produced by Thomas Newman and Bill Bernstein
Released on June 24, 2008
GRAMMY AWARDS: Best Instrumental Arrangement ("Define Dancing")
and Best Song Written for Film, Etc. ("Down To Earth")
Find it at GEMM
11950 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he film score to the animated film WALL-E is a self-sustaining futureworld of playful sounds and miniature movements interrupted by (intentionally) out-of-place excerpts from Hello Dolly and Louis Armstrong. Composed by Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, Finding Nemo), the music also features a trio of collaborations with Peter Gabriel, including the Grammy Award-winning instrumental “Define Dancing” (Best Instrumental Arrangement) and the song “Down To Earth” (Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, etc.). Ordinarily, I don’t have much use for the soundtrack when the movie’s over. Rarely do I sit down and listen to soundtracks as modern classical music (their closest parallel in the purely musical medium). WALL-E is different. At 38 tracks and 80 minutes of music, simple math will tell you that a lot of these pieces are over quickly, which (you’ll say) will be a hindrance to entering the world of WALL-E. But Newman’s musical language is unique and compelling enough to draw you in and hold your attention for a good 70 of those minutes. Now, some of this is simply your standard high-quality mood-building music: swelling strings when lovers meet, the busy backdrop of the city, the danger-filled discovery, etc. But Newman and a large, large cast of players create a lot of unconventional sounds with instruments labelled lateral sponge guitar, strumming zebra, iridium chimes and the like. Newman, who has recorded his share of heavy scores, seems a natural for comedy, delivering such silly sendups as “First Date” and “Foreign Contaminant.” After the strange introduction of “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” which trails off into a profound emptiness, Newman begins peopling his new world with strange yet somehow familiar sounds in “2815 A.D.” and “Wall-E.” Listening to the score, you can almost see the action taking place; I think he did an amazing job of capturing the on-screen action in the music. Since I enjoyed the film, it’s fun to retrace its steps as an audio-only experience. Honestly, the only reason I picked up this disc was to hear the Peter Gabriel song at the end (which I like a lot), and I’m surprised to say I haven’t been tempted to skip forward to it once, but instead sit through the entire score every time. It’s still a film score, of course, which will limit its appeal for many listeners, but it’s worth hearing at least once (enter: your local library). The disc is also smartly repackaged in recycled material and would get my nod as a finalist for the year’s best packaging design.

11950 gatefold sleeve
11950 gatefold sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES    (Jerry Herman)
  2. 2815 A.D.
  3. WALL-E
  4. THE SPACESHIP
  5. EVE    (Thomas Newman/Peter Gabriel)
  6. THRUST
  7. BUBBLE WRAP
  8. LA VIE EN ROSE  &bnsp; (Louiguy/Edith Piaf/Mack David)
  9. EYE SURGERY WORRY WAIT
  10. FIRST DATE
  11. EVE RETRIEVE
  12. THE AXIOM
  13. BNL    (Thomas Newman/Bill Bernstein)
  14. FOREIGN CONTAMINANT
  15. REPAIR WARD
  16. 72 DEGREES AND SUNNY
  17. TYPING BOT
  18. SEPTUACENTENNIAL
  19. GOPHER
  20. WALL-E'S POD ADVENTURE
  21. DEFINE DANCING    (Thomas Newman/Peter Gabriel)
  22. NO SPLASHING NO DIVING
  23. ALL THAT LOVE'S ABOUT
  24. M-O
  25. DIRECTIVE A-113
  26. MUTINY!
  27. FIXING WALL-E
  28. ROGUE ROBOTS
  29. MARCH OF THE GELS
  30. TILT
  31. THE HOLD-DETECTOR
  32. HYPERJUMP
  33. DESPERATE EVE
  34. STATIC
  35. IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT    (Jerry Herman)
  36. DOWN TO EARTH    (Thomas Newman/Peter Gabriel)
  37. HORIZON 12.2

    All music composed by Thomas Newman unless noted

CREDITS

JOHN BEASLEY -- dompteur xylophone, future modulator, floating backwards, strumming zebra, metal arpeggios, satellites
BILL BERNSTEIN -- electric bass guitar, face ambience, music editor
RICK COX -- telegraph, flexible foam pads, air extensions, granulated ambience, lateral sponge guitar, hidden zither
GEORGE DOERING -- valiha, epinette des voges, electric autoharp, electric guitar, bowed lap dulcimer, ebow, Aeolian windharp, contra bass nylon guitar
MICHAEL FISHER -- Scottish snare drum, Cajon, floor toms, timpani, clay pan drum, djun djuns, reverse wave drum, vibraphone, metals
DAN GRECO -- timpani, iridium chimes, snare drum, soprano vibraphone, bass marimba, flapamba, bass drum, metals
STEVE KUJALA -- flute, alto flute, piccolo, bass flute, whistle tones
THOMAS NEWMAN -- 1/4 violin, celeste, conductor
SID PAGE -- concertmaster
STEVE TAVAGLIONE -- processed hang, granulated string, EWI, randomized brass, flute, whistle, rendered harp
Ben Burtt -- sound effects voice design
Peter Gabriel -- vocals, producer (37)
Thomas Pasatieri, J.A.C. Redford, Gary K. Thomas, Carl Johnson -- orchestrations
The Soweto Gospel Choir -- choir (37)
Chris Montan -- exective music producer
Tommy Vicari -- engineer, mixing
Richard Chappell -- engineer (37)
Tchad Blake -- mixing (37)
Steve Gerdes -- creative direction
Steve Sterling -- album design

return to PETER GABRIEL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US June 24, 2008 Walt Disney CD 11950  
UK 2008 EMI CD 228235-2  

 

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