Rain Man

Hans Zimmer

" Limited Edition, definitely definitely Limited Edition! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

Oscar movies are a funny thing. Rain Man was the perfect combination of two brothers finding each other during a difficult moment in their life. The movie earned a best picture, best actor, best director and best screenplay award. It was also a box office champion and received enough critical acclaim to last a lifetime.

Soundtrack albums are a funny thing too. Rain Man was released on a song / score related album in 1988, delivering us the songs from the movie and an eleven minute presentation of Zimmer's nominated score. For some, it was more than enough. Soundtrack labels are a funny thing as well, considering Persevearance Records released the bootleg format on a limited edition soundtrack in 2010, making the full score available to the population. But composers are a funny thing too, because most composers hate it when they see their earliest releases appear after all this time in full format and on the market.

Rain Man's an early career soundtrack of Zimmer, and it shows once you hear "Drive From the Country". Zimmer's early sound of synthesizers mixed with a pre-main theme statement transport you immediately back to the 80's. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it takes a bit of getting used too. Zimmer's catchy melodies in "Drive to the Bank and Wallbrook" show us the composer's ability to come up with fun tunes while over conquering synth put "Traffic Accident and Aftermath" on the map.

The main pride of Rain Man of course is the winning and much beloved main theme, and all it took was a beat and a pan flute. Nothing more was required to make it an Oscar nominee. The winning main theme performances on this disc are discovered in "Leaving Wallbrook", "On the Road" and "End Credits", while new album performances show up in "Traffic Accident and Aftermath", "Walk Don't Run", "Farmhouse" and "Train Station Goodbye".

The drama theme that usually functions before the main theme gets enough moments during the newly released tracks too, including "Putting Ray to Bed", "Smoke Alarm" and "My Main Man". But its best performance is linked with the best main theme version in "End Credits", a track that hasn't lost its charm whatsoever. The crown jewel is the wild "Las Vegas" cue that mixes winning jazz and beats with catchy vocals, heightening a legendary scene in the process.

Today we are complaining about the amount of soundtracks that receive a nomination or Oscar because they are featured in one of the movies of the year. Frankly Rain Man was no different in 1988. But I can vouch for it by saying that it at least adds an emotional level to a movie that makes it justifiable. Rain Man isn't brilliant but it suffices, and it at least shows a musical score that enhances the specific scenes, or with an emotional response, or with a wild energetic rush. This complete edition isn't really necessary because it doesn't bring anything remotely staggering, but I'm pleased to report that it still functions well on a soundtrack experience basis, even after all this time.

Rain Man (1988 Release) ***
Rain Man (2010 Release) ***


1. Drive From the Country (1.23)
2. Empty House (0.44)
3. Charlie's Memories (0.36)
4. Drive to the Bank and Wallbrook (1.23)
5. Leaving Wallbrook (1.40)
6. Traffic Accident and Aftermath (3.57)
7. Train Crossing (0.18)
8. Walk Don't Run (1.27)
9. Farmhouse (0.47)
10. Putting Ray to Bed (2.00)
11. On the Road (1.22)
12. Las Vegas (6.51) Excellent track
13. Piano Source Music (1.04)
14. Smoke Alarm (01:23)
15. Pancakes (1.07)
16. My Main Man (1.33)
17. Train Station Goodbye (1.52)
18. End Credits (3.12) Excellent track

Bonus Tracks
19. On the Road (Wild Panpipes) (1.16)
20. Las Vegas (Wild Vocals & Percussion) (1.11)

Total Length: 35.06
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 21 votes - average 3.55/5)

Released by

Perseverance Records PRD 037 (limited release 2010)