Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Michael Kamen

 
" !!! Bullseye !!! "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

One of the greatest hits of 1991 was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Capturing a great all star cast of individuals (especially Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman), the movie was a hit with audiences due to various reasons. One of the reasons was Bryan Adam's legendary crowd pleaser "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You", but don't forget the inevitable charm, visual excellence and some very noteworthy performances. Besides that, the late Michael Kamen wrote perhaps one of his most beloved scores ever, if not one of his most accessible.

As usual, the score works tremendously during the picture. But Robin Hood will always remain one of the scores that works equally well on CD. Kamen wrote not only one of the most enjoyable heroic themes ever, he also wrote one of the loveliest love themes ever. Together alongside a hefty doses of dark atmosphere and rollicking action music, it gave Robin Hood the classic status it has amongst fans today.

It all opens with the mother of all openings, namely with the brilliant first minutes of "Overture and a Prisoner of the Crusades". From the very first notes, you know you've got a winner on your hands. The way the main theme develops into this rousing orchestral crowd pleaser remains until this day one of my all time favourites. However after this thunderous opening, the score turns surprisingly dark and threatening, delivering various ethnic instrumental performances in the mix to underscore the daring escape of Robin and Kazeem from the prison.

While "Sir Guy of Gisborne and the Escape to Sherwood" and "The Sheriff and his Witch" give the score its fair share of dark moments, it is the thundering combination of the adventure music with the romantic music that makes Robin Hood so enjoyable. In "Little John and the Band in the Forest" Michael Kamen isn't afraid to deliver you some playful adventure music. But it's when we hear the love theme in full motion that we truly discover the glowing heart of the score. In "Maid Marian" and "Marian at the Waterfall" we hear in full what a glorious and lovely romantic theme Robin Hood possesses.

Plus, aside from the brilliant main theme performance in the first track, we also discover another winning concert performance in "Training / Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves", one which dances alongside the screen as arrows fly towards their destination. And in "The Abduction and the Final Battle at the Gallows" we receive the latter part of the action music, including the romantic send off at the end.

The problem that keeps Robin Hood however from a much more deserved rating is the absolute lack of some of the best moments of the score. We miss the escape from the church, we miss the first part of the final battle music, but we truly miss the absolutely riveting music of the forest attack. This highlight alone is one of the most sorely missed cues ever, and I'm only curious when we will receive a much deserved deluxe edition of this score. So, this keeps Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves from its (probably) deserved rating. Because it remains until this day one of Michael Kamen's most accessible scores, giving you 2 themes that will stand the test of time effortlessly. In truth, it received its much deserved Golden Globe Nomination.

Tracklisting

1. Overture and a Prisoner of the Crusades (8.23) Excellent track
2. Sir Guy of Gisborne and the Escape to Sherwood (7.23)
3. Little John and the Band in the Forest (4.49)
4. The Sheriff and his Witch (5.59)
5. Maid Marian (2.55) Excellent track
6. Training / Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (5.11) Excellent track
7. Marian at the Waterfall (5.30) Excellent track
8. The Abduction and the Final Battle at the Gallows (9.53) Excellent track
9. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You: Brian Adams (6.36) Excellent track
10. Wild Times: Jeff Lynne (3.12)

Total Length: 60.25
(click to rate this score)  
 
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(total of 39 votes - average 4.55/5)

Released by

Morgan Creek Productions 2959_20004-2 (regular release 1991)

Conducted by

Michael Kamen

Orchestrations by

Chris Boardman, Harvey Cohen, Don Davis, Richard Davis, Jack Hayes, Elliot Kaplan, Albert Lloyd Olson, Eric Reasoner, Lolita Ritmanis, William Ross, Patrick Russ, Jonathan Sacks, Brad Warnaar, Mark Watters, Bruce Babcok & Michael Kamen

Performed by

The Greater Los Angeles Orchestra