The history of the King of Kings soundtrack is a complicated one. The original 1961 album with a King of Kings score actually contained re-recordings of music used in the soundtrack (though composer Miklos Rozsa did conduct). A 1990s CD did have music from the actual film soundtrack, but featured only about half of the score heard in the movie. This 2002 Rhino double CD has about 135 minutes in all, including some extended versions of cues that are longer than those heard in the film, marking the first release of the complete score. As such it must be considered the definitive soundtrack to the epic, and boasts a suitably grandiose, often pompous flavor. It was a style of movie-making, and film scoring, that was coming to the end of its heyday: portentous orchestral strings, swells of volume and march-like tempos indicating danger and crisis, sudden drops in orchestral density marking gentle interludes in which there remained an uneasy sense that the story wasn't over yet. Also on board are plenty of pious massed choral vocals, which are actually the
most moving segments, particularly when they vocalize the film's theme. If you go for that sort of thing, King of Kings has it in spades, though with such a long running time, it might take a good deal more patience to sit through both CDs than it would to watch the (very lengthy in its own right) film. The 44-page booklet is mostly devoted to copious notes about the production of the film and its cast, and has some comments on score highlights by Rozsa.