Original Soundtrack

The Hindenburg

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

David Shire's brooding score for Robert Wise's 1975 film The Hindenburg was originally issued to relatively little notice on vinyl by MCA. Unfortunately, the movie provided little in the way of inspiration to the composer -- perhaps it was the coldness of the production, or the fact that even the ostensible "hero" of the piece was, after all, working for the Hitler government, willingly or not, but Shire's resulting score is relatively perfunctory. There are moments of interest, but just moments, and they are few and far between, such as "Up Ship," the underscoring of the start of the airship's voyage. As with the movie itself, for which the makers were forced to pad out the action with newsreel footage of the period (most obviously the famous footage of the airship's explosion and crash), the makers of the soundtrack included almost three-minutes of stage-setting audio from the film in the opening, newsreel-style, establishing the period and subject at hand. The soundtrack album finally arrived on CD as part of Intrada's Special Collection series in 2007, as a limited-edition disc. The sound is good enough, considering that no one ever expected us to be listening to any of this music in high-resolution digital audio, and the producers have provided very thorough annotation, but this is hardly a score that will be considered a lost masterpiece at some future date, anymore than the movie for which it was written is overly highly regarded today (although it is a near-classic compared to its companion film from the same producers, Earthquake).