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Name: Dave Hart
Referred by: Link from Score Site
From: Schenectady, NY
Time: 1997-06-12 00:11:00
Comments: Who are his major compositional/classical influences? Is it just me or do The Prince of Fort Washington (correct title?) and Primal Fear sound too much alike? I think that the "sweeping saga" inspired works are the best (i.e. Wyatt, Tides, Alive)

Name: Alain Larose
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: Gatineau,Qu,bec
Time: 1997-05-22 14:30:00
Comments: I would like to know more about J.N.H musical and recording hardwares ( especially those used on Waterworld ).

Review - Flatliners/Falling Down

Howdee folks,

It's that time again. I finally got around to reviewing the JNH boot, and here are my mutterings on this dandy double title.

Label - none
Running time - 57.35 minutes with 25 tracks.
Flatliners - tracks 1-15 29 minutes
Falling Down - tracks 16-25 28 minutes
Listening post - 2 channel stereo YAMAHA mini
Recording - pretty fine, Flatliners suffers hiss in quiet passages.
Here are edits of Flatliners and Falling Down

Here goes:

1 - a quiet slow start, then full choral entrance followed by a synth rhythm section, with bass drums, and percussion, ending on a choral note again.

2 - one of the highlights with beautiful Horner-ish choir usage, slow, lilting, yet not dragging......simply beautiful. Strings are a great aid on this track, a truly unique listen.

3 - a surprising entry, with loud harsh synths crashing in....slowing to a whisper then exploding again with a great tempo - the JNH style making it's presence felt. Heads into suspense variations.

4 - a quiet start, with trumpets used in a sombre tone, furthering into suspense, and then turning into the pleasant choir theme as heard in track 2; heads back into suspense motifs.

5 - more varied sounds dashing here and there, with jungle like drum passages painting chaos, climaxing with a huge synth crescendo, and exiting with shreiking synths.

6 - more dark entrances here, with ominous wind waves, a slight wash, more suspense cues, with scare jumps - more or less generic.

7 - a short pleasant melody....a breather from the heavy stuff.
8 - Zimmer like dark synth brooding, introducing guitar riffs also reflective of the JNH mark, with a cymbal crescendo.

9 - back to the choir with its soothing lilting.....hummming through adversity formed by the other tracks.

10 - crash! running synths with rapid percussion, with abrupt end.

11 - dark days again.....must be something to do with the movie, lol. Melancholy violins preceed hovering synth layers, tapered end.

12 - a brief cue of angelic choirboy voices, backed with bass synths, and slight running percussion.

13 - dallying notes on synth, followed by a lovely cello section, building up to a brilliant vocal crescendo, with triangle percussion.

14 - straight outta Horner's Aliens cue to start, then into JNH urbanesque repeating synth rhythms, washed by traversing synth patterns, exploding into more brass based Horner action digs, diluting with lowering synth drones, down to a whisper.

15 - guitar riff kicks off this fast paced, violin aided, percussion driven stab at an ending.

Falling Down

16 - slow buildup with synth, painting a sombre tone....with violins....introducing a manipulated voice layer, setting a more ominous feel.

17 - larger entry with trombone-like take, stepped up with snare intro, going into beat driven brass/synth combo, evenly paced. Synth wash slows it down to a child lullaby rendition, and then back to dark, trumpet filled solitude, but with backup synth optimism, finished off with a low note synth wash.

18 - here comes the action.......rhythm, percussion, mid-fast tempo, bringing on the Fugitive-like drums, crashing cymbals, chase cue. The generic JNH bits from here.

19 - slow violin tapered, dark wind flowing sinister cue. Bass note srumble in background, followed by bass roll, into a melodic melancholy with synths and wind chime, going into rhythmic suspense ploying with trombone, with synth wash end.

20 - the trumpet giving off a more optimistic note, encouraged by brighter violins.

21 - more childlike notes, going into sinister territory again with low brass, and bass piano bits, rising with menacing trombone, peppered with snare, synth wash for transition....slowing down again....few more washes, then crash into chaotic saturation, meticulously arranged, piano tinkling, reminiscent of the early classics, snare rushing the proceedings, and an abrupt trumpet pushed end.

22 - back to childhood melodies.....fluttering wind bits, and bang back into the chase cue (track 18), with MORE bass...and slowing down with more string based synth waving, more faint chimes......solitary violin, rising in its notes to optimism, yet remembering the pain with the faint tortured voices, punctured with the malignant violin, and finished with the child notes again.

23 - brass synth harking back to dark scenery, slowed down with mid-low violins, then keyboard tinkling interspersed with waving dark synth lines, and a flute-like companion........this lingers on, looping preceeding tracks, summarising the story.....moody....followed by a brighter voice induced atmosphere, succeeded by a faint beat driven exit.

24 - a low note paints a dark eerieness, reinforced by a repeating bass chord, slowly introducing other layers, a rhythmic sheet waving, and then into a funky beat, drum, hihat group passage, punctuated by a high blowing brass layer which tapers it off.

25 - a low flute-like passage permeates the intro......followed up by a snake-like fluttering, dark ramblings with echoes, rattling percussion......brass horns alarm an impending harm, guitar riffs abound, brass section warms up, mid level drums form a rhythm simultaneously.....and ends quickly.

VERDICT - Flatliners: nice melody, varied. Falling Down: less varied, generic sounding, more cohesive.

LOWDOWN - for me, the poorer recording quality (prolly from cassette) of Flatliners is a bit of a turnoff, and it seems lazy in its execution, more of an experiment. At first it may seem the better listen. It is better for low listening. Falling Down, on the other hand, while low profile, is the sleeper find. Bland at first, generic straight off, it is well orchestrated, and brilliantly executed - a lovely LOUD listen to appreciate its subtleties. just look at my descriptions! lol.

A decent buy, artwork is more than professional. CD is standard silver, instead of CD-R gold. A gem for JNH fans! Falling Down RA sample by request!

Go to Aidinfo for an alternative review!

Name: Mike Watson
Referred by: Link from Score Site
From: Toronto, ON
Time: 1997-05-16 12:35:00
Comments: Does it seem strange to anyone else that all that seems to be discussed in this forum is how good/bad a certain score composer is? When I originally suggested a review page, I was referring to critical (or not so critical) opinions on the film scores of James Newton Howard. It is fine (and fun) to debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Williams/Horner/Howard/Goldsmith/Whoever, but as I read the last twenty or so guestbook entries, all I find is a bunch of guys saying that Star Wars would'nt have been any good if JNH had scored it.

Since practically every film composer has come from a unique background, it is not completely fair to compare skills. Williams is obviously a symphonic master and it shows in his work. Yes, adventure/epic scores seem to be his strength (however, recently I have begun to realize that there is more to this man than Star Wars/Jurassic Park/Indiana Jones/etc.). Williams has also had about twenty years more training than JNH, and has been formally (classically) trained as a composer/orchestrator. Howard started as a touring/session keyboard player, and then made the jump to Hollywood. As a result, much of his music bears a pop/rock stamp that is specific to him. What made Fugitive/Trigger Effect/Outbreak (and to an extent Primal Fear) effective and fun to listen to? The JNH stylistic stamp.

The Neo-Romantic symphonic score is being badly overused for the wrong reasons these days. Every big-budget production now has to have a big-budget score to go along with it. Just listen to Stargate,Indpendence Day (two David Arnold creations),Volcano (Silvestri),Dragonheart (Edelman) and you'll see what I mean. It seems to me that at the end of this decade, guys like Zimmer, Howard, Goldenthal, and Serra will be looked upon as ushering in the 90's movie score. Film score writers have to be musical chameleons in order to work in the constantly evolving film industry. In my opinion the aforementioned guys have done that quite well. In addition, older greats like Goldsmith and Williams have also evolved to an extent and at the same time they are maintaining their respective signature sounds.

Both John Williams and James Newton Howard are fine film score writers, each with his own strengths and skills. Each one of them deserves praise for their work. (the good ones, at least)

Name: Zack Ryan
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: Simi Valley, CA
Time: 1997-05-16 00:56:00
Comments: "Wyatt Earp" is one of my favorite scores. If anyone wants to
discuss it with me, please e-mail me at

Name: Mathew Newton
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: UK
Time: 1997-04-11 11:09:00
Comments: Does anyone know anything about the film score for "The Package" - score by James Newton Howard, but how can I get hold of a copy in the UK. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Name: Alex to Amin and Mike.
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-04-10 13:33:00
Comments: I totally agree with Amin; James Newton Howard is a versatile composer, even more than Hans Zimmer. Besides, one has to be gifted to be so versatile. However, JNH is far from being the one able to compose different style of filmmusics. I think of Williams (Star Wars; Sleepers; Dracula; Home Alone...); Horner (Appolo 13; An American Tail; Aliens; Dad...); Elfman (Mars Attacks; Somersby; Mission : Impossible; To die For...); Shore (Big; The Silence of the Lambs; Ed Wood...); Morricone (Disclosure; Once upon a Time in the West; Bugsy; The Mission...), Jarre (Dead Poets Society; Lawrence of Arabia; Ghosts; Witness...); Goldsmith (Alien; Dennis, the Menace; Greemlins; Medecin Man...); Bernstein (The Good Son; The Ten Commandments; The Age of Innocence...); Silvestri (Forrest Gump; Abyss; Bodyguard...), and so on ! In any case, BEING VERSATILE DOES NOT MEAN BEING GREAT !! Bernard Herrmann was not versatile, but he was a genuis !! Alex.

Being versatile does not NECESSARILY mean being great. It is true in some cases.

Name: Adam McDaniel
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: Concordia, Kansas
Time: 1997-04-10 08:51:00
Comments: Thank You for the very informative homepage about your work. Please if you could send any information to me at 504 West 6th Concordia, Kansas I would certainly appreciate it. I am working on a complete biography, and a complete analysis of your work on the motion picture DAVE.

I only maintain this page as a resource, and have no working relationship with JNH - Chris. Email Michael or Chad at JNH.

Name: Amin Matalqa
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-04-08 07:46:00
Comments: Liar Liar's soundtrack is out on MCA. The theme was composed by James Newton Howard.

What is The Sentinel? Is it some kind of TV show? Also, in response to one of the questions in the guest book, Marked For Death has one track of Howard's score on the Reggae soundtrack album. Unfortunately, the rest of the score has never been released. My favorite part of that score is the scene where Seagal goes to his bedroom and plays around with his old toys, guns.

The one Howard score that must find a release one day is the absolutely magnificent score to Flatliners. I made a tape of the score off of the laserdisc. it's too good not to see a release.

Well, and once again, thanks James Newton Howard for the amazing music.


Name: Mike
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: School....:(
Time: 1997-03-23 09:22:00
Comments: Rather than saying JNH is better than Arnold, Broughton, or Slvestri, I would actually lump him in with them on some accounts. I think that Silvestri is a very streaky composer, but even when he finally composes a great theme, there is never any progression with it. I think JNH is very much the same way, with the exception of Alive and The Prince of Tides. Those scores were quite good. I agree that JNH is more of a melodist, which most likely is based in his days in pop/rock music. I would not, however, compare Howard with Horner. The only time they show similarity is in their soft scores. I think Horner's material is much more thematic (I know about he rips off his own scores often -- please don't say it :) ). Actually, I think JNH should stick to suspense films, because his action cues are so quiet, it doesn't detract from any of the on-screen action. One cue of his that I really liked was in the beginning of Outbreak, when the camera continued without stopping through the CDC labs. It was wondefully ominous. Just my two cents....

Name: Alex.
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-22 05:48:00
Comments: James Newton Howard is better than any Silvestri, Arnold or Broughton.( I admit that Broughton's only good work is Young Sherlock Holmes which is a splendid film music, even though it is too much influenced by Williams's work ). I respect Howard because his music is not too copied from Williams or another one. I even wonder who is Howard's favorite composer actually ? Any idea ? I do not know, but one has to admit that Howard's film scores can sometimes be compared to Horner's. They are both able to compose soft musics (and even puerile ones sometimes !) and they often use the piano in their works. In any case, J. N. Howard seems to be more a kind of melodist than a true film composer. His works are only melodious; I think of Pretty Woman, My girl, The Prince of Tides, Alive or more recently One Fine's Day. Just like the French composer Francis Lai, Howard has just a gift for soft "themes".But he has no real skill for cliffhangers. In fact, the only action scenes he composed in an effective way was in The Fugitive; the score is impressive, but that is the one ! I just can't imagine Howard composing a magestic work like Star Wars for example. Impossible. Alex.

Try listening to Wyatt Earp, The Fugitive, Outbreak, Just Cause, Waterworld.

Name: Mike Skerritt
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: Sitting
Time: 1997-03-21 16:12:00
I know this is a JNH page, but I have to point out something that I
greatly agree with.  I totally agree with Alex about David Arnold.
I am tired of so many big-budget special effects films paired with
low-budget scripts, and Arnold prove that music works in much the 
same way!  As was the film Independence Day, the score itself was 
highly derivative of many in recent memory (Legends of the Fall and
every single John Williams action score spring to mind...)  I do have 
to mention, though, that Bruce Broughton should probably not be 
included on that list.  Yes, he does not offer much that is new in the
way of style, but some of his themes are incredible (e.g. Young 
Sherlock Holmes), and his action cues show a remarkable control
of the orchestra as a conductor.  Also agree with Danny Elfman (Edward
Scissorhands is absolutely brilliant)  Also have to mention that it is
obvious that Zimmer is versatile as crossing over film genres goes,
but his action scores are really beginning to sound repetitious.
Also, what's the deal with JNH doing only "themes" for scores lately.
Just a few ring to mind: Dante's Peak, Rich Man's Wife, Liar Liar.
Come on, man!  What gives with that?  Oh well, I hear Toto is looking
for a comeback, lol......

Name: Alex
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-16 09:48:00
Comments: About Howard's Wyatt Earp_ If you consider Wyatt Earp as a "soft movie", you can also consider a film such as Gone With The Wind as one, right ? Max Steiner succeeded in composing a "soft" and romantic theme. The audience were impressed by his theme when they first saw the film; that wasn't the case with Howard's theme. Unfortunately, James N. Howard, like so many other composers today, lacks the STYLISTIC DARING that possessed the great composers of the past.

I don't perceive Wyatt Earp as a soft movie; is Max Steiner still alive?

Name: Alex
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-14 12:10:00
Comments: Maybe you're right; I haven't listened to the CD of Howard's Wyatt Earp, so I can't say. I only saw the film, but I did not hear any kind of "majestic" music at all. I mean, when Williams composes a film music, his work can usually be heard when you first see the film, that's not the case with Howard, I'm afraid; his music is probably too soft and conventional to be heard immediatly.

Soft movie = soft music...try to listen to 'hard' movies that he's scored.

Name: Alex
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-13 10:32:00
Comments: James N. Howard is a good composer, but he is far less interesting and original than Mr Williams ! Can Howard compose such masterpieces as Star Wars or Jaws !? No. Williams created something new in film music; a music that can be more powerful and beautiful than images. Howard is too childish and soft to be a great composer.

Wyatt Earp is a majestic masterpiece that has a extensive variety of elements - I doubt JW could have imagined such (for the same movie).

Name: Justin Bennett
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-10 22:40:00
Comments: JNH is easily the most diverse film scorer. Sure people such as Danny Elfam and John Williams might be great, the problem is that they always have the same style( Elfman-Dark, Williams- Powerful, magestic) Where as JNH incorperates, pop, classical and contempary into all his diffrent scores.

Name: Sven Rump
Website: TBA
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
From: Netherlands
Time: 1997-03-10 09:08:00
Comments: JNH is my favorite composer who makes films truly magical. The Fugitive, Dave, Grand Canyon and Prince Of Tides, all are classics. Great page!

Name: Alex
Referred by: Just Surfed On In!
Time: 1997-03-09 08:31:00
Comments: James Newton Howard is a good composer but he lacks originality. I love his music from The Fugitive for instance, it is powerful, but I cannot help thinking that something lacks. Come on James, let's try to be original !

Guess we should tell John Williams the same thing, lol.

Have any of you listen of JNH's Outbreak Soundtrack? It's awesome!!!
I love the last track (toward the end of the track) where he sends one rhythmic pattern at different times through each instrument in the orchestra. This creates a chaos sort of effect and then he hits the horn meoldy of the movie and slams the low brass on the bass note, a very cool effect!

Brian Nelson <>
San Antonio, Texas USA - Saturday, December 14, 1996 at 05:34:28 (CST)
I am a turkish film music composer, and a fan of JNH and J. Horner.
I am Especially wondering what sound modules are used on Waterworld.
I loved the taiko drums, and shakuachi in Waterworld. Asking myself, is that a japanese mood that JNH had somehow composing that music..

I would like Mr. JNH to have seen these comments I made, and would like to hear from him, about how he composed Waterworld, in what mood, and in what technical details...

Volkan Gucer
Film Music Composer

Volkan Gucer <>
Istanbul/Turkey - Thursday, December 12, 1996 at 12:40:23 (CST)

Hey everyone,
Now that I've listened more closely to James Newton HOward's 9 minute suite from One Fine Day, I am in love with it.
It is full of Gershwinish style with piano and saxophone contributing along with the orchestra.
Even drums join in in one part. The piece utilizes the theme from the song One Fine Day.
Howard does such a brilliant job in making it bittersweet and haunting.
This is the approach he took with the orchestration for the excellent French Kiss score.
I wish I could get a score album of that one too.

Amin Matalqa <>
- Friday, December 06, 1996 at 08:18:00 (CST)
I got the soundtrack for One Fine Day.
The cool thing is that the suite at the end of the cd by James Newton Howard is not just a three minute bit like the other song cd's we got. This one has a 9 minutes suite that covers a lot of stuff.
I'm happy, even though this was not a full score album, they at least gave us a decent amount of score.
The cool bonus is that Howard's song for the film is also orchestral with Kenny Logins singing. So we have about 13 minutes of James Newton HOward on this album.

Amin Matalqa <>
- Wednesday, December 04, 1996 at 08:05:04 (CST)
The great thing about the Howard myster is that every year he has something fresh.
He's got a diverse body of work.
Within the last five years he's gone from doing comedies (Dave, 3 men and a little lady, Junior)
to Action (The Fugitive, Outbreak, Waterworld),
to Dramas (Primal Fear,Grand Canyon, Guilty by Suspision),
to Romantic comedy (French Kiss, One Fine Day),
to romantic Drama (Prince of Tides, Intersection),
to Epic Western (Wyatt Earp),
to Epic Costume Drama (Restoration),
to Cartoon (Space Jam), to Epic disaster drama (Alive).
Now he's got to get his hand on a Sci-Fi. Who knows, maybe he'll collaborate with Kevin Costner once again.
This time on Costner's second directorial effort, the sci-fi called The Postman.
It's a futuristic adventure where the future is bright, unlike every single futuristic film we've seen all these years.
This would be very interesting to see Howard work on.

Amin Matalqa <>
- Wednesday, November 27, 1996 at 09:13:45 (CST)
I own The Fugitive, Wyatt Earp, Just Cause, Outbreak, Waterworld, and Primal Fear. I gotta say that Wyatt Earp and Fugitive are my favourites - but Waterworld has some pretty intense cuts as well.

Why don't you start a forum where we can pin reviews or something - I'd like to exchange info with other JNH fans. (Here it is! - Yumbo)

Keep up this great site!
Mike Watson <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Friday, November 22, 1996 at 06:30:37 (CST)

James Newton Howard's musical score of the movie, "Wyatt Earp" 1994, has got to be won of the best pieces of music I've ever heard.

It's full of the great western outdoor's, emotion and reminds me of great musical score from play's I've seen. My hat is off to him.

Scott D. Carpenter

Scott D. Carpenter <>
- Thursday, November 21, 1996 at 09:31:12 (CST)

It's so great that there's a JNH page.
Waterworld is one of my favorite CDs.
I listened to it every day for two weeks after I bought it.
I hope to see more good stuff soon.

Dustin Pitney <>
- Thursday, November 14, 1996 at 18:20:21 (CST)
Well, the latest news is that there will be a Space Jam score album from Atlantic. It should be out around January 7th. Thank God!
Also great news is that Howard's score for One Fine Day, the Michele Pfeifer film should be out soon as well. That one is from Columbia records.
The film is directed by Michael Hoffman who also did Restoration.
It's great to see new albums from the great James Newton Howard. Can't wait to here what he's done with these two.

Amin Matalqa <>
- Wednesday, November 13, 1996 at 09:43:55 (CST)
Howard is cool!!!! I love Primal Fear.


brian pinson <>
University of Memphis - Tuesday, November 05, 1996 at 05:51:55 (CST)

Hey there!
Yumbiosis just keeps getting better and better!!! About time someone got a JNH page going! ;-)

Andrew P. Carr <> - Friday, October 25, 1996 at 07:49:13 (CST)
Hi Chris !
Once again great job on this James Newton Howard Page
Cheers, Uwe

Uwe Sperlich <>
- Tuesday, October 22, 1996 at 04:57:15 (CST)

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