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The Iron Lady: Music from the Motion Picture (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)

December 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Iron Lady: Music from the Motion Picture” is soundtrack that is well-composed and consistent for the most part of the soundtrack.  I loved the use of strings, brass and percussion throughout the entire soundtrack, although “Community Charge” and the sound of electric guitar churning, seemed a bit out of place.  But the addition of “Shall We Dance?”, “Casta Diva” and “Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846″ was a great addition to the soundtrack.  A good soundtrack overall.

TITLE: The Iron Lady: Music from the Motion Picture

LABEL: Sony Classical

DURATION: 54:42

RELEASE DATE: December 27, 2011

  1. Soldiers of the Queen
  2. MT
  3. Grover’s Daughter
  4. Grand Hotel
  5. Swing Parliament
  6. Eyelash
  7. Shall We Dance? (from “The King & I”) – By Deborah Kerr, Marni Nixon and Yul Bryner
  8. Denis
  9. The Great in Great Britain
  10. Airey Neave
  11. Discord and Harmony
  12. The Twins
  13. Nation of Shopkeepers
  14. Fiscal Responsibility
  15. Crisis of Confidence
  16. Community Charge
  17. Casta Diva [From “Norma”] by Maria Callas; Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala; Tullio Serafin
  18. The Difficult Decisions
  19. Exclusion Zone
  20. Statecraft
  21. Steady the Buffs
  22. Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846

Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to1990 is best known for her strict conservative policies and her hard line against the trade unions which have earned her the nickname “The Iron Lady”.

While many who grew up during that time were familiar with her impact in politics and society, there are those who recognized her efforts of smashing the barriers for women.  A complex woman who is known for her virtue but a woman who also is know for making decisions that have angered some of her countrymen.

In 2011, the film “The Iron Lady” directed by Phyllida Lloyd (“Macbeath”, “Mamma Mia!”, “Gloriana”) and a screenplay written by Abi Morgan (“Shame”, “Tsunami: The Aftermath”, “Sex Traffic”) and starring Meryl Streep (“Kramer vs Kramer”, “Julie & Julia”, “The Devil Wears Prada”) and Jim Broadbent (“Gangs of New York”, “Moulin Rouge!”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”).

The film has received positive reviews, including recognition for Meryl Streep’s performance as Margaret Thatcher.  “The Iron Lady” focuses on Margaret Thatcher’s life from the past and the 17 days leading up to the Falklands War in 1982.  An intimate portrait of the first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and one of the most famous and influential women of the 20th Century.The film focuses about power and the price that is paid for power.

To capture the general mood of Thatcher’s life and leadership as prime minister, the composer selected to create the music for the film is Thomas Newman (“Wall-E”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, “American Beauty”).

First let’s discuss the music not by Thomas Newman.  Included are “The Iron Lady: Music from the Motion Picture” begins with “Soldiers of the Queen Regimental March” performed by the Military Band of the Queen’s Regiment.  A short and live performance.  Also included are “Shall We Dance?”, the classic song from the film “The King & I” performed by Deborah Kerr, Marni Nixon and Yul Brynner.  The opera track “Casta Diva” from “Norma” which is performed by Maria Callas, Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala and Tullio Serafin.  The soundtrack concludes with a beautiful piano melody by Olli Mustonen titled “Prelude No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846).

As for the music by Thomas Newman, you have a range of orchestral and synth created music.  Many start out towards the short duration under a minute long but then you get beautiful and powerful music such as the strings-driven track “Swing Parliament”, the lively “The Great in Great Britain” and the brass-driven track of “Discord and Harmony”.

And of course, you get into tracks that show the more darker side of Thatcher’s life from “Crisis in Confidence” featuring the percussion and brass heavy track, the rock n’ roll “Community Charge” (which seemed a bit out of place in the entire soundtrack), the looming slow to mid-tempo synth and percussion track “Exclusion Zone” and return to strings with “Statecraft” and “Steady the Buffs”.

The CD soundtrack booklet comes with images from the film, production credits and track listing.

“The Iron Lady: Music from the Motion Picture” is soundtrack that is well-composed and consistent for the most part of the soundtrack.  I loved the use of strings, brass and percussion throughout the entire soundtrack, although “Community Charge” and the sound of electric guitar churning, seemed a bit out of place.  But the addition of “Shall We Dance?”, “Casta Diva” and “Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846″ was a great addition to the soundtrack and the songs that I listened to the most.

A good soundtrack overall.

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