Music Composed by  James Newton Howard

First complete release of terse, gritty James Newton Howard soundtrack for Michael Mann thriller starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo. Cruise heads into dark territory as cold-blooded hit man using cab services of Foxx to make his deadly rounds. Foxx becomes wary adversary, Pinkett Smith the pawn, Ruffalo the cop in pursuit, with exciting Metro train climax bringing all to boiling point.

For the 2004 Paramount Pictures Collateral, composer James Newton Howard infused his score with an unusual degree of complexity and architecture.  Dark and low-keyed in the first half, edgy and aggressive in the second, Howard adds to the ever-tightening narrative structure of the film by introducing his music in deceptively simple strokes, primarily through lower synthesizer and string colors. As the taut script and pace develop, Howard brings weight to his colors by adding low brass almost imperceptibly.  While most of the standard orchestra is present to meld with the electronic keyboards, trumpets are omitted, leaving only French horns and trombones in the brass, adding to the grim texture of the music.  Howard’s vivid, thundering percussion figures take center stage in a virtuoso display.  Howard enlisted a murderer’s row of guitar players and “sound conceptualists” to create a riotous palette of guitar timbres and effects to paint with, including veteran session musician Michael Landau, composer Charlie Clouser, Page Hamilton of the band Helmet, and scoring stage regular George Doering.

Howard recorded about 50 minutes of music for the film—but in the end, only 15 minutes were used (eight of which made it onto the original soundtrack album previously released).  Intrada brings this entire score to CD for the first time assembled from the the two-track digital session “print” take rolls archived both on disc and tape (DAT), courtesy Paramount Pictures.

In the film Vincent the hitman, subversively played by Tom Cruise, “hires” cabbie Max (Jamie Foxx) for a night of seemingly mysterious errands, dragging Max deeper and more reluctantly into the violent deeds as everything becomes unhinged.

Howard scores with interesting architecture that follows story arc: initial cues are brief, low key ideas with low strings, synth pulses underneath. As story progresses, cues increase in density with additional strings and percussion figures no longer underneath but filling cues within. As climax nears, Howard quickens pace with thicker orchestral colors, more prominent percussion rhythms. Finally, Howard scores climactic showdown with riveting action music. Here, exciting, aggressive French horns get the spotlight with thundering percussion right up front with them. “Vincent Hops Train” is dynamic action highlight! Original 2004 release on UMG’s Hip-O label featured 12 tracks by various artists plus just 4 brief subdued selections from Howard’s score, included here courtesy UMG. Intrada now focuses solely on Howard’s score, totaling nearly 53 minutes, including music not in the finished film plus two additional alternates. Graphic packaging features flipper-style booklet cover: choose Tom Cruise as hit man or Jamie Foxx as cab driver. Presented from digital two-track stereo master elements courtesy Paramount Pictures. James Newton Howard composes, Pete Anthony & Bruce Fowler conduct.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 352
Date: 2004
Time: 52:45

01. Max And Vincent Talk (3:03)
02. Arriving At Second Hit (2:53)
03. Sylvester Clarke (1:11)
04. Cut Cuffs (1:09)
05. You Like Jazz? (1:21)
06. Daniel (1:42)
07. Daniel Is Killed (Alternate) (2:52)
08. Flowers (1:47)
09. Max Steals Briefcase (1:46)
10. Fanning At The Morgue (1:48)
11. Talk About Parents (1:15)
12. Island Limos (1:30)
13. Surveillance At El Rodeo (2:26)

14. Max Meets Felix (1:50)
15. Cops Pursue (2:21)
16. Race To Annie (7:19)
17. Cat And Mouse (4:07)
18. Race To The Metro (2:27)
19. Vincent Hops Train (Alternate) (2:11)
20. Would Anyone Notice? (Finale) (3:47)
Total Time: 49:11

The Extras
21. Daniel Is Killed (Original) (1:13)
22. Vincent Hops Train (Original) (2:10)
Total Extras Time: 3:26