The color red was chosen for the
limited FOTR soundtrack before the film was released in theaters,
and long before a color scheme for the DVDs had been decided upon
and communicated to all the branches of all the companies who were
releasing anything tied into the LOTR films. I believe that red was
chosen in honor of the Red Book of Westmarch, and to match the red
leatherette hardcover slipcased one volume version of Lord of the
Rings that many of us have on our shelves.
Eventually, the color scheme was
decided upon for the videos--green for FOTR, red for TTT, and blue
for ROTK. Having already released a red FOTR soundtrack, what were
1. Match the DVD color scheme after
the fact, giving us the original red FOTR soundtrack, a matching red
TTT, and a matching blue ROTK. I'm glad they didn't do that.
2. Re-release the FOTR limited
soundtrack in green along with the red TTT limited soundtrack. I am
glad this didn't happen.
3. Make them all red to match the
initial release. I'm also glad they didn't do that.
4. Use the green/red/blue scheme,
but in a different order. (This is what they ended up doing.) Within
this option are two sub-options:
4A. FOTR was already red--swap
colors with TTT and make it green, then release ROTK in blue. This
would make one soundtrack match the DVD but not the others, and
would drive anal retentives like me completely crazy.
4B. FOTR was already red--make TTT
blue and ROTK green. All three colors are used, with none matching
the DVDs. This is what they ultimately chose to do, and it makes the
most sense to me.
As for the complete recordings
packages, I will be displaying them alongside the limited edition
soundtracks (which they will match) and not the extended DVD sets
(which they will not match), so I am glad they did what they did.
As for the colors of the
Complete Recording packages, as is pointed out below,
they’ve been selected to match the leather-bound
editions of the respective original soundtrack albums.
As I understand it, yes,
the CD packages were selected before the films were
color coded. Red was already used for Fellowship when
Two Towers became the “red film.” Blue was already used
for Two Towers when ROTK became the “blue film,” so they
just rotated back to the beginning green and so the CDs
were set one project out of rotation with the film
It wasn’t a slip or
anything, it just all stems from the different lead time
available to different projects.