“ Other” Recordings



These are recordings that are occasionally mistaken with the official score recordings for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.




These recordings use Shore's composition but they are not directed by Shore, nor do they use the same orchestra or vocal performers. Do not not be fooled by seeing the names: Howard Shore, Fran Walsh or Annie Lennox, et. al. They are being given credit for lyrics or music. Shore is not conducting and Lennox is not singing.

My primary intention for illuminating these recordings is as a resource for what it official and what isn't. I haven't listened to any of these and, unless I was feeling flush with money, I wouldn't buy any of these. But perhaps some might prove to have an interesting alternate interpretation of the score.



LESS LIKELY TO BE CONFUSED WITH SHORE'S SCORE but I'm on a roll so let's keep going

These recordings are not connected with the movies other than drawing inspiration from the same author's writings. They are probably less likely to be confused with the movie's soundtracks. I would be unlikely to buy the above recordings but these below are compositions unique from Shore's music and must be evaluated separated from the movies' scores. This list is not intended to be comprehensive.

Whether you like any of these or not really depends on whether their musical style is to your taste or not. If you love airy fairy harpy music, you might like one. If heavy metal is more your style, you'll might like another. Folky, Celtic your thing? Try another. I think the problem for letting these get under your skin is twofold. One, so many of us have the movie music ingrained in our brains and other styles, especially if it's somewhat dated, can be a bit jarring. Two, so many of us read the books and imagined our own tunes... or at least a musical style for the songs. In either case, one has to really work at listening with fresh ears to give any of these a fair chance.


This first section contains original music (mostly instrumental/orchestral) inspired by the world of Middle-earth.


J.. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composed by Leonard Rosenman; original release date: 1978

This is the soundtrack to the 'other' LOTR movie, Ralph Bakshi's animated, rotoscoped cartoon. It gets decent to good reviews.


Lord of the Rings; Symphonie No. 1
Composed by Andre Jutras, Johan De Meij, Jan Van der Roost; original release date 1984-85

Various recordings. For those that like it, the symphony gets fair to good reviews. Not all recordings get good reviews.


Songs of Middle Earth: Inspired by The Lord of the Rings
Composed and performed by
Rick Wakeman; original release date 2002

Wakeman is best know as the keyboard player from the group, Yes.

Reviews for this recording are mixed.


In Elven Lands
Written and performed by The Fellowship featuring Jon Anderson; original release date 2006

Anderson is best know as the keyboard player from the group, Yes. This recording utilizes vocals and early music stylings. Some songs are taken from the book, some are original.


Memories of Middle Earth
Written and performed by The Fellowship featuring Brobdingnagian Bards; original release date 2003

Folky, Celtic, instrumental and vocal tracks.



Many other artists have been inspired by Tolkien either for full albums or in terms of individual songs including, Led Zeppelin, Enya (separate from her soundtrack contribution), Blind Guardian, Lingalad, David Arkenstone, Glass Hammer and Nickel Creek. For more info on music inspired by Tolkien, google an artist or visit this Wikipedia page.


Other than one song, Tolkien did not compose a melody for any of the poems or songs he wrote for Middle-earth*. Probably every reader of either The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings has dabbled in writing their own tune for a song or two. These artists have recorded theirs.

*(Tolkien composed a melody for Namarië which Donald Swann used for his recording. I've heard that Tolkien envisioned "Old troll sat on a seat of stone..." to be sung to the melody of "Fox ran out on a chilly night". I have no idea if this is true.)


4 Disc Series - Evening in Rivendell, night in Rivendell, dawn in Rivendell, & leaving Rivendell
Performed by
The Tolkien Ensemble and Christopher Lee; original release date 1997-2005

The series is a compilation of all of the songs and poems from the LOTR books. These recordings were sanctioned by the Tolkien Estate. (I believe Christopher Lee contribution is all recitation. I don't think there's any repeat of a Leonard Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins sort of thing here.)


The Starlit Jewel: Songs From J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" & The Hobbit
composed and performed by Broceliande; original release date 2001

These tunes were composed mainly by fantasy author, Marion Zimmer Bradley. (She also contributed to the Rivendell series above.) These are what I'd call airy, fairy, harpy music.


J.r.r. Tolkien's Songs from middle-earth
composed and performed by The Hobbitons; original release date 1996

Produced with the permission of the Tolkien Estate. This recording is out of print.