Superman Returns (soundtrack)

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Superman Returns
Soundtrack album by John Ottman
Released June 27, 2006 (2006-06-27)
Genre Film score
Length 55:27
Label Warner Bros.
Producer John Ottman
John Ottman chronology
Fantastic Four
Superman Returns
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Superman soundtrack chronology
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Superman Returns
Man of Steel
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars
Filmtracks 5/5 stars
ScoreNotes 8.5/10 stars
SoundtrackNet 4.5/5 stars

Superman Returns is a soundtrack album for the 2006 film of the same name. It features music by John Ottman, as well as the "Superman March" by John Williams from the Superman: The Movie inside the track "Main Titles".

Director Bryan Singer contacted Williams and asked if he would be interested in scoring the film, but Williams declined the offer because he was already scoring three other films, including Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds remake. However, Williams recommended composer John Ottman and also contributed two new themes. Superman Returns is the second Superman film in which Williams has contributed material, but was not directly involved. The first was Superman II, for which Superman Returns is considered a direct sequel. Ironically, Williams was also approached by director Richard Donner around the same time Singer did, who wanted him to compose a new score for his newly assembled director's cut of Superman II. Williams also declined, and Donner recycled the composer's score to Superman: The Movie, supplementing it with unused cues. La-La Land Records has also released a limited edition (2-cd set) of the soundtrack with an expanded track list.[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Main Titles" (3:49)
  2. "Memories" (3:07)
  3. "Rough Flight" (5:13)
  4. "Little Secrets/Power of the Sun" (2:49)
  5. "Bank Job" (2:21)
  6. "How Could You Leave Us?" (5:49)
  7. "Tell Me Everything" (3:13)
  8. "You're Not One of Them" (2:22)
  9. "Not Like the Train Set" (5:12)
  10. "So Long Superman" (5:31)
  11. "The People You Care For" (3:27)
  12. "I Wanted You to Know" (2:56)
  13. "Saving the World" (3:12)
  14. "In the Hands of Mortals" (2:11)
  15. "Reprise/Fly Away" (4:15)

Tracks do not appear in the order that they occur in the film, but instead in a succession chosen by Ottman for listening purposes. Listeners interested in hearing the selections in score order may program the album thus: 1, 7, 2, 3, 8, 5, 4 (to 1:02), 6, 9, 10, 11, 4 (from 1:02), 13, 14, 12, 15.

Limited Edition[edit]

On December 1, 2013, La-La Land Records released a 2-disc Limited Edition album of the complete score to Superman Returns.

Disc 1

  1. As Time Goes By§*/The Planet Krypton§* 1:22
  2. Main Titles§** 2:44
  3. Dying Wish* 2:41
  4. Homecoming*/Tell Me Everything§**/Stars in the Sky* 5:52
  5. Memories§** 3:15
  6. Put Here for a Reason§*/The World Keeps Spinning*/Closet Case*/Daily Planet* 2:22
  7. Things Have Changed§*/Chip Off the Old Block* 1:41
  8. Genesis Project*/ Like Sea Monkeys* 1:42
  9. A Drop in the Bucket*/Is It Rite?* 3:09
  10. Boosters Non-Responsive*/Rough Flight§**/Home Run§* 6:54
  11. He's Back!* 1:37
  12. Superman Scoop*/Eavesdropping* 1:19
  13. To Lois' House**/You're Not One of Them** 2:52
  14. Bank Job§** 3:23
  15. Kitty Decoy§* 3:38
  16. Supermania§* 1:07
  17. Kryptonite* 0:34
  18. Little Secrets§ 1:06
  19. How Could You Leave Us? §** 7:05
  20. They're Gone*/Bad Idea*/They Make Great Chandeliers*/ Beach Front Property*/Lineage?* 3:35
  21. Not Like the Train Set** 5:48
  22. We Have to Go*/Who to Save? §* 3:00

Total Disc Time: 67:28

Disc 2

  1. Metropolis Mayhem§** 4:03
  2. Out to Sea§** 5:55
  3. So Long Superman§** 7:12
  4. Saving Superman**/Power of the Sun§ 5:29
  5. Saving the World§** 6:22
  6. In the Hands of Mortals** 1:16
  7. Family Unit*/I Wanted You to Know** 5:15
  8. Lex's Paradise*/Change of Heart**/Parting Words§* 4:55
  9. Reprise§/Fly Away**§ 4:15
  10. End Titles§** 3:55
  11. Return to Krypton§* (synth mockup) 5:05
  12. Prelude§*/Main Titles§* (original extended version) 4:01
  13. Daily Planet* (alternate) 0:21
  14. GDIATFH Medley* (source) 0:44
  15. Heart and Soul* (source) 0:39

Total Disc Time: 60:01

Total Album Time: 127:29 §:contains Superman Themes by John Williams; One asterisk*: previously unreleased; Two asterisks**: contains previously unreleased material; †:contains material not used in film

Music not included in the soundtrack[edit]

There are several famous songs[2] featured in the film but not included on the soundtrack album, which concentrated on the original score composed by John Ottman with themes from John Williams' score for the original 1978 film.

According to the timeline they appear in the movie, the source music included:

There are also quite a few pieces from the score that weren't included on the album but maybe included in the limited edition (2cd-set).

  • At the beginning of the film, Ottman adapted the opening of Williams' "The Planet Krypton" from Superman, but added a choir.
  • The main titles is a different edit than what appears on the album, segueing directly from the primary "Superman" portion of the march to the "Can You Read My Mind" section. The final fanfare ends on a different note than Williams' original version.
  • There is a quiet piece for the death of Gertrude Vanderworth, which is followed by the introduction of Lex Luthor's motif. While Lex's motif is heard throughout the album, it is only rarely heard in its 'pure' form, as it is here.
  • After Superman rescues the airplane, a reprise of "The Fortress of Solitude" from Williams' original 1978 score is heard as he asks after Lois' well-being.
  • From 00:21:26 to 00:21:56, a John Ottman original is used when Clark Kent first goes back to Daily Planet until he catches Jimmy Olsen's falling camera.
  • From 00:59:40 to 01:00:36, a John Ottman original is used when Lex Luthor and his thugs prepares to steal kryptonite from Metropolis Museum of National History.
  • From 02:34:00 to 02:37:00 A John Ottman original is used in one of the final scenes in the film, where Superman is giving the Jor-El speech to Jason.
  • The end titles version of the march is combined with the main title on the album, but in the film the conclusion is much more like Williams' conclusion for the 1978 film's end title march, with the final fanfare ending in a tail that leads up to a crescendo.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200[3] 110
Top Internet Albums[3] 146
Top Soundtracks[3] 7