Chaplin's Music

One of the greatest things about Chaplin was his ability to write some of the best film music ever. What's even more amazing is the fact that Chaplin had no formal training, and didn't even know how to read or write all came from his head. It also was probably formed when he was touring in the music halls and listened to the orchestra. For his films, he used popular songs of the day along with great pieces of classical music along with music he composed by himself.

Charlie Chaplin City Lights

Composer: Charles Chaplin
Conductor: Carl Davis
Performed by: The City Lights Orchestra
Approx. Playing Time: 48 minutes
Released: 1991

One of the first albums that I bought that had just Chaplin music. Although this recording isn't the whole soundtrack, but most of it, it is superb. If you have seen it as many times as I have, you can pretty much follow in your head what is happening in the film by just listening to the music :).

Film Music of Charles Chaplin

Composer: Charles Chaplin
Conductor: Carl Davis
Performed by: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra Berlin
Approx. Playing Time: 78 minutes
Released: 1996

Another great recording by Carl Davis. This album features some music from 5 of Chaplin's major films. The first six tracks are from THE KID. The next seven are from THE GOLD RUSH. Five are from THE CIRCUS. The recordings from CITY LIGHTS are slightly different than the recording that Davis had done earlier, but still very good! And last, not certainly not least, are eight tracks from MODERN TIMES.

I have only found this album being sold over the internet, and since it's an import from Germany, it costs a little more than the average CD, but definitely worth every dime!

Charlie! Music from the Films of Charles Chaplin

Composer: Charles Chaplin
Conductor: Francis Shaw
Performed by: The Munich Symphony Orchestra
Approx. Playing Time: 53 minutes
Released: 1989, 1993

These recordings are not exact duplicates of the original like Davis did, but still very enjoyable. This album also includes music that never was in any of his films, such as "Peace Patrol" and "There's always One You Can't Forget". "Love Song" was written for what would have been Chaplin's last film THE FREAK, but he passed away before the film materialized.

Other Music

Here are a couple other albums that have Chaplin music in it or inspired by him.

Chaplin: Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack

Composer: John Barry, Charles Chaplin
Conductor: John Barry
Performed by: The English Chamber Orchestra
Approx. Playing Time: 42 mins.

From the 1992 movie starring Robert Downey, Jr., comes a wonderful soundtrack composed mostly by John Barry. There is some of Chaplin's music also. "Salt Lake City Episode" track is from City Lights and I might add that the recording is as good as Davis's. And there are also a few versions of "Smile", one is a slow, sad version (That one is played a couple times), another is what I call the ballroom version, that's track 13. And lastly, there is the sung version done by none other than Robert Downey Jr. himself. Not only does he have a great talent for acting, but he's not a bad singer either :)... now if he can only get his life in order!

The Chaplin Puzzle

Composer: SØren Hyldgaard
Conductor: Tony Bremner
Performed by: The Czech Symphony Orchestra
Approx. Playing Time: 43 mins.

Nothing on this album has any of Chaplin's stuff (not that I could recognize anyway), but still pretty good. This is the soundtrack from the 1992 two part documentary, THE CHAPLIN PUZZLE.

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The last time I got around to updating this page was Thursday, July 09, 1998