Teased in Warner Bros. Pictures” “For Your Consideration” and later confirmed by all involved, Watertower Muisc has released actor-musician Billy Boyd”s “The Last Goodbye” in full. Running behind “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”” credits, the track is one of the few components of Peter Jackson”s trilogy-capper that could take Oscar gold.
Written and composed by Boyd (Howard Shore, who played Pippin in Jackson”s “Lord of the Rings” films, “The Last Goodbye” fits with “The Hobbit” series” musical trend of folksy male vocalists (with Neil Finn”s “Song of the Lonely Mountain” and Ed Sheeran”s “I See Fire”) versus the ethereal ballads that Enya, Emilíana Torrini, and Annie Lennox leant to “Lord of the Rings.” Neither Finn nor Sheeran”s songs cracked the Original Song races in the past two years, giving “The Last Goodbye” an uphill battle when it comes to Oscars.
“We focused on not just the final installment, but moreso on this 10-year epic adventure,” Boyd told Billboard. “A song to sum up the six movies. We recorded in Wellington, New Zealand, at one point traveling to Auckland to Neil Finn”s studio — where we recorded some of the guitar. It was surreal to be in his studio, as he did the song for [2012's] 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.'”
That said, the year”s contenders look slimmer and less juggernauty than year”s past. When “Unexpected Journey” arrived in 2012, there was “Skyfall” and an original “Les Miserables” tune commanding ears. In 2013, “Let It Go” dominated with Pharrell, Bono, and Karen O adding rocker prestige (plus, a revoked nomination for “Alone Yet Not Alone” killed the fifth slot). With less sure-things seizing the category early (“Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”? “Everything Is Awesome” from “LEGO Movie”? Patti Smith's “Mercy” from “Noah”?) it could be Boyd”s time to shine.
It”s amazing that “Return of the King” won 11 Oscars at the 2004 Academy Awards and, thus far, “The Hobbit” films have earned exactly zero Oscars, with only six nominations between the two existing films. Does “The Last Goodbye” have the gusto to reverse the spell? If the gentle, acoustic tune doesn”t lull voters to sleep, it seems possible. Hear the entire song below.
“The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” opens on Dec. 17, 2014.