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Poll: Which Star Wars film has the best recording of the Main Title?

Which Star Wars film has the best recording of the Main Title  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Which movie has the best recording of the Main Title WITHOUT the departures? Just the identical parts.

    • Star Wars
    • Empire Strikes Back
    • Return of the Jedi
    • Episode I, II, +III: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith


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Goldsmith likes trumpets and horns in the center channel (ST:TMP).

if you listen closely the horns are at the left and the trumpets are appr. 40% in the right.

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nope I never thought it was as good as all you do.

Get the crusties of of your ears and get back to me.

it's the best version ever recorded. Williams has bowed in shame in front of it.

Goldsmith likes trumpets and horns in the center channel (ST:TMP).

No such thing on stereo recordings I'm afraid.

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I never realized the recordings were different until I started critically listening a few years ago. My favorites are A NEW HOPE and JEDI, each one has its stunning moments.

My mind must be playing tricks on me - I thought that I heard more rolling snare in the SITH opening, like the music had more of a "military march" feel.

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This is a toughie. What I know for sure is that ROTJ has my least favorite recording. ESB isn't my favorite, either, though it's still a fine recording. ANH has that in-your-face boldness and brilliance, but the prequels are more technically precise and less harsh on the ears. I enjoy both quite a bit. In the end, I'd have to choose ANH, I suppose.

Goldsmith likes trumpets and horns in the center channel (ST:TMP).

No such thing on stereo recordings I'm afraid.

There's no separate stereo channel, but if you have the exact same signal in the left and right channels, it amounts to the same thing.

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I'll reply to this thread with my response to a similar thread in 2007:

I get chills equally from "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back."

"Star Wars" for its opening blast and the way the tempo seems to pick up slightly as the main theme churns away, and for the French horn near the end. (I've always wished there was footage of those first takes. There had to be a lot of electricity in the air, knowing that they were doing something amazing.)

"The Empire Strikes Back" for the bridge between the string section and the second rendition of the theme, and the trumpet crescendo near the end.

I get the use of the trumpet solo in "Jedi" symbolizing Luke's lone journey to overturn the Emperor and his heroic attempt. But the orchestra at times doesn't seem to be in sync and JW has to wrangle them all together a couple of times. Of course, that could just be the editing.

I think Empire had a fuller sound in the original recording, which may be due to upgrades in mixing during those three years. Add in the militaristic feel of the recording (played as more of a march than in 1977) and it just slightly trumps the 1977 version.

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It's interesting to note that in the 1977 original film recording Williams gave the role of prominent rhythmic accompainment to the timpani, but starting with the symphonic suite he replaced them with snare drums, which became standard in all subsequent recordings of the main title.

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Well people love full and rich brass(especially trumpets) sound. Nothing wrong with that.

And I don't like when they stuck the microphone almost inside of the horn bell like in the first film. The sound will be unnatural.

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It's interesting to note that in the 1977 original film recording Williams gave the role of prominent rhythmic accompainment to the timpani, but starting with the symphonic suite he replaced them with snare drums, which became standard in all subsequent recordings of the main title.

might have something to do with the line in the script: "War Drums thunder throughout the galaxy"

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ESB is the only one that is different arrangment wise (the intro is slightly different) ROTJ just has more trumpets.

I thought ESB and ROTJ both had 4 trumpets?

I meant, the Trumpets are more emphasized in Jedi.

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Well people love full and rich brass(especially trumpets) sound. Nothing wrong with that.

And I don't like when they stuck the microphone almost inside of the horn bell like in the first film. The sound will be unnatural.

It's the trumpets that turn me off most from ROTJ's recording - the sloppy performance, the extra notes heading back into the "A" theme, and the fact that the trumpets are simply too prominent in the mix. I'm all for the sort of brilliant, slightly imprecise gusto that you hear in a lot of LSO recordings from that era, but I find this particular recording of this particular cue to be the dark side of that tendency. It doesn't sound professional to me.

The horns, on the other hand, don't sound too great in ANH. I agree.

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Well my opinion of the Main Title is based to the original LP records. In the Jedi OST the trumpets are very good

but I agree that in the later , expanded releases there are many cues where the trumpets are ...well not so good.

We have to also remember that the trumpet parts in Jedi are extremely difficult...

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SW: Most iconic of the lot; relaxed, a bit stately & soft in playing- very Korngold / Golden Age vibe.

ESB: Upfront, more "martial" & "militaristic", in your face aggressive; cut from Superman: The Movie sonic cloth.

ROTJ: Refined and elegant, quite classical sounding- got some of that nice slight ambience also found on the Raiders OST.

Prequels: Like a weird amalgam combo of the playing on ESB with the classical centric recording of ROTJ- not really a highlight, more an afterthought.

Anyway, ESB's slightly edges out ROTJ's as far personal preference.

Though not necessarily best, SW's Main TItle is definitive (or whichever resulted from the edited takes put together back in '77).

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Though the prequel main title may have been sourced from the same recording, there are some slight differences in the mixes. For instance, the harp glissendo when the introduction segues into the main theme comes out a lot clearer in Episode 3.

In the original trilogy ESB wins hands down. Rough recording on ANH and out of tune brass on ROTJ.

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