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John Williams: Unpopular Opinions

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In light of my earth shattering revelations in the Last Score You Listened to thread what are your unpopular opinions on Johnny's music. What does everyone love but you just can't get into?

 

Mine is obviously the Return of the Jedi thing. There's some great cues in there but overall I just don't enjoy it. I said 25 minutes but that probably isn't accurate. I suppose if there were 45 minutes I enjoyed that'd be great. I just about like TFA more than it (Rey's theme and Jedi Steps and Finale blow RotJ away) but I'd place the other 5 scores above them. 

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5 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

I actively dislike the second Harry Potter score. Love the other 2.

 

But I thought William Ross composed the second?!?

 

I'm actually listening to it at the moment. 

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1 minute ago, Evil-Lyn said:

I think Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars score. In fact, I think I prefer the prequels to the originals.

 

Revenge of the Sith is also my favourite score. 

 

I think I also prefer the prequel scores overall but I can see why the general consensus is that the OT is better. I think it comes down to which era of Williams you prefer and while it took me awhile to really appreciate the PT action music I think I now prefer it. 

 

Saying that, hard to beat something like the Asteroid Field from Empire or Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack from A New Hope!

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I don't like E.T., Hook, or 1941.  

 

I usually don't care for Williams in militaristic mode.  

 

There are swaths of the original Star Wars scores that are just completely uninteresting to me.

 

Some Williams themes start with great promise and are then resolved in an awkward or clumsy way.

 

He writes too many endings sometimes.

 

Williams post 2000 >>> Williams pre 2000

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2 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

Examples?

The resolving three notes of the Force theme are pretty awkward (Williams rarely even reprises them apart from the tongue-and-cheek miltary pompousness heard in cues like "The Throne Room" and the opening of ROTS)

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I've mentioned a number of them before, but the one that always pops into my head is Luke and Leia.  Absolutely gorgeous start, but the concluding phrase that starts at around 1:10 into the piece just doesn't fit at all and really cheapens it for me even though it isn't repeated.  It just sounds so much less inspired than what's around it.  

 

Another one is the Elegy, which has a beautiful, vocal like cello opening which is really tender and plaintive, and then it's followed up by this much more melodramatic and chromatic phrase that doesn't feel right to me.

 

3 minutes ago, Not Mr. Big said:

The resolving three notes of the Force theme are pretty awkward (Williams rarely even reprises them apart from the tongue-and-cheek miltary pompousness heard in cues like "The Throne Room" and the opening of ROTS)

 

Yeah, I've always thought it was good he avoided that concluding gesture because it's just really... obvious in a bad way.

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The Force Awakens is my least favorite Star Wars score in-film and my second favorite on album.

 

1 minute ago, Richard said:

HOOK you can keep - far too florid - but 1941 currently resides at #4, in top 8 JW.

Hook might be sugary and over-stuffed but it at least has several truly enjoyable set-pieces.  1941 has the march and a whole lot of drab, nondescript comedic/miltaristic underscore.   

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1 hour ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

He writes too many endings sometimes.

 

 

Agreed.

 

I'm not a fan of his "broadway" style of writing romantic strings (sometimes I can almost hear the the accompanying hyatt), I wish he'd lay off the syrup there a bit and try something more lush and sweet.

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I don't like his childish scores that much. That's why I don't like The BFG, parts of Hook, but much stuff from Hook is very cool. Harry Potter is mostly not very childish, but dark and mystic.

 

I was never a fan of E.T., Jaws and Superman, but I love Rosewood, War of the Worlds, Sleepers and Presumed Innocent?

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53 minutes ago, Not Mr. Big said:

The resolving three notes of the Force theme are pretty awkward (Williams rarely even reprises them apart from the tongue-and-cheek miltary pompousness heard in cues like "The Throne Room" and the opening of ROTS)

 

I don't follow, can you describe what you mean a bit more please?

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Actually I'm totally uncapable of hearing Heartbeeps and Images.  But I will retry.  I always retry... and sometimes, my opinion changes.

 

The BFG too... that's too much variety for me... I think that the different themes don't mix together so well... It goes, it comes back... I don't know where it goes... Well, I didn't like the movie either, wondering too where it goes... In that sense, we can say that the music of John Williams is true to the movie!

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John Williams was the perfect composer for Schindler's List.

 

After that, maybe you don't like the mood of the movie, that's another thing. Personally, I can't watch this movie or listen to the soundtrack too often... it brings to much emotion, it drains me.

 

His melody of the main theme is so simple... but so efficient... it's a little bit like the melody of the Clarinet concerto by Mozart. It looks so simple too, but oh, so beautiful... and not as simple as it may appears...  Did I just compared John Williams to Mozart? Yes, I'm not afraid. We are talking about two geniuses of melody.

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30 minutes ago, Bespin said:

Actually I'm totally uncapable of hearing Heartbeeps and Images.  But I will retry.  I always retry... and sometimes, my opinion changes.

 

HEARTBEEPS I agree with.

As for IMAGES, try to listen to IN SEARCH OF UNICORNS, or BLOOD MOON, as a taster.

 

Also, Bes, it's "incapable" :)

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16 minutes ago, Bilbo Skywalker said:

 

Yes but the right composers are all dead. 

 

I set that punchline up just about right, eh?

6 minutes ago, Bespin said:

John Williams was the perfect composer for Schindler's List.

 

After that, maybe you don't like the mood of the movie, that's another thing. Personally, I can't watch this movie or listen to the soundtrack too often... it brings to much emotion, it drains me.

 

His melody of the main theme is so simple... but so efficient... it's a little bit like the melody of the Clarinet concerto by Mozart. It looks so simple too, but oh, so beautiful... and not as simple as it may appears...  Did I just compared John Williams to Mozart? Yes, I'm not afraid. We are talking about two geniuses of melody.

 

The melodies are not the problem, it's the very conventional orchestration. But we've been over this before and the ClassicFM listeners will always think that film music doesn't get better than that. 

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44 minutes ago, Quintus said:

I dunno, for me, The Force theme is the "perfect" melody. It's flawless in texture, hook and execution.

 

I still got absolutely sick to the teeth of the sound of it for about 5 years after the prequels, though.

 

The theme is shite in Revenge Of The Sith. Pompous and overbearing. Like the Jedi in that film perhaps.

 

Its much much better in TFA.

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17 minutes ago, publicist said:

ClassicFM listeners will always think that film music doesn't get better than that. 

 

Bullshit!  Of course film music gets better, in the form of The Mission, The Godfather, and Gone With The Wind!

 

2 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

Its much much better in TFA.

 

I think this is the best appearance of the theme ever.

 

 

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I'm not crazy about the super-duper Mickey-mousing mode unless it's something operatic like the Prequels or purposefully over-the-top like Home Alone. I generally prefer it when he plays through a scene instead of musically duplicating every onscreen gesture. 

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That's understandable. Sometimes, I love STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, more than any of the STAR WARS scores. What am I saying? I always love STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE more than any of the STAR WARS scores (but that doesn't mean to say that I don't love the STAR WARS scores) :)

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