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Josh500

Do you own "Valley of the Dolls"? How would you rate it?

How would you rate "Valley of the Dolls"?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you rate "Valley of the Dolls"?

    • 5
      0
    • 4,5
      0
    • 4
      0
    • 3,5
      1
    • 3
      3
    • 2,5
      1
    • 2
      0
    • 1,5
      1
    • 1
      0
    • I don't know/own this score.
      14


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So today, apart from 3 JG scores, I stumbled across the OS album of Valley of the Dolls in used but mint condition! I picked it up right away, of course (I paid around 8 bucks for it!), it being one of the very few JW albums still missing from my collection. 

 

What do you guys think of it?

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It's OK. It's mostly Previn's baby, anyway, but Williams' arrangement sound shines through on everything. But ultimately, it's probably one of the Williams-related 60s soundtracks I play the least.

 

Today, Russ Meyer's sequel-turned-parody BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is far more famous, and presumably more culturally interesting. I haven't seen it, though.

 

We don't often talk about the Mark Robson-John Williams  collaboration, but they did three movies together (this film, as well as the two turkeys EARTHQUAKE and DADDY'S GONE A-HUNTING). If nothing else, Robson had a fine taste in composers.

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I'm not one to condone expansions, but if a release came out that had more of Williams' underscore -- a la TOM SAWYER -- I'd be for it. I think the first and last time I saw it was 2009, as I wrote this mini-review at the time, and there was clearly more than just the songs:

 

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=59043&forumID=1&archive=0

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I do not own this score as it is composed by Andre Previn and Williams was involved only in the capacity of an arranger/orchestrator. I have actually never even heard it.

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I own very bad mp3s.. the sound is awefull, so I can't really judge... and the Phillips 1998 CD starts to be dated, that's too old for me to even look for it on the used market.

 

When it will be reissued on CD, if it gets reissued, I will get it for sure, and at this moment, I will be able to judge if I like ot or not!

 

5 hours ago, Incanus said:

I do not own this score as it is composed by Andre Previn and Williams was involved only in the capacity of an arranger/orchestrator. I have actually never even heard it.

 

John Williams conducts the orchestra, so this album is in his discography. I place this album in the same category as Fiddler, Tom Sawyer and Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

 

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He may not have composed the songs, but there are original JW score pieces in it, much like TOM SAWYER (plus, his "sound" is all over the songs in the first place). None of it ended up on the album, though. So it should get an EXPANDED release that included these bits as well.

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Did John Williams compose anything on the album, or is he arranging/conducting music written by Andre and Dory Previn?  My copy credits Williams as conductor and the Previns for the "songs," but has no credit for the instrumental music. 

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This score is available in superb digital hi-def quality, there’s no reason a JWfan never listened to it.

 

Check a website like 7digital.

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I think Lukas Kendall once wrote on the FSM board that he looked into the title and wanted to release it on his FSM label in expanded format, but it turned out materials couldn't be found or were damaged beyond repair.

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4 hours ago, Bryant Burnette said:

"Ann at Lawrenceville" is a Williams composition, I think.

 

Thank you.  Is this the only Williams cue?  Anyone know why the LP credits are so vague?  Do the instrumental cues weave Previn's themes through what are otherwise Williams compositions?  

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10 hours ago, WilliamsGirl said:

Did John Williams compose anything on the album, or is he arranging/conducting music written by Andre and Dory Previn?  My copy credits Williams as conductor and the Previns for the "songs," but has no credit for the instrumental music. 

 

My copy?

 

Don't we all have the same copy? Or are there multiple editions of this? 

 

I remember buying this album. For the life of me, I can't remember whether I actually listened to it. I'm still busy with Harry Potter... 😂 

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1 hour ago, Josh500 said:

Don't we all have the same copy? Or are there multiple editions of this? 

 

I couldn't even begin to list all of the albums that have been released over the decades that included changes to the sleeves or labels along the way.  This can include credits also.   In light of my experience, I don't make these kinds of assumptions.  

 

So back to my previous question, is there any confirmation or informed speculation about who wrote what on this album, beyond the songs?

 

IMDB says "Music by John Williams (uncredited).  And we all know that IMDB never makes a mistake. ;)

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The film, however, is probably the most boring film Williams has ever scored. I had to see it in three separate sessions just to get through it, and I've only seen it that one time.

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3 hours ago, WilliamsGirl said:

So back to my previous question, is there any confirmation or informed speculation about who wrote what on this album, beyond the songs?

 

IMDB says "Music by John Williams (uncredited).  And we all know that IMDB never makes a mistake. ;)

 

Yes, it's one of Williams' most nebulous credit, but it's clear when you see the film that his fingerprints are all over the score--he basically scored the film using Previn's song material (written prior to filming), so what you hear is a full John Williams score based on Andre and Dory Previn's songs.

 

So yes, all you hear on the album is by Williams.

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23 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

Yes, it's one of Williams' most nebulous credit, but it's clear when you see the film that his fingerprints are all over the score--he basically scored the film using Previn's song material (written prior to filming), so what you hear is a full John Williams score based on Andre and Dory Previn's songs.

 

So yes, all you hear on the album is by Williams.

 

But are you hearing trademark Williams orchestrations or composition?  (I recognize that there is a grey area between arranging and composing.)

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I have owned this score for 51 years. Its not my favorite and the record hasn't had a needle touch it in 10 years. But I have never given it up.

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I went and looked up Valley Of The Dolls out of idle curiosity brought on by this thread ... seems the novel was popular despite widespread critical slating, ditto the movie (with the added caveat that amongst the haters of that was the novel's author).

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The late great Roger Ebert wrote the sequel Beyond the Valley of the Dolls though Jacqueline Susann (ahhh the giants) came up with the title.

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1 hour ago, JoeinAR said:

The late great Roger Ebert wrote the sequel Beyond the Valley of the Dolls though Jacqueline Susann (ahhh the giants) came up with the title.

 

BEYOND is a far more famous film, and more of a cult favourite than VALLEY ever was. The "sequel" aspect is very loose, however.

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19 hours ago, Thor said:

 

BEYOND is a far more famous film, and more of a cult favourite than VALLEY ever was. The "sequel" aspect is very loose, however.

Here in the states its basically unknown

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The funny thing about many art house films is they are definitely not art and many are barely competent at the craft of filmmaking. 

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I have just watched this film in preparation for an upcoming episode of my podcast and after just a bit of research, all the music that is not part of the five original songs was composed by John Williams. He wrote some fairly good cues, some of which uses Previn's song melodies but is flavored with the Williams touch.

 

The fact that he didn't really have to lean heavily on song melodies for his underscore might have helped him nab his first Oscar nomination. The episode highlighting "Valley of the Dolls" on my podcast will be ready for listening on April 17.

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2 hours ago, Trumpeteer said:

I have just watched this film in preparation for an upcoming episode of my podcast and after just a bit of research, all the music that is not part of the five original songs was composed by John Williams.

 

Yes, we know, and we've been discussing it extensively in this thread. Which is why it should get an EXPANDED soundtrack release á la TOM SAWYER with the Williams score included.

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12 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Yes, we know, and we've been discussing it extensively in this thread. Which is why it should get an EXPANDED soundtrack release á la TOM SAWYER with the Williams score included.

I suppose my post was specifically to answer WilliamsGirl's repeated questions about JW's involvement in the score writing. There are some musical moments that are not on the original soundtrack, but I don't think they are so "OMG" that they need to appear on a limited-edition CD.

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