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Why the 70's & 80's R clearly superior to the 90's &


JoeinAR
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It was his most commercial sucessfull, but that's hardly a measurement of quality. I love that period, what I don't think is how his 70 80's output is so vastly superior to his most recent output. It was hugely popular and influential, no doubt, but that doesn't make it better, it just doesnt.

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Yes, but it's hard to argue that Williams' most outstanding career-moment began with Jaws and ended with E.T.? (1975-1982)

It's almost factual.

But outstanding in what sense? Only if your thinking in the popular appeal of Williams name, nothing else.

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Yes, but it's hard to argue that Williams' most outstanding career-moment began with Jaws and ended with E.T.? (1975-1982)

It's almost factual.

But outstanding in what sense? Only if your thinking in the popular appeal of Williams name, nothing else.

Sorry, but are you saying that War Of The Worlds, Attack Of The Clones and Memoirs Of A Geisha are all-time classics? Surely you are not comparing these to milestones like Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders, Supes or E.T.?

I must be dreaming!

Alex

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I really can't see why this is such a cause for debate, as it is blatantly obvious that all this reflects, is nostalgia and matters of taste. Sure, Williams from "Jaws" till "Temple of Doom" is absolutely magnificent, but so is "Saving Private Ryan", and "Memoirs of a Geisha", or "Jane Eyre" and "The Eiger Sanction", for that matter... John Williams keeps giving us exceptional music, and has consistently done so throughout a career so distinguished, it can never be rivalled. And his music is as fresh and beautiful as ever, although his assignments and the compositional challenges he chooses for himself may lead to all kinds of different musical terrain. That being said, it is still John Williams, and everything he writes demands serious attention and appreciation, as he is one of the most gifted composers of the last 50 years.

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Oh, how I wish I had a bootleg of "Space Camp"...

"The River" is certainly a wonderful score! And actually not a bad film either.

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The Ancestral Home theme from the River is outstanding, and though Spacecamp (the movie) was terrible, the score is fun and melodic.

Ted

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The Ancestral Home gives me goosebumps! The End Credits is lovely too. As for Spacecamp I'm sure someone can help you out in the Trading Board. Unfortunately my CD is in England and I'm in Ohio so I can't help you out. I relented and bought the original on Ebay (at great cost!) about 6 years ago. I never regretted it though, it's a wonderful fantasy score, and contains some of Williams' warmest and most stirring "Williamsesque" music. Someone at this board once commented that Spacecamp may not be Williams' best score, but it's the most obviously Williamsesque. I forget who said it, but I agree 100%. It's superb feel-good music with a few goosebump moments of its own.

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Oh, how I wish I had a bootleg of "Space Camp"...  

"The River" is certainly a wonderful score! And actually not a bad film either.

Hmm, they are nice for a while but they wear off soon. These are CDs not even the biggest Williams fanboy wants to take to a deserted island. You can't declare everything this man has written as holy.

Alex

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Oh, how I wish I had a bootleg of "Space Camp"...  

"The River" is certainly a wonderful score! And actually not a bad film either.

Hmm, they are nice for a while but they wear off soon. These are CDs not even the biggest Williams fanboy wants to take to a deserted island. You can't declare everything this man has written as holy.

Alex

I'd take either of them over Memoirs, Munich, AOTC, ROTS, Terminal, CMIYC, WOTW, Minority Report, SPR, Patriot, pretty much everything except Harry Potter since 2000. Spacecamp and River speak to me emotionally in a way that many of his latest scores don't. I really don't get all the fuss over Geisha. It's got some fun use of non-western instruments, but it's hardly a classic score. I don't declare most of his recent output to be "holy" at all.

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I really don't get all the fuss over Geisha. It's got some fun use of non-western instruments, but it's hardly a classic score. I don't declare most of his recent output to be "holy" at all.

I'm afraid I agree with you on that.

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Hmm, they are nice for a while but they wear off soon. These are CDs not even the biggest Williams fanboy wants to take to a deserted island. You can't declare everything this man has written as holy.

Yes you can, it's a matter of taste.

I may not be the musically gifted person in the world but it's clearly obvious to my ears that there are great differences between JW of the 70-80 compared to JW of the 90-00.

It has nothing to do with nostalgia, the music he composed back in the 70-80 period is much more interesting and fresh compared to the music he composes now. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy scores like HP, WOTW and Giesha but there is a difference.

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The Ancestral Home gives me goosebumps! The End Credits is lovely too. As for Spacecamp I'm sure someone can help you out in the Trading Board. Unfortunately my CD is in England and I'm in Ohio so I can't help you out. I relented and bought the original on Ebay (at great cost!) about 6 years ago. I never regretted it though, it's a wonderful fantasy score, and contains some of Williams' warmest and most stirring "Williamsesque" music. Someone at this board once commented that Spacecamp may not be Williams' best score, but it's the most obviously Williamsesque. I forget who said it, but I agree 100%. It's superb feel-good music with a few goosebump moments of its own.

There is a strings moment in the track "Home Again," the final track, that I find so moving and uplifting every time I hear it starting around the 1:10 mark to the 1:25 mark. It's a small moment, but it's so perfect in the cue. Like you said, totally Williamsesque. Another great example of Williamsesque music is the Mission from Amazing Stories, which also has one of those great, triumphant finales.

Ted

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Well, you certainly won't enjoy his most recent (and fascinating) output if you don't let go of his old (and fascinating) output.

Nobody was expecting such a Romantic sound when Star Wars came out - but everybody has it in mind every time a new Williams CD comes out. It'd be like judging Close Encounters against Jane Eyre. Very few people are being truly fair to Williams' recent works.

And wonderful works they are.

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Well, you certainly won't enjoy his most recent (and fascinating) output if you don't let go of his old (and fascinating) output.

Nobody was expecting such a Romantic sound when Star Wars came out - but everybody has it in mind every time a new Williams CD comes out.

Indeed.

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This is like Original trilogy-Prequel trilogy discussions.

As many people has stated, nostalgia does play a big part here.

Anyway, I'm just happy i cant enjoy the whole career of Maestro John Williams, and not just one third of it.

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This is like Original trilogy-Prequel trilogy discussions.

Now do you see my point? LOL

Yes if you erase the second sentence, yes it suits your point.

By the way, you said the river and Space camp were so-so.

Sorry but those are more enyojable that the 'masterpiece' called Accidental tourist, which by the way wasnt made in the 77-84 period so it cannot be that good, i suppose.

And sorry again, but half of the discussions here are OT vs PT, and you know, i seldom create a thread about them, and nor im the only one posting.

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Sorry but those are more enyojable that the 'masterpiece' called Accidental tourist ...

You know, "enjoyable" is not the reigning standard to measure quality. And I never called Accidental Tourist a masterpiece either, but it's certainly less cheesy than Spacecamp, that's for sure.

Alex - who notices he has hurt Luke's feelings

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Yes, but it's hard to argue that Williams' most outstanding career-moment began with Jaws and ended with E.T.? (1975-1982)

It's almost factual.

But outstanding in what sense? Only if your thinking in the popular appeal of Williams name, nothing else.

Sorry, but are you saying that War Of The Worlds, Attack Of The Clones and Memoirs Of A Geisha are all-time classics? Surely you are not comparing these to milestones like Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders, Supes or E.T.?

I must be dreaming!

Alex

Yes I am. Why? Are you not?

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It is not a matter of declaring Williams "holy" or not. With any composer that I greatly admire (like Haydn, Mozart, Ravel and Shostakovich), I find it interesting to study their work closely, and to study their development. And of course, there are many who will prefer Shostakovich's 5th symphony and 8th string quartet to his symphony no.15, or quartet no.15, but that's neither here nor there. What is interesting, is how an artist evolves, what stays the same, what is different, and why.

Williams responds to drama at this stage in his life very differently from when he was a man in his 40's or 50's. I think this is most interesting, and I don't think it has anything to do with dwindling enthusiasm or ability. Sure, a 74 year old cannot be expected to have the same kind of exuberance as a 34 year old, but that energy and perhaps a greater sense of wanting to prove one's worth will be substituted by a sensibility, grace and wisdom that only vast, vast experience can provide.

If we look at most great composer's late works, a general tendency is one towards more asceticism. This is certainly true in Williams' development, there's much more restraint. What I find so refreshing in Williams' recent output, is that he seems to be deeply playful. Not playful on the surface (although he can still do that too, and brilliantly), but a playfulness of approach, and a playfulness of artistic restrictions. He does more with less, very simply. If one wishes to look for it, "Memoirs of a Geisha" is an incredibly complex score, on many, many levels. And it is easily one of his most beautiful scores, but quietly and serenely so.

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Well at least we're finally having a debate like this about Williams again and not that other guy that starts with a letter late in the alphabet.

John- who won't dispute the point that Williams' peak was definately Jaws to Temple of Doom, but thinks the '99-present period is the next best thing

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Schindler's List, Seven Years in Tibet, Angela's Ashes and Memoirs of a Geisha. I don't care if they are pop culture landmarks or scores to hugely sucessful films. These are examples of film music at its very finnest. They are the work of an artist on top of his game. They are the work of someone that keeps reinventing himself.

These are clear examples of achingly beautiful lyrism. Those 4 scores I mentioned are in my view as great achievements as E.T, or Star Wars, or Close Encounters.

God forbib John Williams scores anything else besides action adventure movies.

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Schindler's List, Seven Years in Tibet, Angela's Ashes and Memoirs of a Geisha.  I don't care if they are pop culture landmarks or scores to hugely sucessful films. These are examples of film music at its very finnest. They are the work of an artist on top of his game. They are the work of someone that keeps reinventing himself.

These are clear examples of achingly beautiful lyrism. Those 4 scores I mentioned are in my view as great achievements as E.T, or Star Wars, or Close Encounters.

God forbib John Williams scores anything else besides action adventure movies.

beerchug

Ted

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Personally (and I'll probably get murdered for saying this) I think Memoirs of a Geisha is easily John's best score in the last 15 years, if not 20.

:music: Amazing Stories "Boo!" (Jerry Goldsmith)

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I find some of your comments a little too direct Joe. Are you saying I'm wrong to have the opinion that Williams' most recent scores have no emotion?

For the record, I consider Jurassic Park to be JW's best score. However, that's my opinion, and I'm not stating that as fact.

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Sure, a 74 year old cannot be expected to have the same kind of exuberance as a 34 year old, but that energy and perhaps a greater sense of wanting to prove one's worth will be substituted by a sensibility, grace and wisdom that only vast, vast experience can provide.

Jerry Goldsmith's last few scores sure didn't sound like the work of a 70+ year-old cancer patient.

Although I'll agree that age can bring a different look on projects to an artist. It's quite clear in Williams' case.

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True, Goldsmith's last efforts are surprisingly powerful from the pen of a man of such tragically failing health...Yet I will say that Goldsmith's entire approach in the last 10-15 years of his life is noticably more restrained and economical than his earlier scores. And, again, Williams has written some of the most fiercely aggressive and texturally dense music of his career in the last 5-10 years or so... But I am talking about a general tendency...

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not bashing you, but more emotional, sorry thats not even close to being correct.

Joe, you wrong, you're so wrong.

Williams recent sores are at leaset as emotional, if not more, than his older ones.

Yopu just should understand that isn't the kind of emotioanlity you can relate too, and stop with this silly comparission.

Miguel, this is an internet forum for discussion, we have no new JW scores this year to discuss, not eveyone gets caught up in the last couple of dramatic scores he's created, so I made this thread to create discussion. Don't be so provincial in your thinking that I don't understand that kind of emotionality, I've lived enough of life to understand there are all kinds of emotions, but John's emotional music, the one we commonly discuss, the kind that tugs the heart strings, we don't see much in John's works. No score does compare to ET when it comes to those emotions, not even Schindler's List. There are no central figures in SL that we can focus on and relate to that create those emotions, like we can relate to in the character of Elliott.

Yes, but it's hard to argue that Williams' most outstanding career-moment began with Jaws and ended with E.T.? (1975-1982)

It's almost factual.

I would argue that it began with the Towering Inferno and ended with Temple of Doom, or the Color Purple, :music: and even into Empire of the Sun.

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There are no central figures in SL that we can focus on and relate to that create those emotions, like we can relate to in the character of Elliott.

Don't tell me you can't relate to Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds :music:

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I would argue that it began with the Towering Inferno and ended with Temple of Doom, or the Color Purple,  :music:    and even into Empire of the Sun.

The Color Purple, the hidden gem in Williams' lengthy body of work. ;)

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There are no central figures in SL that we can focus on and relate to that create those emotions, like we can relate to in the character of Elliott.

Don't tell me you can't relate to Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds :music:

only when sitting on the couch with Okra, I mean Oprah.

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not bashing you, but more emotional, sorry thats not even close to being correct.

when i meant the later stuff being more emotional, i meant it was less obvious than it would be back in the late 70s early 80s for williams. i guess i was using the wrong words. anyways, he would use similar ideas for love themes (han and princess vs. marions theme) or heroic themes (superman vs star wars). it was pretty obvious as to his intentions. more recently, i'm finding his stuff is getting more subtler and more refined. like the chairman's waltz is meant to be a love theme, but is not evident upon first listening. i guess others may disagree, but i prefer the more low key approach.

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I'm tired of all these "My opinion is obviously better than yours" threads. Can't we get back to bashing Zimmer?

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not bashing you, but more emotional, sorry thats not even close to being correct.

when i meant the later stuff being more emotional, i meant it was less obvious than it would be back in the late 70s early 80s for williams. i guess i was using the wrong words. anyways, he would use similar ideas for love themes (han and princess vs. marions theme) or heroic themes (superman vs star wars). it was pretty obvious as to his intentions. more recently, i'm finding his stuff is getting more subtler and more refined. like the chairman's waltz is meant to be a love theme, but is not evident upon first listening. i guess others may disagree, but i prefer the more low key approach.

I agree. There's a certain ambiguity to the Chairman's Waltz that is just so classy.

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I kinda like zimmer.

You know, that just renders your 'factual' opinions nule... 8O

By the way I find AI to be as (or even more) emotional than ET, and the 1st time Chairman's waltz is played in the movie, i have that sadness sore throat feeling the whole scene until chio spens the money on prayer. The finale of Schindler's List goes also into there.

Williams still can write as emotionally powerful music as like the did in the past

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There's no question of that, Luke. The question is - where do you after doing such succesful classics as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Jaws, E.T., The Empire Strikes Back? Do you keep doing triumphant, catchy marches all your life? Or do you take that land for conquered and move on to different horizons... Yes, you risk not being as succesful, but at the same time you gain experience, knowledge and maybe you find the next that works. And maybe that thing that works is just a cut above the triumphant marches in terms of complexity, merit and originality.

And that's why I love Williams' current output. The way I perceive it, it's everything that his classic period was... and so much more.

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E.T. is not a march. Supes, yes, but that's just a small element of the total score.

BTW, Jaws ain't no marching band either.

And here I was overrating you and thinking you were able to comprehend abstract concept. Would you be happier if I use the words "vintage Williams" instead of "march"? E.T. is vintage Williams, isn't it? So my point is still valid.

We'll leave the notable exception of the Jaws theme aside because it really doesn't help either side of argument.

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E.T. is not a march. Supes, yes, but that's just a small element of the total score.

BTW, Jaws ain't no marching band either.

What a petty response. It's obvious Ross was talking about scores propelled by 'showy' themes, and not specifically marches.

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