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When J T Williams got it wrong


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Williams biggest faux paux  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. He screwed it up biggest with..

    • The techno in A.I (moon rising)
      6
    • The electric guitar in AOTC
      6
    • Wailing woman in ROTS
      9
    • Lapti nek
      6
    • The Disco version of CE3K
      7
    • Other
      11


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Well, as great as John T Williams is, he does occasionally make mistakes, errors of judgement, miscalculations, call them what you will.

Sometimes he just does something you don't dig at all, you might think, what was that all about? what was he thinking?

What was John Towner Williams biggest goof, blunder, faux paux?

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I don't mind the electric guitar in AOTC either - the track it's in is so distinctive anyway that it seems a natural part of it.

And surely the maestro can hardly be blamed for the disco version of CE3K? Wasn't that a grotesque marketing exercise by someone else?

Things not on the list: I must say I hate the song in Hook which is otherwise one of my all-time favourite scores - sentimental tripe. As are the words to the Flying theme in Superman. But we can probably blame someone else... (Bricusse?)

But more seriously - I find it hard to listen to "Remembering Munich" now. When I first heard that track I was absolutely smitten by it - I thought it was one of the most powerful things I'd ever heard. But now I just wish the singer wouldn't do that glottal-stop thing - I wish she'd just deliver the piece with a little more emotional restraint. Of course the other instrumental versions of the same theme remain sublime...

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None of them are bad.

AI was most likely composed by his son.

AND possibly by Kubrick suggestion, or Spielberg's wanting to do a Kubrick thing...

The sung version of Superman love theme is great

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That awful electric guitar in AOTC. Just cuz Ben Burtt decided it would make a "cool" sound effect in the Coruscant chase (how could it possibly sound like anything other than an electric guitar???) why did Williams decide to add a few "tasty licks" to his score. Admittedly the rest of that score is pretty dull, but even so...

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All of those are bad, but the disco version of Close Encounters is nowhere to be found in the movie, so that isn't really a problem. I put my vote on the "techno" in A.I.

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As someone else noted, none of them is bad per se. However, I don't like the techno parts in A.I., since they have nothing to do with the rest of the body of the score (even though it's a very eclectic and somewhat "schizophrenic" score) and seems to be really a forced solution.

I'm not mad also at the wailing woman in "Padme's Ruminations". Again, this is a cue that sticks out too much in relation to the rest of the score. It's very likely that Williams followed closely a precise indication from Lucas and/or the temp-track, otherwise I think he would have composed something very different. It works in the film, but in the end it sounds very clichè and flat. Since that was a key turning point scene, I would have loved to hear a more elaborate, orchestral piece with hints at "Anakin's Theme" and "Across the Stars".

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The electric guitar? Are you kidding? That was awesome! It worked so perfectly.

I voted for the disco CE3K. It's just... wrong. So wrong.

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None of them are bad. And I feel that If you don't like those examples some of them may not be his own doing. It may the suggestion of the director or some other outside influence.

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what's funny is I love every single one of these.

The Wailing woman in ROTS is an AMAZING track.

I love Lapti Nek.

I like the disco CEO3K (Even though that has nothing to do with Williams)

I love the track in AI (the techno). I love that whole score, even though that part is by his son.

As for the guitar in the Coruscant chase of Episode II... I don't quite like it, but it didn't pervade the music so it doesn't really get that high up there either.

As for all the other songs you've all mentioned, I LOVE Banning Back Home. My Favourite 90's William's track.

I loved the love theme from Superman and the songs from Hook.

The problem with Williams doing something "wrong" is that usually the director asks for an alternate or replaces the music in the film with tracks music from another scene. ET, AI, Star Wars, etc. they all do that.

The only real error I think might have been the first half of "Raptors in the Shed" from Jurassic Park. It's unused in the film, but the track itself is very... pompous and very obviously late 80's early 90's in it's feel, using synth and drums... it feels like something you'd hear in those years and would have dated the film badly.

That would have been my choice.

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As far as John Williams music goes, the pop version of "Can You Read my Mind" (at the end of the second CD in the Rhino set) is evil.

On the other hand, there's also Lapti Nek...

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you people get so bent out of shape with pop versions of themes... or techno versions...

I don't see how they are any less valid than any other performance of the theme.

Look back on all the older albums where Williams used a theme and composed it 6 or 7 ways in varying formats... which one of those is valid?

I mean, yes, there is such thing as a bad arrangement... but I don't get why you all get so bent out of shape with these pop versions... like I love the Maureen Mcgovern version of the theme... The one on the album is a bit dated but you can't help that... Isn't that what you hear in the film? (not too familiar with the film).

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I LOVE Banning Back Home. My Favourite 90's William's track.

I wouldn't go so far as to call it my favourite 90s Williams track, but I'm glad there's at least one other person out there who thinks it's a great piece! For me it's a highlight of the Hook score.

:huh:

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I definitely wouldn't call it the highlight of the score (that's a tall order by any standards), but I like it.

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I LOVE Banning Back Home. My Favourite 90's William's track.

I wouldn't go so far as to call it my favourite 90s Williams track, but I'm glad there's at least one other person out there who thinks it's a great piece! For me it's a highlight of the Hook score.

:huh:

I agree. Definitely a highlight!

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My vote would go to the original "Binary Sunset" from Star Wars. I'm glad Lucas made him rescore it. Although a nice and interesting track on the CD, it doesn't really capture the feeling of the scene in the film. Williams got that one totally wrong the first time IMHO.

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I thought we had settled the authorship on the techno music in "AI." His son gave tips, but it was all Williams.

Doesn't matter who did it; I think it's fun in "The Moon Rising." Next to the looped electronic pulses in "Munich," the techno in "AI" is the best "Holy crap, this is cool!" JW moment of the 21st century. The unreleased part when David tries to fly the amphibicopter is a little weird, but not bad.

I have no problem with the music of "Lapti Nek," but why was it necessary to add vocals?

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Im pretty sure that all the AI techno music is actually two tracks that were edited into the film at different points. The Amphbicoptor taking off has the same beat as another source cue/techno piece in the film... so I'm pretty sure there are really only two...

But anyways, I agree with you Dole about Binary Sunset alternate. It does feel out of place with the rest of the film's score... not his worst moment... but definitely a miss.

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I hear that argument time after time, completely understand it, and yet I can't help but enjoy the piece, even in the context of the film. It transforms the meaning and feel of the scene from what it was in the book, but it works in its own crazy way.

Ray Barnsbury

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I'd vote for some blatant self-plagiatarism which sometimes happen even to JW (for example "Gilderoy Lockhart" from "The Chamber of Secrets"). I have never heard CEO3K disco, but I suppose it must suck. Either techno in AI, or guitars in AotC, or wailing woman in RotS were quite all right for me.

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The pop version of Can You Read My Mind and that The Morning After song.

I also just don't like Cinderella Liberty. I've tried, but I just can't get into it.

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The pop version of Can You Read My Mind and that The Morning After song.

I also just don't like Cinderella Liberty. I've tried, but I just can't get into it.

That Morning After song isn't composed by Williams.

The techno in A.I. is great!

The electric guitar in AotC was awful.

But what is worse is the theme in Seven Years in Tibet main title after the huge tutti.

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The pop version of Can You Read My Mind and that The Morning After song.

I also just don't like Cinderella Liberty. I've tried, but I just can't get into it.

That Morning After song isn't composed by Williams.

I stand corrected.

I still don't like it, though.

Also that We May Never Love Like This Again song. But that's not Williams either, is it?

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I would say AotC is nothing but one gigantic mistake that accidentally got pressed on CD, so my vote goes to the guitar. It's about as wrong for Star Wars as Hans Zimmer's use of it was for Pirates Of The Caribbean.

At least the pop version of Can You Read My Mind passes as decent porn music.

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Also that We May Never Love Like This Again song. But that's not Williams either, is it?

Nope.

The CE3K disco theme was a 45 that was included with the soundtrack LP. The same version can be found on Varese's release of the original LP. It's not bad, a little slow but a nice companion to Meco's version.

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Hmmm I highly doubt that the Woman in Padmes Ruminations was his idea... I think that came from the director, also the Techno, ... hmm th elctric guitar in AOTC i really like it .. just a nice effect

, again Lapti Nek although I like Jedi Rocks better.. was I think Georges Idea and well it works.

I voted for other..... The Chairman Waltz

it's a good composition of course but it really sounds as if it was an unreleased cue from Schindler's List.... and the Perlman even playing the violin!!! ;) makes me laugh all the time, I really don't think that that score had deserved a golden globe.

but again.. maybe the director forced him to compose something that sounds like Schindlers List

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Sure, those might have been the directors suggestion. But that's not the point. E.g. the "techno" in A.I. could have worked - but it just is soooo far from Williams' territory and you can hear that very clearly. He's an amateur in stuff like that, and therefore it ended up being so bad and amateurish. Had that part been done by someone more at home in electronic music, it could have been a fine - maybe even COOL - solution.

In "Banning back home" (I assume we are talking about the jazz piece), you can hear that this is (old) Williams territory. The composition and arrangements sound fairly professional and "right".

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If there is anything I've learned from my 2 trips at Ubeda, and I really have learned this. Is how much of an inpact the director or the producer can have on the shape, scope and sound of a filmscore. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad.

We talk a fair bit on this forum about a film composers work having to serve the film. But in most cases it's probably more important that the score pleases the director.

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"And if you think your director is an a**hole, just remember he's working for a producer and a studio, who are probably even bigger a**holes."

- Bruce Broughton, Úbeda 2007

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If there is anything I've learned from my 2 trips at Ubeda, and I really have learned this. Is how much of an inpact the director or the producer can have on the shape, scope and sound of a filmscore. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad.

We talk a fair bit on this forum about a film composers work having to serve the film. But in most cases it's probably more important that the score pleases the director.

I think if Williams were reading this he would smile.

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