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Most days, I am satisfied by listening to a few John Williams scores, and I occasionally throw a James Horner score in there, but today, while I was doing my homework, I decided to do something different. Today I listened to the full soundtrack albums of Back to the Future II,Back to the Future III,Beowulf, The Mummy Returns and Contact. I have to say...I'm impressed. I have not listened to this much "Silvestri" ever. I especially like the score for The Mummy Returns. My newfound appreciation for Alan Silvestri led me to wonder what everyone hear thinks of him. I have read comments that "he is a hack" or "he copies everyone", but not on this message board.

What does everyone think of Alan Silvestri? I am hoping to get a good discussion started.

(Yes, I know this is a John Williams board, and by tomorrow, I'll be back to my JW-loving self)

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He's good. Recently, though, he's almost entirely abandoned any pretense of subtlety, something that makes his scores far less re-listenable than some of his earlier stuff. I love The Mummy Returns, but the pool of terrific action/adventure material has been dipped into too many times by him in recent years. Van Helsing and Beowulf, while each having some fun material, are rather tiring to listen to, and also have made Mummy Returns less unique. The last Silvestri score that I can listen to more than once in a short period of time is The Mexican. It's a pastiche score, but it does have enough to keep it interesting for an entire album, and does not revert to unbelievable volume. And it always raises a smile to my face, his brilliant Morricone immitations in his three main themes.

So, I like his work, but I think his works of subtlety are few and far between. I enjoy many of his scores. But in between listening to them, I am generally dissapointed with his almost entirely 'surface' scores. If I wanted Alan Silvestri music without depth (or personality, for that matter), I could simply listen to John Debney. I'd like to believe that Silvestri can be much better than that, but he's been consistantly avoiding that in recent years (The fact that he only seems to be scoring about one a year doesn't help much).

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I don't know about that. Cast Away is about as subtle as it comes.

That was released in 2000, the last year he was subtle. And I was never such a big fan....the only score of his is for the sections of the movie I can't stand. And, with all due respect, I assume that his sparse scoring had a lot more to do with Mr. Zemeckis.

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I have 5 Silvestri soundtracks, The Polar Express, Forrest Gump, Mouse Hunt, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and Night at the Museum, and I enjoy all of them except for the latter, which isn't that bad. It is a shame PE has never been really released on a score only album, there's some great stuff missing. Forrest Gump is also a great score, my favorite cues being the fanfares heard in "Run Forrest Run" and "The Crimson Gump." Mouse Hunt is also excellent, mainly for that brilliant main theme. One of the cachiest themes ever written, so mischevious and exciting. WFRR? is good, but the only track I really listen to very often is "Eddie's Theme." Night at the Museum, while it does have some interesting bits, really isn't heard too much by me.

And the theme to BTTF is great, as is the western theme for part III.

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BttF is alright but overrated .Back in 1985 I thought it was a second rate Williams knockoff theme

I like Contact ,The Abyss ,Stuart Little 1 and 2, The Polar Express .

Don't like The Mummy Returns too much

K.M.

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Wow, I'm surprised at the "meh" reactions here. I will say, he's been guilty of having filler spots in cues, but when he cooks, he really cooks. And I don't understand why people say the theme from BTTF sounds like Williams. I really don't. It sounds totally Silvestri to me. "Brassy, fun adventure theme" does not automatically equal "Williams theme."

I need to grab Mouse Hunt. That theme is a joy to listen to.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of my favorites from Silvestri. The development of Eddie's Theme throughout the score, parallel to the character's development, is really nice, starting with the beautiful sadness and melancholy of "Valiant and Valiant," to finally finding a renewed vigor at the start of the End Credits (love the gusto of this performance of the theme). However, the whole score is a lot of fun. The complete score has some really nice material, particularly including "Cab Chase," "Back to the Studio," and the full climax and finale, along with some other short cues with nice statements of themes, such as Eddie's Theme in "Downtown L.A.," and the string statement of Roger's Theme in "Roger's Speech." "Maroon Logo" and "Maroon Cartoon" are also very enjoyable Stalling-esque cues for the opening cartoon. Just a great, fun score.

On BTTF III, I really recommend a chronological listen on the album. "The Train" is a great climax with a lot of excitement, and "Doc Returns" is a wonderful denoument to the series, with nice statements of the main theme as well as the love theme.

Koray, I highly recommend you check out the scores for the Father of the Bride movies, as well as the remake of The Parent Trap (there's some really good stuff missing from the album, also).

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He's a very good composer who's work outside of Robert Zemeckis is worth listening to as well.

His action material can be a little repetative but he's better than a majority of composers out there today.

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BttF is alright but overrated

I think so too. The main theme deserves every bit of praise that it gets, and the western theme from III is good too, but the scores as a whole really don't get up to the absolute top level for me. The fact that BttF is so hard to get a hold of probably enhances its reputation.

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Koray, I highly recommend you check out the scores for the Father of the Bride movies, as well as the remake of The Parent Trap (there's some really good stuff missing from the album, also).

I'll check him out a little more deeply. I have a decent handful of his work. But for me his Zemeckis work rises above anything else he's done. I really like his rejected score to Mission: Impossible. Mouse Hunt is definitely one of his top 5 best scores IMO. An extremely well-composed theme. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cast Away, Death Becomes Her, and of course Back To The Future are all really great.

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Wow, I'm surprised at the "meh" reactions here. I will say, he's been guilty of having filler spots in cues, but when he cooks, he really cooks. And I don't understand why people say the theme from BTTF sounds like Williams. I really don't. It sounds totally Silvestri to me. "Brassy, fun adventure theme" does not automatically equal "Williams theme."

I am saying,back in 1985,it sounded like a "not quite there" Williams score.

oh ,and MouseHunt. Listened to that 2 c.d. boot :lol: I don't know what the buzz is about that one really

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Koray, I highly recommend you check out the scores for the Father of the Bride movies, as well as the remake of The Parent Trap (there's some really good stuff missing from the album, also).

I'll check him out a little more deeply. I have a decent handful of his work. But for me his Zemeckis work rises above anything else he's done. I really like his rejected score to Mission: Impossible. Mouse Hunt is definitely one of his top 5 best scores IMO. An extremely well-composed theme. Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cast Away, Death Becomes Her, and of course Back To The Future are all really great.

Zemeckis and Silvestri do have a really great collaboration.

I've also heard high acclaim for Silvestri's score for Judge Dredd, but I haven't heard it yet.

Ah, and Stuart Little is a really nice score by Silvestri. Cynics may avoid it, but for those who don't mind that lighter touch, there's thematic gold to be found and a lot of fun to be had. Several really nice themes--off the top of my head, I think there's about seven solid themes. "The Boat Race" is a really good action cue, particularly. It's just a really great, thematic score. You just have to hear it. It's not officially on CD, but the original DVD had an isolated score, and there's a boot out there as well. In film and score, I would say the first film is superior to the sequel, although that one is good also.

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And I don't understand why people say the theme from BTTF sounds like Williams. I really don't. It sounds totally Silvestri to me. "Brassy, fun adventure theme" does not automatically equal "Williams theme."

I agree. Following that logic, JG's theme to Star Trek is a JW ripoff.

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I agree. Following that logic, JG's theme to Star Trek is a JW ripoff.

Some people just like to delude themselves into thinking the contrary.

I haven't ever mistook Silvestri for Williams or vice-versa.

There are only two types of people who would:

The average music fan.

A severely uneducated fan of film music.

I've always been quite the fan of Silvestri, well his older stuff anyway. He seems to be stuck in this slump period at the moment.

You have great action/fantasy scores like his Back to the Future Trilogy, Predator, The Abyss, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump, Judge Dredd, The Mummy Returns. Then you have wonderful family efforts like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mac and Me, Father of the Bride, Richie Rich, Mousehunt, The Parent Trap, Stuart Little, The Polar Express.

I've been listening to Mac and Me recently. It's a forgotten gem, mainly due in part to its association with one long McDonald's commercial excuse/E.T. ripoff of a movie.

Getting back to that slump I mentioned; I think he will come out of it big-time next year. Especially with G.I. Joe and A Christmas Carol coming.

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Silvestri was once a superb film composer, but he's faded somewhat. Castaway was a quite touching score, but the main reason I listen to him is for is action music, which I love. His use of snares and brass in particular, indeed Predator is one my favourites and regardless of what one might think of his music, it cannot be denied that he has a very unique style.

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It can't be denied that Silvestri has done some great stuff in the past, my favourites being (in no particular order) Predator, Forrest Gump, BttF, The Abyss and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. I also have some expectations from him in the future, although it also seems to me that his work has somewhat diminished in these last years.

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Alan Silvestri is GREAT! Definitly one of my favourity composers. The Back to the Future main theme is awesome, Back to the Future III had very cool action music and the western music is great. The last couple of tracks from The Abyss are amazing as well. Forrest Gump is very good. Judge Dredd has a good theme, Lilo and Stitch has some nice action/adventure music, The Mexican is really quite silly, but fun nonetheless. Night at the Museum has a good main theme, The Polar Express is really very good as well, Richie Rich is good fun, "Pandora's Box" from Tomb Raider 2 is beautiful, "March of the Lava" from Volcano is good and The Wild also has some really good parts, such as "Tales from the Wild" and some really touching music in there somewhere, but I don't know which track.

The Mummy Returns must be his best action/adventure score, especially in its complete form. The themes are great, the action music is great, there beautiful music there, good incidental music, good use of choir. It's all really big and sometimes even completely over-the-top, but it's quality stuff for sure. Van Helsing is really good as well. Especially in its complete form where there is a bit more beautiful music in the score as heard in Reunited on the OST. Beowulf could do with less of a modern touch, but it does have some good themes and enthusiastic music.

Alan Silvestri is one of those composers who really understands the kind of music a film should have and comes up with stuff that is (almost) always very much appropriate, very much enhances the film and works well outside the film as well. I consider music truly good when I can imagine a film to go with the music when listening to it and Alan Silvestri very much manages that. I do agree that his latest scores are not as good as the earlier ones. Van Helsing is not as good as The Mummy Returns and Beowulf is not as good as Van Helsing. It's obvious that the greatness is still in there somewhere, but it doesn't really come out anymore. That's unfortunate. I am looking forward to another knock-out Silvestri score.

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I like a lot of his stuff, although it's mostly his Zemeckis material.

Problem for me though, is that a lot of his action stuff is very cheesy and over the top to me, and maybe it's just my changing tastes, but I'm preferring more serious action scoring these days.

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I like a lot of his stuff, although it's mostly his Zemeckis material.

Problem for me though, is that a lot of his action stuff is very cheesy and over the top to me, and maybe it's just my changing tastes, but I'm preferring more serious action scoring these days.

I pretty much agree. Perhaps that's why I am more partial to Contact and Cast Away.

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Problem for me though, is that a lot of his action stuff is very cheesy and over the top to me, and maybe it's just my changing tastes, but I'm preferring more serious action scoring these days.

Yeah, I think that by returning to his action roots such as Predator, he'd sometimes succeed better than he does. Because Predator is one of the greatest action scores of all times (for me, that is).

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Friends give me some cues to prove that he has talent as a great composer. I would happily change my opinion.

"A Science Experiment? (The Train, Part I)," "It's Clara! (The Train, Part II)," and "Point of No Return (The Train, Part III)" make up an exciting climax for BTTF III--I love the statements of the main theme to the train rhythm in "A Science Experiment?" and the variations on the West theme in the low brass, particularly in "Point of No Return." Additionally, "Main Title," "Doc Returns," "Wake-Up Juice," "Hill Valley," and "We're Out of Gas" are some favorites. "Valiant and Valiant," "The Gag Factory," "Eddie's Theme," "The Will" and "End Credits" are some particular standouts from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, although it's hard to pick--the whole score is really good. I would seek out some form of the Stuart Little score. This is one I'd love to be able to have a legal copy of on my shelf. BTTF II has some good stuff, also. There's a fair amount of reworking, but the performances are good and have some differences. The reworking is also made more palatable by the fact that there is no official release of the first score. "Main Titles," "Hoverboard Chase," "If They Ever Did," "Tunnel Chase," "Burn the Book," and "Western Union" are all good. I don't know if you're the kind of guy who can take sweet, romantic scores, but if you are, Father of the Bride is a winner. It's a really short album, but that theme...it's lovely. Some nice jazz touches here and there as well. Between this and "Eddie's Theme," I'd love to hear an album of Silvestri jazz compositions.

I also need to hear Judge Dredd and The Abyss. I hear great things about them.

I'm picking some main tracks, but really the whole albums are good, WFRR particularly. One of the things that hits me in his scores is there's a definite charm to them. You get the sense that Silvestri is having a lot of fun.

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Friends give me some cues to prove that he has talent as a great composer. I would happily change my opinion.

"A Science Experiment? (The Train, Part I)," "It's Clara! (The Train, Part II)," and "Point of No Return (The Train, Part III)" make up an exciting climax for BTTF III--I love the statements of the main theme to the train rhythm in "A Science Experiment?" and the variations on the West theme in the low brass, particularly in "Point of No Return." Additionally, "Main Title," "Doc Returns," "Wake-Up Juice," "Hill Valley," and "We're Out of Gas" are some favorites. "Valiant and Valiant," "The Gag Factory," "Eddie's Theme," "The Will" and "End Credits" are some particular standouts from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, although it's hard to pick--the whole score is really good. I would seek out some form of the Stuart Little score. This is one I'd love to be able to have a legal copy of on my shelf. BTTF II has some good stuff, also. There's a fair amount of reworking, but the performances are good and have some differences. The reworking is also made more palatable by the fact that there is no official release of the first score. "Main Titles," "Hoverboard Chase," "If They Ever Did," "Tunnel Chase," "Burn the Book," and "Western Union" are all good. I don't know if you're the kind of guy who can take sweet, romantic scores, but if you are, Father of the Bride is a winner. It's a really short album, but that theme...it's lovely. Some nice jazz touches here and there as well. Between this and "Eddie's Theme," I'd love to hear an album of Silvestri jazz compositions.

I also need to hear Judge Dredd and The Abyss. I hear great things about them.

I'm picking some main tracks, but really the whole albums are good, WFRR particularly. One of the things that hits me in his scores is there's a definite charm to them. You get the sense that Silvestri is having a lot of fun.

I give you my thanks Delorean, I must start chasing now.

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Friends give me some cues to prove that he has talent as a great composer. I would happily change my opinion.

"A Science Experiment? (The Train, Part I)," "It's Clara! (The Train, Part II)," and "Point of No Return (The Train, Part III)" make up an exciting climax for BTTF III--I love the statements of the main theme to the train rhythm in "A Science Experiment?" and the variations on the West theme in the low brass, particularly in "Point of No Return." Additionally, "Main Title," "Doc Returns," "Wake-Up Juice," "Hill Valley," and "We're Out of Gas" are some favorites. "Valiant and Valiant," "The Gag Factory," "Eddie's Theme," "The Will" and "End Credits" are some particular standouts from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, although it's hard to pick--the whole score is really good. I would seek out some form of the Stuart Little score. This is one I'd love to be able to have a legal copy of on my shelf. BTTF II has some good stuff, also. There's a fair amount of reworking, but the performances are good and have some differences. The reworking is also made more palatable by the fact that there is no official release of the first score. "Main Titles," "Hoverboard Chase," "If They Ever Did," "Tunnel Chase," "Burn the Book," and "Western Union" are all good. I don't know if you're the kind of guy who can take sweet, romantic scores, but if you are, Father of the Bride is a winner. It's a really short album, but that theme...it's lovely. Some nice jazz touches here and there as well. Between this and "Eddie's Theme," I'd love to hear an album of Silvestri jazz compositions.

I also need to hear Judge Dredd and The Abyss. I hear great things about them.

I'm picking some main tracks, but really the whole albums are good, WFRR particularly. One of the things that hits me in his scores is there's a definite charm to them. You get the sense that Silvestri is having a lot of fun.

I give you my thanks Delorean, I must start chasing now.

Sure thing. <_<

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I just listened to the entire OST of Forrest Gump (usually I just listen to the tracks with the "Run Forrest Run!" fanfare, or the main titles). I have it say it's magnificent. I am glad Zimmer's Lion King beat it at the Oscars, but it defenetly deserved its nomination. Very beautiful and uplifting music.

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