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Overkill: When film music is played out


Quintus
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It happens in all genres of music: sometimes a track is played so many times in it's lifetime that it is eventually overplayed to death. A song or piece of music becomes so massive and 'timeless' that it is eventually reduced to pretty much nothing more than a parody of itself; its former greatness is largely forgotten and it is forever the soundtrack of so many tv compilation clips, home videos and other novelty functions. Perhaps the biggest and most famous example is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, a record which has been gradually depreciated over the decades into an almost comical shadow of its former greatness even if its reverence remains largely intact despite the over abundant usage of the track since its release.

The same is the case for John Williams and especially his Star Wars music. His opening titles were quite astonishing once, cool even, but nowadays the big fanfares of the opening crawl are resigned to the fact they are used for radio commercials advertising football games and yet more Star Wars merchandise. The instantly recognisable and universally liked segue into the End Credits suffers the same problem, but not to the same extent as the opener - the rousing and sprightly reprisal of Luke's theme and the Rebellion Fanfare are perhaps too specific to be used alongside adverts for tv shows and the like, but the suspicion that Star Wars has been been pretty much done to death by now is what finally kills it - it has just been heard one too many times. Only the aficionados still think about how great and magical it actually still is.

Goldsmith is prone too - his Star Trek: The Next Generation theme has in the ears of pop culture become almost as respectfully embarrassing as his played out theme to The Waltons. Both are obviously great pieces of music even today, but sadly that fact is all but lost after years and years of being played every day and everywhere.

Now they actually sound a bit cheesy.

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You *cannot* overplay Bohemian Rhapsody.

I have to agree that I can rarely bring myself to listen to Star Wars these days. Then again, I recently listened to SW and ESB again and was wholly delighted and amazed. So the music (and yes, my appreciation of it) is still fine, I just can't play it all the time anymore.

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yes I always press "Forward" until 1:20 these days.

Apparently there is something to it. I do the same.

but overplay filmmusic: Once upon a time in the West - Man with the Harmonica... atleast here on the continent

I haven't got fed up with it so far. It's still one of my favourite Morricone's cues. I am little tired of Gabriel's Oboe, though.

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Raiders March, Jaws Theme, Flying, and perhaps Hedwig's Theme came to my mind when I read the opening post. I would also nominate the piercing strings of Psycho, though I never liked it to begin with, truth be told.

Apparently there is something to it. I do the same.

I as well.

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You *cannot* overplay Bohemian Rhapsody.

I adore Queen, but I personally always skip BR. And I adore BR.

We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions for me. They're even more overplayed and they're far less fit to withstand it. And they're not even the best songs on their album.

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The only overplayed, chessy music is the use or constant copying of Zimmer and his cronies' power athem styled music that seems to permeate every thing these days.

I will say that Morricone's music gets more silly and cheesier as the years go by.

John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith's masterpieces remain as they did when they first appeared, magnificant and some of the best composed music ever.

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You *cannot* overplay Bohemian Rhapsody.

I adore Queen, but I personally always skip BR. And I adore BR.

We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions for me. They're even more overplayed and they're far less fit to withstand it. And they're not even the best songs on their album.

Agreed, though I would also add "I Want to Break Free" to the list. Maybe even "Bicycle Race"?

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In the film music world: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jaws take the cake.

Yes...or at least, their main themes do. Then there's a wealth of equally wonderful music that doesn't suffer from being overplayed.

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The Episode I recording of the main title gets on my nerves. It's been used in like EVERYTHING. Every time the DVDs start up, every intro to every prequel era video game I've played, every promotional video or anything related to SW since 1999.

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When when film music is played out

Mind you,

just never get old.

"Bom BOM bom,bom BOM bom bom BOM bom....." (Melange 'bomming').

Played on loud and low rumbling speakers,this one never fails to thrill :unsure:

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I literally used to listen to Hook everyday when I first got it. I still adore it as much as I did then but I just can't do that anymore, nor do I want to. Because I've burned out on it considerably since then but also because I have a lot more music in my collection now.

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Does it help to listen to the full score, and not just the OST presentation that you listened to so much?

I honestly find it extremely difficult to get tired of the Raiders March. It's just so much fun, and uplifting, and I actually find myself humming it relatively frequently. I'm also surprised to think of how original it is. I can't really think of a melody/theme quite like it--at least, not preceding it. Is there any art/concert music precedence for Williams to have taken some kind of influence?

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I don't understand how this stuff can be overplayed? I don't hear any of this stuff when I walk into a department store or anything. Where is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody being overplayed? In Wayne's World?

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I honestly find it extremely difficult to get tired of the Raiders March. It's just so much fun, and uplifting, and I actually find myself humming it relatively frequently.

I agree wholeheartedly. It's certainly not my only reason for adoring the Indy scores (particularly Raiders and TOD), but if it's overplayed, it's only because it is a truly awesome theme.

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The reason why big brassy fanfares are no longer in vogue these days is because of Star Wars and Indiana Jones (and all the other ones that have followed in their footsteps). They represent a certain zeitgeist of the past. Fashion changes because every generation needs to have its own identity, but once people have forgotten about it, it all comes back again.

Alex

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I'm not sure I fully understand the point. I still listen to the SW Main Title and 'Theme From Star Trek: The Motion Picture' pretty regularly, and they haven't faltered so far in any way. The latter certainly doesn't sound cheesy to me, although the actual TNG theme does but that's more due to the arrangement. But I can still happily listen to Bohemian Rhapsody, the same with Stairway To Heaven. I never really liked We Will Rock You, but that's probably got something to do with my searing hatred for Robbie Williams. Normally when I consider music overplayed, there's always a question of faltering quality (for instance, that terrible 'You've Got To Get What You Give' song which is overplayed but is also fucking terrible).

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"The flying theme" from E.T. is a bit overused when there's somekind of JW or Spielberg tribute. Also Bill Conti's cheesy arrangement of it at the Oscar telecasts

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Yeah, the flying theme suffers from that - and, in my opinion, it's one of that score's cheesier themes, which makes matters worse.

See? That's why this style of scoring is not done anymore. People find it cheesy nowadays. Be warned, the '80s are the latest thing now. Maybe the broad and brassy style will return faster to the cinemas than you think. "Cheesy" might become hip again.

Alex

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Yeah, the flying theme suffers from that - and, in my opinion, it's one of that score's cheesier themes, which makes matters worse.

See? That's why this style of scoring is not done anymore. People find it cheesy nowadays. Be warned, the '80s are the latest thing now. Maybe the broad and brassy style will return faster to the cinemas than you think. "Cheesy" might become hip again.

Alex

See, that's something I don't understand. The Flying theme is "cheesy"? Only in the Zimmerverse can that be true.

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Yeah, the flying theme suffers from that - and, in my opinion, it's one of that score's cheesier themes, which makes matters worse.

See? That's why this style of scoring is not done anymore. People find it cheesy nowadays. Be warned, the '80s are the latest thing now. Maybe the broad and brassy style will return faster to the cinemas than you think. "Cheesy" might become hip again.

Alex

See, that's something I don't understand. The Flying theme is "cheesy"? Only in the Zimmerverse can that be true.

Well, we are living in a Zimmerfied universe today.

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There are only two pop songs that can never be overplayed, one is Bohemian Rhapsody..

The other is..

You were the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeeeeen!

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Well, Journey's Don't Stop Believin' is overplayed.

As for Star Wars...yes it is overplayed and yes it does get tiresome that it pops up everywhere. But I never bore of it when I actually sit down to listen to the score.

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See, that's something I don't understand. The Flying theme is "cheesy"? Only in the Zimmerverse can that be true.

Zimmer's written things that are far cheesier. (Although I admit I like some of 'em...) I didn't mean to suggest that the flying theme is the cheesiest thing ever - I only meant that it has more of that sort of tinge than E.T.'s other themes, which I find to be more amazing. If I'm in the right mood, the flying theme is still goosebumps-inducing. And I absolutely love the buildup just before the first flying scene.

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I think what is annoying is not the themes themselves beeing played but to hear them out of context in terrible sound quality.

For example the Star Trek TNG and Stargate theme don't translate well to a TV speaker.

And I've ALWAYS thought that The Flying Theme is JW's cheeziest theme even in the 80's.For some reason I love it in the score but I don't like the Concert Version that much

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do people relly spend time forwarding 1:20 to skip the star war main titles?

i think its really more trouble that just let it play and hear it (different from actually listening it)

i never skip music anyways.

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It's not overplayed if it's part of the album, and that's what you decide to listen to. If you feel so sick of the track, by all means skip it, erase that section from the track, or don't put it on your iPod. But if I sit down and listen to Star Wars, by George, I want to hear the Star Wars Main Title. If I sit down and listen to A Night at the Opera (which I haven't, I only have the GH), I want to hear Bohemian Rhapsody.

But if I'm watching TV, a sporting event, or a movie, and I hear either of those pieces, that's when I might grimace. It's when I hear a piece out of its "native environment," that's when the opportunity to be "overplayed" arises. That's where the casual listener might get tired of hearing the same pieces over and over again.

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Most definitely. And the TPM recording may be the most overplayed of them all, but it's also a really fantastic recording.

How exactly is it overplayed? By virtue of the recycling of the Main Title for AOTC and ROTS? Regrettable yet savvy. I hear Star Wars music all the time for commercials for Star Wars merchandise, in DVD menus, throughout video games...yet none of those uses are really out of place, not to the point of "overplaying" because that's the best music to promote said items. As fantastic as it is, the Finale to Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony does not provide a good sales pitch for anything Star Wars.

The "Imperial March" is heavily used in sports events, especially to announce the visiting team. Although my baseball team uses an upbeat remix of Zimmer/Badelt's perennial #1 to announce the home team. It's just coincidence, I tell myself, that seven of the last seventeen straight losing seasons have used that music...

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Alpha and Omega of overkill: "My Heart Will Go On".

Well well, look who suddenly resurrexit! ;) And beat me to exactly the piece that sprang to my mind the very second I read Quint's intro! Well done, my young Padawan! bowdown

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Alpha and Omega of overkill: "My Heart Will Go On".

Yes. A perfect example.

John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith's masterpieces remain as they did when they first appeared, magnificant and some of the best composed music ever.

Only the aficionados still think about how great and magical it actually still is.

;)

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I agree with Journey and "Don't Stop Believing" being overused. I've heard it so many times, especially since The Sopranos finale that its almost made me dislike the song.

Almost.;)

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Well, Journey's Don't Stop Believin' is overplayed.

Also impossible.

But if I sit down and listen to Star Wars, by George, I want to hear the Star Wars Main Title.

And Rebel Blockade Runner. And Binary Sunset. And Burning Homestead. And TIE Fighter Attack. And Battle of Yavin. And of course Throne Room. And...

If I sit down and listen to A Night at the Opera (which I haven't, I only have the GH), I want to hear Bohemian Rhapsody.

And You're My Best Friend. And '39. And Prophet's Song. And...

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John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith's masterpieces remain as they did when they first appeared, magnificant and some of the best composed music ever.

Only the aficionados still think about how great and magical it actually still is.

:P

:(

Wake me when you make a relevant point.

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Well it would seem that you and Wojo have missed the point. Which is no surprise on your part.

Nobody is suggesting that the music of Star Wars or Star Trek isn't "magnificant and some of the best composed music ever". Don't be ridiculous, you sound like a vehement fanboy, quick to jump to the defence of your precious music when none was needed in the first place.

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