Jump to content

My Top 5 JW Scores


Jeff
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm new here and I thought this would be an interesting way to introduce myself to the group.

A bit of background on how I chose these: I have a fairly solid primary education in music, but I'm by no means an expert. I'm particularly lacking in my knowledge of music history. I have a general knowledge of composers and their greatest works, genres, instrumentation, etc. Also, I should say up front that I haven't listened to even a quarter of JW's scores.

My choices below are my "favorite" JW scores as far as listening enjoyment. There is a big difference between "appreciating" a score on an intellectual level and "enjoying" a score, which is based primarily on emotion (highly subjective). So with that caveat, here are my top 5 JW scores:

1) The Empire Strikes Back - By far my favorite of the Star Wars trilogy, I love every minute of the score, from the militaristic theme on Hoth (apparently dropped from the film if I remember correctly), to the Asteroid Field, Attacking a Star Destroyer, and even Lando's Palace. My favorite moment (musically) in the entire saga is Yoda lifting the X-wing from the swamp. I adore everything beginning at the light saber duel until the statement of Vader's theme at the end of the credits. The escape sequence with the agitated strings, the "ESP" coversation between Vader and Luke, and the jump to hyperspace carry the weight of these moments. I love the original Star Wars soundtrack as well, but I prefer the romantic style of ESB to the primal style (reminiscent of Rite of Spring in some parts) in ANH.

2) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - This one owes its main theme to Raiders, but, as Spielberg said, the score "matured" along with the audience for the third installment. There are so many moments I like, including the Young Indiana scene, Scherzo for Motorcycle, No Ticket, the father-son theme, the Keeper of the Grail, and the entire finale / end credits. Nothing will get you in the mood for an adventure like Raiders march - it is absolutely brilliant, especially as it's used in Crusade. Last Crusade also happens to be my favorite movie of all time, which may have nudged the score up a slot or two on my list. It's a miracle that there is so much new material, as the third movie in what was the trilogy; other composers might have relied more heavily on previous themes. I'm glad JW didn't phone it in.

3) Jurassic Park - Like many others who have posted, this was the album that introduced me to JW. In fact, it was the first album I ever owned (on cassette tape). Perhaps the reason I love it so much is the sentamentality attached to it, as I first saw the movie when I was 11, the prime age for obsession with dinosaurs. The score perfectly captures every mood: the sense of excitement in Journey to the Island, the humility of seeing the creatures for the first time as the main theme is played, the childlike endearment when Grant meets the triceratops (like a boy and his dog), the Hammond's nostalgia in Remembering Petticoat Lane (my favorite moment in the film and the score), and Grant's reflection in A Tree for My Bed. All of these moments, thanks in large part to the score, bring the emotion that makes Jurassic Park better than the run-of-the-mill action movie. But JW also delivers in the action sequences. It still scares me if I listen to Dennis Steals the Embryo while driving in the rain. The sense of urgency is perfectly captured when the Sattler and Muldoon take the jeep to look for the others. And of course, the triumphant T-Rex rescue is amazing. I'm surprised at how many of you have expressed a loss of appreciation for this score over the years. I must have listened to it at least a hundred times and it still brings me back to those 11-yr-old fantasies of seeing live dinosaurs every time I hear it. Whatever you all are doing to lose your infatuation with JP, I hope it never happens to me.

4) E.T. - My favorite part of the score ironically comes after the movie is over - the cascading piano with the supporting French Horn in the End Credits. The last quarter of the movie is scored brilliantly with the iconic flying theme, the good-bye music, and all the punctuations throughout the chase. And then there's the moment in "E.T. is Dying" with the harp playing that plucks at the heartstrings (pun intended).

5) Sabrina - The last one on the list is always the hardest to choose. If I had made this list next Thursday, Harry Potter might have been number five. In the end, what may have tipped the scales for Sabrina is that it is so different from everything else. I love to play the piano and Theme from Sabrina is up there with Claire de Lune as one of my favorites to play. And even though JW didn't write the melody, the rendition of La Vie en Rose in the film is the best anywhere. In contrast to all the bombastic, melancholy, or agitated music Williams writes, it's nice every now and then to relax to the gentle, graceful sounds of Sabrina.

It pains me to stop at 5 (I don't know why I am - this was my idea), especially when I have to leave Harry Potter, Hook, Empire of the Sun, and every other Star Wars soundtrack off the list. But maybe I can express my gratitude to John some other time for the rest of the amazing music he has written.

So if you had to choose just five scores, which would they be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 25
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

At the moment, here's my list:

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark

3. Prisoner of Azkaban

4. Revenge of the Sith

5. Catch Me If You Can

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Top list:

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

3. Jaws

4. Revenge Of The Sith

5. Harry Potter And Th Prisoner Of Azkaban

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Biggies:

1. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

2. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM

3. STAR WARS

4. JAWS

5. E.T.

The not-so Biggies:

1. JANE EYRE

2. JAWS 2

3. THE LONG GOODBYE

4. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

5. MUNICH

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. E.T. - never fails to move me

2. Schindler's List - shouldn't need a comment

3. Empire Strikes Back - just...bad ass

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark - also bad ass

5. Seven Years in Tibet - probably the 'odd' one to most people, but I've always loved this score

E.T. is the score that always blows me away though (the score is absolutely perfect...just flawless).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. E.T

2. Hook

3. Schindler's List

4. Empire Strikes back

5. Jurassic Park/Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom/ Superman (just couldn't decide)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

3. Jurassic Park

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

5. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Jeff, to The Mojave Club. Oops, sorry, that's "The Spy Who Loved Me", isn't it.

My top 5 are;

1-"C.E.3.K." (nothing touches it-nothing!),

2-"Superman",

3-"The Emipre Strikes Back",

4-"E.T.",

5-"Raiders Of The Lost Ark".

That's enough to be going on with, by any standard.

Of course, the interesting thing is WHY are these scores our favourites, which is why you have put a little expalnation of each score, thank-you very much.

I look forward to sharing the board with you, as, I'm sure, we all do. Welcome to JW fan net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the moment:

1. Jurassic Park

2. Raiders of the Lost Ark

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

5. Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5. Sleepers

4. Spacecamp

3. The Patriot

2. The Accidental Tourist

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Drax, your 5 are VERY interesting, and include what many would claim to be "minor" scores: "Sleepers", "SpaceCamp", and the masterly "The Accidental Tourist" (although TAT didn't make my 5, it would definitely make my top-10). Good choices, all round, and a lot more than the 2-dimensional choices of most people on this site-myself included!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are the main ones I usually pick for Top 5:

Schindler's List

Munich

Cinderella Liberty

Saving Private Ryan

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban

Empire Of The Sun

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Heartbeeps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure I've written this list 20 times. Here we go (in no particular order):

Harry Potter 1

Jurassic Park

Indy: Last Crusade

Home Alone 2 (there's a lot of nostalgia in there, and I don't care that it uses some reused music. It works great in the film.)

Hook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

3. Hook

4. Superman

5. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

I'm into his more adventures/magical scores the most, but I can enjoy a good Angelas Ashes or Monsignor too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I guess you could pick from the following:

CE3K

Star Wars

E.T.

Jaws

Jane Eyre

The Towering Inferno

Memoirs Of A Geisha

The Empire Strikes Back

Prisoner Of Azkaban

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Schindler's List

A.I.

Superman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. E.T

2. Hook

3. The Empire Strikes Back

4. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

5. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

Honorable Mention: Artificial Intelligence, Attack of the Clones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The earliest JW music I can remember is the Return of the Jedi main title when I first watched the movie videotaped off television at 4 years old. Then there was Hook, which is one of the earliest movies I remember seeing in the theater. Then I got into E.T., Jurassic Park, Indy, the other SW movies and I was hooked fo life. Other kids were listening to shitty grunge rock and hip hop while I built up an arsenal of JW soundtracks (and eventually programmed chronological orders on my crappy portable CD player and listened to the scores on the bus rides). I even used my Talkboy (from Home Alone 2) to record a bunch of music from Temple of Doom before I had the soundtrack (got it around 2000), the main titles from Seaquest and ST:TNG and also a scene from TNG episode "Final Mission" for the music when Wesley goes to get water and save Picard. I wish I still had that thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's always hard to make a top 5 . I know 2 are in it for sure,the 3 other spots are too difficult to choose

1-The Empire Strikes Back

2-Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Anyways it's in between:

Hook

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

E.T.

Superman,The Movie

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Raider of the Lost Ark

Jurassic Park

The Phantom Menace

Star Wars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Psshh, well if everybody else here is going to be lame and list a whole bunch of scores, then so am I. In no particular order:

Empire Strikes Back

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Revenge of the Sith

E.T.

The Terminal

AI Artificial Intelligence

Sorcerer's Stone

Prisoner of Azkaban

Last Crusade

Catch Me If You Can

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff, welcome! Seeing JP in the cinema was a special day for me too, so you're not alone there. It was the last 'showmanship' movie from Spielberg that is all about the cinematic experience (IMO).

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Superman

3. ET

4. Empire of the Sun

5. Raiders

(they're usually the top, with Jaws, Hook and Temple of Doom making the odd entry into that 5)

- Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the board Jeff. For my top 5 Williams scores it would be...

1. The Empire Strikes Back

2. Hook

3. The Phantom Menace

4. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

5. Revenge Of The Sith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.