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Cues that made you a Williams fan


Ludwig
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I suppose technically that would be me since ROTJ was my first encounter with him. I was too young for it to really sink in though, so a TV broadcast of CE3K got to me a few years later.

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So where are all those for whom the Star Wars main title made them a fan? I know you're out there. Come on, admit it...

They're either too cool for JWFan, or dead...

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So where are all those for whom the Star Wars main title made them a fan? I know you're out there. Come on, admit it...

They're either too cool for JWFan, or dead...

Oh they passed into history long ago. History became legend. Legend became myth. And the fans who became John Williams buffs after listening to the Star Wars Main Title passed out of all knowledge...

Until in 1999 when The Main Title ensnared a new cadre of foam mouthed followers...

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I might seem like a strange thing to say, but that's one classic cue I was never really affected by. I recognise it's brilliance and made a connection between film and music... But it's just never clicked. What I liked about it, though, is how Williams tweaked it here and there between movies.

Karol

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I might seem like a strange thing to say, but that's one classic cue I was never really affected by. I recognise it's brilliance and made a connection between film and music... But it's just never clicked. What I liked about it, though, is how Williams tweaked it here and there between movies.

Karol

The over exposure over the years might have somewhat diminished its lustre but I have to admit that during my recent Prequel score marathon the main title sounded gloriously brilliant. It is one heck of a heraldic overture!

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So where are all those for whom the Star Wars main title made them a fan? I know you're out there. Come on, admit it...

Right here!

Though it was through the RCA set, so it was not the first cue of the CD ;)

So you could say Fox Fanfare made you a John Williams fan? ;)

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I've always been a fan of John Williams but I wasn't a "fan" until I heard The Patriot performed at a Memorial Day Concert in 2009. During the same summer, I saw Minority Report which motivated me to watch all of Steven Spielberg's films as well as JW's.

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So where are all those for whom the Star Wars main title made them a fan? I know you're out there. Come on, admit it...

Right here!

Though it was through the RCA set, so it was not the first cue of the CD ;)

So you could say Fox Fanfare made you a John Williams fan? ;)

I actually did!

Fox Fanfare ;)

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  • 4 months later...

Repetitive thread.

Journey to the Island for me, watched it in high school on big screen. First time I realized film music actually existed. That very moment had a lasting impact on my life.

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Either Cantina Band or Into The Trap

Interesting - Cantina Band is quite unlike most Williams, but it's right up there for me as well as a cue that made me take notice of his music early on.

Is it perhaps that it was different from the usual great orchestral stuff that grabbed your attention?

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I'm pretty sure the first Williams that caught my attention was his Olympic music, long before I first saw Return of the Jedi or realized they sold background music in stores.

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JAWS...really the first sea chase

STAR WARS TRILOGY...the quick segue from movie into end title

SUPERMAN MARCH...the whole main title sequence.

...in this very order.

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Sometime around 1995 when a good friend and I were in Florida and went to Universal Studios....and man, all the JW music belting out of all the speakers everywhere. Jaws, E.T., all that. I was in college studying music so I guess the JW stuff just caught my attention in more than one way. Dang, the excitement it generated...and how very well written, my collegiate-music-major-self thought. Somewhere on that trip I found and bought the "Spielberg/Williams Collaboration" CD and those were the first ones I really fell in love with.

Couple months later I'd bought the "Jaws" OST tape (YES, the tape!) and on a spring break one day I sat on the beach somewhere and sat in an old chair on the beach watching the waves and the ocean and listened to that tape while drinking beer for about 4 or 6 hours. (I was on spring break so shut up.) I remember marveling at the instrumentation choices and how there were all these bass clarinet and piccolo solo sections and how gigantic the big fanfare sections sounded. It was a realization for me as I was learning about orchestration at the time and I still think of that score when I'm writing anything that may be similar to any of the styles from that score. I'll never write a bass clarinet solo without seeing those waves and remembering just how rich and full that Bass Clarinet was on that tape.

And P.S. - that damned tape had to be turned over RIGHT in the middle of the barrel chase. You youngsters will NEVER know the trials and sacrifice! haha

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Does it not count if you were too young to be aware of who the composer was at the time?

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Does it not count if you were too young to be aware of who the composer was at the time?

All of us have come to be aware of the composer at some point, so my question really has to do with the impact of one or more of Williams' cues on you. Whether you knew at the time is moot since that's a given.

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Growing up with Star Wars didn't hurt, of course, but it was our album (LP) copy of Close Encounters and the Main Title from Superman that ultimately did the trick.

I had been a JW fan for countless years before Jurassic Park hit the theaters, so "Journey to the Island" certainly doesn't qualify as the fan-maker for me—but it was one of the most thrilling JW music experiences of my life. That was the first time I'd seen (and maybe it was the first time, period) a soundtrack release that happened a month before the movie itself hit the theaters. Having read the novel three times by then—and, of course, already being a long-time collector of the man's work—I picked it up immediately, and so went to the movie already completely familiar with the music. At that point, matching the intended visuals with one of the most rousing and adventurous pieces he'd ever composed almost had me crawling out of my seat for sheer, exultant joy.

And P.S. - that damned tape had to be turned over RIGHT in the middle of the barrel chase. You youngsters will NEVER know the trials and sacrifice! haha

No kidding! That's still the only cassette program I remember needing to fade out in the middle of a piece to switch sides! Amazing to see so many people who didn't start paying attention until only the last 10 years or so. These folks will never know what it was like back in the day, when the OST (usually 8-10 pieces of music) was the most you could ever hope for. When "grailing" meant spending a Saturday afternoon flipping through thousands of LP and cassette stacks at places like Wax Trax and old non-franchise record shops looking for incredibly rare and valuable scores. When obtaining a "complete" score meant literally holding a single-mic tape recorder in front of the speaker on your console television (thinking yourself incredibly clever for doing an end-run around the record companies).

It's been an interesting and productive decade and a half, finally getting the clean and complete music on so many of these scores. And yet . . . I still sometimes think it takes something away from the experience of collecting. There was an intangible sense of adventure and blithe discovery that went with navigating those dim shelves like archaeologists pilfering the tombs of the ancients. Are things better now? Maybe. In some ways, for sure. But something's missing, too. I mean, yeah, Indy could no doubt save himself a lot of hassle and peril in a day and age where he could simply order the lost ark on Amazon; but do y'think he'd feel quite the same way about it?

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Either Cantina Band or Into The Trap

Interesting - Cantina Band is quite unlike most Williams, but it's right up there for me as well as a cue that made me take notice of his music early on.

Is it perhaps that it was different from the usual great orchestral stuff that grabbed your attention?

Well that's the whole point, I wasn't into orchestral music whatsoever before John Williams and Star Wars got me hooked. Basically when I was in middle school, and Star Wars was starting it's grand comeback after the Zahn trilogy and Dark Empire, etc were out, and the movies where getting re-released on VHS in letterbox.... I was playing the Super Nintendo Star Wars games a lot, and realized they had a menu option where you could listen to the background music. So I listened to those sometimes and that eventually lead me to buying the Stat Wars Anthology 4CD set (my first film score purchase), and that let me buying Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and so on until I was a full fledged film score fan.

Anyways, I think Cantina Band and Into The Trap where the cues I played most in those video game music menus. Who knows for sure now though

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've probably been a Williams fan for a greater percentage of my life than anyone else: one of my earliest memories is listening to a cassette tape of the Home Alone soundtrack. One of my favorite songs as a little kid was the "NBC Mission Theme", but the first cue that made me really start listening to music he wrote was probably "Call of the Champions."

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I guess I was surrounded by a lot of JW music during my early years. Stuff like Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure, Home Alone, Hook. But as far as specific cues that made me sit up and really take notice I'd say both "Trapped Lovers" and "An Architect's Dream" from The Towering Inferno.

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And, i might add, the Herrmannesque forest chase from the beginning of E. T. was ingrained in my head since i watched the movie as a kid, long before i realized that the menacing bassoon/clarinet entry actually was music written to accompany the movie.

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Mine was the Superman March on ITV, about tea time.

And, i might add, the Herrmannesque forest chase from the beginning of E. T. was ingrained in my head since i watched the movie as a kid, long before i realized that the menacing bassoon/clarinet entry actually was music written to accompany the movie.

This piece is top five greatest Williams material to me. It's fucking incredible, and I've never really understood why it's not talked about much here.

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Several, but I recall this one as a major clincher:

 

Early Days, Massapequa, 1957 by John Williams on Grooveshark


And, i might add, the Herrmannesque forest chase from the beginning of E. T. was ingrained in my head since i watched the movie as a kid, long before i realized that the menacing bassoon/clarinet entry actually was music written to accompany the movie.


This piece is top five greatest Williams material to me. It's fucking incredible, and I've never really understood why it's not talked about much here.

Because Howard Hanson.

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I actually saw this when i was too young (13, maybe) and was actually disappointed that the rally march that starts the end credits wasn't by Williams when i later got the soundtrack. But the main theme really is one of Williams most memorable ideas and there hasn't been a better musical representation of a country's loss of innocence.

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