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Jerry Goldsmith vs. James Horner


Josh500
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Jerry Goldsmith vs. James Horner  

50 members have voted

  1. 1. Which composer do you admire more?

    • Jerry Goldsmith
      36
    • James Horner
      14
  2. 2. Do you own more JG or JH CDs? And how many of each, approximately?

    • Jerry Goldsmith
      32
    • James Horner
      18
  3. 3. Generally, which composer scored the better movies (movies that you personally enjoy watching)?

    • Jerry Goldsmith
      23
    • James Horner
      27


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James Horner, no question. But then again, my response might be slightly predictable. :P

How many JH soundtracks do you have?

Already putting him in the ring, Josh? Have you no respect for the recently departed?!

Why? This is a respectful poll! :)

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Voted Goldsmith for the first, and Horner for the next two, but it's really unfair to put these two giants up against each other. They were known for different things, and when they were "on", both did it spectacularly.

I think my Goldsmith and Horner collection are quite even, but after a recent bout of Horner purchases after his passing, I think I have more of him.

I was -- without a doubt -- more torn up when Horner passed, though (obviously because of the manner in which he died, but also because he connects to me on a whole other personal level).

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COCOON is a must-have.

I'd obviously voted for Goldsmith though i can understand that a lot of people nowadays prefer Horner - he scored for one generation after the Goldsmith's, Bernstein's etc. and is a more natural fit for a lot of younger posters.

Though for all the love i have for Horner's painterly approach to music and his melodic gift, the broad fairy tale-approach he lent even to more adult and ambigious projects helped to dumb down film music in a way and often made me stay away from his movies that weren't children's films, preferring to listen only to his score albums.

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2. Goldsmith, 120.

Wow, that's an impressive collection.
As a benchmark for perspective, I think I have between 90 to 100 Williams releases.
I have around 120 John Williams CDs, probably even more.

I have maybe a dozen JG CDs... :lol: Not a serious JG collector... yet!

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I have only the best of the best when it comes to JG.

Basic Instinct, Poltergeist, Total Recall, Dennis the Menace, Alien, etc.

But you gotta start somewhere.

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1. Goldsmith

2. Goldsmith: about 40. Horner: about 20

3. Tough but I went with Goldsmith in the end.

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I refuse to vote in this senseless promotion of competition where none need exist.

What competition? I'm just asking whose works you like more...

But you don't need to announce that you will not vote. Just don't. Makes you sound like a petulant little boy. :lol:

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1. Horner

2. Horner = 72, Goldsmith = 71

3. Horner

But if I'm being honest I think I listen to Jerry's scores more often.

:lol:

You serious? 72:71?

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COCOON is a must-have.

Good to know! I remember watching the movie a long time ago and quite enjoying it.

JG all the way! Anyone who says different is full of bantha poo doo.

Well, there's no accounting for taste.

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1. Horner

2. Horner = 72, Goldsmith = 71

3. Horner

But if I'm being honest I think I listen to Jerry's scores more often.

:lol:

You serious? 72:71?

I'm DEAD serious !

Oh sorry... :blush:

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I'm always particularly interested in how these polls are worded. I note that you didn't ask which composer was better, but which one we "admire" more. Which, while being more diplomatic than the latter, is a more difficult question to answer, because there are all kinds of ways we can admire someone that have nothing to do with their artistic talents. However, I assume you're referring to whose music we prefer, which is much easier to nail down—or would be, if we weren't talking about two such amazing composers.

Ultimately, I have to go with Goldsmith over Horner on the first one. He demonstrated a much greater range of sounds and textures throughout his career, and though he was sometimes just as prone as Horner at repeating certain elements of his music, he sketched across a wider landscape in the long run.

When you ask how many CDs we own from each composer, I'm assuming (again) that you mean how many works of theirs we've collected, and that we're not dialing into specifics like multiple CD sets to tip the score one way or another. With that in mind:

Goldsmith - 207

Horner - 119

Of course, you have to take into account multiple releases of the same score with that, but since you asked for "CDs" and not "scores," that's the way I counted them. (I own pretty much every released score from both composers, plus some boots, and given that JG did about 100 more films and T.V. shows than Horner did, there was no question who was going to come out in front.)

That last question is the hardest one of all, though. It isn't just that they both did great films; they both made films great through their music. In the end, I'd probably have to give Horner the edge here simply because Goldsmith never turned down a project, meaning he wrote for quite a few duds over the years, where Horner seemed a little better at attaching himself to higher-quality movies. (This isn't universal, of course, and Horner did some lame films too, but this is my general impression.)

Does anybody have JH's Cocoon? Is this one worth getting? Recently saw this in a store.

COCOON is a must-have.

Absolutely. One of the centerpieces of his 80s works.

I refuse to vote in this senseless promotion of competition where none need exist.

None does exist, unless you choose to see it as competition instead of simple comparison—an activity you engage in on this board all the time, so I'm not sure what makes this different.

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I'm always particularly interested in how these polls are worded. I note that you didn't ask which composer was better, but which one we "admire" more. Which, while being more diplomatic than the latter, is a more difficult question to answer, because there are all kinds of ways we can admire someone that have nothing to do with their artistic talents. However, I assume you're referring to whose music we prefer, which is much easier to nail down—or would be, if we weren't talking about two such amazing composers.

Ultimately, I have to go with Goldsmith over Horner on the first one. He demonstrated a much greater range of sounds and textures throughout his career, and though he was sometimes just as prone as Horner at repeating certain elements of his music, he sketched across a wider landscape in the long run.

When you ask how many CDs we own from each composer, I'm assuming (again) that you mean how many works of theirs we've collected, and that we're not dialing into specifics like multiple CD sets to tip the score one way or another. With that in mind:

Goldsmith - 207

Horner - 119

Of course, you have to take into account multiple releases of the same score with that, but since you asked for "CDs" and not "scores," that's the way I counted them. (I own pretty much every released score from both composers, plus some boots, and given that JG did about 100 more films and T.V. shows than Horner did, there was no question who was going to come out in front.)

That last question is the hardest one of all, though. It isn't just that they both did great films; they both made films great through their music. In the end, I'd probably have to give Horner the edge here simply because Goldsmith never turned down a project, meaning he wrote for quite a few duds over the years, where Horner seemed a little better at attaching himself to higher-quality movies. (This isn't universal, of course, and Horner did some lame films too, but this is my general impression.)

Thanks for this great answer!

Wow, that's quite a collection you have there... You must be one of the few JG and JH completists on this board.

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I went completist on the Big 3 years ago. More recently I've decided to do the same with some of the Golden Age composers—Herrmann, Rozsa, and Korngold (who's the easiest to achieve, since he only did 18 films). It gives the act of collecting more of a sense of accomplishment, and allows you to truly realize and appreciate the breadth of these composers' repertoires and styles.

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Jerry Goldsmith and Jerry Goldsmith. Horner was great but Jerry was something else.

I don't own a single Williams, Goldsmith or Horner CD, so the last question is moot for me.

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I find collecting Golden Age scores is a different game to seeking out Silver Age and newer scores.

One has to be aware that some scores from that era have had several re-recordings. In some cases the original elements are now lost. For many from the 1930s and 1940s, I'll take a decent re-recording just for the improved sonics and dynamics, even if the performances have significant differences to the originals. On many of those vintage recordings, the warbling and distortion that's resulted from deterioration make it almost unlistenable.

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James Horner, no question. But then again, my response might be slightly predictable. :P

How many JH soundtracks do you have?

Without counting the exact number, I have about 50 physical CDs. Once I went digital, I collected nearly everything the man ever composed. My master Horner folder has 226 subfolders, although this includes multiple versions of many scores - rerecordings, bootlegs, recording sessions, etc.

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I find collecting Golden Age scores is a different game to seeking out Silver Age and newer scores.

One has to be aware that some scores from that era have had several re-recordings. In some cases the original elements are now lost. For many from the 1930s and 1940s, I'll take a decent re-recording just for the improved sonics and dynamics, even if the performances have significant differences to the originals.

Definitely true. A lot from that time has been rerecorded, with excellent results . . . but still not the same as listening to the original, which I prefer to the rerecordings most of the time.

On many of those vintage recordings, the warbling and distortion that's resulted from deterioration make it almost unlistenable.

Granted, it does take patience sometimes. Max Steiner is a Golden Age composer who seems to have a lot of vintage recordings available, for instance, but his stuff always sounds like it was recorded from three blocks away. Doesn't always make for the best listening experience.

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Jerry Goldsmith and Jerry Goldsmith. Horner was great but Jerry was something else.

I don't own a single Williams, Goldsmith or Horner CD, so the last question is moot for me.

Wow! You must be the only soundtrack fan in existence with zero physical CD's. I don't want to congratulate you on that. :(

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This is difficult. They're both in my top ten. Goldsmith is probably in my Top 5 so I'll give a slight edge to him. Even though I own more of Horner's scores. Very difficult.

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There are composers besides them, you know.

There are? I'd never have guessed from most of the posts here. It's 90% about the 3 titans and 10% about everyone else. :P

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