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Jaws 2 (1978) - 2015 2-CD Expanded by Intrada Records!


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  • 1 year later...

Diggin' this score. I love the absolute abscense of the Jaws Theme in the main title until it comes out of nowhere at around the three minute mark and then it hits hard within seconds.

 

This score also includes some of Williams sharpest and edgiest action writing.

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This was a release that I'd wanted for years, to have complete, and was happy to get it.  BUT... after listening to the album for so many years, I found myself missing the listening experience of the album arrangement.  It really was done well.

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54 minutes ago, Hedji said:

This was a release that I'd wanted for years, to have complete, and was happy to get it.  BUT... after listening to the album for so many years, I found myself missing the listening experience of the album arrangement.  It really was done well.

 

The complete score as it appears on the Intrada CD is dull to listen I agree, but you can try it in C&C, including all the source material, it's fun:

 

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Or you can reorganize it to reproduce the program JW created for the 2000 Decca first release of the score:

 

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Bespin, this is a thread about Jaws 2, and that's the score he was talking about in the post you quoted... not the first score

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Thank you anyway, Bespin.  Your Jaws playlist gives me other ideas to try.

 

Although, I don't have the same problem with the Jaws chronological listen.  I guess it's because the Album was always pretty much mostly Chronological to begin with, and the score has a clear Act I and Act II.  

 

But Jaws 2 was probably one of the best Album assemblies, and it got burned into my brain such that it superseded the film's chronological narrative.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/30/2021 at 7:16 PM, Bespin said:

But JW was forced to write it!!!

Sorry, Bes, but...in what way was JW "forced to write" JAWS2? I don't believe that he was contracted to score JAWS2, any more than he was contracted to score THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, SUPERMAN II, or INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

Is there some information which you are privy to?

 

 

 

While we're talking about JAWS2... does anyone know what that metalic-sounding noise is, on FINDING THE "ORCA"? You know the one: it sounds like a jet aircraft landing.

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I have a hard time with the Jaws 2 score. The first score had a chamber-like seaside quality but Jaws 2 feels huge. They don't really feel like they follow each other too well. Maybe it just hasn't clicked yet? But I would say Jaws 2 is the weakest of all John Williams' sequels. Except maybe Home Alone 2. Although HA2 has the benefit of having some great new memorable themes. I really am trying to get into Jaws 2, I just... can't.

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41 minutes ago, Hedji said:

I think, like the film itself, there was no way to go back to the subtleties of the first film, especially with the shark motif itself, since we all know what it is and how it works out for the victims.  So with Jeannot Szwarc changing the tone from horror and suspense to more action and disaster, I think that is reflective in what Williams delivered.   And I think it’s terrific. Audiences had 3 years to taunt each other in the water singing the shark motif, and Williams knew it. So he goes bigger with it, almost to the point of self parody.   I do personally prefer the simpler, more primal slicing of strings from the first Jaws (see: The Shark Approaches and The Empty Raft) to the “Boats in Danger” and “Water Kite” cues where the whole orchestra seems to just go with the simpler 2 note structure, but with more gusto. 
 

It’s got great action disaster chase set pieces that evoke some of the tone of Superman’s third act, which is also pretty swell.


 

But Jaws 2’s real power lies in the underwater ballets, the noble Brody material, the delightful sailing pieces, and the unbelievable End Cast.  
 

I’m surprised to hear anyone would have difficulty enjoying it.    

 

It's John Williams so I know the fault probably lies with me.  That's why I felt the need to come out of the closet about it ;) But even the action set pieces don't really thrill me if I'm honest. They don't sound as melodically organized as his other work around that same time. There's nothing as singularly beautiful as Ben Gardner's Boat, nothing that has the playful exuberance of Montage. Definitely no dynamic crescendo as fulfilling as Blown to Bits.

 

Although (brace yourself) I am not super fond of the last third of Superman so that's maybe why the sound doesn't click for me.

 

I pull Jaws 2 out every now and then, like today, to see if it's clicked yet but still no. I'm sure others have had similar experiences: scores that everybody seems to love but don't do anything for you, even though you know there must be something there if everyone else sees it, so does the problem lie with you?

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I think Bespin is joking. 
 

Remember that Jaws 2 had big shooting delays so JW was writing before the film had been finished.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, blondheim said:

Definitely no dynamic crescendo as fulfilling as Blown to Bits.

 

What are your thoughts on "The Big Jolt"? The last minute and a half when the shark is chasing Brody down with the fast paced shark theme is brilliant.

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6 minutes ago, Brando said:

What are your thoughts on "The Big Jolt"? The last minute and a half when the shark is chasing Brody down with the fast paced shark theme is brilliant.

 

Oh, definitely the best moment in the whole score. But The Big Jolt is still Fight With the Fighters, while Blown to Bits is Into the Trap...

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Just curious, did you begin your familiarity with the chronological Intrada release or the OST album?  I think I mentioned earlier that the album arrangement is really splendid. 
 

There are some really underrated moments that don’t get mentioned too. 
 

The latter half of “Sean’s Rescue” is just lovely with its strained optimism and hopeful serenity. 
 

The strong punctuated trombones about a minute into “Catching the Cable” (dialed out in the film) recall some of the brass used in the Krypton and (construction of the) Fortress of Solitude from Superman. 
 

i just love “Rescue Party” (dialed out in the film) which was the second half of “Brody Misunderstood “ on the OST.  It’s noble, emotional, and somehow evocative of the ocean. 
 

But, yeah, if you don’t love Jaws 2 as much as the original, you’re still awesome because you love the original. 

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1 hour ago, blondheim said:

 

 There's nothing as singularly beautiful as Ben Gardner's Boat, 

 

Main Title, Ballet for Divers with its almost Paul J. Smithian delicate underwater sound, Toward Cable Junction with its Proto-Henry Jones theme.....

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58 minutes ago, Hedji said:

Just curious, did you begin your familiarity with the chronological Intrada release or the OST album?  I think I mentioned earlier that the album arrangement is really splendid. 
 

There are some really underrated moments that don’t get mentioned too. 
 

The latter half of “Sean’s Rescue” is just lovely with its strained optimism and hopeful serenity. 
 

The strong punctuated trombones about a minute into “Catching the Cable” (dialed out in the film) recall some of the brass used in the Krypton and (construction of the) Fortress of Solitude from Superman. 
 

i just love “Rescue Party” (dialed out in the film) which was the second half of “Brody Misunderstood “ on the OST.  It’s noble, emotional, and somehow evocative of the ocean. 
 

But, yeah, if you don’t love Jaws 2 as much as the original, you’re still awesome because you love the original. 

 

I near always listen to the OST with a new score until it clicks for me. Then I move onto the expansion.

 

Some of that evocative material feels like it meanders a bit for me, doesn't seem to really land anywhere securely. I respect you for hearing something in it. It's made up of what can be considered Jaws chords but it just sort of floats by for me. The theme that makes up the final track also feels a little trite for Williams, not very inspired. To me, at least.

 

And yeah, I was the only eleven-year old I knew who listened to Jaws. It's an old friend.

36 minutes ago, Permanent Waves said:

Main Title, Ballet for Divers with its almost Paul J. Smithian delicate underwater sound, Toward Cable Junction with its Proto-Henry Jones theme.....

 

None of those are Ben Gardner's Boat and you know it

 

I do like hearing the proto-Chamber of Secrets in Toward Cable Junction but not as much as I like hearing The Chamber of Secrets

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3 hours ago, blondheim said:

Although (brace yourself) I am not super fond of the last third of Superman so that's maybe why the sound doesn't click for me.

 

I like Jaws 2 at least 10 times as much as the last two thirds of Superman.

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1 hour ago, Hedji said:

I’ll never understand the dismissal of the last acts of the Superman score.  It has some of the finest action music from that era of Williams’ career. 

 

I'm not dismissing it. I am certain that it is fine music from the pen of a very fine composer. It just hasn't connected with me yet. There are other parts of Superman I like a lot and I may someday love the whole score, who knows. I listen to scores all the way through in whatever form I've chosen, whether it's an OST, expansion, playlist. Because I've seen my tastes change over time and cues that I once barely sat up for now command my attention. So I'm always giving out another chance to take me by surprise. It's that Jaws 2 and the second half of Superman hasn't done that yet.

 

I feel terrible about it, too. Every time I leave Jaws 2 at the altar, I try to tell him, "It's not you, it's me"

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16 hours ago, Hedji said:

I’ll never understand the dismissal of the last acts of the Superman score.  It has some of the finest action music from that era of Williams’ career. 

 

 

Yeah, I agree, there's not a wasted note within the score. From start to finish its all fantastic.

 

 

And Jaws 2 is pretty damn good as well, it doesn't retread on the first film. Williams found a new direction to go in and it works very well.

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3 minutes ago, Ollie said:

Yeah, I agree, there's not a wasted note within the score. From start to finish its all fantastic.

 

The middle and final acts are just not as refined as the masterful first act. And that's hardly surprising given the time constraints.

 

5 minutes ago, Ollie said:

And Jaws 2 is pretty damn good as well, it doesn't retread on the first film. Williams found a new direction to go in and it works very well.

 

Life found a way.

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I'll admit that I am more on the side of Danny Elfman when it comes to comic book scores. His urban tribal sound, his quirky jazzy sensibilities have the whiff of noir I sense is drawn into a lot of these angular metropolises. There's something a little too optimistic about Superman for me as a complete score. I know a lot of people associate Superman with the lighthearted propaganda of the 50's and 60s (nothing wrong with that) but some of us associate it with his reinvention in the late 80s by John Byrne. That's why my favorite material in the score is for the Krypton sequence. The ominous ambience is perfect for a world on the verge of destruction, and his highly chromatic action writing of that period of his career fits that sequence very well. And of course I love the Superman theme, with its grand musical heroics: a left jab and a right jab and a dum-dum-dum-dum. Very comic-book. You can almost hear the Kapows

 

It's been so discussed but the villain material in this score was a rare misstep for Williams. Donner is partly to blame for injecting too much comedy. The end result is still the end result. It is hard to take the Villains' more serious interpolations seriously because of its initial boompy comedy. These are some of the reasons why the experience of the full score for Superman exhausts me slightly. Maybe I am just too cynical.

 

There's the incredible Prelude and Main Title, the stunning Krypton fanfare and then the nailed-to-the-wall alien-ness of the planet's destruction. The scherzo through space is appropriate and the Smallville material is moving and definitely not used enough. Then the Fortress of Solitude puts a cap on the Krypton material and codas with a fantastic flourish of the main theme. I love Act 1. Debney's first disc ends with Fortress of Solitude so I have always really loved that disc, it is a wonderful summation of what Superman is about. There are other sequences I love, the Helicopter sequence in particular. But the full score looked at from a few steps back feels stuck in the silver-age of comics which isn't my favorite. I'm not telling anyone else to feel this way, merely explaining how I and maybe some others might feel about the last act of Williams' Superman.

 

Williams was definitely firing on all cylinders during that period so I recognize that it's really a matter of personality. Each of us probably has a different top five from 75-84. Mine just doesn't include Superman

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41 minutes ago, blondheim said:

It's been so discussed but the villain material in this score was a rare misstep for Williams. Donner is partly to blame for injecting too much comedy.

 

I'd say the villain material suited the film very well. Donner made the villains too silly.

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6 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

I'd say the villain material suited the film very well. Donner made the villains too silly.

 

It doesn't give any serious dramatic weight to the second half of the film for me. Superman never feels like he has any real musical antagonist. Just a series of isolated heroic action setpieces. At least if Williams had tried to balance it out with slightly more sinister material it could have landed somewhere in the middle. Although I agree that Williams scored what Donner gave him. I wish he had scored it differently. Instead of the score being a two hour celebration of Superman, it would have had more of a hero v. villain vibe that I would have liked more.

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19 hours ago, Hedji said:

I’ll never understand the dismissal of the last acts of the Superman score.  It has some of the finest action music from that era of Williams’ career. 

 

See, this is how I feel when people write off the climax music of Jurassic Park (which over the years I have seen a lot of people do) while I feel it is some of Williams' most intense and exciting music.

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1 hour ago, blondheim said:

 

It doesn't give any serious dramatic weight to the second half of the film for me. Superman never feels like he has any real musical antagonist. Just a series of isolated heroic action setpieces. At least if Williams had tried to balance it out with slightly more sinister material it could have landed somewhere in the middle. Although I agree that Williams scored what Donner gave him. I wish he had scored it differently. Instead of the score being a two hour celebration of Superman, it would have had more of a hero v. villain vibe that I would have liked more.

Train motif ;)

 

I wonder if the reason the Villian music wasn't super menacing had anything to do with maybe Donner wanting that saved that Zod later on/in the second film

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13 minutes ago, Permanent Waves said:

I wonder if the reason the Villian music wasn't super menacing had anything to do with Donner wanting that saved that Zod later on/in the second film

 

I guess that's possible. If Williams had scored Superman 2, maybe I would have loved it.

Just now, Permanent Waves said:

It's also in Golden Gate Bridge/Rescue of Jimmy.

 

I mean, that's great but I don't know if that one instance can float the entire third act. Or if a train is the greatest of Superman villains

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1 hour ago, Brundlefly said:

The silly villain material is one of the best aspects of this score. Much fresher than the sugary Superman music.

 

 

 

I see some invisible ink, lets hold that up the light a little bit...

 

1 hour ago, Brundlefly said:

The silly villain material is one of the best aspects of this score. Much fresher than the sugary Superman music.

 

Goldsmith would have done a waay better score.

;)

13 minutes ago, blondheim said:

 

 

I mean, that's great but I don't know if that one instance can float the entire third act. Or if a train is the greatest of Superman villains

It works for me, as sort of, chaos and the limits of his abilities are the "antagonist" at this point of the story

 

I get that's not really a "classic villian", but like I said, it just works for me *shrug*

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