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Remasters of the First 6 Star Wars Soundtracks now available (Shawn Murphy / Disney Records 2018)


Breadstick Basilisk

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According to an FSM article from 1997, MM went through the score to Star Wars and phased different elements against each other to make sure he used the correct takes for the 1997 SE CD of Ep 4.  If you phase the 1997 Ep 4 against the 1993 Ep 4, it reveals that many different takes were used in the '93 version, all of them wrong, and many of them with clams in the orchestra.  I've done it myself, so I can testify to this.

 

The reason MM had to use phasing is that the paperwork is a mess for SW (and ESB).  Again, no one thought in 1977 that any of this would matter once the movie was mixed and the album was made.  They did what they had to do to make those things and then forgot about it all.  

 

I honestly think the main problem with the new CDs is a misguided intent to try and make all 6 scores sound more like one another sonically.  SW and ESB are just never going to sound like ROTS, no matter how much reverb you add.  The best thing about the intent behind was the '97 versions was that, despite Lucasfilm's insistence on de-hissing everything as much as possible, there was seemingly no attempt to make the scores sound like something they weren't, but rather to present them as they actually sounded in the room.

 

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9 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

According to an FSM article from 1997, MM went through the score to Star Wars and phased different elements against each other to make sure he used the correct takes for the 1997 SE CD of Ep 4.  If you phase the 1997 Ep 4 against the 1993 Ep 4, it reveals that many different takes were used in the '93 version, all of them wrong, and many of them with clams in the orchestra.  I've done it myself, so I can testify to this.

 

I'd love to read this article. Do you know the volume and number where it was published?

 

Oh, and just to add something. The wrong takes from the 93 Anthology weren't because of carelessness. They didn't have enough time to work properly on them, and no paperwork whatsoever.

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The Main Title of Star Wars was recorded on March 5th, 1977 in 5 takes - take numbers 16 through 20.

 

The final approved edit used in the film was created by taking various portions of takes 18, 19, and 20, like this:

 

0:00 to 0:08, tk.19

0:08 to 0:43, tk.18

0:43 to 1:31, tk.20

1:31 to 1:43, tk.18

1:43 to end, tk.20

 

(source)

 

The OST album and the 1997 2CD set use this same take assembly for its Main Title. 


The 1993 CD1 track 2 version was MEANT to sound just like the "official" version, but they messed up and didn't use the exact right take in every spot.  The Disc 4 track 2 version in that set was meant to grab the most different sounding portions recorded to showcase how the cue evolved during recording.  But then the 1997 2CD set just included all of takes 16 through 20 in their entirety as bonus tracks, so you can really hear the evolution first-hand.

 

The original Eric Tomlinson film mixes were used in the film and later the 1993/1997 sets, while the entire OST album was a remix done by John Neal in Burbank in 1977 for home listening, though I wouldn't say his remix is really DRASTICALLY different from the original Tomlinson sound really.  The 2016 remaster would therefore be a remaster of the Neal remix, since all they did really was touch up the final 1977 analog album master for that release.  I have no idea about the 2018 remaster because I haven't examined it yet.  Theoretically, if they truly found the 1st gen analog tape, the performance edits would already be done on it, like CE3K from later that same year.  If they re-transferred the same LCR elements used for the 1997 sets, they would have had to have recreated the performance edits, and who knows if they used the right takes or not.

 

I hope that helps.

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33 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

In defense of the final composer for R1, given the politics of the situation at that point in the process, I'm not sure anyone except William Ross would have been a satisfactory  choice for JW, who I have inferred was very unhappy with the way things were handled with the score for that movie from the very beginning (very much like Shadows of the Empire).

 

This lines up with the rumours that Williams' first recommendation for Solo was Desplat. It could explain why he was so unhappy with the handling of Rogue One's score; Desplat might well have been Williams' ideal choice for the assignment and he was annoyed that he got the boot. Makes you wonder what Williams thought about Desplat's Potter scores, if he ever heard them.

 

Interestingly Newton Howard must have been his second choice before they settled on Powell, who he also ticked off on, clearly placing Cappuccino pretty far down the pecking order.

 

That's some pretty fascinating intel either way, cool to know how protective of the series Williams is being (and has been, all the way back to SOTE as you pointed out). Viewed in this light, it almost makes the main theme situation for Solo seem like a "peace offering" from Disney executives making amends to keep Williams happy.

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17 minutes ago, Jay said:

The 1993 CD1 track 2 version was MEANT to sound just like the "official" version, but they messed up and didn't use the exact right take in every spot.  The Disc 4 track 2 version in that set was meant to grab the most different sounding portions recorded to showcase how the cue evolved during recording.  But then the 1997 2CD set just included all of takes 16 through 20 in their entirety as bonus tracks, so you can really hear the evolution first-hand.

 

Whew!  Thanks.  So is the '93 track 1 different from the '77 album?  I'll be interested to hear your take (no pun) on the 2018.

 

And I just assumed that '93 disk 4 had a single alternate take, not a mix.  That's wild.

 

Didn't someone here do their own mix using the bonus tracks from '97?  EDIT:  D'oh!  Just clicked the link.

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1 hour ago, Tallguy said:

Whew!  Thanks.  So is the '93 track 1 different from the '77 album? 

 

Well, yea, I literally just explained that it is above:

 

The 1993 CD1 track 2 version was MEANT to sound just like the "official" version, but they messed up and didn't use the exact right take in every spot.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Tallguy said:

I'll be interested to hear your take (no pun) on the 2018.

 

Eh, I doubt I'll bother to compare them.

 

 

1 hour ago, Tallguy said:

And I just assumed that '93 disk 4 had a single alternate take, not a mix.  That's wild.

 

Come to think of it, it might just be Take 16 in its entirety, I don't remember now.  The booklet might say, I don't recall.

 

1 hour ago, Tallguy said:

Didn't someone here do their own mix using the bonus tracks from '97?  

 

Yes, click the (source) link in my post and then scroll up to the top of the thread.

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12 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

It's very much like Bond when John Barry was still alive.

 

Confirmed: Williams only wrote the melody of the SW main theme, but the arrangement and everything else were done by William Ross!

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12 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

Confirmed: Williams only wrote the melody of the SW main theme, but the arrangement and everything else were done by William Ross!

 

Hahaha, funny :)  I think you know what I meant, though.  Barry was considered the definitive Bond composer, and while he was still alive, it was always weird when he wasn't hired to score a Bond movie.  Once he was gone, and they had no choice but to hire someone else, it freed a composer up to a certain degree from audience expectations...

 

27 minutes ago, Margo Channing said:

Just get the 1993 set and call it a day. Any fan would be more than happy with it.

 

I wouldn't.  And I'm a fan :)

 

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1 minute ago, Margo Channing said:

 

Fan-whose-life-doesn't-revolve-around-Star-Wars-music then.

 

I don't understand the premise.  :)

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Fascinating info, @elvisjones. Reading about all this, I can't help wondering what JW's official capacity would be on a film like Rogue One. Would he actually have a contract like he would if he were composing, except in a different role, e.g. music consultant? Or were his opinions merely informal?

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Now I want to know what parts of Rogue One that JW nixed.  I'm a fan of that score and I thought MG used JW's themes very well and did a nice job incorporating his own (although I didn't think the Empire needed another march - even a really good one).

 

BTW - on topic - I'm still listening to these mixes on Spotify and I'm still liking them a lot.  Maybe I should listen to the 2017 ones more.  I did notice that the 2017 The Princess Appears has that good old "whine" at around 0:15 that I grew up with.

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49 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Confirmed: Williams only wrote the melody of the SW main theme, but the arrangement and everything else were done by William Ross!

 

angela_morley_1246224c.jpg

 

"So what am I, chopped liver?"

 

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1 hour ago, elvisjones said:

 

I do not believe JW had anything to do with AD's involvement, or eventual lack of involvement, with the film.  AD was hired by Gareth Edwards because of their previous working relationship on Godzilla.  Also, KK had worked with him on Benjamin Button and considered him a friend.

 

I do know that Tony Gilroy, who eventually took over the film in many ways, has a long-standing relationship with JNH and that JNH's schedule prevented him from even being considered for the scoring duties if AD was replaced.

 

I have inferred that JW was not annoyed that AD got the boot, so to speak.  

 

JW apparently tried very aggressively to get the job to score Deathly Hallows, but that JKRowling did not want an American composer.  I do not know what that means in terms of JW's opinion of AD's work, but I can imagine that, like any human being, there is some healthy competitive judgement there.

 

So it wasn't Yates but Rowling who vetoed it?  That's very strange, especially considering that Williams had scored previous films in the franchise.

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9 minutes ago, Not Mr. Big said:

So it wasn't Yates but Rowling who vetoed it?  That's very strange, especially considering that Williams had scored previous films in the franchise.

 

Even stranger given the fact that James Newton Howard, an American composer, would then go on to score Fantastic Beasts, a film that Rowling arguably had much more of an active role in than DH I & II, having written the entire screenplay for it and whatnot. Not entirely sure I'm convinced. 

 

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1 minute ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

Not entirely sure I'm convinced. 

 

 

Me neither.

 

Some of this stuff seems like third or fourth-hand gossip.  Telephone Game caveats apply.

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1 minute ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

Even stranger given the fact that James Newton Howard, an American composer, would then go on to score Fantastic Beasts, a film that Rowling arguably had much more of an active role in than DH I & II, having written the entire screenplay for it and whatnot. Not entirely sure I'm convinced. 

 

Yeah, plus Desplat himself was French.  I'm beginning to think Elvis Jones is pulling a goof.

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3 minutes ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

Even stranger given the fact that James Newton Howard, an American composer, would then go on to score Fantastic Beasts, a film that Rowling arguably had much more of an active role in than DH I & II, having written the entire screenplay for it and whatnot. Not entirely sure I'm convinced. 

 

Agreed.  The undeniable truth is that JW wanted to score the final act of HP, to close out the story he had started musically.  The undeniable truth is that he was told no by someone with the power to say no.  I have heard it was JKR, but it obviously could have been DY.  It could also have been a scheduling thing or a travel thing,  who knows...

 

2 minutes ago, Not Mr. Big said:

Yeah, plus Desplat himself was French.  I'm beginning to think Elvis Jones is pulling a goof.

 

No not pulling a goof.  Certainly not intending to.  My goofs include emojis.

 

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5 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

The undeniable truth is that he was told no by someone with the power to say no.  I have heard it was JKR, but it obviously could have been DY.  It could also have been a scheduling thing or a travel thing,  who knows...

 

 

Yeah, but I'm gonna go ahead and just deny it. Undeniable based off of what? 

Don't say it was definitively Rowling that vetoed Williams being involved on DH and then come back and say that you only "heard that" and that it could have been Yates. 

 

Edit: I'm sorry for the curtness. 

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On 5/11/2018 at 2:52 PM, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

Yeah, but I'm gonna go ahead and just deny it. Undeniable based off of what? 

Don't say it was definitively Rowling that vetoed Williams being involved on DH and then come back and say that you only "heard that" and that it could have been Yates. 

 

Edit: I'm sorry for the curtness. 

 

I apologise for the confusion.  I had said "JW apparently tried very aggressively to get the job to score Deathly Hallows, but that JKRowling did not want an American composer.  I do not know what that means in terms of JW's opinion of AD's work, but I can imagine that, like any human being, there is some healthy competitive judgement there." I had intended for "apparently" to convey the lack of definitive proof for that comment.  The main point of my introducing the whole DH thing was to help illustrate the possible reasons behind some of the things happening on R1.

 

I hope this clarifies my earlier statements :)

 

No one HAS to believe anything I say.  I know what I know, and I share what I think would be of interest.  I have no desire to spread lies.

 

And no worries about being curt. :) 

 

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21 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Williams Fired Desplat himself, confirmed

 

Even if this is a joke, you need to grow up.  Until then, you are ignored for never contributing any thing worth reading.

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33 minutes ago, Cerebral Cortex said:

 

Even stranger given the fact that James Newton Howard, an American composer, would then go on to score Fantastic Beasts, a film that Rowling arguably had much more of an active role in than DH I & II, having written the entire screenplay for it and whatnot. Not entirely sure I'm convinced. 

 

Doesn't Fantastic Beasts feature more Americans? (I don't follow Potter so I don't know)

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35 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

Agreed.  The undeniable truth is that JW wanted to score the final act of HP, to close out the story he had started musically.  The undeniable truth is that he was told no by someone with the power to say no.  I have heard it was JKR, but it obviously could have been DY.  It could also have been a scheduling thing or a travel thing,  who knows...

 

So what you're telling us JW didn't score Hallows 2 and you don't know the reason really.

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I'm not convinced that Rowling would be opposed to Williams. Hedwig's Theme alone probably helped her series' success by a lot. It had to have been David Yates. He even said in the Part 1 album booklet that he asked Desplat to score Part 2 after hearing the cue "Ron's Return". There is no context to the Williams situation there but it sounds like it was all Yates. After all, the guy already underrespected Williams enough to ask Hooper to do his first two HP entries. Who in their right mind waives an opportunity to work with John Williams?

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2 hours ago, elvisjones said:

JW apparently tried very aggressively to get the job to score Deathly Hallows, but that JKRowling did not want an American composer.  I do not know what that means in terms of JW's opinion of AD's work, but I can imagine that, like any human being, there is some healthy competitive judgement there.

 

 

 

This story would have some prima facie credibility if we were talking about why Williams did not score the first Harry Potter movie.  As is, it is borderline incoherent. 

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

This story would have some prima facie credibility if we were talking about why Williams did not score the first Harry Potter movie.  As is, it is borderline incoherent. 

 

It is not borderline incoherent.  Ask around - it is a confirmed fact within the business that JW pursued scoring the final chapter of the HP series of movies.  It is also a proven fact that he was not successful in his campaign to do so.  The explanation I was given by people who would know is that JKR, for whatever reason, wanted someone else.   I added my "apparently" qualifier because I did not hear this directly from JKR herself.  (Other things that I have said "definitively" have come from direct personal experience or from citable quotes in interviews with the actual people involved.)

 

Perhaps some confusion has arisen among readers here because when JW was expressing his interest in Deathly Hallows it was not confirmed as a 2-part film yet.  I don't believe Part 6 had even come out yet when JW began inquiring about it.  So DY's comments about Part 2 would not necessarily be a factor in the decision made after HP6 that resulted in AD instead of JW.  

 

[Based on a quick google search, the decision to split DH into 2 parts was announced in March of 2008, the decision to hire Desplat was announced in January of 2010.  DH (the book) was published in 2007, so it's entirely possible JW's people began sending feelers out to the filmmakers in 2007 about having him score the last film (again, not knowing it would be 2 films at that time).]

 

People contradict themselves later in life all the time.  JKR could certainly have felt one way about the music for DH and another about the music for FB, the same way Lucas vowed on 60 minutes in 2005 that there would never be an Ep 7, and if there was it would never be about Luke Skywalker and company (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W4Eew8WJoU).  Perhaps JKR felt that the HP series developed a stronger tie with English and European craftsman over the course of its run, and that the FB movies would be better served by an American composer since the story took place in America.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

There's different stories on why JW didn't continue. Anything from having a rough working relationship with Cuaron to Mike Newell simply not liking JW's music.

 

I wish I was more proficient with the search engine so I could find the thread where there was a YouTube video with Newell dissing Williams...it was probably around 2009.

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The only explanation I remember is the one where he said he wanted a composer that could be right there on the spot (in England) all the time, due to the dancing sequences etc. and not having to communicate over the big water.

 

Karol

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5 hours ago, Smeltington said:

Fascinating info, @elvisjones. Reading about all this, I can't help wondering what JW's official capacity would be on a film like Rogue One. Would he actually have a contract like he would if he were composing, except in a different role, e.g. music consultant? Or were his opinions merely informal?

 

I don't think it is an official legal agreement.  It is a courtesy he has earned and like @elvisjonessaid, they made the mistake of bypassing him on SOTE and he was quite angry about it.  He does take very personal ownership of the music to the franchise. I bet he was quite disappointed of how bad the music edits were in the SE movies of the OT.  There are some terrible musical edits in Empire that are jarringly bad as they dropped in other music. 

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43 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

I wish I was more proficient with the search engine so I could find the thread where there was a YouTube video with Newell dissing Williams...it was probably around 2009.

 

Transcript near the end of the first page!

 

 

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Thank you for all your insights @elvisjones. Very interesting to read. So my understanding is Rogue One would lean much more heavily on Williams' material than it does now. Or perhaps we would hear even more in-your-face quotes of old material? I wonder whether the creation of some of the "new" themes had something to do with that? Hope theme bearing slight resemblance to Luke's theme and the brand new Imperial march that has no real reason to be there...

 

When you say Williams was unhappy with how the scoring was handled does it mean he didn't like who they picked to score the film or the fact he wasn't consulted? It would be a shame if there was any bad blood between JW and AD (even if it is just on a professional level). I'm probably reading too much into this.

 

Also interesting to learn Powell was hired before Howard. But it also makes sense.

 

And, of course, the first victim of all this process is creativity. Sad all of this comes down to politics..


Karol

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It would be a shame if there was bad blood between any composer and Williams. In the case of RO I don't think Williams would've been seeing Giacchino in a deep shade of crimson blood red, but as a situation wherein 'I guess this is what it is now, I guess I'll have to ask Giacchino to make some changes'.

 

It's interesting to hear AD wasn't even JW's choice. 

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