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SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE - 2018 2-CD La-La Land Records edition


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John Williams only wrote the Solo theme, the actual score was composed by John Powell.

 

50 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Chamber of Secrets. Williams composed the whole score  despite Ross adapting credit

 

John Williams wrote 40 minutes of music, the rest was adapted and conducted by Ross.

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19 hours ago, Jay said:

That's not how Solo worked, Yavar.  Williams wrote film cues for that one too, on top of the Han's Theme concert arrangement.

Oh, dear. Now who's "not even remotely true"? 

I never said that JW wrote an original score, for SUPERMAN IV, @Yavar MoradiThe incidental music, that was used in SUPERMAN IV, was written by JW. So what I said was true...from a certain point of view.

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20 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

It was Powell himself who told about this. The process was that Williams saw the film with Ron Howard and Powell, they spotted the movie together, then JW wrote the themes and worked on six cues that were sort of “demos” or temp tracks for JP to refer to. Here’s one of the interview where he speaks about this (around the 9:00 minute mark):

 

https://youtu.be/VvHXxGw4KwU

 

Powell says also he incorporated some of those cues into his own, but we don’t know what they are.

Although it is not quite clear to what extent that influenced film score as a whole. It can mean he wrote entire pieces (actual film cues) or that he just sort of offered some very brief sketches with multiple variations on Han's theme(s) that were later incorporated into Powell's actual cues. I would be surprised if it was any more than the latter. People tend to generalise a lot in interviews. Some variations on theme definitely sound like Williams. But given that some variations on his own themes also sound bit like him it's really hard to tell which is which. The gang theme, for instance, sounds like something Williams might have written but it's not him.

 

Karol

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6 minutes ago, Faleel J.M. said:

Williams also gave  Courage suggestions over the phone (performance related?)

 

16 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

It does sound a bit like JW phoning it in. ;)

 

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56 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Although it is not quite clear to what extent that influenced film score as a whole. It can mean he wrote entire pieces (actual film cues) or that he just sort of offered some very brief sketches with multiple variations on Han's theme(s) that were later incorporated into Powell's actual cues. I would be surprised if it was any more than the latter. People tend to generalise a lot in interviews. Some variations on theme definitely sound like Williams. But given that some variations on his own themes also sound bit like him it's really hard to tell which is which. The gang theme, for instance, sounds like something Williams might have written but it's not him.

 

Until the day we’ll hear to Williams’ demo cues, we can only speculate. I don’t have issues believing things went exactly as JP said and that he got input and perhaps even inspiration from what JW did. It’s surely an unusual collaboration, but considering how good the final result is, I think it was a smart choice from everyone else involved.

2 hours ago, Richard said:

Oh, dear. Now who's "not even remotely true"? 

I never said that JW wrote an original score, for SUPERMAN IV, @Yavar MoradiThe incidental music, that was used in SUPERMAN IV, was written by JW. So what I said was true...from a certain point of view.

 

Sandy Courage wrote the whole score, using Williams’ three newly-penned themes and also reusing and adapting themes and cues from the 1978 score. It was a job mostly of adaptation, but a very creative one, something that could be done only by a serious real music man like Courage. Yes, it’s an unusual collaboration for JW’s usual modus operandi, but it’s the kind of mutual effort that people like him and Courage were used to see during their time at Fox and MGM.

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At first I thought this thread was about none of the screenwriters who worked on Supes 4 wanting to take any credit for their contributions, which would be understandable given how it turned out.

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No-one is ever going to convince me that Alexander Courage - except where mentioned - wrote a single note of the score to SUPERMAN IV. JW wrote it; Courage adapted it. It doesn't matter if it came from SUPERMAN, or JW's ass, it's his music!

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Superman IV is more “true” to JW’s Superman and the original themes than, say, Superman III, which featured more music not by JW more prominently - the opening sequence (Streets of Metropolis) most of all.

 

Two good albums, all in all, but for different reasons.

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18 hours ago, Richard said:

No-one is ever going to convince me that Alexander Courage - except where mentioned - wrote a single note of the score to SUPERMAN IV. JW wrote it; Courage adapted it. It doesn't matter if it came from SUPERMAN, or JW's ass, it's his music!

 

But the score doesn't sound all that much like Williams!

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59 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

But the score doesn't sound all that much like Williams!

 

It really doesn't. Harry Potter 2 sounds like Williams through and through, even if a lot of it is clearly copied AKA "adapted" from the first score. It still sounds like JW. Superman IV does not.

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Did IQs just drop, sharply, while I was away?!

If we follow Steef's argument, then Ken Thorne wrote SUPERMAN II, William Ross wrote CHAMBER OF SECRETS, and John Williams wrote FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, all of which is patently untrue.

@Richard is not wrong. @Richard is about as far from wrong as @Richard can get. In fact, @Richard is never wrong...but, occasionally, he does disagree :).

 

 

On 6/9/2019 at 6:28 AM, Stefancos said:

 

But the score doesn't sound all that much like Williams!

Neither do THE MISSOURI BREAKS, IMAGES, and CINDERELLA LIBERTY, but I seem to remember reading the words "Music Composed and Conducted by John Williams" on the record sleeves.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, I have some new information that may help clear things up.

 

It seems Williams' contribution to Superman IV was actually even more minimal than to something like Solo, where he provided not just melodies, but a completely fleshed-out, detailed piece of music. The concert arrangements of his Superman IV themes are from Courage:

 

image.png

 

What JW provided was more of a lead sheet than his usual incredibly detailed sketches, just the melody and some chords. No countermelodies, dynamics, instrumentation etc. Here's a brief example, also from 'Flying with Jeremy':

 

image.png

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3 minutes ago, Dieter Stark said:

Indeed. It's obvious he just slapped together some melodies.

 

But that's definitely unusual for him, right? Other than Yes, Giorgio, I can't think of another case where he just dashed off some tunes and called it a day.

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  • 2 years later...

It's so good!

 

I stand by this that I posted last year

 

On 21/10/2021 at 7:55 AM, Disco Stu said:

If you need any evidence of the brilliance of Alexander Courage as an arranger and orchestrator, you need look no further than "Fresh Air" from Superman IV.  Just absolutely amazing.  If I'm honest, I prefer it to Williams' own standalone concert arrangement of the love theme.

 

 

 

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Fresh Air is a great track!!!!

 

I was so happy when the main program's end credits ended, and the next cue was the album version of Fresh Air.  It is SOOO good

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Nuclear Man Theme is really good and catchy!  I think Williams really liked it because 2 years later a very similar melody shows up in The Last Crusade

 

 

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I've never seen the movie either

 

This score album is available on your streaming music platform of choice

 

Just listening to tracks 3-7 should be enough to convince you.  Wow, what a way to start a score!

 

If you like what you hear and want to own it on physical CD, the art direction by Titus on the LLL edition it top notch, and there are extensive liner notes by Matessino, Kendall, and Eldridge.

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What??? You’ve never seen the movie? I had this one on (home recorded?) VHS and grew up with it. I was must’ve been 8 or 9. Too young to realize it was a “bad” movie.

 

As an adult, it holds a special place in my heart.

 

Getting the expanded soundtrack is a revelation! The new William’s themes are great! I also like UN March, a great rendition!

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Well, I *might* have seen it in my childhood; I was 8 when it hit theaters so maybe I watched it at home with my dad when I was 8-10 ish; I don't remember.  But I haven't revisited any of the Superman movies as an adult yet

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Of course not, have you never heard this score?

There's a recurring theme for the Russians, and a recurring theme for the missiles, written by Courage

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

Of course not, have you never heard this score?

There's a recurring theme for the Russians, and a recurring theme for the missiles, written by Courage

 

Of course, but each time I look at the cover there's an "additional themes by" missing...

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On 05/06/2019 at 4:36 PM, Jay said:

Just some contractual thing they had to put on there. 

 

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Interesting and nuanced take by @Hedji.

 

Quote

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Not my first listen... maybe my 4th? Anyways, you gotta give props to FSM for rescuing this one. It really is an incredible feat that we even have this score in our collections. Having said that, I find my enthusiasm for the music itself waning with each listen. Once you get past the fact that (Holy Shit!) Williams wrote new themes for this film, Alexander Courage really doesn't run well with what he was given. I give Courage credit for not just recycling and repurposing, but the material isn't given an ounce of maturity.

It starts out well. Smallville cut-n-paste, alright. Nice city bustle of the Love Theme in "To Work". And then the presentation of two of the new themes. Lacy's Theme, which I really adore, despite the cheesy '80s sax. The "B" part of Lacy's Theme is the real winner - beautiful. And the Hook precursor, Jeremy's Theme is a nice hint at what would come later. Hey, this is going to be a great score, right? Then, uh-oh, why is Luthor's theme being played for silliness and buffoonery? (I know Williams intended it to be a somewhat comedic villain theme, but he could also snarl it out through the trombones, or add some nervous snare to give it some gravitas.)

After that, the score reveals its true Kryptonite - the action scenes. They just seem to go on and on at the same speed: Medium. I truly believe Courage was baffled as to what to do the the Nuclear Man theme. It seems like there's a good 30 minutes of that repeating Nuclear Man tempo enmeshed with Man of Steel punctuation. It goes on and on, wihout changing tone or intensity. None of it really ignites or accelerates. It just seems to twist around on itself, like Superman and Nuclear Man engaged in a giant man-hug. Perhaps Courage himself was nauseated at the on-screen crap he was asked to write music to.

Also, this is one of those scores where you just can't help but have some of your disdain for the film creep in and remind you what the music is scoring. Really, that Nuclear Man, with his Rick Dees tan and afro, and his Sid and Marty Kroft costume, has got to be one of the worst abominations ever set to celluloid. It's impossible to listen to this music without thinking of him.

Courage fares better with the personal moments, and there are some really nice touches like the "Lacy's Place" music for the dinner date scene, and the latter half of "United Nations" (The first part sounds like a parody of a stirring speech). So maybe there's a nice album edit in there somewhere.

So, all in all, happy to have it, enjoy a few highlights, but the second act just wanders around without a point.

 

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I wrote that?  What an ass I was! :lol:

 

That was fun, yet a bit cringey to read, because I don't even recall feeling that way, but I suppose I did.  My review seems a bit young, dumb, and full of snark as I'm reading it now.  I still stand by the action music failing to really ignite, but the arrangement of the thematic material really does start well early in the picture's score.  

 

I too listened to Maurizio's podcast, and now with Jay's enthusiasm, I feel like spinning it again.  

 

Not saying I'll do a complete 180, but I like to think my appreciation for this composition has matured in the last decade or so, and that I can give it another chance.  

 

Oh, and the film itself... I've watched a LOT of crappy films in the past decade, from different eras, different countries.  I'm sure I'd be able to find enjoyment in Sunday afternooning this Canon Crapfest again.

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