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Rank the JW Star Wars OST albums


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58 minutes ago, Richard said:



4/ TFA+TLJ 

 

Just curious why you ranked these equal last? For my money, TFA and TLJ have the most chronological and least-manipulated/edited OSTs in the saga.

 

Arguably, they're also the OSTs that leave the fewest highlights unreleased from the complete score.

 

My big negative for TLJ's OST is the very skewed impression of recycled old music vs original music it gives. TFA's OST contains a couple too many boring underscore tracks that could've been replaced by far more interesting material (fortunately some of those tracks wound up on the FYC).

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TFA being such a great flowing presentation drove me to be brave and try the others. AotC is probably my least favourite, but it's also my least favourite SW score and main theme, so it makes sense. When I listened through the Prequel albums in the car last week, I just skipped through half of it to The Arena, then back to the Coruscant Chase twice, then End Credits.

 

1. STAR WARS and Return of the Jedi

    First one is obvious - fantastic presentation of my favourite score of all time. If you forget about how much Jedi leaves off the album, it's also a fantastic presentation.

2. Empire Strikes Back and Force Awakens

    These two are very, very close to the first ones. Force Awakens barely leaves any highlight off, and flows wonderfully with only a bit of downtime, Empire similarly - the downtime is unfortunately right at the end instead of a big finale, that's why it's on the No.2 spot.

3. Phantom Menace, Revenge of the Sith and Last Jedi

    First two are a bit jumpy and weird, Last Jedi misrepresents the fantastic score a bit. Still love 'em.

4. Attack of the Clones

    All of the above considered, it's still not a bad album at all.

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1 hour ago, Richard said:

1/ RETURN OF THE JEDI

2/THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

3/ STAR WARS+EPS I-III

4/ TFA+TLJ

 

 

Ps, welcome, JJA. Hold your horse, Captain. You're not that JJA, are you?  :unsure:

😂 Well, that would be no...

 

Those are my (scrambled) name initials. The similarity to JJ. never occured to me when I signed up. Should I have it changed to avoid confusion...?

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1 hour ago, Jerry said:

The Phantom Menace [is a poor OST].

 

Couldn't disagree more. It's a fantastic little compilation. To quote a previous poster:

 

On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 1:25 PM, Jay said:

The Phantom Menace OST album is very very good... until you see the film or otherwise hear the rest of the music recorded for it, and realize how many highlights he neglected to include on the OST album.  Only then does it suffer.  As its own piece of music in a bubble, it's pretty dang great.

 

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1. RotJ (as long as tracks are reordered to more-or-less chronological order)

 

2. ESB (as long as tracks are reordered to more-or-less chronological order)

 

3. SW (chronological order is basically impossible, so, the score is #1 but the OST suffers*)

 

4. TPM (I'm not super familiar with it, but the Duel of the Fates recording alone makes this a must)

 

5. TFA (actually I found the OST unlistenable, and I tried; I hugely prefer Lockhart for the suite and the FYC for the film score; in fact I’m rather obsessed)

 

6-8. no opinion the rest.

 

* I understand why an album might be presented in totally-not-chronological order, and musically it sometimes works very well, but it wreaks havoc with my imagination. I just can’t do it.

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The OSTs are all about creating a new musical flow unrestricted by the film's narrative, why would you want to rearrange combined cues into semi-chronological order instead of seeking or waiting out the truly complete and chronological editions?

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I tried to explain. I understand what you’re saying. Just with these particular scores (the Star Wars OT), the association of the music with the film action is too strong for me to enjoy that musical flow, as you say, on its own terms. It’s odd for me to get sucked into the Death Star one minute, and find myself back in the Jundland Wastes the next.

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I understood and that's perfectly valid, I was just confused why you'd rearrange the edited OST tracks instead of using the Anthology or SE. Or if you do, why you specified rearranging when the question is about the OSTs as they are.

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3 hours ago, John said:

Couldn't disagree more. It's a fantastic little compilation.

 

It is.

 

One thing  that makes it unique is that it opens with all the concert arrangements upfront; which makes perfect sense if you think about it as the first score in the narrative order of the whole work.

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8 hours ago, crumbs said:

 

Just curious why you ranked these equal last? 

 I ranked TFA/TLJ last, simply because they are the scores that I "know" the least, and, because of this, I am unable to give any considered opinion, on them.

Besides, I really don't like ranking, any more; its far too messy, and I'm exhausted, at the end of it.

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On 7/16/2018 at 7:00 PM, Disco Stu said:

I didn't know there were people who disliked TPM OST.  It's my favorite prequel OST easily.  I don't just mean score, I mean as an album.

 

Yeah, without a shadow of a doubt.

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4 minutes ago, hornist said:

Heh I cannot understand the love for TPM, great showtime music after a long break but has nothing to do with the (shitty) film!!! No heart, no soul.

 

Drunk again, hornist? 

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  • 2 years later...

I know this thread is super old, but I just found it, and I have a music degree on my wall because of Star Wars, so...hey, here you go. This what I think of the OST's, not the scores, that ranking would be different.

 

1. Attack of the Clones

    I love this movie, and I love this ost. I gave up defending the prequals 10 years ago, and I won't bother here, but this soundtrack has some of the best performances by the LSO of the 6 they are on, and while Across the Stars is not my favorite Star Wars theme, its singular focus in this score makes it unique, and as always, Williams ability to bend and mold thematic material is supreme. I think the Chase Through Coruscant is one of his finest action cues, the choir in Yoda and the Younglings is inspired, the "courtly love" theme in Anakin and Padme is almost as good as their main theme, and the reprisal of Shmi's material is haunting. I love love love this ost.  

 

2. A New Hope

    To borrow a phrase from Lawrence of Arabia, I like it because it's clean--unsullied by the concerns and constraints of the 20 themes that got written later, this ost is pure. The program is great also, with edits and deviations that make sense from a musical standpoint, a fine listening experience throughout. 

 

3. The Phantom Menace 

     Maybe the most entertaining program of the bunch, hardly a dull moment, and the original version of Anakin Defeats Sebulba is worth the price alone. I would pay good money to see this ost performed live.

 

4. Empire Strike Back

    For want of a complete, unedited, version of the Battle of Hoth, this would be #1. Williams was on some next level stuff here, even the quite cues are brilliant and subtle in their orchestration. If you want excitement at the end, you have the best end credits sequence of the nine.

 

5. Revenge of the Sith

    Some of the most unique sounds of any Star Wars score. A little erratic, but so is the movie. Anakin's Dark Deeds is one of the finest musical cues ever written for any film.

 

6. The Force Awakens

     I do not like this movie, but this ost gives us more John Williams music than Jedi, so here you go. Rey's theme is a grower, and the other motifs included are fine additions to the canon.

 

7. The Last Jedi

    See above, add Canto Bight

 

8. The Rise of Skywalker

     A messy and disjointed ost for a messy and disjointed movie. We should all, however, be as capable at 88 as Williams was writing this score. The ost's faults are more to do with the film than the music itself. I think he did the best with what he was given.

 

9. Return of the Jedi

    There is barely enough "ost" on this ost to count as an ost. I hate Lapti Nek, and Yub Nub has been rightly replaced, what a thoroughly uninspiring ending to the series. The action music is fine, but I have never liked the sound of this album, the trumpets just sound off.

 

 

    

    

 

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On 7/16/2018 at 2:24 PM, Holko said:

TFA being such a great flowing presentation drove me to be brave and try the others. AotC is probably my least favourite, but it's also my least favourite SW score and main theme, so it makes sense. When I listened through the Prequel albums in the car last week, I just skipped through half of it to The Arena, then back to the Coruscant Chase twice, then End Credits.

 

1. STAR WARS and Return of the Jedi

    First one is obvious - fantastic presentation of my favourite score of all time. If you forget about how much Jedi leaves off the album, it's also a fantastic presentation.

2. Empire Strikes Back and Force Awakens

    These two are very, very close to the first ones. Force Awakens barely leaves any highlight off, and flows wonderfully with only a bit of downtime, Empire similarly - the downtime is unfortunately right at the end instead of a big finale, that's why it's on the No.2 spot.

3. Phantom Menace, Revenge of the Sith and Last Jedi

    First two are a bit jumpy and weird, Last Jedi misrepresents the fantastic score a bit. Still love 'em.

4. Attack of the Clones

    All of the above considered, it's still not a bad album at all.

What the hell, Baby Holko?

 

1. TFA and AotC

    Great listens and perfect shortform distillations of the scores.

2. RotJ

    I still find it a great listen even if it's nowhere near an even okay shortform distillation of the score.

3. TLJ

    Let's just say it's better than what's below.

4. RotS

    Has some real good ideas but I hate how the main battle is blown apart and leaves nothing for the end. Ends up just a mess.

5. TRoS

    Another mess. At least it has the end at the end, but not nearly enough of it. Otherwise completely confused, light going-on-an-adventure cues leading into the third act while this-is-my-destiny-I-have-to-come-back-and-do-this cues are in the first third. Also misplaced concert piece.

6. SW

    Completely fudges a lot of what's great about my favourite score of all time, like the pace accelerating all throughout the runtime. Leaves off great cues in favour of a repeat, stupid edits of random cues.

7. TPM

    Absolute mess. Not a great listen, terrible representation of the score.

8. ESB

    Travesty? Johnny had pretty much no interest in keeping anything that makes the score good. Jerks back and forth, paceless, rhythmless, tensionless, evolutionless, climaxless.

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1. The Force Awakens -- A fabulous album and easily the one thing that got me the most hyped about the sequel trilogy.


2. Revenge of the Sith -- I love this score, both in chronological order with the climax at the end (like Holko likes it) and with the climax split up and rearranged as on the OST. I love how this puts the conflict between Anakin and Obi-Wan front and center and honestly, I don't get the complaints that this album doesn't flow well. I think it flows beautifully. In fact, it's one of the very few OST albums that can pretty easily bring me to tears. My only real quibble with it is a certain now infamous microedit.


3. Attack of the Clones -- Decent score, great album. This one flows well too and what's more, it even includes 90% of the music I wanted it to. How often does that happen?

 

4. Star Wars -- Fantastic score, decent album. Honestly, most of the edits don't work for me though. The change in pace when the Main Title transitions into the End Title for instance is really jarring. I'm not a fan of the inclusion of "Obi-Wan Creeps Around" in "The Last Battle" suite either. In this case, I'd prefer the climactic action track to only include action material.

 

5. The Empire Strikes Back -- Damn near perfect score, decent album. Here's another one where I find the album assembly lacking. The Anthology program is freaking fantastic however.

 

6. The Phantom Menace -- Fantastic score, good album. I love having the concert suites separate and up front. That said, there are plenty of missing highlights and a few included pieces that I don't particularly like. I'm not really a fan of the mickey-mousey sort of music written for Jar Jar for instance. I've also never fully embraced the finale cue, despite my love for the brass in it.

 

7. The Last Jedi -- The worst non-Hobbit cinematic experience of my life yielded a score with relatively few highlights. Every piece of music I wanted was included however and in a logical, well flowing presentation. I'm not a fan of the new theme for Rose and or the Resistance; however, I LOVE the theme for Luke on Ahch-To.

 

8. The Rise of Skywalker -- Good score, decent album. I love the title suite and the more lyrical friendship related themes. A lot of the climactic action is great too. I never really connected with The Speeder Chase though and would personally swap it out for "Falcon Flight."

 

9. Return of the Jedi -- Great score, that unfortunately got more of a sampler than an album. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but this really, really should have gotten a double LP. Thank God for the Anthology which gave us a great album. Even that relegated my favorite cue to the extras section however ("Faking the Code").

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I never understood the love for the TFA OST. The first thing that sticks out in my head is shoving Rey's Theme in between Follow Me and The Falcon, breaking up the pacing so much.

 

I always had a hard time listening to the OST and once we started making expanded versions with the FYC I don't think I've gone back to the OST since. 

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On 6/8/2021 at 10:30 AM, SilverTrumpet said:

I never understood the love for the TFA OST. The first thing that sticks out in my head is shoving Rey's Theme in between Follow Me and The Falcon, breaking up the pacing so much.

 

I always had a hard time listening to the OST and once we started making expanded versions with the FYC I don't think I've gone back to the OST since. 

Agreed. Incredible score, but throw the OST down the well!

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