Jump to content
Fal J. M. Skywalker

What did Australia do to John Williams' The Mission!?

Recommended Posts

Our Channel 7 has been using NBC's news theme for it's own news theme for years now, beginning with the original arrangement. Many locals have no idea Williams wrote it or that it was written for NBC. 

 

Variations and loops like the above sample are used as underscore for the "breaking news" announcements or "up next on Seven news..." tags. They are no surprise to us as we're so used to hearing them. I just figured that when NBC licensed the theme outside the US that local channels are allowed to arrange the music to add a more local flavour or to otherwise suit their needs.

 

It's also possible the above sample is part of a suite of tags and bumpers that are provided by NBC exclusively to non-US users and the local channel can choose from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is "old news", if you'll excuse the pun. There have been these 'modern' remixes of the theme for several years now, also in the US.

 

Same goes for his "Sunday Night Football" theme. There's the classic, symphonic version and then various other versions flirting with EDM, heavy metal and what-have-you. I remember hearing these versions when I was in a San Diego sports pub on a Sunday in 2012, and having no connection to, or interest in American football, these versions of the theme were all I cared about. :) I'm sure these alternate versions must be on Youtube somewhere, but I can'd find them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As synthesized and run through the mud as The Mission may be over here in Australia, I get a kick out of hearing Williams whenever the channel is on and realizing the significance of that lasting power the theme has to signify the news is on. It's great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Röyksopp actually provided the music for the Norwegian news a few years ago, and has gotten all sorts of awards for it. Not sure I dig their logo music more than Williams' elegant classic, but it sure feels fresher:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That one's disappointing in its tameness and felt outdated from the first day it aired. Perhaps it would have been better if they had updated their samples library since the 90s. :)

 

JW's take on the genre, on the other hand, has quite a timeless quality to it, no doubt partially due to the use of a real orchestra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Williams' piece is particularly timeless. It's a fine piece in and of itself, but generally feels outdated. It's also a very US-centric piece. I can't imagine such a wildly bombastic theme, as if a remnant from an 80s adventure film, would go over particularly well in non-US countries, and certainly not in Norway.

 

I think Röyksopp's music for NRK is by far the best logo music we've ever had for news in this country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, come on, all these newfangled electro-pop news themes aren't at all timeless!  Nothin' wrong with starting the news with an All-American 80s era adventure theme.  We all know Reagan is up there with Rambo and Indy. 

 

 

 

/s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Really? I can't think of one that's worse. :)

 

He, he...well, you and I aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to electronic music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

He, he...well, you and I aren't exactly on the same page when it comes to electronic music.

 

That's true, although there's a lot of electronic music I do like. However, when it comes to Røyksopp I've always found their sounds to be too... childish, in lack of a better word. Their news intro could've been improved by using other samples, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Channel 7 news was the first time I heard Williams' NBC piece. I remember recognizing it (with surprise) when I first bought Williams' By Request. 

 

The same thing happened with Olympic Spirit, which was used in some rugby league telecasts on channel 9 - I think for Friday night football. I had no idea it was a Williams piece until it was first released on CD in 1996.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Haven't heard it. Is it the danger motif?

Well it would certainly be an ominous way to open the news but since so much of the news is on the darker side anyway I guess it would be fitting.

I imagine it would be like the opening of this cue:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Ch7's been using 'The Mission Theme' for many years now, though it's gone through its own tangential evolution. 

Most Aussies here would instantly recognise the melody, but almost no one is aware of John Williams having written it. Being the JW super-geek that I am, I never fail to point out to my parents when they hear the theme at 6pm that it's a JW piece.

Incidentally, our Ch9 news uses music from 'Cool Hand Luke', composed by Lalo Schifrin. The music itself was never intended to have a life beyond its use in 'The Tar Sequence', but indeed it became immortalised when the Nine Network decided to use it.

I'm assuming Ch7 keeps a (regularly updated) video obituary of JW, with specific mention that he composed the networks news theme. As much as I'd be gratified to see JW finally get that final acknowledgement, I'll be very happy to see his obituary put off for as absolutely long time as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dieter Stark said:

All the best stuff's made in Australia. Cotton On shirts, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith...

Cotton On... I just had this recollection about a pack of playing cards that was absolutely, utterly the best-textured, best-shuffling, best-dealing cards EVER. Like, ridiculously nice, in a way that you never forget because, well, it’s playing cards and who the hell thinks about the texture or hand feel of cards??

 

Anyway, I could’ve sworn the brand on the box was Cotton On. I remember trying to find them online and not having any luck, but I know that was the name. So now I know those cards must’ve been Australian!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, pete said:

The same thing happened with Olympic Spirit, which was used in some rugby league telecasts on channel 9 - I think for Friday night football. I had no idea it was a Williams piece until it was first released on CD in 1996.

 

“Olympic Spirit” was first released on CD in 1988, 8 years before the “world premiere” of the extended version was featured on the Summon the Heroes CD in 1996.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, pete said:

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. It was a pretty rare CD, right? 1996 was the first time I got it on CD

 

Nah, the CD isn't all that rare.  It was all over the place around the 1988 Olympics and in the bargain bins after that.  And there are a number of listings currently on eBay for less than $10: https://www.ebay.com/sch/176984/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=1988+summer+olympics+album&LH_TitleDesc=0&LH_TitleDesc=0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...