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What do you think about the score for ALWAYS (1989)?


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One of Spielberg's and JW's least celebrated collaborations, the most desired Matessino expansion by exactly 0 people, Always always (lol) had a bad fame. But is the score actually good?

 

Here's Jon Broxton's review, published today:

 

Quote

Many reviews of this score voice how disappointing it is because it fails to adequately capture the excitement and wonderment of flight in any meaningful way, but I would argue that those who do so are missing the point. Always is not a film about that; the breathlessness and excitement of aerial firefighting – while undoubtedly a worthy and important job – is ultimately the cause of so much pain in this film, and the music reflects the emotions of those who are left behind when things go wrong. It doesn’t so much celebrate flight as much as it mourns it. Williams focuses on these emotions – love, sorrow, grief, and ultimately redemption – because the film is a celebration of the human spirit when it overcomes those internal personal obstacles, instead of the more tangible and dangerous ones presented by fires and plane crashes.

 

Despite my personal appreciation for it, I still feel that Always is going to be one of the scores that appeals least to Williams fans, especially those who are more attuned to his bombastic marches, rousing action music, and moments of soaring emotion. As I mentioned, this is a score which requires a degree of patience, and a willingness to sit quietly and fully immerse yourself in the beautiful textures and instrumental combinations that Williams creates. If you do, you will be rewarded with some truly excellent moments of musical emotion that are both subtle and powerful, and prove that Williams is not just a composer who smacks you in the face with endless themes and variations. As a thoughtful rumination on life and love, and what death means for those left behind, Always leaves a positive impression.

 

https://moviemusicuk.us/2020/01/30/always-john-williams/

 

So, do you think Always deserves to be rediscovered?

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SABRINA, really? I think SABRINA is up there with the greats.

I want to see Follow Me scene from TFA with Follow Me music from Always. 

I particularly like(d) one of the later, long cues called "Dorinda's Solo Flight", if I remember correctly. Used to listen to this one a lot. The music is wonderful, the film, well, is a bit weird in the acting department and a remake at that. Hm. Why is Spielberg remaking things (like now)?

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This score has had a weird evolution for me. My first exposure to it were the two tracks on the FILMWORKS compilation in the mid 90s ("Dorinda's Solo Flight" and "Follow Me"). These tracks are upbeat and/or more theme-driven and I thought the rest of the score was like that too. When I got the soundtrack a couple of years later, I was disappointed to discover that they were, in fact, the only highlights on the album. The rest consisted of country-pop songs and a hundred variations of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". Also, most of the score was very static, exploratory and ambient in nature, and thus very "boring" for my young self. For many years, I considered it my least favourite Williams score.

 

That, however, has changed. As I've grown older, I've come to appreciate this type of calmer, exploratory sounds more. Now I quite like it. I also think the film is underrated; Spielberg really nailed the Victor Fleming-ish romance fantasy he was going for.

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On 1/30/2020 at 7:22 PM, Edmilson said:

Many reviews of this score voice how disappointing it is because it fails to adequately capture the excitement and wonderment of flight in any meaningful way, but I would argue that those who do so are missing the point. Always is not a film about that; the breathlessness and excitement of aerial firefighting – while undoubtedly a worthy and important job – is ultimately the cause of so much pain in this film, and the music reflects the emotions of those who are left behind when things go wrong. It doesn’t so much celebrate flight as much as it mourns it. Williams focuses on these emotions – love, sorrow, grief, and ultimately redemption – because the film is a celebration of the human spirit when it overcomes those internal personal obstacles, instead of the more tangible and dangerous ones presented by fires and plane crashes.

 

Despite my personal appreciation for it, I still feel that Always is going to be one of the scores that appeals least to Williams fans, especially those who are more attuned to his bombastic marches, rousing action music, and moments of soaring emotion. As I mentioned, this is a score which requires a degree of patience, and a willingness to sit quietly and fully immerse yourself in the beautiful textures and instrumental combinations that Williams creates. If you do, you will be rewarded with some truly excellent moments of musical emotion that are both subtle and powerful, and prove that Williams is not just a composer who smacks you in the face with endless themes and variations. As a thoughtful rumination on life and love, and what death means for those left behind, Always leaves a positive impression.

Nah...

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I can't imagine needing more than the 46 minutes on the OST but I have no idea how much score was recorded or used in the film.

 

IMO it's pretty telling that the 30th Anniversary came and went without so much as a whisper of an expansion. I think any label would struggle to sell more than 500 copies.

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9 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

That Follow Me alt has been around for ages. I think I first heard about it in the mid to late 90s.

Exactly, in the first half of the 90s I for example got a tape (!) from a guy who made me a copy of various rare (no internet back then) stuff during his day work at an airforce base (!!) and I transfered it to minidisc, and that's how it now resides on my shelf. (yes, that Sony MD player with built-in keyboard is still working as are the discs ;))

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2 hours ago, JTWfan77 said:

 

Not sure what it has to do with ALWAYS, but yes -- I certainly remember that. It was really the best Williams site in the 90s. I wonder what happened to Scott Hanson?

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It was where I learned about the bootleg of BOTFOJ that had the alternate of Follow Me - so a tangental post, yes, as I searched on my 2001 CD-ROM backup for evidence of that release based on Crumbs' question.

 

On a more tangental note, I'm thrilled that my 2001 CD-ROM backup still reads without errors!

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I've always been fond of the score although I rarely listen to the whole thing. Among the Clouds, Follow Me, Saying Goodbye, Pete & Dorinda, and Dorinda Solo Flight are my favorites from the CD as well as the suite on the first Williams/Spielberg compilation. 

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  • 7 months later...

Never saw the film., and I used to never miss a SS movie.

Why? Because it was a remake of a horrible film A GUY NAMED JOE.

Weird that he didn't keep the WWII setting considering.his filmography.

On 2/2/2020 at 2:00 AM, crumbs said:

I think any label would struggle to sell more than 500 copies.

Well, that means that this site has 502 members. 😎

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