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John Williams albums by Philips Records (Boston Pops)


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You try too hard to make jokes on this forum.  Your overall success rate of making people laugh would improve if you posted less often and didn't spread your comedy juice so thinly.

I finally got around to taking pics of my collection               I'm gonna listen to and post my thoughts on each starting soon!

Well, I looked on Amazon and it turns out I can get all 13 of the Philips albums I don't have for ~2 bucks each, so I ordered them.  I think I'll listen through all 19 in order once they arrive and po

Oh I getcha.

 

I mean we could list lots of 80s scores that are classics to us, but how many of them were performed in orchestral concerts during the 80s?

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Going to start listening to these today.  Does anybody know the release date of any of these?  Or at least the order they came out?

For example, both Pops in Space and Pops on the March came out in 1980.  Which one came out first?

 

Anyone know?  @TownerFan? @Miguel Andrade? @Bespin?

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Great! Now what about every other year that two albums came out? For example, digital Overtures and Aisle Seat in 1982.  Which came first? 

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I'll be taking some free time from school work tomorrow (what the heck, it's weekend time!!!) and will check all the recording info on my LPs. I have most of the Pops albums on vinyl and maybe they have some additional info. I also have the 5 different releases of Peter and the Wolf, and will check for anything in there.

 

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19 minutes ago, Jay said:

Yea it's crazy how many times Peter and the Wolf was reissued with different cover arts, narrators, etc.

 

This was a 5-disc release actually. It was something that was done a few times in the 80's and 90's, having multiple narrations in different languages for one same orchestral recording. 

In the late 90's there was a new release of the Peter and the Wolf piece only, with newly recorded narration in German, coupled with Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, conducted by André Previn:

http://www.jw-collection.de/compilations/peter_dt_rueger.htm

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:40 PM, Jay said:

Going to start listening to these today.  Does anybody know the release date of any of these?  Or at least the order they came out?

For example, both Pops in Space and Pops on the March came out in 1980.  Which one came out first?

 

Anyone know?  @TownerFan? @Miguel Andrade? @Bespin?

 

Like Miguel said, and it's shown on my website:

 

image.png

On 7/24/2020 at 12:46 AM, Jay said:

Great! Now what about every other year that two albums came out? For example, digital Overtures and Aisle Seat in 1982.  Which came first? 

 

You can trust my website about all Philips albums release order, it's a thing I fixed with the help of @Stempel if I remember well.

image.png
 

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Huh. There's no indication on your site that those are listed in the same order they came out, I had no idea. Could you add the month of release so it's more obvious? 

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For a distinct label in a distinct year, the order is always good. But sometimes, I cannot certify at 100% if a Philips release came out before or after a Columbia one, by example.

 

Like I said I remember that @Stempel helped me a lot to correct some releases order in the past years. 

 

My discography is a collective effort, made with the expertise of all the greatest jwfans here. :heart:

 

1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I guess he just used the fact that 328 > 186 to find the correct order.

 

And no you Stupid Shark (who I normally ignore, except when you post just after me), we can't always relate to the catalog number to correctly set the chronology of releases.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/17/2020 at 4:48 PM, Jay said:

I wish Philips would just put put out a box set of all 19 albums, like Sony did for his run with them.

 

I see that Universal Japan are re-releasing many of JW's Philips albums, so I reckon that makes a box less likely for the time being.

 

https://www.imusic.dk/page/artist/John Williams

 

https://www.amazon.co.jp/s?k=john+williams&rh=p_n_srvg_2374648051%3A81873051&s=date-desc-rank&dc&__mk_ja_JP=カタカナ&qid=1596701720&rnid=2374648051&ref=sr_nr_p_n_srvg_2374648051_1

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  • 6 months later...

I'm more annoyed that two of them are BMG pressings instead of UPC pressings!

 

And that some of them have gold foil for the "Digital Classics" and some don't!

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Nope.  

 

There's an endless slew of compilations Philips put out that all contain nothing more than existing tracks taken from the above albums.  Identical mastering every time too, I believe.

 

Some of the new artwork is fun, though

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21 minutes ago, Jay said:

I'm more annoyed that two of them are BMG pressings instead of UPC pressings!

 

And that some of them have gold foil for the "Digital Classics" and some don't!

 

What I'm annoyed with is when you have them on the shelf and the red banners on the top of the side of the case don't line up with the others exactly ROTFLMAO

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Somehow that doesn't annoy me as much as the inconsistent placing of the PHILIPS and DIGITAL on the right

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14 hours ago, ATXHusker said:

I'm missing a With a Song in my Heart and Lucky to be Me.  Are they worth getting?

 

Yes, very much worth getting. Particularly showcasing JW’s piano virtuosity.

 

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The two Jessye Norman albums recorded with JW have been reissued as a 2-CD bargain collection, that's the version I have.

 

I don't listen to them as often as I should...but they're part of the collection!

 

image.png

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02 Pops on the March 01-1080.jpg

 

02 Pops on the March 02-1080.jpg

 

02 Pops on the March 03-1080.jpg

 

Pops On The March (1980)

 

Well, I don't have too much to say about this one, really.  I find it to be a bit of a curious choice for their second album.  It's 41 1/2 minutes of marches.  Yep, that's it.

 

Maybe those with more musical education than me would find intriguing differences between how these are all constructed, but I personally didn't find much to enjoy here even after 4 listens.

 

There's two exceptions to this.  First is The Midway March by Williams, which I've always loved (not sure when I first heard it, actually).  It must have been nice for fans of the movie to get this since that film had no OST album (there was a single release of the two Marches from the film, but I understand that was pretty rare).  It sounds good here!

 

Second is Conquest by Alfred Newman, from his score to Captain from Castile.  That was pretty cool tool, and a fun album ender.


The packaging is better, with no more weird lowercase issues, and George Korngold getting credited this time.  The cover art is pretty clever, too!

 

It's interesting to see this was recorded the same month as Pops in Space.  They probably banged out both albums in one weekend!  The performance and recording is pretty even between both albums, the first one is just full of terrific compositions and the second album is just... marches.  

 

Onward to 1981!

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49 minutes ago, Jay said:

Second is Conquest by Alfred Newman, from his score to Captain from Castile.  That was pretty cool tool, and a fun album ender.

 

Indeed a great piece of music. You should check out the entire score, currently available from Kritzerland. The Elgar, Walton, and Gershwin pieces are classics and rightly so.

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03 That's Entertainment 1-1080.jpg

 

03 That's Entertainment 2-1080.jpg

 

03 That's Entertainment 3-1080.jpg

 

 

03 That's Entertainment 4-1080.jpg

 

03 That's Entertainment 5-1080.jpg

 

That's Entertainment! (1981)

 

Now this is a way for me to appreciate the great work that's been done for the world of stage musicals - take out all the singing and turn them into orchestral arrangements :lol:  I really enjoyed pretty much the whole album here.

 

That's Entertainment is oddly the track I probably connected to least - It really left no impression on me even after 4 listens.

 

Excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof is really great!  The memorable melodies really shine through and are fantastically arranged and performed here.  It's funny how I just instinctively knew a lot of these melodies when I first heard this track (this was last summer, well before my recent venture into the Fiddler on the Roof EMI album a few weeks ago).  A lot of these have really remained in pop culture, like "If I Were a Rich Man" on Seinfeld and in that Gwen Stefani song, "Tradition!" on Friends, "Sunrise Sunset" in Addams Family Values, etc.  If I'm not mistaken, when I was in elementary school we even sang "Matchmaker Matchmaker" in chorus.  The violin playing is great too.  Really fun track!

 

Selections from A Little Night Music - heh, I first heard this arrangement last spring when that 1980 Boston Pops concert re-aired on my local PBS channel and we watched it.  I thought I didn't know this music at at all, until the "Send in the Clowns" part happened and we both recognized that.  Do I know it just from The Simpsons or somewhere else?  This is another nice track, lovely, warm arrangement.  I've appreciated it more with each listen.

 

Richard Rodgers Waltzes - This is the other track along with the first that are easily the least interesting tracks for me.  I don't have anything to say about it!  It didn't leave any impression either.

 

Pops on Broadway - Another fun track - I found myself instantly recognizing One Singular Sensation, Tomorrow from Annie, and Don't Cry For Me Argentina despite never chosen to listen to any of those shows before or anything - more pop culture invasions.  They all sound good, especially Argentina.

 

Selections from Gigi - A pretty nice track of lovely music.  I recognized the final song from Pink Panther!

 

Overall, a nice album that I think finally gets to the "pops" part of things - Incredibly recognizable music played with great panache by the orchestra.  I also like how much variety we've gotten 3 albums in - they are all so different from each other!

 

 

Kind of nice to get a photograph of Williams on the front cover now instead of just artistic interpretations.   Also, this is the first of my copies that have gold embossing on the "Digital Classics" logo on the top.  Did that start with this album, or did I get later reprints of the 1980 albums that didn't use it?

 

The track titles - or rather, the individual parts listed as being inside each title - are back to being all lowercase except for the first letter and people's names, which is odd.

 

George Korngold is credited again, and my copy mentions its been mastered by SOUNDSTREAM INC.  Does everybody's copy say that?  The inside booklet finally has more than just 2 pages of info, including nice clean logos of some of the musicals represented (not sure how they chose these 6 logos out of the 12 musicals represented.

 

 

So, not my favorite of the albums, but a clear and easy second place after Pops in Space, and ahead of the marches album.  It doesn't necessarily compel me to go seek out any Broadway shows to listen to, but it does increase my appreciation of the artform, which is theoretically one of the goals of making an album like this.

 

This is also the first album in the series to not feature any Williams compositions at all.  Looking ahead, the other 1981 album doesn't either.  This may be a bit surprising after the smash hit of Raiders in 1981 not to mention the plethora of older Williams hits not represented yet (like Jaws, Cowboys, Dracula, 1941, and his disaster scores), but I guess it was never meant to be a series that focused only on film music, as the first 3 albums being so completely different from each other in terms of content.

 

We'll resume with We Wish You A Merry Christmas later in the week!

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7 minutes ago, Jay said:

Did that start with this album, or did I get later reprints of the 1980 albums that didn't use it?

 

Many Philips reprints omit this golden line. I guess golden ink isn't something every plant offers.

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