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Opinion: ROTJ score is underrated.


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Return of the Jedi really rounded out the operatic feel of the entire trilogy score through its orchestration of the established themes, particularly Vader's theme. Perhaps the best musical moment of

I have a serious soft-spot for it too. Interesting that, of all the iconic set-pieces from ROTJ, it was this one he chose to expand (with snatches of the unused Sail Barge Battle too, of course).

AOTC is filled with great music. Also lack of action music doesn't equal boring. Some of my favorite material from AOTC is the quieter stuff. AOTC does have a ton of action music though, even though o

1 hour ago, Thor said:

The anthology box.

Oh man, I traded that box down by the '97 Special Editions, which I absolutely regret now. Although I would really be happy about a well-crafted complete score release, the anthology box set remains irreplacable.

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3 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

In what form do you listen to it? The LP program probably. I find it a bit inconvenient that this magnificent score never got the 2LP program it deserved. There is enough highlights that would have allowed for some 30 minutes more without weakening the listening experience. I'm wondering what you think about this.

 

Generally I wouldn't give the title of most underrated Star Wars score to Episode VI. That trophy should go to Episode II. And if anyone replies to this with "but Episode II is bullshit" you confirm that.

LP situation in 1983 was very questionable, so suggested 2LP release was dropped, which is a very big mistake. Stuff avaliable on re-recordings was very low in terms of quantity. 

32 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

Oh man, I traded that box down by the '97 Special Editions, which I absolutely regret now. Although I would really be happy about a well-crafted complete score release, the anthology box set remains irreplacable.

By far my most favourite score release of all time. Everything is superb, from packaging to content, only thing than bugs me is very bland covers, plus little tape damages here and there. 

Sadly, I'm not in possession of the physical version, but at least have complete booklet scans. 

And based on my research when I'm was busy building my ultimate ROTJ, in which this box of course is the main source, besides Sail Barge Assault, concert suites and end credits which was sourced from LP, at least Main Title and Han Solo Returns are sourced from Anthology on the SE.

Edit: Han Solo Returns on Anthology was sourced from LP too, so SE maybe sourced original LP, except proper ending. 

I'm also like how LP names Leia's News with Funeral Pyre "Rebel Briefing", this is just great. 

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While I enjoy the amount of music on the Anthology presentation, the original album order is my preference.

 

Into The Trap should always be towards the beginning of the album. It is the equivalent of The Droid Battle from Phantom or Ben's Death from Star Wars. I also love the killer placement of The Return of the Jedi on the original album so that we only need one rendition of that new victory fanfare. I sometimes think about what it would have been like to hear this album in '83 on vinyl and think it was the finale! In this way, the title track from ROTJ serves the same purpose as the second half of Qui-Gon's Noble End.

 

The Final Duel and Darth Vader's Death are the most vital missing pieces from the OST. Also, The Emperor Arrives or Confronts Luke would be appreciated. If I had 3 of those on the original album I would be thrilled, and more than satisfied. After that, the Rancor Fight, and maybe Fight with the Fighters. But not all of that is necessary, just nice.

 

I really only listen to Star Wars now via the Ultimate Digital Collection that was released in 2016. You know, the last time they were mastered competently.

On 7/11/2020 at 11:26 AM, mxsch said:

I'm also like how LP names Leia's News with Funeral Pyre "Rebel Briefing", this is just great. 

 

Well, they are rebels and she is briefing him on something.

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6 hours ago, blondheim said:

While I enjoy the amount of music on the Anthology presentation, the original album order is my preference.

 

Into The Trap should always be towards the beginning of the album. It is the equivalent of The Droid Battle from Phantom or Ben's Death from Star Wars. I also love the killer placement of The Return of the Jedi on the original album so that we only need one rendition of that new victory fanfare. I sometimes think about what it would have been like to hear this album in '83 on vinyl and think it was the finale! In this way, the title track from ROTJ serves the same purpose as the second half of Qui-Gon's Noble End.

 

The Final Duel and Darth Vader's Death are the most vital missing pieces from the OST. Also, The Emperor Arrives or Confronts Luke would be appreciated. If I had 3 of those on the original album I would be thrilled, and more than satisfied. After that, the Rancor Fight, and maybe Fight with the Fighters. But not all of that is necessary, just nice.

 

I really only listen to Star Wars now via the Ultimate Digital Collection that was released in 2016. You know, the last time they were mastered competently.

 

Well, they are rebels and she is briefing him on something.

I have this set too, it is great and it was my re-introducing experience to SW soundtracks. But I'm still prefer mine most complete edits or Anthology. And what annoys me about original albums, is phantom menace chopped to pieces, for example.

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7 minutes ago, mxsch said:

I have this set too, it is great and it was my re-introducing experience to SW soundtracks. But I'm still prefer mine most complete edits or Anthology. And what annoys me about original albums, is phantom menace chopped to pieces, for example.

I agree that The Phantom Menace can handle an expansion. I also think there is not much wrong with that original album. But take into account my bias: that was the first CD score I ever owned. I liked film music, but only by repeating scenes ad nauseum in front of my VHS player, trying to hear everything underneath the sound effects and dialogue. The Phantom Menace got played on repeat. I used to lay on my bedroom floor with my eyes closed and listen to the whole damn thing.

 

I have no doubt it is the most complex Star Wars score, and it is my personal favorite of them but the problem with a complete Phantom Menace score is that I would want the recording sessions. The film stems on the Ultimate Edition are terrible. So much of that score went unused in the final picture. I prefer the original album because there is music there that even the fan edits don't entirely save. Fan edits don't do it for me. I can't stand the fluctuation in sound quality and the faulty edits. The only score I have ever suffered through that for, really, is Hook.

 

If I ever got my hands on the sessions, or an officially released expansion, then maybe I would change sides. But as an audiophile, I would always rather have less score in real quality, with proper mastering, than more with less of all that.

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12 minutes ago, blondheim said:

I agree that The Phantom Menace can handle an expansion. I also think there is not much wrong with that original album. But take into account my bias: that was the first CD score I ever owned. I liked film music, but only by repeating scenes ad nauseum in front of my VHS player, trying to hear everything underneath the sound effects and dialogue. The Phantom Menace got played on repeat. I used to lay on my bedroom floor with my eyes closed and listen to the whole damn thing.

 

I have no doubt it is the most complex Star Wars score, and it is my personal favorite of them but the problem with a complete Phantom Menace score is that I would want the recording sessions. The film stems on the Ultimate Edition are terrible. So much of that score went unused in the final picture. I prefer the original album because there is music there that even the fan edits don't entirely save. Fan edits don't do it for me. I can't stand the fluctuation in sound quality and the faulty edits. The only score I have ever suffered through that for, really, is Hook.

 

If I ever got my hands on the sessions, or an officially released expansion, then maybe I would change sides. But as an audiophile, I would always rather have less score in real quality, with proper mastering, than more with less of all that.

Your experience of the score is too nostalgic-cool. RS leak isn't possible for TPM, I'm sure. At least we got Crystal Skull, but this RS still sounds little bit worse than album. And what about TPM complexity, I can argue that ROTJ is easily most complex.

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Both are great complex complete scores heavily butchered and messed up on OST - but at least RotJ has some good ideas for the limiting LP structure, not just the randomiser button again.

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20 minutes ago, phbart said:

The OST album is indeed an embarrassment. But the entire score is masterful, not underrated at all. ESB first, with SW and ROTJ tied in second.

 

What's TPM? I only know Duel of the Fates, and that's it.

TPM on third, right? I'm don't know, maybe ROTS is on my third, well, yeah, TPM sounds very star-warsy, but Revenge is dark af, have ton of great action music, excellent uses of choir on multiple occassions, returned DotF and other things. And do TPM have Battle of Heroes, Lament or Anakin's Dark Deeds, for example?

Even absolutely dull Grievous meeting with Palpatine scored in that way, that is sounds absolutely epic.

 

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17 minutes ago, phbart said:

The OST album is indeed an embarrassment. But the entire score is masterful, not underrated at all. ESB first, with SW and ROTJ tied in second.

 

What's TPM? I only know Duel of the Fates, and that's it.

To each their own. I actually think the prequel scores have better overall album arrangements and presentations than the OT. Same with the sequel scores. Not saying the scores are better, just better represented on album. Talking about the original albums here.

 

Of the original trilogy, I like the original Star Wars album the best with ROTJ almost winning. Attack of the Clones has the best album presentation of the Prequel trilogy, even though Phantom is my favorite. And The Last Jedi easily wins the best ST album, and in fact, prepare yourself, I think it is the best OST Star Wars album of them all.

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I actually started to really enjoy SW music with the Anthology set, and even more with SE release (regardless of its sound quality issues). I only got to listen to the OST albums some years after the SE, so I'm not particularly fond of them.

 

So, as "complete" score presentations, the original trilogy is waaaay superior to the prequel trilogy (and needles to say, the sequel trilogy). As albums, JW has come a long way from the original to the prequel trilogy regarding albums presentations, because indeed, as albums, the prequel is better than the OT.

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I actually owned the Anthology first as well, and then the Special Editions and never cared about sound quality then, so it was no big deal. Later, when I became aware of what an incredible album arranger and producer Williams was, I started to seek out the original releases of all his scores. When the Ultimate Digital Collection came out, I saw my chance to have that little slice of history in incredible sound and took it.

I think the album of Empire Strikes Back would be more perfect if it had the Carbon Freeze cue, and I have mentioned my desire for a few more tracks of Jedi, but for the most part, those albums are perfect the way they are. I like the non-chronological order. Although I understand why someone would want the complete score, since I do as well. But when I have the complete score, I will still pull out the original albums. Not every time. If they are well-produced and not film stems, like the Ultimate Edition of Phantom, or La-La Land's Hook, I will likely listen to them more. But let's just wait and see what happens.

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23 hours ago, blondheim said:

I think the album of Empire Strikes Back would be more perfect if it had the Carbon Freeze cue, and I have mentioned my desire for a few more tracks of Jedi, but for the most part, those albums are perfect the way they are.

 

I actually prefer the single LP sequence of ESB purely as a listening experience. Opening the album with The Imperial March...absolutely stunning.

 

I only recently heard the 2 LP sequence and having grown up on the single LP and then later the Gerhardt, the Anthology and finally the SE, I find the 2 LP rather jarring to listen to in it's original sequence.

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6 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

 

I actually prefer the single LP sequence of ESB purely as a listening experience. Opening the album with The Imperial March...absolutely stunning.

 

Was it ever a single LP? Or just a shortened CD release?

 

I understand what you mean, though. I have never listened to that presentation, but I can understand why that would pop.

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13 minutes ago, blondheim said:

Was it ever a single LP? Or just a shortened CD release?

 

It was released as a single LP in 1980 in my country. My mom bought me a copy shortly after I saw the movie at age 7. I only discovered that a 2 LP version existed in the late 80's thanks to a mailorder catalogue.

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7 minutes ago, Smeltington said:

I wonder if JW arranged the single-LP version.

 

I am curious myself. His hands are definitely all over the double-LP. I love the Lando's Palace cue right before the finale, connecting the force theme of "There is another" with The Rebel Fleet. It even parallels the throne room music at the end of the Star Wars double-LP, only like everything else in Empire, it is soured by what we know happens.

 

That's it, I guess I'm listening to Empire again today.

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2 hours ago, pete said:

Regarding Return of the Jedi, I just love the last 50 seconds of Obi-Wan's Revelations where we have Leia's Theme building to chattering trumpets as the rebel fleet is revealed. One of my favorite snippets from the whole saga. 

Yes! One of those super Star Wars sounding transitions that are just wonderful to listen to.

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May sound weird (but I am weird after all), but the inferior sound quality of the SE RoTJ actually has its charm for me. It's like part of the whole feeling of it, of how I perceive this music by listening to it all these years. I did create my own edit using whatever I could from the Anthology with the SE (and I recently updated with the 2018 masters wherever possible)

 

Tracks like "Father and Son", the "Forest Ambush" portion on Battle of Endor I of CD2, and the aforementioned last 50 seconds of "Obi-Wan Revelation" and "Tatooine Rendezvous" from CD1 (all of which are not anywhere else except the SE), they all have an obvious inferior quality, but that is somehow embedded in the whole experience. And it's not bad. Just charming... somehow.

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The Forest Battle is wonderful. I concur with all these statements. It may be typical Williams but is that a bad thing? Isn't that what we want most of the time?

 

It's like when you have Jack Nicholson, you don't expect him to be William Hurt. Although if he did it and it was marvelous, I would find it impressive, but Jack just being Jack is enough, too. I personally think Into the Trap is hands-down the best track on that album, but Forest Battle makes a close second.

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