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Favorite single year in Williams career and why


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The title says it all. I'm very curious what everyone's choice would be. I would make a poll, but I feel like there would be too many options for it to be convenient.

 

The rule is you can only pick one. No honorable mentions this time. Stances are obviously mutable and would change based on when this question was asked; this is understood. Will it be a quality year or a quantity year is the biggest question, I think. This is also not an if-you-could-only-have-one year experiment. I am looking for his apex year. For you personally. Please let me know why. I like personal anecdotes. I imagine there are others that do as well. (Hopefully.)

 

Thanks in advance for playing.

 

 

 

Oh yeah, mine would be 2005. (Ooh, that hurt to type. I've rewritten this section a dozen times at this point.) God, I wanted to be a basic bitch about this, but I have to be honest with myself. Maybe it is because it is a year I lived through AND was a collecting score fan. (Maybe it's because I am currently being wowed by Worlds.) It was an incredible year to be a 16-year old Williams fan. I eagerly listened to samples and awaited each release. In fact, I believe I listened to the Memoir samples on here, actually. I could be mistaken. Still, though there are easily many years where I think his compositions were superior, this year felt like the finale to his career, even at the time. As time passed and we only got Crystal Skull, those fears were exacerbated. So I cherished those scores, listening to them many times. Just in case.

 

I will say, since there aren't any honorable mentions, that it came down to a bloody final four and my decision haunts me.

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Easy, 1932.

My dark horse pick: 2011   War Horse is utterly gorgeous, and The Adventures of Tintin is an adventure score on par with any he's written (in my humble, opinion of course). And I'm also part

I'm going with 1980.  Not for the obvious reason (The Empire Strikes Back) but because that's the year he became conductor of the Boston Pops, which he is still connected with to this day.  Some of my

32 minutes ago, blondheim said:

The title says it all. I'm very curious what everyone's choice would be. I would make a poll, but I feel like there would be too many options for it to be convenient.

 

The rule is you can only pick one. No honorable mentions this time. Stances are obviously mutable and would change based on when this question was asked; this is understood. Will it be a quality year or a quantity year is the biggest question, I think. This is also not an if-you-could-only-have-one year experiment. I am looking for his apex year. For you personally. Please let me know why. I like personal anecdotes. I imagine there are others that do as well. (Hopefully.)

So hard to answer! JW's apex year is more like a plateau; just continual excellence, year after year. But if you must, my vote is 1993. Impossible for me to imagine a better score being written for Jurassic Park -- which makes his note-perfect work for Schindler's List a feat almost beyond words. (For that matter, 1993 is my vote for peak Spielberg.)

 

Gotta ask, though, what would you say is the basic bitch answer to this question? 1977 for Star Wars? (Kudos for working in a phrase I never thought I'd see on these boards!)

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2 minutes ago, Bayesian said:

So hard to answer! JW's apex year is more like a plateau; just continual excellence, year after year. But if you must, my vote is 1993. Impossible for me to imagine a better score being written for Jurassic Park -- which makes his note-perfect work for Schindler's List a feat almost beyond words. (For that matter, 1993 is my vote for peak Spielberg.)

 

Gotta ask, though, what would you say is the basic bitch answer to this question? 1977 for Star Wars? (Kudos for working in a phrase I never thought I'd see on these boards!)

 

Hahaha thanks. I will say that year was one of my final 4, although I shouldn't ;) My basic bitch answer would have been the year of my favorite score. I'm going to be coy about it though. Especially since I have said it a lot on here, it would be very easy to find.

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2 hours ago, Matt S. said:

I'm not sure if this is what the OP was looking for in my answer; I guess 1980 is important to me because of what it led to, rather than what he actually DID in 1980.  (Although the score for The Empire Strikes Back is obviously one of his greatest accomplishments.)

This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

 

The responses have all been great.

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Hmm...

 

I really don't think there's a single year where it's been my favourite, but possibly 2005 - Revenge of the Sith was monumental for me at a time when I really getting into Williams and film scores in general. I have a lot of nostalgia for that year and the events that happened and I think the score was just a great addition to that. It wouldn't be till years later that I would count War of the Worlds and Memoirs of a Geisha among the best of Williams' ongoing career.

 

I think 2004 would follow that, not just for Williams' Prisoner of Azkaban, but the year in general, being in high school, seeing movies with friends over the summer and if one score stood out more for me that year alongside Azkaban it was Thomas Newman's A Series of Unfortunate Events. 

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33 minutes ago, publicist said:

2002

 

:nod:

 

Either that or 2005, for me. Both were years where the projects he took on felt distinctly suited to his own developments and tastes as a composer, and the way he synthesized multiple ingredients from varying times and places with his own distinct voice resulted in phenomenal scores that he simply couldn't have written prior.

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1. 77; at age 45 writes SW which alone would've qualified for place 1. Not just leitmotif at its finest but Williams did a touching job orchestrating for space muppets

2. 02; at age 70 rehashes terrific SW and HP music in one year. I think he felt fully rejuvenated returning back to his baby after 20 years

3. 82; age 50 writes ET

4. 80; age 48 writes ESB

5. 83; age 51 writes some mind-blowing music

6. 93; age 61 writes JP and SL

7. 04; age 72, Williams at his most agile writes PoA and Term

8. 20; at age 88 he's age 88

 

I put Williams as an A+ on last week's tier list but overall in my listening he's been an S. Can't think of many composers I'd place as high as A+ anyway.

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There would be several candidates:

 

1966

1977 

1993

1999

2005

 

Those are probably the most impressive to me.

 

But if I had to pick just one, I'd go for 1993. Not only because it contains my alltime favourite film score JURASSIC PARK, but because of - as others have pointed out - the amazing feat in churning out two so completely different scores in the same year; and even overlapping in production. I think it's one of the most impressive feats done by a film composer (and a director) that I can think of.

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Hahaha I was trying to avoid shortlists and make you choose one, but I knew this was inevitable. My final four were 1977, 1991, 1993, and 2005.

 

I also wrote down 1997, 1999 and 2002, but they were stricken to whittle down. 1991 is only there because I think Hook is my single favorite creation of his career, thus its basic-ness as a choice. I could have chosen any of the other three choices and it would have felt right for me.

 

I also frequently argue (and anyone who drinks with me knows) that 1993 might have been the greatest year of the man's career, with (shoot me) Jurassic Park being the better score that year and an argument for his GOAT. The dual decimation of Star Wars and Close Encounters really should be on everyone's short list (and let's please not forget Black Sunday)

 

In the end I went where the personal anecdote was and encouraged others to do the same, although I knew Favorite would be interpreted as "year that contains my favorite" and also "his best year" so I looked for broad enough wording to encourage any of those. But thank you, these responses have been great, keep em coming.

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I entered this thread expecting everyone to choose 1977 due to Star Wars and Close Encounters... lol.

 

Anyway, my choices would be  77 (obviously), 93, 97, 2001, 2002 and 2005. 2001 is actually underrated, in one year he created two very different scores that became beloved and Oscar nominated, A.I. and the first Harry Potter.

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2005. Three scores that year that I consider top-tier masterpieces, Geisha being possibly my favorite Williams, and one slightly lesser but still excellent score, Munich. I can think of years where his output was more iconic, but I can’t think of years when it was better.

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47 minutes ago, mstrox said:

Assuming you're looking at calendar year and I can't say "the 12 month period that included Home Alone and Hook," I'd go 1993.  It's the only year that has multiple scores I love, and no scores I don't love.

 

Had I thought of this loophole, I'd have done it ;)

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33 minutes ago, danbeck said:

1975 - writes the music that elevated Jaws to instant classic status, solidified his relationship with Spielberg, gave him his first Oscar for an original score (and that got him recommended to George Lucas for Star Wars).

 

I don't like being "that guy", but actually... Williams won his Oscar in 1976, right? The 76 Oscar refers to the movies released in 75.

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4 hours ago, Edmilson said:

 

I don't like being "that guy", but actually... Williams won his Oscar in 1976, right? The 76 Oscar refers to the movies released in 75.

Yes but what I said was that in 1975 he wrote the score that gave him his first Oscar for an original score, among the other things I listed related to this particular score 🙂

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3 hours ago, Not Mr. Big said:

I was thinking of including it based solely on Sleepers 

 

That would be reason enough for me too, but I'd probably go for 1997, just for the sheer stylistic variety, with two scores among my all time favorites (Tibet and TLW)

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I pick 2001. Both A.I. and Harry Potter 1 are among the greatest scores ever written, and they are so stylistically diverse that one can only marvel that he managed to write them one after the other. The same could be said about 1977 (SW and CEo3K) and 1993 (JP and SL), but those were already picked by many others in the previous posts!  

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On 10/28/2020 at 1:05 AM, BrotherSound said:

My dark horse pick: 2011

 

War Horse is utterly gorgeous, and The Adventures of Tintin is an adventure score on par with any he's written (in my humble, opinion of course). And I'm also partial to this year since it began the "Williams Renaissance" of sorts we've seen this past decade, after the relative drought of 2006-2010.

 

And as a bonus: a fine Oboe Concerto and a substantial chamber work, the Quartet La Jolla.

 

I wanted to write the same, but you were first 😎 Many said that those scores did not break new ground, but IMO they show Williams at the beginning of his most refined phase, where he put everything he learned over the decades together to create 2 masterpiece soundtracks and 2 of his best concert works. The Apex indeed. 

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