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What is John Williams' most repetetive score?


What is Williams' most repetetive score?  

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  1. 1. What is Williams' most repetetive score?

    • Dracula
    • The Accidential Tourist
    • Presumed Innocent
    • other (please name in the comments)


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To me Williams is probably the film composer with the most varied scores, that I know at least.

He is also the king of sequel scores who always brings something new and interesting musically even when the sequel film doesn't. 

But at least the three scores I put to the poll are by is standards quite repetetive. One main theme that fills almost every musical cue in the film.

Which score of John Williams do you consider the most repetetive?

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Dracula may not have a plethora of different themes and the main theme is probably present in almost every track, but that's a score I'd hardly call repetitive. The theme is woven in through so many d

THE LONG GOODBYE, obviously. But the way he and Altman plays around with that one theme, French New Wave-style, is quite entertaining.

The Last Jedi - I counted fifty thousand statements of the Force Theme, appearing in almost every track on the album.

1 minute ago, Holko said:

Dracula has another theme with major renditions. And even though it mostly uses the one, it never gets repetitive because he's always varying it.

I thought for a moment if I really add it to the list. But I remember that it felt quite repetetive while I was watching the movie. Great but repetetive. I love the score though.

4 minutes ago, Thor said:

THE LONG GOODBYE, obviously. But the way he and Altman plays around with that one theme, French New Wave-style, is quite entertaining.

There you see. I just have the Prague recording of it which is, I think, just 10 minutes. And there it didn't seem so repetetive. But I believe you.

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Yes, the repetition is the point of that score (as the theme pops up on car stereos, in supermarkets, as door bells, the character hums it etc. etc.).

 

Of the ones you mentioned in your poll, I'd probably go with PRESUMED INNOCENT.

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This question has a definitive answer: It's The Long Goodbye without question; And the score is deliberately repetitive, and it works great!

 

So the discussion is really about his second-most repetitive score.  
 

I think the talk about Dracula is interesting, it never struck me as a particularly repetitive score.  But admittedly, I haven't really listen to it a whole lot.

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Of the choices offered, probably Accidental Tourist. As others have pointed out, The Long Goodbye is technically the best answer, but is so strange I can see why it wouldn't be included.

 

Others to consider?

Born on the Fourth of July, in terms of a small set of memorable but heavily repeated thematic material.

Munich in terms of general uneventfulness.

Black SundayFamily Plot, Story of a Woman and The Secret Ways for milking a few small ideas for all they're worth.

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I voted for Other / BOTFOJ  

 

Hopefully once a C&C expansion is released it will change my opinion of the score, but there's soooo much repetition in the score it's ridiculous.  I'm also not a fan of the OST because of all the songs on there, they do nothing for me.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

THE LONG GOODBYE, obviously. But the way he and Altman plays around with that one theme, French New Wave-style, is quite entertaining.

 I thought there really isn't one until I saw this and remembered The Long Goodbye. The tune played like a standard is pretty good, but the score itself is annoying, have to admit. And I think it is TRAGIC that in a bonus track they have that awesome jam on the tune, and that stupid singer is whining over the entire thing.

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I don't like the term "repetitive".

 

Some movies just don't need 14 new themes and leitmotives, they can't be all like Star Wars!

 

I absolutely love the scores for The Accidential Tourist (Drama/Romance) and Presumed Innocent (Mystery/Thriller). I would never use the term "repetitive" to describe them.

 

The scores goes with the movies, you know. Do you know these movies?

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I watched Presumed Innocent at the time and the score works well in the movie. Funnily I really adore the Dracula score, still during watching the movie I thought sometimes, why again the same tune?

Don't get me wrong. I would never say, these were bad scores. And I used the term 'repetetive' not in a judging way. Still, as I wrote, for Williams' standards I call them repetetive which says nothing about their quality as the actual film score. 

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When I was much younger, I (*choke*) sold off my copy of Presumed Innocent for just this reason.

 

I bought it back years later, but I still never warmed to it.

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8 hours ago, Falstaft said:

Born on the Fourth of July, in terms of a small set of memorable but heavily repeated thematic material.


This was my first thought, especially because many of the repetitions of themes in Born on the Fourth of July are note-for-note the same or only slightly different.

 

(This would be one of my less-anticipated Williams expansions for that reason.)

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PRESUMED INNOCENT is excellent. Love that chilly synth undercurrent (a rarity in Williams' work), and the undulating figures that get darker and darker, the more Ford gets tangled up into the case. As an inevitable sequence of events, almost. The film is good too, and I'm not generally a fan of courtroom dramas. But Pakula manages to inject the proceedings with some proper 70s-style paranoia that he himself helped define years earlier.

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I gave it the last days a few listens and found that there is a second major theme in Presumed Innocent, that appears two times at least, so one point for me over the Accidential Tourist. With AT I habe the issue that close to the end of the soundtrack album I get slightly annoyed by the first six notes of the main theme. That doesn't happen to me with Presumed Innocent. 

I have never watched The Accidential Tourist but I am sure, the score serves the movie perfectly apart from my concern with the soundtrack album. 

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THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST is gorgeous. I listen to this type of Williams far more these days than the big action stuff. It was the only score he released in 1988, a year he was "out of commission" due to a back injury. He may have started composing earlier, but it adds an extra melancholic tinge to the music, IMO. It's been ages since I saw the film, but I aim to rewatch it soon.

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37 minutes ago, Thor said:

THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST is gorgeous. I listen to this type of Williams far more these days than the big action stuff.

 

Always have. Never paid much attention to Williams' popular action music from a young age; heard more of his essence when he writes for piano.

 

 

The big orchestra is a gimmick to me anyway, overblown. I listen to a lot of inspired and creative ensembles, ie. VGM, new age, music which gets at the root of compositional voices. Composers who had to use synth have been unproblematic to me, why I love Uematsu foundationally, he's not trying to please an audience. He's achieving more: speaking from the heart.

 

This is kind of advanced soundtrack scoring. It's hard for average people to grasp.

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30 minutes ago, Oomoog the Ecstatic said:

The big orchestra is a gimmick to me anyway, overblown. I listen to a lot of inspired and creative ensembles, ie. VGM, new age, music which gets at the root of compositional voices. Composers who had to use synth have been unproblematic to me, why I love Uematsu foundationally, he's not trying to please an audience. He's achieving more: speaking from the heart.

 

This is kind of advanced soundtrack scoring. It's hard for average people to grasp.

 

That's great to hear! Over the last 5-6 years or so, I've veered back to my electronic roots (I was a synth fan long before I was a film score fan), and thoroughly enjoying everything that's happening now in terms of synthwave, darkwave, dream pop, new age, ambient etc.

 

I've become older and mellower, so I no longer have this need to listen to upbeat orchestral music all the time (once in a while is fine). I'm far more drawn to small-scale, exploratory, sometimes even chamber sized ensembles. Like THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, STANLEY & IRIS, STEPMOM, what-have-you.

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1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

Yes, older people tend to hear more quiet music. The stressful action big orchestra is more enjoyable for younger  nerves. I am also not listening to that much hard core or punk music like I used in my younger days.

 

I mostly listen to Lady Jane by Stephen Oliver and The Phantom of the Opera by Roy Budd.

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1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

Yes, older people tend to hear more quiet music. The stressful action big orchestra is more enjoyable for younger  nerves. I am also not listening to that much hard core or punk music like I used in my younger days.

 

I never loved action and loud music, when I was 14 yo, I was listening to Bach and Mozart instead of pop music like "normal" people. Now that I'm "older" I can bare some action music, but in little doses!

 

3 hours ago, Oomoog the Ecstatic said:

 

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Hehe, but it remains a kind of depressing movie, where we really want to punch Williams Hurt in the face to get some emotions from him! He plays a blasé writer of travel guides "for reluctant business travelers" in the movie and well, he's not really good at being happy, let's say that. Maybe he's a JWfan too... :P

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Quite happy still with loud action music (albeit with some nuance, else it just gets tiring... you know, Remote Control style), but do enjoy JW's more intimate scores. I guess the one thing to consider, especially with something like The Accidental Tourist, is that the film is fairly sparsely scored so massive amounts of variety aren't really required, just gentle use of music to highlight certain key moments, rather than wall to wall, but obviously when it's on album and the music plays through, the repetition is much more obvious. Notwithstanding that, none of those listed are repetitive in a way that becomes tedious, although I've never massively cared for Presumed Innocent but will have to give it a spin.

 

NP: Far from Heaven - Elmer's last and one of his loveliest.

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2 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

Yes, older people tend to hear more quiet music. The stressful action big orchestra is more enjoyable for younger  nerves. I am also not listening to that much hard core or punk music like I used in my younger days.

 

That's true. But don't get me wrong. I still get a kick out of playing Rammstein loudly, or whatever EDM music I have (especially psytrance and goa). Or once in a while one of those bombastic orchestral action scores from my youth - be it INDEPENDENCE DAY or CUTTHROAT ISLAND or STAR WARS or whatever. Depends on the mood of the day. But for the most part, I'm drawn to the smaller and quieter stuff. I've become my father.

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