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Were you initially disappointed with Williams score to The Lost World?


Were you initially disappointed in Williams’ approach to The Lost World?  

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  1. 1. Were you initially disappointed in Williams’ approach to The Lost World?

  2. 2. Did the expansion change your opinion of the score?



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I remember walking out of the theater as a 9 year old in 1997 wondering why Williams score to aJurassic Park sequel felt so different. Where was the “predator/raptor” motif? Where’s the wondrous/frightening choir work? Why not use the established themes more?

 

Up to that point (again as a 9 year old) I felt like John Williams generally kept the same sound/colors/themes for sequel scores and simply added to those musical tapestries. 
 

But the Lost World (and I’d also add Prisoner of Azkaban) show he’s not afraid to shift gears in the middle of a franchise.

 

Were you initially disappointed in Williams follow up to Jurassic Park? Are you still? Has the expansion of TLW score changed your opinion?

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Disappointed by the music?  No.   Disappointed with the idiotic dinorama packaging?  Extremely!    

It's hard for me to remember back that far honestly - even thought I was 16 when it came out in the summer of 1997 - but yes, I do believe I was initially disappointed that the score was not what I ex

Why couldn't you all just be normal kids and listen to the Top 40 charts instead?

I was only 10 and I just remember loving the movie.  I still have a lot of affection for the movie, one of those movies where people list out very sensible flaws and my response is "Sure, but that doesn't matter to me."  Anyway, my point is I was too young to have expectations for the score, it was just generally part of my discovering a love for movie music, which very much happened in the late 90s for me.

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I was 18 when the score came out, just back for less than a week from the traditional school class trip Austrian classes make after their final exam. I've already had a substantial (if small, from today's point of view) Williams collection including things like Jurassic Park and Hook, and had picked up the SW SEs earlier that year (and realised that there's a huge different between a re-recording compilation like the Gerhardt and Skywalker Symphony albums and a full release of the actual original score). I picked up the album as soon as it came out, before seeing the film and immediately thought: This is the best film score ever written.

 

I've never lost my appreciation for the score. I've probably always kept considering it as a candidate for one of Williams' very best scores, but with everything I've discovered and re-discovered since then, I wouldn't go as far as calling it the one best score to trump all others anymore. The LLL release reminded me of how I could think of it that way back in 97 though. That's why I voted "yes" for the second question.

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Yes, I was disappointed in this score when the movie first came out.  And no, the expansion didn’t change my opinion.  Outside of the Main Theme, The Hunt, Rescuing Sarah and The Raptors Appear this score doesn’t do much for me.

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I was extremely disappointed. All I could focus on was the wild departure from the beloved sound of the first film.

 

After a few years, I started listening to the OST a bit here and there, and I started to realize that there was some good stuff there. By the time I started exploring the parts of the score that weren't on the OST, I had already pulled a 180 and decided this was top-notch Williams.

 

I voted no on the second question because I already felt that way before the expansion, but I kinda wish I'd voted yes. The expansion may have come after I'd already changed my mind, but I was still surprised by just how much I found myself listening to it.

 

At this point, I still absolutely love the first score...and yet there are days when I'd much rather listen to the second.

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Yes, I was - sort of. But I had been mentally prepared for it, because there was an early blurb in the FSM magazine (by either Andy Dursin or Jeff Bond, can't remember) that described the score as "Stravinsky-ian" or some such thing. So going in, I already knew it was not going to be in the same style as JP. Still, it took a few months, perhaps even a couple of years, to adjust to the new, more aggressive, less awe-and-wonder-centered aesthetic and embrace it for the excellent score that it is.

 

When the movie came out in September-97 (over here), I was 19 going on 20, and had already lived away from home for about a year. In Oslo, where there are (or were) many great record stores. I was practically DEVOURING soundtracks at the time, picking up new acquisitions left and right. I built the majority of my CD collection between the mid 90s and mid 2000s. So in all this mayhem, properly assessing and appreciating THE LOST WORLD took somewhat of a backseat.

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I wasn't disapointed by the score at all. In Germany the soundtrack album was published before the movie. So, I heard the score first. First thought was, that Williams is really the King of sequel scores, because unlike many others he always creates something new and unique. Secondly, I was really excited by this orchestra percussion sound. I hadn't heard such sound in that way before. Thirdly, I thought what a cool movie is this going to be. 

That leads directly to the disapointing parts. I was disapointed not hearing The Hunt in the movie. I was disapointed by the whole movie. I was disapointed by the story. I expected the movie to be much darker and bloodier from the mmusic.But IT wasn't. 

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I mean, the body count is certainly higher in TLW. Come to think of it, there are...what, five deaths in the first film? And the deaths are often more graphic in TLW. Consider Gennaro's death vs. Eddie's: shaken by one T-rex vs. ripped in half by two. And in terms of overall tone, JP starts off with a lot of awe and admiration for the dinosaurs; there's barely any of that in TLW.

 

That being said, I too was disappointed by the film on first viewing. (It's grown on me some over the years.)

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I heard the soundtrack before seeing the movie, which is good, as I hated the movie.  I loved the new main theme.  I was expecting something hymnal, but that did not cause any real disappointment.  I was surprised by the lack of the JP themes throughout the score.  

 

I thought the packaging was campy, but in retrospect, looking at it was more entertaining than watching the movie, so there's that. 

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17 minutes ago, Datameister said:

And in terms of overall tone, JP starts off with a lot of awe and admiration for the dinosaurs; there's barely any of that in TLW.

 

True, but at the same time, the JP album is a bit misleading in that regard. In the film, everything up to Jurassic Park Gate is basically exposition, and that's where you'll find all the awe and admiration stuff. From that point forward it's just in between bits like the triceratops and brachiosaurus music, the rest is tension and actions. So the big thematic stuff that everyone knows makes up less than the first 20 minutes of the score. The original album not only repeats some of that, it also mixes the raptor music from near the end of the film with the earlier stuff and groups the hardcore action stuff at the end (except for Incident at Isla Nublar). As a result, the album has over 40 minutes of music dominated by the two major themes, with just a bit of the action and suspense material mixed into it - giving the impression that the two memorable themes dominate the score, when in fact the bulk of it is much darker.

 

Compared to this, and considering that it doesn't need to repeat the exposition, TLW isn't *that* different in tone. It's much more percussive and jazzy, and it has its own danger motif, but it also has its share of moody adventure material.

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7 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

True, but at the same time, the JP album is a bit misleading in that regard. In the film, everything up to Jurassic Park Gate is basically exposition, and that's where you'll find all the awe and admiration stuff. From that point forward it's just in between bits like the triceratops and brachiosaurus music, the rest is tension and actions. So the big thematic stuff that everyone knows makes up less than the first 20 minutes of the score. The original album not only repeats some of that, it also mixes the raptor music from near the end of the film with the earlier stuff and groups the hardcore action stuff at the end (except for Incident at Isla Nublar). As a result, the album has over 40 minutes of music dominated by the two major themes, with just a bit of the action and suspense material mixed into it - giving the impression that the two memorable themes dominate the score, when in fact the bulk of it is much darker.

 

Compared to this, and considering that it doesn't need to repeat the exposition, TLW isn't *that* different in tone. It's much more percussive and jazzy, and it has its own danger motif, but it also has its share of moody adventure material.

 

I was addressing @GerateWohl's assertion that the second film wasn't really "darker and bloodier" than the first.

 

But on the topic of the music...I mean, that's the thing, though - in the first one, yes, the first act has the big iconic themes, but you've still got gentler music sprinkled throughout. "A Tree for My Bed," "Remembering Petticoat Lane," and "My Friend, the Brachiosaurus" form an extended interlude before the third act, when the bulk of the action music takes place. That's no such respite in TLW. And then, of course, the JP finale cue is more overtly happy than the contemplative material Williams wrote for the end of TLW.

 

None of this is intended as a critique of either score; I just mean to say that the TLW score is darker, which makes sense because the film is darker, which makes sense because it takes place in a world where genetically engineered dinosaurs have already proven how dangerous they are.

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I just meant to say that despite TLW being even more darker, I think the bulk of JP is quite a bit darker than is generally acknowledged. Simply because its most iconic material isn't. Your post was a good opportunity to quote something related to that and add my opinion on it.

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2 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

True, but at the same time, the JP album is a bit misleading in that regard. In the film, everything up to Jurassic Park Gate is basically exposition, and that's where you'll find all the awe and admiration stuff. From that point forward it's just in between bits like the triceratops and brachiosaurus music, the rest is tension and actions. So the big thematic stuff that everyone knows makes up less than the first 20 minutes of the score. The original album not only repeats some of that, it also mixes the raptor music from near the end of the film with the earlier stuff and groups the hardcore action stuff at the end (except for Incident at Isla Nublar). As a result, the album has over 40 minutes of music dominated by the two major themes, with just a bit of the action and suspense material mixed into it - giving the impression that the two memorable themes dominate the score, when in fact the bulk of it is much darker.

 

Compared to this, and considering that it doesn't need to repeat the exposition, TLW isn't *that* different in tone. It's much more percussive and jazzy, and it has its own danger motif, but it also has its share of moody adventure material.

 

That is a very good point. Most of the music from High-Wire Stunts onwards is pretty brutal and frenetic. And probably more Stravinskian, to my ears, than anything in Lost World.

 

As for the poll's questions, I loved the OST from the get go, as I discovered it a few years after a release of the film, so there really weren't any expectations to meet. But the expanded edition, with both all the new great material and a fantastic musical flow of the complete score, which perfectly balances action and mood, my appreciation grew greatly. In fact, Dracula and Lost World are, of the more recent releases, the two scores which have benefited the most from a complete presentation. They absolutely enhanced what was already so good in their OST's

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30 minutes ago, Drew said:

TLW's script and characters are just so dull.

Nah, a lot worse than that.

 

 

I discovered this score with the expansion and it didn't disappoint at all! Though I was never a great fan of JP (film or score - have learned to love the score since) in the first place. There have been periods when it didn't work well with my mood, but I still love it.

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I saw the movie on opening day but didn't get the OST until later in 97 when I had birthday money.

 

I thought it was better than JP1. I remember watching the original JP and thinking a sequel with people on an island of dinos similar to King Kong would be awesome. Then Congo came out with a bunch of guys with guns and Laura Linney in the jungle and I thought this would be awesome as a JP movie. TLW delivered that.

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

Regarding the films, Jurassic Park III is less boring than The Lost World in my option. TLW's script and characters are just so dull.

 

No way! TLW has many problems, but when it's good, it's goooood. JPIII is always kinda same-y, never quite achieves greatness.

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11 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

No way! TLW has many problems, but when it's good, it's goooood. JPIII is always kinda same-y, never quite achieves greatness.

 

I feel the same way. TLW doesn't bring me the kind of joy its predecessor does, but it still has the Spielberg vibe and some really terrific action sequences. JPIII...yeah, I find it to be just evenly decent throughout. 

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I loved the score when I first heard it, it was so much darker than Jurassic Park, and the main theme was/is fantastic. In fact I thought it may better than JP's score but not having all the music gave me pause.

 

Imagine my horror seeing the film opening weekend and wondering why music, like The Hunt, was cut and just terrible Lucas Prequel style edits with the main theme at times, were all over the place.

 

Once the expanded release came out and I could finally hear everything away from the film itself, there was no doubt in my mind this was superior to Jurassic Park's score.

 

And JP's score is pretty damn good.

 

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On 4/23/2021 at 10:45 PM, WampaRat said:

I remember walking out of the theater as a 9 year old in 1997 wondering why Williams score to aJurassic Park sequel felt so different. Where was the “predator/raptor” motif? Where’s the wondrous/frightening choir work? Why not use the established themes more?

 

Up to that point (again as a 9 year old) I felt like John Williams generally kept the same sound/colors/themes for sequel scores and simply added to those musical tapestries. 
 

But the Lost World (and I’d also add Prisoner of Azkaban) show he’s not afraid to shift gears in the middle of a franchise.

 

Were you initially disappointed in Williams follow up to Jurassic Park? Are you still? Has the expansion of TLW score changed your opinion?

 

You wondered about a Raptor Motif as a 9-year old? 

As a 9-year old, I just wanted more f*cking dinosaurs. 

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46 minutes ago, Unlucky Bastard said:

Why couldn't you all just be normal kids and listen to the Top 40 charts instead?

REALLY!

I mean who cared about the MUSIC?

We see dinos so real we can smell them and you guys are paying attention to the MEWZIC?!

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As Jurassic Park was my first soundtrack purchase, my expectations for The Lost World were sky high and I was more disappointed at how different it was than anything. Compared to the other sequels/series that Williams had scored, the tonal shift is more pronounced between JP and TLW. Sure, Empire is darker than Star Wars, but the musical DNA (as it were) of both scores is clear. Same for the Indiana Jones films, even though they are more disperate than the Star Wars scores as they don't tell a linear story. But TLW is so very different from JP in every way, from the almost total abandonment of the original thematic material to a very different style of writing, particularly the action music. I always felt that JP  was the last score where he fully deployed his busy, thematic 80s/90s action writing style, before it became a bit less thematic and a bit more streamlined in approach (albeit relatively, even his "simpler" style of action writing is still complex).

 

I take the point about all the prologue and setup being the awe and wonder stuff that people remember, but the technical bravura of the action writing, particularly T-Rex Rescue and Finale, is astounding. That cue in particular feels like it has more ebb and flow, dramatically, than a lot of TLW action writing. Don't get me wrong, Rescuing Sarah and the last half hour is brilliant stuff, but many of them feel like they set the percussive motor running and the music only occasionally breaks to follow the narrative, rather than punctuating every moment.

 

So, yeah... I was disappointed when TLW came out, more because I wanted more of the same and not because it wasn't a great score. I think perceptions make a difference too, as it was just after I started collecting, I had particular expectations, whereas the (original) Star Wars and Indiana Jones scores were already out so I knew what to expect, but TLW was "new" to me as well as everyone else. If I'd started 5 years later, I'd have already read that they were different so would be less impacted by the difference in styles.

 

The sound quality always bothered me a bit too. I'm not sure if it was the orchestration favouring a lot of mid-range horn writing (such as the main theme) or the recording/mixing, but it always sounded a bit muffled to me. Compared to the technicolour writing of JP, it was less purely joyful. However, as I got older and finally obtained the expanded edition, which greatly improved the sound as well as providing all that great additional music, I love it... I mean, it'll never displace JP in my soundtrack affections, but few things could.

 

OK I wrote more than I meant to...

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I got into the TLW score at the same time as pretty much everything else I sampled in the early 00s, and all I remember is being wowed by the concert piece, Rescuing Sarah, amongst a few other tracks. At that point, I had more music from JPIII (which had only just come out) than from either of JW's scores, so I think that I just saw JP as a bright, melodic score, and TLW as a menacing, percussion-led score, but didn't really have any deeper thoughts than that.

 

So... no, to me back then it was just another album of JP music in a different style.

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On 4/24/2021 at 1:35 PM, GerateWohl said:

Wasn't Jurassic Park III that movie where almost the whole time people were just looking for some mobile phone on an island? That's just what I remember from it.

 

JPIII was the one that was finally getting good then suddenly a swat team showed up on the beach and the movie ended. I was like

 

tenor.gif

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2 hours ago, Oomoog the Ecstatic said:

 

JPIII was the one that was finally getting good then suddenly a swat team showed up on the beach and the movie ended. I was like

 

tenor.gif

Haha yeah the ending of JPIII is especially terrible. I quite enjoyed it otherwise even though I maintain it would have been a much better film if the focus has been on the kid surviving on the island. The whole “will the find their kid” plot is stupid and lacking any kind of suspense. No Hollywood movie of that sort ends up and finding with them finding a half eaten corpse in a T-rex nest…. But a Castaway meets Jurassic Park story could have been cool. Especially if they had made it genuinely frightening as I think it’s implied the guy he was parasailing with dies; you could end up with a fairly dark start as the kid watches him get eaten or something… at some point your start telling the story of the parents  mounting a rescue in parallel.

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Pseudo-related question: on the Lost world OST, the last 1:35 on “Island Prologue” is that unused music for a different cut of that scene? Is it music stuck on from an alternate take of “The Compys dine”?

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That's 9M2 The Compys!, which is now the first cue in the LLL track "The Compys!", disc 1 track 16

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hZY4hhCz-5NzbjKuPOx8R9Yb0iWnr4P4SwzG1-6VSTg/edit#gid=620322090

 

Neither score actually has any recorded alternates, with the sole exception being the new opening 15 seconds for The Lost World (released on the LLL CD as the start of "The Lost World (Alternate)"

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JPIII is a lot of fun, with one particularly good set piece (the bird cage), and in a disagreement with the above, I think great vfx.

 

But yes, the ending is a load of crap. It's like they wrote the raptors/eggs scene and then had no idea what to do after that.

 

I'll also always defend Davis' score, which is well overdue for an expansion.

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