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Your Top 10 JW Scores


SteveMc
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Favorite Williams scores, then. My list is pretty basic, sorry.

 

1. Jurassic Park

2. Return of the Jedi (so happy to see this get some love from other folks)

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

4. Hook

5. The Empire Strikes Back

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark

7. The Force Awakens

8. Home Alone

9. The Lost World

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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Quick set of favourites in rough order, and constantly changing:

 

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

The Empire Strikes Back

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Memoirs of a Geisha

Seven Years in Tibet 

Star Wars

Empire of the Sun

The Star Wars Prequels (no, I will not pick just one)

Lincoln

Jurassic Park

 

Near misses, easily interchangeable:

 

Indiana Jones Trilogy

Jaws

Superman

Saving Private Ryan

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Spr  never belongs in a JW top 10 unless its top 10 overrated.

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Guess everyone is gonna have a lot of these in common:

1. Star Wars

2. Superman

3. Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom

4. Empire Strikes Back

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark

6. Jaws

7. E.T.

8. Close Encounters

9. 1941

10. The Cowboys

 

And then, just barely out of reach, Witches of Eastwick, The Force Awakens, Return of the Jedi, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Jurassic Park

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1. JAWS

2. The Lost World

3. The Empire strikes back

4. Seven Years in Tibet

5. Schindlers list

6. Harry Potter III

7. Nixon

8. Jurassic Park

9. Minority Report

10. E.T.

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6 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

That would sound great if they dropped the solo voices and the annoying percussion towards the end.

 

I think it helps if you take those additions into context. The piece was a very ambitious and sadly forgotten project. From the description:

 

'This special celebratory piece was written in 1994 and debuted in January 1, 1995 during a special television broadcast by NHK in Tokyo, a 3-hour special celebrating 1995's New Year Day. Seiji Ozawa conducted the Saito Kinen Orchestra in location, while soloists were here in different locations around the world: cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed his part in Boston, violinist Isaac Stern in Connecticut, the African Folk orchestra in Dakar (Africa), a choir in Assisi (Italy) and two pop singers in Hong Kong. Williams wrote the piece keeping in mind that NHK had to sync the different satellite signals with the Tokyo live feed, calculating a 2-seconds delay. The singers words are in Chinese and read "peace on earth". The piece was later reworked by Williams for standard symphony orchestra performance with the title "Song For World Peace".'

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10 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

By the way, I would have found it interesting to open the top ten to include also John Williams' Concert works like his concertos, so something like "Your Top 10 JW Works". Maybe the result would have been the same. But I would have probably added his Violin Concerto to my Top 10.

Not a top ten, but in the ballpark.  

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I did an honest Top 10 of albums I listen the most.

 

Ask a Top 20 and Schindler's list and Sabrina will qualify for sure!

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He he. Yup, that's the "fun" of the game, IMO. The challenge of killing one's darlings and boiling it down to just 10. It's easy to rattle off 30-40 favourites, and God knows it pained me to omit some of my dearest Williams favourites like FAR & AWAY, SLEEPERS, CINDERELLA LIBERTY and many more. But there you go. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do!

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1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

2. The Book Thief

3. The Last Jedi

4. The Empire Strikes Back

5. Return of the Jedi

6. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

7. Hook

8. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

9. WarHorse

10. Empire of the Sun

 

 

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1. War Mars IV-VI

2. Raiders of the Lost Superbowl (all 3 years)

3. I.T. The Information Technology 

4. Moan Alone 1 and 2

5. Geriatric Park 1 and 2

6. Harry Hudini and the Chamber of Commerce / Prisoner of Alabama

7. Superbad

8. The Accidental

 

Not sure

1. War Mars Sqls

 

Overrated

1. Jews

2. Seven Years in the Fed

3. Hitler's List

4. Close Encounters of the 3rd Wife

5. Hoop

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Superman

Star Wars

The Empire Strikes Back

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Hook

Jurassic Park

The Phantom Menace

E.T.

Heartbeeps

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Sylvan said:

Heartbeeps

 

Just making sure someone's paying attention? :)

 

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1 hour ago, May the Force be with You said:

I've never understood what was the issue with Heartbeeps. This score has some incredible highlights especially the Crimbuster theme which is I think one of Williams best achievement.

 

It's hokey and cheesy - as the film - but I agree, it has an incredibly infectious quality. I love it too; I play it far too rarely.

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I say this unironically.  Heartbeeps is the sort of film that would be a good LTP performance.  The oddness of the film and Kaufman's presence would bring out the avantgarde crowd.  

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On 5/13/2021 at 11:01 PM, Sylvan said:

 

Heartbeeps

 

 

EXCELLENT!

 

On 5/13/2021 at 11:03 PM, Jay said:

 

Just making sure someone's paying attention? :)

 

 

I definitely caught it.  :D

 

On 5/14/2021 at 2:51 AM, May the Force be with You said:

I've never understood what was the issue with Heartbeeps. This score has some incredible highlights especially the Crimbuster theme which is I think one of Williams best achievement.

 

Actually, for me it's the Love Theme.  Crimebuster's theme is a twisted up military/Imperial march with a "contemporary" rhythm, but the real gem of Heartbeeps is that proto-E.T. Love Theme with those luscious celli working out those glorious chord progressions.  

 

I'm not sure if Heartbeeps makes my Top 10, let me see....

 

1 Jaws

2 Star Wars

3 Close Encounters of the Third Kind

4 Jaws 2

5 Superman The Movie

6 The Empire Strikes Back

7 Raiders of the Lost Ark

8 E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial

9 Return of the Jedi

10 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

 

Nope, Heartbeeps didn't make it to my list.  But I do love it, a worthy entry in the 1975-1984 Era of Perfection.

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So something like this maybe:

  • E.T.
  • Home Alone
  • Star Wars A New Hope
  • Schindler’s List
  • Superman
  • Jurassic Park
  • Hook
  • The Book Thief
  • Heidi
  • Jaws
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On 5/14/2021 at 1:10 AM, Thor said:

 

It's hokey and cheesy - as the film - but I agree, it has an incredibly infectious quality. I love it too; I play it far too rarely.

I believe it's on HOOPLA.

Will check it out!

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On 5/11/2021 at 5:31 PM, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Quick set of favourites in rough order, and constantly changing:

 

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

The Empire Strikes Back

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Memoirs of a Geisha

Seven Years in Tibet 

Star Wars

Empire of the Sun

The Star Wars Prequels (no, I will not pick just one)

Lincoln

Jurassic Park

 

Then Lincoln and JP are off your list. :P

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My list still is pretty much the same as several years ago, in ranked order:

 

1) The Empire Strikes Back
2) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
3) Jurassic Park
4) Star Wars
5) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
6) Raiders of the Lost Ark
7) The Phantom Menace
8) ET
9) Home Alone
10) War Horse

 

and damn, Temple of Doom is so mindblowingly good.

Only in terms of themes TESB beats it.

 

I guess Temple of Doom also must be one of the hardest scores to play in orginal film tempo (see mine car chase).

The roller coaster ride of the film was perfectly matched in terms of score.

 

From the recent scores (post 2000) PoA and War Horse were the ones that really went beyond.

PoA is just a fireworks of creativity, nuance, emotion and freshness that in my opinion is unmatched in JW career (and also unique in terms of the medieval feel to it).

 

War Horse is just beautiful, like drinking a warm fresh coffee in the morning sun, while looking through the window into a green lush spring countryside with the sun rays shining and shimmering through the coffee steam. Just beautiful performances, themes, freshness and style.

Someone on JWFAN then described it like the the first sip of fresh water after a long (musical) drought - which means the years 2006-2011 where with KotCS in 2008 only one new JW score got released. 

 

 

 

 

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Right, that's it. I cannot believe the amount of love that 1941 doesn't get, on this site. Only one person has it in their top 10.

I'm leaving...again. Goodbye!

 

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I mean, JW has written SO. MANY. GREAT. SCORES. it doesn't really surprised me that it wouldn't make too many Top 10 lists.

 

I'm sure it'd make a lot of Top 30 lists.  It'd make mine!

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The Celtic stuff in F&A doesn't do much for me and honestly keeps me from liking it as much as others (which is funny because Titanic is my #1 Horner, guess i just like his Celtic more than JW's).  I adore the American part of F&A of course.

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11 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

The Celtic stuff in F&A doesn't do much for me and honestly keeps me from liking it as much as others (which is funny because Titanic is my #1 Horner, guess i just like his Celtic more than JW's).  I adore the American part of F&A of course.

 

I'm the opposite. The Americana stuff is fine, but something Williams does in his sleep. The Celtic stuff is why this score is on my top 10 JW - or at least close to. Both the indigenous Chieftains stuff, but especially the meeting points between folk music and lush, romantic orchestral music.

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3 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Says the Tenet guy.

Yes, he does. I was waiting for my avatar to serve for an ironic comment.

 

While we're at it: I think that the score to Tenet is a great and innovative one that doesn't make me regret the missed Zimmer-Nolan-collaboration at all. It is the first LG score I really appreciate and I would even say welcome to another collaboration between the two.

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15 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

Yes, he does. I was waiting for my avatar to serve for an ironic comment.

 

You're welcome! :wave:

 

15 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

While we're at it: I think that the score to Tenet is a great and innovative one that doesn't make me regret the missed Zimmer-Nolan-collaboration at all. It is the first LG score I really appreciate and I would even say welcome to another collaboration between the two.

 

Ironic comment?

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The Celtic music in Far and Away was actually the first time I sat up and noticed JW when they played it on the classical station one night.  I rather love it, and subjectively find it superior to Horner's Celticisms, which I've generally found to be a bit overdone.  

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Far and Away is one of those scores like AI or Amistad where there's a bunch of different ideas going on, but it all really gels together (especially in chronological order)

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I'm genuinely happy you all get so much enjoyment out of Far and Away.  I'm not arguing it's bad or ineffective or anything like that, just that, due to the particularities of my own taste, it doesn't stand out as especially important in my own canonizing of Williams' oeuvre.

 

Anyway, I was happy to see I was not the only one to include Amistad or Saving Private Ryan in my 10 (although I was the only one to include both ;))

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