Jump to content

James Horner's WILLOW (1988) - NEW! 2022 2-CD Intrada Records


Jay
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can't say I can hear the (relatively minor) issues that others have detected, but I'm kinda glad, hearing something you can't then un-hear is quite frustrating. A few thoughts having given it a few listens:

  • Enjoying having the rest of the score, of course, even though there doesn't feel like anything essential missing from the original album. It's nice hearing bits and pieces of Willow's theme as it's slowly introduced as other themes have considerably more prominence for quite a while.
  • Interesting (ish) that the selections on the original albums for both this and the Rocketeer are weighted towards the end of each movie. I mean, admittedly, that's where the best stuff is, but with both Willow and the Rocketeer you then have the familiar opening track then suddenly there's quite a bit of new stuff before you return to something you know.
  • Agree that the Newlyn source cues are better moved to feature as bonus tracks. It's a bit like having Ewok Celebration just after Vader's Arrival in Jedi (and let's face it, George Lucas was clearly trying to do the same ethnic/folksy celebratory dance segues into big classical main theme ending for Willow as he did on Jedi). Not sure if anyone has compared them closely, but is the first Newlyn track simply edited into Willow the Sorcerer? It would kinda make sense the Newlyn music separately and just to fade it into the end credits. The performances sound more or less identical as far as I can tell.
  • I still wish they'd split Bavmorda's Spell is Cast into two tracks. The first half of that track doesn't really do much or go anywhere that interesting and it's not like it cleverly works up to the action in the second half, the spooky noodling just kinda fades away and suddenly, with a literal fanfare, it's 9 minutes of fun Horner action. It's not like it's a couple of minutes of build up to action either, 18 minutes is a long cue/track by any stretch of the imagination.
  • The sound is still a bit boomy and over-spacious for my taste, especially when there's any kind of deep bass/drum hits. I have cued up a classical album to play immediately after and was suddenly struck how much more immediate and present the classical album sounded. Funny how there used to be those complaints about a "concert hall" acoustic, but most classical albums don't sound that way at all. I wonder if it might have been possible to give Willow a little more immediacy had they located the original masters and been able to adjust things. Having said that, as I'm the only one who's mentioned it, it might be just me...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One more personal, (pointless?) comment about Horner and classical music.

In a score such as KHAN I love the quoted Prokoviev. First, it's not something that would be recognized by anyone but a classical music lover.

Second, it is something done alot by skilled jazz ( and, some rock) instrumentalists.

A great example is Keith Emerson. When he goes into a improvisation section , he often drops in a quote or paraphrase of some obscure Bach or Dvorak. Or, some well known piece by Mancini or E. Bernstein.

I love it.

JH isn't always as subtle and creative with his borrowings as in STII, but, I accept his style - good and not so good.

 

NP: STII: WOK

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because I am so familiar with the original album, as soon as Disc 1 finishes and I am through with all the new material, I don't always feel the need to put on Disc 2  but it's not Intrada's fault that there were no unreleased cues in the second half. I love the way they sequenced this release.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

It must be me really then. I found it at second listening, i was not trying to find flaws at all. I find the whole cue different sounding from the rest, im not speaking about a small glich or blip, that would be nitpicking. 

There's perhaps a tiny bit of wow in there, but @Chris Malone has done a stellar job patching it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were a couple of moments I noticed some things. Like the very end of the last track you hear some sort of artifact. But then, I checked the album and that was also there. I never noticed that before. I suppose it's less noticeable as the track fades out earlier. 

 

The only thing I really find slightly bothersome occurs 2:10 into The Island. Not sure what happened there. But I suppose it must be something present on the source they worked with? Either way, I can live with it.

 

Karol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

The sound is still a bit boomy and over-spacious for my taste, especially when there's any kind of deep bass/drum hits. I have cued up a classical album to play immediately after and was suddenly struck how much more immediate and present the classical album sounded. Funny how there used to be those complaints about a "concert hall" acoustic, but most classical albums don't sound that way at all. I wonder if it might have been possible to give Willow a little more immediacy had they located the original masters and been able to adjust things. Having said that, as I'm the only one who's mentioned it, it might be just me...

 

 

Bit it *is* obvious that they were striving for exactly that, if only by comparing it with regular score recordings now and then (even Horner's own, i. e. 'batteries not included' or 'Project X', recorded around the same time). And i sure know many classical albums that sound like 'Willow', not as in exact duplicates, but spacious and boomy for sure (Wagner's Rheingold, for instance).

 

Be that as it may, nowadays you can professionally master and manipulate the sound of digital files, so i would encourage anyone to do or learn to do just that. Film music fans tend to reveal a great deal of entitlement in their constant moaning about often minor qc issues in these archival releases, but this is clearly a dying business model, so i guess taking matters in your own hand is the best way to go.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, publicist said:

 

Bit it *is* obvious that they were striving for exactly that, if only by comparing it with regular score recordings now and then (even Horner's own, i. e. 'batteries not included' or 'Project X', recorded around the same time). And i sure know many classical albums that sound like 'Willow', not as in exact duplicates, but spacious and boomy for sure (Wagner's Rheingold, for instance).

 

Be that as it may, nowadays you can professionally master and manipulate the sound of digital files, so i would encourage anyone to do or learn to do just that. Film music fans tend to reveal a great deal of entitlement in their constant moaning about often minor qc issues in these archival releases, but this is clearly a dying business model, so i guess taking matters in your own hand is the best way to go.

 

I'm sure there are plenty of recordings with a similarly spacious acoustic, I guess it was just striking as the classical album played immediately after so the different soundstage was very apparent in my headphones. Certainly agree that it's very differently recorded from other Horner of the same era. I remember one review (can't remember where it was offhand) saying that it was performed and recorded with the reverence of a Beethoven symphony and while I can kinda understand what they mean!

 

Sorry if you thought I sounded entitled, but I didn't exactly feel it was an especially harsh criticism and was very much expressed as a personal preference, with some rationale. It certainly doesn't spoil my enjoyment of an excellent score in a fine presentation. Not like I'm a regular nitpicker... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, crocodile said:

The only thing I really find slightly bothersome occurs 2:10 into The Island. Not sure what happened there.


I don’t believe there’s any kind of glitch there: it’s an extremely closed-miked wind player drawing a breath before playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

Sorry if you thought I sounded entitled, but I didn't exactly feel it was an especially harsh criticism and was very much expressed as a personal preference, with some rationale. 

 

I certainly wasn't talking about you or your comment, but more about the widespread criticism these releases meet for often minor issues while it's bleedingly obvious they're a dying breed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 09/07/2022 at 2:38 AM, Trope said:

I just realised it was silly to ask for a timecode as the Intrada samples don't have a playback scrolling option... Regardless, I honestly can't pick up anything that sounded off with the track sample (even with headphones on!). I believe you when you say there might be a mastering issue (I'm sure you're not hearing nothing), but I genuinely can't hear it. Perhaps it could just be some of the brass players' intonation not being 100% perfect?

 

Nope, there are some degradation issues of some sort, I can confirm it as well. You can see it on the spectrogram as well. They are quite minor however, and can easily be mistaken for performance characteristics, so I can see why some people don't notice it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

 

Nope, there are some degradation issues of some sort, I can confirm it as well. You can see it on the spectrogram as well. They are quite minor however, and can easily be mistaken for performance characteristics, so I can see why some people don't notice it.

Thanks for confirming. My CD just arrived today, and you are right, there is some minor pitch bending noticeable on the spectrogram (around 6:28 and other areas). I'll have to sit down and listen to the album all the way through to see if that particular section sounds noticeably different from the music surrounding it. But I am very excited to have this expanded release of such a highly regarded Horner score - I'm completely unfamiliar with any of the music from Willow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Trope said:

- I'm completely unfamiliar with any of the music from Willow.

Then you are in for a Treat !  Enjoy it.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

I don’t believe there’s any kind of glitch there: it’s an extremely closed-miked wind player drawing a breath before playing.

That's what it sounds like to me. I can't pinpoint if it's Mike Taylor or Tony Hinnigan. :music:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 29/06/2022 at 7:58 PM, jacksparrow900 said:

At 3:40 it's missing the solo flute that can be heard in the film but not present on the album

 

That "solo flute" you are talking about is not part of Horner's score.  It's diegetic music - Meegosh is playing music at the campfire and that is what you are hearing.  There's no reason for it to be on an album release.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

I am always confused reading that some people complain about any sign or noise in the recording that gives evidence that this score is actually performed by persons in an orchestra and not just programed from synthetic sounds or sound samples, which seems to be the highest goal or even worse, an actual orchestra immitating a synthetic clean sound.

This obsession with technical perfection is indeed unfortunate.

I guess it's a product of the digital age😒😣

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, bruce marshall said:

This obsession with technical perfection is indeed unfortunate.

I guess it's a product of the digital age😒😣

 

Shawn Murphy's view on the subject (this refers to the Sony expanded Dances With Wolves) - 

image.png

(from https://www.analogplanet.com/content/movie-music-recording-king-part-ii-0)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who is MF in that conversation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well... Some themes just worked their way into my head and made me try the score another time. And... it's won me over this time. It'll be a nice release to pack with the next desirable expa-oh goddammit it'll be temp out of stock all the time, won't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, JTWfan77 said:

Loving this release from the samples whilst I await the arrival of my copy, and I'm ever grateful to Intrada, but why can't they hire a decent cover artist:

 

IMG_20220711_214149.png

 

IMG_20220711_214505.jpg

Especially frustrating, since there IS material out there to paint out the title (it's still just an upscale, but enough for the size on the booklet).

JPwFU3J.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listened to CD 1 last night and it was a great listening experience. As someone with very little knowledge about this film or its score, I found the harmonic and thematic constructions bore a much closer resemblance to those frequently heard in classical music, especially when compared to other "successful" Horner scores (i.e. Titanic, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, etc.), which are generally more cinematic, melodramatic and filmic (in a good way). Perhaps that's why this score works so well as purely as an aural experience. I also really liked the vibrant mix, it was very immersive.

 

I agree with others that the two Nelwyns tracks might have been better placed as bonus tracks at the end of the album, given their source-like quality. I was also surprised by how much shakuhachi there was throughout. And I also didn't find the aforementioned pitch-bending issues on "The Sled Ride" took me out of the music when they came around - I feel like I noticed them more because I knew where they were, rather than any sudden and obvious degradation in sound quality. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the music on CD 2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Laserschwert said:

Especially frustrating, since there IS material out there to paint out the title (it's still just an upscale, but enough for the size on the booklet).

 

Wow, I've been trying to locate a textless copy! Thanks for that. Where did you find it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/07/2022 at 8:47 PM, JTWfan77 said:

Loving this release from the samples whilst I await the arrival of my copy, and I'm ever grateful to Intrada, but why can't they hire a decent cover artist:

 

Forgive me for being the usual label apologist but... I'm struggling to see an obvious error here? Just looks like a dusty/flamy background to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They used a clone stamp tool (badly) to paint out the text. You can see the area that was cloned has been repeated under Willow's arm. The clouds have also been painted out very crudely.

 

I'm no graphic artist but even with my very rudimentary skills and 30 year old app I'm sure I could have done better. Lazy.

 

If @Laserschwertwas able to find a textless copy of that poster surely Intrada/Lucasfilm could also?

 

Heck, I'm sure some of the incredible cover artists that post here or on FSM would come up with an amazing cover for free, just for the priviledge of being able to contribute to this historic release.

 

I love Intrada, but really this is sub-standard and a real head-scratcher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, JTWfan77 said:

They used a clone stamp tool (badly) to paint out the text. You can see the area that was cloned has been repeated under Willow's arm. The clouds have also been painted out very crudely.

 

I'm no graphic artist but even with my very rudimentary skills and 30 year old app I'm sure I could have done better. Lazy.

 

If @Laserschwertwas able to find a textless copy of that poster surely Intrada/Lucasfilm could also?

 

Heck, I'm sure some of the incredible cover artists that post here or on FSM would come up with an amazing cover for free, just for the priviledge of being able to contribute to this historic release.

 

I love Intrada, but really this is sub-standard and a real head-scratcher.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure the version I found is a retouched image as well, with the logo painted out. But it's still much better than Intrada's cover. And the clone stamp is so old fashioned, now that there's the healing brush in Photoshop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- upcoming La-La Land release: "Oh, I'm so excited about what Jim Titus came up with, everybody please share photos of the booklet!"

 

- upcoming Intrada release: "Oh man, hopefully, there's not too many errors, can I open my eyes now?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some recent discoveries made with help from @BrotherSound

 

-The little fanfare for the High Aldwin's introduction was in the GEMA database after all - it's just called "Fanfare"

 

-The didgeridoo music that begins immediately after that and plays through his assessment of the candidates, however, was not written for that scene; It's just a section of "Diggery Doo" looped over and over again

 

You can hear "Fanfare" from 1:55-2:03, and the tracked looped section of "Diggery Doo" from 2:03-3:43, in this video:

 

 

-"Diggery Doo" is the music that plays in the film instead of what we hear in 0:00-2:08 of the "Airk's Army" Intrada track.  It seems to have actually been written as a replacement opening, or could have actually been written for the currently unscored scene just before it but then moved to this scene, perhaps.

 

You can hear the full presentation of "Diggery Doo" from 2:55-5:08, followed by 2:08-end of "Airk's Army" from 5:08-6:19, in this video:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bruce, if you have no interest in this Intrada album, you can exit the thread permanently please.  Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, it’s “Bruckhorn”!

 

If you don’t mind, I’m going to go listen to this release while following along the conductor’s score…

 

Should I pause playback 20 seconds when I get to Bavmorda Slaps Kael”?  Might switch to the clip Jay posted earlier in this thread.  Decisions, decisions.

 

Update: the clip Jay posted is no longer available.  All together now: “Aw, mannn!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My bad.  The You Tube clip is no longer available.  Sound Cloud clip is, as you pointed out, just dandy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve been away for a while. But I just wanted praise this release. It has been a holy grail of mine since I was a budding score collector. The new cues flesh out the musical narrative so wonderfully. It never feels redundant or unnecessary. I’m just enthralled during its near 2 hour runtime. Not too many modern scores today can hold my attention like that. Blazing action, soaring romance and cascading swirls of fantasy. Damn. That’s good music. Just a complete classic all around.
 

Boy do I miss this type of musical storytelling in films today!

 

Side note: Would anyone be able to provide here the list of themes/motifs from the Omni publication? The booklet to this expansion mentions a handful but sites that Omni release as defining at least a dozen or so…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I keep the Nelwyn tracks where they are. If Horner regarded them as simply source music, he wouldn’t have featured them so prominently at the burst of the end credits. 
 

The Nelwyns sounds like the name of a sitcom. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, how can you be so sure that was even Horner's idea, and not something Ron Howard decided on late in post?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether it was Ron Howard or James Horner or whoever, I can’t recall ever hearing source music used in such fashion. The credits could’ve just as easily have begun with Willow’s theme, but they don’t. So it elevates the Nelwyn music for me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, WampaRat said:

Side note: Would anyone be able to provide here the list of themes/motifs from the Omni publication? The booklet to this expansion mentions a handful but sites that Omni release as defining at least a dozen or so…

 

He doesn't give names to them, but basically says they are

  1. Willow Ufgood (Main Theme)
  2. Willow Ufgood first end tag (Kiaya)
  3. Willow Ufgood second end tag
  4. Willow Ufgood third end tag
  5. Adventure theme (second main theme, often used for Madmartigan but not always)
  6. Action Motif
  7. Love theme (used for Madmartigan & Sorsha and also Willos's protective care of Elora Danan)
  8. Innocence theme (quiet moments between Willow and Elora Danan)
  9. Brownie's rheme
  10. Mr. Burglekutt
  11. Fantasy Motif
  12. Elora Danan
  13. Bavmorda and her army
  14. Fate / danger motif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

He doesn't give names to them, but basically says they are

  1. Willow Ufgood (Main Theme)
  2. Willow Ufgood first end tag (Kiaya)
  3. Willow Ufgood second end tag
  4. Willow Ufgood third end tag
  5. Adventure theme (second main theme, often used for Madmartigan but not always)
  6. Action Motif
  7. Love theme (used for Madmartigan & Sorsha and also Willos's protective care of Elora Danan)
  8. Innocence theme (quiet moments between Willow and Elora Danan)
  9. Brownie's rheme
  10. Mr. Burglekutt
  11. Fantasy Motif
  12. Elora Danan
  13. Bavmorda and her army
  14. Fate / danger motif

Excellent! So cool to see these. 
 

There’s, what I’ve been calling a “noble military motif”, that has become more clear - especially with the addition of Airk’s Army. I wonder if the author of the Omni publication just designates it as one of Willows sub themes(?) 

 

You can here it in the following, usually performed in the horns:

 

willows journey begins 3:23-3:40

Airk’s Army 0:36-1:06

Tir Asleen 0:31-45

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.