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


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4 hours ago, Andy said:

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. 

 

Off the topic of my head, The Dark Crystal in '82

 

Just like it, in fact

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Interesting!  

 

It's definitely a matter of preference I suppose.  

 

Hey, I thought of another.  Dawn of the Dead's End Credits use the famous "The Gonk" library music, used as mall muzak source in the film.

 

But just imagine if at the end of Star Wars, they got their medals, iris out, Directed by George Lucas comes up to the Cantina Band.

 

Or imagine the end of Jaws with Brody and Hooper swimming ashore to the Joplin Rag.

 

 

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After really getting to sit with this release for a while, I’m very interested to see what material (if any) James Newton Howard will adapt into his score for the Willow series. There’s at least a handful of motifs from Horner’s score that would still be relevant to this new story I bet.

 

But I won’t get my hopes up too much. These days it’s usually a token statement of a main theme and studios think that should do it.
But Howard seems like a more thoughtful composer and I feel he’d do a bit more than a passing reference. Either way, Howard in “fantasy mode” is always something to look forward to. 

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Still havent recieved my set. Its been nearly a month. I was one of those who managed to get my order out right out in the first batch before they ran out.

 

Apparently mine and bunch of others order have either been stuck in a log jam somewhere in LA. The [USPS] are not even updating the tracking info.

 

Anyone else facing a similar issues- specially overseas customers? I asked Intrada's Jeff Johnson and he told me to wait for another week and then they will send the replacement order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is still one of my favorite releases of the year.  What a score!

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10 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

Frankly I would LOVE for more modern film composers to be inspired/borrow/steal from the greats the way Horner did.

That would be a nice change, instead of borrowing and stealing from the same 7 or 8 scores (TDK, Inception, Bourne, Fury Road, etc) like it happens all the time these days.

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On 28/7/2022 at 3:40 AM, Amer said:

Still havent recieved my set. Its been nearly a month. I was one of those who managed to get my order out right out in the first batch before they ran out.

 

Apparently mine and bunch of others order have either been stuck in a log jam somewhere in LA. The [USPS] are not even updating the tracking info.

 

Anyone else facing a similar issues- specially overseas customers? I asked Intrada's Jeff Johnson and he told me to wait for another week and then they will send the replacement order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mine is in the same situation. Day one purchase and shipped quickly. But tracking indicates that package is still ‘waiting acceptance’ at LA… 

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1 hour ago, Edmilson said:

That would be a nice change, instead of borrowing and stealing from the same 7 or 8 scores (TDK, Inception, Bourne, Fury Road, etc) like it happens all the time these days.

I believe further back on this thread someone mentioned that a lot of films scores tend to be a watered down “photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy” of some breakthrough score lol. A great comparison I’d say!

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Seriously, could you imagine listening to some new action score today and say something like “Dang! This guys lifting a ton from Prokofiev!”?

 

btw- Christopher Willis could be that guy (not that he’s lifting directly from past composers) but he’s a fantastic film composer who you can tell has a deep knowledge of classical music. I’d love for him to score a summer blockbuster!

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Film composers a few years ago: "I'm well-versed in classical music and I'm inspired by the Great Ones, specially the Russian masters"

 

Film composers these days: "I'm well-versed in popular scores from blockbuster movies and I'm inspired by the 'great ones', specially Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL".

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I was gonna refrain from saying this earlier due to the "no shit" vibes it gave, but I swear it feels like you people forget film composers are just following orders a lot of the time. And don't even begin to get into how better it was even 15 years ago, because there's always been mediocrity in every era, and we're only picking out the stuff that made even just a slight impression then.

 

Something like Moon Knight wouldn't have been possible in the 2010s, yet I'm supposed to think things are even more dire now. Actually sample new things for frickin once if you supposedly have the industry all figured out by now.

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9 hours ago, Andy said:

That was @Tom Guernsey  

 

And yes, he phrased it so well I’m stealing it. :lol:

Hopefully someone else will steal it and steal it and steal until what I said was that I like

 

7 hours ago, HunterTech said:

I was gonna refrain from saying this earlier due to the "no shit" vibes it gave, but I swear it feels like you people forget film composers are just following orders a lot of the time. And don't even begin to get into how better it was even 15 years ago, because there's always been mediocrity in every era, and we're only picking out the stuff that made even just a slight impression then.

 

Something like Moon Knight wouldn't have been possible in the 2010s, yet I'm supposed to think things are even more dire now. Actually sample new things for frickin once if you supposedly have the industry all figured out by now.

I take your point but by way of a recent example, my understanding is that George Lucas wanted to plaster classical music onto Star Wars but was persuaded (not sure if it was by Steven Spielberg or JW or whomever) that an original score in that idiom would be much better and hence JW leaned on the classics but bringing his own style and original material to create something iconic. Now I’m not saying George Lucas is/was a massive fan of classic music (I have no idea) but clearly knew enough that a score in a neo-romantic idiom would work and provide the kind of sweeping fantasy tone he wanted in amongst all the space ships and lightsabers etc.

 

Fast forward to Obi-Wan and the director’s/producers’ frame of reference was only far enough back to know that an original JW theme would be a good idea (plus, I imagine, the marketing spin they could attach to it) but musically their only real frame of reference appeared to be modern tv scoring, and not even the super high end of that. For example, I’m on season 6 of Game of Thrones and am increasingly enjoying the music. Sure it’s not super technically complex a lot of the time, but it still has the right kind of feel and is massively more interesting than most of the Obi-Wan music and Djawadi doesn’t have a treasure chest of JW themes to draw on.

 

Before it gets too off topic, someone on Facebook posted this oddly timely 1995 interview with James Horner from the LA Times when he was scoring Casper: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1995-02-13-ca-31547-story.html

 

Interesting that even in 1995 he was getting less respect from the orchestras (or so it seems) than some of his elder peers. But his comments on references to the classics are particularly apt. 

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I am thinking that in order for a movie with a classical/romanticism-type orchestral score to get released today, these following key production people, outside of the director, have to sign-off on it:

  • The person paying for the entire film’s budget—most likely the executive producer.
  • The distributor who has to sell the film with that type of music to those who will be showing it—theatres, TV stations, streaming platforms, etc.

Take the film, ‘Legend’ (1985), for example.  The film was made independently but it needed the resources of major film-studios to get the film seen by the public.  The production company delivered a version of the film that featured a lush, Debussy-like orchestral score by Jerry Goldsmith.  The first theatrical cut with that score was released in Europe by distributor, 20th Century-Fox, however, things changed when the film was prepped for release in the USA.  The film’s distributor for that territory—Universal Pictures—decided that the film would appeal to younger viewers (the film's lead actor--Tom Cruise--was a rising star at that time for that audience) by trashing the lush, Debussy-like orchestral score and replacing it with a New-Age, electronic-infused score from Tangerine Dream.  In the end, the film failed theatrically in the USA, anyway.

 

So, it may take the combined forces of a production company and a distributor who both share a taste of films from the late 1970's through the 1980's to bring film music back to that lush-orchestral style of writing by using it on a film that is going to be a bit hit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been listening to this a lot since it came out. Such a wonderful score. I do hope that we get to hear a fully complete release of this one day. But, to be honest, I am more than satisfied with what we got and the presentation is fine as is. Horner’s ultimate magnum opus indeed. :)

 

Karol 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I had to listen to this multiple times to convince myself to order it.

Then I waited around to order it.

Now I have it.

 

 

AND I LOVE IT.

 

Iso score for this and its more bombastic older brother incoming!

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4 minutes ago, Holko said:

its more bombastic older brother

 

?

 

Krull?

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I took the shrinkwrap off my copy this morning and am listening now.  Holy hell what a goddamn great score this is, I love it!!

 

...But man, I can't get behind integrating "The Newlyns" into the score program where they are.  Just completely stops everything dead in its tracks for 5 minutes after the perfect 10 minute opener, then the score finally resumes.  Not a fan of having the Willow's Theme track in the middle either, especially since its just an edit of the end credits music.


But other than those minor issues, what a great, great, great release this is!  I'm loving the entire score here, every single track.

 

Will finally dig into the liner notes later!

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7 minutes ago, Jay said:

I'm loving the entire score here, every single track.

 

The one track I have an issue with is the opening of "The Island", where I feel the synthetic chimes are mixed WAY too loudly compared to the surrounding material. But the orchestral writing and thematic interplay is top notch.

 

I'm amazed it took so long to get a complete (or NEAR complete) release of a score which is so highly regarded among film music fans and collectors. This music makes me want to continue exploring much more of 80s Horner - I have just started listening through his Trek scores, and like Willow I'm super impressed with how he handles the orchestra with such ease (considering how young he was at the time), and the level of detail in the writing. Perhaps it was the fantasy/sci-fi genre that allowed for such complex and bombastic music, but as someone more familiar with his 90s-2000s output, no scores jump to mind that have the same level of orchestral flair and freneticism as the ones I am discovering right now.

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I can understand that about that cue ("Magic Wand"), yea.  I don't mind it that much, but probably would if it went on for much longer.

 

I think The Rocketeer from 1991, and maybe Apollo 13 from 1995 harken back the most to his 80s grandeur, but overall yes, his 90s-2000 work doesn't have anything quite like Willow, Krull, and the Treks overall, sure.

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25 minutes ago, Jay said:

...But man, I can't get behind integrating "The Newlyns" into the score program where they are.  Just completely stops everything dead in its tracks for 5 minutes after the perfect 10 minute opener, then the score finally resumes. 

The two main problems I have are the length, especially with the second one being less interesting, and the volume being so relatively high after such a soft couple of minutes at the end of the first track. I ended up bringing it down, adding a slight fadein, and used the second one as an overlay (at half the volume) for the second half of the first one, makes it feel richer.

 

29 minutes ago, Jay said:

Not a fan of having the Willow's Theme track in the middle either, especially since its just an edit of the end credits music.

Actually while listening this time, I finally felt like it was a pretty decent intermission, though it could be edited better. Still I removed it from my "edit". I changed nothing else, it's all really well assembled, OOC placements and joineries and very very very slight edits included.

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Yea, now that my brain knows its just an edit of the end credits, the rough 1986-era analog edits REALLY stand out

 

MM would have re-created the edits from the end credits file with modern digital editing

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Not even the quality of the edits, but the ideas behind them, like going back into the swashbuckler theme for just one statement immediately after Willow's theme already closes it so ubersatisfyingly.

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Yea, that is weird.

 

I wonder if this edit was turned into published sheet music that was performed in concerts?

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Here's Kunzel's Willow track:

 

 

 

That synth choir at the end is... something

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 06/07/2022 at 2:11 PM, Luke Skywalker said:

I haven't seen this mentioned it here nor in FSM forums...but i can't believe people dont hear it as how nitpicky are (we all) sometimes.

 

The track "Sled ride" has i think some pitch-speed issues, specially more noticeable at the 6:28 mark to end. This segment is partially present on the samples on the web site... I didnt' notice it at first but now everytime i hear the score i hear it more, i feel it is almost unlistenable.

 

Is this a mastering error? it does not comply with the description "mastered from original digital stereo mixes made by Shawn Murphy at the scoring sessions and beautifully preserved by engineer Simon Rhodes"

 

Can this be manually corrected like the Temple of doom tracks from the concord set?

 

 

I think you are getting fooled by the intention of the music to suggest that things are "speeding up".

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You mean it is a performance intentional sound and not deteriorated tapes?

 

that would be great, even if it sounds weird for me

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Gee, over the years there were so many supposed heinous sound crimes uncovered by the FSM ear police and what does it usually amount to? Private opinions by laymen. Thank god they don't know how to use Twitter.

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  • 1 month later...
15 minutes ago, BrotherSound said:

Good news for anyone who missed out on Omni Music Publishing’s (excellent) full score of Willow. They’ve now made it available again digitally: https://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/willow-score-only-digital-sheet-music/22381156?ac=1&aff_id=742017

:(

I wish it was not digital only.

And why is it the same price with the book? I thought saving printing and paper would reduce the price substantially.

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