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A huge understatment, to state the obvious


Morlock
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...but Superman is a bloody brilliant score.

I've just been doing some real heavy duty cooking, and for music, I first of all went immidiately to my new Kid Stays in the Picture and Van Helsing CDs. But those only lasted the first hour and a half, and I needed something to listen to, so I went for one of the classics. I had almost put E.T. in when I realized that it wouldn't be nearly long enough for the lasagna and Tuna quiches, so I went over to Superman, which I haven't listened to begining to end for a while. And I got a whole new appreciation to it.

It just took over me, from the very begining. Now, I am faulted with not having listened to the score as much as it deserved, I generaly go for ESB when I feel like a classic. I know just about every JW CD of mine by heart, but for some reason with Superman, though of course I recognise and love every cue, I never remember what's coming next, so the score always surprises me by how it layers in one fantastic motif after another. And I just the other day saw part of the movie again, and I also never fully realised how amazing all this underscore is.

Now, the above is stating the obvious and quite redundant, but as a person who firmly believes that John Williams is the greatest film composer there ever was, I always love it when I rediscover another amazing score, or find an extra reason to love a certain score. Superman is one of the greatest scores ever, and I personally can't fathom how some people who will not be mentined could possibly prefer Supergirl to this masterpiece.

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I think the first half of the Superman score is amongst the best Williams ever wrote. After Superman grows up I feel the score becomes a little less than brilliant , though still great fun. The first half though.... wow! The entire Krypton scene is Johnny at his best. Trip to Earth... I LOVE! Growing up etc, and the haunting funeral music. The funeral theme could be one of the greatest tunes to ever appear only once in a movie! Heartbreaking! Just when it seems it can't get any better... Fortress of Solitude! Aaaaaah! What a score!

BTW, looks like Hermione is doing a Britney Spears impression in your pic, Hectar. She needs the next size up in sweaters!

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I think Superman loses momentum after "Super Rescues". Nearly every track before that is pretty listenable. After that, though, I'm not real wild about too much. The only exceptions on disc 2 that I DO like are "Sonic Greeting", "Chasing Rockets", "Turning Back the World", and "Finale". Sometimes I can handle "Superfeats", but the trombones in the beginning annoy me a little bit.

I listened to Superman in the car today, as a matter of fact. I did put disc 2 in, because I felt like driving around to "Sonic Greeting" and "Chasing Rockets". Very wise choice. Of course, since I was jobhunting, I had Rambo II in for a lot of the time, too.

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Superman is my favourite score from my favourite composer. I stop short at calling it my favourite score ever, because I think Across the Stars trumps Can You Read My Mind as a love theme.

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I just listened to the Superman yesterday and continued this morning. It's furious, passionate, magical and just pure classic. Williams' creativity was at it's peak and all the music seems to come so easily and everything woves together wondefully. I had not listened to it for a while and I think I should do it more often. They don't make scores like this any more.

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And to think that this brilliant score came after Star Wars, Close Encounters, The Fury and Jaws 2 and came before Dracula, 1941, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Heartbeeps and E.T.. What an amazingly fertile period for Williams. It's my favorite score of his and since he is my favorite composer, this clearly ranks as my favorite film score of all time.

Neil

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I couldn't have said it better myself.

Plus the concert version of the Love Theme is simply beautiful.

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I think the first half of the Superman score is amongst the best Williams ever wrote. After Superman grows up I feel the score becomes a little less than brilliant , though still great fun.

I'm in total agreement with you. The Main Titles through the Fortress of Solitude are masterful, every cue is fantastic. Williams nails all of the emotion during this first part of the score. Once the score reaches Metropolis, however, I become a little less interested. There are less standout cues, IMO. The Helicopter Rescue, Villain March, Flying are superb but the rest of the action-cues are sort of typical Williams. I even hear a little Star Wars in there from time to time. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy them. But the action cues from Superman just do not really stand up to other JW action cues from the same era (Star Wars, Empire, Jaws, Raiders). Chasing Rockets is no Desert Chase, or Last Battle. But Superman is definitely among my top 10 favorite Williams scores though, maybe even top 5.

Jeff - who is about to go pick up the PoA CD in about an hour :devil:

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I agree that the first half of the score is excellent. Then it picks up again with "Turning Back the World."But it's still a masterful work, and I listen to it quite often when I need to be inspired.

Jeff -- who ranked it as a top 10 score during the official ranking

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Ah, I wish that great event could happen again! I didn't know about this site when the great poll was done. Mind you, I would still have put ESB at number one, so all's well in love and score.

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I need to get the Superman soundtrack. I only have JW's recent stuff in my collection. Is the sound quality good on Superman, or does it have the crappy "1970's poor technology" sound? You know, where all of a sudden, strings seem to go out of tune.

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Superman - my all time favourite score. It came to me in the mail from amazon.com just last week. Thankfully, I don't have to switch the DVD audio to "isolated score" anymore.

Supergirl on the other hand, is one of my favourite Goldsmith scores. Both scores are grand and heroic, which is enough to satisfy me. But I wish I could actually find the damn soundtrack to this one - I'm sick and tired of listening to these MP3 versions. They'll keep me occupied until I eventually get it, I guess.

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I need to get the Superman soundtrack.  I only have JW's recent stuff in my collection.  Is the sound quality good on Superman, or does it have the crappy "1970's poor technology" sound?  You know, where all of a sudden, strings seem to go out of tune.

Sound quality is great.

Supergirl on the other hand, is one of my favourite Goldsmith scores.  Both scores are grand and heroic, which is enough to satisfy me.  But I wish I could actually find the damn soundtrack to this one - I'm sick and tired of listening to these MP3 versions.  They'll keep me occupied until I eventually get it, I guess.

I have the soundtrack, and I find it very underwhelming. The main theme in particular.

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Since we're talking about the Superman music, here is a link to an auction selling the rarest almost Williams album of them all. It's only existed as a Japanese import and is long out of print. If only I hadn't recently bought an iPod...

Neil

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I need to get the Superman soundtrack.  I only have JW's recent stuff in my collection.  Is the sound quality good on Superman, or does it have the crappy "1970's poor technology" sound?  You know, where all of a sudden, strings seem to go out of tune.

Correction: analogue is not "poor technology". It is in some ways even superior to standard digital (16 bit/44.100 khz) recording.

I know of 4 releases.

1) The double LP from Warner Bros. 16 tracks.

2) The standard CD from Warner Bros, same as LP but omitting 2 tracks. 14 tracks

3) The CD that comes with the DVD and which restores the original 16 tracks from the LP again. 16 tracks. Great catch and the sound quality is surprisingly good.

4) The Rhino 2-disc CD release. The most complete release. 28 tracks and 7 bonus tracks.

----------------

Alex Cremers

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Correction: analogue is not "poor technology". It is in some ways even superior to standard digital (16 bit/44.100 khz) recording.

Yes, but more so now, as 70's had older analogue technology plus the tapes have aged. ;) Schindler's List, 90's analogue technology, brilliant.

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