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WOTW - Recommended CD Sequence


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I know many of you have not purchased or listened to the CD yet, and I would hazard a guess that the others will have had some sort of difficulty getting "into" the score.

Therefore, as soon as you next get a chance to listen to the tracks, I would suggest the following order as the album's BEST listening experience, that which must expose much of the better material at the beginning to pique interest etc, and also must provide a reasonable level of logical chronology (based on a brief knowledge of the plot and on the track titles):

* optional

01 Prologue

05 Ray and Rachel

03 Reaching the Country

04 The Intersection Scene

09 The Attack on the Car

10 The Separation of the Family

06 Escape from the City

07 Probing the Basement*

02 The Ferry Scene

12 The Return to Boston

08 Refugee Status

11 The Confrontation with Ogilvy

13 Escape from the Basket*

14 The Reunion

15 Epilogue

Please say so if you think any improvements can be made to this order! Otherwise, enjoy WAR OF THE WORLDS!

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For a preferred listening experience, i would drop 'Escape from the Basket' and 'Probing the Basement' entirely.

This makes the score a good 45-minute listen without having to endure long stretches of nothing happening. I suspect the film will have much more of this stuff, but that won't prevent people from crying for every nano-second. Anyway, it's the 'tightest' Williams score in a long time.

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I'm not sure about Escape from the Basket but I would also drop Probing The Basement. It's very textural but not really interesting textural music. I would have dropped this off the album entirely for perhaps another quieter more melodic cue.

My favorite tracks are Confrontation with Ogilvy (love how Williams gets the trilling violins to sound like a laser or death ray), Return to Boston, the final track with its Ives' like trumpet call signifying an ominous tone, and yes, even the Prologue and Reunion tracks. I do kind of wish the opening track didn't have the narration because Williams has some neat minimalist gestures reminiscent of A.I.'s Mecha World. Really cool writing. Ah well.

this is a very strong score for Williams though. And I think he pulled it off quite well considering most of us have been conditioned to expect florid melodicism and dtrong themes from him, not aggressive modernist writing- that was more Jerry's arena. But like I said, Williams continues to surprise and delight. God bless the man!

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I'll be picking up the c.d. tomorrow,but I think I'll wait to see the movie before listening to it this time.

I did listen to the new soundclips from the official site ,and again I like what I hear.Sounds like Moirgan Freeman is talking over some cool music on track 1.

K.M.

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Saw the film last night, and figured I'd start another thread like I did for ROTS, where I'll put my presumed chronological order for the album, and update it as people give added info:

1) Prologue

4) The Intersection Scene

6) Escape From The City

3) Reaching The Country

9) The Attack On The Car

2) The Ferry Scene

10) The Separation Of The Family

7) Probing The Basement

11) The Confrontation With Ogilvy

13) Escape From The Basket

12) The Return To Boston

14) The Reunion

15) Epilogue

Unknown:

5) Ray And Rachel

8) Refugee Status

I'll bet a couple of tracks will need to be sliced and diced, but it'll be tough to figure out without a copy of the film, because the music doesn't have themes or tunes that are easy to latch onto and distinguish.

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Any outstanding moment didn't make it to the c.d.?

If The Intersection Scene is the second track and an action cue,I'm guessing a whole bunch of music from the beginning of the movie is missing(probably cool mysterious stuff establishing what's happening)

K.M.

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I don't remember anything notable that's missing. There's the opening titles music, then about twenty minutes establishing Ray's life with his kids, without any music, as I remember. There might be missing music from after the alien lighting storm at the end of this portion, but only a little, if there even was any. Immediately after this is The Intersection Scene, which is pretty early in the film.

It seemed to me that this was scored much like Schindler's List, with a sizable section without score before the music is introduced.

This comes down to the film's approach, showing everything from the perspective of Ray. We never see or learn a single thing he doesn't. There's no set-up of the aliens or anything, it's all very sudden.

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No, it's not that early. If anything track 5 would go roughly between 10 and 7, because it pretty much has to come once Ray and Rachel are separated from Robbie, at about the halfway point in the film. There's a section of the two of them together in Ogilvy's basement that falls there, and I suspect that's where the track goes.

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This comes down to the film's approach, showing everything from the perspective of Ray. We never see or learn a single thing he doesn't.

They did usually stick with that approach, and that's when it worked best. In light of that, I think they showed too much of the aliens in the basement. The way the family was hiding from them, nobody really got a good look at them.

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I agree that too much was shown of the aliens, but Spielberg already showed unimaginable balls by going up the slope of the hill, but then not going over it to show the "war of the worlds" of the title, when Cruise lets his son go. It was brilliant cinema, but not what a mass audience wants. Not showing some aliens as well would have made too many moviegoers mad.

As it was, both times I've seen it, people complained about the ending, when it's straight out of the book. They also laughed at many of the most tragic bits, like the bodies floating down the river and the crowds going berserk over the van and killing each other for it after Cruise and his kids abandon it. I really think this movie is over the heads of most of them. Spielberg has grown, which is great, but I don't think he can ever make a mass crowd-pleaser again, his movies are too intense and intelligent now.

Apparently the director of Fantastic 4 is quoted as saying that his film will outgross WOTW. Spielberg was too polite to respond when asked, except to wish the film well, but I fear this will happen, 4 looks like mindless multiplex eye-candy, safe for everyone from 8-80, which sells.

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I made a chronological album, and had to splice a few tracks. But the edits are just as good as the original album :wave:

Here's mine

1) Prologue

4) The Intersection Scene

6) Escape From The City

11/9) Floating Bodies music from track 11 segues to track 9 instead of the startling eyeball scene

8) Refugee Status (probably an unused cue for the walk to the ferry)

2) The Ferry Scene

3) Reaching The Country (actually the cue for the son going over the hill and getting blown up)

7) Probing The Basement

5) Ray And Rachel

11/13) Compiled from Eye opening stinger to end of track 11, then segue to active basses, low chorus for basket scene. This covers all the music from the hatchet/eye scene to the destruction of the tripod. I think the quiet music dominating the first half of track 13 was for aliens in the basement. I just cut it out of the album for now, until it grows on me, or I find a good way to tail out of it. I didn't like the scene (except the shadows coming down the stairs) and the music isn't very scary either.

12) The Return To Boston

10) The Separation Of The Family (actually the cue for seing the son is alive)

14) The Reunion

15) Epilogue

note: music for the confrontation w/ Ogilvy is not actually on the album. Maybe it is sloppy naming after the album was resequenced.

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Jesse, Its not the most melodic soundtrack, and yet I have already listened to it more than I did Minority report at the same point.

you're right when you say I love his more melodic albums (usually), but this one I can tell is much like Lost World, its brutally intense music, but its grabbed me by the throat, and it wont let go, and neither will I let it.

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The changes I noticed is :

5. Ray and Rachel comes in soon after the floating bodies. Its sort of mislabeled but plays over the scene of all three of them in the car after Robbie tries to leave with the army

13. shows up in a few places and is kind of split up I think. For example there’s a section of it after the Intersection music when he’s looking in the mirror I'm pretty sure.

9. I don’t think this track is in the film though it was probably meant to appear as the title says.

The piano portion of Track 10 is maybe tracked in for the finale, splitting up track 14 and it was probably written to appear earlier, unless that’s a rewrite that he stuck on another track, which is possible, given the similarity in the piano parts and the way it ends.

A fair amount of music didn’t make it because I assume the movie might have got cut down later and in a couple places music was left out or maybe even rescored.

There’s a little more unreleased music than I initially thought - probably 5 or 6 cues though I don’t feel too deprived given the type of underscore that it is.

- Adam

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I noticed a few more things when I saw it again, and I will have to alter the order.

The music before the intersection scene is on the soundtrack. I'll have a good day, re-editing this, and then get back to you all with specs.

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Saw the movie yet again today. Am more and more amazed by the score. Anyway, here's my current breakdown. Timings for cutting up the immense track 13 are really approximate.

I also gave some of the most badly named tracks new titles, they are noted with a star

1 – Prologue

13 – After The Storm* (1:10 – 2:57?)

4 – The Intersection Scene

13 – Ashes* (3:03 – 4:33?)

6 – Escape From The City

11 – Floating Corpses* (0:00 – 0:40)

5 – Refugees*

2 – The Ferry Scene

3 – The Separation Of The Family*

7 – Probing The Basement

11 – Caught* (0:40 – end)

13 – Escape From The Basket (7:00? – end)

12 – Look At The Birds!*

10 – The Reunion*

14 – Epilogue*

6 – War Of The Worlds* (0:32 - end)

15 – End Titles*

Unknown:

8 – Refugee Status

9 – The Attack On The Car

13 – (0:00 – 1:10), (4:30? – 7:00?)

If I had to guess, I'd put track 8 after track 6, and track 9 after track 2.

I also renamed "The Return To Boston" because it makes no sense. How can it be a return if they didn't leave from there and don't live there?

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No official review thread of "WOTW" here, so I'll post my thoughts on the film and score, now that I've seen and heard it:

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Williams and Spielberg did not score the first 20 minutes. As soon as the second reel starts and the action really begins, the music begins, slow and sure.

A very effective film that didn't try to be more than it was: an action drama about a fmaily trying to survive. Though I kept wondering what it was about a ship dock loader from New york City that enabled him to survive attack after attack after attack? Everyone around him is obliterated, but he always survives? But I only thought that during the moment when he exits Ogilvy's house and sees no one else around.

My favorite scored moment is what I guess is called "Escape from the City." (I haven't bought the CD yet.) Urgent strings that don't intrude. It's also my favorite scene. I was amazed at all the camera tricks -- going arund the car, in the car, almost under the car and back in the car all in one take! Brilliant.

And the end titles music is fantastic. Just another reason to stick around through the entire movie.

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone had a chance to break this down and put it into a more accurate sequencial order? Without editing any tracks, the best order I came up with is:

1 Prologue

2 The Intersection Scene

3 Escape From the City

4 Ray and Rachel

5 The Attack on the Car

6 Refugee Status

7 The Ferry Scene

8 Reaching the Country

9 Probing the Basement

10 The Confrontation With Ogilvy

11 Escape From The Basket

12 The Return To Boston

13 The Separation of the Family

14 The Reunion

15 Epilogue

I would love to know if someone has an accurate time stamped breakdown of the tracks in film order...

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  • 3 months later...

Okay, having matched things up to the DVD, here's the best chronological list I can come up with, many thanks to macuser02 for his or her list as well, which led me in some new directions:

1 – Prologue

13 – After The Storm* (1:10 – 2:57)

4 – The Intersection Scene

13 – Ashes/The Minivan* (3:03 – 6:25)

6 – Escape From The City

11 – Floating Corpses* (0:00 – 0:40)

5 – Refugees*

2 – The Ferry Scene

3 – The Separation Of The Family*

7 – Probing The Basement

11 – Caught* (0:40 – end)

13 – Escape From The Basket (6:25 – end)

12 – Look At The Birds!*

10 – Victory*

14 – The Reunion

6 – War Of The Worlds* (0:27 - end)

15 – Epilogue

Unknown:

8 – Refugee Status - plays well between Escape from the City and Floating Corpses

9 – The Attack On The Car - most likely for a deleted scene immediately after The Ferry Scene

If you want to be picky, the second portion of track 10, the piano solo, should be chopped off and stuck in the middle of track 14, as it scores the reunion with Robbie, but that would ruin the flow of the music.

If you really want to do this, however, here are the times:

10 - Victory (0:00 - 0:39)

14 - The Reunion Pt 1 (Rachel & Mary Anne) (0:00 - 0:49)

10 - The Reunion Pt 2 (Ray & Robbie) (1:28 - end)

14 - The Reunion Pt 3 (closing narration) (2:01 - end)

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  • 6 months later...

Bump.

Is this the final cue list? Anybody (goodmusician?) come up with an improved?

- Where do you insert track 13 (0.00-1.13)?

- Where would you fit in the unused cues Attack on the Car (this deleted scene, was this supposed to take place after the ferry scene? - I thought they lost their car by then :mrgreen:) - and Refugee Status? Somebody suggested this was unused for the walk to the ferry?

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The score is his darkest score ever written. I love it and wish I could hear it live in Boston Pops or something, but the movie so could have been better if Tom Cruise was not in it. Just my opinion. I keep thinking if Eric Bana had done it, it would have been way better! Your thoughts?

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If you really want to do this, however, here are the times:

10 - Victory (0:00 - 0:39)

14 - The Reunion Pt 1 (Rachel & Mary Anne) (0:00 - 0:49)

10 - The Reunion Pt 2 (Ray & Robbie) (1:28 - end)

14 - The Reunion Pt 3 (closing narration) (2:01 - end)

Just fyi, I think that the second part of track 10 is actually an alternate for the reunion track (up until narration begins). It's most likely, I believe, that track 10 was the original cue, and that Williams rescored it (with a more optimistic feel to it) with the reunion track, but that in the film, they retained the second part of track 10... So I'm putting the second part of track 10 as an alternate version in my sequence.

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So, here's my edit:

01 Prologue (I inserted the instrumental DVD material into the album track - and edited out the bird sounds)

13 After The Storm (0:00 – 2:57) (I also included 0:00-1:10 because nobody seems to know where it belongs - so it could actually be in the right place. From here I mix immediately into: (because the flow is better than if you fade out)

04 The Intersection Scene

13 Ashes (3:03 – 6:25) (I decided to have the crescendo at the beginning of 'Escape from the Basket' - and kept the crescendo already present in track 06: it also segues very nicely in that way into track 06 / 06 Escape From The City (at two points you can insert material from the end credits to make an expanded version)

11 Floating Corpses (0:00 – 0:40)

05 Refugees

08 The Attack on the Car (unused)

09 Refugee Status (unused)

02 The Ferry Scene

03 The Separation Of The Family

07 Probing The Basement

11 Caught (0:40 – end)

13 Escape From The Basket (6:25 – end)

12 Boston

10 The Alien (0:00-0:40)

14 The Reunion / Epilogue (is not the Epilogue named cue from the album - again, I have inserted the instrumental DVD material instead of the narration)

(I don't repeat the "Escape from the City" track here. It's tracked, and the Epilogue seems much more in place here)

15 End Title (= Epilogue)

Bonus:

Prologue (Album)

[Possibility for various rerecordings: from Kunzel, Prague, and London Philharmonic]

The Reunion (Alternate) (Track 10: 0:40-end)

Epilogue (Album) (It's not quite possible to mix it with the alternate reunion, because track 10 has a different pitch. That's probably why it was so hard to edit a 'film version' of it.)

(The film version of the Reunion is comprised of an original and an alternate version, in my opinion (dunno which one is the original though, but I'd guess the one from track 10) - so I don't have that one in my edit - seems kind of superfluous.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bump.

I found out that the first action part of Escape from the City on the CD is tracked (and shortened) from the identical part later on in the track. So the same happened for the end credits I suppose.

The real opening to Escape from the City is only available as DVD - rip I presume.

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  • 1 month later...

Update.

From another thread:

It turns out the film version for "Reunion and End Credits" is partially taken from another track and dropped in pitch by a whole step I believe it was.

I figured this out I think:

If you want to align the Alternate Reunion (Track 10; 0:40-end), either to make a film version (which is unnecessary since it's a hack job between two cues), or, which is more interesting, to align the alternate with Morgan Freeman's Epilogue:

I think you should lower the pitch of the alternate Reunion: with 1 semitone: affect tone+speed. (In Audacity that's -5,613 if I'm not mistaken).

I'm now done with my expanded, chronological WotW edit, no SFX at all, finally.

Track list:

Prologue (Instrumental)

The Storm / The Intersection Scene

Ashes / Escape From The City (Film version)

Floating Corpses

Refugees

The Attack on the Car (unused)

Refugee Status (unused)

The Ferry Scene

The Separation Of The Family

Probing The Basement

The Aliens [taken and edited from the DVD menus]

The Tripod Scene

Escape From The Basket

Welcome to Boston

Fallen Alien

The Reunion (Alternate Version) / Epilogue (Instrumental)

End Title

Bonus tracks:

Prologue (Narration)

Escape from the City (Concert Suite - Kunzel)

WotW Suite (Prague)

The Reunion (Original Version) / Epilogue (Narration)

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Has anyone noticed a slightly different beginning to the Ferry Scene in the film? It's not terribly different, but it's a slightly different lead in, kind of like Anderton's Great Escape which was much more percussion heavy in film.

A very effective film that didn't try to be more than it was: an action drama about a fmaily trying to survive. Though I kept wondering what it was about a ship dock loader from New york City that enabled him to survive attack after attack after attack? Everyone around him is obliterated, but he always survives? But I only thought that during the moment when he exits Ogilvy's house and sees no one else around.

It sounds like a cop-out, but there wouldn't be much of a story if he died. The film follows a family of survivors. It makes you identify with the feeling of helplessly watching everyone around you be obliterated and it taps into some very deep fears, I think. Spielberg could have been more experimental, I supposed, but I like his use of classical storytelling (similar to Hitchcock) to really evoke something much less classical underneath. War of the Worlds is a very disturbing and utterly relentless film. It got a PG-13 because it was relatively bloodless, but it's quite obvious that Spielberg (as Hitchcock has done many times) has beaten the system and created one of the most intense PG-13 movies ever. You're right, the film is about survival, and it dares to depict human beings as they may actually be in a situation of chaos and disaster.

Ted

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