Tuesday, January 3, 2012

STAR WARS ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK - John Williams & the London Symphony Orchestra

YEAR: 1977

LABEL: 20th Century Records/Polydor

TRACK LISTING: Main Title, Imperial Attack, Princess Leia's Theme, The Desert and the Robot Auction, Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack, The Little People Work, Rescue of the Princess, Inner City, Cantina Band, Land of the Sandpeople, Mouse Robot and Blasting Off, The Return Home, The Walls Converge, The Princess Appears, The Last Battle, The Throne Room and End Title

IMPRESSIONS: I was 11 years old when STAR WARS came out. I had never even heard of it when it was suggested to me that my parents were taking me along with my cousins Jimmy and Kathy out to see this new movie called "STAR WARS". Did I want to go? Sure, I guess so. This was probably the opening week of the film. When I told my schoolmates I had seen this movie, they weren't impressed because they'd never heard of it either. This would soon change. Of course, STAR WARS became a phenomenon and I would eventually see it in the movie theatre 14 times that year! Naturally, I also rushed right out to get the great soundtrack album by John Williams and I played it over and over and over again on my black portable record player (which folded up and was carried like a suitcase) until I knew every note. My best friend at the time Mike B. and I became STAR WARS nuts (as was every kid then) and we both must've worn out this record. Never satisfied, George Lucas decided he had to constantly fiddle with the movie and this extended to the soundtrack cd which is the only one available now: it features the original music switched around and augmented with other cues. And that's an OK listen, I guess. However, the only one I want to listen to is the original. This actually DID come out on cd in the late 80's-early 90's on a Polydor compact disc before it would be deleted from the catalogue in favour of the less-effective "New Hope" soundtrack cd in 1997. This is a shame because both versions should be available; the original, after all, is the soundtrack album which won Williams an Oscar for Best Original Score as well as being the highest-selling "non-popular music" album of all-time . . . and it's no longer in print in favour of a less-effective "reshuffle" version. Once again, western civilisation proves itself on the downward slide to oblivion, folks. One other peculiar but by no means insignificant aspect of the original LP is that it smelled fantastic. No, I mean it. It had the most wonderful aroma; I don't know if it came from the vinyl or the lamination of the album sleeve but it smelled spectacular. I still to this day have the original vinyl LP I bought in 1977 at Sound Odyssey in the Cherry Hill Mall and you can just make out the aroma still to this day if you stick your nose way down inside the record sleeve. Seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up! Every once in a while, I get the same smell when opening a brand new DVD and, when I catch a whiff of it I get all misty-eyed.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: I hate to be predictable but all of 'em. There's just no omitting anything from this score.

FACT SHEET: STAR WARS is, of course, the original Oscar-winning soundtrack album of John Williams "Richard Straussian" score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

No comments:

Post a Comment