Music ReviewsREVIEWSJOHN WILLIAMS (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK)

    THE STORY SO FAR: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack composed and conducted by John Williams! This collection is all digitally remastered from the original tapes and includes previously unreleased music. Full color CD booklet features rare photographs and new liner notes.     THE CRITICISM In the ’80s and ’90s, John Williams has come to occupy roughly the same towering place in filmdom occupied by Henry Mancini for much of the ’60s and...
February 19, 20097 min
JOHN WILLIAMS (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) 3
 
 

THE STORY SO FAR:

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack composed and conducted by John Williams! This collection is all digitally remastered from the original tapes and includes previously unreleased music. Full color CD booklet features rare photographs and new liner notes.

 

 

THE CRITICISM

In the ’80s and ’90s, John Williams has come to occupy roughly the same towering place in filmdom occupied by Henry Mancini for much of the ’60s and ’70s. Williams (who played piano on some early Mancini scores) carved out that distinction with exciting, full-blooded scores like George Lucas’s Star Wars trilogy and the Indiana Jones cycle, Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster tributes to the cheesy film serials of his youth. The first in that series, Raiders wears its retro-symphonic sensibilities like a badge of honor and indeed, DGG’s expanded deluxe release plays like a more economic Mahler opus. A true film music classic, even if its sensibilities are 40 years misplaced.

 

TRACK LIST

 

  1. The Raiders March (a.k.a. The Indiana Jones Theme)
  2. Main Title: South America, 1936†
  3. In the Idol’s Temple‡
  4. Flight From Peru
  5. Journey to Nepal†
  6. The Medallion†
  7. To Cairo
  8. The Basket Game‡
  9. The Map Room: Dawn
  10. Reunion and the Dig Begins†
  11. The Well of the Souls
  12. Airplane Fight†
  13. Desert Chase‡
  14. Marion’s Theme
  15. The German Sub/To the Nazi Hideout†
  16. Ark Trek†
  17. The Miracle Of The Ark
  18. The Warehouse†
  19. End Credits
 
 

John Williams is widely known for his successful film scores, and this is one of his best. From the memorable tunes of the Raiders March and the mystery evoked in the Ark Theme, to the fast-paced Desert Chase and the tranquility of Marion’s Theme, this CD has it all. Re-released, 45 minutes were added to what was already a success, and the addition was *not* a waste.

While track 2 (South America, 1936) was relatively mediocre compared to the others (and it was an unreleased track), the remainder of the unreleased material fully compensated for this. I especially enjoyed the Basket Game, with an unforgettable little tune, and the additional length of The Desert Chase, which I would say is my favorite of the entire soundtrack. I prefer fast-paced music, and this is filled accordingly. However, it’s not without variation, as you’ll find in Marion’s Theme, The German Sub/Nazi Hideout (unreleased), and several others. The bottom line is : this score unquestionably contributed to John Williams’ success, as it is an incredibly addictive soundtrack.

 
The twenty-four page booklet that comes with the CD is so fat that it doesn’t fit into the case very well. It’s FULL of extras that include behind the scene clips, story-board sketches and comments from Williams and Spielberg. But the real gem is the music critiques by Lukas Kendall. He goes through each track explaining the music piece and the movie scene it accompanies. This is quite amusing and any one who is a fan of the movie or of John Williams will take pleasure in reading it. All in all it has a seamless way of giving the score its due credit. I couldn’t say it any better myself and suggest that you get it and read it on your own.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Final Score: 99% – A

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