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 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

What was the level of involvement by Mr. Williams with this specific release (at least one cue title change, obviously), and what was his reaction to the discovery of the First Gen tapes?

Fully supportive, thrilled the tapes were found, and as he was resting at home after his illness he sat and listened to the whole thing in November and loved it. I got a few notes about levels, but that's it apart from not liking the title "Baby Makes an Entrance."


I am looking forward to a summer presentation of "The Empire Strikes Back" in concert, and I am curious who would be the decision maker to start that process for "Superman"? It seems to me, given the film edits, that restoring portions of the score dialed out would require more than just simply distributing to the orchestra the sheet music used by the LSO in 1978, and I would hope those creative decisions would be made by Mr. Williams.


I just got the notice that Empire is on the Phoenix Symphony's program next year. It didn't even occur to me the choices that would have to be made (assuming they don't just play the music as heard in the film). Do they play Speeds or Hyperspace? Do the play the film opening or the album? Do they play the dialed out music over Luke and Vader's duel?

I might be interested in ponying up the dough for this one.

BTW, listening to Jonathan's Death and Leaving Home while doing yardwork makes you feel like the coolest most hardworking guy in the world.

Unfortunately if you're still working when it gets to Lex Luthor's Lair you feel like they shouldn't trust you with the sharp tools.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

I wonder if the Main Title on the LP as well as the Concert Arrangement hadn't been based on the original End Title if we / I would be as attached to the film version of the main titles? I mean, it's still my favorite version, but only after it's "fixed", i.e. doesn't have the clumsy edit towards the end and the pitch change. So it's still not really the "film version". (Not that I want anyone to go all Phantom Menace on us here.)

I'm glad it's on the set. I go back and forth between having the "film version" first and the original version first. Either way, I do love that I press "Play" and you get those quite flutes to open. It's a terrific intro.

But I'm totally moving March of the Villains to after Love Theme from Superman and before Prelude and Main Titles (Alternate)! smile. (I understand putting it at the start of a disc.)


I'm the opposite. The intended Main Title is my favorite (especially after seeing how brilliantly it syncs to the picture) and the intended End Title is my least favorite.

"The March of The Villains" could have been restricted to the OST (and I probably would have done that if other alternates had been recorded -- there were none) but it started Disc 2 on the previous two editions and it's a nice interlude that leads into the Truck Convoy material very smoothly, IMO.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 3:37 PM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

I'm the opposite. The intended Main Title is my favorite (especially after seeing how brilliantly it syncs to the picture) and the intended End Title is my least favorite.

"The March of The Villains" could have been restricted to the OST (and I probably would have done that if other alternates had been recorded -- there were none) but it started Disc 2 on the previous two editions and it's a nice interlude that leads into the Truck Convoy material very smoothly, IMO.


I didn't think about where MOTV was on the other sets, but I recognized your MO. smile



If I was WATCHING it, then it's the original credits every damn time.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

Please allow me a little kiss-ass moment, and I probably speak for a few folks, but I'm truly happy you have been engaging & making this board a happier & informative place, MM.
Loving the behind the scenes peeks & informative pieces you put out there - like Sugarland being in fine shape. Great work, keep it up, you are appreciated, as are your cohorts at the labels.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 4:05 PM   
 By:   JGouse0498   (Member)

On my third (maybe fourth?) run through the score presentation, and there's something that jumped out at me this time. Maybe Mike M. can answer this.

Why are there long stretches of silence at the end of some tracks rather than just trimming it off and going to the next track?

The most noticeable example is the 10 seconds of silence at the end of "Pushing Boulders/Flying to Lois", and the 10 seconds preceding that is just the orchestra fading out so quietly that I could only hear it by cranking the volume up really high.

Just wondering what the thinking was behind those decisions.

BTW, if that's the only "flaw" I've found in this set, then--wow--what a grand slam! Definitely one of the best expansions I own! This is a real treasure! big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   erepel   (Member)

BTW, listening to Jonathan's Death and Leaving Home while doing yardwork makes you feel like the coolest most hardworking guy in the world.

Unfortunately if you're still working when it gets to Lex Luthor's Lair you feel like they shouldn't trust you with the sharp tools.


But if you can keep working from "The Helicopter Sequence" until "To the Lair", the hedges won't need trimming for another two years (allowing for the brief interlude with the rose bushes during "The Flying Sequence")?

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 6:59 PM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)


I'm the opposite. The intended Main Title is my favorite (especially after seeing how brilliantly it syncs to the picture) and the intended End Title is my least favorite.

"The March of The Villains" could have been restricted to the OST (and I probably would have done that if other alternates had been recorded -- there were none) but it started Disc 2 on the previous two editions and it's a nice interlude that leads into the Truck Convoy material very smoothly, IMO.


That's a correct choice and works brilliantly with the flow. Thanks MM.

Speaking of un-recorded cues-do we have a list of what alternate cues Williams also wrote but didn't record?. I thought there was another alternate cue of 'Baby Lifts Lorry'- I had assumed this was recorded instead of the alternate Fortress of Solitude segment- but still glad that the latter was recorded and found instead because its part of a significant sequence.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Why are there long stretches of silence at the end of some tracks rather than just trimming it off and going to the next track?

I'm not Mike Matessino, but my name is Mike, so I'll just answer for all Mikes by saying I appreciate that. Sometimes, you don't want every track bumping straight into the next. After a big action cue, it's nice to have a breather before the next one begins. There's no one way that's always best, but I think a good album producer judges where the listener could use a few seconds of rest.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2019 - 9:03 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

Superman - "Is that how a warped brain like yours gets it's kicks? By offering CDs to people who can't afford them?"

La-La Land - "No. By selling CDs to people who can't afford them."


Lol#


LLL ( after buying California property with the riches acquired from sales of this set):

"Welcome to the new WEST Coast, MY.West Coast!".

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 12:15 AM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

"Lex... why do so many people have to DIE to create the soundtrack of the century?"

"Why? You ask why? Why does the phone always ring when you're in the bathtub?"

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 12:35 AM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Why are there long stretches of silence at the end of some tracks rather than just trimming it off and going to the next track?

I'm not Mike Matessino, but my name is Mike, so I'll just answer for all Mikes by saying I appreciate that. Sometimes, you don't want every track bumping straight into the next. After a big action cue, it's nice to have a breather before the next one begins. There's no one way that's always best, but I think a good album producer judges where the listener could use a few seconds of rest.


Thanks, fellow Mike. First of all if one listens carefully you might find that the music is trailing off very quietly and reaches total silence much later than might be apparent. Secondly, there is the issue of giving the ears a rest after a long fortissimo climactic action sequence, and in this case if you look at what the music is actually accompanying, then I likely felt the music should mirror the emotions of the story -- capturing the quiet mourning of Lois' death, then giving a moment of silent grief, and then the "subito" explosion of anger as Superman screams and takes to the skies in defiance of his father. I tend to address these things emotionally and rhythmically when it comes to this part of the process and I go with what feels right. On this score I considered all of those factors and felt that we needed a little beat of silence there, which the film also gives us.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 1:23 AM   
 By:   deepscan   (Member)

I wonder if the Main Title on the LP as well as the Concert Arrangement hadn't been based on the original End Title if we / I would be as attached to the film version of the main titles? I mean, it's still my favorite version, but only after it's "fixed", i.e. doesn't have the clumsy edit towards the end and the pitch change. So it's still not really the "film version". (Not that I want anyone to go all Phantom Menace on us here.)

I'm glad it's on the set. I go back and forth between having the "film version" first and the original version first. Either way, I do love that I press "Play" and you get those quite flutes to open. It's a terrific intro.

But I'm totally moving March of the Villains to after Love Theme from Superman and before Prelude and Main Titles (Alternate)! smile. (I understand putting it at the start of a disc.)


I'm the opposite. The intended Main Title is my favorite (especially after seeing how brilliantly it syncs to the picture) and the intended End Title is my least favorite.

"The March of The Villains" could have been restricted to the OST (and I probably would have done that if other alternates had been recorded -- there were none) but it started Disc 2 on the previous two editions and it's a nice interlude that leads into the Truck Convoy material very smoothly, IMO.


Everyone has their musical preference on the main and end credits music. My opinion, Mike, is this...you are used to hearing the Main and End Titles in the film for so long (we’re talking 40 plus years now) that it just lingers in your mind forever, because it is what you are used to. I always believed when I first saw the end credits on the ABC broadcast that the end credits music that was used was a fitting finale to the story...except, of course, the love theme that closes it all.

That is not to take away from the great work of John Williams and what he originally had in mind for those credits music. He knew what he was doing in 1978, and he really deserved his Grammy Award for his legendary theme.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 1:47 AM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Everyone has their musical preference on the main and end credits music. My opinion, Mike, is this...you are used to hearing the Main and End Titles in the film for so long (we’re talking 40 plus years now) that it just lingers in your mind forever, because it is what you are used to. I always believed when I first saw the end credits on the ABC broadcast that the end credits music that was used was a fitting finale to the story...except, of course, the love theme that closes it all.

That is not to take away from the great work of John Williams and what he originally had in mind for those credits music. He knew what he was doing in 1978, and he really deserved his Grammy Award for his legendary theme.


I felt that way in 1999 but now for me the movie is the movie and the score is the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 7:14 AM   
 By:   jmarc   (Member)

Got my set yesterday. I remember humming this music after leaving the drive in (??) as a kid. I remember taping the music off of the tv and listening with a toy stethoscope before finally getting headphones. No movie score is nearer to my heart than Superman. I literally stopped the first track after a minute or so and started it over four or five times. That’s how impressed I was with the improved sound! It’s like a restored film with layers of dirt removed from the picture. There are instruments that I never noticed before.

With the previous editions, there were always moments where the lower sounds seemed too prominent. If I turned the volume up, I got this distortion. I always got this low rumble that dominated the music. With the new cd, everything is crisp and I can turn the music up. The separation of instruments is so much better. Maybe I’ll get through disc 1 today. ??.

Sixth time purchasing the score and yet everything sounds so fresh. Impressive cd!

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Really hoped we would find that the early version of "The Trip to Earth" was recorded. It's a stunning composition, but it's now clear that it wasn't. The alternate "B" version of "Baby Lifts Lorry" made it to the stage but wasn't recorded. It used the Personal theme rather than the Fanfare. No other alternates at all; we now have everything. I'm happy enough with the "Fortress" find. One of the things that's great about it is that it's the only alternate or unused music we have that wasn't repurposed by Ken Thorne for the sequels. It was surreal to actually hear it for the first time.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 9:28 AM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

Really hoped we would find that the early version of "The Trip to Earth" was recorded. It's a stunning composition, but it's now clear that it wasn't. The alternate "B" version of "Baby Lifts Lorry" made it to the stage but wasn't recorded. It used the Personal theme rather than the Fanfare. No other alternates at all; we now have everything. I'm happy enough with the "Fortress" find. One of the things that's great about it is that it's the only alternate or unused music we have that wasn't repurposed by Ken Thorne for the sequels. It was surreal to actually hear it for the first time.

Thanks Mike. I cant wait to hear that Fortress cue once it reaches my part of the known Galaxy. The alternate B version of 'Baby Lifts Lorry' would have been really different and subtle but more of Clark Kent origin theme had it been used or recorded with the Personal Theme. (I wonder if orchestrator Kevin Kaska considered it during the reconstruction of the rerecording that was done by Varese in 1998?)

I always thought that The Dome Opens cue used by Ken Thorne in Superman II was his own creation until I WATCHED THE Donner:s Directors Cut of SUPERMAN II- I almost fell off my seat hearing that in pure LSO sound. smile It's one of my favorite new cues since the FSM set.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   JeffM   (Member)

As expected, I'm more in the "film version" camp for the main titles/end credits for the following reasons:

1) The film versions are the versions I heard for 30+ years of my life. To me, THOSE are the definitive versions.

2) The cymbal crash (right before the "screenplay" credits) of the original main title to me feels more like end music... like "the song is coming to an end and we're pulling out all the stops"

3) The very end of the original main title with the (I don't know what you call it) build and crash feels again, like an end credits... it feels final. The way the film version ends (to me) works better as its the beginning of the movie. There is no "final crash" so it feels like we're about to begin something.

Anyway, that's just me. I believe that composer doesn't get it right 100% of the time and to me, this is one of them. Heck, JW left off the OST what many feel is the most important music from the movie - Supes first public appearance, the helicopter rescue.

In the end, both versions (and alternates) are on the CDs so I'm not complaining. Just throwing out my two cents.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 10:24 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

Fully supportive, thrilled the tapes were found

If he only would be thrilled about a release of Sugarland Express! I recently watched the movie again and the score is wonderful as usual.


I believe eventually he will concede. I'm not giving up on it. The music is in fine shape.


Thanks for the info, Mike! The beginning of a legendary and one of cinema's most iconic collaborations!

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I had the same feeling on another score. On Ken Thorne's score to "Hannie Caulder", I felt the end of the End Credits was not an ending, but the end of the cue before it was how it should end, and so since both cues in those places are nearly identical, with some careful editing, I switched them out.

 
 Posted:   Mar 6, 2019 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   JGouse0498   (Member)

Why are there long stretches of silence at the end of some tracks rather than just trimming it off and going to the next track?

I'm not Mike Matessino, but my name is Mike, so I'll just answer for all Mikes by saying I appreciate that. Sometimes, you don't want every track bumping straight into the next. After a big action cue, it's nice to have a breather before the next one begins. There's no one way that's always best, but I think a good album producer judges where the listener could use a few seconds of rest.


Thanks, fellow Mike. First of all if one listens carefully you might find that the music is trailing off very quietly and reaches total silence much later than might be apparent. Secondly, there is the issue of giving the ears a rest after a long fortissimo climactic action sequence, and in this case if you look at what the music is actually accompanying, then I likely felt the music should mirror the emotions of the story -- capturing the quiet mourning of Lois' death, then giving a moment of silent grief, and then the "subito" explosion of anger as Superman screams and takes to the skies in defiance of his father. I tend to address these things emotionally and rhythmically when it comes to this part of the process and I go with what feels right. On this score I considered all of those factors and felt that we needed a little beat of silence there, which the film also gives us.


I didn't mean totally cutting off the silence. I just meant maybe 3-4 seconds of it and then the next track. The only time I want to hear the seamless cut-off is if it's that way in the movie.

And to Mike Matessino, thank you so much for taking the time to give such an in-depth answer. I can definitely see (and hear) the logic behind that. And you're definitely spot-on with the movie giving us that pause and mirroring that in the music.

And like I said, that's really the only thing that stood out to me in a negative way. This set is truly far beyond what I ever expected!

BTW, great podcast for "The Legacy of John Williams"! Really informative and insightful.

 
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