Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 6:14 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I had that impression from the very beginning. The sound effects were widely praised in 1977, but I always thought that effects and music were frequently working against each other.

Didn't JG decry the sound effects interfering with his music on the likes of The Blue Max? A good example in Star Wars where a balance needs to be struck is the Ben Kenobi demise, followed by the TIE fighter pursuit of the Millennium Falcon. That sequence used to be shown on TV at the time of the film's general release. It was quite a giveaway, all things considered. Even then, in 1977, the pounding action music JW forged came through loud and clear just as well as Han Solo's quip to Luke, "don't get cocky." Like it was yesterday.

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 7:24 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I had that impression from the very beginning. The sound effects were widely praised in 1977, but I always thought that effects and music were frequently working against each other.


Nowhere is that conclusion more starkly obvious than in the Death Star explosion.

For those that don't remember, JW's music pauses in that instant that the fireball erupts. Once that sound effect concludes, the music resumes with the melodic resolution.
In the subsequent editions, the continuation of the music is obscured for a few seconds by the sound effects that accompany the new "Praxis Wave" VFX.

(Actually, I guess it's not that starkly obvious, but it is to me and it's annoying because the music was so cool.)

 
 Posted:   May 27, 2020 - 8:26 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

One of my "Hollywood insider" friends commented that each time the original trilogy gets a new video release, Ben Burtt pushes the score further and further back when he creates the new surround mix. As much as I admire Burtt's work, I think he is doing the films a grave disservice.

I had that impression from the very beginning. The sound effects were widely praised in 1977, but I always thought that effects and music were frequently working against each other.


The sound effects are iconic. From my recollection the audio mix in Star Wars and Empire were perfectly balanced. Sad to hear the music is being dialed out. But not surprised.

 
 
 Posted:   May 28, 2020 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I've enjoyed reading this. My contribution is going to be all over the shop, a real rambling rabbit, but you can stick with me or skip it. I'm generous that way.

Just checked the imdb and it seems that the film was released in the USA in May '77 but we didn't get it in the UK until January '78 (although it had a London premiere in December '77) - Can that be right? Whatever, my old jotters are full of what I was watching on TV in those days, and for months it seems that STAR WARS dominated not only film programmes but all kinds of chat shows.

I travelled by train to Glasgow to see it - if not on the day of its UK release then certainly not long after. I recall that some of the local lads threw a stone at the train, smashing the window where I was sitting, leaving me partially deaf for the rest of the day (and for the film of course). There was nothing else to do in the miserable wastelands of central Scotland except cause havoc. I blame the government.

I was already sixteen years old by then, right at the peak of when I thought everything horror/SF/fantasy-related was absolutely magical and thrilling (even ZOLTAN: HOUND OF DRACULA), and I loved STAR WARS... but I remember that it didn't QUITE obsess me the way it did others. I remember saying to my brother that I thought the much-lauded spaceship effects looked like "transfers". I was also rather perplexed after having read so many reviews saying that the storyline was simplistic in the extreme that I couldn't understand it. That's right, all this talk about the "empire" and the "rebels" and the unpronounceable names of planets and characters (even back then I thought the names sounded really stupid) - I didn't understand the story! But it was a thrilling ride, which is what I think it was meant to be, no more.

I think I'd had the LP for a few months before I saw the film. At first I was disappointed because it wasn't electronic! In the film, on the big screen, no words can describe how absolutely amazing it was to hear the first blast of that fanfare. I loved the score. I still do, even if it's difficult (for me) to listen to today because of my increasing disenchantment with the franchise. Why should that taint things?

My dad was really the one who got me into SF. He had been a member of The Science Fiction Book Club since the early days and was well-read in those things. His favourite film ever was 2001 (he took me to see it when I was eight, and was disappointed that I was bored) but he loved the old FLASH GORDON serials, which is what he saw as a kid. He never got to see STAR WARS but he did mention that it would probably be good in a FLASH GORDONish way. And it was, as I believe George Lucas had intended.

So my memories of STAR WARS are of course inevitably tinged with nostalgia. I wish they had left it all right there because even by the time THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came around, I felt it had all become a big fraud, with needlessly contrived character twists (oh, they're brother and sister!) and I really began to resent it all. I disliked the third one with the teddy bears intensely, and then I lost interest completely and could(n't) care less about any of the others.

But STAR WARS was, and is, special. I had a Hildebrandt (?) poster for it which was withdrawn after a very short time. I think there was a mistake on it or something? I also asked at my newsagents if I could have the piece of cardboard that held the packets of Trebor Mints, and they gave it to me. It said on it "May the (Trebor) Force Be With You!". About two years ago my brother found them in his house back in Scotland and asked me if we should just get rid of them. I said I didn't care, but let's try an auction. Through Vectis, my brother sold the Hildebrandt (sp?) poster for about 1,500 pounds. And someone bought the piece of cardboard that held the sweets for 900 quid.

 
 Posted:   May 28, 2020 - 6:24 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

You see, Graham, the SW Munchkins are really Jawas through and through. And didn't Georgy boy know it. In all fairness though, I think Arthur C. Clarke got there first. In his novel, the Songs Of Distant Earth, the Skorp inhabitants of the oceans of the planet Thalassa were found to have picked up all the metal junk the human gatecrashers had thrown into the sea as scrap, and to have adorned themselves with it's shinyness. You see, the more 'bling' adhering to a Skorp, the higher it's rank in society . . .

 
 
 Posted:   May 28, 2020 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I'll say this for the music. I was a young man working at Peaches Records and Tapes (anybody remember?) when Star Wars hit. Now, this was an era when we would be blowing out Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Journey's Infinity, Bat Out of Hell, Songs in the Key in Life, Donna Summer, Chuck Mangione, Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Saturday Night Fever, etc. And we did the same for that double-lp Star Wars set. Quite an achievement for an orchestral film score.

 
 
 Posted:   May 28, 2020 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I'll say this for the music. I was a young man working at Peaches Records and Tapes (anybody remember?) when Star Wars hit. Now, this was an era when we would be blowing out Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Journey's Infinity, Bat Out of Hell, Songs in the Key in Life, Donna Summer, Chuck Mangione, Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Saturday Night Fever, etc. And we did the same for that double-lp Star Wars set. Quite an achievement for an orchestral film score.

I shopped at Peaches regularly! All those Blue Note LPs in the cutout bin!!!

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2020 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...