Movie News

Happy Birthday John Williams!

Published at: Feb. 8, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST by scorekeeper

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here on behalf of film geeks around the world wishing the über-maestro himself, Mr. John Williams, a very happy 80th birthday! Normally we celebrate years of life by giving gifts. Today, let's celebrate the gifts we have received from Mr. Williams' years of life.

The talkbacks are open. What's your favorite John Williams score?

Here are just a few of my personal favorites:















 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. WILLIAMS!

 

 

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Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:04 a.m. CST

    God bless him.

    by Nick

    What an amazing talent! Happy b-day Mr. Williams!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I like Born on the Fourth of July, 1941,The Cowboys.

    by Tacom

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    brilliant man

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    80 years old, and definitely made his mark on this world

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Leaving Home from the Superman Score

    by thelordofhell

    It goes from this incredible eerie buildup from Clark Kent discovering the green crystal then cuts to the moment when he has to say goodbye to the only mother he has ever known in a large field with a slowly building sentimental score to the whole sweep of the scene of Clark and his mother in the field in the wind...........it brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear this music or see this scene. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXYj8nChItw

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:16 a.m. CST

    A real icon.

    by cat

    Not many have accomplished as much as good.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters is an obvious choice

    by tomdolan04

    not to mention Jaws, but for me Indy and the Last Crusade doesn't get mentioned really it's always Raiders that gets the love. <p> Not as epic granted and the themes are reused but there are some really nifty little tracks on that film. The piece where he's being chased through Venice on a speedboat and the jaunty little piece where Indy and James Bond are escaping from the German Castle are first rate. <p> Such a wonderfully talented man.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    SW:TESB

    by justmyluck

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Towering Inferno, Jaws,Jaws2, Star Wars

    by john mcadam

    plus many many more an Iconic composer.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Not to mention the Knights theme at the end of Crusade

    by tomdolan04

    and all the trials in between <p> OH. AND THIS ONE!!!! I bloody love this one - from the bit where he chucks the guy off the Zepplin for not having a ticket. A seemingly small number but just....I don't know. Screams a bit cheeky and fun, but very restrained - encapsulating the scene perfectly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5hsw2l01oY

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:24 a.m. CST

    The Catch Me If You Can Score is like a love letter to Bernard Hermann

    by thelordofhell

    It just sounds like a score that Hermann would have wrote.......very subtle yet moving.

  • ...and the moment that the music really sticks out for me, that I find so incredibly emotional, is the faint Imperial March played over Vader's death, right after Luke has taken Vader's mask off. Fucking kills me...

  • Lucas sold his soul, Spielberg keeps trying to buy his back, but Williams' soul is still pure as the driven snow. Happy Birthday, you musical angel fighting off evil in a kingdom of creative bankruptcy.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:44 a.m. CST

    The greatest TV series theme

    by Marc Weston

    Lost in Space!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Schindler's List is THE most amazing score ever

    by abe

  • His most recent Olympics one was garbage. Way too much Prequel nonsense going on with them.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2 a.m. CST

    The Ark of the Covenant

    by TheBriGuy

    From Raiders of the Lost Ark, the music which is the theme for the Ark itself. Very cool..!!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST

    The Fury

    by thelordofhell

    Man did John Williams knock that one out of the park. The score to that movie is fantastic.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Superman

    by Gabba-UK

    As much as I love the Star Wars films, Superman is the point where Williams ate lightning and crapped thunder. It still remains as the only DVD where I've listened all the way through to the music only track. Plus I've been lucky in the past to hear the London Philomonic play the full theme at the Albert Hall. Simply staggering.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    You chose...poorly

    by Balls McGee

    Map Room is the ONLY JW song. That is all.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Greatest Composer EVER!

    by Aragorn742

    Seriously, Jaws Close Encounters of the Third Kind The Star Wars films Superman The Indiana Jones films E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial The Towering Inferno The Poseidon Adventure Empire of the Sun Schindler's List The Jurassic Park films The Harry Potter films Catch Me if You Can Saving Private Ryan The Fury The Sugarland Express The Cowboys 1941 Born on the Fourth of July Home Alone The Patriot War of the Worlds The Adventures of Tintin War Horse Super impressive list of films and I BARELY mentioned anything! While I feel Howard Shore's score for The Lord of the Rings is the best score I've heard, John Williams has created the most iconic themes throughout motion picture history. The most recognizable movie score is Jaws, second is Star Wars. Happy Birthday Mr. Williams!!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Raiders, map room, genius.

    by Keith Maniac

    Also the The Dune sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler. Modern dictionaries from now should play either of those tracks, when opened on the pages containing the words, mysterious, ancient, deserted, lost, or similar adjectives. As that music defines those things in a way that renders written explanation redundant.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:58 a.m. CST

    The Map Room Music gets better with Age. The Greatest Film Composer of all time no question.

    by harryknowlesnothingaboutfilm

    Happy Birthday Mr Williams.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    Don't forget Lost In Space

    by Hercules

    http://youtu.be/Tp1bEpmmGMs

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:01 a.m. CST

    John Williams is overrated

    by CuervoJones

    Just kidding, he is a genious.

  • Yes, it's not as obscure as some of the other pieces but, goddamnit, it's the Imperial March. Case closed.

  • The Imperial March. It's that good.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday, Mr.Williams!

    by ChiefRoberts

    The man creates musical masterpieces like I take shits! @the dude abides, I couldn't agree more!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:11 a.m. CST

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. WILLIAMS

    by KilliK

    although his recent work is a bit dull,his other masterpieces will stand the test of time forever.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST

    =he Greatest Film Composer of all time no question.=

    by KilliK

    I disagree.That honor goes to mr Goldsmith.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:17 a.m. CST

    His music was the best thing....

    by ChiefRoberts

    ......about the Star Wars prequels! George Lucas fucked them up but John Williams provided a gorgeous score for them. Anakin Vs. Obi-Wan an epic piece of music that deserved better!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to THE MAESTRO!!!

    by KelVarnson

    Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Superman:The Movie and so many more!!! Genius!!!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Temple of Doom is my favorite

    by awepittance

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:20 a.m. CST

    No love for HOOK?

    by brokentusk

    Say what you will about the movie, but the score was greatness.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to the king of film composers

    by Roderich

    Imperial March Map Room Jurassic Park 2 theme (better than one imho) and, and, and.. countless master pieces from the best of the best.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:31 a.m. CST

    The greatest film composer of the past 50 years

    by kwisatzhaderach

    JFK is often overlooked, a tremendous score. My favourites: Jaws, Star Wars, CE3K, Raiders, E.T., Temple of Doom, Empire of the Sun, Hook, A.I., Superman, JFK... the list is endless. Michael Giacchino is the new John Williams apparently, has he come up with ANYTHING to compare with any of these scores? Nope. All hail the master, and can't wait for Lincoln.

  • ... watching him conduct the Boston Pops on the 4th as a kid on the Charles will always be my best live encounters with orchestral music. It's crazy the way Williams, Spielberg, Lucas, and Struzan molded my childhood. Happy Birthday to a most brilliant legend.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Slave Children's Crusade

    by loafroaster

    LOVE IT.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST

    loafroaster

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Right on.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Respect

    by Furious George

    Not quite as memorable as what the band Ice House released in the '80s, but still pretty good.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Williams the greatest composer, but LOTR the greatest score

    by Rtobert

    LOTR edges out Star Wars in quantity and quality But Williams has more hit theme marches over a longer timespan.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Poseidon Adventure main title/The Fury

    by scenic

    Who would I love to meet before I die? Obama? Spielberg? Streep? Ali? I'd love to meet those amaizing and fine people but I'd shove them aside in a stop-watch tick if John Williams were in the same room. Lost In Space (jazz-seasoned title if you please), Jaws 2 (how did he surpass the original score? how?) Dracula (a real precursor to Raiders and as lovely a violin phrase as you shall ever find in cinema music) -- Black Sunday - a bolero that builds to a wonderful, heady insanity -- the amazing throw-away, gorgeous theme for Elke the cat in The Towering inferno (all of eight seconds in the film when she's rescued but that damned cue beats most composer's main themes, trust me) and Jurassic Park's main theme - does it get any more majestic than this? A damned country could use that Jurassic theme as their anthem and find every soul patriotic because of it. Williams' pinnacle may be the score to The Empire Strikes Back or Superman's main titles but no one is better at conveying the difficult and strange emotion with music. Gene Hackman's cue when he can't figure out how to lead a group of followers in a doomed ship. Hackman's hands clasped, the violins mirror his dismay and troubled thoughts. The fantastic levity and bounce of 'The Witches of Eastwick' score that presages his Harry Potter work. And not well known but his end title piece to 'Earthquake' has to be as elegant and funereal a work ever recorded. It's a knock out. Love you Sir Williams. Much Love and fond admiration.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Little Johnny Williams.

    by gotilk

    I remember an early credit of his referring to him as *Johnny Williams* and I always thought it was hilarious. Made him sound like a kid. Found which one it was. Lost In Space. Wow, haven't seen that one in a while. Here's my 5 favorites of his. 1. Empire of the Sun. Just for the absolute IMPACT of it all. And what seemed like a slight departure. 2. Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi. (it's my list, so there) There are moments in these films when the score raises it to the level of peak, life experience when first viewed. It's magic. The man understands something that no other composer ever will, and I have no idea what it is. I don't think anyone else does either. 3. Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think this film features THE most memorable and iconic theme ever written. 4. E.T. - Also one OF the most iconic and memorable scores, but don't love it as much as the others. Still love it. 5. Saving Private Ryan - Subtle when it needs to be and powerful. Much like Schindler's List. But your list is better.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:18 a.m. CST

    HOOK

    by Pipple

    BANGARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNGGGGGGG!!!

  • listen to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Jvl1eNjkQ

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:19 a.m. CST

    @rtambree

    by branimir

    John Williams is gratest living film composer. Quality of lightmotifs from Star wars saga is far better then the motifs from Lord of the rings. No theme from LOTR has enduring power and melody as Imperial march. What about Yoda theme; Duel of the fates; Emperor theme; Force theme. End titles from Empire strikes back alone is masterpiece in the rank of Wagner, Holst, Dvorak...

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:25 a.m. CST

    One of top ten film composers of all time, the others are:

    by branimir

    Miklos Rozsa Bernard Herrmann Jerry Goldsmith Elmer Bernstein John Barry Henry Mancini Ennio Morricone Max Stainer Dimitri Tiomkin

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    The Lost World

    by syn_flood

    His score to the Jurassic Park sequel is, in my mind, one of his very best. The textures and themes he created for that film are unlike any other Williams score. Truly brilliant!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:33 a.m. CST

    Oh and Harry Potter is nothing without his theme

    by Pipple

    I don't know how he does it. Lotr's one movie series with a great score, Williams has contributed how many brilliant masterpieces to films? no comparison.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:33 a.m. CST

    @branimir

    by Rtobert

    Sorry - but the last hour of the Return of the King score trumps all the Star Wars scores, and I love the Star Wars scores. And Peter Jackson gives Howard Shore's scores room to shine e.g. Lighting of the Beacons, destruction of Mordor, Gandalf's charge down to Helms Deep. Lucas throws sound effects on top of a lot of Williams' greatest sequences and you only get 5-10 second snippets here and there, not minute long sequences. It's just personal opinion. I'm a big Wagner fan, and the use of leitmotifs and instrumentation in LOTR is outstanding. And the acoustic engineering quality is better. That's just a factor of being recorded more recently, in 5.1 DTS. And the Extended Editions of the LOTR scores are 9 hours + with more to come with The Hobbit, where as the best of the Six Star Wars scores doesn't reach LOTR's three scores.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Favourite score?!?

    by photoboy

    It's almost impossible to pick a favourite Williams score, the man's work is so iconic in so many films it's hard to pick just one. I think maybe Empire Strikes Back or Raiders of the Lost Ark might be his best, but there's loads of others I could also pick.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:50 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Mr Williams.

    by notspock2

    And thank you!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:58 a.m. CST

    In my honest opinion.....

    by TheBoyFromUlster

    John Williams musical genius is up there with any of the great Composers the World has seen, including Mozart, Beethoven, etc. I really truly believe that, and in 500 years the World will still be listening to his music.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:13 a.m. CST

    The most positive talkback of all time

    by ThehandthatBites

    His music informs all our childhoods and still continues well into adulthood. Every emotion the director needed was right there in the music. I have a soft spot for The Phatom Menace score. It does so much to save that movie. Every emotion the director couldn't convey was right there in the music. Superman theme, Raiders, etc, etc stand alongside Requiem Mass. Mozart, Hendrix and Williams.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Just so many great pieces of music...

    by Righteous Brother

    all I can say is, Happy Birthday Mr Williams.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Happy Bday to the guy in the black sweater!

    by B Arnold Quizzling

    So many memories listening to thise LPs. But where's the love for Erich Wolfgang Korngold? He was clearly a major influence of John Williams. I think he should be in anyone's top ten list of film composers.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday!

    by nerdator

    Watched Star Wars once with the sound down just to see what a difference it made not to have the music. That was the day I discovered that John Williams' score is the only reason the movie became the icon it was. Try it yourself. You'll be amazed at the bad. He easily deserves half of Lucas' considerable fortune, because without him it simply wouldn't exist.

  • He won't live forever, but he should.

  • If I was John Williams i'd just cruise around LA with the Darth Vader theme blarring from the stereo of a black mustang convertable!!!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:11 a.m. CST

    ToD is one of his best:

    by KilliK

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5hsw2l01oY

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:12 a.m. CST

    ^ wrong link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVMpXpHGIqI

    by KilliK

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Luke's theme from ROTJ

    by Nick Sadler

    by a clear mile.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST

    He's the greatest

    by vorlonkosh

    And the only player who need not feel ashamed of his work in the Prequels.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Anybody got the Fanfare for Michael Dukakis!?

    by Saltboy

    Yep, it's a legitimate piece JW wrote for the 1988 presidential election. But I've never actually heard it. :-( Anyway, the greatest cue ever composed for the screen was the 20 or so minutes JW wrote for the Battle of Hoth, segueing into the Asteroid Field. Pure action bliss. Happy birthday JW!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:25 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to the greatest composer who ever lived.

    by shutupfanboy

    This man scored my life.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday, to a living legend

    by BikerScout

    I put my entire iPod library on shuffle last night. - approximately 6000 tracks. In the 2 hours I listened to it, John Williams cropped up SO many times. never fails to bring a smile to my face. It was his work on Jurassic Park that got me into movie scores in the first place and for that I will be forever grateful.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday John Williams!

    by dlhoskins03

    Raiders of the Lost Arc is the greatest soundtrack in the history of cinema!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:35 a.m. CST

    I'll name that song in 1 ....

    by Dalius

    I doubt there will ever be a greater opening chord than that of the main Star Wars theme. Whenever I see the fox logo fade out, I always expect that amazing blast of brass to follow, no matter what film is on. And while Williams rarely did soundtracks that you'd want to just sit down and listen to on their own (Phantom Menace good case in point), no other film composer has given us THAT MANY *GREAT* main themes, or that many musical phrases that have entered popular culture. Period. Happy Birthday John.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:38 a.m. CST

    He's the real reason STAR WARS is great, not G.Lucas

    by JMoe

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Thank you Mr Williams

    by vee dagama

    I actually *cry* when i hear his soundtracks. They bring tears to my eyes. It's aural movie magic. No one else comes close. Happy Birthday, Master!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:39 a.m. CST

    Close Encounters - the conversation

    by Dalius

    Just listen to the ground-to-UFO conversation piece from the soundtrack (i.e. without watching the images) and it's mostly orchestral instruments. I watch the film and think .... so these aliens have crossed vast distances of interstellar space to visit our planet ..... and they bring an orchestra with them ..... just in case !!! Man, that's what I call style.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:41 a.m. CST

    o, and my favorite?

    by vee dagama

    Jurassic Park Theme no, wait, Raiders March! no...uhm ok, this isn't gonna work. .... too...much...choice... ... I'll stick to my first choice: it's a mini symphony with two distinct themes and it puts my hair on end every time.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Williams screwed every composer forever...

    by Manos

    When he wrote the Superman theme. It will never be equaled.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    my favorite, now WITH text

    by vee dagama

    Jurassic Park

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST

    March from Midway

    by skywalter

    Lesser known but awesome.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:08 a.m. CST

    When Williams does pass on, they need to bury Spielberg with him

    by Mugato5150

    like people have their pets buried with them. Because Spielberg will be done making movies.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Mr. Williams!!

    by ATARI

    Although the Imperial March and the Theme to Raiders is probably the most iconic, my personal favorite is what is at the top of this page -- the Asteroid Chase. It really transports me to another time, another place, even without the visuals. The swelling music as Luke stares off into the twin sunset is also very moving, but that relies on the visuals.<br> <br> I've always told anyone who would like, that without Williams and McQuirie, we would not have Star Wars.<br>

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    THE SUPERMAN MARCH, my personal fave of his...

    by jim

    I only know about 3 people who've ever heard of him. But everyone knows the Jaws theme, and if you whistle the Harry Potter theme most people will recognise it. I know the word genius is thrown around alot when it comes to people working in the field of entertainment, but John Williams is a true inspiration. A composer whose work has taken films that might never be remembered, and made them truly extraordinary. Happy Birthday Mr Williams. You are the soundtrack of my childhood

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST

    THE TOWERING INFERNO

    by Madmacks

    The main theme from The Towering Inferno is the greatest movie intro I have ever seen! if you never saw this in a movie theater in the 1970's in 70mm you really missed out. The main theme song still blows me away almost four decades later. Truly the greatest film composer of all time. Happy Birthday John.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Superman

    by johnwalanp

    ....The mere hint of the theme will forever give me goosebumps, and one instant link to cinema magic from my childhood. Happy Birthday to a legend.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Mr. Williams! Keep those wonderful scores coming.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST

    The Superman theme

    by NightArrows

    Is the greatest piece of film music ever written...and that is saying a lot considering how great his Indy work is and his Star Wars work. The man is THE man.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST

    rtambree

    by NightArrows

    The LOTR work can't hold a candle to Williams' best. Fuck off.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Meeting John Williams

    by Bill

    I rarely post here, but had to chime in. I had the pleasure of interviewing John Williams for a project about 12 years ago. He sat behind a grand piano for the interview and in just a few notes - played the essence of some of his most well known works. My favorite moment was when he played the 5 notes from Close Encounters and said how if he went down just one note (it may have been two notes) instead of up for the last note in the sequence it totally changed the feeling of the musical phrase from a "question" to a "final statement." So simple, but genius.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    See you at Tanglewood in August!

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    One of the great things about living in Boston, we get Williams twice a year usually, with a couple nights at Symphony Hall, and once in the summer out at Tanglewood. Favorite pieces: 1941 March Superman The Little People Work (Jawas/Sandcrawler) Slave Children (ToD) The Truck Chase (Raiders) The Adventures of Mutt Williams (sue me) The Forest Battle (ROTJ) Little Bits: Close Encounters (driving to Devil's Tower, and of course the Mothership/lightboardsequence) Jaws (Holiday Roast scene - when the pier in the water stops and turns back to shore) Raiders - when the last German guy climbs onto the truck roof, loses his hat, long shot of the truck taking a curve, then german guy vaults in through truck window

  • My favorites are the Imperial March, Star Wars Theme, Asteroid Theme and Superman March.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Far and Away...

    by Sean1701

    Track 10 (Inside the Mansion) always gets me a little misty eyed. I think this soundtrack and Hook are his most underrated.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:24 a.m. CST

    we share the same birthday!

    by Carven

    I'm happy that I share the same birthday with such a legend of cinematic musical history. I've been a fan ever since I was mesmerized by the Flying theme in E.T., then came Star Wars, then came Superman, then came Indiana Jones, then came Jurassic Park. A true genius. What will the future hold next? Happy Birthday J.W.!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    ET all the way

    by Gore_monkey

    Phone it home baby!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Another thing...

    by Sean1701

    His music can make the smallest scene feel powerful. In Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, they played the music from the Last Crusade when Indy is looking at the picture of his dad. That and the look on Harrison Ford's face redeemed some of the film for me. On a similar note, listen to the music they use in the extended cut of Superman 1 when Superman comes back from his first big night. As he is talking to the hologram of Jor-El, the music they play is from earlier in the film (when Jor-El and Lara place Kal-El into the ship). At the end of that scene, when Superman reaches out to his dad, only to realize he is not there, kills me. Williams music makes even the smallest scene big.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    @Scorekeeper, RE: Attack of the Clones

    by Sean1701

    Didn't Williams write a score for the Clone war, but Lucas reused the Battle of Naboo music instead?

  • Impossible to pick one cue over another, it depends on my mood. The man is one of the greats.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    The Empire Strikes Back is...

    by attackpatterndelta

    My favorite John Williams score, and that movie is where I get my handle from. Love that score from start to finish. The map room/Ark of the covenant theme, wow, just amazing. Those are my favorites but I love damn near everything he's composed. Happy Birthday to the GREATEST film composer of all time! Star Wars, Empire, Superman, E.T., Raiders, Close Encounters, Jurassic Park, Jaws...wow, legendary!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Happy 80th, Maestro!

    by BenBraddock

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Happy fucking birthday!

    by UltraTron

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Superman FTW. More memorable than star wars

    by UltraTron

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    the soundtrack of Generation X

    by durhay

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Pops in Space has the best version of Imperial March

    by durhay

    and the Asteroid Field

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    "Into the Trap" from RETURN OF THE JEDI

    by Tacom

    That repeating six note motif when the Rebel fleet is getting to attack the Death Star. Perfect.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    The Empire Strikes Back double LP

    by HyphenatedWords

    The Empire Strikes Back double LP was the first real music I ever owned aside from children's records. I received it for Christmas in 1980 when I was eight. I listened to the first disc more because it had the familiar music to my young years. Over time, I cracked into the rest of it. <br> <br> My buddy and I would go to the downtown library where they had an extensive record collection, and I'd borrow the soundtracks for Jaws, Close Encounters, and Raiders. I made mix tapes by playing select tracks through headphones wrapped around my cassette player/recorder. <br> <br> Return of the Jedi came out, and I devoured that cassette tape, played it endlessly. <br> <br> E.T. Superman. The soundtrack of my childhood and the first music I came to love was John Williams. I would swing after dusk in the back yard, look up at the sky, and sing a medley of his work. Yeah, I was that kooky neighborhood kid swinging and singing in the dark. <br> <br> So, The Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite score. The music is rich, deep, emotive, and the best of the saga. The best testament to this is how often they sample Empire's score for new Star Wars trailers, be it prequels or games. <br><br> My favorite memory was the time I lied on the floor of my parents' bedroom with the headphones on with the mind to listen to the rest of the music on the double LP, the stuff I wasn't as familiar with. My eyes shot open and chills went down my spine when the eerie, playful music box version of Yoda's theme plays in "City in the Clouds." I had no idea what was happening in the movie yet because it had to live in the mind and memory since home video hadn't been created. I just knew I was listening to something ethereal and amazing.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Oh, so Happy Birthday Mr. Williams!

    by HyphenatedWords

  • This isn't even an issue with the usual constantly rebooted comic book movies. I can't even remember the score to Spider-Man. It's probably the same Danny Elfman circus music shit he always does. But are they really going to replace Williams' score? They were wise not to try with the last reboot.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I remember seeing an interview....

    by ChiefRoberts

    ....with Richard Donner talking about seeing a preview of Superman with John Williams' score for the first time. I believe he wept, as it was so good. He should have that blasting out at his funeral!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Witches of Eastwick

    by Dr.007

    Love it. it captures New England and sets the mood for the entire film. Many Appreciative birthday wishes to the maestro on his 80th. I too have fond memories of seeing him conduct the Pops and hearing his scores as he would have them played. The most wonderful part was, at the completion of the performance, being able to directly thank Mr. Williams for his music and how it enhanced our cinema experiences though standing applause. Every geek here knows that no matter how big the screen and how 3 dimensional the image, the only true entity that surrounds us in the theater is the sound and the score. No one used that better than Mr. Williams - and HIS collaborating directors.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I had that too, hyphenatedwords

    by Mugato5150

    I was like 4 or something but I got it before the movie came out and it blew my mind. You see kids, they used to have this medium called "records" that included packaging that was this big fold out thing with pictures. So I saw Hoth, the super star destroyer and the most memorable image to me was the shot of Vader, Lando and Boba Fett standing together. I even remember watching the movie for the first time thinking, "when is the black guy going to show up?". Shit, I'm starting to sound like Harry with the nostalgia, sorry. But since I'm talking about Empire, the moment on Cloud City when the good guys are getting their asses kicked and all is lost, then the doors open and John Williams' music comes up was one of the best scenes in the trilogy, largely because of the music.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to a true musical genius!

    by richardHarrisonsSteamedCrabs

    So many classics. My fave composer. I grew watching Jaws, ET, CEot3K, Superman and Indy. Amazing movies made so much better by Mr Williams. And I almost share the same birthday, mine is tomorrow, almost cool.... Happy Birthday!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Thank you sir

    by JamesT

    It's impossible to listen to any of his scores and not be transported back to that particular time in your life. His scores are the soundtrack of summer.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    grew up! Duh!

    by richardHarrisonsSteamedCrabs

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Duel of the Fates was the best part of the prequels.

    by Sardonic

    The song epitomizes the "epic final battle" feel.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:34 a.m. CST

    The New Supes Movie Should Keep The Theme

    by Sean

    The ONLY thing I want to see held over from the Reeve movies and Returns is the Superman theme. At this point, it's as iconic as the S and his red cape. And if you're going to use the theme (and they should) USE IT ... don't just play around the edges of it the way Return did throughout most of the score. Oh, and one of my favorite Williams pieces (aside from the Superman theme and the asteroid field sequence) is his theme to Seven Years in Tibet with Yo Yo Ma. Sad and beautiful.

  • My Dad was the one I feel who introduced me to Williams' music, through the Star Wars score, and also E.T. (the first movie I was taken to at the age of 2). The CSO performance was amazing (though I wish JW would have played the theme to '1941'). He closed out his movie-music section with the end music from E.T., and I recall that during part of the bicycle chase music, I got a little distressed as he started to get more intense conducting the orchestra, and he almost sounded like he was having trouble breathing, but I attributed this to him trying to get the orchestra to achieve a certain level of musicality. At the end, he came out and did 3 encores: the theme from 'The Accidental Tourist,' the theme from 'Star Wars' (causing the audience to erupt in applause not unlike in the movie theaters), and ending on the Imperial March. That's one memory that I still love. I was never a big sports fan, but movies and movie music are areas where my Dad and I are often eye-to-eye on.

  • A score that adds so much to the film... And I grew up loving his scores for the Irwin Allen series..Lost In Space, Land Of The Giants and The Time Tunnel.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Got my seat reserved for the 80th birthday

    by ObiBen

    celebration at Tanglewood. Happy birthday to mr. Williams, and many more to come. Bravo, and thanks.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    A little love for "Hook"

    by John Brown

    No matter what you think of the film, I love William's score for that.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Of all time? Debatable...but I'd put him in my personal top three-

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith and Mr. Williams.

  • The guy always brings something new to the table...and at his best takes whatever he is scoring for to a higher level.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday to a musical genius.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    If I watch that scene from E.T.

    by eric haislar

    I will ball like a baby. It's probably the greatest moment in film I can think of where everything just meshes together perfectly editing, cinematography, emotion, and music. It's like the perfect moment on film.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Monsieur Williams!

    by Sirius_crack

    I for one actually like his Home Alone score. It added a lot of effect to that film.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    A legend

    by BubbaDestructo

    You can throw as many superlatives towards Mr. John Williams, and he still doesn't become overrated. A true musical visionary and genius. Thank you for the wonderful emotions and memories you have given us, Mr. Williams!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Saw him live once

    by honavery

    In Ohio. Pretty amazing stuff, the ET and Olympic medleys especially.

  • Amazing composer. Happy Birthday. Don't ever die. At least until I do.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Happy birthday and thank you.

    by Kyle Shold

    The music John Williams has created has brought such joy to my life. Many happy returns, Maestro.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Williams has given us more than we deserve

    by Cruizer Dave

    His music defined so many movies, so many moments for so long. Screw any haters on this! Williams is brilliant! I hope he's having a great birthday!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    His theme songs for I Dream of Jeanie and Bewitched are masterpieces

    by Joe Plumber

    R.I.P. John.

  • I'm also very fond of 'Dry Your Tears, Africa' from Amistad and 'Where Dreams Are Born' from AI.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Very Happy Birthday to the Master Maestro!

    by Proman1984

    Thank you so much for your amazing work!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    The soundtrack of my childhood

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    The choral music when Luke yells, "NO!!!" and duels to the end with Darth Vader in Return Of The Jedi...Elliott pedalling his bike across the face of the moon in E.T....the reveal of the first brachiosaur in Jurassic Park...that thumping, two-note ostinato from Jaws...the Raiders March...The Close Encounters "communication" motif...so many great scores, and still more to come. [knock on wood] Many happy returns to the maestro!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Seriously, though, what would Jaws have been like without that theme?

    by Joe Plumber

    Da Dump Da Dump Da Dump Da Da Da, Da Da Dump

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Soundtrack of my life!!

    by Sagart1994

    I fulfilled a life long dream last year when I saw the Maestro in concert with the NY Philharmonic and it was such a moving experience. From the first movie I ever saw in the cinema (Star Wars) right up to War Horse, Mr. Williams' music has accompanied me, as have the movies, through life's ups and downs: comforting, consoling, rousing and celebrating. Happy Birthday Maestro and thank you.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    asteroid field scene

    by Jared

    Wow...filmed 30+ years ago and it's light-years ahead of anything in the prequels in terms of filmmaking and dramatic tension. Oh, and John Williams is a musical god. LOTR music > Star Wars music???... Surely you jest.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    So many great scores

    by mr_bellamy

    We can debate forever about when his golden years were, or how long it's been since his last masterpiece, but anyone who says he doesn't come out with a quality score every film is simply not listening. Tintin and War Horse were both expertly crafted. And even the most hard-hearted JW haters have a soft-spot for at least one of his scores. He's The Beatles of the film scoring world. And when it comes to ranking him alongside other film composers, he's a rare bird. Right up there with Goldsmith, Morricone, Bernstein, Hermann, North who deserve to be compared not just with the best of the best in our movie theaters, but also the concert halls, the opera houses, the ballet theaters.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Oh

    by mr_bellamy

    And Happy Birthday!!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    I

    by hank henshaw

  • I had no idea during my earliest years your music was influencing me as I indulged daily in Lost In Space. It wasn't until Star Wars that I became obsessive about classical music and our modern-day operas we call movies, though my father laid the foundation of the love for this musical form. Star Wars opened so many doors, and I became an obsessive collector of all your work. I quickly learned that movies live and die according to the quality of their soundtrack, and sometimes directly as a result. It will be a sad day indeed when you depart this world, but it is my prayer that you will earn your rest in Glory along with so many others upon which such incredible gifts have been bestowed. Until I myself make that journey to God's Kingdom where there shall be music the human mind cannot begin to imagine, I will have the music of John Williams to tide me over. God Bless you, John. May Christ pour out such blessing upon you that there is not room enough to receive it.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    What would our lives be like without his music?

    by CherryValance

    Seriously. I have no idea. My favorite moment out of all of it is in ANH when they get their medals and they're marching in. Right around the time when Chewie yells, that's my favorite bit. :)

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Williams' score to the episode "The Mission

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    ...from Amazing Stories

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    That's classic Williams, particularly the climax, which BLEW MY MIND at the age of eleven with Williams' pounding ostinatio swelling relentlessly, only to break into one of the most rapturous/religioso climxes he's ever penned. And that was for NETWORK TV.

  • Before I knew it, I had gotten so loud that the Nun teaching the class yelled at me and then made me go stand in the corner of the room for disrupting the class. Thus, ended my dream of becoming a movie score composer.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    WIlliams is still the best around

    by Candy ass monkey suit

    It's a sad inditement on the state of today's film scores that an 80yr old composer is still showing the rest of then how it should be done! Williams should be resting on his laurels now with some new young spotty kid knocking out belting scores showing williams and the rest of us that he is the next big thing. sadly that hasn't happned and before anyone here says..what about Hans Zimmer? I say Fuck zimmer! totally overrated composer who hasn't knocked out one classic score that comes anywhere near the majesty of williams great works. Ok Inception was a cool score but ask yourselves was it really a classic?? Happy birthday John, here's hoping many more great yrs from you

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    One of the few geek icons to never suffer a backlash from fans

    by darthflagg

    Maybe because he always brings his A game no matter how disappointing the movie. Although I didn't care much for his Kingdom of the Crystal Skull score. Not that he had much to work with . . .

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    John Williams = The only thing consistently good about Star Wars.

    by NeonFrisbee

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday Jules Verne

    by Ardee-El

    Yeah, okay, he's dead and John Williams isn't, but what's a geek0site without a little Jules Verne love? And man, Google didn't even re-do their logo this year in commemoration.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Han flying through asteroids in EMPIRE...

    by GravyAkira

    May be the finest blending of moving pictures and music ever produced. God bless John Williams!

  • Ennio Moricone is 83 and pratically retired from film scoring. John Barry if alive would be 78. Michael Kamen, if alive, would be 64. Basil Poledouris if alive would be 67. And James Horner still lives. There is no god.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Leaving Home from the Superman

    by devilish21ca

    This, of course, is the right answer. Nothing as evocative as the soaring score as the camera rises up over the wheat fields, turning slowly as it keeps the focus on Clark and his mother. The whole score for "Superman" has really stood the test of time, and this is the track that gives me chills each time I hear it.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    @banned

    by jim

    Agreed, no Superman March=no Supeaman. Smallville would occasionally use brief exerpts from John Williams score, and instantly became a grander experience. Anything related to Superman since then which has not used the iconic music has been a little bit awful. Ps: loved the Perry White quote.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I gotta go beat myself off to Olivia Wilde again...damn

    by SmokieGeezer

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    ...make their knuckles bleed

    by SmokieGeezer

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Has anybody mentioned JFK?

    by paulloch

    I love the fanfare with the Martin Sheen narration in the beginning. It gave me chills in the theater. Really captured the time and hope before conspiracies and assasinations Will there ever be another? The way they name the Lombardi Trophy for the Superbowl winner. They should name the Score Composer Oscar, the John Williams award.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    super power team up time

    by Phil

    someone should get John Williams and George Martin together in a studio with an orchestra. i would love to hear what those 2 vets could come up with. I wonder if they have ever collaborated. NTF

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    agreement in a talkback??

    by devilish21ca

    Amazing to see so many talkbackers agreeing on something; THAT is also a tribute to Williams' music. I first got the "Star Wars" album as a Christmas present in 1977, and promptly played the grooves off it. My sister still kids me about finding me conducting the score (perfectly, I might add) with headphones on, in our family living room. It grew in me a love of soundtrack music that continues today (I've over a thousands cuts on my ipod under the 'soundtrack' genre). That passion for film music goes back to John Williams. He led me to Goldsmith, which led me to Barry, which led me to Morricone, etc, etc. And even though I have owned the "Star Wars" soundtrack in each of it's iterations (album, tape, CD, enhanced CD, ipod, etc) every time I listen side 3, track 5 ("The Princess Appears") I stop whatever I am doing. The lone horn that starts as the two suns set, and then grows into the full orchestra has sent chills up and down my body from that time when I was 15, to my current age of 49. Every. Single. Time. Thank you, Mr. Williams and Bravo!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Williams masterpieces that changed my world:

    by branimir

    Soundtracks from: E.T. Star wars saga Superman Indiana Jones saga Jaws Themes: Ark's theme (Map room) End title from Empire strikes back Main theme from Superman Escape and end title from E.T. Yoda's theme Force theme

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    A few Not Yet Mentioned

    by monorail77

    Most of my faves have been well covered above. But I haven't yet seen specific mention of the Prisoner of Azkaban soundtrack, which I love. No mere re-hash of the first two films is this one. In particular: Buckbeak's Flight Aunt Marge's Waltz The Deementors Converge Excellent stuff.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Dorinda solo flight from 'Always'.... Magnificent.

    by jim

    Anytime we see the green crystal in Superman, that theme is so good, so perfectly encapsulates the last remaining piece of Krypton. Fawkes the Phoenix theme from HP2 is another overlooked gem. The Ark theme from Raiders is simply amazing. Lost in the woods from A.I.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    HOOK! HOOK! HOOK!

    by D.Vader

    Prologue And You Are the Pan/The Face of Pan (can't remember which version I like better).

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Iconic themes

    by Dreamfasting

    Creating a memable theme is hard - it's just mind-boggling to me how many of John Williams' themes can spring to mind. I remember watching Superman for the first time and feeling like I'd gotten entire movie's worth of entertainment out of the opening credits.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    branimir

    by proevad

    I would add the Potter main theme to that list. I think it's just as iconic as the Star Wars theme.

  • I don't agree with him on this either, but don't call him a moron--and he sure as hell isn't a troll.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Meh. Giacchino is better.

    by darthpigman

    Just kidding! Happy birthday, JW!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Return of the Jedi - Vader vs Luke

    by soloaj

    The music swells as the are filmed in the shadows fighting away. Amazing - still brings a tingle to this "old" mans heart when I hear it. Going to see him again in concert this June - Boston. May him live many many more healthy years and grace us with even more of his genius. Peace

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    smokiegeezer

    by AsimovLives

    Elliot Goldenthal is excidling original in his work, and he has his own signature style. And as a composer he can do something that defeats even the best of composers, he can use atonal music and make it tonal-sounding. It's a fantastic difficult thing to do, and only few have mannaged to pull it off well, like Ennio Morricone or Jerry Godsmith. So, yeah, Goldenthal is a giant. I'm not dimishing the talent of John Williams. He's a master. But i'm calling attention to a composer who should be more recognized then he is. I actually prefer when John Williams goes out of his safe box and makes the type of music we are not accostumed to. All his recent scores have been a bit boring and predictable... except when he goes experimental and does something out of his usual confort zone. Then he becames as exciting as he once was in the 70s and 80s with his now classic wonderful scores. But i have to confess to you that no, Willism is not my favorite composer working in holywood, nor the one i now admire the most. He used to be, until i start to get myself more acknowledged to other people's works, like Jerry Goldsmith. But if you consider my words to be a bashing of John Williams, then, sir, you are a fool.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday

    by Mark

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Happy birthday, Mr Williams !

    by Thomas_Silane

    You're quite simply the best.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    And yes, happy birthday, Mr John Williams.

    by AsimovLives

    Keep your work coming, please. You are just a 80 years old young man.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday! Cannot post this enough:

    by alexander

    http://tinyurl.com/67kz7jj

  • A fucking crime that is.

  • One of the my favourite moments in the entire series, and certainly my favourite musical moment, is that bit. I like it even more than Potter's theme.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Reunion finale from A.I.

    by sapno_krei

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Men of the Yorktown March from Midway

    by sapno_krei

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    March from 1941

    by sapno_krei

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Zimmer's Best Score..

    by Lao_Che_Air_Freight

    POTC: Dead Man's Chest

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST

    None of the movies he's scored would be the same without him

    by alienindisguise

    He made just as much of an impact as any director or actor. What would Star Wars be without the opening theme or Indiana Jones without the galloping heroics being conducted by the man? Hard to impossible to imagine.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    lao_che_air_freight

    by AsimovLives

    No, sir. That would be THE THIN RED LINE.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Re:Goldenthal...too bad he's got some real crud on his resume.

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    The two Schumaker Batman's? Sphere? Yes, Mann has used him for Heat (and Public Enemies), and Fincher for Alien3. IMO his work is more moody than melodic, and perhaps why he doesn't jump out when considering modern day film composers. Perhaps a more intellectual than emotional choice.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    by Purple Fury

    I doubt there will ever be a greater opening chord than that of the main Star Wars theme. Whenever I see the fox logo fade out, I always expect that amazing blast of brass to follow, no matter what film is on.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    But They have a Hulk

    by TheNipplesofGodReturns

  • Before the world was over-saturated with Star Wars (pre-VHS days) I would listen to the sound track over and over on that double album with the simple, black cover. It would transport me to that galaxy far, far away... I loved that you could hear the pages of the music being turned in the quieter moments... But Superman - as Richard Donner says in his commentary on the movie, when Mr Williams played that blast that actually seems to say "Superman" in music - it was an incredible moment. I still get chills thinking about the subtle chords at the beginning of the movie with Marlon Brando saying words to the effect of "This is no fairytale..." If Zack Snyder keeps John Williams' music for his Superman movie his esteem will rise a thousand-fold in my estimation. Happy birthday John Williams - and thanks!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Isn't it about time for another guy with this sort of talent to appear?

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    because I don't hear anything like these themes in modern cinema. It's like movies are being churned out on an industrial conveyor belt, there's just some guy at the end hastily throwing some half-assed music on them.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    banned_of_brothers

    by AsimovLives

    no, that's not trolling, you stupid ass, it's just a difference of opinion. if you disagree, then pull and argument and convince me why i'm so wrong. using the troll bullshit just proves you have no idea of your own. Calling others trolls is the crap that people without a valid opinion use. it's bullshit.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 5:51 p.m. CST

    winona_ryders_pussy_juice

    by AsimovLives

    you have Hans Zimmer to thank for that. More the half the composers in holywood today came from the Hans Zimmer film score composing factory. this is why most holywood movie scores sound so similiar this days.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Close Encounters of the third Kind, the entire score

    by millermeusa

    Speilberg said it best," a serious symphonic achievement; timeless and without restraint. He has yet to top that masterpiece in my opinion but all hsi scores rock

  • My favorites would be... <p> Close Encounters of the Third Kind<p> The Empire Strikes Back (love all his Star Wars scores, but some of the new themes in Empire are my all-time favorites)<p> ET<p> Temple Of Doom<p> Empire of the Sun (big favorite)<p> Saving Private Ryan<p> The Patriot<p> Both Harry Potter scores<p> Memoirs of a Geisha <p> I seem to recall enjoying the scores for Hook and Far and Away, as well. Even though the films weren't exactly stellar.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Happy birthday!

    by HapaPapa72

    At least he doesn't go back and rework his soundtracks to death. I'll ever be able to name enough favorite tracks and scores of his. Living legend. Like George said, we're not watching these movies. We're listening to the music. Timeless, wonderful, transcendent music. Thank you, thank you, thank you sir.

  • The missus and I see him at the Hollywood Bowl every year, and this is really the highlight of the concert. Especially with 1000 light sabers swinging in time. He is also a great presenter and comes off as a very nice guy. But... I was a little disappointed with his turn in Crystal Skull. Hell I was a little disappointed with everything in that mess. Where the Indy theme in every other film was snappy and endergetic, it sounds really phoned in and tired in KOTCS. Really set the tone for how half assed the whole show felt.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST

    But still love the guy, can't believe he's 80!

    by Robert

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:20 p.m. CST

    banned_of_brothers

    by David Duchovny

    It's one of his best known and loved scores. Maybe has the most famous 5 notes in film history. Underrated? I do not think it means what you think it means. Put on your big boy pants and come back later. Ty for playing though.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST

    God bless this 80 year old musical thief

    by Dan the Man

    May you live to plunder the works of others for 80 more.

  • bye to Asi, d.vader, and you other guys know who you are. Hope it's not permanent. Peace out!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Williams' score for Robert Altman's Images (1972)

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    For anyone thinking Williams can only do brassy, upbeat fanfares for blockbusters should check out this score...he practically out-Goldsmiths Jerry Goldsmith at his most experimental.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Happy Birthday

    by Jeff

    I absolutely love John Williams and his music. His soundtracks are classic, but his Trumpet Concerto and other "classical" pieces are wonderful too. It's great knowing he's in the world.

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Best Williams Moments - SW and ET Goodbye

    by drkhelmet

    In Star Wars, A New Hope - Battle Of Yavin from 1:15 - 1:30 is an awesome fanfare that I just love and from 5:30 - about 6:15 the London Symphony Orchestra just builds and builds to Bigg's untimely death and the music just kills me every time!. Then in Battle of Endor for ESB, the walker entrance (WHICH LUCAS CUT! Damn him) is so awesome I wish that it was put in the "SE". (This is at 4:05). Now - ET Goodbye (which you neglected to notice was CUT OFF AT THE END!!!) IMHO some of the greatest Williams on screen outside SW.

  • Hollywood Bowl - Bring your light sabers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3pDZYim3bk

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    There was a tribute to Williams in the 90's on PBS...

    by Anti-fanboy

    Best Williams-related thing I've ever seen. Must've been '93, same year as JP. Richard Dreyfuss hosted. Can't find a copy of that any damn where.

  • It's that simple. Of any genre. Nothing else has ever so consistently made me feel as good. The only thing coming close would be The Beatles. The man is like Gandalf, really. A Maia of music, sent from some higher realm for the betterment of mankind.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Happy Birthday John

    by drdoom_v

    Don't Die.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST

    No mention of "THE TERMINAL"?!?!?!

    by pr0g2west

    Okok...Many would agree its not a great movie..(I think it is). But you gotta love that score...it's acually better than the movie itself. And genious I might add...Williams combines European sensibilities and jazz in the same film...which in itself has never really been done before...and it perfectly encapsulates the character of Viktor Navorski. The score truly serves to enhance the story and the characters, and not just highten emotion. And I agree with the "Hook" love. again...Score might be better than the movie.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:27 a.m. CST

    proevad

    by AsimovLives

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Come back!!!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty

    by AsimovLives

    Thanks for calling my attention to IMAGES. Robert Altman and John Williams in one movie? That i must see.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:35 a.m. CST

    banned_of_brothers

    by AsimovLives

    Allow me to agree with you in that John Williams many timews proves to be at his best whenhe goes more subtle. While his more fanfare and bombastic scores are very enjoyable, many times it's when he goes subtle and out of the box that he impresses me the most. And as you might know, he did started out more with jazz type scores, of which his score for CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is more of a throw back to his earlier career then a true departure. Regarding CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, i have to agree that in some ways is an atypical score for Wiliams in that it's his work here he actually goes closer to an atonal full score then the rest of his more recent work (and by that i mean, since he started to collaborate with Spielberg and George Lucas). The thing is, we don't disagree about John Willaims' merits. i just happen to not have him as my favorite composer. there has been more adventurous composers then him. but he is one of my favorites, one of the top. you understand me now? tschuss.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    well Asimov

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    Then we have no choice. It's time to shut down these so-called Hans Zimmer schools of hackery. What's your poison, terrorism? Assassination? Perhaps a bug infestation?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    ESB The Clash of Lighsabers

    by Crumb

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:39 a.m. CST

    One of my heroes. Happy belated! (nt)

    by Triple_J_72

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Guess nobody gives a fuck about the HARRY POTTER THEME....

    by sbaicn

    BA BUM BABA BUM BA BAAAA BAAAA....

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Yay! John Williams!

    by orcus