Friday, October 27, 2006

CD Review: The Movie Themes of John Williams Vol: 1

In an attempt to broaden the content of this blog beyond talking a lot about celebrities I'm starting a new CD reviewing feature. First up: The Movie Themes of John Williams Vol: 1.

So I picked up The Movie Themes of John Williams for two bucks in a sale bin at K-Mart. You'll probably remember John Williams as that guy who wrote the music for a whole bunch of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas movies that you've probably seen like Star Wars, ET and Raiders of the Lost Ark. And a whole bunch of movies that you probably haven't seen like Amistad, Always and The Terminal.

Now normally I wouldn't bother reviewing a CD of themes from old movies because that would be totally Melvin. However, this isn't just a CD of movie themes, it's a CD of movie themes remixed to sound completely disco! It's like someone thought, "You know, that screechy violin bit in Jaws was good and all but what would make it better is if I could dance to it dammit!" and then made an entire album based on this concept. It's totally the shit! And by the shit, I actually mean "It was amusing at first then become a chore to listen to after the novelty wore off." But I'm going to review it anyway.

Track by Track Review!

1. Star Wars Theme: The opening track does a good job of establishing what is to come: batshit crazy disco beats and seventies chika-chika guitar noises over the top of classical music. There's even synthesizer laser noises over the top of some parts. It's awesome. It gets extra points for featuring a bit of that kewl song that those vagina faced aliens play in that Cantina scene.

2. The Empire Strikes Back: This is actually one of the few songs on the album that is played straight. I was vaguely disappointed when I heard it because I thought I had just found a whole CD of classic movie themes turned into rocking dance tracks. Then I listened to the next song and became all happy and stuff when I found out that that is exactly what I had found.

3. Luke And Leia: This is an interesting one because they've actually selected a sad sounding piece of music here. But, of course, a silly thing like sounding maudlin didn't stop them wacking a whole bunch of wicked dance beats and laser noises over the top of it!

4. March of the Jedi Knights: I was a little bit bored of Star Wars by this time and admittedly skipped most of this. So blah blah blah disco, blah blah lasers.

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark: This one was a little bit disappointing actually. It was crazy and stuff but not the level of craziness I had come to expect unfortunately. You deserved better Indy. You deserved better.

6. Superman: This is pretty much the best song on the album. If this was made in 1977 it would have been released as a single. The only thing that could have made it more disco is three creepy horsey teethed brothers singing like girls over the top of it. My favourite bit is the minute long chika chika guitar solo in the middle during which none of the actual movie theme is played.

7. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: This one is my other fave. It's a bit different from the others in that it sounds a little bit more modern. It sounds a little bit house actually even down to the stuttering dialogue tracks. It kind of reminds me of music from crappy 80's Japanese cartoons.

8. Theme from Schindlers List: Since I'm probably a jew I was really looking forward to hearing the sound of five million of my kinsmen being led to their deaths...but with a disco flava! Unfortunately they play it straight. The PC bastards.

9. Theme from JFK: I haven't actually seen JFK, mostly because there are no dinosaurs, aliens, superheroes, Nazis, lightsabers or giant man-eating sharks in it. I totally skipped this one.

10. Dracula: I haven't seen this one either. Skipped.

11. Theme from ET: This one continues the ever popular trend of remixing sad sounding music into dance hitz! A disco version of ET? I bet there's a superior Micheal Jackson version of this lying around an old recording studio somewhere.

12. Theme from Jaws: Admittedly it's been a few years since I last saw the movie but this sounds absolutely nothing like the theme from Jaws. It's alright, I mean there's a kewl flute bit in the middle but I'm just not getting giant man-eating shark from this.

13. Theme from Jurassic Park: I didn't really like this one either which is a shame because it sounds like they put a little bit of effort into it. They put a little bit too much effort into it truth be told. It's sort of like when Hanson all matured and stuff and started really trying with their music and then everyone stopped liking them because they weren't a one-note joke anymore. Which is a shame because it is obvious that a lot of love has gone into this track what with all the harps and violins and shit. You can really tell that it wasn't cracked out in a couple of minutes with a synthesizer and a Casio keyboard.

14. Theme from Jaws 2: I find it funny that they got John Williams to score Jaws II. The theme from Jaws 1 is better.

15. Hook: I really hate Hook. That movie was shit. Skipped.

Extra Special BONUS TRACK!!!
16. Summon the Heroes, the Theme from the Atlanta Olympics, 1996: Skipped.

All in all a compelling take on some of cinema's most memorable tunes. And by compelling I mean fucking weird.

Thought of the day: If I spent as much effort working at my place of employment as I do writing up track by track reviews of cheap CD's I probably could have been promoted by now! Ha ha.

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