on 11 September 2004
Music has a way of entering your soul and making an impression. Sometimes that impression lasts no longer than a breath, but then again a lot of film music is like that and easily forgotten.
Then along comes the Master, John Williams.He puts pen to paper and taps into a music of such beauty and majesty, that your heart misses a beat, and you are transported into a new world, a new dimension.
I have never before heard music that is so complete, unique and utterly believable. Every emotion is brought to it's knees and helped up with the aid of the wonderous orchestration of the great Herbert Spencer and the playing of London Symphony Orchestra which defies description. Listen out to the superb leader of the brass section, the totally brilliant trumpeter Maurice Murphy-he will literally take your breath away.
The music of the follwing movies again and again provide evidence that history was being re-written when these scores were being played, recorded and produced.
This is one of those discs that has had a long life in my house - I first had the soundtrack of Star Wars on cassette tape, then when that broke (from being overplayed), I got the vinyl version (so I could re-record the tracks in a better order). When that record set got worn and poppy, I got the CD, and then when this special edition came out, I got it too. So, I guess one could say that this is a perennial favourite.
Even the design of the discs is fun - the round discs are overprinted with a graphic of the Death Star on them; were I still a kid (I was 12 years old when Star Wars first came out), I would be thrilled (and I must confess, that small part of me does still enjoy this quite a bit).
Unlike the tape and record albums of old, this is in fact the complete score of the film, done in the order in which it plays on the film. The classic pieces are still there with force - the gigantic orchestral crash as an opener, the heavy brass fanfare trumpeting major events, the timpani and low tones giving ominous emotional feel to events, all is still here in glorious remastering.
This disc includes the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, a piece that made its debut in the 1930s but is still considered an important prelude to the Star Wars experience - the gap in the sound between the Fox Fanfare and the opening crash of the main title theme is one with great anticipation. There is also a 'main title archive' on this disc, in which all five recorded takes of the theme are presented.
One thing that I credit this music for is helping me to appreciate the emotive power of orchestral music at an early age. Separating the music from the film (video and DVD were not available back in the medieval times of my childhood) made the music stand out all the more and carry the emotional force; while many recount playing the Cantina music over and over, in fact I was more impressed with the subtleties that would come from the orchestral suites, and delighted in seeing how the music alone would bring forth feelings and memories - this in turn led to a greater appreciation of music in general, and led to my seeking out orchestral music as symphonies, concertos, and more at a fairly early age.
This is wonderful music, perfect for its subject, and will always hold a special place for me, too.
on 5 September 2000
Well, what can I say except 'WOW'? We all know how great the intro is to Star Wars but when you listen to this CD you can feel the whole emotion of the film...the anticipation as Luke races to see Uncle Owen, the impending doom as Vader appears, and the sad loss of Alderaan. However, once you get to the latter half of CD 2 then you get to the real crux of the film. John Williams just keeps on lashing out great tunes with great drums, giving the amazing sense of excitement. The final moments before the Death Star's destruction are great as John Williams gets the drums pounding as well as your heart. All in all, I recommend this to any lover of classical music, any Star Wars fan and anyone with an open mind for music.
on 17 May 2013
Anyone who has ever seen the 1977 film classic STAR WARS will immediately recall the equally famous musical score by JOHN WILLIAMS.
This double CD includes (almost) the entire soundtrack to the film, displayed here in chronological order, totalling 24 tracks and running to 105 minutes in length. From REBEL BLOCKADE RUNNER and ATTACK OF THE SAND PEOPLE to TIE FIGHTER ATTACK and THE THRONE ROOM, this is the music which has lost none of its excitement and appeal over the decades for film fans around the world.
Additionally, several tracks either include previously unreleased material or have never been available until now, the alternative version of BINARY SUNSET being one notable highlight. Plus, after a pause at the end of the first CD we are treated to special recordings of the MAIN THEME which makes interesting listening as we hear how the music changed slightly between sessions!
Also included is a nice 32 page booklet and, as well as including detailed information on the musical score, features several photographs from the film itself.
Unfortunately, even though the CD is described as the Special Edition, the music played during the Mos Eisley encounter between Han Solo and Jabba The Hutt is missing. This is extremely disappointing as I rather liked that particular suite!
Still, this is by far the most complete STAR WARS collection to date and as such comes highly recommended.
on 29 October 2005
Listening to this soundtrack - feels like watching the film, from the opening credits to the tie-fighters attacking the falcon to the death of obi-wan. You simply don't get the same feeling listening to any other soundtrack (maybe because of my mis-spent youth?). Fantastic, iconic, seminal, legendary, universally recognised, i could go on at length - but i think you get the picture. This album really doesn't need reviews anyway, if you've seen the film and liked it and you are looking at this page you'd be mad not to get this (and the other 2 in this trilogy).
Simply the best!
on 9 July 2015
'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' was the second film in the franchise that I saw, but it was the film's score by John Williams that really grabbed my attention. Without question, it was this soundtrack that broadened my musical interests to film scores.
On an even more personal note, I have been going through a John Williams phase of late, so I recently purchased all three two disc editions of the film scores for the original trilogy. What follows is a review of the 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' two disc edition soundtrack.
First of all, let's get the negative out of the way. Other reviewers have commented that this is not the full soundtrack and that, in fact, there are some cues missing. Unfortunately, I have to report that the said reviewers are correct. This two disc edition is not the full soundtrack, I'm afraid. However, that being said, my advice is to not let this put you off. While you may not get the full soundtrack with this release, you do get next to all of it and, believe me, I'm not complaining. This is especially the case if you think of the offerings for the prequel trilogy. At the time of writing, you can only avail of one disc albums for Episodes II and III and, sadly, those said albums are nowhere near complete. My point here is that this two disc edition of 'A New Hope' may not be the full score, but rest assured it could have been much worse!
Anyway, on a more positive note, I have to commend the clarity of the recordings on this release. They are fantastic and absolute value for money! The score is also played chronologically in the order that it appears in the film over the two discs too, which is excellent.
What I find particularly pleasing about a John Williams score is his unfailing ability to transport you to another world and, in so doing, bring about a full range of emotions in you, the listener. With the score for 'A New Hope', there is no exception made. I mean, who honestly can't say that they don't get chills down the spine whenever they hear 'The Hologram/Binary Sunset'? The same goes for 'Burning Homestead'; you can literally feel the urgency of Luke racing to save his aunt and uncle. What about 'Cantina Band' (yes, it is here, every last cue of it!)? This is a track that never fails to put a smile on my face. One final example would be 'Princess Leia's Theme'. The track never fails to send chills down the spine, especially towards the end when the bar is raised.
However, don't take my word on all of the above. Treat yourself to the 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' film score and marvel at the magic and wonder of John Williams. It may not be the full score, but it is as closest to close as you can possibly get at the moment. Overall, I have to say that I am very happy with this purchase and feel that it was well worth the money. Highly recommended.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps.
on 22 June 2003
I have been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid.I am 13 now but I still continue to buy & collect books,toys,video games,and of course;audio CD sountrack's.A few months ago I was watching "Star Wars:A New Hope" and I thought to myself,"Why don't I buy the the soundtrack?!".I knew it would be difficult to find,since it is very old.Then I thought amazon could help me out.I found the all 3 films CD's on the UK website,and ordered the first film's soundtrack from the original trilogy.The music is so nice and perfect,you could listen to both of the CD's without stopping.And when I listen to it,the first 2 songs I listen to are the Mos Eisley Cantina Band's songs.They are so nice,so perfect you can almost imagine sitting in the Mos Eisley Cantine having a drink or two,hearing Star Wars creatures talking to each other.If you're not a fan of Star Wars,it's your choice.But if you are fan or a geek of Star Wars,GET THIS CD NOW!!!!!!!!!
One of the best things about listening to a great movie soundtrack like this is that it reminds you what an important part music can play in the success of a movie. Can you imagine Star Wars without John Williams' stirring themes? The reverse also applies, as it is impossible to listen to this CD without reliving the excitement of the movie itself.
I have also found that this CD has helped me to understand how movie music is put together. It becomes clear that Williams has created a number of 'themes' (such as Luke's Theme and Leia's Theme) which he then revisits in various forms throughout the film helping to invoke the appropriate emotions from us. It's all really quite clever.
Overall, this CD makes for excellent listening for anybody when you feel like some stirring classical style music. Of course, it goes without saying that for Star Wars fans, in particular, this CD is essential.
I sincerely hope the version I've just bought off Ebay isn't less remastered than this, readily available version here on Amazon. See, I'd eschewed buying this before as I was convinced, erroneously, it transpires, that only the 1997 Special Edition soundtrack had the track "Cantina Band 2" on it. Wrong, as ever I am. "Cantina Band 2" is just one reason why this is the best score of all time, far superior even to the other five films', which fall far short of the mark.
From the iconic opneing crawl to lesser known pieces, such as the energetic, frantic "Tie Fighter Attack", or the lazy, heatstricken "Dune Sea Of Tattooine" (not unlike a certain piece of library music, but I'm levelling no criticism at the best soundtrack ever, nott odat), the record is full of work which conjures the images of the film- the dual sunset, the rush home, the attack on the Death Star. But this doesn't matter- the music really is good enough to stand on its own merit. I see how people unfamiliar with the films could enjoy this. This is no nostalgia trip- this music is absolutely brilliant.
As highly recommended as humanly possible, and maybe even beyond.
on 25 February 2016
One of the original and best of Williams' scores. Missed this one out of my collection for a while as have the original release of this OST (B&W cover graphics of SW logo only); recorded as written; as a set of 'suites', rather than broken-up (mostly in the studio) as here (and the other re-masters of Episodes V and VI).
Shame the soundtracks are all now broken-up onto short sequences (and 'cleaned-up'; players clanging their instruments about, etc). I don't think listeners are so daft they can't work-out which parts of the suites apply to the films. Purists will groan but the original release of Episode IV is what helped me get into classical music (aided further by Williams' leave notes) - and I know I'm not alone, either. Brilliant stuff.