- Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
- Conductor: John Williams
- Composer: John Williams
- Audio CD (13 April 1997)
- Special Edition edition
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Special Edition, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
- Label: RCA
- ASIN: B000003G8Z
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,234 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
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As the bridging film of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) topped its predecessor in terms of story, character development, and special effects. Directed by Irvin Kershner, the sequel documents the relentless pursuit of the rebels by Darth Vader, a burgeoning romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia, and the training of Luke by the mystical Yoda. Taking advantage of his elaborate leitmotif design, composer John Williams introduces a wise, spiritual theme for Yoda and a delicate love theme that assumes a more dramatic profile after Han is betrayed and frozen into sculpture. The score is also an imaginative inventory of self-contained settings, whether it be the chilly Hoth soundscapes, the otherworldly choruses of Cloud City, or the intricate gymnastics written for "The Asteroid Field". Discarding the heroic optimism of his previous score, Williams enforces the film's overriding dark tone through the ominous, brassy "Imperial March". Appearing in virtually every cue, the march accompanies Vader's obsessive quest to kidnap and convert Luke to the dark side. A definitive accounting of the finest science-fiction score ever written, this remastered two-disc set (released concurrently with the special edition of The Empire Strikes Back in 1997) presents the complete score in its full glory. --Kevin Mulhall
Top Customer Reviews
Yoda's theme, when played slowly, is a mystical lulaby. But when it greets the end credits, it becomes a fast lively affair. What was once calm and serene becomes playful and energetic.
In this soundtrack there is so much to keep you entertained. You'll want to come back, time and again, and with this double cd edition, there's even more for you to listen to.
From one of the greatesr film scorer of all time comes one of his best works so far. Own it today!
John Williams works his magic with themes: rich, emotional themes that we can all recognise and associate with a million and one classic moments that Lucas forms for us on the screen and in our hearts. Okay, maybe that wording was a bit too much, but you get the picture, right? This entire score is awash with melodies that we already recognise from 'A New Hope' (and, depending on your time scale, 'The Phantom Menace' and 'Attack of the Clones'), and new ones are formed constantly. Even battle sequences, which I usually judge as being "all the same" and a tedious run of big booms and overdone strings, seem to have been revitalised in this score; Williams adds so much character to everything that he composes that it seems almost fantastical in its very nature! I love it to pieces, really I do...
So, what are the pros and cons of this CD, eh? One pro is definitely the length. Anybody who has bought (or even just looked at) the more recent CD for AotC knows that it is depressingly short, with only 14 tracks (super for a chart album, disgraceful for a Williams-soundtrack). This double-CD has a good range of music, all with the sort of unique personality that even other top-notch composers only manage to fix into their main themes.Read more ›
Presented here in a double CD set, the first has 11 tracks and runs to nearly 63 minutes in length while the second features 12 tracks and is almost 62 minutes long. The music is - at least for the main part - listed in chronological order of the film.
After the brief 20TH CENTURY FOX FANFARE by the late ALFRED NEWMAN, the soundtrack begins with the Main Title (the classic STAR WARS theme) and also includes perhaps the most famous music from the entire film franchise - THE IMPERIAL MARCH!
Other standout highlights include THE BATTLE OF HOTH (a collection of 4 rousing action cues) and THE ASTEROID FIELD, a quick tempo arrangement to accompany arguably the most famous part of the film.
An added bonus is a glossy, illustrated 32 page booklet which describes the music scene by scene. As this collection represents the 1997 SPECIAL EDITION of the film, it contains 5 extended and 6 previously unreleased pieces of music, ensuring without a doubt that this is the definitive soundtrack experience and a must have collectors item!
So much has been written about the music of Star Wars and John Williams, and this soundtrack kind of brings everything all together. Stirring, epic, magical, wonderful. If you only listen to one track ever from this album, make it the last one: The Rebel Fleet/End Titles. Musical perfection.
Personally, so far, this has always been my favourite out of the series, and probably, unless eclipsed by the latest Attack of the Clones, will always remain that way.
The Empire may admit defeat this time around, but Williams records a resounding success!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is almost impossible to say something that hasn't said yet: wonderful, amazing... simply, IT'S A MUST-HAVEPublished 18 months ago by Randall Stevens
The starwars trilogy soundtracks are still the best not showing any age the music will live on foreverPublished 23 months ago by Mark
All the main themes in this outstanding score have been quite rightly hailed by many past reviewers. All I can add is, listen
to THE ASTEROID FIELD. Read more
I would recomend this to anyone. This is the best Star Wars soundtrack ever.
You will enjoy all the tracks espsally THE IMPERIAL MARCH, a dark but fun theme that is now a... Read more
John Williams again proves himself to be the king of symphonic soundtrack
Once again his use of leimotif perfectly captures the emotions of the film he writes the music... Read more