John Williams is a genius.
Given that as a basis for listening to Indiana Jones: The Soundtracks
Collection by Concorde Music Group prepares the listener by
letting him/her know that everything that emerges from the speakers
is a sheer pleasure. Having been a fan of Williams music since I
was a kid in the summer of 1975 when the thought of going near any
body of water whether it be a sink or a lake was always accompanied
by the famed "Da-Dum-Da-Dum" of Jaws. The soundtrack of
my mind has been populated by the famed Star Wars, Superman,
Close Encounters, and so many other great collaborations
between celluloid and sound by Mr. Williams that I cannot think
of any movie going experience in the past thirty without instantly
hearing a full orchestra. So, I was eager to unwrap the latest package
from Amazon containing the great new collected soundtracks of all
the Indy films, many not available on CD in years, and contains
a great deal of unreleased pieces including a bonus interview disc
with the Maestro, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Combine the energy of Williams with Indiana Jones and you have
a match made in movie going heaven. As Williams explains on the
great bonus CD that contains interviews conducted by Spielberg documentation,
Laurent Bouzereau, the Indy films always felt like they were going
"90 m.p.h. from beginning to end" and he rose to the occasion
to create scores that match the Indy films scene for scene. Plus,
discover the origins of the familiar "Raiders' March"
that was a "two for the price of one" treat from John
Williams to Steven Spielberg.
I took a few minutes to admire the great care and design that went
into the packaging of this boxed set from the textured outer box
with gold lettering to the fantastic CD artwork of each of the "MacGuffin"
on their respective film scores. Each disc contains a booklet with
images of the films, many not scene before, and a letter from Steven
Spielberg talking about how Williams music drove that particular
film, a list of all the musicians that performed on that soundtrack,
and track listings. Any Indyfans will have a great time just flipping
through the booklets and recalling the films and the scenes.
Moving beyond the packaging, the big question is; "How do
Fantastic. My favorite disc is the collection of previously unreleased
material that is on the bonus interview disc that contains ten tracks,
mostly from Temple and Crusade. With it cranked
up to the number "11" button as I type this review, I
am immersed in the world of Indiana Jones, albeit only in audio
form, but what a world it is. From the complete otherworldly, and
awe-inspiring music from the "Uncovering the Ark" to the
pensiveness of "The Secret Passage" from Temple,
I can almost feel the cool mist of the caverns that lie below Pankot
Palace and the dread that waits around the next bend.
The strings, percussions, wind instruments and vocals that combine
to add that layer of sound that almost felt it had come from Ben
Burtt's sound effects group is the real "musical miracle"
that John Williams' scores for the Indy films is what makes this
set so great. The quality is so vibrant and may I say, "alive" that
it has become it's own being or "force" of sound that transcends
so many other film scores. The listener almost is felled to start
"moving", as Williams points out on the interview CD. You want to
start to accelerate and start searching for some hidden treasures.
On a personal note; I always credit Williams' Last Crusade
"Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra" that was playing on my car
cassette player way back in May 1998 when I was driving my wife,
who was in labor, to the hospital and miraculously avoided the typical
bumper to bumper early morning commuter traffic heading towards
New York! We made it in to the delivery room and her water broke
five minutes later, I remember the nurse commenting that I was lucky
to make it just in the "nick of time" –(Thanks. Mr. Williams!)
I could go on for pages to describe how wonderful it is to finally
have all of these Indiana Jones soundtracks available, but any Indy
fan can tell you that. Indiana Jones: The Soundtracks Collection
is a wonderful gift to fans of soundtracks, action films, Indiana
Jones, and of course great music. Just listening to the familiar
the triumphant trumpets of the "Raiders' March" will put a
smile on your face and a spring in your step. So, do your self a
favor and put this one on your wish list and in your music library.
As George Lucas says in the interview; "... I just sat back and
watched great artist at work, from great directing, great writing
to especially the great music. I didn't have to do anything but
say "that's fantastic".
And by George, he's right!
Indiana Jones: The Soundtracks Collection is available
now from Concord Music.
Posted by Mitchell Hallock