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Awesome Music / John Williams

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There is a reason why he is the most well known film composer of our time.
John Williams is responsible for many, many memorable film soundtracks. Among them are the soundtracks to Star Wars and almost every Steven Spielberg film (the exceptions being his Made for TV Movies, The Color Purple, Twilight Zone: The Movie and Ready Player One (2018).). In short, John Williams has made a career out of writing Awesome Music.

The following soundtracks have their own page:

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     For Steven Spielberg 
  • The main theme from Jaws. Spielberg reportedly assumed the unusually simple theme was a joke when Williams first presented it to him. But just try to forget it.
    • His score for the final scenes of the film is worth mentioning; after the nerve-shredding climax, Williams, instead of another encore of the shark's theme, opts for a quiet, gentle version of the Orca's theme that is absolutely beautiful.
    • "Man Against Beast" combines dramatic suspense with the heroic theme of the orca.
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial:
    • The Flying Theme. It's particularly neat in how it times up with the bicycle flying "against" the moon; it's like you can hear the wheels turning. Spielberg stated himself that technical wizardry and special effects can get those bicycles to fly, but only upon John Williams' strings do the characters become truly airborne.
    • "Escape/Chase/Goodbye" is some of John Williams finest work. The best part of the song is during the bicycle chase scene and the bombastic Theme Music Powerup when the bicycles start taking flight.
  • Empire of the Sun:
    • Christian Bale (at a very young age) singing "Suo Gan" (a Welsh lullaby), just as the Japanese Kamikaze pilots are about to take off for their mission. You'll cry at about the same moment the Japanese characters in the film start crying because of the sheer gallantry of it all.
    • The sheer joy in this piece, "Exsultate Justi", as it plays in the end when Jim makes it back to the now-abandoned internment camp with virtually no hope in sight, but in spite (or because) of this, he still rides his bike around the inside of the buildings like the little kid that he is.

    Everything else 
  • Much less well known, but just as awesome as all of the above, is the nine-minute piece from The Towering Inferno that accompanies Paul Newman and Steve McQueen rigging explosive charges to the burning skyscraper's water tanks. One of the greatest examples of music used for a rising tension/countdown effect. And here's the main title music.
  • John Williams won his first Oscar for his adapted score for Fiddler on the Roof.
  • John Williams had some opportunity to compose some Irish music with the Far and Away theme.
  • Home Alone:
    • "Somewhere in My Memory" was nominated for the Best Song Oscar and has become a Christmas standard performed by choirs and orchestra all around the world.
    • "Holiday Flight" perfectly captures the frantic pace of the family trying to catch their plane.
    • "Setting the Trap", is an excellent "Carol of the Bells" inspired piece which makes Kevin setting up his booby traps sound like he's preparing for a Christmas-themed war.
  • The discordant, almost avant-garde theme music for The Time Tunnel, especially the longer version played over the closing credits.
  • Heck, even his theme for the NBC Nightly News, "The Mission", is epic.
  • A lesser-known score but one that Williams reportedly considers some of his best work: the haunting love theme from Jane Eyre (the 1970 TV film starring George C. Scott and Susannah York). The theme simultaneously evokes a Lonely Piano Piece and a soaringly beautiful romantic melody.
  • The special medley arrangement of the awesome film music scores in this tribute to his fellow composers.
  • John Williams also played session piano for composer Henry Mancini and played the piano part to Mancini's famous theme from Peter Gunn. And here's the solid evidence.
  • "Wide Receiver" his theme for NBC's Sunday Night Football.


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