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Comments about the soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back (John Williams)
Jedi Is No Empire, But...

Will
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Bowie
Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Friday, March 11, 2005 (6:39 a.m.) 

I won't deny that Jedi cannot top Empire (for me, probably my all-time favorite film music begins when Luke takes off from Dagobah running through until the Rebel fleet at the end.

Williams truly pulls out all stops for the battle of Endor. "Into the Trap" is just one of many propulsive cues and amazingly enough, even the slightly silly Ewok theme can't mar this.

The source music is pretty awful. I enjoyed the film version of "Lapti Nek" when I was younger, but this doesn't really matter since, inexplicably, there is no master for the film version of the song and it was replaced anyway. "Lapti Nek" on album was pretty awful...for all Williams' talents, rock is not one of them, and hearing it on album is pretty excruciating (Lucas told Rolling Stone he considered hiring Toto to do a tie-in song; incidentally, Williams' son Joseph contributed to the song and joined Toto three years later. As for the celebration music, while the only problem I had with the Ewok Celebration music itself was the inane lyrics (in both English and Ewokese...I mean, "celebrate the love"?), the sequence never looked right to me on screen. There are too few people celebrating and it's embarrassing seeing grown men trying to dance with miniature teddy bears. The new piece is OK if you like soft, Yanni-style New Age music. The theme isn't that great and I think most people could do without all the "Ya Ya"s.

Will

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Bowie
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Will

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Tomek
Dave
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Sunday, March 13, 2005 (7:25 p.m.) 

> I won't deny that Jedi cannot top Empire (for me, probably my all-time
> favorite film music begins when Luke takes off from Dagobah running
> through until the Rebel fleet at the end.

> Williams truly pulls out all stops for the battle of Endor. "Into the
> Trap" is just one of many propulsive cues and amazingly enough, even
> the slightly silly Ewok theme can't mar this.

> The source music is pretty awful. I enjoyed the film version of
> "Lapti Nek" when I was younger, but this doesn't really matter
> since, inexplicably, there is no master for the film version of the song
> and it was replaced anyway. "Lapti Nek" on album was pretty
> awful...for all Williams' talents, rock is not one of them, and hearing it
> on album is pretty excruciating (Lucas told Rolling Stone he considered
> hiring Toto to do a tie-in song; incidentally, Williams' son Joseph
> contributed to the song and joined Toto three years later. As for the
> celebration music, while the only problem I had with the Ewok Celebration
> music itself was the inane lyrics (in both English and Ewokese...I mean,
> "celebrate the love"?), the sequence never looked right to me on
> screen. There are too few people celebrating and it's embarrassing seeing
> grown men trying to dance with miniature teddy bears. The new piece is OK
> if you like soft, Yanni-style New Age music. The theme isn't that great
> and I think most people could do without all the "Ya Ya"s.

> Will

I was never familiar with the original celebration/end credits music, and I personally find the new version to be a classic Williams composition. What are you on about "most people could do without all the Ya Yas"? What on earth is wrong with "Ya Ya"? Admit that because it's a new composition it contains no nostalgia for you. On its own merits, it's a fantastic, haunting celebratory piece, and is interesting to note how it's in a minor key, depicting a sadness of the saga's ending, and of the many deaths gone before.

I don't even find Lapti Nek that annoying. It's amusing and exotic-sounding. Seems a perfectly composed concept song to me.

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Tomek
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  In Response to:
Bowie

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Griz
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Sunday, March 13, 2005 (11:53 p.m.) 

> What are you on about "most people could do without all the Ya
> Yas"? What on earth is wrong with "Ya Ya"?

Right. The choir in Matrix Revolutions sings "Ya ya" endlessly and no one was complaining about it...

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Griz
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Tomek

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Admiral Hull
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Tuesday, February 14, 2006 (11:30 a.m.) 

I am a big fan of Lapti Nek - funky and exotic, it's absolutley 1000 times better than the just AWFUL Jedi Rocks.

As for the ya ya celebration finale, one of the first times I heard that was tripping on mushrooms with people from Ireland; we were in these townhouses that were on a hill in the woods, on a top floor - hearing it and looking out all we could think of was the Ewok village. Now every time I hear that piece I remember that fine, fine day, so I like the song.

But Lapti Nek is just bad ass galactic soul.

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Admiral Hull
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  In Response to:
Griz
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Tuesday, May 23, 2006 (7:19 a.m.) 

I also hate "Jedi Rocks." That's the only track I skip every time I listen to any Star Wars album. It's even worse than that quirckey parade song at the end of The Phantom Menace.
As for the ya ya thing, it's all right. I respect it; I just don't particuarly like it.

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Dave
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Bowie

  Responses to this Comment:
Will
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Sunday, March 13, 2005 (11:56 p.m.) 

Those songs are an aural Holocaust. The new end credits are basically two minutes of listening to this:

ya ya ya ya ya ya

ya ya ya ya, yayayaya

ya ya ya

yayayayayayaya

But Christ almighty, "Jedi Rocks" takes the cake as the worst inclusion EVER on a classic Williams score (even beating out those crappy children's songs from "Hook")

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Will
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  In Response to:
Dave
Re: Jedi Is No Empire, But...   Monday, March 14, 2005 (4:50 p.m.) 

Off the top of my head, I’d give the award to “We Don’t Wanna Grow Up” from Hook as the worst addition to a Williams score. Even though “Jedi Rocks” was composed by Jerry Hey, it still beats out the Hook song. In all fairness, writing a simple song for piano to be performed by a bunch of kids in a play is probably not going to elicit a memorable piece of music…I just wish they had ditched both the songs and added more score to the original release (as well as track titles).

As far as Williams’ odder work goes, I think I’ve been pretty charitable. “Heartbeeps” had its moments and I had no problem with the more pop-oriented music in “SpaceCamp”.


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