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Big Wednesday
(1978)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

Lyrics, Vocals and Slack Key Guitars by:
Keola and Kapono Beamer

Co-Produced by:
Lukas Kendall
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Film Score Monthly
(June, 2004)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The album is a Film Score Monthly Silver Age Classics product (FSMCD Vol. 7, No. 8) limited to 3,000 pressings and available through the FSM site or online soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are curious to hear Basil Poledouris' triumphant arrival to the realm of feature films with a rousing, largely symphonic score that foreshadows several of his more famous works to come.

Avoid it... if archival sound and the efforts of a smaller orchestra, paired with intimate guitar performances, does not meet your expectations for the beefy depth you hear emerge in Poledouris' music shortly thereafter.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,120
WRITTEN 7/3/04, REVISED 10/14/11
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Poledouris
Poledouris
Big Wednesday: (Basil Poledouris) There haven't been many dramatically weighty films in the genre of surfing throughout Hollywood's history, but director John Milius wanted to present the public with just that in 1978. An avid surfer during his developmental years in Southern California, Milius sought to change the perception of surfing films that had been dominated by pop culture music and had neglected the serious and professional aspects of the sport. While Big Wednesday accomplished its goal in providing drama both on and off the waves, the film earned its niche in small cult groups across the world while being sadly forgotten by most mainstream viewers. Its extremely long soap-opera diversions into the lives of a group of young men at the center of its tale ultimately caused Big Wednesday to drag significantly in many sequences. Another surfing enthusiast and one of Milius' close friends, composer Basil Poledouris, was also studying film in the same area in the 1970's. Poledouris' knack for musical whimsy, composing impromptu themes on the piano for Milius' initial film projects, led to an early and fruitful collaboration on Big Wednesday. With the story centering on a subject matter close to their hearts (and shying away from major stars and their accompanying budgets), both Milius and Poledouris tackled the project as a labor of passion, and their ideas about the musical identity of Big Wednesday surfaced before shooting on the film even began. Unlike the pop culture surfing films of previous decades and the Beach Boy sound often associated with them, Poledouris was instructed to offer his services to this film with the intent of a largely orchestral approach. The composer had already been writing music for television and disappointing B-rate films for a few years, and the opportunity to work on a feature film such as Big Wednesday led to not only a noteworthy career for Poledouris, but also a continuing collaboration of much success with Milius through the formative years of that career. To emphasize the serious treatment of surfing, Poledouris would not only employ a 55 to 65 member orchestra, but also a pair of slack key Hawaiian guitarists to provide the heartwarming material for the central characters and their bonds with each other. A significant amount of lightly swaying romantic material was conceived as well to accompany the love interests in the film.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
283 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.44 Stars
***** 73 5 Stars
**** 85 4 Stars
*** 56 3 Stars
** 32 2 Stars
* 37 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 78:32
• 1. The South Swell (Passing of the Years I)/Main Title/Three Friends Theme (4:11)
• 2. Matt Surfs/Kaliponi Slack Key/Bear's Shack (4:18)
• 3. Bear's Story (2:05)
• 4. La Golondrina (traditional) (0:59)
• 5. Passing of the Years II (0:59)
• 6. You Oughta Know What I Mean, Bear (1:16)
• 7. Bear's Wedding (3:02)
• 8. Crumple Car* (0:59)
• 9. Preparation March (1:36)
• 10. Jack Surfs Alone (2:39)
• 11. Aloha, Jack (2:49)
• 12. Passing of the Years III (1:39)
• 13. Summerset (1:05)
• 14. Liquid Dreams (2:20)
• 15. Jack's Back (3:27)
• 16. Jack's Back Part 2 (0:44)
• 17. Cemetery (3:51)
• 18. Passing of the Years IV (1:19)
• 19. Bear's Wharf (1:40)
• 20. Matt Morning and Ominosity (2:15)
• 21. The Challenge/Big Wednesday Montage (5:38)
• 22. Matt's Rite of Passage (2:25)
• 23. Passing of the Mantle/Song of Three Friends (Only Good Times) (5:12)

Bonus Material: (21:24)
• 24. Big Wednesday Montage (Alternate) (3:09)
• 25. Three Friends Theme (Instrumental) (1:59)
• 26. Mexican Montage (2:17)
• 27. Green Onions (2:38)
• 28. Crumple Car (Extended Version)* (1:57)
• 29. Drums Montage (1:10)
• 30. Cosmic Indifference (1:39)
• 31. Cemetery (Film Version) (3:37)
• 32. The Challenge (Alternate) (1:41)
• 33. Trailer (Big Waves) (0:58)
* composed by Denny Aaberg and Phil Pritchard

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The album contains the usual excellent quality of pictorial and textual information established in other albums of FSM's series, including extremely detailed notes about the film and score.
Copyright © 2004-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Big Wednesday are Copyright © 2004, Film Score Monthly and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/3/04 and last updated 10/14/11.
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