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War of the Worlds
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Conrad Pope
Eddie Karam
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Decca Records
(June 28th, 2005)
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Regular U.S. release.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate John Williams' propulsive rhythmic figures of this era and his high standards of complexity no matter the level of atonality or dissonance prevalent at nearly every moment of this score.

Avoid it... if you prefer your Williams scores to be easily digestible and feature strong, pleasant lines of thematic cohesion and an obvious concert arrangement.
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WRITTEN 7/1/05, REVISED 9/19/11
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iTunes (9.99)

War of the Worlds: (John Williams) Fifty years after its initial appearance on the big screen, H.G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds" received a $135 million Steven Spielberg facelift with megastar Tom Cruise as the heart of its people story. Written just before 1900, the original tale is best known for the historic 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast in which the actor deviously convinced much of the nation that our planet was actually under attack (it really is too bad the media can't get away with such a thing today), as well as a 1953 cinematic adaptation that has long been a favorite of the vintage science fiction crowd. Spielberg's adaptation of the story, with the help of Jurassic Park screenwriter David Koepp, forgoes the opportunity to update the alien pod creatures (as well as their mission and their demise) and instead reverts to the original concepts and illustrations that accompanied Well's novel. Some critics and enthusiasts of the concept were not kind to this Spielberg vision of the invasion, for the film does seem to suffer from its share of fallacies of logic, including the awkward design of the alien pods themselves. The necessary human drama element also bogs the film down, and without the spectacular imagery of Independence Day, War of the Worlds is a comparatively mundane film. It did manage to earn more than half a billion dollars at the box office and three technical Academy Award nominations, accolades long forgotten due to the film's failure to build a lasting legacy out of its initial hype. Tackling the project with a very serious intent was composer John Williams, whose level of mastery in his music maintained itself with force as he ventured further past the turn of the century. Spielberg's usual collaborator, Williams offered War of the Worlds only a month after his final journey into the Star Wars universe, and despite the two films' shared topic of human despair, alien creatures, and large-scale special effects, the focus of the two scores could not be further apart from each other. It's safe to say that War of the Worlds has a happy ending, albeit not one of human triumph. Our military is useless, our collective panic forces us to turn on each other, and, in the end, the solution to our problem is a technically intellectual one rather than something blatantly victorious. Williams responded to this challenging narrative by providing music that is so enveloped in this chaos that he actually forgoes a discernible concert piece, a major deviation for the composer.

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Average: 3.14 Stars
***** 337 5 Stars
**** 415 4 Stars
*** 499 3 Stars
** 383 2 Stars
* 223 1 Stars
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It's actually quite good.
NjabuloPhungula - May 14, 2012, at 10:47 p.m.
1 comment  (622 views)
message for John Williams.
Theodora Poole - July 29, 2008, at 2:49 a.m.
1 comment  (1589 views)
What happen to Mr.Williams?   Expand >>
S.Venkatnarayanan - May 7, 2008, at 2:21 a.m.
3 comments  (2650 views)
Newest: September 30, 2008, at 8:33 S.Venkatnarayanan
Brass Section (Hollywood Studio Symphony)   Expand >>
N.R.Q. - April 12, 2007, at 5:25 p.m.
2 comments  (2018 views)
Newest: July 26, 2007, at 4:45 N.R.Q.
Complete Track Listing
Thom Jophery - March 28, 2007, at 8:32 p.m.
1 comment  (1240 views)
John William's score for "War of the Worlds"
Anonymous - July 24, 2006, at 3:26 p.m.
1 comment  (1755 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 61:01
• 1. Prologue* (2:52)
• 2. The Ferry Scene (5:49)
• 3. Reaching the Country (3:24)
• 4. The Intersection Scene (4:13)
• 5. Ray and Rachel (2:41)
• 6. Escape from the City (3:49)
• 7. Probing the Basement (4:12)
• 8. Refugee Status (3:50)
• 9. The Attack on the Car (2:44)
• 10. The Separation of the Family (2:36)
• 11. The Confrontation with Ogilvy (4:34)
• 12. The Return to Boston (4:29)
• 13. Escape from the Basket (9:21)
• 14. The Reunion* (3:16)
• 15. Epilogue (3:11)
* includes narration by Morgan Freeman

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The insert includes a note from Spielberg about the score and film, as well as a list of players. The format of the unfolding insert, however, is very cumbersome.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 War of the Worlds are Copyright © 2005, Decca Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/1/05 and last updated 9/19/11.
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