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Comments about the soundtrack for Jaws (John Williams)

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Re: dare I say it? I perfer the original album
• Posted by: crichton   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2005, at 1:35 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: dare I say it? I perfer the original album (greg)

I would agree that the original release is a more pleasurable listening experience despite the less than stellar sound quality. It plays better divorced from the movie. When one mentions "JAWS" & music, most people will quote the shark theme, but the shark theme does not overwhelm the original release. The music is not lifted from the film's soundtrack but rather fantastically written and arranged as concert peices. The "Main Title" adds additional material, "Chrissie's Death" hits deeper with anvil strikes, "Promenade" is longer and more satisfying, either "Sea Attack #1" or "One Barrel Chase" (I forget which) stretches beyond the movie soundtrack into a great concert peice, as does "Out to Sea" and "Preparing the Cage" -- which is probably my favorite track with the strings dancing about each other.

I also feel strongly about the strengths of the re-release or Anniversary Collector's Edition, which includes every bit of music from the movie. It is here -- and in the inferior but interesting McNeely release -- that the shark theme is dominant. This is the CD to visualize scenes from the movie. "The Pier Incident" is my favorite in this collection because of the effect it had in the film. It also highlights how easy a slight variation in musical direction can damper it's effectiveness, as the McNeely recording demonstrates.

As for the McNeely version, it also presents every bit of the score, but it also sounds off. Certain instruments are accentuated in contrast to Williams' score and in at least two cues, it sounds like the "Psycho" strings were added. This album is not garbage by any means (it is performed by the Scottish National Orchestra) but it pales against the original. It is an interesting listen, though, and those wanting a little more of a "Jaws" fix can pick this CD up without fear of picking up a virtual copy of the Anniversary Collector's Edition.

I have all three CDs in my collection and am not disappointed I bought any one of them. Then again, I also have four versions of "The Music Man" so take my advise for what it's worth.

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • dare I say it? I perfer the original album  (3080 views)
       greg - Friday, September 3, 2004, at 4:17 p.m.
    •      Re: dare I say it? I perfer the original album  (2863 views)    We're Here
         crichton - Wednesday, February 9, 2005, at 1:35 p.m.

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