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The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Album Cover Art
1997 MCA Universal
2016 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld
Conrad Pope
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MCA Records/Universal
(May 20th, 1997)

La-La Land Records
(November 29th, 2016)
Availability Icon
The 1997 MCA album is a regular U.S. release. The 2016 La-La Land set, titled "The John Williams Jurassic Park Collection," is limited to 5,000 copies and sold at soundtrack specialty outlets for a retail price of $60. Over 90% of its production run had sold within the first 16 months of release.
Nominated for a Grammy Award.
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Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you can dismiss this score's positioning in a franchise and therefore appreciate John Williams' most violently brutal, percussively rhythmic score of the digital age, one led by several monstrously propulsive cues of rambling, exotic power.

Avoid it... if you expect this sequel score to make satisfyingly intelligent use of the classic themes and secondary motifs from Jurassic Park, an unnecessary executive choice that makes this score an impressive but disappointing shadow of its predecessor.
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WRITTEN 5/15/97, REVISED 3/10/18
The Lost World: Jurassic Park: (John Williams) It had been four years since Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park dazzled audiences with its thrilling premise, tight execution, and awe-inspiring special effects. By 1996, however, blockbuster movies had exhausted the usual array of disaster scenarios with the same style of visual effects, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park had to rely on another compelling idea to continue interest in the franchise. Unfortunately, when author Michael Crichton was hired specifically to write another book that would inspire the sequel to Jurassic Park, he fell into the trap of conventional, formula-driven narratives. Unlike the first film, when the purpose of the horror was to question whether or not the likable characters could live long enough to escape the island, The Lost World: Jurassic Park is nothing more than an exhibition for cheap terror tactics and a blatant rip-off of King Kong by the end. Shallow characters, familiar rainy nighttime settings, and a lack of logical continuity with the first film's story caused the film to sink with critics. Audiences still went to the spectacle and made it successful, but they typically didn't go back for another viewing. Spielberg looks back at this 1997 attempt to create a noir-like tribute to classic films involving monsters on remote islands with lament, recognizing that the end result was a sequel clearly inferior to its predecessor. Of the souring aspects of the successor, none was as surprising as the rather forgettable score by the usually reliable John Williams. The maestro had gone since Jurassic Park without an action, adventure, or fantasy entry in the interim, and his fans were extremely eager to hear him expand upon the popular previous entry. Williams' work for Jurassic Park has historically been diminished in stature by some film music critics and collectors, but it remains an extremely intelligent balance between magnificent, accessible beauty and technically masterful terror. Several themes and motifs of significant strength graced Jurassic Park, filling every moment with a unique musical identity that kept the score from ever losing its appeal. For The Lost World, Williams, like Spielberg, lost focus and failed to provide the same level of accessibility.

It's easy to get the impression that Williams was making a concerted attempt to create a completely new thematic and textural landscape for "Site B" in The Lost World. This second island in the overarching story is treated by Williams to almost a completely separate set of instrumental rules and identities. Understandably, the sequel score is much darker than the original, shedding most of the fantasy element. It's a far more brutal and violent score in every sense, leaving behind the charm and dreamy mystique of Jurassic Park and exploring frightfully atonal suspense for extended sequences. Williams' primary theme for the sequel is its only really well developed idea, which is a major surprise considering the melodic complexity of the first score. This alone isn't a disappointing factor; Williams has often integrated one or two new dominant themes into the fabric of a prequel's material. But two aspects of the incorporation of themes into The Lost World are somewhat disturbing. First, the title theme for the sequel is nowhere near the usual standard of excellence that Williams fans had come to expect. The heavy emphasis on exotic percussion rhythms is promising, and they do go on to define the score. But the theme itself, with its slowly developing progression and stagnant personality, fails to create an atmosphere of convincing fear or intrigue. It plods through its phrases with the standard assistance of Williams' smart counterpoint and orchestrations, but it's not a particularly malleable theme with which to mold an entire score, reminding of old-school monster themes that are reprised repeatedly in identical form throughout a score. As expected, it only receives interesting treatment in "Malcolm's Journey" (otherwise known as "To the Island"), "The Hunt," and "Heading North" outside of the finale and concert suite. The general rhythms performed by a variety of medium-range drums and slapping metallic percussion, often aided by wild woodwind accents, are the better definition of the score's personality. The score's greatest asset are the many cues that make use of these relentless, primordial rhythms, and Williams often accentuates them with sakauhachi flute (returning from the prior score), conch shells, and brass howling at a distance. For a fan of percussion, The Lost World is a dream come true. Williams' use of both the percussion and ethnic effects here would prepare him well for the early portions of his upcoming score for Amistad.

Outside of the major performances of the new jungle and monster-inspired main theme and the lengthy sequences of powerfully percussive rhythms, The Lost World offers surprisingly little to get excited about. There are several periods of rhythmically dissonant underscore that fail to extend the music's larger narrative to any great degree, some of which go on for five-minute intervals. Cues like "On the Glass" and "The Long Grass" are sufficient mood-setters but little more. Unlike the first score, there are sections of The Lost World that are somewhat non-descript and oddly boring, including "The Island Prologue" ("The Island's Voice"), "The Trek," and "Finding Camp Jurassic." The lack of enthusiasm in the details of these cues is a surprise given Williams' tendency to fill every moment of his scores with some form of meaningful forward development. There are a few individual cues of unique merit for discussion, however. The jungle rhythms in "Rescuing Sarah" are merged with some outrageously rambunctious brass bursts that eventually lead to a conclusion of the cue that introduces a theme singular to this scene. It's among Williams' most heroic bursts outside of his Star Wars scores and causes a bit of head scratching due to its singular appearance. An attractively stomping revenge theme for the T-Rex is developed with timpani and cymbal-crashing authority in "Monster on the Loose," "Visitor in San Diego," and "Ludlow's End." Meanwhile, "The Stegosaurus" is the score's only slight return to the sense of ponderous wonder of the original. Also of note is "The Raptors Appear," which adapts some musical ideas from the late moments of the raptors' battle with the T-Rex at the end of Jurassic Park. In between obnoxiously shrieking piccolo lines, the tonal fantasy highlight of the entire score exists in eight seconds starting at 2:40. That's it... eight seconds. And these eight seconds are among the few in which you'll hear a choir (real or synthetic) at any time during the length of the album. There's a brief reprise of the idea in full, along with several overlapping fragments of the motif, in the latter half of "High Bar and Ceiling Tiles," complimented by enhanced tuba presence. The progression is actually a rising four-note response to the descending raptor and T-Rex horror theme in the previous score. Introduced in "Fire at Camp and Corporate Helicopters," this ascendant theme often accompanies moments when the dinosaurs take control against their corporate masters, evolving significantly during "Ludlow's Speech" and "The Wrecked Ship."

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Average: 3.81 Stars
***** 1,430 5 Stars
**** 1,466 4 Stars
*** 846 3 Stars
** 377 2 Stars
* 218 1 Stars
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Where is the La-La Land album of Lost World?
Zack - February 26, 2017, at 1:24 p.m.
1 comment  (599 views)
I liked the score...
Richie - July 18, 2011, at 5:40 p.m.
1 comment  (1702 views)
I guess I have a soft spot...   Expand >>
Indiana Schwartz - February 25, 2009, at 11:27 a.m.
2 comments  (3730 views)
Newest: July 3, 2009, at 9:35 a.m. by
Scott M.
The Lost World   Expand >>
Orlando GonzÓlez - May 8, 2006, at 9:59 a.m.
2 comments  (5764 views)
Newest: July 23, 2006, at 9:40 p.m. by

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1997 MCA Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 68:58
• 1. The Lost World (3:33)
• 2. The Island Prologue (5:03)
• 3. Malcolm's Journey (5:44)
• 4. The Hunt (3:30)
• 5. The Trek (5:23)
• 6. Finding Camp Jurassic (3:03)
• 7. Rescuing Sarah (4:01)
• 8. Hammond's Plan (4:30)
• 9. The Raptors Appear (3:43)
• 10. The Compys Dine (5:07)
• 11. The Stegosaurus (5:20)
• 12. Ludlow's Demise (4:27)
• 13. Visitor in San Diego (7:37)
• 14. Finale and Jurassic Park Theme (7:54)
(Track lengths not listed on packaging)
2016 La-La Land Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 118:46

Notes Icon
The 1997 MCA album is packaged with a paper and cardboard 3-D pop-up format that is extremely annoying. It does not contain the standard note from Spielberg for a Williams album, nor does it even provide the usual recording credits expected on any soundtrack album. The extensive booklet of the 2016 La-La Land product contains detailed information, though some sets were shipped from the label without a copy of the booklet, and original pressings contained inaccurate artwork.
Copyright © 1997-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
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 The Lost World: Jurassic Park are Copyright © 1997, 2016, MCA Records/Universal, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/15/97 and last updated 3/10/18.
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