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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Album Cover Art
1984 Polydor
2008 Expanded Set
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Herbert Spencer
Alexander Courage
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Polydor (International)

Concord Records (Set)
(November 11th, 2008)
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The 1984 Polydor album was distributed in Germany and Japan several times between its debut and 1991 (including a pressing by the regional label Edel in Europe), though all versions were considered collectibles in the 1990's, sometimes fetching $75 or more.

The 2008 set (called "The Soundtrack Collection") is a regular commercial product with a retail price of $60 but initally sold for $43 to $45 at primarily major online outlets.
Nominated for an Academy Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you want the flavor of John Williams' music for Raiders of the Lost Ark but are deterred by the composer's scherzo-formatted action material, in which case Temple of Doom is a superior alternative.

Avoid it... only if you're going to allow your dislike of the film to get in the way of a score that is far more impressive on the 2008 remastered and expanded set than it was on all its previous products.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/16/09
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: (John Williams) Some say that 1984's sequel to the classic Steven Spielberg film Raiders of the Lost Ark nearly killed the Indiana Jones franchise. Indeed, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was not received well by either critics or, in the same overwhelming numbers, by audiences. Their serial format wasn't particularly different, though Spielberg and writer/producer George Lucas did their best to push the title character in completely fresh new directions to avoid claims of a rehash. The adventures of America's favorite archeologist took him to India and the Far East, tackling a voodoo fortress, saving a village missing its children, and wisecracking with Spielberg's future wife in tow. The director fought to avoid an "R" rating for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, barely obtaining a "PG" rating instead by toning back some of the intense, ritual sacrifice scenes (though still, in part, inspiring the creation of the "PG-13" rating). In retrospect, the film is better than many gave it credit for, especially the almost nonstop twenty minutes of action near the beginning. The incorporation of a sidekick was a tiresome aspect of the plot, however, and few were ready to accept Kate Capshaw as a replacement for Karen Allen from the original film. Still, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has plenty to offer, and composer John Williams was prepared to build upon Raiders of the Lost Ark, a score destined to be considered among his very best, with an extensive, wall-to-wall effort that balanced familiar themes with an emphasis on a plethora of new constructs. Many listeners readily agree that Temple of Doom stands far apart from the other three scores in the franchise, the only one not to make reference to the theme for the Ark of the Covenant from the first film or share another secondary construct (outside of the title theme and a short in-joke) with another film. The thematic material in Temple of Doom, for instance, would never resurface in the two later scores. Also distinguishing the second score, however, is the incredible amount of source material that Williams had to write and incorporate into the score. Add to this equation the need for chanting choral elements, performed with Sanskrit lyrics, and Temple of Doom exists apart from the remainder of the franchise as a very unique entry.

One area in which Williams hit the nail directly on the head for Temple of Doom was in the exploration of new musical territory while remaining loyal to both the symphonic sound and title march from Raiders of the Lost Ark. With so much music required for Temple of Doom, the composer needed to supply several new themes and a wealth of source material without losing the franchise's identity, and in this task he admirably succeeds. Fans of the title march will appreciate its spirited entrance during the chase sequence in "Fast Streets of Shanghai," including a performance very similar to the early escape sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark (including even the horn-performed bridge section of the theme). The subsequent cue, "Map/Out of Fuel," treats the franchise's famous map sequences with another bubbly performance of the theme, meanwhile introducing two other themes in traditional Williams romanticism. The title theme's trumpet reminders continue in action cues like "Bug Tunnel/Death Trap" and "Short Round Helps" before being allowed extended treatment during the finale and end titles. The only other part of Raiders of the Lost Ark to inform Temple of Doom is "The Basket Chase" cue from the original, translated into the percussive rhythm and wild violin figures early in "Slalom on Mt. Humol" (with a few brass progressions that will also remind of the idea), as well as the humorous reference to the infamous confrontation within "The Basket Chase" in "The Sword Trick" to match a similar scenario in the new story. There are three primary new themes joining the old favorites in Temple of Doom, along with two lesser motifs. These five ideas are surprisingly engrained in both each other and the existing material, producing a very satisfactory level of intelligent development. The primary new identity of Temple of Doom is the theme for the temple itself and the slave children within. This driving march is a complicated piece, consisting of a forceful primary statement in the minor while switching to a secondary phrase that provides some of the score's most victorious major exclamations. Both sections are led by a martial rhythm on snare and clanging metallic percussion. The woodwind overlays and the elegant string bridge of this piece evoke Eastern sensibilities, the meandering string portion eventually used as counterpoint over the primary thematic structure. Williams' concert version of this theme is best heard in "Slave Children's Crusade" and "End Credits."

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Average: 3.92 Stars
***** 512 5 Stars
**** 246 4 Stars
*** 146 3 Stars
** 106 2 Stars
* 79 1 Stars
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Sword trick   Expand >>
Mark Malmstrøm - October 2, 2009, at 9:11 a.m.
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Newest: April 24, 2011, at 3:40 p.m. by
Richard Kleiner
One of my favorite scores   Expand >>
OneBuckFilms - September 1, 2009, at 8:26 a.m.
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1984 Polydor Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 40:16
• 1. Anything Goes - performed by Kate Capshaw (2:54)
• 2. Fast Streets of Shanghai (3:43)
• 3. Nocturnal Activities (5:57)
• 4. Shortround's Theme (2:32)
• 5. Children in Chains (2:45)
• 6. Slalom on Mt. Humol (2:26)
• 7. The Temple of Doom (3:01)
• 8. Bug Tunnel and Death Trap (3:32)
• 9. Slave Children's Crusade (3:25)
• 10. The Mine Car Chase (3:42)
• 11. Finale and End Credits (6:19)
2008 Concord Set Tracks   ▼Total Time: 86:14

Notes Icon
None of the inserts for the 1984-1991 Polydor products contain extra information about the score or film.

The 2008 Concord set contains bloated packaging with extensive photography and short notes from the composer and director, but it surprisingly contains no analysis of the music itself.
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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 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are Copyright © 1984, 2008, Polydor (International), Concord Records (Set) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/16/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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