CD Reviews: Especially For Movie Buffs – Spectre And Music From Star Wars

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Especially for movie buffs, Decca has released two CDs to coincide with the premieres of two holiday blockbusters. Spectre is the soundtrack from the James Bond movie of the same name; John Williams Conducts Music from Star Wars is a double album compilation of astral-themed music synchronised with the launch of the latest in the Star Wars movie series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

CD 1 from John Williams Conducts Music from Star Wars is a collection of 12 memorable tracks from between 1980 and 1983 when John Williams conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra performing his classic and hugely successful scores for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The original Star Wars soundtrack from 1977 won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and three Grammys. The soundtrack to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA in 1982 as well as a Grammy in 1983. The other scores on this first CD have also garnered numerous award nominations.


CD 2 features 13 tracks with Williams conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in music written by other composers for space themed television and cinema shows. The majestic Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss which featured in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is followed by the closing title of Alien, the main title from Battlestar Galactica, two tracks from Star Trekthe main title from the motion picture and the main theme from the television show – and the Theme and Variations from The Twilight Zone.

At the end of this disc is a performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets suite, recorded by Williams and “the Pops” orchestra in 1987, each of the seven movements depicting a planet and its characteristics.

The CD of the soundtrack to Spectre is a 26 track collection of the original music to the movie composed and conducted by Thomas Newman. Newman’s music contains references to Monty Norman’s original immortal James Bond theme, first used in Dr No (1962).

Notable tracks on this album include an instrumental version of Sam Smith’s Writing’s On the Wall and two tracks – Los Muertos Vivos Estan and Day of the Dead – which feature the Mexican contemporary classical percussion group Tambuco.

Definitely for cinephiles.

Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney©




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