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Star Wars: A New Hope

Star Wars: A New Hope Soundtrack (John Williams) - CD cover
Composer: John Williams
Released: 1997
Label: RCA Victor (0090266877225)
Type: Movie
Listen: iTunes
Format: CD, Download
Reviewers (10.00/10)
Members (8.64/10) (25 votes)
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1. 20th Century Fox Fanfare (Alfred Newman, 1954) (0:23)
2. Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner (2:14)
3. Imperial Attack (6:43)
4. The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler (5:01)
5. The Moisture Farm (2:25)
6. The Hologram/Binary Sunset (4:10)
7. Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People (3:20)
8. Tales of a Jedi Knight/Learn About the Force (4:29)
9. Burning Homestead (2:50)
10. Mos Eisley Spaceport (2:16)
11. Cantina Band (2:47)
12. Cantina Band #2 (3:56)
13. Binary Sunset (Alternate) (2:19)
14. Special: Main Title Archive (14:40)
1. Princess Leia's Theme (4:27)
2. The Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit (3:51)
3. Destruction of Alderaan (1:32)
4. The Death Star/The Stormtroopers (3:35)
5. Wookie Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush (4:01)
6. Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga (3:48)
7. The Trash Compactor (3:07)
8. The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire (5:18)
9. Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack (3:51)
10. The Battle of Yavin (9:07)
11. The Throne Room/End Title (5:38)
Total duration: 105 minutes
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Review of Andreas Lindahl, submitted at , score: 10/10
To review a score that is so classic, popular, and not the least, complex as John Williams' score for Star Wars is an extremely difficult task. At the same time it is also rather pointless to describe, and analyse, the score, as it is so well known and popular - every one knows what it sounds like - so I will try and focus on the new features of the special edition instead. Released in 1997, twenty years after the films' premiere, RCA Victor's expanded release includes enough goodies to make even the biggest Star Wars fan happy. The music spans two full length CD's and includes three previously unreleased cues ("Learn About the Force", "Binary Sunset (Alternative)" and "The Death Star/Stormtroopers", and three cues with partly new music ("The Moisture Farm", "Attack of the Sand People" and "Imperial Cruiser Pursuit").

Opening with Alfred Newman's classic 20th Century Fox Fanfare, followed by the incredibly famous main title fanfare, this release takes us trough William's score in chronological order, exactly as heard in the film, without concert versions, which also is something a lot of people have asked for.

The sound has been digitally re-mastered, and it's very good, although some minor tape hiss can still be found. Sometimes the sound is also rather "distant", meaning that the orchestra seems to be far away. But over all the sound is more than excellent, and it is definitely better than all the other releases of the score.

This release also contains a hidden treasure. Tucked to the end of the first disc, after a couple of minutes of silence are all five recorded takes of the "Main Title". They are all somewhat different to one another. The first recording, for instance, has more woodwinds than the rest. Portions of the last three takes were used for the final version of the "Main Title".

The liner notes are above all criticism. Lots of pictures, info and detailed comments on every cue makes the booklet one of the best ever produced for a soundtrack CD. Bravo! Over all, this is the best treatment ever given to a score, and everyone should have this classic score in their collection.

Read other recent reviews by Andreas Lindahl: The Rock, The Phantom of the Opera, Peter Pan

Review of Tom Daish, submitted at , score: 10/10
Excellent, is about the only English adjective that can be used to describe this release of John Williams' classic score. The sound quality is considerably better than the anthology. The music is also sequenced into the correct order to follow the film precisely and so it is much easier to get a sense of what is going on as the music plays. The lucky coincidence that the two Cantina pieces fit into such a good place make them a good round out to the first disc. The previously unreleased material isn't anything that great, certainly it wouldn't have been missed as much as the unreleased Empire or Return of the Jedi music, but for completism, RCA Victor must get the full ten out of ten. The cues are also thoughtfully run together where applicable and there are few tracks that run for either too long or are too short. For me, some of the tracks on Empire seem too long, but this is never the case here. Not that it would matter anyway, the music is such a great experience, that as long as it was all there, I don't think I'd care that much anyway. The music, is, of course excellent and will take you through desolate sandy wastes, through thrilling action moments, through moments of quiet and of course moments of triumph.

The alternate Binary Sunset cue is certainly noteworthy as it makes an interesting alternative to the original version using the Force theme, this hints at the force theme, but is less soaring, but more reflective and subdued. The alternate versions of the Main Title are interesting, although you'll probably get a little fed up after the umpteenth time you've listened to them, but picking out all the differences from the other versions you've heard is quite fun. All in all, an excellent release of a landmark score that truly shaped the way modern film music has evolved.

Read other recent reviews by Tom Daish: The Snow Files: The Film Music of Mark Snow, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Andromeda

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Golden Globes: Best Original Score (Winner)
Oscars: Best Music, Original Score (Winner)

See also: All trailers
The Best Classics

Alien (2007) Back to the Future Trilogy, The  (1999) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1996) Gladiator (2000) Godfather, The (1991) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) Schindler's List (1993) Star Wars: A New Hope (1997) Titanic (1997) Waterworld (1995)

Soundtracks from the collection: Star Wars

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (2004) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) Star Wars: The Corellian Edition (2007) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1992) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (1996) Star Wars (1989) Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi (1983) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) Star Wars Trilogy, The (1983)

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