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