Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Movie | Released: 1985 | Format: CD

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# Track   Duration
1.Anything Goes2:49
2.Fast Streets Of Shangai3:38
3.Nocturnal Activities5:53
4.Shortround's Theme2:27
5.Children In Chains2:42
6.Slalom On Mt. Humbrol2:22
7.The Temple Of Doom2:57
8.Bug Tunnel And Death Trap3:29
9.Slave Children's Crusade3:22
10.The Mine Car Chase3:38
11.Finale And End Credits6:16
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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - 10/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
The middle episode of the original trilogy, Temple of Doom was certainly the least well received critically; the grim tone and even more strained credibility didn't help, although compared with most of the blockbusters of the ensuing couple of decades, it's a masterpiece. Similarly, the comparison between today's pseudo Williams action adventure scores and the real thing is often no comparison at all, not to mention those that simply thud along under the Media Ventures (or whatever they call themselves now) banner. Williams is a master tunesmith and knows how to use them effectively without simply repeating them over and over. Where Raiders of the Lost Ark made much of the undeniable thrill of the Raider's March, Williams introduces many new elements to Temple of Doom; given that it's not one long story like Star Wars, each film can get a different treatment, even though there are sufficient elements that you know it's cut from the same cloth. A nicely over the top, swooning love them for Willie replaces Marion's theme and alongside that there's the playful Short Round's theme and The Parade of the Slave Children which Williams turned into one of his best, but fairly rarely played concert arrangements.

The album kicks off with a little Cole Porter in Cantonese, performed by Kate Capshaw, typically well arranged by Williams. At this point, the upgraded release in the Indiana Jones Soundtrack Collection comes into its own, giving us more than just the Fast Streets of Shanghai, but some rather grittier action music for the nightclub brawl, making the appearance of the Raider's March in Fast Streets an even more welcome relief. As is often the case with Williams scores, it's the incidental moments that make his scores so special, with not just the big set pieces given meticulous attention. Nocturnal Activities starts out as a set of delightful and comedic variations on the love theme that soon gives way to more creepy material as secret passages are uncovered. Having said that, it's still probably the more exciting moments that most people will remember and with such frenetic scherzos as Slalom on Mount Humol and the dizzying Mine Car Chase, it's not hard to be thrilled. Similarly the bouncing between themes in the later Short Round Helps is almost textbook leitmotif work as Short Round's melody weaves in and out of Willie's Theme in yet another dose of breathless action. The completion of a phrase of the Raider's March with Short Round's theme in Slalom on Mount Humol is done with the kind of flair only Williams can pull out of the hat with such regularity.

It must be said that the action in Temple of Doom can be pretty exhausting after a while, notably as the finale approaches. Short Round Helps, the Mine Car Chase and Water! are some of Williams' most frenetic writing. You just don't get action music like that any more, even from Williams. In fact, I can't think of a Williams score that's so fiendishly complex. However, that you can still hear every line of the orchestration is a testament to his consummate skill with the orchestra. Compared to the drab thudding of modern action, it's terrific. Further delightful touches abound with the additional tracks, particularly the snippet of the Basket Chase from Raiders in The Sword Trick plus the suitably pompous march for British Relief. In fact, outside of the Star Wars scores and probably Hook, there's probably more themes and motifs here than any other Williams score I can think of. The album concludes with some of Williams' most ingenious segues, notably the interpolation of Short Round's theme in the B section of the Raider's March, plus a hanging chord that leads into the Parade of the Slave Children.

The expanded edition more than doubles the original release; it's not complete, but probably close enough to complete to satisfy all but the most picky. Unfortunately, it does take a little reordering in iTunes to get the additional three tracks from the fourth disc of the set into film order, but well worth the effort. Where Raiders is muscular and full of grunt, Temple of Doom is (as the guys at FSM pointed out) the Indy ballet score. The original release was always a bitch to find and even for completists, not worth it now we have almost an hour and a half in the boxed set and in vastly superior sound. The original album sounded rather glassy and insubstantial, but now the Parade of the Slave Children thunders just as it should. It's probably pointless rating it within the pantheon of Indy scores as they are all superb in their own way; it doesn't quite have the freshness of Raiders nor the carefully crafted maturity of Last Crusade, but for sheer eye watering excitement and bravura, it wins hands down. John Barry once said that his Bond scores were multi million Pound Mickey Mouse music and Temple of Doom is probably an extreme example in the action/adventure genre, but what an example. Brilliant stuff.
Oscars: Best Original Score (Nominee)

Soundtracks from the collection: Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985)
Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Volume 3, The (1993)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1995)
Story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The (1984)
Indiana Jones Trilogy, The (2003)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indy Jones Story, The (2008)
Indiana Jones: The Soundtracks Collection (2008)
Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - Volume 1, The (1992)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

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