This morning, on the way to work, I was sifting through the albums in my Nomad looking for something that would strike my fancy, and, sort of on a whim, landed upon Superman: The Movie. I've been listening to it since.
Superman is yet another score with a checkered release history. Originally issued as a generous 2 LP set in 1978, with minimal reshuffling (a big danger with any Williams soundtrack album) the album was an early CD release - but sans two tracks ("Growing Up" and "Lex Luthor's Lair" - both of which were available on the Japanese edition). Because of the popularity of the score, Varese Sarabande recorded their own 2 CD set with John Debney conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and released it in 1998. The new recording included both of the tracks omitted from the soundtrack album, along with some previously unreleased material. The recording was lambasted by film music fans for the standard gripes... wrong tempi, incorrect balancing. I actually liked the recording, but...
All previous releases were rendered moot with the 2000 2 CD Rhino release, which included the entire score and alternate takes. The album also had extensive liner notes and fantastic artwork, making it a great package overall. While the Debney recording was decent, nothing can quite match the London Symphony Orchestra under Williams' own baton.
If you're at all interested,
this is the one to get
This is one of my favorite film scores of all time, partly because of how much variety there is in it, partly because of how the score interacts with the visuals (it is quite a thing to watch the DVD with the isolated score), but mostly because of how the myriad of themes and motives interact with one another, making this a most internally consistent score.
There are four distinct sections to the score, framed by one of Williams' most rousing themes - a march which has the orchestra practically saying the word "Superman" - mysterioso passages for the planet Krypton, down-home Americana for Smallville (this aspect of the score actually hearkens back to Williams' earlier work on The Cowboys and The Rievers), rhapsodic settings of the love theme for the introduction of Lois Lane, and explosions of orchestral color for the climax of the film. Each one of these sections could have been the building blocks of a complete score unto themselves, but in connection to one another inform the film with the grand sense of scope that it required.
Williams was composing the score for what has now been acknowledged as an American myth. The march itself is evidence enough of this, but the seriousness of the Krypton material also buttresses this, climaxing not in a crescendo (of which this score has plenty), but rather in a gorgeous, extended portrait of serenity in "The Fortress of Solitude." The love theme is very memorable... it is my theory that it was actually written as a song, as the lines Margo Kidder speaks in the film were written by lyricist Leslie Bricusse... and if you sing those lines rather than say them, they perfectly fit the melody.
I am a pretty pragmatic person by nature, but this music makes me believe that a man can fly... even if only for a few moments.
John Williams: Super Genius
...to any who may not have recognized Eddie Murphy's "I got my ice cream" routine from Delerious. It seemed funny at the time...
Anyway, it is pretty nice to be a real T-1 technician again, instead of... whatever it was that I was before. With the Berd, I can now work overtime (when it becomes available) and weekends (most weekend jobs are repairs, so there isn't much call for a tech with no testing equipment). It's also brand spanking new, which is nice. It had a little envelope in it with the calibration details.
The fact is, I have never had a 107 before. I've only had the 209, which is the unit pictured above. With a battery, it weighs about seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-six tons. Without a battery, it only weighs six thousand, four hundred and seventy-two tons. I would usually remove the battery, as the damn thing wasn't worth the effort. Lugging it around the city was not very fun, although usually I would team up with my mates who would have 107s, or at least borrow their Berds, so it wasn't quite the horror show that it might have been. However, believe me when I tell you that there were times when I was stuck with that fucker (which, incidentally, is considered central office equipment, not field equipment).
Now, however, I have the fully portable 107, which is currently charging for the first time right behind me. This is a significant improvement over just two weeks ago. I did real work today. Completely autonomous. My way.
| You scored as Albus Dumbledore. Strong and powerful you admirably defend your world and your charges against those who would seek to harm them. However sometimes you can fail to do what you must because you care too much to cause suffering.|
Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
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Wow. I was really expecting to get Ron (which, obviously, I almost did), but I guess the quiz thought I was wiser than I really am. I guess if there is one thing that I can definitely be proud of, it's how so very un-Voldemort I am.
For the first time in ten months, I placed a check for my rent under the door of my landlord. It's a day early, of course. I just wanted to make sure they didn't start worrying.