Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

25 Tracks - 81:23

1. CROPDUSTING (Independence Day) 0:47
OVERTURE (Stargate) 2:44
GOJIRA (Godzilla) 2:36
CANCELLED LEAVE (Independence Day) 1:38
EVACUATION (Godzilla) 2:33
MASTADGE DRAG (Stargate) 0:51
CANYON CHASE (Independence Day) 2:20
DAWN OF THE SPECIES (Godzilla) 1:40
OPENING THE GATE (Stargate) 6:14
DEATH OF THE FIRST LADY (Independence Day) 2:34
KING OF THE SLAVES (Stargate) 1:05
EVACUATION (Independence Day) 4:04
MYTH, FAITH, BELIEF (Stargate) 2:03
NICK GETS FIRED (Godzilla) 2:49
DANIEL AND SHA'URI (Stargate) 1:48
VOLUNTEERS (Independence Day) 4:15
NICK’S BIG SPEECH (Godzilla) 3:42
RA - THE SUN GOD (Stargate) 3:07
ONE VOICE (Independence Day) 5:40
KASUF RETURNS (Stargate) 2:28
ENGAGE THE ENEMY (Independence Day) 7:08
GOING HOME (Stargate) 3:07
END TITLES (Independence Day) 9:08

Music Composed by DAVID ARNOLD
Orchestrated and Conducted by NICHOLAS DODD

Engineered and Mixed by GEOFF FOSTER
Recorded at Air Lyndhurst Studios

Engineered and Mixed by DENNIS SANDS
Recorded at the Sony Scoring, Todd AO and Signet Sound

Engineered by TOBY WOOD Mixed by SHAWN MURPHY
Recorded at the Sony Scoring Stage

While only thirty-five people in the world saw Danny Cannon's The Young Americans, one of them was Mario Kassar, and David Arnold's elegiac score prompted him to recommend the young composer to Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, who having just finished Universal Soldier, were mounting Stargate at Carolco. The film was itself an adventure/sci-fi pastiche that never took itself too seriously, but Arnold played up the dramatic elements of the film and created an earnest, florid, full-bodied score with a slightly Egyptian flavor based around two primary thematic clusters. Devlin and Emmerich's next project was Independence Day (promoted as ID4 as well), and once again turned to Arnold for the music. This would be a more linear score than Stargate, with a much more Copland-oriented sound and a myriad of distinct themes as befitted the larger tapestry. The last collaboration between the Devlin/Emmerich team with Arnold would be their messy updating of Godzilla, for which Arnold produced a score that addressed the wonder that the Nick (Matthew Broderick) character has for the titular beast, as well as a touch of Gershwin to evoke the New York setting. All three of these scores feature bold, accessible themes, and it was therefore a lot of fun to assemble this album.

I was debating with myself how to open the album for a while before I started it. I knew that the Stargate overture would definitely be very early on, but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to start off with the slightly threatening beginning of the main title. I then hit on the idea of using the euphoric music for the scene in which Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) dusts the wrong field. This brief piece of music was inexplicably titled "Incoming Reports" which has nothing to do with either the scene or the music, so I retitled the cue "Cropdusting" (as it appeared on my Flight compilation. Then I come in with the sweeping Stargate overture. which presents the primary thematic material for that film; all of the major motives are derived from what appears in this track. The first act concludes with the ominous "Gojira," an adaptation of the first cue in Godzilla prepared for a Sony album which never materialized except as an Academy promo. After a brief statement of the 'patriotic' motif from Independence Day, "Cancelled Leave" (retitled from "Canceled Leave" because it just looks more correct to me even though I know both spellings are legitimate, and this is my disc, damn it) introduces the gentle theme for Stephen Hiller (Will Smith). This track exists as sort of an interlude between this first section of the album and the next.

Here is where a major restructuring occurred from the first and second drafts of this mix; I realized that some of the more dramatic pieces that I had originally used here needed to be earned one way or another. That meant I needed to make sure that the listener was having fun, so I moved the urgent but fairly jaunty "Evacuation" from Godzilla and the adventurous "Mastadge Drag" from Stargate - both of which appeared later in the first draft (though not together) up here and added "Canyon Chase" from Independence Day to create a swashbuckling succession of cues. "Canyon Chase" appears on the soundtrack album as the second part of "Base Attack," although it appears on the 2 disc promo as a separate cue; I ended up using a snippet of the very start of the promo track in order to get a clean beginning for this album, and has a few variations on the Hiller theme and several quotations of the monolithic alien motif.

What follows is a more mysterious section, starting with the ominous "Dawn of the Species" from Godzilla, which features a more low-key development of the thematic material heard in "Gojira" and "Evacuation." This gives way to "Opening the Gate," a combination of several cues from Stargate revolving around the Seventh Symbol sequence. Parts of "Orion" (for which, like "Canyon Chase," I had to use a sliver of the beginning of the track as it appears on the original Milan disc of in order to get a clean beginning; the cue "Translation" is attached to it with an oafish crossfade on the Varèse Sarabande edition), "The Stargate Opens," "You're On the Team" and "Entering the Stargate" were combined to allow the thematic material related to the Stargate project, including the military motif based on aspects of both the Stargate and Ra themes - to develop in ways that a more fragmented presentation wouldn't allow on a compilation such as this one. This track segues back to Godzilla with "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner," in which Arnold showcases his Gojira theme in an awe-inspiring context.

There is no clear definition of the next section, it's more of a dramatic passage. "Death of the First Lady" from Independence Day (originally titled "First Lady Dies" on the promo) is another interlude, in this case a self-contained, emotional movement that reflects the great losses suffered by mankind, personified by Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell). This was, in fact, one of the tracks that I really needed to earn before I could put it on the album. "King of the Slaves" presents one of the many variations on the main theme from Stargate, in this case the exotic version for Kasuf (Erick Avari). Things kick into high gear in another cue called "Evacuation," this time from Independence Day, but while the track from the later film bears a superficial resemblance to this one, the much more dire nature here evidenced a much more intense bit of scoring. The 'patriotic' motif is heard again in a frenzied but determined form. This gives way to the firmly malevolent version of Stargate's Ra (Jaye Davidson) material heard in this album's title track "Myth, Faith, Belief."

The despondent take on the 'Nick & Audrey' (Maria Pitillo) theme in "Nick Gets Fired" from Godzilla begins a more emotional passage in the album. This is followed by another love theme, this time for the James Spader/Mili Avital coupling in Stargate, "Daniel and Sha'uri," which is, like most of the music in that film's score, derived from the main themes. "Volunteers" is a suite of music from Independence Day related to the preparations of Hiller and David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) and the fighter pilots as they gear up for their last-ditch mission. The represented cues, "The Wedding," "Farewell" and "Launch" all feature further development of the Hiller and 'patriotic' themes, as well as the main Independence Day theme which begins to emerge as hope is rekindled, especially as related to Casse (chronologically, "The Wedding" would appear between "International Code" and "The President's Speech," as heard in "One Voice" track 20). This segment of the album concludes with "Nick's Big Speech" from Godzilla, a further development of the same thematic material heard in "Nick Gets Fired," but now determined and proud.

The thunderous "Ra - The Sun God" from Stargate begins the album's penultimate section, preparing for the finale, an aggressive presentation of Ra's theme (it is the character's physical introduction in the film, although his thematic material is related to other aspects of the film, so his presence is felt through the music before he actually shows up). The frenzied portion of the latter half - the desperate attack of O'Neill (Kurt Russell) on Ra - leads to a dramatic passage that gives way to the hopeful "One Voice," a suite from Independence Day that contains material from "David's Idea," "The Plan" (a.k.a. "Planning the Counter Attack" on the CDDB), "International Code" and "The President's Speech." This track consists almost entirely of variations on the 'patriotic' theme, with a few can-do motives and some allusions to the main 'Independence Day' theme. The title is derived from the line in President Whitmore's (Bill Pullman) speech, "And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: 'We will not go quietly into the night!' We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!" Cheesy, perhaps, but the Coplandesque setting for the 'patriotic' theme is indeed the proudest statement of this theme in the score, and the first appearance of the main "Independence Day" theme in its victorious setting. The audience applauded at this speech when I saw this film in the theater.

The endgame of this album then starts with another return of the Kasuf variation on the Stargate theme with an Egyptian flavor, now a call to arms leading into an exultant presentation of the main theme, which leads to the final statement of the 'Ra' themes. This then segues into the action-packed "Big G Goes To Monster Heaven" ( I debated changing the name to something with a little bit more dignity, but I ended up deciding that it was a decent enough reflection of this particular Godzilla project as a whole, so I left it as it was), which concludes with a tragic setting of the 'Gojira' theme. Finally, "Engage the Enemy" (named after the analogous DVD chapter) is a combination of "The Virus" and "The Day We Fight Back," that film's climactic aerial battle (Independence Day not only holds the record for most miniature modelwork to appear in one film, but because physical models are so very rarely used in special effects work anymore, it will most likely maintain that record for a very long time). The relentless alien motif is set in opposition to the 'patriotic' theme and a few other motives reminiscent of those heard in "Canyon Chase," almost colliding into them. The 'Independence Day' theme is heard, first in a more tentative form, finally blooming out as the conflict is decided - a moment which features an homage to destruction of the Death Star in John Williams' Star Wars. This is the scoring for the sequence as it originally played, with Casse joining the combat with his crop duster, before it was changed to the version that appears in both domestic versions of the film. The alternate version is actually very similar to what appears here, but has never surfaced on any recording.

After the victorious conclusion of "Engage the Enemy," the album uses "Coming Home" from Stargate as a denouement. This cue not only wraps up the score nicely, it also has one of the most rousing endings in recent memory (Arnold himself noted having a lot of fun writing it, stating that he wasn't sure when he was going to get that big Hollywood ending again). This is followed by the end title from Independence Day, which is a genuine suite that plays as sort of that score in miniature, presenting the main themes first, then introducing variations reflecting the storyline of the film. The buildup of the 'patriotic' theme in this track towards the end is one of the main reasons I had for putting together this album, and the finale gives the end of this disc a rousing send-off.

I wonder if anybody is going to get the MSG joke...
Tags: david arnold, film music, my mixes

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