John Williams

The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration

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AllMusic Review by

Composer John Williams and director Steven Spielberg have long had one of the most symbiotic relationships in Hollywood. They've helped each other become the best known, most successful, and most powerful men in their respective fields. Spielberg has hired Williams to score nearly every movie he's ever made. Meanwhile, at the end of the 20th century, Williams had earned three of his five Academy Awards and ten of his staggering 38 Oscar nominations for Spielberg films. The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration was a 1991 attempt to encapsulate the fruits of their alliance. It contains some of the best work ever done by Williams and his Boston Pops Orchestra. Particularly noteworthy are his famous themes for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg has expressed the opinion that E.T. is Williams' finest effort, and it's hard to disagree with his assessment. The magical piano solo "Over the Moon" provides a much needed respite from the bombastic Sousa-esque marches of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and 1941. Bombast and saccharine sentimentality are common occupational hazards for Williams and Spielberg, and this CD is laced with occasional overdoses of both. Moreover, it is less satisfying as a retrospective of Williams' career than some of the other compilations on the market, because its focus on the Spielberg scores precludes the inclusion of landmark works like Star Wars, Superman, and Home Alone. It is also out of date, having been released too early to include some of the very finest Spielberg scores, like Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Jurassic Park, Hook, and the Oscar-winning Schindler's List. Consumers interested in a true greatest-hits compilation would be better served by one of the more recent discs.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
The Raiders of the Lost Ark, film score
1 5:11
Always, film score
2 5:31
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, film score
3 9:47
Sugarland Express, film score
4 3:36
Jaws, film score
5 2:57
6 4:23
Empire of the Sun, film score
7 4:57
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, film score
8 4:52
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, film score
9 2:11
1941, film score
10 4:15
Empire of the Sun, film score
11 4:59
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, film score
12 2:48
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, film score
13 9:47
blue highlight denotes track pick