With the original Raiders of the Lost Ark, John Williams created the most revered and imitated adventure score of its generation -- when the franchise moved to television with the series The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Williams handed the musical reins to the team of Joel McNeely and Laurence Rosenthal, and while neither composer proves content with merely rehashing what came before, Williams' shadow looms impossibly large over their efforts. The first entry in Varese Sarabande's four-volume Young Indiana Jones Chronicles retrospective contains four complete episode scores, two by each composer -- Rosenthal's "Peking 1910" suite fares best thanks to its distinctive and imaginative fusion of western harmonies and eastern scales, but his "Barcelona 1917" apes familiar classical themes to diminishing returns. McNeely's "Verdun 1916" and "Paris 1916" are similarly derivative, and oddly devoid of the rousing adventure one expects from the Indiana Jones brand.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Vol. 1 Review
by Jason Ankeny