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John Williams - Greatest Hits 1969 - 1999 Soundtrack

151 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, November 2, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 11/02/1999

For better or worse, John Williams has completely reshaped the art of the soundtrack. His scores for Star Wars, E.T., and Jaws are simply unforgettable, and his knack for tugging at our heartstrings is uncanny. John Williams: Greatest Hits 1969-1999 collects 30 years of the composer's best-loved themes into one double-CD package. You'll find all the soundtrack moments you'd expect from Indiana Jones, Close Encounters, and Schindler's List, along with a few surprises (The Reivers Americana-filled main theme and Williams's 1984 Olympic theme, for starters). Most of the earlier works have been digitally rerecorded by Williams, so while you may not get the original recording of these works here, nothing shows its age. And although we really do get only his "greatest hits" (the longest track is the nearly 10-minute-long Close Encounters theme), most of these soundtracks can be purchased in their entirety for the true aficionado. John Williams may be an acquired taste, but this set proves why--year after year--he scores some of the most successful films Hollywood can produce. --Jason Verlinde

Disc: 1
1. Star Wars: Main Title
2. E.T.: Flying Theme
3. Superman: Main Title
4. Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom: Parade Of The Slave Children
5. Sugarland Express: Theme
6. Jaws: Theme
7. Olympic Fanfare And Theme
8. Return Of The Jedi: Luke And Leia
9. The Reivers: Main Title
10. THe Empire Strikes Back: The Imperial March
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Saving Private Ryan: Hymn To The Fallen
2. Jurassic Park: Theme
3. Schindler's List: Theme
4. Hook: Flight To Neverland
5. Seven Years In Tibet: Seven Years In Tibet
6. JFK: Prologue
7. Stepmom: The Days Between
8. 1941: March
9. Home Alone: Somewhere In My Memory
10. Summon The Heroes
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: John Williams
  • Audio CD (November 2, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00002MZ4V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Alex Diaz-Granados on September 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
John Williams -- The Greatest Hits 1969-1999, as its title proclaims, is a two-disc anthology of one of Hollywood's most famous and prolific composers. Starting from 1969's "The Reivers" and ending with 1999's "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," its 28 tracks cover most of Williams' film scoring career, with two Summer Olympics' (1984 and 1996) fanfares thrown in for good measure.
Disc One covers the period between 1969 and 1989, even though the tracks are not arranged in chronological order. Instead, the fun begins with Williams' most famous (and maybe most popular) piece, "Main Title from Star Wars." It's in this disc that works from his most prolific period appear, including themes from Sugarland Express, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T., Empire of the Sun, and the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies.
Although most of these tracks appear in other John Williams albums, I discovered one new gem in the Main Title from The Reivers (1969). I've never seen the film or read the Steinbeck novel of the same name, but I was captivated by John Williams' way of introducing a melodic idea with a solo instrument (a guitar), then adding an Aaron Copland-like flourish of brass and strings, followed by a series of variations on a theme evoking open spaces and fun hijinks out in the countryside (indicated by the use of banjos and horns).
Another surprise on Disc One is the new arrangement of the 1984 Olympic Fanfare, commissioned for the Los Angeles Summer Games. This reworking of the fanfare adds the familiar "Bugler's Dream" everyone associates with the Olympics to Williams' vibrant march.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Matt on August 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent sound quality, great composer, BUT...
***On what other "greatest hits" cd do the artists re-record the material? The music is faster,
has less emotional impact, and actually has emphasis on different notes and phrases.
This has the same impact of a child whistling the tunes, just running through it.
The really bad thing about all of this is that the tunes you bought this for
sound the worst, because you're expecting something totally different.

Sometimes sounds counterfeit. Still, this has excerpts from some great music scores and can still be enjoyed. Sounds better the second time around.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I was ecstatic when I found this CD, which contains a wonderful collection of Williams' best---from classic favorites like "Star Wars" and "Jurassic Park", to sure-to-be classics like "Duel of the Fates" and "Hymn to the Fallen". I was also pleased to hear some of his other non-cinematic masterworks like the Olympics themes. Overall, it is a fantastic compilation of a variety of music, which pays tribute to Williams' considerable range as a composer.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Brown on December 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've been looking for these songs on the same CD for quite a while, and this set does not disappoint. This 2 CD set contains an outstanding compilation of some of the best soundtrack music, new and old, ever composed by John Williams. You will recognize most of the tracks from blockbuster movies --Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Superman. The Olympic theme songs are also included. This is one to pop in the CD player at home or in the car and turn it up. This set has a high replay value, too. It will never sound stale.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mac Eachaidh on February 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Oh don't get me wrong -- this is a great collection and definitely value for money. Congratulations to Sony Classical for pulling it together.
In one sense it's a very satisfying purchase: even though the second of the two discs in this set goes a little bit astray in including some selections that are less compelling to the listener or even as musically interesting, it's a broadly representative sweep of Mr William's scoring career -- a little biased towards his more recent scores, perhaps, but even that's OK, 'coz that's when he's been writing with more conviction and authority. (Or, perhaps more pertinently, that's when Sony started having a market interest in films and soundtracks.)
But in another sense, this set has the paradoxical drawback of all good compilations: it leaves you wanting more.
And at the risk of disagreeing with Jason Verlinde,'s reviewer, I did not find all the soundtrack moments I'd expect! There are so many moments of great passion and musical lyricism that have flowed from John William's pencil (or his music compositional software, for all I know) that they definitely can't all be done justice in a single two-disc collection.
Where, for instance, are the themes from his disaster-movie epics, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake and the Poseidon Adventure ? His early TV-based sci-fi stuff, like The Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants or Lost in Space ? His all-but-forgotten romanticisms, like his awesome score for Dracula, or for Sugarland Express, Cinderella Liberty, Always, and Stanley & Iris ? His westerns, among them The Cowboys, the River and The Missouri Breaks ? His other fantasy pieces, among them The Fury, The Witches of Eastwick, and Articial Intelligence: AI ?
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John Williams - Greatest Hits 1969 - 1999
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