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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Remasters, and Even Better Liner Notes! Really!
If you were anywhere between the ages of 6 and 15 in 1977 (I was 10), chances are you played the heck out of the original double-album STAR WARS sound track until the grooves wore out. Back then, you probably listened mostly to the cantina music and the opening fanfare, but couldn't really be bothered with some of those 7-minute long pieces that didn't seem quite as...
Published on February 13, 2000 by Brian Jay Jones

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Soundtrack but...
The soundtrack for Episode IV is decent. It contains a lot of the music from the movie as heard in the movie. That is to say, some of the tracks sound truncated or abridged rather than the more polished and seemingly complete pieces that people have heard on previously released soundtracks. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon what the listener wants...
Published on April 8, 2012 by Little Blue


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Remasters, and Even Better Liner Notes! Really!, February 13, 2000
By 
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
If you were anywhere between the ages of 6 and 15 in 1977 (I was 10), chances are you played the heck out of the original double-album STAR WARS sound track until the grooves wore out. Back then, you probably listened mostly to the cantina music and the opening fanfare, but couldn't really be bothered with some of those 7-minute long pieces that didn't seem quite as punchy as those funky oboes in the Jawa Sandcrawler theme.
Now that you're all grown up, pick up this beautiful CD that doesn't have all those affectionate hisses and pops from overplay that you remember from vinyl, and listen to the rest of the album -- you'll be surprisingly pleased at what you may have missed sprawled out on the living room floor all those years ago. Apart from sheer listening pleasure, you'll also have the help of Michael Matessino's careful notes on each track, which will ensure you'll have a new appreciation for the use of themes that John Williams incorporates throughout even the smallest pieces.
I found Matessino's notes to be, perhaps, the most useful I've read in any film score package, and it's obvious that Matessino sat down and took careful notes on the score while the film was rolling. Matessino always has an interesting take on things, and is great at pointing out things a listener (without the benefit of the film rolling at the same time) might have missed -- find out why, for example, Matessino believes that Leia's theme was played at the moment of Ben Kenobi's death, rather than his own theme. The notes are just terrific, and Mattesino's prose is surprisingly bouncy.
Apart from the beautiful sound and terrific notes, the CD also captures some "behind the scenes" takes, including the first-ever run through of the STAR WARS Main Theme.
Put on this CD and prepare for an afternoon of heavy waves of childhood flashbacks -- but DON'T NEGLECT THOSE LINER NOTES!
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Force is strong with this one, June 12, 2003
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
If you purchased the original 1977 2-LP Star Wars soundtrack album.....
Or its CD re-release - which is now out of print, as they say....
Or if you bought the 4-disc Star Wars Trilogy boxed set....
If you thought you'd heard the entire score to any of the classic trilogy and don't own the Special Edition sets....well, you missed out on quite a bit.
This 2-CD collection of music composed and conducted by John Williams for Star Wars: A New Hope is the definitive version of one of the most popular soundtrack albums ever. Released in conjunction with the Special Edition re-release of the Classic Star Wars Trilogy, this 1997 album contains the complete score that added so much magic and wonder to George Lucas' beloved first installment of the Star Wars saga.
With the addition of Alfred Newman's 20th Century Fox Fanfare (with CinemaScope extension) and the tracks presented in proper order and as they appeared in the film, John Williams' fans can now hear a digitally remastered and glorious score. Because Nick Redman (who has produced many of Williams' "ultimate" re-releases) aims for completeness and accuracy here, gone are the "concert arrangements" and "cut-and-paste" segues where "tracks" from different scenes are patched together because "they sound good together." For instance, in previous "original soundtrack" albums the producer took cues from the rescue of Princess Leia, Ben Kenobi's mission at the tractor beam terminal, and the Battle of Yavin, combining them into the track titled "The Last Battle." A hard task and it sounds fine, but that's not what we heard in the movie.
Thus, the Main Title (Star Wars Theme) no longer segues into music from the end titles in that familiar overture fashion we are all familiar with. Instead, Main Title merely states Luke Skywalker's Theme and the Rebel Fanfare (which will be a recurring theme throughout the film and will also appear in the other films). Then, abruptly, it will cut off and fade into the Imperial Attack.
As a result of this rearrangement of cues, some tracks have been renamed to fit the scenes they belong in. Some are shorter than we remember them, while still others have had material restored. Soundtrack fans will be pleased when they hear previously unreleased bits of music (such as a short little coda that followed the droid auction), as well as music that was not in the film, including an alternate Binary Sunset theme which was re-scored when Lucas suggested that Ben's Theme would fit the emotional context of the scene better. The program notes are extremely interesting and informative, adding to the collectible value of this 2-disc set.
I have owned all of the versions I mentioned, and I am fond of them all, but this is the best...and my favorite....version.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will outlast the movies, no question., June 18, 2006
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode IV (Audio CD)
I have listened to John Williams score for this film from start to finish more times than I've watched the film!

This music captures the essence of the story extremely well - maybe even better than the film itself. While the first disc moves extremely slowly, the music begins to pick up speed as things actually begin to happen in the film ("Tales of a Jedi Knight", track 8, is the start of the really engaging music). At the end of the first disc, you get the special treat of hearing the different takes of the original Star Wars scores (16-20). The first two takes were discarded, and the one we hear on disc and in the movies is a blend of takes 18, 19, and 20. Very nice touch, and interesting in terms of knowing the evolution of the music.

Disc two starts with a concert suite of Princess Leia's theme which is extremely touching, lots of strings/French horn. Then the rest of the disc, after "The Destruction of Alderaan" and "The Death Star/The Stormtroopers", is mostly action music, besides the music for Ben Kenobi's sneaking around.

The last several tracks are what many consider the crown jewel here, beginning with "Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack" - a great piece of bombastic action music, accelerating into "The Battle of Yavin IV" (the pronouncement of the 'Force Theme' when Ben tells Luke to use the Force is still the most touching moment)and finishing with one of Williams's crowning achievements - that of course being the "Throne Room/End Credits" sequence, five and a half minutes of pure magic, and probably my most played track from this set. A reprise of this music could actually be heard in the 13-minute long end credits to Revenge of the Sith - it's a pity that Williams's didn't reference themes from other movies there, but the fact that he chose this one should tell you something...)

This soundtrack - with its myriad themes, cues, variations and all - this introduced me to film score music, and I honestly would not have had it any other way. It is dear to my heart.

-------------------------------

In 1977, Lucas thought that this was the only thing about Star Wars that he was happy with. This happens to be the only part of the movie that he DIDN'T change in 1997, so that should also clue you in. Get this now.

One note - if you have the spare change, get the scores for all three movies separately; not the 2004 Sony versions that are remastered, but the 1997 RCA/Victor versions. The tracklists are identical, however; the Sony packaging is much cheaper and DO NOT come with what I consider ESSENTIAL liner notes, which explains Williams's music, the way he uses various instruments and themes throughout, etc.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspired & Intense Soundtrack for an Epic Film, October 6, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode IV (Audio CD)
I still remember the first time that I ever saw the original "Star Wars" film back in 1977 in a local theater. In silence, the classic line, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...," appeared against a black screen. Suddenly, a blaze of John William's main title for "Star Wars" filled the theater and began to capture the minds and hearts of the audience for an adventure of epic proportions. Rich with percussion, brass instruments and a string orchestra, the main title for "Star Wars" is probably one of the most recognized pieces of music in the world today.

Following the power of the main title, the music momentarily softens to a flute solo only to quickly crescendo once again as a rebel passenger ship is under attack from a powerful Imperial Starcruiser. With a blaze of laser blasts, the rebel theme is squashed by the power of the Imperial Attack music with the eventual entry of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader into the captured rebel ship. It is here that two robotic characters, R2-D2 and C-3PO, take center stage as they escape to the desert planet of Tatooine. The music that accompanies their long journeys across its arid surface is quite appropriate, followed by the Jawa mechanical-sounding march.

The music that accompanies the introduction of Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) at his uncle's moisture farm/home becomes his personal theme music throughout the film, but I prefer the more emotional theme music written for Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher). One of the most dramatic musical scores in the film is the theme that accompanies the destruction of the peaceful planet of Alderan, which was Princess Leia's home. This is similar to the theme used towards the end of the film during the final destruction of the Death Star, but some of the music in "Star Wars" was rather comical, such as the two cantina band songs on the planet of Tatooine.

Shortly after seeing the film in 1977, I purchased the complete "Star Wars" soundtrack when it was first made available on a dual LP album and loved to listen to it. Even years after the film was released many friends and acquaintances of mine also owned the film's soundtrack in one form or another. The film and its music captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people and continues to do so to this day. The film would never have been as good without an impressive soundtrack, but thanks to George Lucas' selection of John Williams as the primary composer, both the film and its soundtrack will no doubt capture hearts and imaginations for decades to come. Therefore, I rate the dual CD soundtrack for "Star Wars: Episode IV--A New Hope" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. Listening to the intensity and emotion of the music without simultaneously watching the film can be wonderful experience.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant & Forever Memorable Soundtrack for an Epic Film Saga, November 6, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
At a time when many films were no longer being provided with orchestral music, George Lucas decided to do the opposite with the first of his "Star Wars" films back in 1977; and I can still remember the first time that I ever saw the film back in 1977 in a local theater. In silence, the classic line, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...," appeared against a black screen. The audience was silent and curious. Suddenly, a blaze of John William's main title for "Star Wars" filled the theater and began to capture the minds and hearts of the audience for an adventure of epic proportions. Rich with percussion, brass instruments and a string orchestra, the main title for "Star Wars" is probably one of the most recognized pieces of music in the world today.

Following the power of the main title, the music momentarily softens to a flute solo only to quickly crescendo once again as a rebel passenger ship is under attack from a powerful Imperial Starcruiser. With a blaze of laser blasts, the rebel theme is squashed by the power of the Imperial Attack music with the eventual entry of Stormtroopers and Darth Vader into the captured rebel ship. It is here that two robotic characters, R2-D2 and C-3PO, take center stage as they escape to the desert planet of Tatooine. The music that accompanies their long journeys across its arid surface is quite appropriate, followed by the Jawa mechanical-sounding march.

The music that accompanies the introduction of Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) at his uncle's moisture farm/home becomes his personal theme music throughout the film, but I prefer the more emotional theme music written for Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher). One of the most dramatic musical scores in the film is the theme that accompanies the destruction of the peaceful planet of Alderan, which was Princess Leia's home. This is similar to the theme used towards the end of the film during the final destruction of the Death Star, but some of the music in "Star Wars" was rather comical, such as the two cantina band songs on the planet of Tatooine.

Shortly after seeing the film in 1977, I purchased the complete "Star Wars" soundtrack when it was first made available on a dual LP album and loved to listen to it. Even years after the film was released many friends and acquaintances of mine also owned the film's soundtrack in one form or another. The film and its music captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people and continues to do so to this day. The film would never have been as good without an impressive soundtrack, but thanks to George Lucas' selection of John Williams as the primary composer, both the film and its soundtrack will no doubt capture hearts and imaginations for decades to come. Therefore, I rate the two-CD album "Star Wars, A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and perhaps the strongest of the Star Wars score, May 18, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode IV (Audio CD)
From the opening Fox Fanfare to the first notes of John Williams score, Star Wars: A New Hope is the one of the greatest scores of all time. While I prefer the maturity of Return of the Jedi, A New Hope is just as good, because it is the score that began it all. It is the classic score from the trilogy. While there are not as many of the themes so well known to Star Wars, the classics are there. Luke's theme, the Force theme, Leia's theme and the old school style of the orchestra. Themes like the Imperial march are hinted at, but not fully realized. Overall, however, this is a great score, one of the greatest of all time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic cinema sounds, September 28, 2005
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
This is one of those discs that has had a long life in my house - I first had the soundtrack of Star Wars on cassette tape, then when that broke (from being overplayed), I got the vinyl version (so I could re-record the tracks in a better order). When that record set got worn and poppy, I got the CD, and then when this special edition came out, I got it too. So, I guess one could say that this is a perennial favourite.

Even the design of the discs is fun - the round discs are overprinted with a graphic of the Death Star on them; were I still a kid (I was 12 years old when Star Wars first came out), I would be thrilled (and I must confess, that small part of me does still enjoy this quite a bit).

Unlike the tape and record albums of old, this is in fact the complete score of the film, done in the order in which it plays on the film. The classic pieces are still there with force - the gigantic orchestral crash as an opener, the heavy brass fanfare trumpeting major events, the timpani and low tones giving ominous emotional feel to events, all is still here in glorious remastering.

This disc includes the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, a piece that made its debut in the 1930s but is still considered an important prelude to the Star Wars experience - the gap in the sound between the Fox Fanfare and the opening crash of the main title theme is one with great anticipation. There is also a 'main title archive' on this disc, in which all five recorded takes of the theme are presented.

One thing that I credit this music for is helping me to appreciate the emotive power of orchestral music at an early age. Separating the music from the film (video and DVD were not available back in the medieval times of my childhood) made the music stand out all the more and carry the emotional force; while many recount playing the Cantina music over and over, in fact I was more impressed with the subtleties that would come from the orchestral suites, and delighted in seeing how the music alone would bring forth feelings and memories - this in turn led to a greater appreciation of music in general, and led to my seeking out orchestral music as symphonies, concertos, and more at a fairly early age.

This is wonderful music, perfect for its subject, and will always hold a special place for me, too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Soundtrack but..., April 8, 2012
By 
Little Blue (San Ramon, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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The soundtrack for Episode IV is decent. It contains a lot of the music from the movie as heard in the movie. That is to say, some of the tracks sound truncated or abridged rather than the more polished and seemingly complete pieces that people have heard on previously released soundtracks. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending upon what the listener wants to hear. For example, the Main Title of Star Wars is shorter in this release but more accurately reflects the music heard while watching the film. If that is what you want, this is your album. There are some alternate versions of tracks included but I find them to be of little consequence.

I remember the original soundtrack release on vinyl in 1977. While that contained a set of polished, complete works intended for listening without the movie getting in the way, it was a far superior product, in my opinion. I would love to have that instead of this collection here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of it all, October 20, 2004
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
Star Wars A NEW HOPE. The music. John Williams. The one that started it all. What can I say?

Well, for starters, this is the one that introduced us to the fantastic Star Wars and Force themes. These are two pieces of music that have become etched into the nation's subconcious. The soundtrack also contains the exquisite "Princess Leia theme", jawa music, and the very odd "Cantina Band 1 and 2."

Another musicall cue of note is the music that underscores the battle between the Millenium Falcon and the TIE Fighters.

These are all classics, yet compared to the heights achieved by EMPIRE, this seems dated just slightly. There is more of a "Gee Whiz!" factor to this than EMPIRE which, while not a bad thing, doesn't effect me the same way.

Overall, this is well worth the money. The bonus tracks on this two-disc set are a nice bonus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy Worth Every Cent!, December 21, 2004
This review is from: Star Wars: A New Hope: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition) (Audio CD)
This soundtrack is great! The music or Star Wars has always enchanted me. I am so glad it came out on CD! The best track on it by far however is "Cantina Band" which is the music played in the Mos Eisleys Bar, in which Luke meets Han Solo!

A great buy worth every cent!
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