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Earthquake: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Soundtrack

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, May 9, 1995
$114.98 $34.99

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Main Title, 'Earthquake'
  2. Miles On Wheels
  3. City Theme
  4. Something For Rosa
  5. Love Scene
  6. The City Sleeps
  7. Love Theme
  8. Cory In Jeopardy
  9. Medley: (A) Watching & Waiting/(B) Miles' Pool Hall/(C) Sam's Rescue
  10. Something For Remy
  11. Finale, End Title
  12. Earthquake: Special Effects
  13. Aftershock


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: November 15, 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000014RG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,328 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I enjoy almost all of John Williams' movie scores, & I'm glad that I own this one. I do like the main theme very much, an 8-note motif with interesting percussion & development. And the character's themes are also interesting ("Rosa's Theme", "Love Scene" "City Theme" for example). However, compared to its contemporaries (Towering Inferno 1974, Jaws 1975) this score hardly resembles that of a "disaster movie". If you are expecting a lot of orchestral, dramatic music, you may be disappointed - this film score is, in my opinion, very understated. There are only about two tracks which contain "suspense" and/or "drama", maybe three if you include Miles' theme - but that's it. The rest are more like straightforward pieces rather than action cues. There is heavy use of the lower notes on the piano for some dramatic parts, but the full orchestra is used sparingly. In fact, there is a track in the movie itself (not included in this release) which has a part consisting of almost exclusively piano, but it is only a few notes at a time - surprisingly simple compared to what Williams usually composes. What little "dramatic" music is included is not as melodic as you may expect, and is very dark and foreboding. It's just the way this movie was scored - less music than you would normally expect & not as melodic as his other, more well-known works from the time. It's also quite short.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the mid-piece to a 70's Williams Disaster Film Trilogy that began with "The Poseidon Adventure" and concluded with "The Towering Inferno." The opening theme is reminiscent of the feverish opening to Alfred Newman's "Airport." There is a great set piece in "The City Sleeps." Most of this re-recorded score appears in the film very briefly (if at all). This is perhaps a supreme example of Williams' gift for creating a great compelling drama in music for a lesser film. Earthquake
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Format: Audio CD
From a disaster film comes this wonderful score by John Williams, who briefly played piano for the great Henry Mancini on various albums in the '60s. This of course was before Mr. Williams found his own niche in the world of music. The score for this film is far superor than the film itself, Williams themes are solid and thoroughly enjoyable.
A few stand outs - "CITY THEME" (track three) solo piano to start with, followed by the full and haunting orchestration, simply beautiful - "THE CITY SLEEPS" (track six) a light and different theme rises from the baton of Maestro Williams, nice touch. This early John Williams is a must for any film score collector or Williams fan.
Total Time: 32:50 on 13 Tracks/ Varese Sarabande - VSD 5262 (1990)
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Format: Audio CD
Actually, the only bossa-nova track is SOMETHING FOR ROSA. And it's my favorite track. I couldn't help but notice that Williams engaged in a bit of self-repetition when he took an EARTHQUAKE track called THE CITY SLEEPS and redid it as a SUPERMAN track called THE PLANET KRYPTON. (Not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe. Possibly. Let it also be said that the awakening-city shtick was first done by Vaughan Williams in his LONDON SYMPHONY.) Williams has always been inordinately fond of trumpet triplets and the triplet showcase here is MILES ON WHEELS. Claire Fischer's pianism in CITY THEME is absolutely breathtaking.
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Format: Audio CD
Prior to him becoming Hollywood's hottest composer of film music, when people like George Lucas, Oliver Stone, and, most prominently, Steven Spielberg made it their business to make his genius part of their canvas, John Williams had already had a reputation of some standing: working with fellow composers like Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, and Bernard Herrmann; and also composing scores for a variety of other films, notably in that oft-maligned genre of the early-to-mid 1970s called the Disaster Genre. He had already done it for Irwin Allen's 1972 opus THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE; and he turned the trick twice as 1974 ended. The first one out of the chute was the score he composed for the Mark Robson-directed EARTHQUAKE.

As a film, EARTHQUAKE is an admittedly fairly standard-issue sci-fi/disaster film of its time, with Los Angeles and much of Southern California being annihilated by a massive earthquake in the 8-to-9 point range, and such stars as Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, and Genevieve Bujold just trying to stay alive and sane. But the driving force, aside from the Oscar-winning special effects of Albert Whitlock, Frank Brendel, and Glen Robinson, is Williams' score, which incorporates brooding classical, pop, and jazz elements. Although not anywhere near as flashy or well known as what Williams would do in years and decades to come, it does a good job at depicting the City of Angels in ruins for what really is a soap opera with frightening special effects. The three-part cue "Watching And Waiting/Miles' Pool Hall/Sam's Rescue" is especially enlightening, beginning with brooding piano and strings, melding into a jazz-rock fusion riff, then the Sensurround rumblings of the Big One itself, and a return to the brooding piano and strings.
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