Musical Alphabet: W

You could say that movie soundtracks, moreso than pop, was the first kind of music I fell in love with.  I saw Star Wars at the age of four and subsequently bought (well, it was probably my Dad who bought it for me) the soundtrack double album, listening to it obsessively and memorising every note. Back in those pre-DVD (pre-VHS, even) days this was the next best thing to seeing the film again. Better, in some ways, as you didn’t have to suffer through any of the bland dialogue or flat performances.

As time went on I sought out other discs by a variety of composers, but I kept coming back to John Williams, who turned out one classic after another: Star Wars, Close Encounters, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park. Perhaps more than any other musician he provided the fantasy soundtrack to my childhood.

He could perfectly match a movie’s soaring emotional highs, like this iconic moment from E.T.

He could punctuate an action or comedy scene. Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy confronts the sword-swinging Egyptian and shoots him dead? You should be able to identify that moment in this piece of music at about the 2:30 mark:

And of course with the Imperial March first featured in The Empire Strikes Back he wrote the greatest movie villain theme tune ever: