Carl is on hand with his recommendations of the best soundtracks to listen to whilst in lockdown
To help beat the coronavirus blues, for the foreseeable future, members of team Future of the Force will be on hand with our recommendations of awesome soundtracks to listen to during the COVID-19 lockdown. Whether its lesser-known gems, Oscar-winning classics or just celebrating the best composers – we’ll be here to give you our top picks during this difficult time.
Jaws 2 | by John Williams
What, I hear you cry? It must be a typo! Does the title say JAWS 2? Yes, indeed it does. You see, I could write about the magnificence of John Williams‘ sublime and probably never to be surpassed score for a shark film. But then I would be telling you what you already know. We ALL know that the score to ‘Jaws‘ is one of the greatest scores of all time but no-one ever discusses the sequel’s score. Why not? Is it because it is inferior to the original like the film sequel is to its predecessor? Is it because it’s not the score everyone expected it to be? Maybe. But I disagree with the view that the score is inferior to the original. Why? Because Williams decided to try something different. He decided not to retread over the ground he had already lain down. Sure, the score does feature cues and some music from the first film but Williams created a different beast altogether, one that fits with the second film. And he created a score that stands on its own merits and not relying on the classic original score.
Once again, Intrada has released a 2 disc expanded edition of the score. It also released expanded and complete scores for the third and fourth films in the franchise. I also own those, mainly for completion purposes but Jaws 2 stands out best. The opening theme utilizes some of the classic music, mainly ‘Out To Sea‘ around halfway through before we encounter the ‘Shark Theme‘ but getting to these parts, Williams creates a beautiful sense of being underwater, a blend of music to explain the sights we will see under the waves above. It creates a theme for a world we were never meant to see, a world where we are the invaders. Of course, ‘Bruce’ decides he doesn’t want us down in his domain and kills the two divers we follow during the opening credits and this new music we hear. The score then proceeds onwards throughout the film until we come across the big finale, the appropriately named ‘The Big Jolt‘. Along the way, we are treated to some of the finest music that Williams has created. It seems all the more fitting that Williams scored the first and second films and then moved on exactly like actor Roy Scheider did. The legendary actor played Chief Martin Brody twice and then left the series behind.
The score creates a different world than we have grown accustomed to and that’s to its benefit. It still has its scary jolts along the way as well as its more joyful moments but it’s to Williams’ credit that he creates a score that keeps us guessing, a score that we think is going to go one way and then pulls the rug of comfort out from under us. The dramatic and action-filled moments come thick and fast and some of the music is much faster paced than the original. But it never let’s go, making it a great companion to its big brother. The first disc of the set is the expanded and complete score to the film including alternate takes on the music we hear in the film whereas the second disc gives us the original 1978 soundtrack album as released on vinyl and cassette. It is great having both versions of the music together and it can be fun to compare both versions against the other and play a game of finding where the original soundtrack was edited. It is an honor to have the soundtrack in my collection where it sits alongside all the other Williams scores I have at hand. Put it on, close your eyes and prepare to face down another Great White Shark and listen to another brilliant John Williams Score.
Stay safe and look after each other.
Let us know if you have any suggestions of great soundtracks our readers should check out and we’ll feature and share them with the FOTF community.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!