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John Williams says John Williams a hack and Star Wars scores "not memorable"

12.29.2016
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John Williams is like the [most recent popular sports athlete] of composers! Besides STAR WARS, he's the man behind the music of JAWS, E.T., JURASSIC PARK, HARRY POTTER, INDIANA JONES, and the list goes on! If it weren't for Alvin Silvestri doing the theme to BACK TO THE FUTURE, the '80s would have basically been scored by John Williams (and Devo).

Which is why it's somewhat surprising to hear that John Williams isn't really impressed with John Williams' work. In an interview with The Mirror, John Williams said that his score for STAR WARS was "not very memorable".

I actually don't think what he's saying is that crazy, at least in context. Williams is a classically trained composer who has studied the most complex, intricate works of the greatest composers who ever lived (and also wrote down their stuff). So while we as an audience enjoy the themes for their pulpy grandeur and catchy humability, it makes sense he'd feel both humbled and a bit insecure about them. In fact he talks about this later in the interview:

​So I’m a composer of music and I look at Mozart and I look at Beethoven and Bach, the greatest organizers of sound that we’ve ever had, and you need to be humble when the shoulders that we stand on are so great.​

He also goes on to say that he hasn't even seen the films his scores are in, saying literally at one point "I don’t want to listen to music or see films​". While probably being hyperbolic (or not, the guy is busy as f*ck, even mentioning how he's starting on Spielberg's new film right after FORCE AWAKENS wrapped), he went on to elaborate:

I let it go. I have not looked at the STAR WARS films and that’s absolutely true. When I’m finished with a film, I’ve been living with it, we’ve been dubbing it, recording to it, and so on. You walk out of the studio and, “Ah, it’s finished.” Now I don’t have an impulse to go to the theater and look at it. Maybe some people find that weird.

Well, as any good artist knows, they are usually their own harshest critics. It makes sense to always want to better and push yourself, and always look at your past achievements as just that: the past. It's nice to hear how humble Williams is about his success and talent, but no need to worry John. Your shit is memorable as f*ck (in fact the STAR WARS theme has been going through my head the whole time I wrote this article).

Extra Tidbit: John Williams' oeuvre includes MEET THE PRESS, the show TIME TUNNEL, and something called ALIENS FROM ANOTHER PLANET.
Source: The Mirror

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10:30AM on 01/03/2017
It's Alan Silvestri, not Alvin ;)
It's Alan Silvestri, not Alvin ;)
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5:09PM on 01/01/2017
At least, he actually wrote STAR WARS, unlike some of his later works, mostly written by some of his assistants in reality !
At least, he actually wrote STAR WARS, unlike some of his later works, mostly written by some of his assistants in reality !
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2:53AM on 12/30/2016

He's entitled to his opinion

As far I'm concerned, the only person that can criticize John Williams is John Williams. His scores were a huge reason for the success of those films.
As far I'm concerned, the only person that can criticize John Williams is John Williams. His scores were a huge reason for the success of those films.
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12:45AM on 12/30/2016
Star Wars is AFI's number one film score which says a lot.
Star Wars is AFI's number one film score which says a lot.
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7:24PM on 12/29/2016
Well, if people know about it or can hum the song, it means people can remember it, Mr. Williams, even if it's a sci-fi movie.
Well, if people know about it or can hum the song, it means people can remember it, Mr. Williams, even if it's a sci-fi movie.
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7:02PM on 12/29/2016
He could have said "it's not very good" and it would have been debatable - wrong but debatable. But he said "memorable". You can tell if your score is memorable, John. If people remember it, it means it is.

He could have said "it's not very good" and it would have been debatable - wrong but debatable. But he said "memorable". You can tell if your score is memorable, John. If people remember it, it means it is.

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5:36PM on 12/29/2016
Not seeing the movie in theatres makes sense after a traditional scoring process, since the composer has in fact seen it already (more than once). However, there have been cases where John has composed the score BEFORE filming.
Not seeing the movie in theatres makes sense after a traditional scoring process, since the composer has in fact seen it already (more than once). However, there have been cases where John has composed the score BEFORE filming.
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5:32PM on 12/29/2016

Oh cut the humble bs

You know you created some of the most memorable film scores of all time. Just embrace it John, no need for the phony humility. You don't need to say you are better than Bethoven but it's okay to say you're good.
You know you created some of the most memorable film scores of all time. Just embrace it John, no need for the phony humility. You don't need to say you are better than Bethoven but it's okay to say you're good.
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