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Thursday, April 24, 2014

John Williams -- The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Original Motion Picture Score)

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The Lost World: Jurassic Park is one of Steven Spielberg's worst films. I don't think this is a controversial statement. Outside of a few memorable images (A T-Rex head through a tent doorway, an overhead view of velociraptors cutting through a field at night) and the funniest jump cut Spielberg has ever done (a screaming woman to Jeff Goldblum's face), there are few reasons to watch. I can make a really awesome run-on sentence about all the reasons not to watch The Lost World, though. The film is joyless, it features ciphers in lieu of characters, including a complete regression of the Ian Malcom character (his chaotician personality is replaced by no personality), it fiercely misunderstands who the audience is actually rooting for (the hunter character is the only thing close to a character in the film, the only competent person on the island, and he saves everyone, but he is, apparently, the villain of the film because he wants to shoot an animal that has killed a couple dozen humans), it badly handles its heavy-handed pro-nature message, and it makes me hate Vince Vaughn. Also, somehow, a hundred grown men WITH MACHINE GUNS cannot take down ONE velociraptor in ANY Jurassic Park film, but an eleven year old girl can KILL one with GYMNASTICS in this movie.
Legendary film composer, John Williams, saw that Spielberg was obviously phoning in the film. Williams could have just decided to do the same, regurgitated his themes from the first movie(apparently what many people wanted), taken the paycheck, and gone home. But this is the guy who has admitted that he stays awake at night thinking about all the awards he has LOST. This is the guy who won't just take a paycheck. John Williams could have just taken his note sheets for Jurassic Park, scribbled a few changes, and handed them to his conductor. Instead, he said, "Screw it...somebody get me some drums!!! Now!!!" 
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is by far the most percussive, discordant score John Williams ever wrote. It is nowhere near his best, but it is fun, propulsive, and it keeps the listener's head-nodding. Williams went "full jungle" for this soundtrack, bringing in a very wide array of drums (I wasn't kidding, he literally said, "Somebody get me some drums. I mean, like, I want a whole bunch of drums, I'm being literal. Like every kind of drum you can get me, right now. Wait, you can't get me a bunch of drums? I wrote the soundtrack for Star Wars. If you don't get me some drums, I am going to compose the themes of your downfall, death, and funeral, and everyone will want to kill you so that they can hear them. DRUMS. NOW!") to match the film's dark, jungle setting. He replaces the original Jurassic Park theme (which can only be heard in brief, ghostly snippets) with something that could soundtrack a safari, and he replaces his original "danger theme" with brass and, as I think I may have mentioned, a whole lot of drums. Oh, yeah. It's tuba time.

So there are bonuses to being the big dumb jock soundtrack of John Williams' oeuvre. This album is nothing to be moved by, but if you enjoy mean, dirty, aggressive classical music, or if you just like drums and want to drive fast, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Original Motion Picture Score) is the way to go.
Now, I think I'll go hit something.

1997 MCA
1. The Lost World 3:33
2. The Island Prologue 5:03
3. Malcolm's Journey 5:44
4. The Hunt 3:30
5. The Trek 5:23
6. Finding Camp Jurassic 3:03
7. Rescuing Sarah 4:01
8. Hammond's Plan 4:30
9. The Raptors Appear 3:43
10. The Compys Dine 5:07
11. The Stegosaurus 5:20
12. Ludlow's Demise 4:27
13. Visitor in San Diego 7:37
14. Finale and Jurassic Park Theme 7:54


Anonymous said...


Brilliant writing, my friend.

(That one string of sentences (?) may inspire my next song.)


Nicholas said...

Haha! Thanks, man. If it does or does not, I can't wait to hear it.