The Second Disc

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Welcome (Back) to “Jurassic Park”! Williams Score Gets Surprise Digital Expansion

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JP20 coverWell, this one snuck up on us like a pack of velociraptors: in honor of its 20th anniversary and impending 3-D theatrical reissue, Geffen has quietly snuck out an expanded, albeit digital-only, reissue of John Williams’ score to the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park.

Michael Crichton’s 1990 technothriller novel asked an astounding question for a new decade of popular science: what if geneticists could extract preserved DNA of dinosaurs and recreate them in the present day? As is typical of Crichton fare (think Westworld with stomping predators), a trip to an as-yet-unopened theme park devoted to these re-engineered animals goes horribly awry, captured in a deft mix of rock-star science and good old-fashioned scares.

It was, of course, the perfect fodder for a big-budget movie, and, in the words of Jurassic Park’s creator John Hammond, Hollywood spared no expense. Steven Spielberg and a fine cast anchored by Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough (whose Gandhi bested Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for a Best Picture Oscar) bought the fictitious world of Jurassic Park to life – and a supporting cast of groundbreaking dinos (both lifelike animatronics by the Stan Winston Studio and digital creations by Industrial Light & Magic) propelled the film far beyond mere blockbuster status. For four years, it was the world’s highest-grossing film, and it won all three Oscars it was nominated for in the fields of Visual Effects, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. It also spun off two sequels, with a third set for release next summer.

While Williams’ 12th score for a Spielberg film was not nominated for an Oscar (he in fact won his fifth that same year for Spielberg’s other film that year, the acclaimed Holocaust drama Schindler’s List), it still stands as one of the best and most beloved in the Spielberg-Williams canon. Two beautiful primary themes anchor the film, an E.T.-like motif with soaring strings to signify the majesty of the prehistoric creatures, and a trumpet fanfare for the overall sense of island adventure. But there are great atmospheric score moments throughout, from the dangerous percussion of “Dennis Steals the Embryo” to a woozy four-note motif that scores the raptor attacks in the last act of the film.

The generous 70-minute soundtrack album has been expanded with 11 minutes of additional material, including the humorously-titled “Stalling Around,” music that accompanied a light-hearted cartoon in the film explaining how dinos were recreated (a fine hat tip to Looney Tunes composer Carl W. Stalling) and some great subdued cues from the first third of the film.

While it is a bummer that this JP expansion is digital-only and, thus far, exclusive only to iTunes in North America, it is a pleasant surprise for both new and old fans of this “adventure 65 million years in the making” to have a brand-new edition of this classic score. A humongous hat tip to good friend of The Second Disc Charlie Brigden for informing us of this release through a review from his excellent Soundtrek column at Lost in the Multiplex, which discerning score fans would do well to bookmark.

Check out the track list after the jump!

John Williams, Jurassic Park: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – 20th Anniversary Edition (originally released as MCA Records MCAD-10859, 1993 – reissued Geffen (no cat. #), 2013)

  1. Opening Titles
  2. Theme from Jurassic Park
  3. Incident At Isla Nublar
  4. Journey to the Island
  5. The Raptor Attack
  6. Hatching Baby Raptor
  7. Welcome to Jurassic Park
  8. My Friend, The Brachiosaurus
  9. Dennis Steals the Embryo
  10. A Tree for My Bed
  11. High-Wire Stunts
  12. Remembering Petticoat Lane
  13. Jurassic Park Gate
  14. Eye to Eye
  15. T-Rex Rescue and Finale
  16. End Credits
  17. The History Lesson *
  18. Stalling Around *
  19. The Coming Storm *
  20. Hungry Raptor *

* indicates previously unreleased bonus track

Written by Mike Duquette

March 27, 2013 at 10:47

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on artwithattitude.


    March 27, 2013 at 18:54

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