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[General Question]Partial Scores vs. Full Scores on Soundtracks

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Jedi_Master_Conor, Oct 14, 2006.

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  1. Jedi_Master_Conor

    Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 24, 2005
    Why don't we get full scores for movies? Why is it always a partial score with generally 1/2 or less of the music? It's always bugged me. I'm not just talking about Star Wars but other movies in general also.
  2. General Kenobi

    General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 31, 1998
    Well, one major reason is that a full score would require at least a double album or double cd (if not more), and thus would be retailed at a higher price point. This would cut into sales, since a majority of soundtrack buyers are looking for a main theme and maybe one or two songs or cues they heard in the film, and would hesitate to buy a more expensive recording.
  3. Jedi_Master_Conor

    Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    May 24, 2005
    with things like iTunes now I would think they'd start doing more full scores
  4. The-Tennis-Ball-Kid

    The-Tennis-Ball-Kid Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 2, 2004
    Licensing and union fees are another factor. The physical packaging and manfacturing don't usually add that much to the price.

    And while certainly, some scores benefit from complete presentations, for others the added musical material would only be redundant and detract from the listening experience and the shorter, abridged and re-arranged stands alone better as a piece of music. Often less is more.

    Composers often don't want the full score released; Williams has said he doesn't want more than the main theme to Sugarland Express released because he doesn't consider the rest of the score listenable. Goldsmith was quite outspoken about his preference to have shorter albums, or even no albums -- he didn't think The Burbs, for example, really needed to be on CD.

    Some scores, of course, do deserve a complete release, and aren't done justice by their intial or official releases. Like, say, A.I. or the Rings Trilogy, to name a couple of recent examples...


  5. MomMaster

    MomMaster Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 4, 2006
    I agree with this so much! I enjoy listening to the StarWars prequal cds more than 4,5,6 because they are more like...complete individual songs than listening to long amount of backround music. We really wish Williams had done this with like ROTJ with Luke fighting his father at the end. The music was fantastic but the good "pieces" weren't long enough!
  6. Darth_Vader-Anakin

    Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 22, 2002
    I generally prefer albums of an hour or less for most scores. That length seems to make a nice listen. Many scores just don't contain enough "good" music that I would want on a CD. Of course there are exceptions. Such as the recent LotR Complete Recordings. Those are great! With the really great thematic scores, it's a real treat to listen to all the music and see just how the composer moves from one theme to another and ties it all together.

    Although I do think some more thought should go into what is included in the OST. For example, I can't for the life of me understand why "Anakin is Free" was included in the initial release of The Phantom Menace. It's one of the best pieces in the whole movie. I would have preferred that to some of what was included on the cd.
  7. Well_Of_Souls

    Well_Of_Souls Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 26, 2001
    My preference for score albums tends to be around 45-50 minutes, usually.
  8. HL&S

    HL&S Magistrate Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 2001
    I am of the belief that the more music there is, the better. Even if I only listen to one track of a 90 minute album. At least I know if I wanted to, I could listen to the rest. Even if it isn't very good in total.
  9. MomMaster

    MomMaster Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 4, 2006
    I had to post my own quote. Recently, I purchased Gladiator SE DVD and while watching, I concentrated on the music more (after 5 times). I am disapointed about how much is missing from the Soundtract!
    Also, we recently watched Ep 3 again and I am longing for the Full soundtrack for that!
  10. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    Exactly, but the truth is, people don't want to listen to EVERYTHING. Most people only want to listen to the familiar stuff, not all the little background music. :(
  11. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Meh. Most of the time, I prefer 35-55 minutes of the score's highlights, presented in an arrangement that's better for listening rather than necessarily the order in the film. Some scores have so much good music that the full score is nice, but more often than not even a packed 80-minute album is too much.
  12. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    OMG HE LIVES! :eek:
  13. Eugene_Meltsner_AIO

    Eugene_Meltsner_AIO Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 9, 2002
    Wow. I'm really shocked at how many people prefer partial albums.

    Personally, I find that there's a really nice sense of flow when you have all of the music, and a sense of fullness. Also, if someone composed a symphony or other work, would you want only half of it? No, I want all of it. Now, granted, an actual concert work is almost always going to be written more efficiently than a film score--and there is going to be some extra underscore, but even that isn't always unlistenable. In fact it's often very nice. Also, without all the "filler," it tends to feel more like a disjointed collection of highlights--and it's good that we have the highlights, don't get me wrong, but again, it's lacking that sense of flow. An example is "The Rocketeer." There's a bunch of cues missing from the first chunk of the movie, and it really feels like a selection, not a cohesive whole.

    The way I see it, if you want just part of it, take the complete score and make a playlist of what you want, or listen as you want. As was said before, it's better for the people that want it to be able to have all of it available, and the ones that don't can pick what they want from it.
  14. Jedi-Washington

    Jedi-Washington Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 3, 2003
    well, As a musician and a person who studys film score, I prefer the whole score obviously. How am I to hone my skill if I don't get all that background junk that people don't notice or care for? That's a good amount of most film scores. As a listener though, I prefer the shorter albums. Asking for two releases is obviously a little much, but I wish there were score study packets containing the film, an option to watch it with just score, a full soundtrack, and partial physical scores for songs.

    It's not like we'd even need that for every movie that comes out, but for great movies out there like psycho, jaws, or Close encounters, it would be great to have something like that avaliable to those of us to want to go into the business, regardless of price.

  15. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    I perfer a full score with every cue used and stuff not used, in order. Comparing the 1979 version of Superman to the 2000 two-disc set, the latter offers so much more. And truly makes it better in my mind.
  16. Veloz

    Veloz Jedi Master star 6

    Aug 30, 2004
    I prefer a full score :D

    Usually when i listen to a score i go back to the movie at that moment, and with a full score it flows better (obviously) :p [face_laugh]

    For SW in particular, i find that i enjoy the full scores tremendously... now if only we would get AOTC and ROTS in this format [face_whistling]
  17. mikadojedi

    mikadojedi Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 25, 2003
    I am suprised at how much I too enjoy the bits and peaces approach. There are parts of the Star Wars:1997 Re-Release that I am bored with at times. And there are bits of the so-called Concert arrangements too that I don't quite enjoy. One example is the bit when Darth Maul is revealed behind the doors of the hanger bay. The music intros Duel of the Fates, to me anyway. The opening notes echoing "Koorah Ratamah". One can almost hear it sung underneath the music. So that is a bit where I prefer the score to the concert version.
    Conversly the "Star Wars-Main Theme" is better than the piece that appears on the re-release of the OT soundtrack. I love, like the Superman and Indiana Jones 'March's', the overture quality to them.
  18. obiwanws2

    obiwanws2 Jedi Master star 1

    Feb 28, 2004
    i am definitely a full score guy.....and with the LOTR's all getting full scores, for me atleast, they are a lot of fun to listen to...

    I need that for Ep 3
  19. Indiana_Fett

    Indiana_Fett Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 12, 2004
    I'm going to have to disagree, the OT has the best recordings of the Main Theme.
  20. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon

    Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight star 6

    Dec 17, 2000
    I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that mikadojedi is referring to the Main Titles track found on older soundtrack that basically jumps from the opening battle to the end credits. I haven't listened too distinctly for differences, but as far as I can tell it may just be an edit using the same recordings. From a listening standpoint, I agree that the old Main Titles track does have the advantage of a strong beginning AND ending, as opposed to the SE track which just fades away. My preference is dependent on context. If I've got two hours to listen to a whole score, then I'll go for it. But sometimes I just want a quicker, more energetic listen, and that's where concert arrangements and truncated scores are great.
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