Right Now in The Soundtrack Show

In part 2 of our analysis, we look at roughly the first half of Return of the Jedi. We discuss each cue, its dramatic effect, and the creative process behind the final presentation. The diagetic, in-world music is also discussed, and we compare the original 1983 music to the changes that were made in the 1997 Special Edition.

Return of the Jedi: the Music (part I)

Return of the Jedi is the third Star Wars score from John Williams, and it transforms his overall musical approach to that of an operatic cycle. We look at how familiar themes from the first film are treated, and we explore and dissect some of the major new themes that greatly enrich the classic trilogy.

Morricone, "Spaghetti Westerns" and The Man With No Name (Part II)

We continue our listen to Morricone's groundbreaking, stylish scores for director Sergio Leone and his "Spaghetti Westerns," including a close examination of For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The cultural impact of these movies is also discussed, and we listen to the clever sound editing and effects that made the soundscape so memorable.

Morricone, "Spaghetti Westerns" and The Man With No Name (Part I)

Ennio Morricone's iconic music for the "Spaghetti Westerns" of Sergio Leone had an enormous impact on western soundtracks... especially the violent and stylish trilogy of films that featured Clint Eastwood as "The Man With No Name." We analyze the trilogy's first film, A Fistful of Dollars, and its unique film score by Morricone. The history of how this film was made is discussed, as is the sound design and post-dubbing that makes the soundtrack of Leone's westerns so unique.

Season 3 intermission

Season 3 intermission

The Nightmare Before Christmas: the Music (Part II)

In our second look at The Nightmare Before Christmas, we discuss the enormous contirbutions of the voice talent in this cast. We also continue looking at great moments from the film's score, discuss the orignal motion picture soundtrack album, and analyze the remaining songs from the middle of the film - all the way to it's dramatic finale.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: the Music (Part I)

Danny Elfman's contribution to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is enormous, as the composer not only wrote the score, but helped with story development by writing the songs. He even stars as the lead singer. Elfman's songs are discussed, along with stories behind this musical's development. 

Batman: the Music (1989)

In 1989, Danny Elfman redefined the sound of superheroes on the silver screen. His theme for the Batman is explored, as well as his musical treatment of the Joker and Vicki Vale. Prince's music is also discussed, and we break down Elfman's use of rhythm, themes, and textures.

Danny Elfman: from Boingo to Beetlejuice

Danny Elfman's origin story is as fascinating as his music. We discuss his incredible success with Oingo Boingo, as well as his long-time collaboration with director Tim Burton. We explore the origin of his European "Doom-pah" sound, his humor, and his very first films with Burton: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and Beetlejuice.

The Goonies: the Music

The music of The Goonies is a unique mix of classic film scoring, 80s pop, and film nostalgia, all combined with Dave Grusin's contemporary musical sensibilities. The result is a very effective film score that breathes life, adventure, and humor into this cult classic.

Casablanca: a Musical Movie Commentary

Let's sit back and enjoy Casablanca and its music with this feature-length commentary. Max Steiner's wonderful music is dissected, and many behind-the-scenes stories about Casablanca's production are discussed. The commentary also touches on the fascinating stories behind the actual Warner brothers.

Casablanca: the Music and History

One of the greatest films to ever be produced by the classic Hollywood studio system features a song that infuriated composer Max Steiner. Regardless, he produced one of the most memorable and effective film scores of his entire career. The history of Casablanca's troubled production is explored, as is the time period: Casblanca debuted shortly after the United States entered World War II.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Music (part IV)

Our look at the music and sound of Raiders of the Lost Ark concludes with a breathtaking truck chase, scoring Indy in disguise, and the climactic opening of the Ark. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Music (part III)

Our adventures continue with Indiana Jones in Cairo, where John Williams and Steven Spielberg masterfully use film score and diegetic music to tell a story of mystery, danger, and romance. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Music (part II)

We take a much closer look at the music of Raiders, starting with the opening adventure in South America. Specific musical moments in the film are discussed and analyzed.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: the Music (part I)

Our musical adventures with Indiana Jones begin by taking a close look at the inspiration behind Raiders and its film score. We break down the main musical themes, including the famous Raiders March, Marion's theme, and a theme for the Ark.

Introducing: Ephemeral

Ephemeral, a podcast by Alex Williams, consists of stories that may be unfamiliar, but the themes are universal; it's a window into our own fragile, material existence that begs the question, “How will I be remembered?” This clip from the "Sounds of Silence" episode covers the four minutes and thirty three seconds that changed the course of music history, and features musicologist and composer Kyle Gann. The entire first season of Ephemeral is available now, and learn more at www.ephemeral.show

Middle Earth Music: an Interview with Author Doug Adams

Author Doug Adams shares his exciting experiences as he was writing his comprehensive book on the music of The Lord of the Rings.

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Music (Part III)

The languages of Middle Earth are more than just vital to the Lord of the Rings: They are an essential part of Howard Shore’s operatic film score.

The Fellowship of the Ring: the Music (Part II)

We continue our look at Fellowship by discussing the beautiful and familiar music of the Hobbits, in all its permutations. The musical connections between Hobbits, the One Ring, and Gollum are explored, and we break down the theme for The Fellowship of the Ring itself.