John Williams

As far as I am concerned John Williams is the best film composer who ever lived. There are other composer/conductors who come close, but not quite. And Superman is a great example of this. I saw this film when it came out in 1978 and even after all these years, I still get goosebumps when the opening credits start and the wondrous score begins, starting out quiet and simple and building to an amazing crescendo.


Agree...and i don't think it can be overstated how important he was to the success of Star Wars. Without that score I don't think the film would've worked nearly as well.


My favorite composer is Alan Silvestri. There's just something deeply magical about 'Back to the Future' score.

However, John Williams is indeed amazing, he has the 'cosmic touch' - I am sure he was able to channel something divine from the Cosmos through him into his music back in the day (no one seems to be able to do that anymore, though).

Not all of his songs are that great, Jurassic Park, for example, feels like just reheating the old coffee instead of something fresh and inspiring. It's still pleasant and good-ish, but not 'magical', compared to what the Superman score is.

Even E.T. score has amazing melody and very deeply moving structure - not a cliché-ridden, forced heartstring-tugging, that's easy to do, but something that goes beyond the heart into the higher levels of existence through your soul.

However, to say 'who ever lived' is quite the stretch - how can you know what kind of composers lived in Atlantis? How can you know what kind of composers have 'ever' (a long time) lived on other planets/spaceships? Also, 'ever lived' also means 'every dimension in existence', and the _whole_ history of all existence of the whole, incredibly vast Universe with incredibly impossible amount of galaxies.

I am not saying you can't know these things, I am just wondering.. HOW you can.. (I'd like to reach that kind of omniscient ability to know so much about other-worldly existence as well).

What a COINCIDENCE, that the BEST composer who EVER lived (are you saying there are dead ones?) just happened to be incarnated on THIS planet of all planets, THIS age of all ages, and no other composer ever reached, even through billions of years of history, his level of composure.

Now, THAT's even more amazing than anything these people composed..


I prefer Ennio Morricone, but I'll admit that Morricone's stuff isn't as broad as Williams'. Morricone's wouldn't fit into as many films.

So, though my personal taste leans more in Morricone's camp, I would probably agree: Williams is the king of film scores. How do you top Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, ET, Close Encounters, and Harry Potter - just to name a FEW!?

You can't, can you?


"How do you top Superman, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, ET, Close Encounters, and Harry Potter - just to name a FEW!?

You can't, can you?"

'To name a few'? You named ALL the good ones (:

And yes, you can. Alan Silvestri's 'Back to the Future' is better in my opinion. It's a close call, as Superman and E.T. are indeed amazing and magical - however, the rest are not that good in my opinion. Star Wars is so overplayed, it's hard to analyse, but I suppose it's competent. Indiana Jones has a nice melody, and it's a good piece - it's just not 'cosmically magical', like some of the others.

BTW, have you ever heard the opening song of the old movie, 'A Chinese Ghost Story'? It's nothing special musically, - a simple ditty, almost - and it's a bit clichéic and all, but there's some kind of 'emotional charm' about it that really touches me deep for some reason. (Just to recommend other good music.. don't kill me (: )


I didn't name 'em all, there's Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report...

Back to the Future is a really great score, so I can't argue too much. I dig your point about Star Wars being hard to analyse.

I'll check out A Chinese Ghost Story's opening theme and let you know what I think.


A Chinese Ghost Story's opening song is pretty haunting...


He wrote the soundtrack to my entire childhood!


The three Johns are responsible for making me a soundtrack geek. I started listening to background music in movies in Superman The Movie (John Williams), Moonraker (John Barry) and The Final Countdown (John Scott). It was close that there was a fourth John, namely John Carpenter and his Halloween movie, but that was actually few years later on VHS. I was a full blown soundtrack collector by then.


100% agree. Every blockbuster he scored owes a good measure of its success, credibility, and it’s identity to his work.


Agree 100%

Star Wars
Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Home Alone
Jurassic Park
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
plus endless others...



Although I love and watch Star Wars IV a lot more than Superman, I think Superman has the better opening theme by far. It is powerful and uplifting and just amazing.


Agreed. His SUPERMAN score belongs in my top 5 favorite John Williams scores, alongside Jaws, ET, Schindler's List & Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I think William's music can feel as alive as the characters do in every film he scores.