Star Wars (soundtrack)

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Star Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
StarWarsOST.jpg
Cover of the original 1977 release.
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJune 1977
RecordedMarch 1977
StudioAnvil Studios, Denham
GenreClassical
Length74:58
Label20th Century
Producer
John Williams chronology
Black Sunday
(1977)
Star Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
(1977)
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
Star Wars
(1977)
The Empire Strikes Back
(1980)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars
Filmtracks5/5 stars
Movie Wave5/5 stars
SoundtrackNet5/5 stars

Star Wars (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the soundtrack album to the 1977 film Star Wars, composed and conducted by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Williams' score for Star Wars was recorded over eight sessions at Anvil Studios in Denham, England on March 5, 8–12, 15 and 16, 1977. The score was orchestrated by Williams's frequent associate Herbert W. Spencer, who also later orchestrated the scores for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The score was recorded by engineer Eric Tomlinson and edited by Kenneth Wannberg, and the scoring sessions were produced by Star Wars director George Lucas and supervised by Lionel Newman, head of 20th Century Fox's music department.

The soundtrack album was released by 20th Century Records as a double-LP record in the United States in June 1977. The album's main title peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, with a disco version of the film's theme by Meco becoming a number one single hit in the United States in October 1977. The soundtrack album itself went on to become certified Gold and Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and won numerous accolades including Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, and Grammy Awards in the categories of best film score and soundtrack album. In 2004, it was preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry, calling it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2005, the American Film Institute named the original Star Wars soundtrack as the most memorable score of all time for an American film.[1]

In 2016, the album was re-released by Sony Classical Records on vinyl, CD, and digital formats alongside Williams' other Star Wars soundtracks. The vinyl release is pressed on 180g vinyl, and features the original 20th Century Records logo. Unlike all of Sony Classical's previous releases, however, the vinyl version is a remastered version of the original 1977 release, not the Special Edition. Walt Disney Records remastered and reissued the soundtrack on vinyl LP on December 1, 2017, and on CD and digital formats on May 4, 2018.[2][3]

Original 1977 release[edit]

The original 1977 release of the soundtrack, entitled Star Wars - Original Soundtrack, included a poster of a painting by science fiction artist John Berkey, depicting the final battle over the Death Star from the film's end.[4] The album was released as a double LP which was formatted for an autochanger record player; one disc had sides one and four with the other having sides two and three. This allowed a person to stack sides one and two on the player, then flip the stack over for sides three and four, allowing the listener to have over half an hour of uninterrupted music interspersed with key bits of dialog before they needed to flip the discs over.[5]

Track listing[edit]

First release on LP by 20th Century Records. For the original soundtrack, Williams selected 75 minutes of music out of the 88 minute score. To provide musical variety, it did not follow the film's chronological order.

This track listing is also shared by Sony Classical's LP release in 2016, and Walt Disney Records' LP and CD releases in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Main Title"5:20
2."Imperial Attack"6:10
3."Princess Leia's Theme"4:18
4."The Desert and the Robot Auction"2:51
Side two
No.TitleLength
5."Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack"3:46
6."The Little People Work"4:02
7."Rescue of the Princess"4:46
8."Inner City"4:12
9."Cantina Band"2:44
Side three
No.TitleLength
10."The Land of the Sandpeople"2:50
11."Mouse Robot and Blasting Off"4:01
12."The Return Home"2:46
13."The Walls Converge"4:31
14."The Princess Appears"4:04
Side four
No.TitleLength
15."The Last Battle"12:05
16."The Throne Room and End Title"5:28

Total Time: 74:58

Personnel[edit]

1st Violins

Neville Taweel (Leader), Robin Studt (Principal), Irvine Arditti (Principal), B. Thomas (Sub-Principal), Stanley Castle, Sydney Colter, Dennis Gaines, Robert Retallick, C. Reuben, Norman Freeman, Max Weber, Robin Brightman, Brian Gaulton

2nd Violins

Warwick Hill (Principal), Neil Watson (Co-Principal), Samuel Artis, William Brown, Thomas Cook, Terry Morton, Jack Steadman, Donald Stewart, Thomas Swift, David Williams, R. Clark, G. Creese, D. Llewellyn

Violas

Alexander Taylor (Principal), Brian Clarke (Co-Principal), Peter Norriss (Sub-Principal), Patrick Hooley, Michael Mitchell, David Hume,William Sumpton, Patrick Vermont, William Krasnik, Eric Cuthbertson

Cellos

Douglas Cummings (Principal), Maurice Meulien (Co-Principal), Ray Adams (Sub-Principal), Jack Long, Ken Law, Douglas Powrie, Francis Saunders, Clive Gillinson, Tom Storer, K. Glossop

Double Basses

Bruce Mollinson (Principal), Arthur Griffiths (Sub-Principal), John Cooper, Gerald Newson, Pashanko Dimitroff, Goelson Neal

Flutes

Richard Taylor (Principal), Lowry Sanders, Francis Nolan

Oboes

Roger Lord (Principal), Anthony Camden (Principal)

Clarinets

J. Brymer (Principal), Ronald Moore, R. Jowitt

Bassoons

Robert Bourton (Principal), Peter Francis

Horns

David Cripps (Principal), John Rooke (Asst. Principal), Anthony Chidell, Graham Warren, James Quaife, James Brown, S. Reading, J. Butterworth

Trumpets

Maurice Murphy (Principal), William Lang, Norman Archibald, R. Izen

Trombones

D. Wick (Principal), Eric Crees (Principal), Frank Mathison

Tuba

J. Fletcher (Principal), Steven Wick

Timpani

Kurt-Hans Goedicke (Principal)

Percussion

Michael Frye (Principal), Ray Northcott

Harp

Renata Sheffel-Stein (Principal), J. Marson

Piano/Celeste

Robert Noble (Principal), M. Round

Subsequent releases[edit]

Release history[edit]

Title U.S. release date Label Format
Star Wars–Original Soundtrack June 1977 20th Century Double-LP
1986 Polydor CD
Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology 1993 Arista
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 1997 RCA Victor Double CD
2004 Sony Classical
The Music of Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition[6] November 6, 2007 CD
Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection[7] January 8, 2016 CD, LP, digital
Star Wars: A New Hope–40th Anniversary Box Set[2] December 1, 2017 Walt Disney Remastered 3-LP
Star Wars: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[3] May 4, 2018 Remastered CD, digital

1986 release[edit]

First release on CD by Polydor Records in 1986. It is identical in content and packaging to the LP release.

Disc one

  1. "Main Title" – 5:21
  2. "Imperial Attack" – 6:16
  3. "Princess Leia's Theme" – 4:22
  4. "The Desert and the Robot Auction" – 2:52
  5. "Ben's Death and TIE Fighter Attack" – 3:46
  6. "The Little People Work" – 4:01
  7. "Rescue of the Princess" – 4:46
  8. "Inner City" – 4:13
  9. "Cantina Band" – 2:45

Disc two

  1. "The Land of the Sandpeople" – 2:49
  2. "Mouse Robot and Blasting Off" – 4:01
  3. "The Return Home" – 2:45
  4. "The Walls Converge" – 4:32
  5. "The Princess Appears" – 4:03
  6. "The Last Battle" – 12:06
  7. "The Throne Room and End Title" – 5:27

Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology[edit]

Star Wars Trilogy – The Original Soundtrack Anthology: "Star Wars"
Film score by
Released1993
GenreClassical
LabelArista
ProducerNick Redman

In 1993, 20th Century Fox Film Scores released a four-CD box set containing music from the original Star Wars trilogy. This release marked the first time that the complete contents of the original double-LP releases of the scores from the first two films became available on CD. Disc one in the set was devoted to Star Wars, with further tracks on disc four.

Since every cue is recorded several times, usually with varying orchestral differences, the final decisions on what takes of cues are used and/or how they are edited to create the tracks was decided by the music editor Kenneth Wannberg. In the time between the original LP release and the Anthology's release, this breakdown was lost. Because of this, many takes of cues used on the Anthology are not the same. This is most obvious on the cue "The Throne Room".[citation needed] Also, the tracks were re-arranged to better follow their chronological order in the film.

Disc One
No.TitleLength
1."20th Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension" 
2."Main Title" 
3."Imperial Attack" 
4."The Desert/The Robot Auction" 
5."The Little People Work" 
6."The Princess Appears" 
7."The Land of the Sand People" 
8."The Return Home" 
9."Inner City" 
10."Mouse Robot/Blasting Off" 
11."Rescue of the Princess" 
12."The Walls Converge" 
13."Ben's Death/TIE Fighter Attack" 
14."Princess Leia's Theme" 
15."The Last Battle" 
16."The Throne Room/End Title" 
Disc Four
No.TitleLength
1."20th Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension" 
2."Star Wars Main Title" (Alternate) 
4."A Hive of Villainy" 
5."Destruction of Alderaan" 
10."Cantina Band" 
12."Cantina Band #2" 
15."Standing By" 

1997 and 2004 Special Edition reissues[edit]

The 1997 release includes the complete film score, including expanded and unreleased tracks.

Star Wars: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Film score by
Released1997
Recorded1977
GenreClassical
Length1:45:09
LabelRCA Victor
Producer
  • John Williams
  • Nick Redman
  • Michael Matessino
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
Star Wars: A New Hope (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(1997)
The Empire Strikes Back
(1980)
Disc One
No.TitleLength
1."20th Century Fox Fanfare" (Alfred Newman, 1954)0:22
2."Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner"2:14
3."Imperial Attack"6:42
4."The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler"5:01
5."The Moisture Farm"2:25
6."The Hologram/Binary Sunset"4:08
7."Landspeeder Search/Attack of the Sand People"3:20
8."Tales of a Jedi Knight/Learn About the Force"4:28
9."Burning Homestead"2:50
10."Mos Eisley Spaceport"2:16
11."Cantina Band"2:46
12."Cantina Band #2"3:54
13."Binary Sunset" (Alternate)
(contains hidden track "Star Wars Main Title" [take 19] (complete recording session version; takes 16-20))
16:59
Total length:57:33
Disc Two
No.TitleLength
1."Princess Leia's Theme"4:27
2."The Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit"3:51
3."Destruction of Alderaan"1:32
4."The Death Star/The Stormtroopers"3:35
5."Wookiee Prisoner/Detention Block Ambush"4:01
6."Shootout in the Cell Bay/Dianoga"3:48
7."The Trash Compactor"3:06
8."The Tractor Beam/Chasm Crossfire"5:18
9."Ben Kenobi's Death/TIE Fighter Attack"3:51
10."The Battle of Yavin"
  • I. "Launch from the Fourth Moon"
  • II. "X-Wings Draw Fire"
  • III. "Use the Force"
9:06

1:11 3:22

4:33
11."The Throne Room/End Title"5:37
Total length:48:16

2017 and 2018 Disney reissues[edit]

Walt Disney Records reissued the original 1977 soundtrack album in digital formats and streaming services on January 1, 2017, and on LP record on December 1, 2017, to coincide with the film's fortieth anniversary that same year. The LP reissue featured a remastered soundtrack, hand-etched hologram art, and a 48-page book containing production photographs, liner notes, and essays on John Williams and the music of Star Wars.[2]

Disney released a newly-remastered edition of the original 1977 album program on CD, digital download, and streaming services on May 4, 2018. This remaster was newly assembled by Shawn Murphy and Skywalker Sound from the highest-quality master tapes available, rather than sourced from the existing 1977 album masters.[3] On these reissues, the final track ("The Throne Room and End Title") is presented at the correct speed and pitch, having been sped up slightly on the original LP, CD, and 2016 Sony releases.

Accolades[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[8] Platinum 1,000,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Gold 100,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Original recording log[edit]

The score for Star Wars was recorded over the span of eight days in the month of March 1977. The 1997 Special Edition soundtrack release by RCA Victor included a detailed look at the recording log for all the cues in the film.

Recording Date: March 5, 1977 – Day 1
Recorded Take Cue Title Selected Take Film Order
1-7 Chasm Crossfire 5, 7 31
8-10 The Death Star 10 23
11-15 Ben Kenobi's Death 13, 15 32
16-20 Main Title 18, 19, 20 1
21-23 The Hologram 22 8
Recording Date: March 8, 1977 – Day 2
Recording Take Cue Title Selected Take Film Order
24-27 Shootout In The Cell Bay 26, 27 27
28-40 Princess Leia's Theme 33, 40 N/A
41-50 Imperial Attack (Part 1) 44, 50 2
51-53 The Tractor Beam 53 30
54-55 Binary Sunset (Alternate) N/A N/A
Recording Date: March 9, 1977 – Day 3
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
56-58 Learn About The Force (Part 2) 58 15
59-63 Burning Homestead 62, 63 16
64-67 Wookiee Prisoner 67 25
68-72 Learn About The Force (Part 1) 72 14
Recording Date: March 10, 1977 – Day 4
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
73-80 Cantina Band 76 18
81-82 Cantina Band #2 81 19
Recording Date: March 11, 1977 – Day 5
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
83-86 X-Wings Draw Fire 85, 86 35
87-92 Landspeeder Search 92 10
93-94 Tales Of A Jedi Knight (Part 2) N/A N/A
95-97 Tie Fighter Attack 95, 97 33
98-105 The Trash Compactor 101, 102 29
106-109 Tales Of A Jedi Knight (Part 2) 109 13
110-114 The Stormtroopers 114 24
115-116 Dianoga 116 28
117-122 Tales Of A Jedi Knight (Part 1) 122 12
123-126 The Moisture Farm (Part 2) 126 7
Recording Date: March 12, 1977 – Day 6
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
127-133 The Throne Room 132, 133 37
134-143 End Title 136, 137, 142, 143 38
144-149 Dune Sea Of Tatooine 149 4
150-154 Detention Block Ambush 153, 154 26
155-162 Launch From The Fourth Moon 162 34
163-167 Imperial Attack (Part 2) 165, 167 3
168-172 Destruction Of Alderaan 172 22
173-175 The Millennium Flacon 175 20
Recording Date: March 15, 1977 – Day 7
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
176-180 Use The Force 178, 180 36
181-185 Mos Eisley Spaceport 184, 185 17
186-188 Jawa Sandcrawler 186, 187, 188 5
189-197 The Moisture Farm (Part 1) 194, 197 6
198-202 Binary Sunset (Revised) 202 9
Recording Date: March 16, 1977 – Day 8
Recorded Takes Cue Title Selected Takes Film Order
203-209 Imperial Cruiser Pursuit 205, 206, 209 21
210-214 Attack Of The Sand People 213, 214 11
215-219 End Title (Crossover) 219 38

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AFI's 100 years of film scores".
  2. ^ a b c "Star Wars: A New Hope (original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 3-LP Vinyl Album Boxed Set Of Composer John Williams' Oscar®-Winning Score To Be Released On December 1". Burbank, California: Walt Disney Records. PR Newswire. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Disney Music Group Set To Release First 6 Remastered Star Wars Original Motion Picture Soundtracks On May 4". Burbank, California: Walt Disney Records. PR Newswire. March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "John Berkey Remembered". StarWars.com. Lucasfilm Ltd. 2008-05-13. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  5. ^ "John Williams (4), London Symphony Orchestra, The – Star Wars original soundtrack release". Discogs. discogs. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Sony Classical Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars with an 8-CD Collectors Edition Featuring Three of Composer/Conductor John Williams' Original Soundtrack Recordings". Sony Music Masterworks. PR Newswire. November 7, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sony Classical Reissues Star Wars Episodes I-VI In Newly Restored Audio Collections". Sony Classical. PR Newswire. January 8, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "American certifications – John Williams – Star Wars (soundtrack)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  9. ^ "British certifications – John Williams – Star Wars (soundtrack)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 7 November 2014. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Star Wars (soundtrack) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]