By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
The newly reissued soundtracks to the first three Indiana Jones movies contain previously unreleased portions. I couldn’t compare them to previous editions, but listening to these gave me a new perspective on John Williams.
Indiana Jones Soundtracks
I’ve come to the conclusion that John Williams music doesn’t really stand on its own outside of the film. It’s so tailored to the scenes you can visualize the movie happening as you listen to it. As opposed to Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight score which plays on its own.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the most basic score with the Indy theme and some exploration and romance music. You’ll recognize the basket chase and the map room but it’s mostly basic sounds.
Temple of Doom has the most distinct themes. Short Round has a theme, the cult has a theme, there’s the bug chamber and the mine cart. The final track is a nice collage of all the main theme.
Last Crusade has a number of distinct themes too, and is the best example of the score mimicking the film. You can really watch the whole Young Indy prologue in your head while it plays. Also the grail theme, the boat chase and a few others pepper the soundtrack.