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Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Collector's Edition Soundtrack
John Williams
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Collector's Edition Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1

Steven Spielberg's extraterrestrial-themed follow-up to the Jaws phenomena cemented his reputation as a cinematic wunderkind capable of shameless emotional manipulation and continued blockbuster ticket sales. But Close Enc...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Williams
Title: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: The Collector's Edition Soundtrack
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Columbia Pictures
Original Release Date: 11/16/1977
Re-Release Date: 4/28/1998
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Style: Easy Listening
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 078221900423

Synopsis essential recording
Steven Spielberg's extraterrestrial-themed follow-up to the Jaws phenomena cemented his reputation as a cinematic wunderkind capable of shameless emotional manipulation and continued blockbuster ticket sales. But Close Encounters (whose soundtrack is now gratifyingly back in print on Arista) also displayed Spielberg's wise confidence in at least one of his collaborators. Composer John Williams, fresh from the Wagnerian success of Star Wars, was allowed the unusual luxury of composing much of the Close Encounters score before principal photography began. Thus Spielberg was able (as had Sergio Leone with Morricone's Once Upon a Time in the West) to stage much of his action to the Williams music playing on the set in a rare way. The entire special-effects finale was in fact edited to match the composer's rhythms. For his part, Williams composed arguably his most ambitious and accomplished score. Balancing his more obvious sentimental skills with refreshingly bracing doses of atonality (and just a nod to the modern Ligetti pieces Stanley Kubrick had wedded so well to 2001: A Space Odyssey). Williams produced a mature work that holds up remarkably well 20 years on; a true classic. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

Best film soundtrack ever...
Thomas Glebe | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 08/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though I have many complaints and quibbles with the various "versions" of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie, this is wonderfully conceived and put together and there's no need for any other soundtrack versions at least of CE3K.A lot of soundtrack releases based upon motion pictures often get it wrong. There are always considerations of what music from the film to keep in or out. This is not such a problem with movies that have a dozen or more "pop hits" in them, or classic musicals and broadway type stuff. But in a soundtrack like Close Encounters, there is only the music in the film (all versions) from which to draw material. It is a pleasure to announce that almost ALL of John William's BEST work ever, in my humble opinion, is ON THIS ONE CD. But wait, there's more!Unlike previous treatments of the music in Close Encounters (from vinyl to 8 track to cassette to CD), not only is there a ton more music here than previously released, but it is arranged in an amazing manner. Though there are many individual tracks, almost all of it proceeds in a symphonic whole. And while it generally follows events in the movie, there are detours along the way that are a pleasant surprise. It is great on repeat or random mode.John Williams is a composer of many fine movie scores, but is especially associated with Star Wars. Rightfully so, as his work for those films is great. But back in 1977, he not only did the soundtrack to Star Wars, but Close Encounters as well. While even casual music fans know many themes from Star Wars, the five note sequence in CE3K is about all that's memorable for most folks. But dive into the wonder and magic and power of the music on this CD, and hear what you might've missed from the film.While this work stands alone as a symphony with the best of composers of all time, including the classics, fans of the movie itself, and especially those who've seen it several times, will love this. There are many little touches here that will bring back memories of the film that were both subtle and sublime. As one who has listened to this soundtrack since 1977 in all its forms, I applaud the producers of this treatment. There had always been musical moments from the films missing, but not here. Everything is here, and it's all great.John Williams uses almost every style imaginable here, every orchestral instrument being used to create alternative moods of doom and the scary and unknown, to rousing, joyous chorus voices mixed with dozens of instruments. Part Star Wars, part 2001, the music here is an awesome ride all the way.There are a few liberties taken here, and parts of this were not in the film but seem arranged for this CD especially, but everything works beautifully. While John Williams will probably always be better remembered for Star Wars, Jaws, ET and other soundtracks, in my view, the glorious roller coaster ride of his music for Close Encounters will always remain my favorite. And there are really no need for anymore music from the movie CD's at this point. They got it right with this one, and it just doesn't get any better than this.Even if you don't care that much for the film(s) this music comes from, if you've never heard this work of art in its entirety, you're missing something. And for fans of John William's other work who've never heard a lot of this also (apart from the visual experience of watching the movie), you're in for a pleasant surprise.An amazing musical trip. Get it!"
William's most experimental and rewarding soundtrack.
Thomas Glebe | 06/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"No two scores could be as different as John William's efforts for "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." While "Star Wars" revels in Big Tunes stylistically (and gleefully) "appropriated" from Strauss, Elgar and Korngold, "Close Encounters" voyages to the other end of the sonic universe: dark, fragmented polytonal/ microtonal murmurings more reminiscent of Penderecki or Lutoslawski. And for a director as addicted to sentimental overkill as Spielberg, William's often brooding sonic textures lend a note of menace that skillfully counterbalnces the movie's ocassional whimsy. And when lightness is called for, William's famous five-note "Mother ship" theme comes to the fore, skillfully integrated with references to "When You Wish upon a Star." It's a thoroughgoing treat to see this score not only properly remastered for CD but sporting lots of new music and notes. Too much film music wears thin after repeated listening, but "Close Encounters"'s often dense and mysterious scoring stands up to multiple listenings. Considering the hatchet job usually done to recorded film scores, it's always a pleasure to see a great work get the respect it deserves."
Come into a close encounter with this score
Brandon Cutro | Tyler, Texas United States | 04/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"John Williams is no stranger when it comes to writing knockout themes for the cinema. This soundtrack though, doesn't quite lay out a huge main theme like some of his other scores do. Not to say that there isn't one because there is a main theme present. The theme itself is a 5 note motif that Williams finally came up with after literally hundreds of different options. The beginning of the soundtrack is mainly filler music that is atmospheric in nature. "Navy Planes" contains standard Williams action music. Some military-esque marches are found in "The Cover Up", "Stars and Trucks", and "Who Are You People?" Hints of the 5 note main theme are found in "Encounter at Crescendo Summit" and "Barry's Kidnapping". "Wild Signals" is an interesting cue with the aliens and humans playing the 5 note theme to each other faster and faster. However, the best track is the last one, as the main theme is given in full force in gigantic proportions with full orchestra and choir. Bits and pieces of "When You Wish Upon A Star" are featured in the last track as well. If you are expecting Williams' usual bombast and fanfarish sounds, you may be disappointed with this one, as it is much different and more atmospheric than most of his others. Still a good score, though."