Friday, July 8, 2016

Movie Music and More #50: "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1982)

I (Hamlette) am here today to discuss one of the coolest soundtracks ever.  Ever.  It's one of those soundtracks that is delicious to listen to by itself, but when paired with its movie, it's just sublime.  I am, of course, talking about John Williams' insta-classic score for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982). 

The first track I'll share with you is "A Thought for Marion/To Nepal."  I love how expectant it is, beginning with some soft, sweet ponderings, then a little mystery creeping in.  And from there, a jolt of excitement, that wonderfully playful Indy theme popping in for a moment.  Then it finishes up with a little Oriental flourish to bring in the idea we're going somewhere Foreign and Exotic. So cool!

My next selection is "The Basket Game," which balances playful and fearful so niftily.  We're worried cuz Marion gets chased and then abducted, but there's a lot of comedy going on during the chase scene too, so the whole song feels like juggling, doesn't it?

This might be my favorite moment in the whole movie -- when Indy's in the Map Room and the medallion on top of the staff actually shows him the location of the Ark.  "The Map Room: Dawn" perfectly captures Indy's expressions there, going from hopeful to awestruck.

"Washington Ending & Raiders March" starts off all sentimental.  Indiana Jones has lost his prize.  But he's got Marion still, so that's something.  The song doesn't waste too much time on his annoyance -- he gets one minute to grouse, and then here comes the most glorious theme song in action movie history (IMHO).  Really, the Raiders March feels to me like eating a giant Snickers bar while riding on a roller coaster with my best friend -- like being surrounded with joy, in other words.  I'm sitting here with a big, goofy grin on my face, bobbing my head along with it as I type, and fully intending to hit "replay" as soon as it ends.  How about you?

That's all I've got for you today, but if you want to listen to more, the entire album is available on YouTube here.

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