On this May the 4th, as with every May the 4th, we tend to think a lot about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Why? Because why wouldn’t we?! We’re not dumb. But, it’s a Monday, and unless you’ve taken the day off from work (or you don’t have to work, lucky person), it’s very difficult to watch Star Wars all day. So, probably what you’ll do is throw on some music, right? And, hey, do you know who did all the music for those six movies, and also will be doing the music for The Force Awakens? Didn’t you read the headline? It’s John Williams, of course!
Williams has had a career spanning seven decades (wowzers!) and has scored 150 film and television projects, pretty much consisting of every triumphant fanfare or march you’ve ever heard. He even wrote the Olympic music which has been used at every ceremony since 1984. If there’s one thing at which Williams excels (and there’s certainly more than just one thing) it’s writing indelible themes for heroic epics. It’s not just Star Wars; Williams’ scores for Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Superman, Jaws, and E.T., just to name a few, have become intrinsically linked with the movies. You can’t imagine a frame of any of these films without the accompanying Williams music. Few composers are THAT closely tied to their films; Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, and Bernard Herrmann are the others I can think of off the top of my head. (Surely there are others, but I think these are the big four, probably.)
To celebrate John Williams’ gifts to both film and music, we’ve compiled this playlist of some of our favorites of his work. This is by no means a complete list, and since it’s May 4, it does tend to favor the warring stars, but this is a good cross-section of what makes us love him.
Tell us your favorite John Williams compositions below!