Superman: The Movie – music by John Williams

Superman: The MovieThe music from the Star Wars trilogy alone would qualify John Williams as a genius. The music from Superman confirms this, as do many other of his works. One of these days, despite the pop culture roots of his work, Williams will overcome all the naysayers’ claims that he’s merely been running Wagner, Holst and Korngold through a musical cuisinart.

Need proof? One need look no further than Williams’ score for the 1978 Richard Donner opus Superman, that rare commodity known as A Good Superhero Movie. (Indeed, as far as this viewer is concerned, the next Good Superhero Movie was 2000’s X-Men, but that’s a whole other article.)

While it shares a few common musical threads with the music from Star Wars, Williams’ accompaniment for the world’s most famous superhero has, in places, an inexplicably more down-to-earth feel. The main theme is just as well known as the signature tune of Star Wars, yet the rest of the score has some true gems as well, including “The Trip To Earth”, “The Death Of Jonathan Kent” and “Leaving Home” (these two are practically joined at the hip), “The Big Rescue” and “Turning Back The World”. Many of these pieces, surprisingly, were not on the original soundtrack album, but fortunately the entire score was located and remastered for this 2-CD release (which preceeded the DVD release of the movie by several months). The sound is excellent, the liner notes booklet is positively brimming with a wealth of fascinating information on both movie and music, and for 4 out of 4those who actually want to hear “Can You Read My Mind?”, there are no fewer than four different versions here, two of them featuring the poetic reading of the lyrics by one Margot “Lois Lane” Kidder. (For those who actually want to hear all four of these, knock yourself out – I must admit, I don’t listen to ’em too often.)

Order this CD

    Disc one

  1. Prelude and Main Title March (5:29)
  2. The Planet Krypton (6:40)
  3. Destruction of Krypton (7:52)
  4. Star Ship Escapes (2:21)
  5. The Trip To Earth (2:28)
  6. Growing Up (2:34)
  7. Death of Jonathan Kent (3:24)
  8. Leaving Home (4:51)
  9. The Fortress of Solitude (9:17)
  10. Welcome to Metropolis (2:11)
  11. Lex Luthor’s Lair (4:47)
  12. The Big Rescue (5:55)
  13. Super Crime Fighter (3:20)
  14. Super Rescues (2:13)
  15. Luthor’s Luau (2:47)
  16. The Planet Krypton alternate (4:24)
  17. Main Title March alternate (4:36)
    Disc two

  1. Superman March alternate (3:48)
  2. The March of the Villains (3:36)
  3. The Terrace (1:34)
  4. The Flying Sequence (8:13)
  5. Lois and Clark (0:50)
  6. Crime of the Century (3:23)
  7. Sonic Greeting (2:21)
  8. Misguided Missiles and Kryptonite (3:26)
  9. Chasing Rockets (4:55)
  10. Superfeats (4:52)
  11. Super Dam and Finding Lois (5:11)
  12. Turning Back The World (2:06)
  13. Finale and End Title March (5:42)
  14. Love Theme from Superman (5:05)
  15. Can You Read My Mind – alternate (2:58)
  16. Flying Sequence / Can You Read My Mind (Margot Kidder – vocals) (8:10)
  17. Can You Read My Mind (instrumental) (2:56)
  18. Theme from Superman (concert version) (4:24)

Released by: Rhino
Release date: 2000
Disc one total running time: 75:09
Disc two total running time: 73:30