Media Clarification List

The following list has been created as an aid to those poor geeks who show a lack of knowledge regarding music. Since geeks just download music from The Evil Internet, they aren't required to remember the name of the composer as they just grab whatever they are able to, as opposed to visiting a music store.

The consequence is that every music file on the geek's computer containing movie scores is named as if the music was composed by John Williams. This is a fallacy.


The list:

John Williams

I like John Williams. He (and his crew) has created beautiful music for a bunch of movies - the most ear-catching include the music for Jaws, Star Wars, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter.

Although he is quite a productive man, he hasn't created every catching music that you might listen to at the movies. I know, I know - this fact is hard to comprehense, but stay with me, folks. It really is true. Other people actually exist. You might even have heard of them - although my guess is that you guys just suppose that these names are aliases of John Williams, making you rename your newly downloaded .mp3's (or .ogg's or whatnot). It really seems like a number of geeks aren't able to comprehend simple logic, such as if A usually implies B, it doesn't mean that B implies A. Or in this case: If a movie usually features music by John Williams, it would be an invalid conclusion that John Williams creates music for all movies. A fact that "normal people" (those people sleeping at night you see walking outside in the sunshine) would understand, but apparently geeks don't, since almost all movie scores seems to have been created by John Williams, according to geeks.

Please note that I'm not accusing John Williams of anything. It isn't his fault that geeks are clueless.

Alan Silvestri:
Now, listen up: John Williams did not create the music for Back to the Future or the theme from Forrest Gump. Alan Silvestri composed those themes! C'mon, you know Alan. After all, he has created the scores for a bunch of movies by Robert Zemeckis (Contact, What Lies Beneath, Cast Away, Death Becomes Her...).

James Horner:
Still with me? Great, prepare to be chocked: John Williams is not an alias for James Horner. I know, it's hard to tell the difference from the two composers since both names begin with the letter "J". This coincidence might have fooled a bunch of geeks out there. But let's set things straight: Aliens, Braveheart, Titanic, Apollo 13 and even a couple of Star Trek-movies (II and III) features music created by James Horner.

Jerry Goldsmith
Speaking of Star Trek: There is an even more productive and older composer out there, who shares the "Not John Williams"-ability with James Horner and Alan Silvestri. His name is Jerry Goldsmith and should be well-known for the music from Alien, Gremlins, Rambo (aka "First Blood"), Poltergeist and another bunch of the Star Trek-movies. Notice that Jerry Goldsmith composed the music for Alien, but James Horner composed the music for Aliens. Oh, and let's finish Star Trek off: The Star Trek-theme was created by Alexander Courage who usually works as an orchestrator for Jerry Goldsmith.

Danny Elfman
Let's talk about some of the movies by Tim Burton for a while: Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow. All featuring music by Danny Elfman. Even though the scores are quite "mood-ish", John Williams did not create them. C'mon, would you really expect a man like John Williams to create the theme for The Simpsons?

Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer is not German for John Williams. And the well-known theme from The Rock plus the score from Gladiator was not created by John Williams. Verstehen Sie?

Harold Faltermeyer
Remember Beverly Hills Cop? The Axel F.-theme? Composed by Harold Faltermeyer.

Craig Armstrong
Now is a good time to panic. You have just heard a name that might not ring a bell. But Craig Armstrong has written and produced music for Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, both movies by Baz Luhrmann. He has also created music for Kiss of the Dragon and Plunkett & Macleane. Although the latter is not quite as well-known, variants of the score has been used for trailers for other movies - e.g. Romeo Must Die. In conclusion: Craig Armstrong is not John Williams.

Brad Fiedel
True Lies and the theme from The Terminator ("da-da dam da-dam") . Scores created by Brad Fiedel. Not John Williams.

Nino Rota
To put it simple: Nino Rota created the music for The Godfather. John Williams did not - although Williams did release a CD called "John Williams Plays the Movies", on which he plays the theme from The Godfather on guitar. Capisce?

Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini created the theme tune for The Pink Panter. And just to create a confusion: As mentioned above, John Williams did not create the music for The Godfather. Neither did Henry Mancini. Mancini did release an album in 1993 called "The Godfather & Other Movie Themes" though.

Mason Williams
This is a tough one. He is also called Williams - imagine two artists both named Williams. Mason Williams don't compose music for movies (although he did create the theme song for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"), but became popular when he composed the guitar instrumental "Classical Gas" in 1968. The name is Mason, not John.


Conclusion

Delete your mp3's! Oh, by the way, the music in "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" isn't Carmina Burana. And Mozart did not create Carmina Burana; Carl Orff did. Emphasize: Carl Orff. Not Mozart. Not John Williams. Furthermore, Guns'n'Roses did not compose "Cat's in the Cradle"; Harry Chaplin did, and Ugly Kid Joe covered it eighteen years later. Yes, both Tom Jones and Joe Cocker have performed "You can leave your hat on", but actually Randy Newman created the song in 1972. And just because some guy remixed a movie theme to a more rhytmic/dance-friendly version, it doesn't qualify as "Techno" or "Techno remix". And just as John Williams didn't make every single movie score out there, Weird Al Yankovic isn't the only humorous musician; "What if God smoked Cannabis", "Windows 95 Sucks", "Wrong Foot Amputated" and "3 Inch Tool" were all made by Bob Rivers. And Sheryl Crow didn't sing "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. When in doubt, use All Media Guide (AMG), The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Google and some common sense (no link).

And get a haircut.

- Peter Brodersen

.::because black webpages were cool in 1997::.