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The Towering Inferno (1974)
Music by John Williams
The Towering Inferno The Towering Inferno
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $74.95
Limited #: 4000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: April 2001
Catalog #: Vol. 4, No. 3
# of Discs: 1

Great balls of fire! The Towering Inferno (1974) was the biggest success of the Master of Disaster, Irwin Allen, and his last collaboration with the world's most famous film composer, John Williams. Williams had written TV themes and scores for Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants, as well as the score for The Poseidon Adventure (1972). The Towering Inferno was both the summa of his work for Allen and a large-scale lead-in for his legendary run on 1970s and early '80s blockbusters for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

Williams has always had a talent for opening themes and The Towering Inferno features one of his best: the bustling, five-minute "Main Title" accompanies a helicopter flight over San Francisco in soaring, heroic fashion. From there the score encompasses distinct romantic themes—presented symphonically as well as in the "light pop" style of the period—and a wide variety of suspense, chaos and action music as the characters struggle valiantly to stay alive. Unlike The Poseidon Adventure, which featured sparse and claustrophobic interior scoring in addition to a thrilling main theme, The Towering Inferno was scored much extensively and emotionally. In cues like "Trapped Lovers" and "Planting the Charges" Williams' music is fully in his '70s blockbuster mode, with heroic brass fanfares and rich American harmonies.

The Towering Inferno was released on LP at the time of the movie, but the brief presentation omitted a great deal of the best music. FSM's new CD more than doubles the running time, shuffles the LP tracks back into chronological order, and restores numerous memorable sequences like "Let There Be Light" (an explosive fanfare for the building's inauguration) and virtually the entire middle section of the movie. Both the album version and the previously unreleased film version of the Oscar-winning song "We May Never Love Like This Again" (by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, performed by Maureen McGovern) are included.

The CD is entirely in stereo, remixed from the original 35mm film stems. In recent years, Williams' classic scores to Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. and the entire Star Wars series have been lovingly restored—now, add The Towering Inferno to that distinguished collection.

John Williams Scores on FSM
About the Composer

John Williams (b. 1932) is not only the composer of most of the biggest blockbusters of all time—including Star Wars, E.T., Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and many more, many of them directed by Steven Spielberg—but he has transcended film music to become the world's most famous living composer, and an American institution. His popular symphonic scores are so iconic that they often overshadow the fact that he has been equally proficient at sophisticated, adult fare (Schindler's List, Images) and had a successful career in composing (for television and often comedy features), arranging and performing well before he even met Steven Spielberg. FSM, like most labels, will release everything it can of Williams's music, and has concentrated (for reasons of availability) on his early years as "Johnny" Williams when he was doing sterling work on relatively little-known television and films—always with an amazing attention to melody and detail. In fact, his early works are fascinating for the ways in which they foreshadow his later, world-renowned efforts. IMDB

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
John T. Williams

Israel Baker, Harry Bluestone, Herman Clebanoff, Glenn Dicterow, Harold Dicterow, Kurt Dieterle, Adolph DiTullio, Bonnie J. Douglas (Shure), Assa Drori, David Frisina, Irving Geller, Debbie Sue Grossman, Thelma Hanau (Beach), Nathan Kaproff, Jacob Krachmalnick, Marvin Limonick, Alfred Lustgarten, David Montagu, Irma W. Neumann, Stanley Plummer, Ralph Schaeffer, Paul C. Shure, Marshall Sosson, Robert "Bob" Sushel, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel)

Myer Bello, Norman Forrest, Allan Harshman, Jan Hlinka, Louis Kievman, Virginia Majewski, Alex Neiman, Sven Reher, Harry Rumpler, David Schwartz

Douglas L. Davis, Joseph DiTullio, Marie Fera, Jerome Kessler, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Edgar Lustgarten, Nino Rosso, Frederick R. Seykora, Harry L. Shlutz, Eleanor Slatkin

Suzanne Ailman (Stokes), Charles L. Domanico, Milton Kestenbaum, Abraham Luboff, Joseph Mondragon

Roger Greenberg, Sylvia Greenberg, Luella Howard, Harry Klee, Sheridon W. Stokes

John F. Ellis, Gordon Pope

Dominick Fera, Justin Gordon, John Neufeld

Don Christlieb, Jack Marsh, Ray Nowlin

French Horn:
Vincent N. DeRosa, Robert E. Henderson, Arthur Maebe, Jr., Gale H. Robinson, Harry Schmidt

Joe E. Burnett, Robert Divall, Malcolm Boyd McNab, Graham Young

Harold Diner, Francis L. "Joe" Howard, Edward Kusby, Richard "Dick" Nash, Richard Noel, James Priddy, Sr., Phillip A. Teele, Lloyd E. Ulyate

John T. "Tommy" Johnson

Ralph E. Grierson, Artie Kane, Michael A. Lang

Dennis Budimir, Alton R. "Al" Hendrickson, Bernie K. Lewis, Thomas "Tommy" Tedesco

Fender (electric) Bass:
Charles C. Berghofer, Stephens LaFever

Anne Stockton (Mason)

Dale L. Anderson, Larry Bunker, Richard Cornell, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Louis Singer, Jerry D. Williams

William Mitchell Byers, Herbert W. Spencer, Albert Woodbury

Meyer (Mike) Rubin

Jack Dulong, Camillo Fidelibus, Dominic John Fidelibus, Albert M. Ingalls, Ray Mace, Dale R. McMickle, Jack McTaggart, Robert L. Reid, Ernest Rosecrans, Paul Sprosty

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