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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (The 20th Anniversary)

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iTunes Review

John Williams' music for Steven Spielberg's innocence-drenched 1982 blockbuster (it went unchallenged as all-time box office champ until Titanic) won him his third Best Original Score Oscar. But it also seemed to mark the point where the critical backlash against the composer began — hardly surprising, given his world-beating string of contemporary hits in service of Spielberg and George Lucas. But comparing the alternately effervescent and introspective adolescent emotions Williams successfully evokes here to the thunder of his Star Wars and Indiana Jones scores is a ludicrous exercise — even if his cues here are rooted in similar 20th century Russian romanticism. It's music that tugs unashamedly at the heartstrings, just as its filmmakers intended, with the closing arc of "Escape/Chase/Saying Goodbye" showcasing Williams' emotional writing at its pinnacle. Spielberg often termed ET a loose sequel to his previous alien-themed Close Encounters of the Third Kind; his composer responded with a score that could as well be a second, more nakedly romantic movement to his CE3K soundtrack.

Customer Reviews

Behold The Splendor and Shimmering Atmosphere

The electric excitement of my flight - I mean, Elliot and E.T.'s flight across the Moon is captured here for your ears to experience. The profound feelings of love and friendship emanate from the these musical passages and are colorfully expressed within the deeper lows and shimmering highs of this updated recording. You re-experience the paranoia and fear of being caught through the aggressive and passionate performance delivered by the musicians and the man, John Williams, the most awesome composer. Do something great for yourself, buy this amazing music now. John Williams, thank you for your generosity and expert expression of vulnerability in this music.

exceptional music

I love this soundtrack, and recommend buying the entire album, especially since one of the best songs is album only. I haven't quite figured out why Itunes charges a dollar for some songs that are only a minute long at times, sometimes less, but then puts longer songs on album only. They could charge two dollars. So there is a disparity in pricing, but I won't let that get me down. You get 21 songs for 12 dollars. Besides that, this music reminds me of everything that is innocent, precious and beautiful in this world.


if i could rate Apple's iTunes and this album seperately, their ratings would occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. This album is amazing. Unfortunately, the best track on this album (Escape, Chase, Saying Goodbye) is by Album Only. How perverse! This is typical Apple iTunes for ya. Thanks a lot.


Born: February 8, 1932 in Flushing, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history -- Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are just four of the credits in his extensive oeuvre. Born February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York, he was the son of a movie studio musician, and he followed in his father's footsteps by studying music at UCLA and Juilliard; initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later...
Full Bio

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