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Bill Conti -- was he making musical commentary about the series' slide

Discussion in 'Dynasty' started by Snarky's Ghost, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    From the middle of the series, every new season's updated orchestration of the DYNASTY theme got worse and worse, "like the screech of skinned cat" someone here once said.

    Conti was a brilliant composer. So do we think his crappier and lamer and more angsty versions of the theme with each passing year was his way of saying, "god, this show is losin' it..." ??

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Star EXP: 6 Years

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    I doubt if any composer sets out to deliberately make something crappier than before however it may be a symptom of his being passed caring so his heart wasn't really in it. They probably didn't want much of a variation from year to year so I'd say it was probably more of a question of, ok, how do I jiggle this around a bit without changing it too much, again.
     
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  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Yeah, but that mean it had to get worse and worse?? o_O
     
  4. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 13 Years

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    It's pretty great to begin with maybe he thought it was insulting to have to keep bettering it when what he originally composed was perfect. Who really wants to redo the same theme 9 times?
     
  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    So instead make is successively worse? That still doesn't make any sense!
     
  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 13 Years

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    To be fair to Conti he was probably working from direction and input from the producers about what they wanted the theme to be. And he was a popular composer for film and TV then so maybe redoing the DYNASTY theme yearly wasn't something that was top priority.
     
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  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    I dunno. His Season 8 version of the FALCON CREST theme was pretty great - I think he may have even won another Emmy for it.
     
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  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 13 Years

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    What would you say is his worst version of the theme? I have to say I don't really notice these things that much. It's not like Knots Landing and Dallas where the themes really changed a lot over the years.
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Oh, some of the DALLAS re-orchestrations were really pretty different -- Seasons 7 and 8 (per DVD count) come to mind.

    One of DYNASTY problems, if one thinks about it, is that it started as a kind of melancholy, sailing musical theme. The version we hear in the pilot and Season 1 are that way, while Season 3 is sparkling and Season 4 is very dynamic and "whoooshy."

    But that casual, sailing quality it originally possessed could easily lend itself to really dragging if not re-orchestrated properly. And God knows that's what happened.

    In contrast, Conti's theme to FC and THE COLBYS and CAGNEY & LACEY were very fast and furious -- much less likely to claw your neck (despite that sax in C&G) as time went on and arrangements changed, much less likely to screech "like a skinned cat".

    How come Conti never did something like this Mantovani-esque "cascading strings" version?:



    Or this grand one?:


    Thanks, @Richard Channing!

    Oooooo -- I'd love to combine them!
     
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  10. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    I just played both videos simultaneously. It sounded like a fabulous European Christmas traffic jam -- and still better than S7 thru S9 sounded.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  11. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict EXP: 10 Years

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    The worst variation of the Dynasty theme had to be the 1991 Reunion! It sounded like a cat going through the throws of a stinging diarrhea session.
     
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  12. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    If only that had actually been the plotline.
     
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  13. Richard Channing

    Richard Channing Soap Chat Star EXP: 6 Years

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    I'm with Alexis on this. I certainly noticed differences in Dallas, Knots and Falcon Crest's themes from season to season, but with Dynasty the changes seemed to be very minor. I even just had a listen to season 7 and 8's and then season 2's and although there are differences they still seem pretty damn similar. I guess you just have more of a refined ear than us Snarky!
     
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  14. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    Madness... Madness!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
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  15. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    But I alone haven't noticed and commented on it.

    That said, it's quite possible the producers asked Conti not to change it in any noticeable way -- some producers are like that: they get a superstitious idea that their success may be thrown off by the slightest thing, including a too-different orchestration of the theme. And given how they kept Krystle's hair the same and her character stifled and the show creatively suffocated (to use @Alexis' word) then they might very well have asked Conti to keep it almost identical each year -- although many of us have noticed it got draggy and worse.

    But I come from a weird perspective anyway. I like Seasons 1 thru 3 theme arrangements just fine; I like Season 's arrangement (but want more triangle, dammit, and a little bit of harp); I like Season 5's arrangement (but want it to sound even more Christmas-y); I liked Season 6's arrangement (but want more of the march/tambourine stuff) .... but I would want Season 7 to be chimes and pealing bells, Season 8 to be pipe organ and a men's basso profondo choir, Season 9 to be harpsichord and piano and a boy's choir, and Season 10 to be cascading strings a la Mantovani (like the New London Symphony rendition above).

    But did the show warrant such musical drama?

    How about bongos and xylophone -- anybody up for that?? :dance:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Snarky's Ghost

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    I've said this one would be good for a prospective Season 10, while others have said they'd like it for Season 5 (although I want a more Christmassy version for Season 5, kind of like they did but more so).

    But had Season 4 lived up to its potential and pretenses, this Mantovani-esque version might have fit it the best:

     
  17. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Hero EXP: 13 Years

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    It's sooooo season 5! And everyone should be wearing glittering tiaras in their title card. EVERYONE.
     
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