In Celebration of Star Wars Day 2021, Varèse Sarabande Records is re-issuing the long out-of-print LP The Empire Strikes Back – Symphonic Suite from the Original Motion Picture Score by Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams. Out of print since 1980, the record is pressed on 180-gram black vinyl and housed in a gatefold jacket featuring the original Star Wars paintings and notes. Available now for pre-order along with two limited exclusive versions: “Ice Planet Hoth Blue” (Vinyl Me Please) and “Imperial Grey Marble” (Newbury Comics). A Canadian exclusive on “Cloud City Orange” will be available only at Sunrise retail shops as of July 23rd.
Originally released to supplement and not compete with the 2-LP Motion Picture Soundtrack, this 1-LP release skillfully combines a “Symphonic Suite” that John Williams created for concert performance with new arrangements of other cues from the film score. The Empire Strikes Back has become not only one of Williams’ most iconic scores, but one of the most iconic film scores of all time. The LP comes in a gatefold jacket with the original iconic Star Wars paintings by William Stout, images of John Williams, and notes from author Ray Bradbury, composer and critic Christopher Palmer, and from the maestro himself.
“The Suite, which I had specially written and adapted for concert performance […] had been skillfully augmented with other music from the film to form a unified whole. A great orchestra and Gerhardt’s opulent sound and dramatic phrasing combine to make a fine addition to a rapidly growing list of great recordings of film music.” – John Williams