For years enthusiasts have expressed their view of the superiority of John Williams’ Jaws 2 over his iconic original, but the lack of availability had been a stumbling block to proof. However, Intrada’s new special edition is ready to settle the debate once and for all; and the winner is – us. A different type of score to a different type of movie, Jaws 2 is no greater a score than Jaws but is an equal match, of course away from the films in question. The beautiful harps of the main title set it out for a different approach, and it feels expansive without repetition – even ‘The Shark Prowls’ feels new and scarier, despite being the same old shark theme.
Williams’ exceptional talent for themes is present here, with a wonderfully energetic and youthful piece for the sailing teenagers, but the impressive and varied use of the shark theme dominates proceedings here, whether it’s hiding in the dense orchestration (‘Munching The Helicopter’) or taking centre stage (‘The Big Jolt’). Cap this with one of the maestro’s best end credit pieces and you have an incredible score. Intrada’s release sounds stunning, and presents the full score, the original 1978 LP program, and several alternates – great work by Mike Matessino. A digital version was released a few months back but ignore that; this Jaws 2 was supervised by John Williams himself and is the real deal. Worth taking a bite. -CB
Jaws 2 is available now from Intrada