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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
1992 Fox

2002 Varèse

2012 La-La Land

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
John Williams

Lyrics by:
Leslie Bricusse

Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld
Dennis Drieth
Angela Morley

Expanded Albums Produced by:
Nick Redman

Labels and Dates:
Fox Records
(November 20, 1992)

Varèse Sarabande
(November, 2002)

La-La Land Records
(December 4th, 2012)

Also See:
Home Alone

Audio Clips:
2002 Album:

CD1: 7. Plaza Hotel (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (235K)
Real Audio (146K)

CD1: 11. Duncan's Toy Store (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (243K)
Real Audio (151K)

CD2: 10. End Title (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

CD2: 12. Suite from "Angels with Filthy Souls II" (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

The 1992 Fox album is a regular U.S. release, but it fell out of print quickly and fetched prices approaching $100 in the 2000's. The 2002 Varèse Sarabande 2-CD set was a Club Series entry of 3,000 copies and was available only through the label's site or through online soundtrack specialty outlets. It sold out within a year. The expanded 2012 La-La Land set is limited to 3,000 copies as well and was offered through those same outlets for an initial price of $25.


Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

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Sales Rank: 132089

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Buy it... on either of the similar expanded products if you are a dedicated collector of John Williams' albums and are interested enough in the franchise to hear the minimal amount of unique music left off of the 1992 commercial album.

Avoid it... on any album if you own the original Home Alone score and are less than thrilled with it, for this sequel score so blatantly reprises the previous material that it's almost a completely redundant accompaniment to the predecessor.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: (John Williams) The astounding box office success of Home Alone in 1990 rolled director Chris Columbus into a predictable and mindless sequel in 1992, largely repeating the same cartoonish action formula involving the tirelessly irritating character of Kevin McCallister played once again by Macaulay Culkin. While the venue for that action changed to New York City, the same dumb crooks highlight the returning cast and, as though to attempt to dampen the perpetual violence of the story, yet another feel-good subplot of morality (this time involving a slightly creepy pigeon lady) is tacked on to the film. The concept was still successful enough to spawn another two sequels, though Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was the final entry for the original assembly of cast and crew. That crew once again included veteran composer John Williams, whose affinity for franchises and working with Columbus made him an easy bet for this project. Nominated for Academy Awards in both the "best score" and "best song" categories for Home Alone just a year prior, Williams used the occasion to phone in an easy assignment, largely reprising most of the fundamental concepts he had previously explored. Still, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York followed a movie that was a departure for Williams. Prior to 1990, the maestro had not scored a fluffy comedy film in decades, becoming known instead for his serious historical dramas and flighty space-faring adventures. Nevertheless, Home Alone was an enormous artistic success for Williams, not only with critics and the Academy, but with his fans as well. The sensitivity and innocent environment of holiday magic in his score and children's songs in the first film were a side of Williams previously unexplored by the composer in his post-Star Wars career. The work fit surprisingly snugly with his Americana material aimed for concerts and albums, especially the songs. When Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was released in 1992, it was quickly realized, though, that the entire production was essentially a remake of the original film.

The sequel formula was followed with precision, even down to Williams' score. The composer summoned the same performers once again and sent copyists away with nearly all of the first Home Alone score so it could be easily adapted into the second film. There was never any intent for the sequel score to break significant new ground. Upon listening to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the average Williams fan (assuming he or she is familiar with the first score) will wonder what has really changed, possibly leading to some disgruntlement. Aside from a handful of high style cues (Williams representing America's metropolitan highlights with exuberant, glittery attitude once again, the upscale trumpet work for New York itself a bit too expected) to represent the arrival of McCallister, the little dip, in New York and his subsequent experiences in the Plaza Hotel, the existing material is recycled to a considerable degree. A veteran collector of Williams's music could find the score for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York to be either an interesting study of how Williams can adapt his own music while maintaining a superior level of complexity or, alternately, an insult to the first score. For some, it won't be hard not to fall somewhere in between the two ways of thinking. Indeed, the sequel work has nearly the entire first score embedded within it. Williams tries so hard to insert every measure of Home Alone into this score that you sometimes hear the orchestra laboriously attempting to change the key of a cue in order to accommodate the cut and paste job that follows. No better of an example of this tactic is the re-use of the "Preparing the Trap" cue, which stood out with its electronic rhythm in the first film and will definitely get your attention this time around when Williams has to tap dance his way from a previous cue into the wholesale restatement of "Preparing the Trap" by awkwardly shifting key. Sadly, the perpetual feeling of lazy repetition causes the score to lose some of its magic, and no new combination of similar Williams' songs and Leslie Bricusse's lyrics can top the original. Because of this rather intriguing cut and paste approach for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the score remains a curious entry into his career.

Williams usually takes such great care to alter his sequel works to stand on their own, so to hear otherwise is indeed quite disappointing, especially given his personal affinity for the predecessor. At the time of the film's debut, the score was released on a single Fox album (opposite an obligatory song offering), and that first score CD was dominated, unfortunately, by all of the most prominent note-for-note sections of re-use. That product eventually fell out of print and, after spending a few years as an easy find in used-CD bins, fetched prices upwards of $100. The same fate would eventually befall a limited 2-CD treatment of the score from Varèse Sarabande in late 2002. The expanded Club series entry presented the entirety of Williams' original efforts for the film, including some of his more unique material for the sequel. And yet, with so much of the music on the 2-CD set still so familiar to the first score, one must scratch his head and wonder why this work (of all the possibilities) received Varèse's most thorough level of treatment. For the avid Williams fan, though, it must be said that it is a treat to hear the alternative cues (especially for the airport sequence) and the bonus performances of "Angels with Filthy Souls." The presentation of music on the Varèse version is overwhelming in its completeness, though the more important reason to investigate this set is due to the issue of sound quality, which is noticeably improved compared to the original album. That 1992 Fox product was processed incorrectly from a second-generation master, diminishing the dynamic range of the presentation. The same remastering featured on the 2002 album was resurrected in late 2012 by La-La Land Records to allow the score another round of availability. This 2-CD set is identical to the Varèse product in its presentation of the actual original score, but it adds a few minor source cues at the end. Overall, unless you are a dedicated collector of Williams' albums, there really isn't an overwhelming need to seek the 2012 edition of this score unless you missed the 2002 release, which became a top collectible after selling out. Had Williams chosen, as he usually does, to infuse this sequel with a strong new theme to accompany the old material, then maybe Home Alone 2: Lost in New York would survive on its own merits. Unfortunately, it's a rare failure by Williams to add fresh magic and identity to his work, and it could easily be skipped in all of its album forms. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: **
    Score as Heard on the 1992 Fox Album: **
    Score as Heard on the 2002 Varèse Sarabande Set: ***
    Score as Heard on the 2012 La-La Land Records Set: ***
    Overall: **

Bias Check:For John Williams reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.74 (in 69 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.59 (in 337,522 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings (1992 Fox Album): Total Time: 63:31

• 1. "Somewhere in My Memory" (3:49)
• 2. Home Alone (Suite) (2:01)
• 3. We Overslept Again (2:46)
• 4. Christmas Star (3:18)
• 5. Arrival in New York (1:41)
• 6. Plaza Hotel and Duncan's Toy Store (3:45)
• 7. Concierge and Race to the Room (2:04)
• 8. Star of Bethlehem (3:28)
• 9. The Thieves Return (4:35)
• 10. Appearance of the Pigeon Lady (3:19)
• 11. Christmas Music Suite (5:02)
• 12. Into the Park (3:49)
• 13. Haunted Brownstone (3:01)
• 14. Christmas Star (Reprise)/Setting the Trap (4:17)
• 15. To the Plaza Presto (3:22)
• 16. Reunion at Rockefeller Center (2:36)
• 17. Kevin's Booby Traps (3:41)
• 18. Finale (3:55)
• 19. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas (2:51)

 Track Listings (2002 Varèse Sarabande Album): Total Time: 100:05

CD1: (46:48)
• 1. Home Alone (Main Title) (2:07)
• 2. This Year's Wish* (1:47)
• 3. We Overslept Again/Holiday Flight** (3:19)
• 4. Separate Vacations* (1:58)
• 5. Arrival in New York** (2:59)
• 6. The Thieves Return (3:28)
• 7. Plaza Hotel** (3:04)
• 8. Concierge** (1:31)
• 9. Distant Goodnights - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (2:05)
• 10. A Day in the City* (0:59)
• 11. Duncan's Toy Store** (2:41)
• 12. Turtle Doves* (1:29)
• 13. To the Plaza, Presto** (3:27)
• 14. Race to the Room/Hot Pursuit** (4:08)
• 15. Haunted Brownstone (3:02)
• 16. Appearance of the Pigeon Lady (3:21)
• 17. Christmas at Carnegie Hall (O Come, All Ye Faithful/O Little Town of Bethlehem/Silent Night) (5:15)

CD2: (53:17)
• 1. Christmas Star - Preparing the Trap - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (4:22)
• 2. Another Christmas in the Trenches** (2:33)
• 3. Running Through Town (1:16)
• 4. Luring the Thieves* (4:02)
• 5. Kevin's Booby Traps** (7:23)
• 6. Down the Rope/Into the Park (5:06)
• 7. Reunion at Rockefeller Center/It's Christmas** (5:21)
• 8. Finale** (2:00)
• 9. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Traditional)/Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (2:51)
• 10. End Title* (1:32)

Bonus Tracks:
• 11. Holiday Flight* (Alternate) (2:32)
• 12. Suite from "Angels with Filthy Souls II"* (0:56)

Christmas Carols and Songs:
• 13. Somewhere in My Memory - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:57)
• 14. Star of Bethlehem - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:32)
• 15. Christmas Star - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:23)
• 16. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas** (Orchestra) (2:23)

* Previously unreleased
** Contains previously unreleased material

 Track Listings (2012 La-La Land Album): Total Time: 112:24

CD1: (53:58)
• 1. Somewhere in My Memory (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:54)
• 2. Star of Bethlehem (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:32)
• 3. Home Alone (Main Title) (2:10)
• 4. This Year's Wish (1:48)
• 5. We Overslept Again/Holiday Flight (3:18)
• 6. Separate Vacations (1:58)
• 7. Arrival in New York (2:58)
• 8. The Thieves Return (3:29)
• 9. Plaza Hotel (3:04)
• 10. Concierge (1:32)
• 11. Distant Goodnights (Christmas Star) (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (2:05)
• 12. A Day in the City (1:00)
• 13. Duncan's Toy Store (2:42)
• 14. Turtle Doves (1:29)
• 15. To the Plaza, Presto (3:25)
• 16. Race to the Room/Hot Pursuit (4:10)
• 17. Haunted Brownstone (3:01)
• 18. Appearance of the Pigeon Lady (3:23)
• 19. Christmas at Carnegie Hall (O Come, All Ye Faithful/O Little Town of Bethlehem/Silent Night) (Traditional) (5:11)

CD2: (58:26)
• 1. Christmas Star (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse/Preparing the Trap (4:23)
• 2. Another Christmas in the Trenches (2:34)
• 3. Running Through Town (1:16)
• 4. Luring the Thieves (4:02)
• 5. Kevin's Booby Traps (7:25)
• 6. Down the Rope/Into the Park (5:07)
• 7. Reunion at Rockefeller Center/It's Christmas (5:21)
• 8. Finale (2:00)
• 9. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Traditional)/Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (2:52)
• 10. End Titles ("Somewhere in My Memory") (1:34)
• 11. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen/Good King Wenceslas* (Traditional) (2:23)

Additional Music: (19:33)
• 12. The Christmas Song* (Traditional) (1:42)
• 13. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!* (Traditional) (1:16)
• 14. Winter Wonderland* (Traditional) (3:25)
• 15. My Christmas Tree - written by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (2:39)
• 16. Christmas Star (Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (3:21)
• 17. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas (Alternate/Chorus & Orchestra) - lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (2:44)
• 18. Celebrity Ding-Dang-Dong* (0:41)
• 19. Holiday Flight (Alternate) (2:26)
• 20. Suite From "Angels with Filthy Souls II" (0:58)
• 21. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas (Orchestra) (2:27)

* previously unreleased

 Notes and Quotes:  

The 1992 Fox album's insert includes no extra information about the score or film. The expanded limited edition Varèse Sarabande set, though, has the Club series' usual standard of excellent, in-depth analysis of the score and film. Similar notation is available in the insert of the 2012 La-La Land set.

  All artwork and sound clips from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York are Copyright © 1992, 2002, 2012, Fox Records, Varèse Sarabande, La-La Land Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/24/96 and last updated 3/2/13. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1996-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.