I first started collecting soundtracks over 40 years ago (“Jaws” by J. Williams was actually my first soundtrack album, and I think “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was my 2nd.) and the original trilogy soundtracks and films were new and fresh at that time of my life. Films and collecting tie-in merchandise had also been a major part of my life back then. As I got older my interests and money drifted to other things, so I stopped collecting soundtracks as a hobby in the late 1990’s. Every now and then I will get one if it’s truly amazing, but I just don’t delve into soundtracks as I once did.
Honest to God, I could cut & paste that paragraph as my own thoughts, experiences, and path. I’m probably a few years older because my first was Live and Let Die, followed by The Man with the Golden Gun, and Jaws after that. The soundtrack to Star Wars was one I wore out. It finally got a rest when Alien was released, which is probably my most listened-to soundtrack. It’s still a near weekly listen for me 37 years later.
There were others scattered between, as well as regularly after that, but like yourself I became more selective as the journey continued. I don’t buy them by default anymore. However, I still buy them with some regularity and they still make up probably 75% of my listening. Most recent are Spectre and In The Heart Of The Sea.
Of the Star Wars scores, these are the only three I own. I’m unfamiliar with the others, having only heard them once or never.
The Empire Strikes Back
The Force Awakens
I still listen to Star Wars somewhat regularly. I also listen to The Force Awakens regularly, but I skip most of it. The Scavenger, Rey’s Theme, Farewell and the Trip, and The Jedi Steps and Finale are pretty much it. I think they’re fantastic, particularly Rey’s Theme. The rest of the score sounds like Indiana Jones incidental music. I haven’t listened to The Empire Strikes Back in several years. It doesn’t move me the way it once did, which was never even close to the way Star Wars moved me. Listening to The Jedi Steps and Finale as I type this.
Regarding John Williams’ other scores; I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I think Memoirs Of A Geisha is his finest hour. It’s a regular in my rotation.