Soundtracks

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
So ever since my DUI, I've cut back on my drinking considerably, I have been riding my bike practically everywhere averaging 50 miles a week and going to the gym. To make my bike riding more pleasant I borrowed an mp3 player from a friend since y iPod crapped out. I filled it with power metal and some soundtracks, mainly the Rocky soundtrack and that of Halo. Then it hit me, The Rocky movies, while good movies (mainly the first two), still wouldn't be nowhere near as iconic as they are today had it not been for their soundtracks. And I'm not even talking about Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, but the wonderful score by Bill Conti (who also did The Karate Kid score). The most iconic movies in popular culture are a full package, great story, memorable lines and a badass theme.

I know little of soundtracks, but personally I think that of modern -Hollywood- moviemaking the holy trinity of soundtrack composers are John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman. I mentioned Bill Conti before, but outside of those two franchises I mentioned I cannot recall him doing anything else, yet Williams has composed 99.9 of the most memorable soundtracks: Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park... etc. Even his less memorable moments are still recognizable. I remember watching The Patriot with Mel Gibson in theaters and thinking to myself, "This sounds like John Williams," and soon after: Music by John Williams.

Hans Zimmer's current claim to fame is the Inception and Nolan Batman movies, but he is more versatile than that. Any of you remember Broken Arrow with John Travolta and Christian Slater? Hans Zimmer wrote the "techno-western" score for it and it is quite good.

Danny Elfman is the oddest of the bunch, being able to write dark material like the original Batman scores or something more zanny like the theme to the Simpsons.

In recent years I have paid closer attention to soundtracks as part of my movie experience and while I LOVED the X-Men: First Class soundtrack, Captain America's I found generic and uninspired.  I won't be humming either one anytime soon though.

Yet almost every song from ANY Rocky film is memorable and recognizable, who doesn't now the "duuuh dun" of Jaws?

Do you guys have any favorite movie composers or specific movies you enjoy more because of it's score?

Here is the Rocky overture which is fantastic and part of my bike riding playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX6HQe3hEMo
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Hans Zimmer's Inception was brilliant. I also like Danny Elfman, even is dark scores are zanny. Fun fact about Jaws, it was actually taken from a part of Dvorak's New World Symphony. Of course John Williams has done all the big soundtracks. Notably Indiana Jones and STAR WARS. Also, Elton John's The Lion King and Phil Collins' Tarzan were great. That's about all I can think of at the moment.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
The Lion King's score was really good. The first REALLY good Disney soundtrack in quite some time too... All their early classics are very memorable, but from my own childhood the only one I still enjoy is that one. The new Tron movie while left much to be desired story-wise, had a GREAT soundtrack by Daft Punk.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I didn't see Tron but Daft Punk is great for soundtracks.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Jerry Goldsmith.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Goldsmith

Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith (February 10, 1929 – July 21, 2004) was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring.

He composed scores for such noteworthy films as The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Chinatown, The Wind and the Lion, The Omen, The Boys from Brazil, Alien, Poltergeist, Gremlins, Hoosiers, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rudy, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, Mulan, The Mummy, three Rambo films, and five Star Trek films. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards, nine Golden Globes, four BAFTAs, and seventeen Academy Awards. In 1977 he was awarded an Oscar for The Omen.

He collaborated with some of the most prolific directors in film history, including Robert Wise (The Sand Pebbles, Star Trek: The Motion Picture), Howard Hawks (Rio Lobo), Otto Preminger (In Harm's Way), Joe Dante (Gremlins, The 'Burbs), Roman Polanski (Chinatown), Ridley Scott (Alien, Legend), Steven Spielberg (Poltergeist, Twilight Zone: The Movie), and Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct). However, his most notable collaboration was arguably that with Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom Goldsmith scored such films as Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, and The Boys from Brazil.

Also wrote the Star Trek TNG theme, a classic. First written for the first Trek movie, but Goldsmith also did the music for the TNG TV series.

If you're really looking for the classic movie-composer trilogy, Goldsmith should replace Elfman.

I also love the Lord of the Rings scores by Howard Shore.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
So that's who wrote the Alien score! That is a great list and I agree with his replacing of Elfman.
 

Taker

Cannon Fodder
Check out the soundtrack to Death Wish 2... Jimmy Page was the genius behind it, and it's pretty good. Pretty good movie too. Did Charles Bronson make any bad movies?
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
The first PotC soundtrack and the third PotC soundtrack are both incredible pieces of music. Lord of the Rings soundtrack is unbelievably monsterous as well. I also have a love for Star Wars, of course. And Indiana Jones.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Oh talking Video Games now?


Ocarina Of Time.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross has the greatest video game soundtrack of all time.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Last of the Mohicans had a pretty memorable score.  
If you're talking about non-orchestral, pop music soundtracks, you can't overlook A Hard Day's Night, Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Purple Rain and Superfly.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
A Hard Day's Night is awesome. But only the first side of it appears in the film.
 

Vap

Ancient Mariner
Most of my favorite movie soundtracks have already been mentioned, except for Blade Runner's score.

Video games? Unreal's soundtrack is the best, no exceptions. Other really good ones: Quake, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Worms 2, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, Fallout, Elvira 2 Jaws of Cerberus.

I found Bioshock 2's score forgettable and nothing special... just like the game itself.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Nice topic. I have several but the greatest of them all is imo:

Bernhard Herrmann

Very innovative, original, and intense. Heavy even. Very suspenseful, haunting. The man's legacy is huge. He was an inspiration for others who followed (Danny Elfman for example). And besides that, Herrmann was a very important element in Hitchcock's success. When you watch a film with a Herrmann score, you're on the edge of your seat.

Quotes from wiki:
... music is typified by frequent use of ostinati (short repeating patterns), novel orchestration and, in his film scores, an ability to portray character traits not altogether obvious from other elements of the film.

Early in his life, Herrmann committed himself to a creed of personal integrity at the price of unpopularity: the quintessential artist. His philosophy is summarized by a favorite Tolstoy quote: ‘Eagles fly alone and sparrows fly in flocks.' Thus, Herrmann would only compose music for films when he was allowed the artistic liberty to compose what he wished without the director getting in the way. Most famously, after over a decade of composing for all of Hitchcock’s films, Hitchcock requested a more “pop” score from Herrmann. Herrmann’s score was not what Hitchcock had requested, and since Herrmann was so committed to having artistic liberty and would not compromise his values, the two went their separate ways, never to collaborate again. This shows Herrmann’s persistence in being able to compose as he saw fit to represent the film.

..."I have the final say, or I don’t do the music. The reason for insisting on this is simply, compared to Orson Welles, a man of great musical culture, most other directors are just babes in the woods. If you were to follow their taste, the music would be awful. There are exceptions. I once did a film The Devil and Daniel Webster with a wonderful director William Dieterle. He was also a man of great musical culture. And Hitchcock, you know, is very sensitive; he leaves me alone. It depends on the person. But if I have to take what a director says, I’d rather not do the film. I find it’s impossible to work that way."



Psycho (directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) Best score ever.

Hitchcock insisted that Bernard Herrmann write the score for Psycho, in spite of the composer's refusal to accept a reduced fee for the film's lower budget. The resulting score, according to Christopher Palmer in The Composer in Hollywood (1990) is "perhaps Herrmann's most spectacular Hitchcock achievement." Hitchcock was pleased with the tension and drama the score added to the film, later remarking "33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music." The singular contribution of Herrmann's score may be inferred from the film's credit roll, where the composer's name precedes only the director's own, a distinction unprecedented in the annals of commercial cinematic music. Herrmann used the lowered music budget to his advantage by writing for a string orchestra rather than a full symphonic ensemble, disregarding Hitchcock's request for a jazz score. He thought of the single tone color of the all-string soundtrack as a way of reflecting the black-and-white cinematography of the film. Hollywood composer Fred Steiner, in an analysis of the score to Psycho, points out that string instruments gave Herrmann access to a wider range in tone, dynamics and instrumental special effects than any other single instrumental group would have.

The main title music, a tense, contrapuntal piece, sets the tone of impending violence, and returns three times on the soundtrack. Though nothing shocking occurs during the first 15–20 minutes of the film, the title music remains in the audience's mind, lending tension to these early scenes. Herrmann also maintains tension through the slower moments in the film through the use of ostinato.

....

Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith writes that the music for the Shower Scene is "probably the most famous (and most imitated) cue in film music," but Hitchcock was originally opposed to having music in this scene. When Herrmann played the Shower Scene cue for Hitchcock, the director approved its use in the film. Herrmann reminded Hitchcock of his instructions not to score this scene, to which Hitchcock replied, "Improper suggestion, my boy, improper suggestion." This was one of two important disagreements Hitchcock had with Herrmann, in which Herrmann ignored Hitchcock's instructions. The second one, over the score for Torn Curtain (1966), resulted in the end of their professional collaboration. A survey conducted by PRS for Music, in 2009, showed that the British public consider the score from 'the shower scene' to be the scariest theme from any film.


check out this clip of the score of Psycho -> http://youtu.be/qMTrVgpDwPk


Ennio Morricone is probably my number two, even though I haven't seen that many of his films yet. Morricone made intense and especially moving scores, but in a very different way. Lots of drama. Great melodies and use of electronic guitar, and of course: the harmonica. Big influence as well. Hans Zimmer has called Ennio Morricone his favorite composer in the world.

Morricone's score in Once Upon a Time in the West (directed by Sergio Leone, 1968) must have had huge impact in millions of living rooms and theatres. This clip is really one of the most iconic moments in cinema history:
http://youtu.be/hL-X53ze5:ph34r:    There's a rare mix of doom and victory in it, hard to put under words.

You know what was interesting? It was Sergio Leone's desire to have the music available and played during filming. Leone had Morricone compose the score before shooting started and would play the music in the background for the actors on set!

Some other giants of Hollywood movie music who deserve mention:
Miklós Rózsa (Jerry Goldsmith saw the movie Spellbound (1945) in theaters and was inspired by the soundtrack by veteran composer Miklós Rózsa to pursue a career in music), Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
SinisterMinisterX said:
Jerry Goldsmith.

x2. Don't forget his Nemesis soundtrack, it's spectacular. Also Eidelman's Star Trek VI music is excellent.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
To me, there is Bernard Hermann and John Williams ... then there is everyone else .. not to knock everyone else, but those two are impossible to beat IMO.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I'm not familiar with Herrmann yet; I will attempt to change that. Morricone is incredible, and some of my favourite music of all time is from his work. Specifically, the end battle from A Few Dollars More, and the part where Tuco is running through the graveyard in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Did he do the soundtrack for Once Upon A Time In America? I have the unedited version downloaded, but haven't yet watched it.
 
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