Film scores

Whether it be a collection of songs that you’ve always liked, carefully chosen and compiled for use in a film (Dirty Dancing, Pulp Fiction), or music composed specifically for a film, such as Michael Kamen’s work with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on Brazil, which soundtracks and film scores have you most enjoyed?

Deliberately omitting Pink Floyd’s, here are some that stand out in my mind:

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night
James Brown – The Payback

Nino Rota – The Godfather
John Williams – Jaws

Various Artists – Easy Rider
Various Artists – Stand By Me

As ever, I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in anything else that you can add to this topic; for example, your views on the suitability of much-loved songs featuring in certain not-at-all-liked movies, or the often irritating inclusion of dialogue when scores are released on CD.

Have you discovered a song or artist through a movie? Do lyrics, at least on occasion, only detract from the mood of the piece? Do the most successful soundtracks lack spoken word and thereby force the listener to ‘feel’ the music?

Some might argue that the finest moments in cinematic history have no key dialogue and instead, by way of music, express everything from the suspense through to the sorrow of the characters far more effectively than words ever could.

Happy Birthday to Davie, by the way.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

99 thoughts on “Film scores”

  1. I’m in full agreement that instrumental tracks are far more effective at enhancing the mood of a scene. There are no doubt exceptions (though none spring to mind), but by and large lyrics tend to detract from a film (for me at least).

    One of the first and finest examples I can think of for enhancing a film would be Rick Wright’s “The Violent Sequence” as shown on the Making of The Dark Side DVD. To me the effect was absolutely sublime (sorry for the Pink Floyd reference).

    I am also of the opinion that music scored specifically for the movie is light years better than the annoying practice we often see today: compiling a collection of current pop hits in hopes (I guess) of attracting teens and selling soundtracks. Puke.

  2. My choice is the album by Vangellis “1492: Conquest of Paradise” which I heard before I saw the film, however after eventually seeing the film I felt it was a perfect soundtrack. I recommend both the film and soundtrack.

    1. Graham,

      Staying with the Vangelis ‘theme’, “Bladerunner” has a rather good soundtrack, me thinks.

    2. In a similar vein, I love the Vangelis score for “Blade Runner”. It is very moody and atmospheric, perfect for the movie. I love the extensive use of chimes, gongs and bells.

  3. Hard Day’s Night
    Magical Mystery Tour
    Let It Be

    Field Of Dreams

    The Sea Inside

  4. Nice topic, FEd!

    Wendy Carlos´ A Clockwork Orange is amazing, as much as Michael Jarre´s Lawrence of Arabia. I have a huge list here… 8)

    One thing I´ve always wondered is why Mr. Gilmour hasn´t composed any scores yet (of course, aside those from Floyd and the use of previously written material). He would be a first choice, if I was a director.

    Is it a matter of invitation or something else? Any ideas FEd?

  5. I always liked the soundtrack to Ferris Bueler’s Day Off. Oh Yeah!!



    1. John Hughes movies were greatly enhanced by the inclusion of current music. I agree, there are some great songs on the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off soundtrack.

      I also love the Oingo Boingo title song for the Hughes movie Weird Science.

      And then Danny Elfman went on to compose wonderful music for many big projects, including one of my favorites: Edward Scissorhands.

    2. Oingo Boingo? Can you believe that I actually saw them live way back when? They were part of an outdoor concert bill that also features The Specials, Go-Gos and The Police. O, the Coasters also kicked off the show.



  6. Soundtracks that really were appropriate for the movie they were constructed around:

    * A Clockwork Orange – Wendy Carlos – very synthesizer oriented but perfectly matched to this futuristic dystopic vision of society.

    * Singles – I’d heard, for the first time, Alice in Chains, Chris Cornell, and many others through this soundtrack lp (barring Pearl Jam, who I’d heard from their marvelous first lp – Ten). The songs were perfectly flavored for the movie (taking place in Seattle). The inclusion of Jimi Hendrix (a Seattle-ite) was perfect.

    * Philadelphia – especially poignant for this movie were the songs Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen and Philadelphia by Neil Young. These two songs show how powerful the marriage of image and song can create an overwhelming emotional response.

    An example of how horribly a voice over (or dialogue) can ruin a good song can be found in Springsteen’s song Secret Garden (taken from the movie Jerry McGuire). The song is a lilting acoustic ditty but is ruined by the baloney dialogue of “you complete me”, and “you had me at hello”. Again, this dialogue literally destroys the magic of this performance.

    As for the poignancy of a song where no dialogue is required, I can immediately think of two songs: The End (masterfully used to perfect effect in Apocalypse Now) and Stuck in the Middle With You (from Reservoir Dogs). Does it get any better than this? 🙂

    Nuff said,

  7. Along with Pulp Fiction here are some excellent film soundtracks…

    – Blues Brothers
    – The Commitments

    1. Hey, Rudders! 😛

      Long time, no see. Seems to me you just had a birthday recently, so happy birthday to you! 😀

    1. Wow! 4-0! Anything is possible now: Quarts de finale, demi finale… c’est tout bon.

      Have you already bought your tickets to Rome? 27 May might be a ‘Closed Blog Day’, no? 😉

  8. Pretty much anything by John Williams is outstanding, with the “Star Wars” films being high on the list.

    Ennio Morricone’s Western scores are all-time classics (“The Good, The Bad And The Ugly,” “The Ecstasy of Gold.”)

    Peter Gabriel’s score for “The Last Temptation of Christ.”

    Michael Kamen, along with Trey Parker & Matt Stone for “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.”

    Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

    Does The Who’s “Tommy” count? The 1975 film has some terrible versions in it (Jack Nicholson singing…) but also some interesting updates.

  9. I liked the violin piece at the end of Ladies in Lavender. 🙂

    Also liked the Lord of the Rings music but found the film(s) skull numbingly boring.

    The opening tune to A Beautiful Mind I found really haunting, fabulous film as well.

    1. Annie Lennox won an Oscar for the song she did for Lord of the Rings Part 2. Lovely piece, haunting melody.

  10. I will concur with the soundtrack to Singles, very of its time but a blast.

    However my favourite is probably the soundtrack to Manhunter, with the likes of Shreikback, Iron Butterfly and Kitaro. Very atmospheric and really helps add to the film. Some of it does sound very 80s now but it still is a cracking listen.

    Good Morning Vietnam gets mentioned in dispatches as well, especially for the juxtaposition of Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong against the Napalm attacks.

  11. My top filmscores are:

    John Williams – Indiana Jones
    Erich Konrngold – Robin Hood (with Errol Flynn)
    Morricone – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Goldsmith – Star Trek: First Contact

  12. There was a 70s coming-back-from-Vietnam movie called “Heroes” with Henry Winkler and Sally Fields that ended very dramatically with the Kansas gem “Carry On My Wayward Son” playing over an image of Fields trying to comfort a distressed Winkler on the top of a hill and this image has stayed with me for decades… so yes indeed, the music is very saturating…

  13. There’s a film that came out about 15 years ago or so, called “Backbeat.” They made a band from members of the best bands there were at the time: R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, etc, and had them cover the early Beatles material. It’s a very powerful album.

    Another Beatles soundtrack was that of “I Am Sam,” by various artists like Aimee Mann, Nick Cave and The Wallflowers. It shows the later Beatles in all its mellowness.

  14. Some great soundtracks that pop into my mind:

    – Jonathan Livingstone Seagull – Neil Diamond.
    – Lord Of The Rings – Howard Shore.
    – Blade Runner – Vangelis.
    – Soundtracks by Ennio Morricone (For A Few Dollars More, Le Bon, La Brute Et Le Truand (=?), Once Upon A Time In The West, Le Clan Des Siciliens…)

    But I HATE ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Céline Dion (Titanic). Sorry, I had to say that, now I feel better!!! 😉


  15. Just about anything Nino Rota scored music for is top of class.

    I think Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood is fantastic. Howard Shore’s work on the Lord of The Ring’s Trilogy has got to be right up with the best of them as well, not only for the quality of the music and how it supports the films’ essence, but for the sheer volume of it. He had to score something like 12 hours worth of film. From the archives I will add Burt Bacharach’s score for Casino Royale, a witty if somewhat dated collection of music. You have to like Dusty Springfield singing his Look of Love. Good stuff.

    Some films that are a good collection of music:

    Spike Lee’s Malcom X, Wim Wender’s Until the End of the World, Lords of Dogtown, Rushmore, o Brother Where Art Thou, Baraka.

    I could go on for ever.

  16. You asked, “Have you discovered a song or artist through a movie?”

    I have to answer with a resounding, Yes! As I look through the soundtracks that I loved enough to buy, they all share that trait in common.

    The soundtrack to the movie “Malcolm X” was my first real introduction to John Coltrane. Now I love John Coltrane.

    Likewise, the soundtrack to “Swing Kids” got me all revved up for Count Basie and Duke Ellington and the Lindy Hop!

    So I think I’ll have to come down pretty strongly on the side of including popular music in films. Film is such a powerful medium to introduce new music to people.

    Fun topic, FEd.

  17. Soundtracks: Dazed and Confused, RAD, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Life Aquatic, Into The Wild, Maximum Overdrive, Rocky IV, The Big Lebowski, La Bamba…

    Scores: Beetlejuice, Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, LOST, The Burbs, The Goonies, Monster Squad, The Neverending Story, The Ninth Gate, Rudy…

    …and many more.

  18. Ennio Morricone – all Sergio Leone’s films like The Good The Bad The Ugly with that killer guitar riff 100% Italian made 😛 , Once Upon A Time In The West, etc., all the soundtracks are breathtaking.

    John Carpenter – 1997 Escape From New York, he was the film director AND the music composer.

    Aimee Mann – Magnolia, that’s basically how I became a fan of Aimee.

    Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate.

    And many many others… I’d risk to fill up the whole blog!

  19. Hi all. you shouldn’t miss Brian Eno’s soundtrack to the Apollo missions, documentary/ film. Chills me out.

  20. One of the best music in a movie is “To Live and Die in LA” from 1984, which music of Wang Chung, their album has the same title.

    I can watch that movie over and over again.

  21. The Shawshank Redemption or most films with music by Thomas Newman
    Blade Runner – Vangelis
    The Thing – Ennio Morricone
    Alien – I’m sure was Jerry Goldsmith

    Actually there are loads and often if the music doesn’t make the film it’s normally better than the film!!!!

  22. To be brief, I’ll just include my favorite soundtracks but as far as IN FILM music is concerned, usually, instrumentals are the way to go with a pop song thrown in from time to time if it captures the mood just right. Where I think directors go astray is the over reliance on pop songs that saturate the mood of the film.

    However I do like soundtracks inspired by the film it gives everyone a good idea what kind of music the director was thinking about while making the film.

    Now on to the list, the soundtracks for:

    Pulp Fiction
    Forrest Gump
    Into the Wild
    Mission Impossible 2 (the film was dreadful though)
    The Scorpion King (again the film was mostly tripe but it has a certain nostalgic place for me)
    The Cable Guy
    Reservoir Dogs
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    Mr. Holland’s Opus
    A Beautiful Mind: James Horner
    Dazed and Confused
    The Matrix
    Jerry Maguire
    Apollo 13
    The Shawshank Redemption- Thomas Newman
    The Wedding Singer Vol.1
    Joe Dirt
    Grosse Pointe Blank
    Almost Famous
    Heavy Metal (although film was abysmal)
    Once- Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

    So there is pretty much more out there than you can shake the proverbial stick at, just keep eyes peeled and ears open.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  23. Ulp! Is that Davie me?! :v How embarrassing, haha! Thank you if it is… I’ve been really lucky this year, I got a nice Bob Dylan art print from my sister…

    My favourite film scores are:

    -Into the Wild (music by Eddie Vedder) – I thought the film was haunting and thought provoking, and the soundtrack was too. Far too short though!

    -Philadelphia – I see it’s been discussed above, but I love it, especially Neil & Bruce’s contributions!

    -City of Angels – I don’t think I’ve ever heard songs from so many different artists work so well together. Absolutely brilliant, every song is a gem!

    Thanks again FEd, keep up the brilliant work, I still love visiting this site, after all these years. 😀

  24. Nice topic, FEd! Two come immediately to mind… one old (ish) and one new:

    – Bladerunner: another Vangelis soundtrack, to go with the aforementioned Brazil

    – Watchmen: for those who haven’t seen it yet (and it is well worth seeing!) it features a real mixed bag of artists (kicking off with Bob Dylan) and also includes some music composed specifically for the movie.

    Oh, and happy birthday Davie!

    1. Sorry Matt, I don’t normally throw my opinion down but I really do need to comment on Watchmen.

      I went to see it last weekend…

      If The Incredibles and The X-Men got drunk one night and produced a film, a film that was oxygen deprived at birth, then that film would be Watchmen.

      The critics said it was “Epic” but what the typesetter missed was “….ically boring.”

      I left the cinema after an hour.

    2. I have to chime in here about this movie. The soundtrack was awesome, Dylan’s Desperation Row (done up punk style) was a perfect way to finish the film.

      I loved this movie, actually, and find that people are usually polar extremes in like or dislike (in this case, strongly like or strongly dislike). I read this book when it came out during my college years and was super excited to see this finally get its due on the big screen.

      In the mid 80s this series of books changed the face of the comic book genre forever, easily making this my favorite graphic novel adaptation to date – just as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons scripted it to be. The characters spring to life on the screen, the typecasting was perfect (especially Jackie Earle Haley as the mysterious Rorschach who was beyond brilliant in this role).

      Though there were some rewrites to make this novel work in movie form, it all worked out in the end and was a great 2 1/2 hour spent with friends at a midnight showing.

      I’d highly recommend this flick to anyone open to seeing a new take on the superhero genre.

    3. Hi Rudders – no need to apologise! 😀

      It really is a film that has split people down the middle – a real “Marmite” of a movie.

      What might have helped me is that I never read the comic book, so went in with no preconceptions. Sure, not all of it was great but most of it thoroughly enjoyable for me…

    4. Matt/Beppo,

      Funnily enough I was talking to a guy at my local Blockbuster and I told him about my thoughts on the film and his first questions was, “Have you read the book?” which I hadn’t…

      Is the book just called Watchmen? I may just read it sometime soon. 😀

    5. Hey Rudders,

      Originally it was a comic book mini-series, published under the DC from 1986-1987. You can now find the Watchmen graphic novel at any Borders/Barnes and Nobles. Depending on where you live in the great city of Toronto, you could even head over to Silver Snail comics on Queen Street or 1,000,000 on Yonge’s Road to find it.

      Well worth your time hunting the graphic novel down.

  25. Thief – Tangerine Dream
    To Live And Die In L.A. – Wang Chung
    Lift To The Scaffold – Miles Davis
    The Thing – Ennio Morricone
    Jennifer 8 – Christopher Young
    Blade Runner – Vangelis
    Heat – various
    Purple Rain – Prince
    The Last Temptation Of Christ – Peter Gabriel
    Commando – James Horner (“How much are they paying you, Bennett?”)

    …I could go on!

  26. Through movies, I discovered Enio Moricone, Henry Mancini and Angello Badalamenti.

    Movies may be greater with “a little help from” music, their “friend”, and, sometimes, only therefore. But music, I think, doesn’t need movies or any kind of images to be great. Music, alone, is like a cathedral, that can fill or empty your soul. Although, “a little help” of poetry, called lyrics, may be sometimes welcome.

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t notice, after watching the movie, the name of the artist who composed the moving music from “Road to Perdition”.

  27. When discussing soundtracks for film, one would be terribly remiss not to mention the great Ennio Morricone. While an Internet search will reveal the plethora of work he has amassed, the two films that stand out most to me are The Mission, with Robert DeNiro and the remake of Lolita, with Jeremy Irons.

    The opening sequence of Lolita is haunting and breath-taking all at once and it is because of the music provided by Morricone.

    Of course the acclaimed Amadeus must also be mentioned. Not just a great film with stellar performances by Tom Hulse and F. Murray Abraham, the music of Mozart comes to life in new ways. Allow yourself to be swept away as Salieri describes, in vivid detail, A Serenade For Winds on that first, face-to-face encounter with the young musical genius.

  28. Happy Birthday Mr Gilmour!

    One album I’ve always loved, due to me pretending to be able to play the alto saxophone, was the theme music from the film “Angel Heart”.

    Hope everything’s OK @ DGHQ FE’d,

  29. Soundtracks; almost anything by Phillip Glass or John Williams. Clint Mansell is a brilliant composer (and a lovely chap).

    The worst is probably The Watchmen. Intrusive and unsubtle.

  30. Some of my favourite film scores are:

    “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Buena Vista Social Club”, “Into the Wild” and “Trainspotting”.

    A song I discovered through a movie was “Mad World”, on the final sequences of “Donnie Darko”.

    It’s a Tears for Fears’ song, but I like this cover more than the original. It was rearranged by Michael Andrews and the singer is Gary Jules.

  31. I like movies with atmosphere and/or the soundtracks accompanying them. Thus:

    – Neil Young: Dead Man

    – Ennio Morricone: Any of the Spaghetti Westerns, but especially Once Upon a Time in the West

    – John Barry: Dances With Wolves and Zulu, but of course The James Bond Theme (or was that Monty Norman?). Actually anything by Mr Barry.

    – Lawrence of Arabia: Maurice Jarre

    – Simon And Garfunkel: The Graduate

    – Michel Legrand: Thomas Crown Affair theme

  32. I always loved the scores by Ennio Morricone’s work on all those great spaghetti westerns. At the time they were truly groundbreaking soundtracks. Vangelis, as mentioned in a previous post has done some exceptional scores for films. I still love his Chariots of Fire soundtrack, and the film is still a favorite of mine.

    Danny Elfman’s work on Tim Burton movies is always a great listen. Hard to believe the Oingo-Boingo dude would grow up to be so ubiquitous on film. 😀

    Also, Tangerine Dream did some nice scores, but for less than stellar films.

    Thanks for the topic. Cheers!

  33. You don’t have to think for very long to come up with a loooong list of memorable film scores… many movies are enhanced by and made memorable by the score.

    There are themes like the Bond Movies, Indiana Jones, Star Wars… Dramatic effect like Jaws, Psycho. Mood pieces like The Assassination of Jesse James, There Will be Blood, any Hitchcock movie.

    Specially commissioned pieces – personal favourites like Schindlers List, Out of Africa (that theme as they fly over the plains brings a tear to my eye every time), The Dambusters march.

    Artful use of classics – Platoon, Room With a View, Philadelphia.

    Use of Rock for impact – Apocalypse Now, Pulp Fiction, Easy Rider.

    And countless more… all indelibly connected with the movie.

  34. A couple of soundtracks I’ve bought, kept, and continue to play are Rush by Clapton and The Thomas Crown Affair (inc. Sinnerman by Nina Simone).

  35. The soundtrack that stands out at once, is 1492 Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis. That’s some of the most magical (modern) classical music I’ve ever heard.

    Anybody seen the Irish movie Once? There were some very nice songs in that too, Glen Hansard is a very good singer.

    Of course, every good movie has some good music, either borrowed or composed. John Williams is of course an important composer film-wise. The Imperial March can still give me the creeps.

    Actually, I just came home from watching Slumdog Millionaire at the cinema. Great movie, and great music, very fitting.

  36. Like the topic, but can only think of a few at the moment. Some of the best soundtracks to me are the ones that don’t intrude on the movie to the point where you aren’t aware of it.

    Others can add to the mood of the film and lend enjoyment to the film.

    Just a few I enjoyed :

    – “The Bridges of Madison County” (Clint Eastwood composed and plays the title song, other songs by various artist like Dinah Washington)
    – “Goodfellas “(various artists like Muddy Watters, Tony Bennett)
    – “2001 Space Odyssey”
    – “Ryan’s Daughter”
    – “Crash”

    Agree fully with “Philadelphia” , “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Jaws” and others mentioned.

    More later as I think of them. Fun topic.

  37. When I’m in “grant-mode” and am not listening to Floyd, its “Star Wars” for me… any film.

  38. Yellow Submarine ~ songs by The Beatles

    Gallipoli ~ music from Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre was intriguing, Adagio in G minor composed by Tomaso Albinoni was incredibly moving, somber, and fitting at the end of the film

    The Big Chill ~ various artists, classic!

    McCabe and Mrs. Miller ~ songs by Leonard Cohen, Winter Lady, Sisters of Mercy, perfect and beautiful 🙂

    Moonlight Mile ~ various artists, great soundtrack

    Masked and Anonymous ~ music of Bob Dylan performed in a variety of languages and styles. Dylan plays a character named Jack Fate and performs live with his band. The movie is sort of like taking a stroll down Desolation Row while on mind-altering substances :!

    The Wonder Boys ~ various artists, great soundtrack, Bob Dylan won an Oscar for best song for Things Have Changed

    Peace ‘n’ love to all!

  39. – Solaris (Cliff Martinez) – beautiful, haunting soundscapes – perfect for the recent film of the Stanislaw Lem sci-fi novel but awesome standalone.

    – Bugsy Malone (Paul Williams) – I challenge anyone who has seen the film to hear “Tomorrow” and not feel something strong. Hugely underrated tune, IMHO. Massive album too….great big happy feelgood tunes guaranteed to shine up any grey day.

    – A Boy Named Charlie Brown (Vince Guaraldi) – One of my all time favourite albums. Guaraldi is the master of laid back feelgood piano jazz IMHO, and when he’s in Charlie Brown mode it’s just fantastic listening. The whole album front to back is brilliant.

    – Almost Famous (various) – Lovely film, great soundtrack that always takes me back to the emotions of the film. A really reassuring listen for some reason.

    – Yellow Submarine (The Beatles) – “It’s All Too Much” needs to be covered – it was so progressive and still is today – in the original meaning of the word (not prog!). Experimental, funny, out there… I love it. A rare treat.

    – American Beauty (Thomas Newman) and also Donny Darko (Various) – both incredible films with soundtracks to match. Unmissable, IMHO.

    The Warriors (Various) – The sounds in this soundtrack are just so gloriously analog… it’s so 70s… cheesy in parts, but the standout tracks are the instrumentals… “Baseball Fury Chase” and the title theme make this album worth it alone. The rest is largely forgettable, unless you love it cheesy… really, really cheesy. 🙂

  40. I’ve discovered some artists through soundtracks: Lisa Gerard on the soundtrack to “The Insider”, for example.

    Peter Gabriel’s “Passion” is outstanding. Anything by Mark Isham: “The Beast of War” and “Crash”, for example. One INCREDIBLE guitar player I discovered, also through “The Insider” soundtrack: Gustavo Santaolalla from Argentina. If you are a guitar fan and haven’t checked out his work – which is scattered over many soundtracks – check it out.

    I like Middle Eastern touches on soundtracks (like Peter Gabriel’s “Passion”)… think “Black Hawk Down”, “Babel” or “Syriana”… “Rendition”. The soundtrack to “Rush”, by Eric Clapton is amazing. “21 Grams” is outstanding. “American Beauty” is great too. Cliff Martinez is great: check out his work for the soundtrack to the movie “Traffic”.

    Soundtracks and scores seem to be different – scores being less lyrical – scores tend to be better IMHO, but overall, a good soundtrack or score can be great company on a journey. If you ever get a chance to walk around the pyramids of Giza while listening to Peter Gabriel’s “Passion” you’ll understand what I mean.

  41. My all time favourite: Tubular Bells… and the whole creepy score from The Exorcist.



  42. I think vocal tracks have a place in film, working particularly well when placing the viewer in an historic period (Forrest Gump, Good Morning Vietnam) and also when keying into pop culture of the time, which does have it’s place now and makes interesting viewing in the future.

    As for artist discovered I come to enjoy Bruce Hornsby after not enjoying Backdraft.

    Apocalypse Now also deserves special mention fir both music score and vocal tracks blended beautifully through the film to add period association and tension/drama superbly well. I believe Mr (& Mrs) Coppola responsible for score?

    Excellent discussion topic BTW!!!


    P.S. Blade Runner has a quite magnificent score by Vangellis (as is 1492 suggested above) others I just thought of: Jaws, Star Wars (all), Breakfast Club (‘Twas a Simple Minds fan in 80s, sorry!!!)

  43. I would like to say Happy Belated Birthday to David, and to Davie today.

    A film score classic for me is Over the Rainbow from Wizard of Oz, and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

  44. I think the soundtrack of Stealing Beauty works very nicely. It contributes to the total laid back atmosphere. 🙂

  45. Dear Fed,

    this is my list:

    Gladiator by Hans Zimmer – simply I love it
    Da Vinci Code by Hans Zimmer (wonderful)
    Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On” – James Horner and Will Jennings.
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss (it’s a myth)
    The music of Star Wars (consists of the scores written for all six Star Wars films by composer John Williams )
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind by John Williams
    La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful) by Nicola Piovani
    Blade Runner by Vangelis

    By the way: what do you think about YouTube, the UK and the Performing Rights Society for Music? Does it mean we foreign people can see the musical videos and you UK people not at all?

    Have a nice day to all
    bye/ciao Elisabetta

    1. Titanic, “My Heart Will Go On”

      Hi, Elisabetta, I think they say “To Each His Own” in English. So true.

      I may be the only one here to dislike this song (or maybe it’s just that Céline Dion gets on my nerves…) 😉

  46. “The Mission” by Ennio Morricone, I forgot to put it in my list.

    I don’t think the soundtrack (with or without words) always tells more than the dialogue in a movie, but I also don’t think the opposite.

    For me, a music score is enough when it harmonizes with the images in a special way, but, to do so, it can’t be only an accompaniment. L.V. Beethoven’s music in “A Clockwork Orange” is an example, but The Doors’ “The End” in “Apocalypse Now” is perfect, too, even if there are words.

    I think it depends mainly on the images. If the images are not so good, a beautiful soundtrack can easily distract me from them and the movie doesn’t work.

    I hope my English was enough to express what I wanted to say. :v

  47. – Blade Runner and 1492 Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis.
    – A lot of John Williams’s tracks.

    And I just love the soundtrack composed by Klaus Badelt for the movie The Time Machine.

  48. Loved the STAR WARS score. Also…

    – WALL-E


  49. Here are my favourites:

    2001 – A Space Odyssey
    Batman (Tim Burton’s, the one with music by Prince)
    Natural Born Killers (great songs from Leonard Cohen)
    Purple Rain
    The Doors
    The Departed (includes the live version of Comfortably Numb sung by Van Morrison)


  50. ‘Local Hero’ – Mark Knopfler, is a favourite of mine. Great music and I love that part of Scotland around Mallaig.

  51. Quadrophenia… does that count?

    I got the double LP when that came out, then the music from the film which was similar but had tracks on it by the High Numbers.

  52. Let’s try to push Italy forward with a couple of titles… 8)

    – C’era una volta in america (Once upon a time in America) by Sergio Leone. Music by Ennio Morricone.

    – Lo chiamavano Trinità (Trinity is My Name). Spaghetti western-comedy with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. Directed by E.B. Clucher (alias for Enzo Barboni). Music by Franco Micalizzi.

    The other thousands of movies are too many to list…

  53. Some time since I blogged on here. How are you keeping Fed?

    I haven’t read all above so apologies if someone has already mentioned this, but I think the best example of setting the mood and building tension through the music, but in using beautiful orchestral and choral pieces contrasts the macabre side of the character. And of course I refer to “Hannibal”.

    Best wishes all.

  54. Good topic, Fed, know what you mean.

    What comes to my mind, are these three movies:

    “Baghdad Cafe”

    The music in those made a huge impression.

  55. Discovered through movies:

    Roy Buchanan: Sweet Dreams – can’t recall the film
    Kiri Te Kanawa: Strauss, Four Last Songs – “The Year of Living Dangerously”

    …for a start.

  56. Next concert I’m going to see… U2.

    I’ve just signed up for the pre-sale. I’m not a big fan of the band but the show looks like it will be something special so I’ll give it a whirl.

    I’m slightly annoyed by U2 bollocking on about reducing the price of their tickets etc. etc. when the ONLY hope you’ll have of getting ANY tickets is by spending $50 to join the fan-club to get the pre-sale code… because as we know when tickets go on sale via t’internet they are sold out within minutes!

    Hopefully the court case against Ticketmaster will give them the sore bottom they so thoroughly deserve.

    I’ve just read back through the January comments and Fed did say he wanted more posts… 8)

  57. Clockwork Orange
    The Third Man
    Day of the Locust
    Blade Runner
    Concert for George
    Jimi Hendrix (film)
    Hard Days Night
    Fred Astaire Collection

  58. I remember that a long long time ago, I began taking piano lessons just so that I could learn how to play the song “The Entertainer” after seeing the movie “The Sting” which featured Scott Joplin’s music. Fun music to play, as well to listen to, that ragtime.

    Hi Fed… if I recall, not much longer now to wait for your Bob Dylan concert. May something isn’t it? I’ve got tickets to see Neil Young and Johnny Winter, both in April, 2 days apart. I’m really excited about these.

    1. Hi John, apologies for the delayed response.

      Not long at all: end of April. If March goes by as quickly as January and February did, it will be here before I even realise it.

      Let me know how you enjoy those two.

  59. No one mentioned my fave: Rocky Horror Picture Show!

    Fun lyrics, great vocals (Meatloaf!), sassy saxophone playing. Gotta love it! (or not).

    Of course, Tubular Bells is great, so is the Big Chill soundtrack.

  60. Oh my, you really shouldn’t have asked this question! Haha!

    My all time favorite film composer is Hans Zimmer. He has done so many incredible scores and I am continuing to collect as many of them as I can.

    Some of Zimmer’s best include:

    The Thin Red Line
    Black Hawk Down
    Batman Begins
    The Dark Knight
    The Lion King
    Crimson Tide
    Tears of the Sun
    Beyond Rangoon

    I’m also a fan of Danny Elfman who has done some incredible work on Batman, Red Dragon, Sleepy Hollow, and a bunch of others.

    Honorable mentions definitely go out to:

    Rescue Dawn – Klaus Badelt
    Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Wojiech Kilar
    Passion – Peter Gabriel
    Fracture – Jeff and Mychael Danna
    Meet Joe Black – Thomas Newman
    Lord of the Rings – Howard Shore
    Stars Wars – John Williams
    The Shining/Clockwork Orange – Wendy Carlos

    I could really go on and on! I just love movie soundtracks so much. They are the modern day classical compositions and are truly beautiful. It’s actually one of the things I look forward to most in a movie. When ever the opening credits role people will lean over to me and say ohhh, do you know that composer? 😀

    I also truly believe that movies would not be as good without them, and that people really don’t realize it or give soundtracks enough credit. The Shining wouldn’t have been nearly as scary if it weren’t for that music! Did anyone else jump in their seat when the music got all tense and went BAM and the screen read “Wednesday”? :))

    1. Some good ones there, Shannon. Thanks for that.

      The Hannibal score was perfect for the film and complimented the glimpses into the psychology of the main character beautifully (as was the case with The Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon).

      You’re so right about The Shining, by the way.

  61. I am probably a bigger movie buff than a music buff, but it’s close.

    All the movies I thought of have been listed, except I did not see “Easy Rider”… it was way ahead of its time.

    The greatest soundtracks are the ones that understand the film they are for, and draw you deeper into the film. My top two films would have to be;

    “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “The Wizard of Oz”.

    Another great track was the score for 1961’s “Mysterious Island” by Bernard Herrmann. I was glued to my seat when I first saw it as a kid.

  62. I know this may be off-topic, but one fantastic PF song which was made for a film (and, sadly, was not used) is our current issue at a PF Forum… “Country Song” (aka Red Queen) from the Zabriskie Point Soundtrack.

    Some members think the lyrics of the 16th line are: “HE says the White King thinks the game of chess is wrong”, while others think the line starts with “SHE”. As the lyrics of this song were never “officially” released, we are debating about this and other issues concerning Zabriskie Point Sessions…

    I would really like to know your opinion about it, Fed, and other members, and maybe… Dave?

    Best Regards…

    1. It sounds like SHE, although wouldn’t HE make more sense?

      Like the game of chess itself, I’m afraid the lyrics are too difficult for my poor brain to fully grasp.

    2. 😀 Thank you! This is exactly what we are arguing!

      In my humble opinion it is HE. I think the double-tracking did the trick… two HEs with a tiny lapse of time between them made it sound almost like she… puzzle!

      If you have any other insight, please let me know.

    3. Having listened again, following the story’s flow, it has to be HE… I think.

      I also feel that it could have fitted in on David’s last tour rather nicely, don’t you think? I can imagine Stevie enjoying his drumming duties… and perhaps a special guest appearance from Rolf Harris for the end part? 😉

      I wonder just how many people would have been familiar with this song had David surprised them with it.

  63. 😀 You’re absolutely right!

    We’ve been discussing Zabriskie Point Sessions and only this song’s lyrics discussion has taken 15 pages! A member shared this imagery: Perhaps if we could get Dave to sing this on his next tour, all confusion would disappear. And as a gesture of peace, members of the audience would be encouraged to paint each other pink during the performance.

    Wouldn’t it be great?

    Thank you for posting that! Cheers!

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