Despite our writers ineptitude at karaoke with our Editor especially incapable of even being able to hit a note with a hammer (and frankly he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket either) we still love our iconic music scores. In any action movie, a powerful music score is essential to set pulses racing and crank up the intensity. A movie moment can be transformed with the use of one simple chord when struck at the right moment – and can turn a movie into an instant classic.
What’s a fast-paced action films without a pulsating movie score to raise the stakes and maintain the momentum throughout the most dramatic of sequences. One of our recent and rather brilliant example is the powerful and foreboding theme “The Beast” by the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson for the Oscar®-nominated film Sicario, which was re-imagined for the sequel Sicario 2: Soldado by composer Hildur Guðnadóttir for which we are running a competition to win a copy here we thought we’d have a quick look as some other stand out favourites of ours.
So first up is obviously Sicario 2 : Soldado
From director Stefano Sollima, Sicario 2: Soldado is an uncompromising, unflinching look into the ruthless world of drug cartels – and the extremes that some will go to end the terror. The chaotic narrative and unrelenting pace of the film requires a movie score that can keep up with the action. For the original film Hildur Guðnadóttir delivered a powerful and captivating score to beautifully compliment the gripping scenes and intriguing characters. The score succeeds in creating a constant sense of dread and impending danger rendering the audience unable to relax for even a moment.
Have a listen to this to see what we mean….
The Dark Knight
The music that scored the 2008 Christopher Nolan Batman reboot was so memorable that it was awarded ‘Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media’ at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard used a blend of electronic and orchestral elements to create a rich audible experience for the audience. The theme tune that the duo created for Heath Ledger’s ‘The Joker’ is particularly notable. The theme was made from two notes played on a variety of instruments and is a perfect accompaniment to the tortured character we see on our screens. The musical score is dramatic, at times solemn and menacing, and is a large factor in The Dark Knight being widely regarded as one of the best superhero films of all time which Christopoher Nolan has admitted was heavily influenced by Michael Mann’s 1997 hit film,‘Heat’.
Have a listen here ……
The movie score to the 1982 Harrison Ford classic is regarded as a historically important piece in the genre of electronic music. The neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott required a score that matched the futuristic nature of the movie. Composer Vangelis heavily relied on synthesizers alongside a classical composition to create the gloomy, electronic sound. The film is, somewhat disconcertingly, set in a dystopian ‘future’ Los Angeles of 2019, in which synthetic humans known as replicants are bio-engineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies. The Blade Runner music score created some of the most memorable atmospheric soundscapes from the 80’s and, like the film, was designed as a look in to the supposed technological future.
Have a listen here……
Our list of the most memorable movie scores would not be complete without the Steven Spielberg thriller Jaws possibly one of the most iconic scores ever written. The main theme for the film, that composer John Williams said was meant to represent the shark as an ‘unstoppable force’ of ‘mindless and instinctive attacks’, is as infamous as the film itself. Jaws is probably the most perfect example of a musical score transforming the appeal of the film, as even Spielberg himself has admitted that without Williams’ score the film would have been only half as successful. Those two alternating notes in the film’s main theme song are enough to instil fear into the most composed of adults. It is no wonder that the score rightly earned Jaws an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Score’ in 1976.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
A major influence on Western movie scores, Ennio Morricone was responsible for one of the greatest instrumental film scores of all time in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The 1966 epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood is set in the Southwest during the Civil War and follows three unsavoury characters who compete and cooperate in their quest for $200,000 in hidden Confederate gold. Morricone’s score is renowned for its ability to create tension and acts as a motif for the central characters. The music captures the atmosphere of the violent and turbulent western desert and is an important feature of one of the world’s best-loved Westerns. Often imitated, never bettered.
Have a listen here…..
To this we’d also add the movie score for the recent horror film Hereditary an already creepy film whose lo-fi music by Colin Stetson compounds the chills even further…
See what we mean here…..
These are just some of the scores that we like and we know we’ve overlooked Psycho, The Godfather, The Omen, E.T. & Terminator 2 but if there’s any other movie scores that you think deserve to be on the list the let us know in the comments section below…….