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The Composers, Scores, and the Chewers Who Love Them Thread
Also on the subject of John Williams, I was revisiting his complete LOST WORLD score today, and what jumped out at me this listen was pure bafflement at the idea that Steven Spielberg dropped this powerhouse cue from the final mix...




Like, seriously Steve, what gives?  Here's Williams delivering you a cue that blows the roof off the place, and you don't use it?

It's one of the very few times Spielberg's ever declined to include a cue Williams wrote, so I'd really love to know what the rationale was.  Did the edit of the sequence fluctuate to such a degree that even snipping here and there wouldn't have made the piece fit?
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So, favorite scores of the decade feels like a conversation that should be had at some length.  My take: 

Some honorable mentions:  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (John Powell), STEVE JOBS (Daniel Pemberton), GODZILLA (Alexandre Desplat), SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (John Powell), THE WITCH (Mark Korven), THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Michel Legrand), THOR: RAGNAROK (Mark Mothersbaugh), FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (James Newton Howard), LA LA LAND (Justin Hurwitz), THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (John Williams), PASSENGERS (Thomas Newman).

And now, my ten favorites, in alphabetical order...

EVIL DEAD (Roque Baños, 2013)

The finest horror score of the decade, featuring deeply chilling choral and string writing which conjure up a truly hellish and nightmarish atmosphere.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (Howard Shore, 2013)

While the HOBBIT trilogy may not be at the same level of quality as THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Shore’s music for this second installment is just as dense, thematic, and rich as his work for those earlier movies.

INSIDE OUT (Michael Giacchino, 2015)

Possibly Giacchino’s best score to date, featuring two terrific, catchy main themes that beautifully underline the emotional undercurrents of the story.  He also employs some evocative and ethereal instrumentation and orchestration at strategic points.

INTERSTELLAR (Hans Zimmer, 2014)

Potentially Zimmer’s masterpiece.  With piano and organ at the forefront, Zimmer gets directly at the heart of what is Christopher Nolan’s most sentimental film in a powerful way.  The feeling of awe and scale he creates is extremely impressive, too.

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (Daniel Pemberton, 2015)

A delightful homage to jazzy, snazzy espionage scores of the 1960s, Pemberton announced his presence to the film score world with this thoroughly entertaining pastiche.  His influences are clear, but he somehow puts them together in a fresh package.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION (Joe Kraemer, 2015)

In the running for the finest pure action score in many years, Kraemer goes BIG and blows up the classic MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE theme into countless variations.  It’s a score packed with personality, as well, which (unfortunately) is a rarity for action music.

SKYFALL (Thomas Newman, 2012)

Newman fuses together the characteristically big James Bond “sound” with his own skills for exotic texture and moody ambiance, which gives the film a unique flavor that has one foot in the past and another in the present.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (John Williams, 2015)

Williams’ return to the world of STAR WARS is nothing short of a triumph.  It establishes a collection of very strong new themes that sit seamlessly alongside of the roster of his original melodic ideas, and it also delivers the scale that a STAR WARS episode needs.

TRON: LEGACY (Daft Punk, 2010)

Heavily electronic and intensely moody.  While there is a primary theme, this score is much more interested in evoking a particular sort of half-mysterious/half-introspective feeling, which it does very well.

WAR HORSE (John Williams, 2011)

One of the finest scores Williams has ever written, and featuring a handful of superb themes, WAR HORSE is intensely emotional, charting a musical journey from innocence, through hardship, and finally to powerful catharsis.
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I think TRON: LEGACY has the honor of score the decade, but I'd also add these to the conversation:

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS by Bear McCreary
A terrifically fun, accessible, and evocative score for giant monsters smashing the fuck out of each other and everything else. 

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD by Tom Holkenborg
A score as full of energy, tragedy, and frenetic zeal as the film.

MAN OF STEEL by Hans Zimmer
A thoroughly gorgeous score that with a rousing closing track that, IMNSHO, is on the same level as John Williams' iconic theme.

GAME OF THRONES by Ramin Djawadi
I know it's cheating to place a TV score here but it MUST be mentioned. Djawadi scored all eight seasons and never, ever went on autopilot. Each season's score had new surprises and beauties. The sheer achievement of the totality of the score here is breathtaking.
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Scores of the Decade! Excellent choice, Belloq97! Here's mine...

TRON LEGACY (Daft Punk): All I knew of Daft Punk at the time was "Around the World." This score and the quick second punch of Random Access Memories have been in my phone since they were released.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross): Cold and clinical and alternately warm and melodic, this was the synth score that caught me off-guard the most. And everything I've heard from them since has worked almost as well.

MEANWHILE and NED RIFLE (Hal Hartley): I've been a fan of Hartley's since 1990's TRUST, as the man even composes his own original scores. These two are breezy and employ motifs very well. Perfect "happy day" music.

TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN (Angelo Badalamenti, Dean Hurley & David Lynch): The score here is a mix of older tracks from the original series, the FWWM film and newer material made for Season Three and the new stuff meshes wonderfully. Some even heartachingly. And there's plenty of that famous Lynch drone to go around, too.

DRIVE (Cliff Martinez): Old-school cool synth like we hadn't heard in a while. Nocturnal motion music, peppered with 80's styled pop for real human beings and real heroes. And a great companion to ONLY GOD FORGIVES and THE NEON DEMON.

TOMORROWLAND (Michael Giacchino): A score as positive and optimistic as the message of the film it supports. Giacchino is the best of the new school who still appreciates the perfection of the old school. A worth heir to the Williamses and Silvestris of the industry.

LA LA LAND and FIRST MAN: (Justin Hurwitz): The two-release jazz and score to LA LA LAND still feel like something out of time in the best possible sense, and the music to FIRST MAN features the solid precision, awe and sense of adventure needed to hold up the this adventure of space exploration.

KNIGHT OF CUPS (Hanan Townshend): Although his soundtracks for Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE and TO THE WONDER might seem fairly interchangeable with KNIGHT's, KNIGHT is the single one I gravitate to the most for repeated listening. The imagery of the film sticks with the music in the mind and heart that strongly, which - when compared to the glorious imagery in all three films - is no small feat.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (John Williams): Like welcoming home your favorite family and spending time with them by the fire on a cold night. For me, every Williams release is like a National Holiday. (I actually used to take the day off from work to go buy his output on release day, when I had a job with more personal freedom.) Having John back in Star Wars country was beautiful, just like...

READY PLAYER ONE (Alan Silvestri): Sure, his work in the Marvel films was the best in that series by far, easily steamrolling over most of the interchangeable scores of MCU from various guys called Tyler and what have you... But working with Steven Spielberg, channeling not only echoes of William's work (shades of JAWS, 1941 and many others) as well as his own (Zemeckis Cube!) made this one a score to cherish for me. And the Race Sequence music was easily one of the score pieces I've played the most over this decade.

Honorable: THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, WAR HORSE, THE BOOK THIEF, THE B.F.G., THOR, THE AVENGERS, THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, THE WOLVERINE, IRON MAN THREE, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 1 and VOL 2, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, BIRDMAN or THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE, THE MULE, ALIEN: COVENANT, BLADE RUNNER 2049, THE TREE OF LIFE, IT FOLLOWS, UNDER THE SKIN, INTERSTELLAR, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, DREDD, THE MASTER, PREDATORS, SHUTTER ISLAND

And for shits n' giggles, here's my Best of the Decade Soundtrack Collections (songs, not score):
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
THE NICE GUYS
INHERENT VICE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 1 and VOL 2
READY PLAYER ONE
STRANGER THINGS
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN (songs)
AMAZING GRACE
THE IRISHMAN
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(12-07-2019, 07:18 PM)MichaelM Wrote: MAN OF STEEL by Hans Zimmer
A thoroughly gorgeous score that with a rousing closing track that, IMNSHO, is on the same level as John Williams' iconic theme.

GAME OF THRONES by Ramin Djawadi
I know it's cheating to place a TV score here but it MUST be mentioned. Djawadi scored all eight seasons and never, ever went on autopilot. Each season's score had new surprises and beauties. The sheer achievement of the totality of the score here is breathtaking.

MAN OF STEEL is very good, and that closing track is excellent.  A shame we didn't get to hear more of Zimmer in that mode in a sequel.

As for GAME OF THRONES, I think Djawadi's work there is second only to Michael Giacchino's LOST as the best television has had to offer this century so far.

(12-07-2019, 08:03 PM)engineer Wrote: TOMORROWLAND (Michael Giacchino):  A score as positive and optimistic as the message of the film it supports.  Giacchino is the best of the new school who still appreciates the perfection of the old school.  A worth heir to the Williamses and Silvestris of the industry.

Great score.  I love this cue...


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John Powell's three Dragon scores are the highlight of the decade for me. Brilliant use of liet motif and a main theme that is the ear wormiest ear worm written in decades.
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(12-07-2019, 08:18 PM)Belloq87 Wrote:
(12-07-2019, 08:03 PM)engineer Wrote: TOMORROWLAND (Michael Giacchino):  A score as positive and optimistic as the message of the film it supports.  Giacchino is the best of the new school who still appreciates the perfection of the old school.  A worth heir to the Williamses and Silvestris of the industry.

Great score.  I love this cue...



Yep!  That's the standout track for sure!
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(12-07-2019, 08:37 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: John Powell's three Dragon scores are the highlight of the decade for me. Brilliant use of liet motif and a main theme that is the ear wormiest ear worm written in decades.

The brass writing, particularly in the second and third scores, is some of the most swashbuckling stuff since the days of HOOK and CUTTHROAT ISLAND.
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More love for Mica Levi's Under the Skin, the most engaging and evocative non-traditional score I've encountered in years.

And I still maintain that Giacchino tends to be all meat and no bones, but Incredibles 2 was a legit treat. Those retro theme songs were pure gravy.
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INCREDIBLES 2 is a very good sequel score; doesn't cut-and-paste too much (very little, actually) from the first score.
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The Ray Harryhausen Podcast just did an ep on John Barry's rejected score for Clash of the Titans:

https://soundcloud.com/rayharryhausenfou...f8hiJG63Jw
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Nice! I'd always heard his demos for that were lost!

Will listen later today!
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(12-20-2019, 07:31 AM)hammerhead Wrote: The Ray Harryhausen Podcast just did an ep on John Barry's rejected score for Clash of the Titans:

https://soundcloud.com/rayharryhausenfou...f8hiJG63Jw

Got around to this, and it was fascinating. Can definitely hear some Barry hallmarks in there, even in demo form.
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I kinda dig some of Giacchino’s work on Spider-Man Far From Home. Parts of it felt very Bond-esque.





Around 6:25 it really kicks in.

He better bring the A game to Batman
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It's a good score, particularly the Mysterio stuff.
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All right, one score per year:

2010: The Social Network
2011: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2012: Cloud Atlas
2013: The Wind Rises
2014: The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015: Carol
2016: The Handmaiden
2017: The Last Jedi/Phantom Thread
2018: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
2019: ...Hmmm. Parasite? Maybe?
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Sure, I'll play.

2010: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, The Social Network
2011: Cliff Martinez, Drive
2012: Jonny Greenwood, The Master/Paul Leonard-Morgan, Dredd
2013: Arcade Fire, Her
2014: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Gone Girl
2015: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
2016: Jóhan Jóhannsson, Arrival
2017: Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
2018: Terence Blanchard, BlacKkKlansman
2019: Daniel Lopatin, Uncut Gems
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One score per year?

2010 -- TRON: LEGACY (Daft Punk)
2011 -- WAR HORSE (John Williams)
2012 -- SKYFALL (Thomas Newman)
2013 -- EVIL DEAD (Roque Banos)
2014 -- INTERSTELLAR (Hans Zimmer)
2015 -- STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (John Williams)
2016 -- THE WITCH (Mark Korven)
2017 -- STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (John Williams)
2018 -- SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (John Powell, aided by John Williams)
2019 -- STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (John Williams)
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I've been going back to some Jerry Goldsmith scores that I might have slept on in the past, and tonight I turned my attention to THE SECRET OF NIMH, which takes some of the big, majestic choral work from THE FINAL CONFLICT and POLTERGEIST and merges it with an even more mythological (and, ultimately, inspiring) flavor.

From 1:55 onward, this cue is just stellar...


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In honor of Danny Elfman performing at Coachella:

   
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GOOD WILL HUNTING... good score! Though I think Elfman explored that general sound better in subsequent pictures, like A CIVIL ACTION. Even FLUBBER has some of that flavor.
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Spotify added a bunch of Joe Hisaishi scores today. They make for some real good listenin'.

https://open.spotify.com/album/22CabmJSW...0ex3OSEb8A
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Sideways is a pretty good YouTube channel with a bunch of video essays about film music and music in general.  His latest about the music in the Disney live-action remakes is worth a watch.



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I just discovered that channel the other day because of that video and became an immediate subscriber.
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This is the perfect soundtrack for the world we're living in...

Contagion Soundtrack - Cliff Martinez

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...D5E43F6618



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Record Store Day vinyl reissue of Kamen-Sanborn-Clapton's excellent 1987 score...


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Nice!

Now if only the closest record store to me hadn't closed its doors over the winter!
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