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. Fast-paced action films are nothing without a pulsating movie score to raise the stakes and maintain the momentum throughout the most dramatic sequences. A brilliant example is the powerful 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. To celebrate the release of Sicario 2: Soldado on digital download from 22nd October and on 4K UHD, Steelbook, Blu-Ray™ & DVD from 29th October 2018, we are rounding up the top movies with the most memorable scores that continue to stir the senses time after time.
The Dark Knight
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Sicario 2: SoldadoNow the rest of the team are going to share there personal favourite scores, do you agree, do you have a personal favourite score? Let us know in the comment section below:
Ali Cornwall: Top 3 Scores
Music plays such an important in everyone’s life and in film it just add’s that extra dimension and when you hear one of your favourite scenes you don’t even recognise it or the movie as a whole. So to get the ball rolling here are my top 3 scores in no particular order:
Harry Potter: John Williams
Anyone who knows me will know I am a massive Harry Potter fan, I even put the soundtrack on to go to sleep to sometimes. I think even Cevni will be able to recognise Hedwig’s Theme and Harry’s Wonderous Word but then you add some of the more dramatic themes as well which really set the tone such as The Quidditch Match or The Chess Game for the more intense moments.
Gladiator: Hans Zimmer
The one film that made me cry but is such classic film and soundtrack too. The music in this film manages to truly set the tone of the Roman armies and antics that they are up to. Tracks such as Strength and Honor and Am I Not Merciful really set the tone for what is happening but the one track that gets me every time and I love it is Elysium when he is seeing his family once more at their farm, just breath taking even just listening I can see the scene towards the end of the series.
Blade Runner 2049: Hans Zimmer
Another Has Zimmer pick from me and if I am honest a longer list would see a lot more Zimmer and a lot more Williams too been the two composers who have works on some top iconic pictures. For me Blade Runner 2049 has to get a mention on this list because not only is it a great soundtrack but it’s also the work that Zimmer put into this score that wins it for me. The way he managed to put a Zimmer twist on to the soundtrack but also keep it so true to the original film and the score by Vangelis is pure genius. The low base of the opening sequence is brilliant.
Nick Jones: Top 3 Scores
I have picked my tracks by thinking about the scores that mean something to me and I can listen to the certain track from a film and know exactly what is happening in my head.
Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace: John Williams
Although arguably not the best Star Wars film to date however you can’t fault the soundtrack for this film and most of the Star Wars franchise to be fair. The most iconic track from me is Duel of Fates which I know Ali would have picked if I hadn’t picked it. This is the main battle at the end of the film and listening to the track I can see the whole scene in my head and suites the scene so well.
Matrix Reloaded: Don Davis
Again not the best film out there to pick a score from however Don Davis nails it in this film and the main track that I love and really gets the adrenaline pumping is Mona Lisa Overdrive which I know is another one that is in Ali’s top list too, we sure have a lot in common. The scene from this track is on the highway which was purpose built where there is a car chase and a fight on top of a lorry all at the same time.
Fight Club: Dust Brothers
This is an amazing soundtrack and one of the best out there. I can listen to the whole thing from start to finish and see the whole film in my head and have a smile on my face. I don’t have a particular favourite because the whole soundtrack is amazing in my opinion.
Cevni Moore – Top 3 Scores
Writing about my three favourite scores is a no-brainer:
Inception: Hans Zimmer
Firstly we have INCEPTION composed by Hans Zimmer. For the most part, the pieces written for the soundtrack are quite simple and some parts are based around “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”by Edith Piaf slowed down by three hundred percent because that’s actually a plot device. What makes this whole piece leap from the speakers is how this work is translated and performed. For instance, it was essential to have a twenty two piece brass section for Inception instead of the standard eleven, but even then there’s no trumpets or cornets which are considered the thinner sounds, just the horns and tubas booming so loud it becomes a physical force. There’s a heavy reliance on electronics and the score was composed first that way forcing the orchestra to work harder to re-create the sound and humanise it. For me, the standout track is a Dream Is Collapsing. A waltz into madness that begins very delicately with a simple guitar motif from Johnny Marr of the Smiths that quickly escalates into the most intoxicating cliff face of muscular sound that pummels the listener into submission. I remember seeing the premier of this film and thanks to modern technology, by the time I’d left the cinema, the soundtrack was bought and downloaded to my phone because it had such a powerful effect. To this day it’s still one of my most played albums. Hans Zimmer maintains a huge amount of sonic experimentation that elevate his scores beyond his contemporaries that will slavishly stick with the traditional. This means that he comes in for a lot of flack from the purists and the snobs. So be it. Film music needs to stay fresh and Zimmer is the closest equivalent to the Sex Pistols this world has at the moment and more power to him for that.
Brazil: Michael Kamen
Next up is Michael Kamen’s soundtrack to the Terry Gilliam film BRAZIL. Michael Kamen had a prolific career as a classical instrumentalist and soundtrack composer and by nineteen eighty four he was already at the top of his game and in great demand. He was asked to do the soundtrack and immediately thought of the country, it’s history, sambas and Brazilian instrumentation only to be told that it was actually because Gilliam liked a very kooky, badly played little tune called “Brazil” by Geoff Muldaur. Kamen was mortified, but eventually warmed to the idea after seeing a six hour rough cut of the film. He eventually used elements from that song as the basis for the entire score although transcended that and what he created were breathtaking moments of fragility, victory, lush opulence and then of course, it all comes back to ‘that’ song…
Blade Runner: Vangelis
My last soundtrack is certainly no afterthought. BLADE RUNNER by Greek multi-instrumentalist Vangelis from the prog rock outfit Aphrodite’s Child. It became as big an audio reference for subsequent composers as the visuals would influence movies ever since. There’s an irony that such an influential sounding work was born out of necessity. Vangelis had an instinctive way of working at the time where he’d simply play along to what he was watching live, after all, this was written before the invention of MIDI. The characteristic string sounds and low brass swells were his attempt to recreate an orchestra in his own studio. He would blend the futuristic electronics with traditional organic sounds such as pianos and Dick Morrissey’s mournful saxophone which is a perfect reflection of the ‘old vs. the new’ look of the movie. The choice track has to be the majestic Main Titles. Until this, synthesiser music was always considered cold and inhuman. This work proved it could be more human than human…