Soundtracks and favorite Composers

Favorite film and series soundtracks, and why. How the music moved you and enhanced your viewing experience. The worst music accompaniment you can remember, and what soundtracks you find yourselves listening to on a regular basis.

Your favorite composers and why. Oh, and your favorite GAME soundtracks too; we can’t forget about those… :slight_smile:

Hm, here are some of my favorites - warning, some are really cheesy:

24 Hour Party People
Ave Q
Battlestar Galactica (the drums!)
Dr. Horrible
Eagle vs Shark
Evita (the movie version. And yes, I loves it.)
Inglorious Basterds
Jackie Brown
Reservoir Dogs (you’re sensing a theme here, aren’t you?)
Life on Mars (UK, and kind of an unofficial soundtrack to the tv show)
Merrily We Roll Along (I like musicals, ok? :D)
Scott Pilgrim
Stand By Me ( I’ve loved it ever since I was 6 or 7)

And these are the ones that are on my ipod! There are a lot of good soundtracks out there.

Composers? Well, for tv, recently I’ve been really liking Ludwig Goransson’s work on Community.

Those are huge lists for me.

Off the top of my head?

Composers in chronological order:
John Williams
Nobuo Uematsu
Yoko Kanno
Yuki Kajiura

I fell in love with John Williams’ music not from Star Wars, but Superman. Sitting in the theater when the movie started, then the music builds until you saw that big stylized S. Awesome experience.

Nobuo Uematsu from Final Fantasy 7 and spoilerAeris’ deathspoiler music/scene.

Yoko Kanno… If I were ever to write a screenplay and get it made into an anime, TV show, or movie, she and one other are who I’d want to make music for it unless I could legally pick and choose pieces she already has out. Amazing composer. So diverse. But, I find myself more drawn to her earlier works (Please Save My Earth, Macross Plus, Escaflowne, Brain Powerd [though the series sucked], etc.) than her later works (Cowboy Bebop and her collaboration with the Seat Belts didn’t work for me as much). That seems like a phase as I like her most recent works again though.

Yuki Kajiura… I fell in love with her music from the first BGM that played when .hack Sign aired. She is the other person I’d want to make music for my hypothetical screenplay unless I could legally pick from her already existing pieces. I can instantly tell when she is behind the music of a new movie or series I’m watching. She has a distinct sound mixing orchestral (violin and flute) and contemporary instruments. I love when artist mix those instruments. Unfortunately for me, her music is beginning to sound alike or unoriginal now because she has so much music out and I listen to her so much. ):

I’ll talk about my favorite game (though, I have ODST in my playlist), film, and series (Angel Beats and Macross Frontier vocal tracks are in my playlist) soundtracks in later post.

Edit: I’d be remiss if I left out Joe Hisaishi of Miyazaki/Ghibli fame. Amazing composer. But, I tend to like his work from Spirited Away and before more.

I think it’s be cool to try to track down some kind of composer and talk about the intricacies of writing music that sounds cinematic, like the stuff from Tron Legacy that just screams “Movie score!” – and when you do/don’t want to take that approach.

Armando, want to take that one?

Ok, this will be a short but compressed list in no .

John Williams
His orchestral score did get life into the Star Wars movies and is the central force to drive your emotions in nearly all the scenes.

Ennio Morricone
I have to confess I’ve seen only a few of the Movies he scored (mostly Bud Spencer & Terence Hill). But listening to some tracks of his work, even though I’m oblivious to their context to the scenes, some still give me goosebumps whilst others make me wanna dance to them.


Howard Shore
In the same vain as John Williams, his soundtrack for the LotR Trilogy enhanced them so much more. Big battle themes, quiet emotional tracks as well as character themes alike made me all the more emotionally connected to the story with its characters.

Brear McCreary
Yeah, we know so much of his work from BSG and it brought an unique introduction of exotic instruments that we never have and maybe never will hear on the screen from another composer. Although Bear’s following TV gigs sadly proved short-lived, he was the very last to blame for their cancellation. I especially loved his work on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles like this piece:


Michael Giacchino
He has done such a magnificent job on Movies like Ratatouille or The Incredibles, but he will be always in my musical heart for the TV shows Alias and especially LOST which he composed over the last years. LOST would IMO only be a half critically (well I believe more Fan critically) acclaimed series without his outstanding job. Every season his score made LOST all the more an emotional journey for me and I just hope that he can do the same in the future.

I don’t know how you feel without having seen the series. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Ohh, I think I’ve gotta cry again listening to this.

Some great ones already, I’d like to add a couple and include at least one representative song in YouTubes format:

The Wrath of Khan by James Horner. Battle in the Mutara Nebula, Clearing All Moorings, A Big Surprise… these and more are fantastic pieces. I’ve done a lot of coding to these, very motivational.


From Bear McCrary, I didn’t see Storming New Caprica listed, that is a wickedly fantastawesomeic piece. Note: Do not listen in a car that is not solidly built, you may damage your steering column with enthusiastic drumming.


Another Star Trek score that doesn’t get enough recognition is ‘Star Trek VI:The Undiscovered Country’ by Clif Eidelmann.


‘The Mission’ by Ennio Morricone


‘1492’ by Vangelis, specifically ‘Conquest of Paradise’.


You all make me mad that I didn’t include youtube clips in my post. I thought about it, but my post was already running long. d:

His style is very distinctive! When I was listening to this, I was thinking it would fit absolutely perfectly in Caprica. I actually didn’t see the composer when I hit play, I had assumed it was going to be a Michael Gianchinno track because I saw his name right below, so I was boggling at how ‘McCrearyish’ it sounded. :smiley: :smiley:

Speaking of Michael G, his ‘Enterprising Young Men’ track on the new Star Trek score is amazing. The western feel it captures is so spot on to the mood of the original Star Trek series (Wagon Trail to the Stars) that it feels like a better fit than Alexander Courage’s track for a real paint-scraping reboot.


Spot on, A+++ would listen again.

How is the Terminator soundtrack? Does it cover both seasons, or just the 1st one? I need the piano music from the shower scene where they infiltrate the nuc-ular plant.

Well, I’m remedying this. Because I don’t want to quote my wall of text, my original post is at:

John Williams:


I couldn’t find an English one that wasn’t a Donner 2006 cut. The Donner version is nice, but it’s not what got me into John Williams.

Nobuo Uematsu:


And confused gamers raged/cried all over the world…

Yuki Kajiura:
For this next video, skip the intro titles and fastfoward to 1:36.


Skip the intro titles and fastfoward to 1:36. It ends at 6:40. That song let me know I was in for a unique musical ride. I know I must have replayed that scene a few times just to hear the music.


Skip the intro titles and fastfoward to 1:38. Another strong musical opening by Yuki Kajiura.

Yoko Kanno:
I had to save Yoko Kanno for last because she has so much good stuff and she’s diverse. I can’t sum her up musically with one or two pieces. Fortunately, youtube solved my problem for me.

Do not skip ahead. The episode starts without an intro credit song.


This was my introduction to Yoko Kanno. But, the opening piece is subtle (as it should be) and I didn’t notice I liked the music until well into the episode.



From Escaflowne. First video is a BGM piece. Second is the opening to the series performed by Maaya Sakamoto. Yes, Escaflowne is one of the few anime series where the composer worked on the opening and BGMs. d:

Ever heard one of those songs that was just too short for it’s own good?


Vocals are by Shanti Snyder. I wore out the replay button on this Kanno song. Much like I’m doing now.

Yoko Kanno/Gabriela Robin

Sorry to add to this long post, but I’d be remiss if I left out Yoko Kanno’s alter ego, Gabriela Robin. It was a long time before Kanno admitted (at least musically) that she is Gabriela Robin.



Celiane is a piece that plays in Sousei no Aquarion at the end of an episode after an eventful…err event. d: Moon is a signature piece from Turn-A Gundam. She sang this live at a concert after years of not admitting (not necessarily lying or denying, but deflecting) that she was Gabriela Robin.

Edit: Put in another vid for Celiane. Youtube took the other one down.

You know the story behind that score, right?

Nicholas Meyer wanted to use Holst’s ‘The Planets’ but the licensing fees was too large a price. So, Meyer hired an unknown to do the job.

Listen and you’ll hear the similarities between the main theme and Mars, Bringer of War.


Sorry! :wink:
Just wanted to drive my points stronger home with the audio support. :slight_smile:

Funny! Yeah, you can really pick up it when it is a Bear McCreary soundtrack. Although Eureka sounds a lot different from what I’m used to from him.

The soundtrack is well made, although I only really enjoy 6 out of the 22 tracks and it sadly covers up mostly of Season 1 and a few tracks until episode 2x02 “Automatic for the People”. In which episode is the scene you’re talking about?

Topping my list of suggestions, the already mentioned Ennio Morricone.
Though remembered mostly for his spaghetti westerns scores, he is incredibly versatile. I love his scores for The Untouchables, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission and especially Cinema Paradiso.
Of GWC note, he also worked on episodes of Space 1999.

Of course, like everyone else I have a soft spot for John Williams. Beyond the obvious, I loved his Amazing Stories theme, his bouncy Nantucket sleigh ride bit in Jaws foreshadowing his Eastwick stuff, 1941, and Schindler’s List.
Of more GWC note, when he was young, he went by Johnny Williams, and created (both versions of) the Lost in Space theme, as well as working on Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants.

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Danny Elfman yet. From Batman & Spiderman, The Simpsons, Darkman, Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks!, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, to his Oingo Boingo stuff, his geek cred is off the charts.

Lastly, I gotta mention the haunting works of Angelo Badalamenti, most notably his textural collaborations with David Lynch such as Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet, and also The Straight Story. I also love his City of Lost Children score.

There. That’s my 4 cents.

4 and a half: Check out the original Godzilla soundtracks. They rock!

It’s a great idea,

I think movie scores and soundtracks are the best way to discover music,

A few of note
Soundtrack to the movie wicker park… a good movie but a great soundtrack.

Garden state yeah make fun of me but I liked it, it really did speak to me in how it feels to come home after a long time away. And music was great.

Now to scores gattica of course it gattica haunting powerful and full of life and longing…

The sweet hearafter, a great score great movie and even suprising vocals from Sara Polly.

Black snake moan, a tragicaly under appreciated movie but the blues in that movie are top shelf, and Sam Jackson can even pull off what was needed, his version of stack o lee is still my favourite.

I have more but I have to go to hospital for an visit…

We all know Bear McCreary’s work, and we all know he should get a nod in any soundtrack arc, so I’ll pass him over for the purposes of this suggestion thread. He is #1 on the list for his topicality already.

I’ve recently been trying to expand my musical tastes to appreciate more non-pop tastes, specifically classical music. The bridge to it is simple, because there is so much good music in film and games that is similar and enjoyable. So here are some of my favorite pieces:


Chrono Cross is my favorite game of all time in a way no game can match. I think Mass Effect 2 is probbli’ably better, but CC has that place lodged in my heart, and Yasunori Mitsuda’s brilliant work is a cornerstone of the game, both aesthetically and weaved into the story itself.


Hayao Miyazaki is great, but Joe Hisaishi is a big part of the magic of Studio Ghibli’s works. Capable of stirring action music, quirky mood music, and sweeping majesty, Hisaishi is a true giant.


Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori, of course.

And of course tons more. Zimmer, Howard, Shore, Williams, Giacchino, Yoko Kanno, and many more are keeping the art of popular classical music alive today.

I would love a soundtrack arc. Some of the greatest films and TV shows are pushed over the top by grear music.

Here are a few of the more notable composers and/or musical groups I adore-

John Williams- Mostly because of his sheer versatility, he can do anything from Sf and Superheroes, to drama (Shindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) to comedy (Home Alone, 1941, The Great Race, The Witches of Eastwick) to action drama/ horror (Jaws,Guns of Naverone) and even video games (the LEGO series) and the Olympics!:eek:

James Horner- Sure some of his stuff sounds alike… (Khan’s theme/ Aliens, Glory/Avatar) But I still enjoy his work.

Bear McCreary and Howard Shore of course.

Kerry Muzzey- He specializes in trailers for movies that do not have a soundtrack yet, very underrated.

Steve Jablovsky- Transformers films, Steamboy.

John Barry- Most noteably for two of my favorite soundtracks, Dances with Wolves and Somewhere in Time, but he has quite a resume.

John Carpenter- Wrote a number of his own soundtracks, has a very interesting minimalist style. I like a number of his soundtracks.

Hans Zimmer- The DaVinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, The Dark Knight. Good stuff.

Brian Tyler- AVP, War, among others. I am enjoying his work.

Joe Hisaishi, Yokko Kanno, Nobuo Uematsu, among others I am discovering from across the Pacific.

Ramin Djawadi- Iron Man, I was soooo disappointed they did not use him again for the sequel. Love that soundtrack!

Juno Reactor and Don Davis- Both amazing electronica composers, worked together on the Matrix sequels. Check their stuff out of you enjoy that kind of stuff. Juno Reactor also did some work for Mortal Kombat and The Animatrix, as well as doing some music with Traci Lords which I strangely enjoy, and also wound up in Virtuosity.

Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, big in the 70’s. Tangerine Dream did a number of Movie and TV soundtracks, including Street Hawk, Legend, Near Dark, The Keep, and Risky Business. Vangelis of course did Bladerunner among other impressive works.

I like the work of Cornerstone Cues, E.S. Posthumous, Immediate (see the Spiderman 2 trailer), and Clannad (Legend, Robin of Sherwood, Harry’s Game).

And Nox Arcana and Dark Sanctuary are good for background music while Role Playing.

Soundtracks were a big part of my life as a child, VCR’s did not exist yet and so the only way to relive a moment from a movie was to listen to the music and close my eyes. And as I became an avid Roleplayer and Dungeonmaster music was a huge part of ‘setting the mood’.


Immediate’s ‘Lacrimosa Dominae’ starts building as soon as Doc Oc appears in the trailer (1:11), and really cuts lose during the action scenes, enjoy! :slight_smile:

Juno Reactor is great. My wife and I chose ‘Pistolero’ as our ‘first dance’ song during our wedding reception.

“I hate robbing banks… PEW PEW PEW PEW!”

If you’re a fan of Ramin Djawadi, he will be scoring HBO’s Game of Thrones. Two months out, now.

Goddamn! (*7)