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The Composers, Scores, and the Chewers Who Love Them Thread

post #1 of 1226
Thread Starter 
I almost started this yesterday, and Charlie read my mind, so here it is. The place to discuss film scores new and old, composers, just about anything. We've had some nice discussions spread over several threads and forums, but with all due respect to Moltisanti and Desslar, if a thread about Van Damme and Lundgren can go 13 pages, I think we deserve a one stop place to discuss the great music of the movies.

If you're willing, and I now know there are a ton of film score fanatics around here, post it all here.
post #2 of 1226
I'm probably going to get my arse kicked for stating this but I really love some of the contemporary asian scores which have come out recently.

Kenji Kawai's work on Ghost in the Shell and Seven Swords is pretty incredible, and the electronica/orchestrated score for Oldboy, and Baroque OST for Lady Vengenace are wonderfully well done.
post #3 of 1226
Thread Starter 
I'm certainly not going to kick your ass, "Oldboy" was a really nice score, thanks for it btw. I'm still catching some of those others, but I think the music in a lot of foreign films period has gotten pretty great. I'm bad on names, but loved "Tae Guk Gi", and of course Tan Dun did masterful work on "Crouching Toger, Hidden Dragon".
post #4 of 1226
I'm obsessed with Elliot Goldenthal... I just love his over the top, industrial-esque scores.

I just started getting into Jerry Goldsmith. I've always loved his music, but never seperated him from the movies he scored until now. The best film composer in history IMO.

John Williams has kind of dropped down the list for me. Star Wars will forever freeze him in fanboy carbonite, but other than that (and the Jaws and Indy scores) he's been pretty generic to me. He's talented for sure, but he's like the Pepsi of film composers. Safe syrup.

Let's see... Jon Brion is very cool. But I wish he'd do more standard orchestral scores like Magnolia. Brilliant work.

What happened to Danny Elfman?
post #5 of 1226
Asia has some great music coming out of it. Joe Hisiashi is an incredible composer. His work on Kitano movies is amazing. OLDBOY always deserves a mention, as does INFERNAL AFFAIRS, which has a very good score.
post #6 of 1226
I've already done a thread about it, but I really digged Kitano's stop gap solution for Zatoichi. That he hired Keiichi Suzuki because he couldn't afford Hisiashi and still managed to get a score that works so well with the film is quite impressive. That Suzuki's score probably elevates the movie is downright astounding.
post #7 of 1226
I'm probably the biggest Williams defender when it comes to this board, but I don't agree he's generic at all. If he sounds generic, it's because of what he created in the first place and the people who have followed him, and sure he hasn't deviated much, but he has done some pretty different scores (A.I. for one).

Goldsmith is awesome, although I think it's hard to say who the best composer is. Goldsmith has an amazing catalogue, Williams is the king of themes, but you have people like Steiner, Korngold, Waxman, those guys who were kicking ass when those guys were in diapers. Not to mention people like Elmer Bernstein.
post #8 of 1226
Charlie, my problem with Williams isn't that he's generic. It's that he's bombastic. And while I don't hate the guy, I think there are far more versatile and interesting composers working today.
post #9 of 1226
He's certainly bombastic with some of his scores, but for me, he's just as able to take on a small and intimate score as opposed to a huge orchestra piece and do it well. He's definitely got very good competition nowadays, and the days are long gone when it was just him and Goldsmith at the top, but I still think he kind of gets a bum rap from people.

As other guys go, Mark Isham is a big favourite of mine, who seems to never get any kind of limelight whatsoever.
post #10 of 1226
Yoko Kanno is a musical goddess. This is indisputable fact. I've never heard a composer, from any hemisphere, play around with so many styles, and be great at them all. Nowhere was that more prevalent than Cowboy Bebop, where the skizophrenic musical influences gave her room to go completely nuts with whatever genre she felt like from straightforward rock, to the Morricone-tribute in the episode with the Space Cowboy/Samurai. The show fits her like a glove (to the point that they even modeled a main character around her.), and even the shittiest of anime benefits from her presence.
post #11 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
I'm probably the biggest Williams defender when it comes to this board, but I don't agree he's generic at all. If he sounds generic, it's because of what he created in the first place and the people who have followed him, and sure he hasn't deviated much, but he has done some pretty different scores (A.I. for one).
Yeah, I think Williams gets quite unfairly pigeonholed as "generic". I hear the "Well, he writes a good brassy theme but" and sort of talk down his ability to write a memorable theme.

But "Catch Me If You Can", "Presumed Innocent", "A.I", hell, "Minority Report" is not his usual fare, "Sleepers", and especially some of his older stuff like "Missouri Breaks", the man has done it all. He's had different sounds and scored virtually every genre. To do all that and still be able to crank out such diverse scores as "Memoirs As a Geisha", "Munich", and "Revenge of the Sith" in the same year? That's the master as far as I'm concerned.
post #12 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow
Yoko Kanno is a musical goddess. This is indisputable fact. I've never heard a composer, from any hemisphere, play around with so many styles, and be great at them all. Nowhere was that more prevalent than Cowboy Bebop, where the skizophrenic musical influences gave her room to go completely nuts with whatever genre she felt like from straightforward rock, to the Morricone-tribute in the episode with the Space Cowboy/Samurai. The show fits her like a glove (to the point that they even modeled a main character around her.), and even the shittiest of anime benefits from her presence.
Yeah, she is one talented person. I just found that she let herself be limited at times too. Kawai tends to cut loose no matter what, where at times you can really sense that Kanno doesn't give a shit. Her reworking of Madame Butterfly for Memories was brilliant though and her GITS: Stand Alone Complex score was pretty nifty. She seems happier when she can get away with using western music in her scores.
post #13 of 1226
All I know is that any discussion about film scores without a mention for Tangerine Dream is a discussion not worth having.
post #14 of 1226
Are they the electronica band who did the Master of the Flying Guillotine score?
post #15 of 1226
They're the band who consigned one of Jerry Goldsmith's best scores to never be heard theatrically in the US (LEGEND).

They're good, but I wouldn't say they're amazing. The RISKY BUSINESS score is good, but again, not something I'm interested in owning.

Speaking of Ridley Scott, when are we going to get a proper BLADE RUNNER release? Next year?
post #16 of 1226
Of the score or the movie? 'cos there was a DVD announcement a few weeks back, and I have a pretty good official soundtrack on CD.

Anyone know who did the A Bittersweet Life OST. I love it to bits, but my lack of Korean language skills means I can't figure out the composer.
post #17 of 1226
The music. The official CD has lots of music missing, different orchestrations of cues, and movie dialogue, which I can't stand on albums unless it's on individual tracks.
post #18 of 1226
The people who think Williams only writes big brassy themes remind me of the people who think his Jaws score is nothing but the "da-dum" over and over again. For every Superman March or Imperial March, there's a Love Theme or Yoda's Theme.

And maybe there's a preponderance of loud action cues in his repertoire because he's scored some of the most famous action-adventure films of all time?
post #19 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
Are they the electronica band who did the Master of the Flying Guillotine score?

They were responsible for soundtracks for Legend, Fright Night, Vision Quest, Near Dark, Firestarter, etc. Really trippy stuff. Not great. Just trippy.
post #20 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
The music. The official CD has lots of music missing, different orchestrations of cues, and movie dialogue, which I can't stand on albums unless it's on individual tracks.
Yeah the monolouge on the first track is a complete pain in the arse. I remember doing a presentation on Blade Runner and having to edit the soundtrack just to use it as backing music.
post #21 of 1226
There are a few bootlegs available, mostly from Eastern Europe, and Vangelis did a private low-run printing a few years ago, but they're pretty hard to get, and I've had no luck tracking any down thus far.
post #22 of 1226
I just used Reason and did a rough edit..
post #23 of 1226
I really can't stand Tangerine Dream. Their scores date some really great movies so much it's grating.

Bernard Hermann's a fairly obvious choice, but with good reason; his influence can be heard in almost every composer's work.

A more current choice for me would be Mark Mothersbaugh, simply because his scores fit Wes Anderson's movies so perfectly.

I was actually quite surprised at how dissonant and experimental the War of The Worlds score was, quite different to what you would normally associate with John Williams.
post #24 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex B
A more current choice for me would be Mark Mothersbaugh, simply because his scores fit Wes Anderson's movies so perfectly.
Agreed, his Life Aquatic stuff was superb, if a little overshadowed by Seu Jorge.

What's the policy on music downloads here, cos I was thinking it might be cool just to put a few tracks in now and then to demonstrate what people think works.
post #25 of 1226
Good idea. No one complained about the 500 thread.
post #26 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex B
A more current choice for me would be Mark Mothersbaugh, simply because his scores fit Wes Anderson's movies so perfectly.
Definitely. The Ping Bay Rescue track is a great piece of music.
post #27 of 1226
http://raiftel.multiply.com/music/item/191

Some tracks from the Bittersweet Life soundtrack. I just really digged the vibe that the OST gave off, kinda laid back and melancholic with an almost spaghetti western kind of vibe at times.
post #28 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden

Speaking of Ridley Scott, when are we going to get a proper BLADE RUNNER release? Next year?

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa121.html#brse
post #29 of 1226
Soundtrack, duder.
post #30 of 1226
I thought it was already out.
post #31 of 1226
Did you actually read any of the last ten posts?
post #32 of 1226
I rewatched Hitchcock's "Family Plot" this last week and was surprised to learn, at the final credits, that the score was done by John Williams. It didn't sound like his usual fare.
post #33 of 1226
A bit off course but I think Akira Yamaoka's score for the Silent Hill games, and subsequent movie was a thing of beauty. He is undoubtedly more confident with guitars than anything else but some of his piano and electronica based stuff in later games is truly outstanding.

Samples - http://raiftel.multiply.com/music/item/196
post #34 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by temos
Of all the scores Michael Kamen did, I thought that perhaps his most underrappreciated and my personal favourite was Highlander, esepcially the main Highlander theme.
I was a bit disappointed with Kamen's score for "X-Men", but compared to the indiscriminant noise that Powell's score at times devolves into, I appreciate the oddity of it more now. "Logan and Rogue" is a nice piece, as is "Mutant School", and though brief, I liked the little X-Theme.
post #35 of 1226
Kamen's score reminds me of BATMAN BEGINS, very good incidental music, but not really that great in the actual film. My favourite Kamen score is THE IRON GIANT though.
post #36 of 1226
I think the big question now is who will pick up the mantle to become the next generation's Williams or Goldsmith. I'm leaving out Horner, Zimmer and Thomas Newman because they are established veterans. I guess they'd be tweeners.

I like John Powell a lot but he's chosen a limited range of projects so far.

Marco Beltrami has shown a technical expertise similar to his old teacher, Jerry Goldsmith, but so far not the unerring ear for what will serve the narrative both musically and dramatically.

Brian Tyler is also technically competent (I thought THE HUNTED was an underrated gem of a score) but he's been saddled with overbearing temp tracks lately.

Elliot Goldenthal doesn't work in film enough, and neither does Mychael Danna.

I agree with Charlie that Mark Isham is largely underrated, but he's at his best with smaller ensemble pieces.

Someone who's really come into his own in the last few years is James Newton Howard, but it's worrisome to me that he'd score duds like RV or DREAMCATCHER. Still, I'm looking forward to LADY IN THE WATER.

One composer I've been keeping an eye on is Alexandre Desplat, who's demonstrated a keen sense of drama in varied projects. He's also classically trained, which is one facet that's severely lacking in a lot of up and coming composers. That's certainly not a necessity in writing good scores, but it almost always makes for more interesting and engaging work.

What other young composers are you guys into?
post #37 of 1226
I think SUPERMAN RETURNS will point the way to see if Ottman really is the real deal (although, judging from X2 and the soundtrack.net snippets, he's definitely on his way.)
post #38 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
Kamen's score reminds me of BATMAN BEGINS, very good incidental music, but not really that great in the actual film. My favourite Kamen score is THE IRON GIANT though.
And interestingly enough, they both are toned way down in their films' sound mixes. Singer didn't really like Kamen's score IIRC, due to the story at the time being that Kamen sort of poked fun and trashed the film to the orchestra during the scoring session, unaware that Singer had arrived to listen in. I can't help but think that it's no coincidence that at every point the music should be pumped up, it's not.

I'm a little more confused by "Batman Begins" which amps up certain parts but then keeps it low at both points where the main theme "Molossus" should be pounding away.
post #39 of 1226
I'm a pretty big fan of Howard Shore, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams.

I don't really know if I can articulate why, but I just love nearly everything I have ever heard from these guys.
post #40 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
I think SUPERMAN RETURNS will point the way to see if Ottman really is the real deal.
You know, I actually think it will make that determination more difficult because such a huge chunk of the score rests on Williams' shoulders. I've heard Ottman's reorchestrations of some of Williams' original materail and it's quite good, but it's still Williams' original material.

Part of me wishes Ottman would stick to either editing or composing. I think he's a gifted composer and would benefit from having that much more time to write.
post #41 of 1226
That's true, I just think seeing how he fills in the gaps for such a huge movie might help. I guess it depends just how much is used.
post #42 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt45
What happened to Danny Elfman?
He played the same four notes enough times that even folks at a 3rd run, hicktown drive-in could tell his music was all the same.
post #43 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero
Brian Tyler is also technically competent (I thought THE HUNTED was an underrated gem of a score) but he's been saddled with overbearing temp tracks lately.
Speaking of Tyler, the Children of Dune soundtrack is nothing short of amazing, making the serie better than it really was.

Nice call on Yoko Kanno.

I'm kinda partial to Hans Zimmer. The Thin Red Line and Gladiator have some impressive tracks on them.
post #44 of 1226
Zimmer's score for 'The Rock' is one of my personal favorites. Great balls-to-the-wall action music.
post #45 of 1226
What do you guys say of Carter Burwell? He's done some very versatile work over the years. Love his Coen scores, especially in Miller's Crossing and some stuff in Being John Malkovich is beautiful. And then he does a score like he did for Three Kings - totally different in style and attitude than anything he has done before.
post #46 of 1226
Patrick Doyle is another underrated composer. Yeah, he scored Goblet of Fire, but after his scores for Henry V and Dead Again, I thought he'd be bigger. His Henry score in particular does a nice job of sounding period without alienating a modern audience, and Dead Again has a nice lush noir sound to it.
post #47 of 1226
Any love for Terence Blanchard? I think its 25th HOUR score is beautiful and haunting.
post #48 of 1226
OK, here goes.

I'll second John Debney for The Passion and Patrick Doyle for Henry V, that "Non Nobis Domine" scene just makes me tingle in a wonderful way.

Brian Tyler's stuff in Six String Samurai and Bubba Ho-Tep (love the walk down the hallway).

James Newton Howard's Atlantis and Shyamalan scores, particularly Signs which I think takes great classic cues and does some very cool stuff with them. Looking at his IMDB page I see he did both Sixth Sense and Stir of Echoes, that's kind of funny.

But my man has always been James Horner: Wrath of Khan, Aliens, Willow, Glory, Field of Dreams, Sneakers (which is great), Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, and last but CERTAINLY not least, Commando. Of course, writing "My Heart Will Go On" might just wipe everything good off the table.
post #49 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Bodhisattva
Of course, writing "My Heart Will Go On" might just wipe everything good off the table.
Say what you want about Celine Dion and the lyrics, but that's a rock-solid melody.
post #50 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
Say what you want about Celine Dion and the lyrics, but that's a rock-solid melody.
I do like the Titanic score but Celine Dion is just a dealbreaker for me.
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