Here I go, always provoking debate. Well, really, go on. I thought I’d like to hear about people’s favorite movie scores, because, though a connoisseur of the finer moving picture arts, I know little to nothing about movie scores. So I’m going to list my favorite soundtracks, defend my argument, and generally try and prod some kind of response from your wheezing, pasty corpse.
I love the Saw music because, not only can you use it to make everyday situations eight times more tense (searching for a pen for lectures becomes a pant-wetting trial of nerves with Hello Zepp playing), but it uses an almost ambient sound as percussion. The first film’s aesthetic is very industrial, very bleak, very modern. Using percussion that reflected this allowed the music to sit more comfortably within the film and become simply part of the background noise as opposed to kind of sitting there like a poo on a table.
Go on, put on the Gremlins theme. Do it now. Good. Now tell me you don’t feel gleeful, bouncy; a little arson-friendly. That’s Gremlins summed up in music. The pumping stupidity and gleeful staunchness on the soundtrack captures the movie perfectly. It’s also damn catchy, and I was once serenaded with it by an inebriated friend.
I thought the use of full songs was interesting. It helps that Alex Turner is pretty much the living, breathing embodiment of Indie monarchy, and that the wistful sarcasticness of his pieces fit the film perfectly, but using the entire song allowed the audience to get inside that emotion on a different way. It might be this compulsion I have that brings me to heap praise on whatever Richard Ayoade does, but that’s irrelevant here.
I could have picked any John Williams score, really. It would have been a crime to leave him off any list of best soundtracks. I pick this one simply for the first real swell of the music as the helicopter rises above the island; an example of perfect camerawork and perfect soundtrack combine to make something eye-poppingly striking.
- Streets of Fire
The pumping Jim Steinman beats! One Bad Stud at a strip club! Willem Defoe in a binbag! This film has everything, from a striking pre-Ghostbusters Rick Moranis, to an evil bike gang, to Diane Lane trying to express emotion with those cold, dead, leeching eyes that look like they go to the centre of time themselves and see nothing, see nothing at all. The acting is non-existent or massively over-the-top, the script is howlingly quotable, and it remains today one of my all-time favorite films.Anyway, all this fist-pumping eighties jollity is underlined by a film-saving soundtrack, featuring performances from The Blasters and suchlike, that brings the film to Rock-Opera proportions and makes the whole thing a lot more credible.