Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Scores of Scores

I watched the Academy Awards this past Sunday, and all too often I found myself saying aloud “Wow, that’s a really pretty women to wear such an ugly dress?” Seemed to happen a lot. I just don’t get “fashion”. Anyway, one of my favorite categories is “Best Original Score”. This year, the winner was the score from “Up” by Michael Giacchino. Well done.

I love movie scores. To clarify the difference between scores and soundtracks; soundtracks have songs with words, scores generally do not. Most people appreciate scores weather they realize it or not. If you’ve ever seen any behind the scenes stuff on movies being made and seen epic scenes without the score attached to it, everything is lost. Well, maybe not everything, but a great deal. The score ties everything together in a solid and emotive way.

The American Film Institute has a list of the top 25 scores of all time. It’s a good list to be sure, but like so many films on any of AFI’s lists, they’re mostly from movies that a lot of people have never seen. Well, at least a lot of people around my age (give or take a decade) have never seen.

Here then, are two lists I am offering for consideration. I’m going to pick what I think are the ten best overall scores from any movie I can think of, and I’m also going to pick what I would consider to be some of the most recognizable pieces of music from a movie score.

10. The Power of One by Hans Zimmer. This is one of the rare cases where there are some words in the score.
9. Driving Miss Daisy by Hans Zimmer.
8. Jurassic Park by John Williams.
7. E.T. by John Williams.
6. Star Trek by Michael Giacchino. Glad he won for “Up” this year, because he sure got snubbed with Start Trek not at least getting nominated.
5 Indiana Jones by John Williams.
4. Jaws by John Williams. He just owns this category, doesn’t he?
3. Schindler’s List by John Williams and Itzhak Perlman. John, just stop it already.
2. Star Wars by John Williams…yes, again.
1. Titanic by James Horner. This movie is a little over two hours long, and there is wonderful orchestral music playing the entire time.

My wife will disagree with me. She’ll insist that Star Wars should be in the top spot, but she’s somewhat biased. But for quality and duration, I just don’t think you can beat Titanic.

The best individual pieces of music, on the other hand, may or may not be on the list of best scores. What I was going with here are the single most emotive pieces of music that I can recall ever having seen in a movie. It’s the piece of music that makes your eyes widen as you watch the movie.

5. The Launch from Armageddon by Trevor Rabin. This might be one of my favorite pieces of music from anything, ever.
4. Arrival to Earth from Transformers by Steve Jablonski. Very impressive.
3.The Imperial March from Star Wars by John Williams. This was a close call with the Star Wars theme. But you only really hear the theme at the beginning and the end. You hear the Imperial March throughout the movies, and it’s always kind of chilling. You know that shiny guy with the funny powers and James Earl Jones’ voice is coming.
2. Leaving Southampton from Titanic by James Horner. It’s just beautiful.
1. The theme to Jaws by John Williams. I don’t care if you’ve never seen the movie. I don’t care if you’re sitting in an inflatable wading pool in the backyard of your suburban house in the Midwest, nowhere near a body of water. You hear that music, you will hop yourself right out of the water…Guaranteed.


Blogger Katrina Clement said...

Yep, you are right. Star Wars should be #1 followed by Indiana Jones.

10:54 AM  

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