Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Chew the Fat: Spectacular Film Soundracks!
Redartz: We all love a good movie. We all love good music. So it only seems logical that we'd all love a good movie soundtrack.
I certainly do; and the past week has put a couple of them onto my radar. I recently acquired the soundtrack cd of John Williams' "Jurassic Park", and was gifted the lp of Prince' "Purple Rain" (which certainly qualifies, as it was all film music). Both are favorites of mine.
John Williams, of course, has many film scores on his lengthy resume. Quite likely some of them will be named as favorites among you all. But of all his works, my personal picks are "Jaws" and "Jurassic Park"; largely for the same reason. In both cases the musical score melds so effectively with the action onscreen that they are practically inseparable. Everyone recognizes the classic intro to "Jaws", just a few of those low notes will bring to mind the impending doom of that young swimmer. Well, William's work on JP is equally evocative.
As for Prince: his talent needs no explanation from this unworthy one. But "Purple Rain" worked so beautifully as a whole; it seemed like a music video in full movie form. And each song was ...perfect. One of the best , if not the best, musical films of the 80's. And it still sounds excellent today.
I could go on, and probably will as the conversation gets going. I will just mention one more, one less familiar to many than the two discussed above. Mike Oldfield did the soundtrack for the film "The Killing Fields". Most folks will recognize him from "The Exorcist", which utilized his composition "Tubular Bells". The music he created for "Fields" is remarkable. Wide ranging in approach, from powerful symphonic elements to delicate pan flute to bizarre electronica, it stunned me upon my first viewing of the film. So much so that I went immediately out to the record store and picked up the soundtrack lp. Which is saying something; a movie ticket and a record album cost a good bit of money to a humble art student at the time.
Okay, you know where this is all leading to. What film scores gave you the shivers? Which stand out and which are essentially forgettable? Which composers did/do you favor? What soundtracks really 'made' the movie, and which ones nearly sank it? The curtains are rising and the orchestra is warming up; have at it!