We can’t deny that the soundtrack is an integral part of each film, and some soundtracks are just as memorable as the films. When we look back on a movie or a franchise, more often or not, captivating music comes to mind that perfectly sums up a pivotal scene in the movie.
Also, some musical scores continue to live on as part of popular culture – think of James Bond’s opening sequence or the iconic Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Bernard Herrmann’s terrifying score of Psycho. So, without further ado, here’s our line-up of the best movie soundtracks.
Casino Royale is one of the best-known films in the James Bond franchise. It marks the beginning of Daniel Craig’s James Bond performance, and it is beautifully shot with an amazing soundtrack. The plot revolves around a secret mission to capture Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), who is a notorious mobster that finances terrorist organizations. James Bond needs to stop Le Chiffre in Casino Royle from winning a high-stakes poker game which he uses as a scheme to raise money.
The soundtrack is nothing short of noteworthy, and actually, ‘You Know My Name,’ which was the theme song of Casino Royale, was nominated for a Grammy. It won the World Soundtrack Award. Also, the famous James Bond Theme builds throughout the film and ends in the credits.
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Black Hawk Down
Everyone today has heard the name Hans Zimmer who has become an award-winning composer that worked on a blockbuster of epic dimensions. However, his musical score for the Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down stands out from his body of work.
He relied on ethnic instrumentation and traditional east African vocals combined with Western sounds to create the vastly different sides of one war as the film depicts the civil war in Somalia in 1993 and the 160 elite U.S. soldiers who were dropped into Mogadishu with a sole mission of capturing lieutenants of a Somali warlord.
Psycho is a legendary film by Alfred Hitchcock. Its soundtrack is just as memorable, composed by Bernard Herrmann. But, what a lot of people don’t know is that budgetary constraints were the main reason why the soundtrack is unique to the film. Namely, the movie was produced on a shoe-string budget, and Bernard Herrmann decided to employ only a string orchestra than a full orchestra due to the extra expenses.
The limitations actually proved to be inspiring, and he was able to create a memorable ostinato-driven sound that is mainly associated with the terrifying shower scene and the all-strings piece “The Murder”.
The plot is based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. Mary Crane arrives at the Bates Motel after she has stolen $40,000 from her employer. The money she has stolen was, in part, necessary for her boyfriend Sam Loomis to pay off his debt and for them finally to get married. But, there, she meets Norman Bates, a lonely man who invites her to dinner, and her life is changed forever.
Harry Potter is one of the most successful blockbusters on a global scale. The franchise is based on the children’s books by J.K Rowling and was by all accounts an unlikely contender for the worldwide success that followed the first release in 1991. The musical score is also beautiful and perfectly translates the outwardly magical atmosphere of the films and characters’ storylines. Actually, the soundtrack was nominated for 74th Academy Awards.
Although there are many memorable musical themes and even contemporary music by bands like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, it is safe to say that Hedwig’s theme by John Williams is associated with the first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone became synonymous with Harry Potter. The reason why the simple tune became so iconic was the use of Celesta samples.