Music is a beautiful thing.
It can move people through an entire spectrum of emotion, all within a few seconds.
The soundtrack of any film is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of the whole production. Some might even argue that the soundtrack could also be as important as the narrative itself.
Often, the musical score will accompany the film in such a way that without it, the film would be an entirely different experience, and an entirely different film.
Look at any horrific, terrifying, or suspense-filled scene, and then look at the same scene again, but with the sound switched off. Not quite the same is it?
Of course not. Everyone knows that.
And we know this because just as the sinister strings kick in and our protagonist goes investigate a mysterious noise in the middle of the night, we turn the volume down.
Silence diffuses tension. Silence strips a film of reality.
Since the birth of the “talkies” and the utilisation of motion picture soundtrack, films have produced some of the most beautiful sounds ever to be heard.
Impossible to include them all, here is a list of a few personal favourites in chronological order, that often miss out on top ten spots like these. All of them of the ‘heartbreakingly beautiful’ variety.
1. Jurassic Park (1993) Jurassic Park Theme – John Williams
Magnificent and magical. If this doesn’t make you feel nostalgic, then I don’t think we can be friends anymore.
Also, it is particularly awesome performed live:
2. Titanic (1997) The Portrait – James Horner
It is from the Titanic. That’s all that needs to be said.
3. American Beauty (1999) Any Other Name – Thomas Newman
For some reason, I still remember the first time I heard this track – I was fourteen, in my little attic bedroom, and had just finished watching American Beauty. I downloaded the song and fell in love.
Over and over again, on repeat.
4. Gladiator (2000) Now We Are Free – Hans Zimmer
ALL THE TEARS.
If ever you wanted to cry along to a song, and feel like a Gladiator at the same time, then this is the one for you.
5. Pearl Harbour (2001) Tennessee – Hans Zimmer
This song is better than the entire film.
Okay, not difficult. But still! A joy to listen to and a story in itself.
6. The Island (2005) My Name Is Lincoln – Steve Jablonsky
This is one of my all time favourites. It’s the kind of song that comes onto my iPod, and I instantly start power walking with immense meaning, unknown to me and others around me. Have a listen. Power-walk with me.
7. This Is England (2006) Dietro Casa – Ludovico Einaudi
If ever the opportunity arises to attend a Ludovico Einaudi concert, take it, sweet baby jesus, take itwithout hesitation.
8. Sunshine (2007) Surface of the Sun – John Murphy
If you’ve seen Sunshine, then you’ll understand just how heart breaking this song is.
If you haven’t seen Sunshine, get hold of a copy and watch it as soon as you can.
It’s possibly one of the most underrated Sci-fi films of the ‘nouties’ out there.
9. Inception (2010) Time – Hans Zimmer
The strings. Good god, the strings.
Regardless if you enjoyed the film or not, this track is a beautiful blend of atmospheric drama, and just pure, epic conviction. Have this on your iPod for a guaranteed dose of emotional empowerment in your day.
10. Drive (2011) He Had a Good Time – Cliff Martinez
One of the BEST soundtracks of 2011.
The entire Drive soundtrack was a phenomenal rebirthing of the Electro and Depeche Mode-esque sound into mainstream film.
11. Your Hand In Mine – Friday Night Lights
This one doesn’t quite make the cut, as it’s a track from NBC’s Drama Series Friday Night Lights, however, it is so painfully awesome that I feel the need to share it with the world wide web.