Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Purely Because of a Movie – Songs on My iPod Part 4


Continuing my summer of 2014 series, which was begun right here and chronicled my history with said device, examining the music that ended up on my iPod byway of the films that featured it on their soundtracks. An inventory, as it were, and one I continue to add to. Especially since I press on with my movies-watching and music-listening.

New song and those of a more vintage variety, even years after the initial screening, which still got there purely because of a movie. As alluded in another series, the convergence of the music and film arts is one I’ve spent much time toward. I’ll attempt to break these songs up into the categories most fit into, at least for my bizarre thinking, purely to make it more manageable in presentation. Fewest to most.


Not to be confused with a Theme Song Instrumental, which we’ll eventually get to. The following are the pieces performed solely by instruments. Not sung, but which can be part of the composer’s original score, or the needle-dropped variety from other sources. All are used to dramatic effect, they ring out across specific scenes or sequences in the film. Even though they’re without lyrics, each makes a memorable statement to what’s happening, and in a distinctive, rhapsodic manner.


Diamond DiaryThief (1981): In the opening sequence of Michael Mann’s feature film debut, Tangerine Dream became cemented into my consciousness through their music, this movie, and its distinctive soundtrack. I’m pretty damn sure a bunch of the director’s aficionados will back me up on that.

blade runner

Love ThemeBlade Runner (1982): As mesmerizing as Vangelis’ ambient music was for Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, this part of the score seemed to cut the deepest. Hell, I fell in love with Sean Young’s Racheal, especially after letting down her hair, right then and there.

tequila sunrise

Tequila Dreams / Jo Ann’s SongTequila Sunrise (1988): Dave Grusin has composed a number of fantastic scores over the years. These two tracks, for one of my favorite, under-appreciated films, really hit the mark in the scenes that featured them. Enough that when played, I’m right back in the movie.

last of the mohicans

Music from the track “Promontory” was used for a fall 2007 Nike television commercial featuring NFL players Shawne Merriman and Steven Jackson, also directed by Michael Mann. ~ Wikipedia

PromontoryThe Last of the Mohicans (1992): Besides the film’s majestic theme song, this was the instrumental that brought the emotions in the tale to a head. Featured in the climatic confrontation sequences chained together, it’s Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones best work of the soundtrack.

pulp fiction

MiserlouPulp Fiction (1994): I’m like everyone else regarding Dick Dale’s surf rock cover of a Greek song that goes back to 1927. The film’s flabbergasting opening scene, which straight cuts to the opening titles this accompanies, throws expectations out the window, and the ’62 instrumental onto my iPod.


Heat (1995)

Ultramarine: Always found Michael Brooks’ guitar-led instrumental, which transitions the main characters in a few places throughout the film, really quite enjoyable.

Force Marker: You couldn’t have Michael Mann’s marvelously staged bank heist without Brian Eno’s pulsing instrumental to pace it.

God Moving Over the Waters: Moby’s sorrowful, magnificent instrumental closed the film and forever sealed the film, and its soundtrack, into my awareness.


Honor HimGladiator (2000): Short, sweet, and still epic. Hans Zimmer’s track proving that you don’t need length to be tearfully moving, and beautiful.

Honor HimGladiator (2000): Short, sweet, and still epic. Hans Zimmer’s track proving that you don’t need length to be tearfully moving, and beautiful.

kill bill vol 1

Battle Without Honor or HumanityKill Bill Vol. 1 (2003): Tomoyasu Hotei’s guitar riffing, supremely rhythmic, and horn-heavy instrumental is one audacious number. And that’s just fine by me. Makes it very easy to hit replay.

kill bill vol 2

The Chase – Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004): If there’s one track that matches the above instrumental, it’s the one by Alan Reeves, Phil Steele and Phillip Brigham that accompanies Elle Driver to her rendezvous, and destiny.


RequiemCollateral (2004):  This was the moody and forlorn music by Antonio Pinto that culminated Michael Mann’s night of fates intertwined. It really works for me, almost as well as Moby’s for Heat.

batman begins

MolossusBatman Begins (2005): Probably the key piece in the Hans Zimmer and the James Newton Howard soundtrack. Played during the main action sequence, like Batman’s Tumbler escape, it powers through damn near everything.

miami vice

A-500Miami Vice (2006): Klaus Badelt & Mark Batson’s cleverly titled track named after the Adam A500 aircraft used to transport ‘product’ out of Columbia by undercover cops, Sonny and Rico. Utterly rhythmic, it gives off the distinct vibe they are aware of the risks, and still ultra cool with it all.


Wrong FloorDrive (2011): Cliff Martinez’s ethereal instrumental arrives at a pivotal segment in Refn’s film. Tender, even touching, and but with an underlying tension, the track posited nothing would be the same afterwards for the characters depicted, and the audience.

How about you? Any instrumental music you’ve collected because of a movie?

The entire series can be found here.

14 Responses to “Purely Because of a Movie – Songs on My iPod Part 4”

  1. Paul S

    I share your love for the music of Heat, Drive and Tequila Sunrise. For an instrumental choice of my own I’d probably go for another piece by Dave Grusin, that being Jack’s Theme from The Fabulous Baker Boys.


    • le0pard13

      Oh, that is a deliciously mellow piece by Dave Grusin. Must added it to the collection, Paul 🙂

      Thanks so much, my friend!


  2. ruth

    Oh my!! Be careful Michael, I might try to steal your iPod 😉 Lots of my faves on here, of course you know I LOVE Gladiator’s score. I forgot how good Collateral’s score was, and Batman Begins is just astounding, another one of Zimmer’s amazing work. That guy is a genius!


  3. fernandorafael

    Great post! Battle Without… is a fantastic track!

    I love “Son of Flynn” and “Derezzed” by Daft Punk from TRON: Legacy, as well as Lux Aeterna by Kronos Quartet (from Requiem for a Dream).


  4. jackdeth72

    Guard your iPod, my friend!

    Lots of great and memorable tunes to remember and enjoy.

    Tangerine Dream hooked me deep with the opening of ‘Thief’. Soundtrack’s right up there with Wang Chung’s work in ‘To Live And Die in L.A.’

    Can’t disagree with ‘Heat’ or ‘The Last of The Mohicans’. While Tarantino’s film are always a great blast from the past.

    Oh, and great clip (A 500) of the Ruttan style pusher/puller executive plane “hiding in the baffles” (Behind or underneath) the Aztec. An old Cold War Navy trick submariners use to trail, investigate and remain invisible to Russian subs. Adapted to narrow beam Air Traffic Control radar.

    Excellent work!



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