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 Diary – Thief (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.
Love Theme – Blade 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 Dreams / Jo Ann’s Song – Tequila 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.
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
Promontory – The 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.
Miserlou – Pulp 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.
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 Him – Gladiator (2000): Short, sweet, and still epic. Hans Zimmer’s track proving that you don’t need length to be tearfully moving, and beautiful.
Battle Without Honor or Humanity – Kill 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.
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.
Requiem – Collateral (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.
Molossus – Batman 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.
A-500 – Miami 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 Floor – Drive (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.