From Psycho to Jaws, the movie soundtrack has long been a crucial component of cinema, quickly becoming an art form in its own right. To celebrate the debut of our Soundtrack film season, we’ve pulled together a few key scores that have successfully made the transition from film screens to record collections. Listen along on Spotify…
Cult fave The Big Lebowski might be the Coens’ most popular work but it’s also one of their most audibly identifiable films to date. Bob Dylan’s rasping voice on New Morning’s chilled-out track The Man in Me perfectly sets the scene for Joel and Ethan’s laid-back kidnap caper.
Director Duncan Jones impressed with his claustrophobic debut about a space-age identity crisis but it was Clint Mansell’s haunting score that really helped it pack an emotional gut-punch. We feel your pain, Sam Bell(s).
Curating our Soundtrack season is the multi-talented Barry Adamson, whose past work includes time with Magazine and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Adamson also teamed with Trent Reznor to score David Lynch’s Lost Highway, adding a sinister touch to the director’s sinister noir.
It’d be hard not to include a John Williams’ track in this playlist, not least of all because the prolific composer’s written so many classics. So here’s his triumphant-yet-bittersweet anthem to 1993’s larger-than-life Jurassic Park. Good luck getting it out of your head.
It’s not just scores that make up our new film season, carefully curated soundtracks are just as important. Composer Cliff Martinez knocked up 14 original recordings for Drive’s release and stuck them alongside tracks like Nightcall to really kick things into gear.
Hans Zimmer’s no stranger to pairing epic cinema with equally epic soundscapes and with Chris Nolan’s dreamy heist Inception his skills were once again put to fine use. With The Dream is Collapsing, Zimmer somehow manages to make large scale sound simple. Impressive stuff.
It’s kind of a no-brainer that Psycho would feature in our Soundtrack season. After all, it’s one of – if not the – most iconic pieces of music in movie music history. Plus, it made a generation paranoid of whatever’s lurking behind their shower curtain. You can thank Bernard Herrmann for that.
John Carpenter has been sending chills down spines for over thirty years with his innovative and thought provoking horrors but he’s not content to stop at the visual. As a composer and musician he’s also responsible for some of the genre’s most atmospheric movie themes.
The Tarantino-written, Tony Scott-helmed True Romance took its cues from Terrence Malick’s gun-toting lovers’ jaunt Badlands to soundtrack the exploits of its swooning couple. Clarence and Alabama’s relationship may be unconventional but this track does wonders for keeping things playful.
Not only was Mica Levi’s eerie Under The Skin soundtrack her first stint scoring a movie, it also bagged her a European Film Award for Best Composer, placing this twenty-something Camden-based songwriter firmly on the map. Expect big things.
Scoring a movie is one thing but putting a pulse to an entire genre is a whole different ballgame. Yet that’s what legendary composer Ennio Morricone managed with his gung-ho, dust-bowl main theme for Sergio Leone’s quintessential Western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Bullseye.
Quentin Tarantino’s work is littered with essential songs that go hand-in-hand with his on-screen work and underpin his chosen genre sandbox. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Chuck Berry scoring Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace’s quick twist on the dancefloor, right?
Like the sound of this playlist? Head to Spotify to listen to the whole thing.
Soundtrack runs from Fri 5 – Wed 31 August. Find out what’s on and book tickets here.