Zavvi’s Favourite Film Soundtracks And Scores

Music fans assemble! On the 10th of November, Zavvi is launching the first edition of our Secret Soundtrack subscription plan. Each month we’ll be releasing an exclusive, coloured vinyl pressing of a film soundtrack or score that has never been out before- and there’s only 500 copies available for each! The soundtrack that you get will remain a secret until the joyous day you’ll find it in your mailbox. Expect some unique gems that range from niche cult releases to famous classics with an Academy Award nomination to their name.

As big music fans ourselves, we’re delighted to hear about your favourite film soundtracks or scores! We’ve asked the biggest music nerds in the Zavvi team which soundtrack has left a big impression on them. Let us know in the comments below what soundtracks you love! Here are some of our favorite sounds:

The Graduate

Never has the harmony between music and film been so apt as in The Graduate, the 1967 film by Mike Nichols. From the moment we see the pensive Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) arrive at the airport of his hometown to the fading grin on his face in the iconic end scene, Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ serves as a melancholic motive throughout the film, quietly reminding you of Benjamin’s continual anxiety and disaffection – a feeling which, in hindsight, was so typical of the youth in the 1960s.

Nichols’ choice to solely include Simon & Garfunkel songs in the film wasn’t initially intended (using pre-existing pop songs was a bold move at the time), but the songs and the scenes are so well-aligned that you just can’t imagine the swimming pool scene without the wistful chords of ‘Sound of Silence’ or the steal-the-bride scene without the fragmented ‘Mrs. Robinson’ hammering in revolt. If it wasn’t for the musical and comical brilliance of The Graduate, it’s equally hard to imagine the success of film directors like Wes Anderson, and, of course, the recurring ‘hello darkness my old friend’ joke in Arrested Development!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

As expansive as the scenery it is influenced by, the Grammy Award-winning The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack immediately transports you to the blistering heat of the New Mexico desert. Suddenly, you find yourself riding horseback through the harsh plains, with Clint Eastwood just ahead, on the hunt for Confederate gold. The distinctive work of composer Ennio Morricone, the compositions manage the rare feat of becoming a key part of the film – not just an accompaniment to it. Try listening to Il Triello without feeling the tension of the standoff, to ‘L’Estasi Dell’oro without feeling a sense of ecstasy and anticipation, or to the mournful ‘La Storia De Un Soldato without picturing the torture of Tuco by Angel Eyes.

We can’t forget the main theme’s two-note melody, repeated throughout the soundtrack – which sounds just like the howling of a coyote, blending in with an actual coyote howl in the opening credits. On top of this, when Blondie says ‘every gun makes its own tune’, we notice the different moods of the pieces accompanying each character. There’s such an emphasis on sound throughout, that it’s no surprise it’s considered today as one of the greatest instrumental film scores of all time. So, stick it on, close your eyes, and join the epic journey made by Blondie and company – it’s guaranteed to inspire fear, excitement, tension and ecstasy!

TRON: Legacy

Daft Punk’s original score for TRON: Legacy is a roster of songs that I’ll gladly put on from start to finish to immediately make my day feel more epic. Each addition to the score blends seamlessly into the last, but ‘Overture’, ‘Son of Flynn’ and ‘Derezzed’ are a great taster into the neo-futuristic world of TRON, and will leave you reaching for the non-existent disc on your back. It’s always down to personal taste with music but am I the only one who thought this was one of the better standalone Daft Punk albums?

Infamous for donning their own robotic masks, the Daft Punk duo made a harmonious cameo appearance in the film itself, and were the recipients of one of the most theatrical lines in the film…‘Change the scheme! Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you’d be so kind…’and they do exactly that.

Guardians of the Galaxy

When you think of Movie soundtracks, there is one that springs to mind immediately: Awesome Mix Vol 1, of course! You are lying if you say it doesn’t make you want to crack out your old Walkman and buy all the cassette tapes off Ebay. It is insanely catchy, we’re hooked (on a feelin’), plus, watching Chris Pratt swing his hips to the sweet sound of Redbone ‘Come & Get Your Love’ is never a bad thing!

Whenever you hear the songs playing, you immediately associate them with Guardians of the Galaxy. I personally love Starlord’s version of ‘Oooh Child’ by The Five Stairsteps when he has his one-man dance off with Ronan.

Whether or not you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain, you can’t argue Awesome Mix Vol 1 is one of the best of all time (and space!). With the likes of David Bowie, The Runaways and of course The Jackson 5 (you shake that ass Baby Groot), this soundtrack is strong! We are eagerly waiting for what Awesome Mix Vol 2 has in store for us!

Blade Runner

The original low-fi sci-fi soundtrack, the score of Blade Runner is as atmospheric as it is disturbing. Something I find deeply compelling in the film is how beautiful a dystopian future could be! That’s not to say I am hankering for a world with more tyranny in it… but I am perhaps suggesting that Ridley Scot’s nasty world is not necessarily an ugly one. Blade Runner’s score exemplifies this dichotomy. The music could have been composed using the sound card from the original Gameboy, but somehow it works. From the very start of the film, the score is the perfect mix of ethereal and sleazy film noir. It is the ultimate American imagined future – full of fear and flying cars.

Vangelis, responsible for the soundtrack, won an Academy Award for Chariots of Fire. His pioneering use of the synthesizer is perhaps the very reason the same instrument’s instantly recognisable tones are so suggestive of a futuristic past-present, defined by movies like Blade Runner.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay, Rebecca Jasso

Luke Roberts

Luke Roberts

News Editor

Committed to reporting the latest news from the worlds of film, television and game. Constantly glued to social feeds ensuring I never miss a beat. A believer in music sounding best on vinyl, and an enthusiastic unused substitute come Sunday morning. Never ashamed to admit my love for Les Misérables.

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