Friday, December 26, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 253

Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

December -- one final time for my monthly feature for 5 on Friday -- The Hit Makers.

Once a month throughout 2014 I've featured the songs or compositions that launched careers. I've looked at different musical styles and the groups or singers from those styles whom I've loved the best.

I've really enjoyed this project. I'm going to launch a brand new one for 5 on Friday in 2015 -- stay tuned.

To wrap up The Hit Makers, I'm turning now to an abiding love of mine: film scores.

Here are five of my favorite film composers and the scores that brought them into wider public recognition.

1 - Fiddler on the Roof - adapted from Jerry Bock's Broadway score by John Williams - 1971

My love affair with all scores John Williams technically began with his Star Wars score, when I sat cross-legged in front of our old stereo listening to the different themes with my 70s headphones (a cherished Christmas present.) Yet my family had already fallen for his Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack a few years earlier, initially borrowing and re-borrowing the soundtrack album from the library -- until it dawned on us that maybe we should just go ahead and buy the album for ourselves. You can definitely hear his signature orchestration in this piece.

John Williams won an Oscar for his work on this score. 

2 - Chariots of Fire - Vangelis - 1981

Vangelis' score for Blade Runner, which was released a year after Chariots of Fire, was the score that brought me to this composer. I also adored his score for The Bounty, and used a piece from his L'Apocalypse des Animaux (La Petite Fille de la Mer) for one of my university film projects.

The opening theme made it to #1 on the Billboard Top 100 as a single in the US, #12 in the UK and #21 in Australia.

Vangelis won an Oscar for his work on this score.  

3 - Batman - Danny Elfman - 1989

Basically, I've been a fan of Danny Elfman's since the beginning -- Pee-wee's Big Adventure. I even considered putting his Beetlejuice soundtrack as his breakthrough score, but then again I'm the exact target audience for his work. If I think in terms of the general public, in discussing this with my husband, we feel that the Batman soundtrack is the score that put Danny Elfman into the public spotlight.

He won a Grammy for his work on this score.

4 - The Lion King underscore - Hans Zimmer - 1994

I discovered Hans Zimmer's music through the amazing 2000 score for Gladiator. Like many others, I'd listened to Zimmer's work in many other films before then, but the Gladiator score is what made me a fan.

His work on 1994's The Lion King, adding additional underscore alongside the Elton John songs, brought him before worldwide audiences as well as winning Hans Zimmer an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy.

5 - Requiem For a Dream - Clint Mansell - 2000

The soundtrack that turned me into a Clint Mansell fan was the 2006 score for The Fountain (especially Death is the Road to Awe.)

General audiences will be most familiar with his theme from Requiem For a Dream, a cult movie hit that wouldn't be as recognizable to the public compared to this piece of music. The theme was picked up independently from the film and used heavily by studios as the music for newly-releasing movie trailers in cinemas.  


Mike Golch said...

If I had to pick just one tune this week it would be Chariots of fire.