Whether I am writing or studying, I quite often have music playing in the background. My choice? Film and TV scores.
Why these? I find that the lack of lyrics isn’t a distraction. I have quite an extensive collection of scores on CD and digital formats, but a few months ago I bought a second-hand turntable. I’ve now since upgraded to a much better, newer model, along with a good amplifier and set of speakers. With this, I am now slowly accumulating a nice little library of film scores on vinyl.
Vinyl has had a major resurgence in the last few years, with film scores contributing towards this increase in sales, particularly with the likes released through companies like Mondo and Waxwork Records. The releases using specially comissioned artwork and the use of coloured vinyl make these highly sought after collectibles. Listening to music on vinyl I feel is much better than CD or digital formats. The sound is a lot warmer and nothing beats the short crackle as you set the stylus going against the wax.
With what I am buying on vinyl, I am looking at a select amount of albums, some that are my favourite from different artists, to classic and newer film scores. I kicked the collection off with The Wall by Pink Floyd, quite easily their best album.
I’m especially in love with the colour vinyl. So far I have managed to get a hold of the scores for Justice League by Danny Elfman in a cool dark blue and black mottle, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Michael Giacchino in the Silverback modeled on Caesar’s war paint, Anthology – Movie Themes 1974-1998 by John Carpenter in the Fog Over Antonio Bay, and two I managed to get a hold of whilst in Singapore for a holiday – Lost Whispers by Evanescence in Translucent Blue as part of Record Store Day 2018, and a major find – Aliens by James Horner in the Alien Queen vs Power Loader released by Mondo. I would have been even more excited if I was able to find a copy of Mondo’s release of Jurassic Park by John Williams as shown in the image above.
With these purchases, amongst others, I’ve had a bit of a short discussion on Twitter about different composers. Take for instance, James Horner quite often would repeat himself from film to film. He reuses parts of his score for Star Trek II – The Wrath of Kahn (one that I really need to get a copy on vinyl) in his score for Aliens. Another composer that did this is Michael Kamen. Both composers are sadly missed. John Williams is another favourite. His recent addition to the Star Wars saga with his score for The Last Jedi is a standout for him, and with the rumour he will retire after he scores Episode 9, it will be a sad day.
I could spend a whole day writing about my favourite film scores, but want to open up to everyone what they feel is their favourites or best film scores of all time. Give me a list so I can take a gander and listen or say if I have it already.