Soundtrack To Get You Going At Work
Posted on 05. Jan, 2009 by The Gimcracker in Movies, Music
I need to be inspired to be productive. There is no intrinsic desire within me to work, trust me. There are lots of things that can inspire me to work, most of them having to do with music. We all have playlists of our favorite songs to get us motivated to work, hype us up for sports, or prepare us to party on a Friday night.
There are a lot of good songs out there to listen to for any number of reasons. But there is nothing like a good film score to motivate you. I’ve got plenty of soundtracks queued up in iTunes for just such occasions, and I tap my film score playlist up to 2-3 times per week.
I was able to find YouTube videos of some of the best soundtrack samples in my playlist. If you’re dragging your feet at work and have absolutely no inspiration, I want you to listen to the following 5 audio clips. This isn’t a list of “greatest film scores of all time” because it digs one level deeper and presents to you a specific part of each soundtrack that has particularly inspired me over the years.
This first one is meant to awaken your all-but-forgotten imagination and get the blood flowing to your creative side.
The Mummy End Credits by Jerry Goldsmith (The Mummy)
Now that you’re feeling a bit magical, I’ll turn it up a notch with arguably the best single part of the entire Star Wars film score catalog (it’s possible that I will be murdered for saying that).
Throne Room by John Williams (Star Wars: Episode IV)
I make no guarantees that your head will not explode by listening to this next one directly after listening to that last one.
Batman Main Theme by Danny Elfman (Batman)
You will find that as you listen to this one, something will happen to you. You will either A) complete any and all outstanding projects you’re currently working on or B) join the army.
Leave No Man Behind by Hans Zimmer (Black Hawk Down)
We’re coming to the last song on the list, and I must present you with an apology right off the bat. You will listen to this and then it will end and then you will look around and the world will be so dull that you will regret ever having come to my blog, and for that I’m sorry. It will be like a blind person gaining sight for 2 minutes and 53 seconds and then being struck with blindness again.
Charging Fort Wagner by James Horner (Glory)
P.S. I think they play that last one on the loudspeakers as you ascend into heaven.
I’m at work so I can’t listen to the youtube ones. Just wanted to say that I also love Elfman’s Batman over Zimmer’s. I really really like Zimmer’s except that he sampled two sequential chords from Elfman’s and then left the two triumphal chords that follow the two he sampled out.
I know that probably doesn’t make sense, but to try and explain it better, in the Elfman one, it goes (getting progressively higher), duuun duuun DUUN DUUUUUUUN!!!!! and in the zimmer one it goes duuuun duuuuuuun…. and you are just waiting and waiting through the whole movie for the big Batman reveal where he is finally going to add the last two notes on, and he never does. And then you hope it will be in Dark Knight, and it isn’t, and then you are sad and go buy the complete Batman Animated Series on DVD in the special collectors case from Target and watch it with your wife, and never skip the opening credits where the guys are robbing the bank and they blow up the front door…
erm… yes… Movie soundtracks are great. Very inspiring…
That can be really annoying when you’re waiting for something and it never comes. I’m glad that didn’t happen to me because I probably would’ve liked The Dark Knight soundtrack less than I did. I actually heard it in a completely different way, and it was a very good way. The part that really stands out to me is the insanely powerful fifth step up that they use in the trailer and in the track entitled “I’m Not A Hero” on the soundtrack album. It gives me goosebumps. Here it is in the actual soundtrack. The first time I hear it is from 1:07 – 1:10 in the bass line and then immediately following that from 1:12 – 1:14 in the melody.
And here it is in the trailer. It’s at the very end when the batman symbol comes up at 2:10.
I’m not really even sure if that’s a fifth. I mean I know the melody note goes up a fifth, but the chord might be like an extended triadical third sharp sustained or something crazy like that. Jonathan? What say you? WHAT SAY YOU!!!
Nooooooo!!! That’s the very step that bothers me! That’s the dun duuun….. See how it just trails off??? It NEEDS the DUN DUUUUUNNNNNNN!!!!!
Dangit. I see what you mean. Now it’s ruined for me! dunn, dun-dun dunn dunn DUUUUNNNNNNNN
arg! Sorry! They are both great great sound-tracks. Zimmer’s is overall better actually, and I get chills listening to it sometimes. I really like that Zimmer sampled the note-steps (or whatever they’re called) from Elfman, I just wished he had sampled the whole little part at least one time to satisfy me. Oh well.
On another un-related note, did you know that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) voice acted The Joker in the Batman Animated Series cartoon (The one that contains the Elfman soundtrack)? Weird…
Oh, and on an even less related note, did you know that Bruce Wayne is dead and no longer Batman in the comics? What????? (I recently started collecting Batman comics again)
Yeah I knew Hamill was the voice of The Joker. He’s pretty acclaimed for his voice acting work in the series.
I found out Bruce Wayne was dead from you a little while back. Crazy!
If you try and compare the two, you’ll probably be disappointed with one more than the other. But I think they are BOTH great, for different reasons. Zimmer takes a very simple idea (two notes…a minor third) and uses it ad nauseum, but I think it’s brilliantly done. There is a moment in the first movie (Batman Begins) where Bruce is climbing that mountain somewhere in China (?) or maybe Mongolia? Anyway, he crests this hill and you see that pagoda on the peak and the orchestra–after playing nothing but these minor thirds over and over–hits this great chord. It’s an incredible moment.
Elfman’s score is nice, too. But the concept is different, so you have to look at it through a different lens. His score is full of those twisty, dark melodies. Both are fitting for Batman. Both composers show their style. Elfman–dark and melancholic, Zimmer–grave, yet powerful and dynamic.
That’s my two cents.
I watched The Dark Knight over the weekend after posting this and I agree that the soundtrack was completely different. I don’t think Zimmer “sampled” anything from Elfman. That’s not even the same chord progression. Chris, your mind was just too used to Elfman’s soundtrack. I think they are very differently done – both really good – but very unique.
Thanks for the clarification there Jonathan. I’ll have to get out my copy of Batman Begins and look for that scene you were talking about.