Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2021 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   Aenae   (Member)

I thought it would be interesting if we shared our personal list of what you consider to be the 5 most essential electronic soundtrack albums of all time. Compilation albums are allowed. It was difficult to narrow things down to the essentials, but this is what my own list would look like at the moment.

Simon Fisher Turner and Lim Giong in particular are underrated and not mentioned anywhere near as often as they should be. I almost never see them mentioned. I love both of them - both Fisher Turner's Blue and Giong's compilation album for his work with director Jia Zhangke are favourites of mine that I keep returning to.

In fact I would go as far to cite Giong's work with Zhangke as my favourite composer/director collaboration of that generation, certainly better in my opinion than the likes of Alexandre Desplat/Wes Anderson and Jonny Greenwood/Paul Thomas Anderson for example. And Fisher Turner's work with Jarman is underrated, I think it is one of the best and most interesting composer/director collaborations of all time.

I think I actually even prefer Cliff Martinez's Solaris score (my favourite film score of the 21st century so far) over Eduard Artemyev's Solaris, although that is a hard choice to make since I love both scores. Both Martinez and Artemyev are also underrated compared to most of the stuff that tends to get the attention.

Vangelis has several strong soundtracks. I also love L'Apocalypse des Animaux and a few other of his soundtrack albums, but if i'm forced to narrow him down to just one album that makes my top 5 essential electronic soundtrack albums of all time, it has to be Blade Runner.

My top 5 essential electronic soundtracks of all time (in no particular order of preference):

Blue - Simon Fisher Turner
Solaris - Cliff Martinez
Solaris, Stalker, Mirror - Eduard Artemyev
Jia Zhangke Movie Music Collection - Lim Giong
Blade Runner - Vangelis

Which 5 electronic soundtracks would you pick as being the most essential?

 
 
 Posted:   May 11, 2021 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

The three most essential for me are:

Forbidden Planet
The Andromeda Strain
Videodrome

Oh, and "A Clockwork Orange" makes four.

And "Mr. Robot" makes five.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 3:57 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

This will obviously be subjective, and one needs to define what 'essential' means -- essential as in your top favourites or essential as in film historical cornerstones? They're not one and the same.

Hard to just mention five, but these are essential TO ME. Some are purely electronic, some combine electronic elements with acoustic, but the electronic idiom is still in the front seat:

BLADE RUNNER
THE ROCK/CRIMSON TIDE
CRASH
THE KEEP
BEVERLY HILLS COP

But I have like a gazillion other candidates that could fit there just as well - from the 60s to the 2020s.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   William R.   (Member)

THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (Jarre)
WITNESS (Jarre)
THIEF (Tangerine Dream)
BLADE RUNNER (Vangelis)
ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ (Fielding, I know the source is orchestral but it's so heavily processed that it's effectively an electronic score)

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 4:57 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

Thief - Tangerine Dream
The Keep - Tangerine Dream
Witness - Maurice Jarre - usually his synth scores are painful, this one is wonderfully moody.
Blade Runner - Vangelis
An honorable mention to Hans Zimmer, as a number of his earlier scores could have a top 5 spot, The Rock, Crimson Tide, Broken Arrow, Drop Zone, the amazing K2.

And I could make some eyes roll by taking out Witness and adding Runaway or the really underrated Criminal Law by Goldsmith cool

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 5:07 AM   
 By:   Aenae   (Member)

This will obviously be subjective, and one needs to define what 'essential' means -- essential as in your top favourites or essential as in film historical cornerstones?

I meant essential as in your own personal top favourites. Otherwise it might be hard to argue against a score like Forbidden Planet. Forbidden Planet is obviously a landmark score, but it doesn't make my own top 5 partly because I don't really listen to it.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 5:07 AM   
 By:   governor   (Member)

Blade Runner
The Professional
The Terminator
Beverly Hills Cop
Top Gun

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

GREEN CARD - Hans Zimmer
TANGO & CASH - Harold Faltermeyer
NAVY SEALS - Sylvester Levay
TWO MOON JUNCTION - Jonathan Elias
1492 CONQUEST OF PARADISE - Vangelis

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 6:08 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Tricky... especially as the question arises when a score is counted as "electronic".
For example, indeed, I would say BLADE RUNNER is an "essential" (electronic) film score, but it has acoustic elements (quite a few really), it is not purely electronic. And in consequence, a score like TOTAL RECALL is largely acoustic, but features electronic elements (quite a few really). So where exactly is the line?

But without giving this now too much thought...

Here are five score I consider "essential". Since it is about "essential" scores, I tried to name scores not just because I personally like them (though I do and it certainly influenced my selection), but also those that I find somewhat relevant to the history and development of electronic film scoring, or worthy to check out and consider or at least be familiar with in the larger context of film music.

FORBIDDEN PLANET (Louis and Bebe Barron)
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (Gil Mellé)
SORCERER (Tangerine Dream)
BLADE RUNNER (Vangelis)
THE TERMINATOR (Brad Fiedel)

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 6:59 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I've kind of nodded my head at most choices here, from Forbidden Planet to Mr. Robot. I was surprised that John Carpenter hasn't seemed to come up.

I don't know about essential, but these are the albums I listen to most, so I guess they must be for me, rather than influential or important in the films. Also I'm not worrying about whether the instrumentation is all electronic.

Andromeda Strain - Gil Melle
Blue Thunder - Arthur B. Rubinstein
Broken Arrow - Hans Zimmer
The Fog - John Carpenter
Prince of Darkness - John Carpenter/Alan Howarth
T2 - Brad Fiedel (ok that's six, I cheated, sue me!)

For composers and bands like Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos, Vangelis, Klaus Schulze etc., my most listened to albums are not soundtracks.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

GREEN CARD - Hans Zimmer
TANGO & CASH - Harold Faltermeyer
NAVY SEALS - Sylvester Levay
TWO MOON JUNCTION - Jonathan Elias
1492 CONQUEST OF PARADISE - Vangelis


1492, absolutely wonderful score, quite a difficult film to love, but I still do

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 7:53 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Okay, an essential personal top five is something I can do.

In no particular order:

1. "Jake Speed" (Mark Snow) (I played the fuck out of that a month or two ago)

2. "Sheena" (Richard Hartley; though I don't think it's all synths)

3. "1492: Conquest of Paradise" (Vangelis) (especially that cue by the name Conquest of Paradise)

4. "The X-Files" (Mark Snow) (yeah, I'm lumping in all the episodes into one listing; so sue me

And since it's too easy to just keep listing more Snow, I'll pick somebody else instead...

5. "The Bug Blue" (Bill Conti) (though some real strings were recorded for some cues, as per Conti in an older interview)

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Is there a line here for wholly electronic (say something realised on a Yamaha or Synclavier or whatever) by the single composer/performer, or the 'electronic ensemble' thing, that the likes of Maurice Jarre and James Horner would often create, with fellow performers?
Also, I never knew BROKEN ARROW was all electronic?
Sticking with the former category for myself, my Fave 5* would be (in no particular order)...

CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR (Alan Silvestri)
DATE WITH AN ANGEL (Randy Kerber)
THE FOG/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK *tie (John Carpenter)
RUNAWAY (Jerry Goldsmith)
WISDOM (Danny Elfman)

*so that's essential to me and discounting classics from Vangelis and Giorgio Moroder and Tangerine Dream and..

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Is there a line here for wholly electronic (say something realised on a Yamaha or Synclavier or whatever) by the single composer/performer, or the 'electronic ensemble' thing, that the likes of Maurice Jarre and James Horner would often create, with fellow performers?.

I think one just has to draw the line oneself. As I mentioned earlier, I open up to some scores with acoustic elements (like THE ROCK or CRIMSON TIDE) as long as its sound is predominantly electronic, and based on electronic modes of composition and structure. For Horner, I would obviously allow stuff like THE NAME OF THE ROSE, but I would not include predominantly orchestral scores where he uses synths for occasional colour (like TITANIC or whatever).

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   gyorgyL   (Member)

Escape from New York
Blade Runner
Runaway
Solaris
Apocalypse now

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


I think one just has to draw the line oneself. As I mentioned earlier, I open up to some scores with acoustic elements (like THE ROCK or CRIMSON TIDE) as long as its sound is predominantly electronic, and based on electronic modes of composition and structure.


How do you define "electronic modes of composition and structure"?

In any case, my list:

5) Doctor Who: "The Leisure Hive" (Howell)
4) Witness (Jarre)
3) L'Apocalypse des Animaux (Vangelis)
2) Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
1) Blade Runner (Vangelis)

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Ray92   (Member)

It was very difficult to choose my 5 best ... Most likely it will be:

Tango & Cash - Harold Faltermeyer
Cobra - Sylvester Levay
Scarface - Giorgio Moroder
The Terminator - Brad Fiedel
Cocktail - J. Peter Robinson

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 9:40 AM   
 By:   ROBERT Z   (Member)

The Keep / film tracks not album/ Tangerine Dream
Where the river runs black / James Horner
The Clan of the Cave Bear / Alan Silvestri
Silk Road/ Kitaro
Tron / Wendy Carlos

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 9:45 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Is there a line here for wholly electronic (say something realised on a Yamaha or Synclavier or whatever) by the single composer/performer, or the 'electronic ensemble' thing, that the likes of Maurice Jarre and James Horner would often create, with fellow performers?.

I think one just has to draw the line oneself. As I mentioned earlier, I open up to some scores with acoustic elements (like THE ROCK or CRIMSON TIDE) as long as its sound is predominantly electronic, and based on electronic modes of composition and structure. For Horner, I would obviously allow stuff like THE NAME OF THE ROSE, but I would not include predominantly orchestral scores where he uses synths for occasional colour (like TITANIC or whatever).


Yes, that's how I approached it... I looked for both predominant electronics and electronic modes of composition. Obviously, there are not cut and dry lines.

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2021 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Midnight express
Sorcerer/ (and Thief)- tangerine dream
Halloween.
Blade Runner
Terminator

Altho electronic scores became de rigeur in the 70s n 80s, and at the time i found them fresh and innovative and groundbreaking. Some do still hold their magic, like these five and a few others, but too many are dated, tired, one dimensional and ive simply grown out of them.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2021 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...