What would be a movie without a powerful soundtrack? Here is a selection of my favorite soundtracks (O.S.T). They were selected not only because of the music but also because of their originality. Rating an OST is kind of difficult, because the music is directly linked to an action or a certain scene of the movie; but let’s try to make abstraction of this and only concentrate ourselves on the musical part. In this top 10you won’t find hackneyed OSTs like the Pirates of the Caribbean, Matrix , Star Wars, Titanic that were used in almost every event, TV themes that they have lost completely their power of surprising our ears.

So here’s my top 10:

#10: Ocean’s 11-12-13 by David Holmes

Ocean’s tunes are curiously present in every TV car show without we actually notice it. The faux-Jazz atmosphere of this OST transports the listeners into the world of luxury and high level gentleman-gangsters.  If you like spy and secret agents music, then the Ocean series are for you! Unfortunately one of the funniest track of the laser scene aka “Thé à la menthe” wasn’t included into the final OST release, but here it is for you: http://youtu.be/mOJzQ8NF2DQ

#9: Leon by Eric Serra

Leon, the professional is the story of a hitman, so this OST had to be really powerful with enough touch of scariness and suspense tearing tunes. Eric Serra (who also composed several other OST for Luc Besson such as “The Fifth Element” or “The Big Blue/Le Grand Bleu” ).
The recurrent theme with the violins and contra-basses, gives the full suspense power needed to accompany the scenes. Some tracks like the “Fight” has some oriental touches which could perfectly have fitted to peplum films like Gladiator.

#8: The Chorus – Les Choristes by Bruno Coulais

The story of this children choir had a huge success in France and in Europe. As the film’s topic is about a the story of  a  teacher named Monsieur Mathieu that assembles a school choir and reached a big success and helped the children to get a better time in their boarding school, the sound track composed by Bruno Coulais (“Microcosmos”) played a major role during the whole film. A really good soundtrack especially if you like choirs.
Even Christina Aguilera has sampled “The Chorus” in her track “Oh Mother” from her LP “Back to Basic

#7: 1492 – Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis

Vangelis has released a sublime sound track. Even if nobody in Germany can’t hear the “Conquest Of Paradise” theme anymore because played too often during Henry Maske’s boxing rounds, don’t think this soundtrack is “old”. Vangelis was one of the first to introduce some electronic and synthesizers in his movie soundtrack compositions. The result is marvelous: the track “Deliverance” has a Spanish touch with a subtly played guitar emphazing the action and will replunge yourself in one of the most interesting part of our History, the discovery of America.

#6: Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Harry Gregson Williams

The Chronicles of Narnia were released a year after the Lord of the Rings. The comparison was easy (as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis knew each others – the stories and the messages sounded identical –  and  the movie scenes were also recorded by WETA, the same studio than LOTR), but the sound track is a real jewel.

#5: The Tudors by Trevor Smith

The Tudors theme song reminds me of the first notes of the German anthem. The four volumes / CD of the Tudors are a marvelous journey into the dark and bright side of the life of king Henry VIII of England. The “Post-Middle-Age touch” is omnipresent all along the tracks and reflects well the conspiracy atmosphere. The epic-toned music and orchestral composition are bright and powerful.

http://youtu.be/kkVOMrxNpkw

#4: The Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore

This OST is a real must have, not only because the music transports you into the adventures of Frodo, but it was also challenging for Howard Shore to find a unique theme that would fit along the three parts of the movie. Of course there’s a progression and the “Return of the King” is the most epic one. The track “May It Be” interpreted by Enya was a worldwide hit released only a few months after “Only Time”. The “irish touch” of the first “The Fellowship of the Ring” transports the listener into the magic world of the Hobbits.

#3: Avatar by James Horner

One of the best sound tracks for one of the best films. For the sound track, James Horner continued his collaboration with James Cameron offering us a beautiful and dreamful voyage into Pandora. In some parts you can easily “distinguish” (let’s say imagine) the lights of Pandora thanks to the synthesizer pizzicati, the western concert flute passages evoking the peaceful life of the Navii’s.

#2: Gladiator by Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer (yes his name alone means everything 😉 ) with vocalist Lisa Gerrard have made a superb sound track for one of the most popular blockbuster. The sound track combines traditional music of the Mediterranean basin with subtle Spanish tunes and typical peplum sounds (yep it reminds me of old films like Ben-Hur) like the trumpets parts and announcing the battle.

#1: Tron – Legacy by Daft Punk

Perhaps the most non-common sound tracks because it combines Daft Punk’s electronic music with orchestral passages. Tracks such as “Derezzed” or “Fall” are truly awesome. The later track “Fall” is a perfect example of the genius of Daft Punk (like overstatured grainy electro sound à la Justice ) combined with high epic violins and trumpets. “Disc Wars” is the most powerful one, where small synthesizer pizzicato and arpeggios are “seeded” into an over-epic orchestral overture.

The tracks are well mixed and the transition between the orchestral parts and the electronic tunes are almost indistinguishable. Even if you don’t like Daft Punk’s music, you will be conquered by “Tron – Legacy”. And if you don’t have enough of this soundtrack I highly recommend getting the “Tron – Legacy – Reconfigured”. This LP is a pure electronic remix of the original “Tron-Legacy“. Definitely a must-have if you are a big Daft Punk and Tron fan.