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Mellow
2006-May-04, 07:59 AM
Well, great scifi theme music has been discussed on and off on a few threads.

So I thought, lets have a thread for this purpose. Apologies if this has been done already, but I couldn't find it if it has....

I'll sart the ball rolling with Stingray from Gerry Anderson. I'd suggest you can't get much better than "Anything can happen in the next half hour" for pure anticipation building excitement.

I like most of the Gerry Anderson theme tunes.... Barry Gray was/is a genius.

What do you think?

Roy Batty
2006-May-04, 12:38 PM
There were a few old threads like this but I think the most recent slipped into a Strauss/2001 thang pretty quickly.. so good idea Mellow (now that's probably killed it coming from me:)).

Yes, Barry Gray was really great (sadly a decomposing composer now though).
I personally preferred Joe 90, Captain Scarlet & Thunderbirds to Stingray though, music & programwise.

I could pick loads of great music.. hmm, I'll start with Jerry Goldsmith for his themes for Alien & Capricorn One. Oh & John Barry for The Black Hole.:cool:

Mellow
2006-May-04, 12:51 PM
Oh and I'll also add the incidental music for The Terminator... da-da da-da da-da thum-thum...... da-da da-da da-da thum-thum

Roy Batty
2006-May-04, 01:10 PM
Oh, because you've made me dig out my Sci-fi & Cult tv music cd's, I've got to mention John Carpenter for The Fog & Halloween, sorry I know they're horror not sci-fi (derailing thread already!) but they just send shivers down my spine every time. Ok, back on track, also Escape from New York, I still find myself humming that occasionally. I was also going to say The Thing, but suprised to find out that was Ennio Morricone.

Maksutov
2006-May-04, 01:28 PM
I've always enjoyed the "electronic tonalities" created by Louis and Bebe Barron for the film Forbidden Planet. Their combination of "musique concrète" and purely electonic tones has never been equalled since, although often imitated or the outright victim of larceny.

Trantor
2006-May-04, 01:57 PM
I would have to agree that "Escape from New York" had some excellent music in it.

I always loved the music in "Rollerball". Haunting and tragic. The "Terminator" series also had excellent music.

Roy Batty
2006-May-04, 02:08 PM
Haunting... my vote for that goes to Jack Nitzsche for his Starman theme. Simply beautiful. Sorry, I seem to be stuck in a Carpenter film rut here don't I:o

The skeptic
2006-May-04, 04:30 PM
Two come to mind...

Forbidden Planet;
Dr Who...

teddyv
2006-May-04, 05:06 PM
I would have to give a nod to John Williams for several of the Star Wars themes, in particular the Imperial March and the main theme as well.

I also enjoyed the music from ST VI, but I don't recall the composer.

soylentgreen
2006-May-04, 06:01 PM
Oh, because you've made me dig out my Sci-fi & Cult tv music cd's, I've got to mention John Carpenter for The Fog & Halloween, sorry I know they're horror not sci-fi (derailing thread already!) but they just send shivers down my spine every time. Ok, back on track, also Escape from New York, I still find myself humming that occasionally. I was also going to say The Thing, but suprised to find out that was Ennio Morricone.

THE FOG is an absolutely perfect example of effective minimalism. Philip Glass would be jealous of how much Carpenter achieved with so little actual melody. The final segment referred to as "Reel 9" is, 25 years later, still a masterpiece of visual and aural suspense...something the makers of the 2005 version had no idea about!

While it's hard to identify a "best" in any film composer comparison, I think honestly Jerry Goldsmith comes the closest to, let's say, "most accomplished". His diverse range, over all those decades, is nothing short of flabbergasting. The primal urgency of PLANET OF THE APES(who can forget that first look at the apes on horseback and not think of those rams horns on the soundtrack?)...as Roy Batty mentioned there's CAPRICORN ONE with it's unbridled action momentum...the delicate and wispy tension of ALIEN...the brilliant way he created four distinct score sounds for TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and yet held them together in the most subtle ways...his ominous and playful GREMLINS....of course, his STAR TREK contributions which would shape the sound of the movies and tv shows for decades...willing to push electronic usage with some beedily beep atmosphere music for LOGANS RUN, edgy dissonance for DAMNATION ALLEY, or exclusively electronic for RUNAWAY...he gave the brass section a real workout for THE SWARM...

phew, not to mention stuff like OUTLAND, TOTAL RECALL, LINK, LEVIATHAN(a personal guilty favorite). The word 'prolific' does not do this man justice.

I was a huge John Williams fan when I was younger but after JEDI and the RAIDERS stuff, either he petered out or I did. ;) Actually I've always felt his years with the Boston Pops softened his edge and he's just too beyond it now to get it back. His WAR OF THE WORLDS last year had some nice moments that evoked his early glory, but I sadly think his best years are long over.

For DOCTOR WHO music fans I would urge you to check out the Ron Grainer's score for THE OMEGA MAN...very 70s...very Grainer! He did very little of this magnitude and for this he pulled out all the stops. There's also quite a bit there for fans of his THE PRISONER sound.

Matherly
2006-May-04, 06:32 PM
In my (oh so) humble opinion...

Best T.V: Christopher Franke (specifically his work on Babylon 5). "Requem for the Line" is just... wow.

Best Movies: John William. He is the master. "Raiders' March", "Rebel Fanfare", Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, "Hedwig's Theme"... I could go on and on...

vonmazur
2006-May-04, 07:14 PM
I've always enjoyed the "electronic tonalities" created by Louis and Bebe Barron for the film Forbidden Planet. Their combination of "musique concrète" and purely electonic tones has never been equalled since, although often imitated or the outright victim of larceny.

I agree, everyone who followed was just not the same. The Orchestral Theme is almost extinct, as whoever licensensed the Movie rights did not want to pay.....It was Long John Nebel's theme on WOR in the 60's. I have a 331/3 LP record of the Hollywood Symphony playing music from SciFi movies, pre-Star Trek and Star Wars......very nice...

Dale

Alasdhair
2006-May-04, 07:25 PM
Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds is brilliant.

Pity it's never had a film to go with it really, although the live show that recently toured the UK was excellent.

Dave Mitsky
2006-May-05, 06:02 AM
"Forbidden Planet" gets my vote.

Dave Mitsky

Romanus
2006-May-05, 03:44 PM
Love the soundtrack to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (Goldsmith)

Ditto for "Wrath of Khan" (Horner)

Of course, who could forget "2001: A Space Odyssey"...

"Blade Runner" (Vangelis)

Though it isn't science fiction at all, I love "The Right Stuff"'s soundtrack.

Honorable mention:

"Aliens", the "Aniara" suite (extremely creepy)

jumbo
2006-May-05, 11:12 PM
Vangelis Blade Runner work is something special. Listening to that late at night really transports you somewhere else. It sounds just right for a jaded city of the future.
Ive mentioned it before but from the Children of Dune series Inama Nushif (She is eternal) a fremen song is absolutely gorgeous.

Mellow
2006-May-09, 05:54 AM
........Flash! AAAaaaaaaaahhhhhHAAAAAAAAAA

"Queen: - Flash Gordon - The Movie"

mike alexander
2006-May-09, 09:34 PM
Theme music from Science Fiction Theatre.

The Lionel Newman theme from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Theme music from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Theme from The Twilight Zone (The first year, by Bernard Hermann)

Doodler
2006-May-09, 10:00 PM
The movie may have been horrible, but I kinda liked the techno-feel of the Lost In Space soundtrack.

JohnW
2006-May-10, 03:41 PM
The original BBC Radiophonic Workshop theme for Dr. Who. Nothing else comes close.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-10, 08:34 PM
Anything with a theremin.

and from 2001 my very clear favourite György Ligeti's REQUIEM FOR SOPRANO, MEZZO-SOPORANO, 2 MIXED CHOIRS & ORCHESTRA

teddyv
2006-May-10, 08:44 PM
Love the soundtrack to "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (Goldsmith)

Ditto for "Wrath of Khan" (Horner)

Of course, who could forget "2001: A Space Odyssey"...

"Blade Runner" (Vangelis)

Though it isn't science fiction at all, I love "The Right Stuff"'s soundtrack.

Honorable mention:

"Aliens", the "Aniara" suite (extremely creepy)

Horner has basically ripped himself off in several movies. Watch/listen to Aliens, then Wrath of Khan. Almost exactly the same music.

Romanus
2006-May-10, 11:29 PM
^
Truth be told, I've noticed that. :(

Still like it, though.

Grand_Lunar
2006-May-10, 11:40 PM
The following are my fave sci-fi tunes;

'2001'

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Alien

Halo (and the sequal)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

'The Terminator' and 'Terminator 2'

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

weatherc
2006-May-11, 07:38 PM
Horner has basically ripped himself off in several movies. Watch/listen to Aliens, then Wrath of Khan. Almost exactly the same music.To be fair to James Horner (whose compositions I usually like), he was extremely rushed to complete the score for Aliens, and he was also unhappy with the results after it was edited. Here are a few excerpts from the IMDB trivia page for Aliens: (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090605/trivia)


James Horner wasn't particularly happy with the treatment of his score for the film despite receiving his first Oscar nomination. He delivered a finished score which didn't sit well with the edited film. Because Horner was unavailable as he was working on another film at the time, James Cameron had to heavily chop up the score to fit his edit.
James Horner's schedule only allowed for him to work on the film for 6 weeks. He arrived in London to perform his duties, only to find that they were still shooting, much less editing. He sat around for 3 weeks before being able to get started.
In an interview, composer James Horner (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000035/) felt that James Cameron (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000116/) had given him so little time to write a musical score for the film, he was forced to cannibalize previous scores he had done as well as adapt a rendition of "Gayane Ballet Suite" for the main and end titles. James Horner (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000035/) stated that the tensions with James Cameron (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000116/) were so high during post-production that he assumed they would never work together again. However James Cameron (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000116/) was so impressed with James Horner (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000035/)'s score from Braveheart (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112573/) (1995) that he later asked him to compose the score for Titanic (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/) (1997).

Edit: I also wonder if the bits of Horner's work that we hear in multiple films are instances where Horner has recycled his own material, or if it's actually producers/directors just saying "I liked that bit from Aliens. You know, the 'da, da, da-da-da; DA, DA, DA-DA-DA!' Yeah, that one. Can we get that for this scene?"

SeanF
2006-May-11, 08:59 PM
Horner's not the only one who does that.

I was working at my computer once and had The Ghost and the Darkness on the TV (but not actively watching it). I suddenly found myself thinking about Star Trek: The Motion Picture and couldn't figure out why, until I realized it was Goldsmith's music. :)

Roy Batty
2006-May-12, 12:31 AM
Edit: I also wonder if the bits of Horner's work that we hear in multiple films are instances where Horner has recycled his own material, or if it's actually producers/directors just saying "I liked that bit from Aliens. You know, the 'da, da, da-da-da; DA, DA, DA-DA-DA!' Yeah, that one. Can we get that for this scene?"

Well I think he used it in Wolfen (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083336/) earlier than Aliens & Wrath Of Kahn, but maybe another film even earlier than that anyone? :) (oh and end of Die Hard, later of course, but that was probably producers etc).

soylentgreen
2006-May-12, 10:37 PM
Well I think he used it in Wolfen (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083336/) earlier than Aliens & Wrath Of Kahn, but maybe another film even earlier than that anyone? :) (oh and end of Die Hard, later of course, but that was probably producers etc).

Check out the score for BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. It's virtually a dry run for the STAR TREK II score. The amazing thing being just how great Horner was able to make the score on a Roger Corman budget with an orchestra unprepared for his epic "Honeric" sound.

MG1962A
2006-May-12, 10:55 PM
I dont rate 2001 that high, because most of it is adaptions from other sources. In terms of movie score specific material (And one TV show)

Godzilla 1954 - the original score and anthem for the big boy.

Eacape From New York - Elegent simplicity in keyboards

Terminator - I think someone already mentioned this

Dr Who - the early 1980's theme. Driven by the best of synth rock, and a blistering guitar added

tofu
2006-May-13, 02:34 AM
anybody heard the soundtrack to the Ghost in the Shell movie - the CD with the track, Nightstalker on it? Great music to program by! :)

Also, I really like The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack. Especially "City in the Clouds."

The first Macross+ CD is very good (ever notice how I always bring up Macross+ in these threads?)

Someone else mentioned Aliens. The Alien3 soundtrack is pretty good too.

Dr Nigel
2006-May-13, 08:27 AM
Well, lots of good tunes mentioned above.

I agree about Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. Superb.

Also, the Dr Who theme.

I didn't see the Star Wars theme mentioned. I thought it was great (bear in mind that Star Wars as a film made a huge impact on me when I was 7). Also, the Imperial March from Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi.

I'd like to add Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles (used as the theme to Hitchhiker's Guide) and Chronicles of the Black Sword by Hawkwind (inspired by and made in collaboration with Michael Moorcock, author of the Eternal Champion series).

Edited to add: I've just noticed this was my 300th post. Woo-hoo.

Mellow
2006-May-22, 02:03 PM
Roy Batty...

Yes, Barry Gray was really great (sadly a decomposing composer now though).
I personally preferred Joe 90, Captain Scarlet & Thunderbirds to Stingray though, music & programwise.

I could pick loads of great music.. hmm, I'll start with Jerry Goldsmith for his themes for Alien & Capricorn One. Oh & John Barry for The Black Hole."

I agree about Joe90, best end theme ever. I also agree that the later series had better content.

I would also add that I didn't realise John Barry wrote the score for the Black Hole.