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Best Soundtracks

here is a list of my favorite soundtracks, may it be from a film, a game, a series or whatever else. in no particular order.
EDIT: i will update this list frequently.


Scrubs

yeah, that may be a bit pussy like and cheap, but i actually love the Scrubs soundtrack, for one reason: it perfectly transports the character of the series in all it’s melancholic tone, that allows to be funny and serious at the same time, giving us mood swings like nothing else does it that quickly. hearing to the soundtrack is like watching the series, leaving you with the same sweet and sad emotional regress as Scrubs itself does.
stupid thing that only one official soundtrack was ever being released: the one for season 1. the others soundtracks were all fan releases, bootlegs if you want to call them so. the crew behind Scrubs is really good when it comes to fan service so i have to wonder their decision not to release the other soundtracks and letting the fans do their work instead. maybe financial problems were the cause, or copyright issues, dunno. i could understand this, as each Scrubs episode features like 1 up to 4 songs and the soundtracks are therefore very, very long. the fan soundtracks all together go for more than 10 hours, and they don’t even feature EVERY song yet and are still expending. i am still waiting for the last 2 “releases”.

My Musical” Soundtrack

one special thing i have to mention at this point is the special soundtrack to the musical episode “My Musical”. as much as i hate musical episodes in tv series, this one is really awesome. i love that episode and releasing the music on a small soundtrack for itself is just genious.

Secret of Mana

yeah, many remember this game from their childhood and still know about its
soundtrack, but sadly enough forgot about it. i bet if you play this
game again, now that you are older, you will appriciate its music, what
you simply weren’t capable of when you were a kid.
i love that game, my favorite of all time, and the soundtrack is no exception. why you ask? simple answer: it’s unique as hell!
i have no clue why Hiroki Kikuta
hasn’t been hired to do thousands of other RPG soundtracks. his sound
is so special, you can recognize it from hundreds of other soundtracks
emediately after hearing the first couple of tones. and his work is
eminently respectable, for a reason.
for me this because of the
following aspects: first of all, his soundtracks are so damn
retro-electronic, but act as if they were orchestral works in techno
style. as strange as this sounds, just here to it and have this
description in mind, and you will see that i am right with that.
second, his themes are so memorable. they stick in your head quite
easily but are complex enough not to bore you to hell after some hours
of hearing to them. they usually loop within 30~60 seconds over and
over, meaing during one simple gameplay you hear each theme several
hundreds of times. but really, they are so complex and lovely, it
doesn’t even bother me (and if you know me you know that i hate
“repeatative” music).
strangely enough Kikuta’s robotic, electronic sound fits perfectly to the fantasy world of Seiken Densetsu, i don’t know why.

Secret of Mana +

not many people know about this one, and that is a shame. what is “Secret
of Mana Plus” you ask? something awesome: a 45minute one-track
club-ready electronic remix piece of music, done by the master
himeself, Hiroki Kikuta.
it features many of the themes from the
game, but in a more epic way. it is more modern, features some strange
additional samples, like telephone sounds, that simply won’t fit to the
spirit of Seiken Densetsu. but it’s actually really well made, partly
even danceable, the other part is more ambient (this
background-music-style of work). but the most cool thing about this
remix is the build up and structure Kikuta has managed to work.
excellent musical peaks, transporting bridges and a hearable tension
every now and then. awesome.

LEXX

Marty Simon
did a perfect job with this! he worked close together with the crew
from this series and hence was able to shift the series’ character
perfectly into its music and sounds. and as strange as the series
itself is, also is the music. it’s the same kind of strangeness, and
that is why this is one of the best soundtracks ever made!
i can hardly describe both the series or the soundtrack. everybody who
watched at least one episode knows why this is the case. it’s… really
special. and strange. sometimes inappropriate serious, and other times
stupidly over the top. and you hardly define a genre for it. and yes, i
am speaking of both, series and score/additional music.

there have been two albums released, one for the first season and one for the
rest of the series, including quotes form the characters. and i really
like them. sadly enough they never made a special soundtrack release
out of the musical episode, like they did with Scrubs. because this may
be the one of the only two tv series musical episode that actually were
awesome.

http://snapcdn.zoovy.lg1.simplecdn.net/img/gkworld/W300-H300-Bffffff/biz0023.jpg

Invader Zim

the score for ZiM was done by Kevin Manthei,
which you will know, without even knowing, because he is like a Danny
Elfman junior. he made the soundtrack for dozens of films and series,
and many video games. just check out his Wikipedia oder IMDB entry!
the music from ZiM couldn’t have possibly ever failed in any way because it was created by Johnen Vasquez
– maybe the most enthusiastic perfectionist in this our universe. and
he had his hands on EVERYthing that had to do with the production of
the series. so it’s no big surprise that he handed over the
resposniblity for the theme song and the additional songs from one
composer to the other until he finally found one who could process
Vasquez’ vision of ZiM perfectly into musical compositions. within this
progress the theme song changed a lot, as it changed its composer, i
found it really interesting to hear those versions in chronological
correct order and i totally understand Vasquez’ decision to stick with
Manthei.

Manthei himself seems to be a quite cool guy. even 2
years (or so) AFTER ZiM has already been cancelled he decided to
release the soundworks he has done for ZiM – all by hisself! so he made
up a MP3 collection soundtrack with like 12 hours of all he ever did
for the series and made 2000 copies or so on CD which he would then
sell from his garage to all over the world. people had to personally
send him an email or something to request the soundtrack. awesome turn,
if you ask me. Kevin: thumbs up for being such a great guy!

Ren & Stimpy

yeah, right. i love the soundtrack of the series, especially for one
particular reason: it had opened my mind to the genre of classical
music. but not in that direct way, like “oh, this is good music, i want
to hear more of it”, but more like the music it introduced to us kept
sticked in our heads and will not go out of there ever again. everybody
who watched The Ren and Stimpy Show will have several classic music
orchestral works in his mind, from such famous composers as Beethoven, Tchaikovski or Debussy,
without even being aware of it. and this will effect you for the rest
of your life, because you are already positive adjusted to those tracks
and everything that may sound alike.
the original score of Ren & Stimpy was more jazz and folk, but a mass of classic music accompanied the music of John Kricfalusi and his band Die Screamin’ Lederhosen and the jazz tunes of Raymond Scott
(that for a change weren’t as ambient and electronic as fans were most
commonly used to) (hint: i don’t know if they used original music by
Scott, or used older songs by him, sorry)

so, but what sticks in our mind is that Ren & Stimpy managed somehow to build up a
soundtrack that i would simply refer to as “The Best of Classic
orchestra music”, because well, that’s what it is! and it perfectly fit
to the series (what may be a bit scary, when you think of it).
a problem that was caused by this is a not well known conflict, but some
composers for cartoons must have had trouble with it: Ren & Stimpy
took the best possible classic tunes you can imagine and BRANDED it
with a big fat “property of Ren & Stimpy” mark. you simply can’t
use some musical works from Beethoven and Co without letting the
audience remember about how awesome Ren & Stimpy was! and that is
why you don’t hear those tracks in ANY other cartoon. plus there aren’t
many tracks left that suit to such cartoons who could get a good use
from it.
and that is why the soundtrack of Ren & Stimpy is THAT
good. it left not only a big impression in us audience, but also in the
cartoon production branche itself, that can’t be undone!

Danny Elfman

yeah, i know, this is kinda cheating. but, come on, this guy is the
SOUNDTRACK GOD! i couldn’t even start to list his best creations,
because were could you possiblity start? they’re all awesome!
if you never looked at a list of his works as a composer, head NOW directly to
Wikipedia or IMDB and you will be positively surprise. this guy has had
his hands on SO MANY scores and created SO MANY themes. my personal
favorites MAY be the Futurama theme song and the Batman theme, as we
know it today from Tim Burton‘s interpretation. plus he writes great musicals, like The Nightmare before Christmas or Sweeney Todd. awesome.
simply told: he can do everything – every genre, for every emotion, for every
director, for every audience, for every possible situation. (and heyh,
he sang “Little Girls” with Oingo Boingo! *lol*)

The Matrix

oh, really? am i really that cheap to take THIS on the list? yes, i am. i
love the soundtracks and scores of every single Matrix franchises. byte
me. i know it’s a cheap turn, but come one! the soundtracks are simply cool. not only the score and main theme by Don Davis are awesome, but just take a look on the rest of the soundtrack, how can you NOT love them all?
the soundtracks are full of cool music by Deftones, The Prodigy, Rob
Dougan, Rammstein (even though they never appeared in the film, nor
could have been “inspired” by the film, as the Rammstein tracks were
produced before the release of the related Matrix movie. but who cares
when it sound fitting?!) and a lot more cool bands. and i am NOT
talking about the one soundtrack (lol) for the first movie, but for all
other scors and soundtracks, like those for the other two movies, The
Animatrix, Enter the Matrix or Path of Neo.
what is in my opinion especially notable about the soundtrack is that i combines so many
genres, but it does not sound inappropriate! you can hear really hard
metal rock, jazzy electronic, typical filmesque orchestrals, and of
course dozens of combination of everyone of them. i always welcomed
that fact and haven’t yet found another movie that comes with a
soundtrack with that much of a genre variatiy as the Matrix did come
with. respect for that, good work.

Cowboy Bebop

oh yeah, nothing much to say here if you ever watched Bebop. the
soundtrack is just… well, it’s the Bebop soundtrack and it stands for
itself. much like the series the soundtrack tried to define a new genre
– and somehow even succeeded by this.
it is basically jazz music, but just one half of it. the other half is
some crazy mix of everything you can imagine, from rock over blues to
electro and metal and god-knows-what else. and strangely enough
everything perfectly fits together. just like the the series this is a
hard to define phenomenon. you can’t really put a finger on what it is,
but you know it works great the way it does.
there are several soundtracks for it, not only the standard Soundtracks
(three of them), but also some EPs, even a single, a remix album, the
Bebop movie has its own soundtrack, a best-of, and finally a Boxset
with pretty much everything you can imagine. put all together in one
playlist you have nearly 11 hours of GREAT music to simply play in the
background an enjoy. it’s fun, really! especially when you watched
Bebop and can connect to the feelings that those songs provoked within
the series.

the soundtrack was mainly done by no one else than Yoko Kanno and her band The Seatbelts,
which she put together especially for Coyboy Bebop. of course dozens of
other artists joint this project, hence The Seatbelts weren’t really a
typical band as we know it by the term, instead it consisted of like a
hundred members – guest musicians, orchestra members form all over the
world, different vocalists (mentionable: also some voice actors from
the show) and so on. this was a very special concept, not only for a tv
series, but also for a soundtrack. and it worked out well and will
always be that special.

Primal

short one: the soundtrack for the game Primal consisted of some songs from one of my favorite bands: 16Volt!
the battle score were simply some instrumental songs by 16 Volt, and
you know what? they rocked!! nothing really special about it, but they
choosed the perfect songs for the game.

Kevin Smith

eeeeeh, well. what i mean is not Smith himself, but like EVERY SINGLE SOUNDTRACK FOR ANY OF HIS MOVIES.
this guy simply has a real great taste in music and i so totally enjoy
hearing to any of the soundtrack. everytime when a new Smith movie
comes out i secretely am really looking forward to the OST.
his soundtracks are also quite famous amongst fans for quite obvious
reasons. and a main characteristica about those are the samples of
dialogue from the movie Smith puts between the songs. makes it really
fun to hear.
i find very many of my favorite bands on his soundtracks, including:
Stabbing Westward, the Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, The Jesus and Mary
Chain, and the Pixies. awesome.

Silent Hill

also here i’ll keep it very short, because it requires no further explanation why Silent Hill has an AWESOME soundtrack. Akira Yamaoka simply does a perfect job for this series. period.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

yeah, i am a Castlevania fan. i played neraly every game from this
series, especially the rare ones (i am thinking N64 here!), but there
is one single game from this series that just beats all the other, in
ANY POSSIBLE WAY, and i know nearly all of the Castlevania fans agree
with that: Symphony of the Night.
not only being the greatest side-scrolling jump’n’run ever created, it also has a great soundtrack. created by Michiru Yamane.
this is the only orchestral soundtrack with original composition to be
on this list. and will possibly be always the only one here. why?
because in my opinion it is very hard to combine classical music with
modern media, but in this special case it totally worked out. the
soundtrack for this game just perfectly fits to the atmosphere it
creates, and wants to create. it sticks in your mind and will give you
the chills. and btw: play that game, it’s an awesome jewel of a game!

FLCL

ah, byte me! if you don’t know this yet, don’t try it. you won’t like it anymore. the pillows
were quite cool back when the animé to FLCL came out. i enjoy the
dozens (lol) if soundtracks that came out to the series, all completely
done by the pillows. i also enjoyed all the instrumental versions of
their songs. but well, i know many of you people don’t like the
soundtrack to it and won’t bother trying out the band. and i completely
understand why this is. but fact is i enjoyed the band for some years
and that is why i have to list it here. take this as a youthful folly…

Seventeen

wwwoooaah wtf – you will NOT know this one. and IF you do, you’ll
probably hate me for listing this movie. because it is one of those
cheap german tv productions by Pro7. those movies are known for their
low niveau and stupid actors. but THIS one may be the best of all
those. i more or less by accident stumbled upon it, when i left the tv
on when this movie was running. i haven’t payed attention, but every
now and then something hit me: the soundtrack!
so the movie catched my attention with its soundtrack in the first
place. when it ran again some months later i watched the whole movie
and i even enjoyed it! it is quite good, for its origin!
and of course the soundtrack was great, featuring artists like Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Blur, Dashoboard Confessional, the Hives – and especially for me most notable – The Notwist! (even with two tracks, yay!)
i do not say you should go get a copy of this movie and watch it. it’s
not that good. but if you see it running on (german) tv and are sort of
bored, give it a try!

Pete & Pete

oh, i nearly forgot about this one, how come??
okay, basically you can consider the whole soundtrack/score to The Adventures of Pete and Pete as an album of Mark Mulcahy’s band Miracle Legion. one of the four band members wasn’t available for the work on the soundtrack, so they named this temporary musical act simply: Polaris.
the show was great, it’s still one of my most favorite tv shows. its music perfectly fitted to the melancholic flair of the happenings, rounding up it athmosphere. both were basically really serious, dealing with realistic problems in realistic ways, only shown from the children/teens point of view, meaning that there were dozens of over-the-top “peaks”, that were really funny because they were surreal as hell. but still comprehensible.
mh, hard to explain, but it just was the same with the music. Polaris’ songs were also quite serious, and often extremely sad when heard out of context, but still had this charming alternative rock sound. does anyone remember me bringing up the term “sweet melancholy”? Polaris did this. with music.
the soundtrack was released in late 1999 – meaning four years after the show got cancelled! Polaris began recording for it back in 1989, what means that many of the songs were alrady 10 years old! and now it’s 2009 – and still people like me love hearing to the album, why is that?
Mulcahy was well aware of the fact that the soundwork he did for Pete & Pete was one of his best works (and if you ask me, definitively his best). so what a shame that it never hit the sales. i am not sure if there were fans pressuring and asking him for a soundtrack, but i bet there were many.
and it turned out to be a great album. he mixed it with several recordings of NASA transmissions, making it sound like a concept album. hearing to it actually feels like hearing to a normal alternative rock album, and that is why it’s so brilliant. you can love it without even knowing the show. it is more an album of Polaris, than a soundtrack to a tv show. and it’s great, you should download it!

WipEout

the complete series.
each soundtrack is so amazingly great – i love it. straight to the face electronic beats – suits the game really well.
i love the feeling that this game creates with a combination of high speed futuristic races with a stylish layout and a cut-throat hardcore e-music groove in the background. especially the newer games have such a brutal sound, which happens to be quite complex. in my opinion that stresses the future scenario of the game series really well. i don’t know if the term already exists, but “post-electronic” would be a nice term to describe the music.
i love playing these games with the music scaled to 100%, while the rest of the sounds scaled down to 50%, then the TV on a high volume level and with bass boost activated. that just rocks and gives you the edge in the races. (at least with me).
and i love the technique that modifies the music output to fit the current game situation, like when you take off in the air the music goes all high pitched and kinda slows down until you crash back on the earth, or when you activate your shields and the music wents totally muffled and dull. that works out pretty great i think.

random Themes
here a list of random themes i really love:

  • Lux Aeterna (Requiem for a Dream)
  • Comptine d’un autre été: L’après-midi (Amélie)
  • Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Breakfast Club)
  • Hoshi no Hate (She, The Ultimate Weapon)
  • Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door)
  • The Thing I Hate (Duke Nukem: Time to Kill)

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last modified: 2010-Nov-28, 12:17:43
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