When I was growing up, John Williams was the soundtrack to my life. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Jaws, Superman etc are some of my favourites. But Hans Zimmer has got to be the coolest and best composer right now. I love his soundtracks. In some cases I’m more excited for his soundtracks than the actual film!
So for a bit of fun, here are my top ten Hans Zimmer tracks.
Rule of thumb – I can only pick ONE track from each of my favourite soundtracks…otherwise it would be a total bat-fest!
10) “Same Shit, Different Day” – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
When I said Hans Zimmer tracks it did not mean I was limiting myself to only movies!
Before Call of Duty became “a yearly cash in of re-hashed animation” (I kid you not – watch this clip), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has to be one of the best war games ever made. The story is fantastic and absorbing and the gameplay can have you on the edge of your seat. But what really sealed the deal was Hans Zimmer’s contribution. There are many great tracks but “Same Shit, Different Day” sums up the mood and the missions you embarked on. For a game soundtrack, it’s cinematic – even I forgot I was playing the game, thinking I was watching the movie. It’s epic and as part of my music playlist, it certainly makes my journey into work feel adventurous!
And in case you want to know – no I don’t play Call of Duty online – after getting my ass handed to by a kid who sounded like he was 12 years old…I learnt my shame 😦
9) “What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?” – Man of Steel
It’s not quite the John Williams Superman theme but it’s close enough! It’s equally heroic and every time I listen to the track it gives me chills. It’s definitely one of the positive aspects from Man of Steel.
8) “Discombobulate” – Sherlock Holmes
I love how fun this track is, setting the mood of Victorian London. It’s traditional and catchy – and he used a broken piano to make it!
7) “Jack Sparrow” – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
I’m not really a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, especially the last three. Yes they are fun but I think The Curse of the Black Pearl was the best out of the four films. But I don’t think anyone can argue against the awesome soundtrack and the track “Jack Sparrow” gives Johnny Depp extra life and character.
6) “Under the Stars” – The Lion King
Probably my first exposure to Hans Zimmer and I didn’t realised it! Forgive me – I was only young when The Lion King came out and I have to say it’s my favourite Disney film. I love it – part of my childhood growing up. It would be easy to pick something like “The Circle of Life” which is one of the best tracks on the album, but I’ve gone for “Under the Stars”. In many ways it’s an underrated track, beautifully capturing the African landscape, the rhythm and the energy.
5) “Solomon” – 12 Years a Slave
If you’ve read my review of 12 Years a Slave then you would be familiar to my emotional reaction to the film. Solomon witnesses racial brutality, both physically and mentally. The track “Solomon” does sound a little bit like “Time” from Inception, but there is no denying the level of emotion in 12 Years a Slave and Hans Zimmer reflected that with a powerful and engaging track.
4) “Dream is Collapsing” – Inception
One of my favourite sci-fi films, Inception is a beautifully layered and complex film. I saw this film on an IMAX screen in London was completely blown away by the visual spectacle and the tight editing to keep the flow and pace of the film.
What’s great about this track? It acts as a “kick” for the audience. It’s a timer that adds to the build up and tension of every scene it’s played in. It slowly builds up, like a gentle warning before ending with a grand orchestra crescendo. I had this soundtrack on endless repeat when it came out – it’s that special.
3) “Like a Dog Chasing Cars” – The Dark Knight
In collaboration with James Newton Howard, both composers managed to create possibly the most epic Batman theme! The track is part heroic and yet somehow, like the film suggests, blurs the line between a hero and living long enough to become the villain. It ends with a variation of the Joker’s theme which cements the idea of Batman living between that duality and the uncomfortable nature of The Joker, a villain who doesn’t play by the rules and enjoys the process of having “fun” with The Dark Knight.
Altogether now – Why so serious?
2) “Gotham’s Reckoning” – The Dark Knight Rises
I loved The Dark Knight Rises. I thought it was the perfect bookend to the trilogy and there are not many films out there where you can say each film in the trilogy was consistent. One of the main reasons was Bane. His voice was awesome (I can’t be the only one who memorised his quotes!) He was also unforgiving and a physically powerful villain and “Gotham’s Reckoning” is a fitting theme for such a character. It’s menacing and dark and ends with Bane’s chant, which is imposing, memorable and addictive.
Altogether now – DESHI DESHI BASARA BASARA!
1) “Now We Are Free” – Gladiator
There is no doubt in my mind why this is number one on my list. It’s an outstanding song to an outstanding soundtrack and to an outstanding film. Emotional and powerful and in context of the film, it’s a beautiful ending for Maximus.
Honourable Mentions (Update 10th April 2016):
So…it’s probably fair that I got a bit of flack in regards to why certain tracks were omitted from this list. Trust me, it was a hard list to compile. It’s been a while since I posted this and it’s only fair it gets updated to reflect more tracks. Hans Zimmer has been a busy man!
Same rule applies – one track from each soundtrack.
- “Is She With You?” – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Wonder Woman = badass and this track is devilishly wicked!
- “Honor” – The Pacific
- “You’re So Cool” – True Romance
- “Rescue Me” – Madagascar 2
- “First Step” – Interstellar
- “Time” – Inception
- “Roll Tide” – Crimson Tide
- “The Electro Suite” – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- “1976” – Rush
- “Driving” – Driving Miss Daisy
- “Journey to the Line” – The Thin Red Line
If you have a top ten list you would like me to do or something you want to compile yourself, then send your suggestions to confessionsfromageekmind at gmail dot com. It can be anything whether film or TV related.