Best Movie Soundtracks: Where Did The Music Go?

David Hernandez David Hernandez
September 10th, 2016

David Hernandez is a published author, content creator, writer, and illustrator with a series of popular children's books, comics, teen fiction, and graphic novels. David is also a Creative Consultant & Creative Director. working in publishing, New Media, Mixed Reality, & licensed products - specializing in Children's Entertainment. Clients include Lucasfilm, Nickelodeon, Universal Studios, and Disney. David has had the pleasure of working on some of the world's most iconic brands including Star Wars, SpongeBob Squarepants, Marvel Comics, King Kong, Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse, and the Minions! David is also the owner of his own publishing imprint, Davdez Arts Inc.

Best Movie Soundtracks: Where Did The Music Go?

The best movie soundtracks are tunes that stay with us forever. Yet, some would argue that there has been a downward slide in the quality of the best movie soundtracks available at the cinema. Here to explain his feelings about that missing movie magic is our own David Hernandez.

Best Movie Soundtracks: Where Did The Music Go?

Best Movie Soundtracks

I love comic book movies. Heck, most of us grew up with them.  Some of us even grew up with those great superhero TV shows too.  If you are as big a fan as I am, you may have noticed something is missing - the theme music!

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few gems out there that have been pleasing and are worth mentioning:  I am pretty sure most of our readers agree that the Stranger Things opening theme is awesome. In fact, I would say it’s perfect! The eerie 80's synthesized hums, that haunting heartbeat… perfect.  Actually, Netflix has been doing a pretty good job; not only with Stranger Things, but both Daredevil and Jessica Jones have decent tracks. And to add to that list, I think the cool “new-agey” sound of Orphan Black’s opening theme by Two Fingers is memorable and fitting, reminiscent of the X-Files. I am pretty sure that we all enjoyed Star Lord's Awesome Mix Vol. 1 - that was a unique way to make us remember Guardians of the Galaxy.

Way to go James Gunn! (... and Tyler Bates.)

But now I would like to focus on the allegedly big box office comic book flicks, can you hum the main theme of the Avengers?

How about Thor, or Iron Man? Do you even remember the music from Batman V. Superman?

Sure, there are a few blips some of us hard-core fans will recall, but the ingrained, ear-worm-worthy, stick-in-your-head-forever tune?

It’s just not there!

To give you an example, let’s all think about Tim Burton’s Batman stepping out of the shadows high on a rooftop, looking down on Gotham – while Danny Elfman’s awesomely spooky, yet action-paced composition immediately begins to play!  In fact, the theme was so good, that even the watered-down version created for Batman: The Animated Series is just as spectacular!  Wouldn’t it be great if Ben Affleck recognized the importance of familiarity and brought a version of this theme into his next Bat-flick?

Then we have Man of Steel and Batman v Superman… both movies could have really used some great music.  Once again, (and I know this may sound too old school,) imagine John Williams’ incredible score placed into those movies?  There is nothing like that bass drum “Thumpity Thump” followed by the blasting trumpets which announce Superman’s glorious appearance! It enhances the experience tenfold... and burns the image into our visual cortex.

Going back even further into television, just think about all the great theme music we had.  You only needed eight “na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na” sounds and everyone knew it was the Batman TV theme.  And of course, the original Star Trek’s theme that plays right after Captain Kirk recites his legendary “Space, the final frontier…”  Then later, we had the Star Trek movie score by Jerry Goldsmith, considered to be one of his greatest works, this theme brought memorable Star Trek joy to a next generation (pun intended).

I do have to admit that Alan Silvestri came pretty close with his "Captain America March" but it just didn't get enough play through the film for us to get attached.

Now I could go on and on about the best themes out there - Back to the Future, James Bond, Terminator, The Lord of the Rings, Halloweenand I won’t even discuss John Williams’ Indian Jones and Star Wars theme… ‘Nuff said!  But that's the problem, none of these are current comic book movies. Marvel and Warner Bros. need to step it up!

We need uncanny music to go with these astonishing heroes!

Finally, I want to give an honorable mention in the category of 'Best Movie Soundtracks' to the groovy 1960's Spider-Man song. This theme song is easily recognizable by anyone - from children to very old men!  I am not saying we need music like this, I am just stating that creating iconic memorable hooks of music can help define a character, the film, and even the experience itself!

That is the purpose for this article.  We need to let the fanboy directors know that we the fans want to hear some great new theme songs for our heroes!

Yes, I know that John Williams is semi-retired, and I know Hans Zimmer has been providing DC with its music, but none of it has really caught on or become memorable. There are so many young composers out there who are probably just as talented and ready to create the next iconic composition.  I bet we could even get some wild themes if the directors tapped some other talented folks that don’t even need an orchestra – could you imagine a superhero theme song by Skrillex? (That would be cool).

Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming will be here soon, perhaps we will get some iconic soundtracks from them?  Fingers crossed.

So in closing, I just want to say that I feel one of the reasons we as an audience have not attached ourselves to some of these films as much as we used to, may partly be due of the lack of incredible soundtracks.

Is it just me? What do you think happened to the best movie soundtracks?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


David Hernandez is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @DavdezHernandez

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