What a wonderful feeling when a great movie stays with me after leaving the theater, even better when the soundtrack comes along for the ride. Lately I find myself listening to the same score over and over again and cannot get the soundtrack from ‘Inception’ out of my head. This score has washed into my daily life the way the waves washed over DiCaprio in the opening and ending scenes from the film.
Can this be Hans Zimmer’s best work to date? I know that many will disagree, but can we agree to say that this is his most addictive. After composing over 100 films, his last few seem to each outshine the other – Frost Nixon, Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight, and now Inception along with (Despicable Me). Some of his other works include Rain Man, The Lion King, Gladiator, Crimson Tide, Thelma and Louise and all of the Pirates of The Caribbean films. There are just too many movies to mention since when you look at his previous work it reads like a ‘Greatest Hits’ list.
Start to finish this time around, it is as if he has written a score that can be played throughout the day and many of the tracks seem to fit so well with our daily life. Zimmer always a personal favorite grew up working alongside Trevor Horn (Seal, Propaganda, Robbie Williams, Art of Noise, Pet Shop Boys). In the early 80′s as Horn was finding his sound, so was Zimmer as the two had worked together on some Buggles material and collaborated on the Barry Levinson over hyped film Toys (with Robin Williams). Zimmer to me is a modern-day Giorgio Moroder – (Midnight Express, Cat People and the infamous Scarface).
The score for Scarface was also a strikingly memorable work of art, and it is surprising that it has never been released. Please don’t mix this up this up with the soundtrack that is available everywhere. The only two ‘score songs’ that have seen the light of day and appear on the soundtrack release are the beautiful ‘Gina and Elvira’s theme’ sounding as retro as the day it was first heard and the hauntingly somber yet thunderous ‘Tony’s Theme’.
Take a listen to ‘Tony’s Theme’ from Scarface and then play Zimmer’s ‘Waiting For a Train’ from Inception and you will hear two works that stand out as a template as to what to listen for in a great score.