HERE is my Xmas/New Year’s present to all ESFS readers: a carefully curated Spotify mix of some of my favorite movie scores of 2014. This is not intended to be an authoritative list or a best-of ranking, but rather a cohesive mix celebrating some of the finest filmmusic of the year. To that end, while I certainly considered the impact and effect of a particular piece of filmmusic on the film, I wanted to find compositions that stand on their own (the Oscar-winning Steven Price score for Gravity is a good example of music that works wonderfully within the scene, but doesn’t hold up when divorced from the images). That is one of the reasons that this mix is so heavy with credits music and main themes – these are pieces generally created to exist on their own, rather than push the story or underline an emotion. My other criteria:
-Only 2014 NYC commercial releases were considered.
-I had to have seen the film (sorry, Big Eyes, among others)
-I only allowed 1 (and in rare cases, 2) tracks per movie.
-I only considered 100% musical pieces, no vocal accompaniments allowed.
-The mix had to be CD-length or shorter.
-The movie soundtrack had to be available on Spotify.
That last stipulation eliminated a couple of my favorite 2014 movie scores from consideration – Visitors (Philip Glass) and Young Ones (Nathan Johnson) – as well as the soundtracks for Foxcatcher, The Gambler, Venus in Fur, The Fault in Our Stars, Nightcrawler, and more. I also had to leave off a couple of odd-duck scores, most notably Justin Hurwitz’s work on Whiplash, because they just didn’t fit within the mix.
However, that still left an overabundance of fantastic and incredibly varied filmmusic, from the heroin-laced score of Only Lovers Left Alive to the unearthly creep of Under the Skin to the many moods of Alexandre Desplat. I hope you enjoy the mix, and I’ll see you in 2015!
COMPLETE TRACKLIST (film and composer in parentheses)
1) “Godzilla!” (Godzilla – Alexandre Desplat)
2) “Mr. Moustafa” (The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat)
3) “Grand Piano Main Titles” (Grand Piano – Victor Reyes)
4) “Main Titles” (The Two Faces of January – Alberto Iglesias)
5) “The Double Theme – Version 1” (The Double – Andrew Hewitt)
6) “On the Plains” (The Homesman – Marco Beltrami)
7) “Andrew Void” (Under the Skin – Mica Levi)
8) “Mr. Turner” (Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon)
9) “Mattow and Reporters” (Robocop – Pedro Bromfman)
10) “Find Me When You Wake Up” (Edge of Tomorrow – Christophe Beck)
11) “Monkey to the City” (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Michael Giacchino)
12) “Axe Gang” (Snowpiercer – Marco Beltrami)
13) “Russian Ambush” (Stalingrad – Angelo Badalamenti)
14) “Winterreise” (The Congress – Max Richter)
15) “Garden Shadows (Piano)” (A Most Violent Year – Alex Ebert)
16) “Arrival at Lord Cotys’ City” (Hercules – Fernando Velazquez)
17) “Cornfield Chase” (Interstellar – Hans Zimmer)
18) “Whole Lot Like You” (Cold in July – Jeff Grace)
19) “The Taste of Blood” (Only Lovers Left Alive – Josef Van Wissem, SQURL)
20) “Sugar Storm” (Gone Girl – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
21) “Epilogue” (The Theory of Everything – Johann Johannsson)
22) “Alan Turing’s Legacy” (The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat)
23) “The Homesman Main Title” (The Homesman – Marco Beltrami)
24) “Amethyst” (Inherent Vice – Jonny Greenwood)
25) “Calvary Theme” (Calvary – Patrick Cassidy)