Fame was a film directed by Alan Parker, a serious auteur (some would say overly serious, especially in light of the work that came later) who designed the film for posterity, and the same attitude carried over the music. Yes, the production techniques often do sound dated – the over-reliance on state-of-the-art synthesizer ironically now sounds helplessly tied to the year of its creation – but the music by Michael Gore is dynamic, varied, and alive, sung with real passion and vigor, and it still retains its essential spark 23 years after it was a pop culture phenomenon. Sure, it's glitzy and glossy, sounding like show tunes, but that's the tradition of this music, and it was done better than most Broadway tunes and movie soundtracks of the '80s. Years later, this still has the spark and vitality of kids trying to make their big break, no matter the kind of music they're singing, and that's one of the main reasons (along with Gore's fine compositions) Fame retains its power and entertainment value years later.
For his third lushly photographed martial-arts film, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, Zhang Yimou once again collaborated with Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi, who created the music for the Chinese director's lauded HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS. Umebayashi's orchestral pieces fittingly echo the sweeping drama and stunning visuals of the movie, as best revealed in the Wagnerian "Rebellion" and the percussive "Heroic Battle".
Man in Motion is the fifth studio album released in 1988 by the hard rock/arena rock band Night Ranger. Original Night Ranger keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald had left the band prior to recording sessions for the album, and new keyboardist Jesse Bradman is featured as his replacement…
The romantic comedy Singles, in part a homage to director Cameron Crowe's hometown of Seattle, was released at exactly the right time (summer 1992). Nirvana's Nevermind had symbolically knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the album charts at the beginning of the year, and the underground buzz about Seattle bands like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam was beginning to find its way past circles of indie aficionados and open-minded hard rock fans and into the mainstream. Singles helped crystallize the idea of the "Seattle scene" in the mainstream public's mind, and it was also one of the first big-selling '90s movie soundtracks (it went platinum and reached the Top Ten) to feature largely new work from contemporary artists. The soundtrack's strength was the way it was so firmly rooted in place – where future soundtrack extravaganzas simply contrived to gather as many big-name acts as possible, Singles focused specifically on Seattle-area music (quite logically, given the film's plot and setting), which gave the album the feel of a cohesive document.
ONCE is a modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard, lead singer of the Irish band "The Frames," the film tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story. Contains 13 original songs written and performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, all of which are performed in the film. A collector's edition of the soundtrack was released on 4 December 2007 in the US with additional songs and a bonus DVD with live performances and interviews about the film. The additional songs were two previously unreleased Van Morrison covers: Hansard's "And the Healing Has Begun", and Hansard and Irglová's "Into the Mystic".
A film involving a violently loud, retired, and suicidal blind man (played by Al Pacino) could have been stricken with a motion picture score to match the surface mood. Thomas Newman's score for Scent of a Woman delves beneath the surface, and what is found is a set that sounds not only classical but classy. There is a chilling calm in the music, a dreamlike state, that draws energy from the colors and feelings of autumn in New York City. Just as one track settles into a peaceful sleep, the stings and violins and drums come marching in, often too briefly, and fade away. While awaiting their return, the quietness of the "in-between" tracks pulls the listener in until what was being waited for is nearly forgotten. The soundtrack features "Por Una Cabeza" performed by the Tango Project; the piece served as the centerpiece of emotion in the film, in which the beautiful Gabrielle Anwar takes Al Pacino's hand and learns that seeing music through wide-open eyes is not half as important as feeling it with the other four senses. Newman's soundtrack believes that too.
Baz Luhrmann's garish, flamboyant adaptation of Romeo + Juliet was hyper-kinetic and colorful, boasting a heavy inspiration from the visual style of MTV, so it's only appropriate that the soundtrack was tailored for the alternative nation that MTV fostered. Combining modern rock acts like Garbage, Radiohead, the Cardigans, and the Butthole Surfers with contemporary soul like Des'ree and adult alternative like Gavin Friday, the album is slick, polished, catchy – and surprisingly strong. Though the soul and pop is good, the alternative rock acts on the soundtrack fare the best, with Garbage and Radiohead both contributing excellent B-sides ("Number One Crush" and "Talk Show Host," respectively), with the Cardigans' sleek, sexy lounge-disco number "Lovefool" stealing the show.