The Soundtracks of Television Series

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Barriss_Coffee, Aug 15, 2011.

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  1. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I'm probably breaking some rule by making a television music thread in the film music forum, but these days it seems some major film composers are also trying their hand at TV scores. Some of them seem to be pretty darned good, too. I admit I haven't paid much attention to any of them until now, but being somewhat disgruntled with the soundtracks from new movies over the last year, I picked up the scores for Game of Thrones (by Ramin Djawadi of Iron Man fame) and Doctor Who (Series 5) (by Murray Gold). Both definitely exceeded my expectations, although aside from that they're stylistically about as far removed from one another as possible.

    Up until now I wouldn't have considered show soundtracks worthwhile, but after listening to these two, I believe I've been sorely mistaken. In a way I suspect TV soundtracks might be a little like videogame soundtracks, in that they're more enjoyable if you've seen the show/played the game.

    Anyway, I figured we could use a thread for the general discussion/recommendation of tv show scores. Be forewarned that those who recommend the Brady Bunch theme will be banned without mercy.
  2. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    TV has some great scoring going on.

    You've already mentioned Murray Gold's Doctor Who. While Season 5 has its moments, I think Season 4 is the best season yet, musically: it takes the awesome "All the Strange, Strange Creatures" theme from Season 3 and blows it to awesomely epic levels at the climax. Ben Foster's score from Torchwood: Children of Earth is also darned good.

    Don Davis' score from Beauty and the Beast (with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton) is absolutely exquisite, a must-have. The best selection is on a disc that also includes his music from the movie Hyperspace.

    Probably the best TV scorer these days is Bear McCreary. His scores for the recent Battlestar Galactica are fan favorites, and very good, but for my money Human Target is his best score yet: it's 2 CDs long, but I never get tired of it. A wonderful action/adventure score, brimming with fun and energy and nods to the classics -- Williams, Bernstein, Horner and others -- yet never plagiarizing them. One of my favorite scores of 2010, and still on constant rotation in my player. His music for the superhero show The Cape is also quite good and should be released soon. He also has done some quirkier music for Eureka and the music for the underrated Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which compares favorably to the recent Terminator movie scores by Beltrami and Elfman.

    Michael Giacchino's wonderful thematic tapestry that unfolded over Lost's six seasons is also well worth listening to, although it obviously takes some time and patience! The scores for Fringe by Giacchino and his proteges Chris Tilton and Chad Seiter is also good.

    Shirley Walker's Batman: The Animated Series is excellent and available, and her Space: Above and Beyond should be coming soon.

    Nathan Barr's True Blood scores are lovely, minimalist southern gothic style but lovely, warm, organic acoustic music that I enjoy frequently.

    Snuffy Walden has done excellent work for shows like The West Wing, My So-Called Life and Friday Night Lights, but sadly not much of it is available.

    If you like Djawadi's Game of Thrones, you may like his score from Prison Break, though I've never listened to it so can't personally vouch for it. Jim Dooley's Pushing Daisies scores were quirky goofy fun.

    Older stuff, the Joel McNeely and Lawrence Rosenthal scores from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles were often very good. There have recently been releases of a TON of music from Star Trek: The Next Generation, including a massive set of Ron Jones' stuff as well as a smaller set with music from John Debney and others. (And if you like that sort of thing, Joel Goldsmith's scores from the Stargate TV shows is very good too.) If you want to go back even farther, Jerry Goldsmith's contributions to stuff like Dr. Kildare and Cain's Hundred and Herrmann's stuff for the Twilight Zone and the Hitchcock Hour are available, as well as some of the scores from the classic Star Trek sereies.
  3. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    I only have Lost and Terminator SCC, but especially the latter I just had to have - Sarah's theme made all those already-poignant moments truly great. I don't have the movie scores, but I have this one.
  4. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I have

    All the Star Treks
    Lost
    Battlestar Galactica

    and my favourite

    Jeeves & Wooster
  5. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Reaching back abit, The X-Files and Millennium have some really great stuff. Got the 2-disc limited edition Millennium score last year and it's just epic.
  6. HL&S Magistrate Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2001
    star 6
    I like some of the old cartoon soundtracks. Specifically G.I. Joe, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men. Better than you'd expect.
  7. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Batman: TAS goes here as well, then. I miss the days when WB executives could be convinced that a 20-minute cartoon totally needed a symphonic score for every episode.
  8. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I forgot about Batman: TAS. That was unexpectedly good. Just further evidence kids shows from the 80s/early 90s were superior to anything that's been produced since. :p


    Ah, I was wondering about that. I attempted to begin watching Doctor Who a few years back by starting at the very beginning (1st Doctor), and after several seasons got impatient and jumped straight to the 11th Doctor. I'm considering working backwards by doctors sometime, so this will probably give me incentive to do it sooner rather than later.


    Ah, Lost. I considered getting Lost a while back but had thought it might be too redundant -- for some reason my memory of watching the show was the same 2 or 3 songs playing over and over again in every episode (like that dramatic-montage-slow song at the end of at least half the episodes). But since I never looked into it, I'm probably wrong.
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    No, you're right. Six seasons of music spread over 8 or 10 discs is overwhelming. I've tried listening to them all more or less in a row and have been defeated every time. I've also tried, and might try again, to chop the whole series down to a couple hour suite of the best cues that I can listen to in one sitting. But while there is some thematic development, many themes are reprised throughout the series. Here's a nice summary of the themes, helpfully labelled: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W8hKKwyjnE (part 1) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDIVAJ2HTxU (part 2)

    And here's a gorgeous piano arrangement of "Life and Death": http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top_stories/story/Paul-Cardall-about-to-Release-First-Album-since/inKHmoc7P0qIfRdvCH_8qQ.cspx
  10. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    The Brady Bunch has a particularly good soundtrack. I highly recommend it.
  11. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    /ban


    And thanks for the music links, Mastadge! I am a sucker for piano music.
  12. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Actually, this might be a good place to post a query I abandoned on other forums a long time ago - does anyone remember there being a second album of Twin Peaks music released around 1991? No, I'm not talking about the soundtrack to Fire Walk With Me, or the 2007 "Twin Peaks Season Two Music & More" album.

    This has nagged me for years - back in 1991, while Twin Peaks was still running, I remember seeing an album called "More Music From Twin Peaks" in a music store. All I remember is that it only had about 5 or 6 tracks on it, and I think the back cover had a picture of the Great Northern Hotel at night. It was a bit pricey for such a short album, so I never bought it, but it was in the store for a while, I saw it several times, then lost interest.

    Of course, years later, I got back into Twin Peaks, but I've never been able to find any evidence that this CD ever existed. Anyone?
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