Suddenly I discover movie soundtracks.

I love movies. I probably see 40 a year at the movies. I love music. I own hundreds of CDs and used to do live and studio mixing for bands. But until last weekend I owned no movie music even though I often notice how cool the soundtrack is while watching a movie.

I saw The Adjustment Bureau and while I quite liked the movie I adored the soundtrack. I could tell it was Thomas Newman because I’ve seen plenty of stuff he has scored and there were echoes of all of them. But I kept hearing things that made me think, “what is that?” While watching a movie you can’t close your eyes and wallow in the sounds so later I got the CD.

Ever since I have been cranking it out really loud through my headphones and marveling at how clever it is. Amazing percussion arrangements and because it a movie soundtrack some musical ideas are only 30 seconds long. No need to make it 3 verses with chorus and a middle 8.

So obviously I have missed lots of good stuff over the years and I bow to the collective Doper wisdom - what do I need to listen to?

My favourite Thomas Newman is his end titles for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

And I also love Hans Zimmer’s score for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Odd coincidence. My nephew is a jazz muso and i sent him an email along the same lines as the OP and was just reading his reply - Hans Zimmer talks about his work.

I’m a lover of classical soundtracks. Bernard Hermann’s scores for Hitchcock’s movies (PSYCHO, VERTIGO, etc) are stunning. Elmer Bernstein’s score for DeMille’s THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is astounding. Not to mention Max Steiner, Dmitri Tiomkin, John Williams, et al.

Seconding this - I have yet to find a Bernard Herrmann score where I thought he dropped the ball. as well as the above films for Hitchcock, I recommend his scores for *Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver *(my personal favourite), Fahrenheit 451, Cape Fear and *The Snows of Kilimanjaro *for the insanely lovely, melancholy ‘Memory Waltz’.

The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (you can download a 5 track sampler here) is great if you like downtempo moody stuff.

The Natural

Thomas Newman is one of my favorite film score composers. I, too, like the Lemony Snicket score, as well as American Beauty.

I also like Carter Burwell’s score for Fargo.

Another favorite, going way back, is Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Especially The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk.

Some of my favorites include Gladiator, all 3 Lord of the Rings movies, and the Star Wars films. I also really enjoyed the score to the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, with Robert Downey, Jr. I’ll also second the above post which mentions Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.

Thirding, and I have to mention all the sf/fantasy films he scored as well, particularly those of Ray Harryhausen – Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and others.

Edward Scissorhands
The Piano
The Village

Doris Day has some great soundtracks from her movies.
by far the best is Love Me or Leave Me definitely her best work
a few more great soundtracks. Make sure you get the original cast.
South Pacific
Sound of Music

Thank you folks.

Here is my favorite track off the CD. For God knows what reason it seems to be about 10% faster. Still listen to the arrangement. Headphones and loud is best.

Well Doris Day is God. I recently posted about her being superwoman and I have most of her stuff.

Peter Gabriel’s score for the Last Temptation of Christ is one of my favorites.

Some of my faves:

Last of the Mohicans
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Dances with Wolves
A Clockwork Orange

Ennio Morricone has an amazing body of work, with westerns like For a Few Dollars More and The Good the Bad and the Ugly but also The Untouchables and Cinema Paradiso and many others. (ETA: How could I forget The Mission?)

The Godfather Part II is has an amazing score.

I haven’t tried listening to any of them as albums, but Howard Shore’s scores for David Cronenberg films and Silence of the Lambs are hugely effective and atmospheric (i.e. creepy as hell).

Dirty Dancing, and American Graffiti are two more good ones.

All this talk of Hermann and no mention of NxNW? Best main title Evar!

I used to own the soundtrack for Star Trek II. Brilliant work by James Horner.

More fantastic Herrmann: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, North by Northwest, On Dangerous Ground

The Last of the Mohicans
Requiem for a Dream